Newaygo County

Croton, MI (1942) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Croton Township 12 north, 11 west, lies in the eastern tier of the county. It is bounded on the north by Big Prairie, on the east by Montcalm County, on the south by Ensley and on the west by Brooks. The Muskegon River flows through the northwestern part, crossing sections 4,5, 8,7,18 and 19. The Little Muskegon flows from east to west through the township, crossing sections 13,14,15,16, 9 and 8. It joins the Muskegon in the southwestern part of section 7. In the southwestern part of the township are Pettit and Bills Lakes.

At the forks of the Muskegon is situated the village of Croton. This was once an important point, before the pine forests were cut away, but now its business is purely local. The first mill there was built at about the same time the first settlement was made at Newaygo, and the first land taken up in the county is at Croton.

Croton MI - Birds Eye-View 1940's - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Croton Township was called Newaygo until 1855. It was organized under that name in 1851, at the same time with Brooks Township, and then included the eastern half of the county. It was cut down to form Big Prairie, Ensley and other townships, until it contained but a township and a half. It remained of this size until 1880, when half a township became a part of Brooks Township and Croton was reduced to its present limits.

At the last election, held April 2, 1883, the following township officers weer elected: David Collins, Supervisor; Walter M. Pace, Clerk: Jerome A. Botsford, Treasurer: George Backart, Highway Commissioner; Lafayette Keeney, Drain Commissioner; Alfred E. Hall, School Inspector; Wesley C. Dancer, Justice of the Peace; Simon Dancer, Gilbert Grow, William Cram, and Ambrose Fitzgerald, Constables.

The population of the township in 1880 was 807; that of the village of Croton, 118.

There are in the township at the present time four whole school districts and two fractional ones. For the y ear ending Sept. 3, the number of children between the ages of 5 and 21 was 238; number of children that attended school, 166; number of non-resident pupils, 6; number of days of school taught, 860; number of school houses (all frame), 6; number of pupils that can be seated, 350; value of school property,$2,100; number of male teachers employed, 4; number of female teachers employed, 7; wages paid to male teachers, $573; wages paid to female teachers, $672.60

The valuation of property in this township increased from $38, 736 in 1853 to $80,755 in 1883; and the taxation of property from $351.37 in 1852 to $2,251.18 in 1883.


James Barton, 1851
Christopher Culp 1852
J. Ryan 1853
Hugh Rice 1854
George Backart 1855
Christopher Culp 1856
Loyal Palmer 1857-8
George Backart 1859-62
Charles Carmichael 1863-4
George Backart 1865-7
Arthur Truesdell 1868
W.W. Irons 1868
George Backart 1869-70
William Rice 1871-2
David Collins 1873-4
P.L. R. Fisk 1875
William Rice 1876
M.S. Kline 1877
William Rice 1878 -9
David Collins 1880
M.F. Cline 1880
David Collins 1881
P.A. Harrison 1882
David Collins 1883

Portrait and Biographical - Newaygo Co 1884