Genesee County, Michigan

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Genesee County, Michigan
Genesee County MI Courthouse.JPG
Genesee County Courthouse in Flint
Seal of Genesee County, Michigan
Logo of Genesee County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Genesee County
Location in the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded March 28, 1835 (created)
1836 (organized)
Named for Genesee County, New York
Seat Flint
Largest city Flint
 • Total 650 sq mi (1,683 km2)
 • Land 637 sq mi (1,650 km2)
 • Water 13 sq mi (34 km2), 1.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 415,376
 • Density 668/sq mi (258/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Genesee County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 425,790,[1] making it the fifth-most populous county in Michigan. The county seat and population center is Flint (birthplace of General Motors).[2] Genesee County is considered to be a part of the greater Mid Michigan area.

The county was named after Genesee County, New York.[3] Genesee County comprises the Flint, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI Combined Statistical Area. Many local place names in the county, including the county itself, are also from New York and Pennsylvania, reflecting the pattern of settlement. A major attraction for visitors is Crossroads Village, a living history village north of Flint.

Genesee is noted for having had the fossil of an ancient whale known as Balaenoptera Lacepede[4] unearthed in Thetford Township during quarry work and estimated at 11,000 years old.[5]


Formative period[edit]

Genesee County was created on March 28, 1835 from territory taken from Lapeer, Shiawassee and Saginaw counties. The county was attached to Oakland County for judicial purposes.[6] The only township organized at the time was Grand Blanc, formed in 1833 consisting of additional township areas of the present Fenton, Mundy, Flint, Mount Morris, Genesee, Burton, Atlas and Davison townships. (Atlas and Davision township survey areas were then in Lapeer County.) Flint Township followed in formation by the legislature on March 2, 1836 splitting away from Grand Blanc with the township areas of Burton, Genesee and Mount Morris plus additional township areas of the present day Clayton, Montrose, Flushing, Thetford and Vienna.[7] On April 4, 1836, the county was fully organized.[6] Organized on July 26, 1836, Argentine Township included two township survey areas taking Fenton away from Grand Blanc Township plus the current Argentine area west of Fenton.[7]

In the organizing act of March 11, 1837, two townships (Mundy and Vienna) were organized in the county. Mundy had an additional township area to the west. Vienna consisted of the northern tier of three township areas in the county at the time taking two areas from Flint Township. With this act just week after Michigan admission as a state, the county was fully cover with 5 township governments.[7]

The townships of Genesee, Fenton and Flushing were formed on March 6, 1838. Genesee and Flushing were split off from Flint Township.[7] Fenton was split off from Argentine Township. Genesee included half the survey area to the west. While Flushing included the other half of that survey area (township 8 North range 6 East), the full township area further west (township 8 North range 5 East) then another survey area and half the row below (township 7 North range 5,6 East).[8] Thus Flint Township consisted of one and half township survey areas.

15 northerly sections of survey area Township No. 7 north of range No. 7 east in Flint Township plus southerly sections of Genesee Township was set off by the Michigan legislature as Kearsley Township in 1839. On March 7, 1843, the legislature abolished this township returning the sections back to Flint and Genesee Townships.[9] Thus Flint Township consisted of approximately one and half township survey areas.

Two new township were formed by the state on March 9, 1842. Thetford was the east most survey area split off from Vienna. While Gaines was formed with the western township survey of Mundy.[7]

The county was enlarged on March 9, 1843 by adding a column of townships on its east from Lapeer County. From north to south, the townships were Forest, Richfield, Davison and Atlas.[7]

On March 25, 1846, an additional two townships were formed, Clayton and Pewanagawink. Clayton spliting the southern most survey area off from Flushing Township. Pewanagawink took the western most survey area from Vienna and changed its name to Montrose by act of January 15, 1848.[7]

Mt. Morris Township was created on February 12, 1855[7] from a single survey township area with its two halves taken from Flushing and Genesee Townships. Flint Township was split into three parts upon the formation of the City of Flint. The County Board of Supervisors split the the remaining township survey area into two with the western area becoming Garland Township (this name only last until the Flint name was restored on February 5, 1856) and the remaining eastern survey area became Burton Township.[6]

Modern era[edit]

In October 2009, County Commissioners directed County Corporate Counsel to discuss with the County Prosecuting Attorney a possible merger of his office with the County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.[10] As of December 2011, County Counsel Ward Chapman was intending to retire by the end of the year raising the possibility again of a merger.[11] By August 9, 2016, the two offices were merged.[12]

Emergency Management & Homeland Security Department was merged by the County Commission into the Sheriff's Department in June 2010 with the department director position being demoted to a manager level post while eliminating a programming coordinator.[13] In July 2010, the County Board voted to merge the clerk and register of deeds offices, effective January 1, 2013.[14]

On October 26, 2010, Genesee County became a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority with Board of Commission Chair Jamie W. Curtis representing the County on the Authority Board..[15][16]

On May 30, 2012, it was reported Genesee County has had 45 confirmed tornadoes since 1950 (most notably the 1953 Flint–Beecher tornado), more than any other county in Michigan in that time period.[17]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 650 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 637 square miles (1,650 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (1.9%) is water.[18]

Most of the land in the county is very flat, but the southern end is hilly and covered by several lakes.

The county is mostly drained by the Flint River, which is dammed into Mott Lake and the Holloway Reservoir in the northeast corner of the county. The southeast corner and southern end are drained by the Shiawassee River.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Major highways[edit]

  • I-75 - runs north and south through central Genesee County, merges with US 23 in Mundy Township
  • US 23 - runs north and south through central Genesee County, merges with I-75 in Mundy Township
  • I-475 - alternate route of I-75/US23, runs north and south through central Genesee County
  • M-54 - runs north and south through central Genesee County
  • M-13 - runs north and south through western Genesee County, along the borders with Shiawassee County and Saginaw County and north of I-69
  • M-15 - runs north and south through eastern Genesee County
  • I-69 - runs east and west through central Genesee County
  • M-21 - runs east and west through central Genesee County, west of I-475
  • M-57 - runs east and west through northern Genesee County, west of M-15


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 4,268
1850 12,031 181.9%
1860 22,498 87.0%
1870 33,900 50.7%
1880 39,220 15.7%
1890 39,430 0.5%
1900 41,804 6.0%
1910 64,555 54.4%
1920 125,668 94.7%
1930 211,641 68.4%
1940 227,944 7.7%
1950 270,963 18.9%
1960 374,313 38.1%
1970 444,341 18.7%
1980 450,449 1.4%
1990 430,459 −4.4%
2000 436,141 1.3%
2010 425,790 −2.4%
Est. 2016 408,615 [19] −4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
1790-1960[21] 1900-1990[22]
1990-2000[23] 2010-2013[1]

The 2010 United States Census[24] indicates Genesee County had a 2010 population of 425,790. This is a decrease of -10,351 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had a -2.4% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 169,202 households and 111,620 families in the county. The population density was 668.5 per square mile (258.1 square kilometers). There were 192,180 housing units at an average density of 301.7 per square mile (116.5 square kilometers). 74.5% of the population were White, 20.7% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% of some other race and 2.6% of two or more races. 3.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 18.0% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 10.6% English, 5.5% Polish 5.4% American and 4.8% French ancestry.[25] , There were 169,202 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were husband and wife families, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.0% were non-families, and 28.4% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.0% under age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimate[24] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $38,819 and the median income for a family was $48,979. Males had a median income of $27,269 versus $18,082 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,860. About 16.9% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.0% of those under the age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[26]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 29.3% 84,175 52.0% 102,751 5.4% 10,715
2012 35.2% 71,808 63.3% 128,978 1.5% 2,956
2008 24.6% 72,451 65.3% 143,927 1.9% 4,117
2004 39.2% 83,870 60.0% 128,334 0.7% 1,571
2000 34.9% 66,641 62.8% 119,833 2.3% 4,391
1996 28.3% 49,332 60.9% 106,065 10.7% 18,659
1992 23.9% 47,834 52.6% 105,156 23.5% 47,008
1988 40.1% 70,922 59.3 104,880 0.6% 1,057
1984 50.7% 92,943 48.8% 89,491 0.5% 953
1980 42.7% 78,572 49.2% 90,393 8.1% 14,935
1976 46.7% 80,004 51.9% 88,967 1.4% 2,467
1972 52.8% 85,747 45.5% 73,896 1.7% 2,806
1968 39.0% 63,948 45.8% 75,174 15.2% 24,891
1964 32.5% 48,311 67.4% 100,346 0.1% 221
1960 50.8% 74,940 48.9% 72,059 0.3% 458

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 safeguards public health, 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.

The Genesee County Road Commission, an independent county government unit, is head by a five member Road Commission. Road Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Commissioners with the daily management is handled by a manager-director.

Genesee County, except for the City of Flint, is under the jurisdiction of the 67th District Court of Michigan. District Courts have a limited jurisdiction as charged under state law. The 67th District Court operates in seven divisions, each with a single judge except for the Central Court Division, which is used for jury and felony cases.[27]

Genesee County is a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority [15] The "outcounty" area (all but the city of Flint) receives library services from the Genesee District Library, which taxes for operations .998 mills total from two separate levies.[28]

Elected officials[edit]

Executive Offices Officer Party
Prosecuting Attorney & County Counsel David Leyton Democratic
Sheriff Robert J. Pickell
County Clerk/
Register of Deeds
John J. Gleason
County Treasurer Deborah Cherry
Drain Commissioner, County Water Agent & KWA CEO Jeffrey Wright
County Surveyor Kim R. Carlson


Office District Officeholder Political party
U.S. Representative 5th Daniel T. Kildee Democratic
State Senator 26th David B. Robertson Republican
32nd Ken Horn
27th Jim Ananich Democratic
State Representative 34th Sheldon Neeley Democratic
48th Pam Faris
49th Phil Phelps
50th Charles Smiley
51st Joseph Graves Republican






Charter townships
General law townships

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bibliography on Genesee County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Fossilworks: Balaenoptera". 
  5. ^ Paleobiology Database: Thetford Center
  6. ^ a b c Bates, William R. (1907). "The Development of Flint". Historical Collections. Michigan State Historical Society, Michigan Historical Commission. p. 362. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Wood, Edwin O. (1916). History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions. Michigan Historical Commission. 
  8. ^ Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Abbott. pp. 199, 269, 328. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  9. ^ Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Abbott. p. 345. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ Fonger, Ron (October 2, 2009). "Genesee County prosecutor, corporation counsel offices talk about merger". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ Fonger, Ron (December 10, 2011). "Ward Chapman, Genesee County's top civil attorney for three decades, files retirement papers". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  12. ^ Young, Molly (August 9, 2016). "County and Genesee Health System locked in battle over $10 million". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ Fonger, Ron (June 29, 2010). "Genesee County folds Emergency Management & Homeland Security Department". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ Fonger, Ron (July 24, 2010). "Genesee County commissioners vote to merge clerk, register of deeds offices". Flint Journal. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Thorne, Blake (October 27, 2010). "Karegnondi Water Authority sets course for cutting ties with Detroit water". Flint Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ Fonger, Ron (October 23, 2010). "Years in the making, Karegnondi Water Authority is ready to set new course for water". Flint Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  17. ^ Tornado Alley of Michigan is Genesee County, with more than any other since 1950 The Flint Journal via, May 30, 2013
  18. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  20. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "American Factfinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  25. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder". 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "ABOUT 67TH". County of Genesee. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  28. ^ Thorne, Blake (May 4, 2011). "Voters support new tax for Genesee District Library". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Averill, Andrew (November 7, 2012). "Genesee County election 2012 results so far". Flint Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  30. ^ "The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court Judges". County of Genesee. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°01′N 83°43′W / 43.02°N 83.71°W / 43.02; -83.71