Gratiot County, Michigan

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Gratiot County, Michigan
Gratiot County MI Courthouse c1908.jpg
Gratiot County Courthouse
Seal of Gratiot County, Michigan
Seal
Map of Michigan highlighting Gratiot County
Location in the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded1855[1]
Named forCharles Gratiot
SeatIthaca
Largest cityAlma
Area
 • Total572 sq mi (1,481 km2)
 • Land568 sq mi (1,471 km2)
 • Water3.1 sq mi (8 km2), 0.6%
Population
 • (2010)42,476
 • Density75/sq mi (29/km2)
Congressional district4th
Time zoneEastern

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

Gratiot County comprises the Alma, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also part of the Mount Pleasant-Alma, MI Combined Statistical Area.

The Gratiot County Courthouse was designed 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]

History[edit]

The county is named for Captain Charles Gratiot, who supervised the building of Port Huron's Fort Gratiot. It was described by the Territorial Legislature in 1831. By 1855, the Territory had been admitted to the Union as a state; the State Legislature authorized the organization of Gratiot County that year – the death year of the county's namesake.

Gratiot County was a New England settlement. The original founders of Ithaca and of Alma were settlers from New England, "Yankees", descended from the English Puritans who settled the northeastern coast of the new continent in the 1600s. The Gratiot County settlers were farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal as well as the close of the Black Hawk War. They arrived to virgin forest and wild prairie, but laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They maintained their customs, such as passion for education, and abhorrence of the existing slave trade. They were members of the Congregationalist Church or the Episcopal Church.[6][7][8]

In the 1890s, German immigrants began settling in Gratiot County.[1][9] 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:

  • Alma College
  • Gratiot County
  • Jackson Weller House
  • Lumberjack Park
  • Michigan Masonic Home
  • Saginaw and Gratiot County State Road / Saginaw Valley & St. Louis Railroad[10]

Geography[edit]

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 572 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 568 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (0.6%) is water.[11] It is considered to be part of Central Michigan.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

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

  • Bus. US 127business loop through downtown Alma.

  • Bus. US 127 – business loop through downtown Ithaca.

  • Bus. US 127 – business loop through downtown St. Louis.
  • M-46 – cross-peninsular highway that runs east to Saginaw and Port Sanilac; runs west to Muskegon.
  • M-57 – runs east to Flint; runs west to US 131 near Grand Rapids.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18604,042
187011,810192.2%
188021,93685.7%
189028,66830.7%
190029,8894.3%
191028,820−3.6%
192033,91417.7%
193030,252−10.8%
194032,2056.5%
195033,4293.8%
196037,01210.7%
197039,2466.0%
198040,4483.1%
199038,982−3.6%
200042,2858.5%
201042,4760.5%
Est. 201641,202[12]−3.0%
US Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2013[2]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] 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. 29.8% were of English ancestry, 24.4% were of German ancestry and 6.9% Irish ancestry according to the 2012 American Community Survey. 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.

The county population included 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.

Religion[edit]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is the controlling regional body for the Catholic Church.[18]

Government[edit]

Gratiot County has been reliably Republican from the beginning. Since 1884, the Republican Party nominee has carried the county vote in 76% of the elections (26 of 34 elections).

Presidential Election Results
Presidential Elections Results[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 60.0% 9,880 34.4% 5,666 5.6% 919
2012 51.4% 8,241 47.5% 7,610 1.2% 184
2008 46.9% 8,322 51.3% 9,105 1.8% 311
2004 56.6% 9,834 42.5% 7,377 1.0% 168
2000 54.8% 8,312 43.1% 6,538 2.2% 329
1996 41.8% 6,214 45.7% 6,793 12.6% 1,868
1992 39.6% 6,280 35.8% 5,678 24.7% 3,921
1988 59.4% 8,447 40.2% 5,719 0.5% 64
1984 72.1% 10,456 27.6% 4,000 0.3% 50
1980 59.3% 9,294 31.4% 4,916 9.3% 1,462
1976 63.0% 9,526 35.9% 5,429 1.1% 163
1972 68.4% 9,904 30.2% 4,370 1.4% 204
1968 62.7% 8,404 30.1% 4,040 7.2% 964
1964 42.0% 5,369 57.8% 7,383 0.2% 26
1960 71.8% 9,854 28.1% 3,859 0.2% 21
1956 75.7% 10,319 24.0% 3,267 0.3% 44
1952 77.1% 10,034 22.2% 2,887 0.8% 100
1948 70.2% 7,035 26.5% 2,659 3.3% 333
1944 71.0% 7,987 28.1% 3,160 0.9% 97
1940 69.0% 8,661 30.5% 3,825 0.5% 65
1936 47.1% 5,322 48.3% 5,457 4.6% 519
1932 44.4% 5,123 53.1% 6,124 2.5% 291
1928 82.1% 8,823 17.3% 1,854 0.6% 64
1924 76.1% 6,720 20.8% 1,839 3.1% 273
1920 77.4% 6,578 21.7% 1,846 0.9% 74
1916 52.2% 3,434 45.0% 2,960 2.9% 190
1912 30.6% 1,809 31.1% 1,835 38.3% 2,261
1908 61.7% 4,158 35.2% 2,372 3.2% 214
1904 67.6% 4,530 27.8% 1,863 4.6% 309
1900 55.5% 4,263 41.7% 3,202 2.8% 218
1896 45.0% 3,380 52.8% 3,971 2.2% 165
1892 48.8% 3,037 26.7% 1,661 24.5% 1,522
1888 52.4% 3,667 40.7% 2,854 6.9% 484
1884 47.0% 2,676 48.0% 2,736 5.0% 283

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, records deeds, mortgages, and vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget, and has 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.

Elected officials[edit]

(information as of September 2005)

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Villages[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Townships[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Gratiot County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  4. ^ "National Register of Historical Places - Gratiot County MI".
  5. ^ Michigan's Largest Wind Farm Enters Commercial Operation, North American Winpower, 6 June 2012
  6. ^ Portrait and Biographical Album - Gratiot County MI (1884)
  7. ^ Gratiot County MI.
  8. ^ An Index of Pioneers from Massachusetts to the West Especially the State of ...
  9. ^ Netherlanders in America: a study of emigration and settlement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States of America, Volumes 1-2
  10. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". michmarkers.com.
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. 22 August 2012. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  13. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  17. ^ ,"American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  18. ^ "Diocese of Saginaw".
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.

External links[edit]

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