Osceola County Michigan
Genealogy and History

History of Osceola County

Osceola is one of the most prosperous of the central counties of the southern peninsula of Michigan. From the late sixties, until well towards the nineties, its territory was virtually given up to the lumber industries and, in view of the fact that her development in the agricultural industries has scarcely covered twenty years, her progress has been rapid indeed. Of the 367,247 acres comprising her area, it is estimated that 204, 847 acres are already devoted to farm and grazing lands, produce and fruit-raising. Fortunately, many of those who accumulated money in the pineries have remained to invest it in these later and more diversified products of the soil, the permanent profits from which depend more on patience, skill, scientific knowledge and protracted labor than did the wealth realized by the pioneer lumbermen from the pineries of Northern Michigan.


The soil, climate, seasons, drainage and other physical conditions of Osceola county are especially favorable to the raising of potatoes, hay, clover and beans and the development of the livestock industries. There are thousands of acres of land yielding extra fine grades of crimson, medium and giant clover, with remarkably large and thrifty timothy; besides there are large areas of grass, pasture and stock-grazing lands. With plenty of low-priced lands to furnish forage, the farmers of the county have every incentive to push the dairy interests. Large crops of white navy, red kidney and other beans are also raised on contract with business houses, the mixture of sand and loam in the soil of many tracts being the exact requisite. Of course fruit farming in Osceola county is in its infancy, although even now her shipments of apples - Spy, Duchess, Russet and late fall - are considerable. The cereals have all been raised successfully and as an agricultural auxiliary, the raising of poultry, both for eggs and the market, is being profitably conducted.

Efforts along the all these lines which have resulted in such substantial good to the county have been concentrated and encouraged through the Osceola County Agricultural Society, one of the first organizations of the kind in the central counties of Northern Michigan, and a sketch of which is given hereafter.

The figures showing the population of Osceola county at the conclusion of the past three decades, as presented by the United States Census.

CIVIL DIVISIONS 1910 1900 1890
Burdell township (including Tustin Village) 1, 183 1,359 734
Tustin Village 371 303 ....
Cedar township 249 314 336
Evart township (including part of Evart Village) 1,077 1,194 1,215
Evart Village (part of) 411 425 432
TOTAL FOR EVART VILLAGE 1,386 1,360 1,269
Hartwick township 652 540 417
Hersey township including Hersey Village 1,064 1,157 908
Hersey Village 310 327 328
Highland township 1,417 792 326
LeRoy township including LeRoy Village 1,033 1,312 1,087
LeRoy Village 331 375 452
Lincoln township 1,020 1,250 1,084
Marion township including Marion Village 1,562 1,253 1,042
Marion Village 767 741 ....
Middle Branch township 520 518 219
Orient township 673 758 707
Osceola township including part of Evart Village 1,705 1,697 1,550
Evart Village (part of) 975 935 837
Richmond township including Reed City Village 2,855 3,401 3,064
Reed City Village 1,690 2,051 1,776
Rose Lake township 704 659 627
Sherman township 1,451 1,002 810
Sylvan township 724 653 504
TOTALS 17,889 17,859 14,630



A History of Northern Michigan and its people;
Powers, Perry Francis 1857-1945, Cutler, Harry Gardner, 1856

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