Gaines Township, Genesee County, Michigan

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There is also Gaines Charter Township in Kent County.
Township of Gaines
Township of Gaines is located in Michigan
Township of Gaines
Township of Gaines
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°54′58″N 83°52′48″W / 42.91611°N 83.88000°W / 42.91611; -83.88000Coordinates: 42°54′58″N 83°52′48″W / 42.91611°N 83.88000°W / 42.91611; -83.88000
Country United States
State Michigan
County Genesee
settled 1836
Government Organized 1842[1]
 • Type Supervisor-board
 • Supervisor Chuck Melki
 • Clerk Michael Dowler
 • Treasurer Diane M. Hyrman
 • Trustee Lee Purdy, Chuck Timmons[2]
 • Total 35.3 sq mi (91.4 km2)
 • Land 35.2 sq mi (91.2 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.20%
Elevation 810 ft (247 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,820
 • Density 184.4/sq mi (71.2/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48473, 48436
Area code(s) 989, 810
FIPS code 26-31220[3]
GNIS feature ID 1626328[4]

Gaines Township is a civil township of Genesee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 6,820 at the 2010 census.



Gaines Township in Genesee County has a Supervisor-Board form of government. In this form of government, three members of the Board of Trustees are executives: Supervisor (being the township's chief executive), Clerk and Treasurer. There are two additional trustees elected to the board.

District Number Officeholder
U.S. Representative 5 Dan Kildee
State Senate 27 vacant
State Representative 49th Jim Ananich
County Commissioner 8th Ted Henry
School District Swartz Creek Multiple: see article
Community College C.S. Mott
Polling Locations all precincts Township Hall


The first settler, Hartford Cargill, moved into the township section 36. Other early settlers settled in an area called Fletcher's Corners. Philander McLain's family settled in what is now the City of Swartz Creek. The Village of Gaines did not see a settler until 1856. The first passenger train passed through the future village site on July 4, 1856. A post office was established that same year.[1]

Philander McLain built on previous claimed land as the first settler in Gaines Township in 1838.

Ephraim Fletcher came to Gaines from New York in 1836 and settled on Van Vleet Road (section 16).[7] Additional settlers move near by the Fletcher home and the area was label "Fletcher's Corner". Joshua Dart and Suzanna Stebbins Dart, his wife, with their children moved from New Haven, Connecticut to this area in 1839.[8]

A settlement named Ryno Settlement after Aaron B. and Catherine Ryno was established to the west of Miller's Settlement, south of Lyons and north of Fletcher's Corners on the future Nichols Road.[9]

Mundy Township was organized in 1837 and included Gaines Township, which was organized in 1842.[10]

Joshua Dart was given the honor of naming the township upon its organization, as he was the oldest township resident. He named it after General Edmund P. Gaines, an acquaintance noted for his service in the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and the Black Hawk War. Twenty-one votes were polled in the organization meeting at Ephraim Fletcher's house that saw William B. Young elected supervisor; Martin Dart, Township Clerk; and Ephraim Fletcher, Treasurer.[9]

A school was started around 1845 by the Van Fleet and Cargill areas.[1]

Crapo Farm[edit]

Swamp land called "Gaines' Dead Marsh", or "Dead Man's Swamp" - about 1000 acres—was purchased by Henry Howland Crapo in 1860. The swamp, the source of the west branch of the Swartz Creek and its name, was drained. An effective settlement was established there as the Crapo Farm, with most structures outside of the current boundaries of the City of Swartz Creek. Crapo was elected Governor of Michigan in 1865 and held office at the Farm's Mansion, Grassmoor. Crapo Farm had its own rail depot. After a couple of Crapos held ownership of the farm, it was sold to developers, Winshall Corporation and North American Development. The west side was designated and built into a subdivision of about 300 homes called Winchester Village. Other plans for Crapo Farms were a golf course around the mansion as the clubhouse and a mall at Seymour and Miller Roads, neither of which were built. Winchester Village ended up being incorporated into the City of Swartz Creek.[11]

Years Supervisor Town Clerk Treasurer Justices of the Peace Constables Overseers of Highways Highway Commissioners
1842 William Young Martin Dart Ephraim Fletcher James P. Allen, Philander McLain, Walter B. Beers, Frederick Wilcox Elisha Martin, Layman Davis William Young, Jonathan Yerkes, Marvin Williams, William Gazlay, John Rood, Walter Beers, Lyman Perkins, Lyman Cargill, Fred Wilcox, Elijah Lyman James P. Allen, Lyman Perkins, William Gazley


Modern era[edit]

In 2000, the Township started its own one officer police department with the assistance of the Michigan State Police Department.[2]

In 2013, the police chief turned in a resignation letter March 1. On March 6, the Board of Trustees voted 3 to 2 to disband its police department with the State Police providing police protection by default.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 35.3 square miles (91 km2), of which 35.2 square miles (91 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.20%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 2,271
1970 3,379 48.8%
1980 5,209 54.2%
1990 5,391 3.5%
2000 6,491 20.4%
2010 6,820 5.1%
Source: Census Bureau. Census 1960- 2000, 2010.

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 6,491 people, 2,269 households, and 1,892 families residing in the township. The population density was 184.4 per square mile (71.2/km²). There were 2,334 housing units at an average density of 66.3 per square mile (25.6/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 96.92% White, 0.34% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.

There were 2,269 households out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.2% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.6% were non-families. 13.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the township the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $66,289, and the median income for a family was $69,649. Males had a median income of $53,547 versus $35,386 for females. The per capita income for the township was $24,816. About 3.1% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ a b c d Wood, Edwin O. (1916). History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions. Michigan Historical Commission.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Wood" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c Schuch, Sarah (March 8, 2013). "Gaines Township board votes to disband police department". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gaines Township, Genesee County, Michigan
  5. ^ Genesee County Map. J. Shively. State of Michigan Department of Information Technology Technology Center for Genographic Information. September 2007.
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Duffield, Michigan
  7. ^ Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia, PA.: Everts & Abbott. p. 335. 
  8. ^ Hayes, Yutha (1976). Going up the Swartz. Swartz Creek: Bicentennial Commission of Swartz Creek. p. 37. 
  9. ^ a b Hayes, Yutha (1976). Going up the Swartz. Swartz Creek: Bicentennial Commission of Swartz Creek. p. 23. 
  10. ^ Wood, Edwin O. (1916). History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions. Michigan Historical Commission. 
  11. ^ Hayes, Yutha (1976). Going up the Swartz. Swartz Creek: Bicentennial Commission of Swartz Creek.