Gratiot County, Michigan

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Gratiot County, Michigan
Gratiot County MI Courthouse c1908.jpg
Gratiot County Courthouse
Seal of Gratiot County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Gratiot County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1855[1]
Named for Charles Gratiot
Seat Ithaca
Largest city Alma
 • Total 571.61 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land 570.13 sq mi (1,477 km2)
 • Water 1.48 sq mi (4 km2), 0.26%
 • (2010) 42,476
 • Density 75/sq mi (29/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Gratiot County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,476.[2] The county seat is Ithaca,[3] although its most populous city is Alma.

The Gratiot County Courthouse was built in the classical revival style by Claire Allen, a prominent southern Michigan architect. It is one of seven sites in the county listed on the National Register of Historic Places (No. 76002291 added 1976).[4] In June 2012, the 212.8 MW Gratiot County Wind Project opened, the largest wind power installation in the state.[5]


  • According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 571.61 square miles (1,480.5 km2), of which 570.13 square miles (1,476.6 km2) (or 99.74%) is land and 1.48 square miles (3.8 km2) (or 0.26%) is water.[6]
  • It is considered to be part of Central Michigan.
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is the controlling regional body for the Catholic Church.[7]

Adjacent counties[edit]


  • US 127 runs north to I-75 and south to Lansing.

  • BUS US 127 is a business loop through downtown Alma.

  • BUS US 127 is a business loop through downtown Ithaca.

  • BUS US 127 is a business loop through downtown St. Louis.
  • M‑46 is an important cross-peninsular highway that routes east to Saginaw. It ends at Port Sanilac on Lake Huron. Westbound the highway courses to Muskegon on Lake Michigan.
  • M‑57 heads east to the northern suburbs of Flint. Going west it ends at US 131 near the northern suburbs of Grand Rapids.


The county is named for Captain Charles Gratiot, who supervised the building of Port Huron's Fort Gratiot. It was set off in 1831; organized in 1855.[1] See List of Michigan county name etymologies. Emil Lockwood, a noted Michigan legislator, represented Gratiot County in the Michigan Senate from 1963-1970, much of the time as Senate Majority Leader. There are six Michigan historical markers in Gratiot county, namely:

  • Alma College
  • Gratiot County
  • Jackson Weller House
  • Lumberjack Park
  • Michigan Masonic Home
  • Saginaw and Gratiot County State Road / Saginaw Valley and St. Louis Railroad[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,042
1870 11,810 192.2%
1880 21,936 85.7%
1890 28,668 30.7%
1900 29,889 4.3%
1910 28,820 −3.6%
1920 33,914 17.7%
1930 30,252 −10.8%
1940 32,205 6.5%
1950 33,429 3.8%
1960 37,012 10.7%
1970 39,246 6.0%
1980 40,448 3.1%
1990 38,982 −3.6%
2000 42,285 8.5%
2010 42,476 0.5%
Est. 2012 42,063 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 42,285 people, 14,501 households, and 10,397 families residing in the county. The population density was 74 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 15,516 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.01% White, 3.72% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. 4.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.4% were of German, 17.2% American, 12.6% English and 6.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.1% spoke English and 2.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 14,501 households out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 11.60% from 18 to 24, 29.50% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 108.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,262, and the median income for a family was $43,954. Males had a median income of $32,442 versus $22,333 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,118. About 7.30% of families and 10.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.70% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Gratiot County elected officials[edit]

(information as of September 2005)

Cities, villages, and townships[edit]





See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Gratiot County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ National Register of Historic Places in Gratiot County.
  5. ^ Michigan's Largest Wind Farm Enters Commercial Operation, North American Winpower, 06 June 2012
  6. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Saginaw County Diocese home page
  8. ^ Michigan Historical Markers.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°17′N 84°36′W / 43.29°N 84.60°W / 43.29; -84.60