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Branch County, Michigan




 

Branch County, Michigan

Branch County, Michigan

Branch County, Michigan

Branch County is located on the near southwestern boundary of the lower peninsula, bordered by Indiana. It was organized in 1831 shortly after settlers arrived in the Bronson area in 1828. It was named after John Branch, then Secretary of the Navy under President Andrew Jackson. The original county seat was in a town called Branch, near Gilead Lake in the southern part of the county. It began in 1830 with the construction of the Black Hawk Sawmill, built by a Dr. Hill and named for a local Indian chief. This town did not survive because lots were too high-priced. The county seat was relocated in Coldwater, presently the countyís largest city. Branch County grew at a slower rate than the other surrounding counties because of its lack of road and railroad access . Also, Indians living on reservations there intimidated many new residents. The coming of the "Chicago Road," in the 1840ís, (now US-12), changed the situation, and the area attracted commerce and settlement again, including the Union City Iron Company, founded in 1847, which produced the first iron made from Michigan iron ore.

Today, Branch County remains a relatively rural, agricultural area. The Coldwater and Bronson areas are thriving, with several manfacturing facilities including metal fabrication and fishing gear products. This county is also known for its beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture, especially around Coldwater.



 

Branch County, Michigan     Branch County, Michigan

Branch County, Michigan     Branch County, Michigan

Branch County, Michigan     Branch County, Michigan

Branch County, Michigan     Branch County, Michigan

Photos courtesy of
Ken Huisjen

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