Lapeer County, Michigan

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Lapeer County, Michigan
Lapeer County Courthouse.jpg
Map of Michigan highlighting Lapeer County
Location in the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded September 18, 1822 (created)
February 2, 1835 (organized)[1][2]
Seat Lapeer
Largest city Lapeer
 • Total 663 sq mi (1,717 km2)
 • Land 643 sq mi (1,665 km2)
 • Water 20 sq mi (52 km2), 3.0%
 • (2010) 88,319
 • Density 137/sq mi (53/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Lapeer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,319.[3] The county seat is Lapeer.[4] The county was created on September 18, 1822, and was fully organized on February 2, 1835. The name is a corruption of the French la pierre, which means "the flint". [5]

Lapeer County is included in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Lapeer County was part of New France from 1534, and as New France gained in population, part of the Pays d'en Haut (upper countries) dependency of the Colony of Canada from its formation as a department of New France in 1712. In 1763 England took possession, then renamed the colony and its dependencies the Province of Quebec. France and England controlled trading by establishing forts to settle disputes and enforce laws, utilizing ancient overland and waterborne trade routes, while providing superior tools and weapons in exchange for valuable furs

Following the American Revolution, Great Britain ceded portions of the Province of Quebec to the United States of America. By an ordinance of the Congress of the United States passed in July 13, 1787, under the Articles of Confederation, the whole of the territory of the United States lying northwest of the Ohio River, though still occupied by the British, was organized as the Northwest Territory.[6] The area that is now Lapeer County used to be a part of the County of Wayne, named in the honor of General Anthony Wayne. This original Wayne County was created on August 11, 1796, and included all of the lower peninsula of Michigan, parts of Northern Ohio and Indiana, and also portions of Wisconsin and Illinois.

What is now Lapeer County, on May 7, 1800, became part of the Territory of Indiana, which included all of the lower peninsula of Michigan. After Ohio and Indiana became states, the Territory of Michigan was formed. In 1807 local Indian tribes ceded the land of Southeast Michigan in the Treaty of Detroit. In January, 1820, the County of Oakland was formed. On September 18, 1822, Governor Lewis Cass set Lapeer County's boundaries, although it remained a part of Oakland County until it was organized; Lapeer County officially became a county on February 2, 1835. The first recorded elections for county officers, with 520 people voting, occurred in 1837.

The first settler in Lapeer was Alvin N. Hart, who was born in Cornwall, Connecticut on February 11, 1804. He came to Lapeer in 1831 and platted the Village of Lapeer on November 8, 1833.[6] The plat was registered in Pontiac, December 14, 1833, in Oakland County's Associate Judge Bagley's Court. Alvin Hart became a state senator in 1843, representing Lapeer, Oakland, Genesee, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Saginaw counties and the entire Upper Peninsula. He was instrumental in having the state capitol moved from Detroit to Lansing.

Lumber was the principal industry of the Lapeer County area from the 1830s until 1870, with the expectation that the removal of much of the county's forests would attract farmers as settlers. Lapeer's economy shifted to become primarily agriculturally based. On October 26, 2010, Lapeer became a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority.[7]

Historical markers[edit]

There are 15 historical markers throughout Lapeer County:[8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 663 square miles (1,720 km2), of which 643 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 20 square miles (52 km2) (3.0%) is water.[9] Lapeer County's geography is very similar to Oakland County, except Lapeer County is more rural. Lapeer is one of the five counties that form the peninsula projecting into Lake Huron known as The Thumb, which in turn is a sub-region of Mid Michigan.

Major highways[edit]

  • I-69 runs east and west through the county
  • M-24 runs north and south through the western part of the county, including the city of Lapeer
  • M-53 runs north and south through the eastern part of the county, including Imlay City
  • M-90 runs east and west through the county, including the city of North Branch

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 4,265
1850 7,029 64.8%
1860 14,754 109.9%
1870 21,345 44.7%
1880 30,138 41.2%
1890 29,213 −3.1%
1900 27,641 −5.4%
1910 26,033 −5.8%
1920 25,782 −1.0%
1930 28,348 10.0%
1940 32,116 13.3%
1950 35,794 11.5%
1960 41,926 17.1%
1970 52,317 24.8%
1980 70,038 33.9%
1990 74,768 6.8%
2000 87,904 17.6%
2010 88,319 0.5%
Est. 2015 88,373 [10] 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[3]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 88,319 people residing in the county. 95.5% were White, 1.0% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 1.2% of some other race and 1.4% of two or more races. 4.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 23.9% were of German, 10.9% English, 10.4% Irish, 8.6% Polish, 7.3% American and 5.2% French, French Canadian or Cajun ancestry.[15]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 87,904 people, 30,729 households, and 23,876 families residing in the county. The population density was 134 people per square mile (52/km²). There were 32,732 housing units at an average density of 50 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.17% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 3.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.2% were of German, 11.8% English, 9.7% American, 9.6% Irish and 9.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.9% spoke English and 2.6% Spanish as their first language.

In 2000, there were 30,729 households, of which 38.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.70% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.30% were non-families. 18.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.19.

The county's population was spread out in terms of age, with 28.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,717, and the median income for a family was $57,817. Males had a median income of $47,506 versus $26,385 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,462. About 3.80% of families and 5.40% of the population lived below the poverty line, including 5.70% of those under age 18 and 7.50% 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, runs county parks, 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, villages, and townships.

Elected officials[edit]

(information as of August, 2012)


  • 40th Circuit Court: Nick O. Holowka; Michael P. Higgins
  • 71A District Court: John T. Connolly; Laura Cheger Barnard
  • Probate Court: Justus C. Scott

(information as of August, 2012)

Board of Commissioners[edit]

7 members, elected from districts (1 Democrat, 6 Republicans)

District Commissioner Party District’s Area
1 Cheryl Clark (Vice-Chairman) Democrat Townships of Marathon, Oregon and portion of Elba
2 Dyle Henning Republican Townships of Rich, Deerfield and portion of Mayfield
3 Gary Roy (Chairman) Republican Townships of Arcadia, Burlington, Burnside, Goodland and North Branch
4 Lenny Schneider Republican City of Lapeer and portions of Lapeer and Mayfield Townships
5 Dave Eady Republican Townships of Hadley, Metamora and portion of Elba
6 Linda Jarvis Republican Townships of Attica, Dryden and portion of Lapeer
7 Ian Kempf Republican Imlay City and Townships Almont and Imlay





Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Condensed History of Lapeer County". Lapeer County Government. Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ History of Lapeer County, Michigan : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Chicago: H. R. Page. 1884. Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 181. 
  6. ^ a b Stewart, Lyle. "A Condensed History of Lapeer County". Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Fonger, Ron (October 23, 2010). "Years in the making, Karegnondi Water Authority is ready to set new course for water". Flint Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". 
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder". 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ "COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS". Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Who is my Commissioner?". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°05′N 83°13′W / 43.09°N 83.22°W / 43.09; -83.22