Swartz Creek, Michigan

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City of Swartz Creek
Where Friendships Last Forever[1]
Location of Swartz Creek within Genesee County, Michigan.
Location of Swartz Creek within Genesee County, Michigan.
Coordinates: 42°57′43″N 83°49′35″W / 42.96194°N 83.82639°W / 42.96194; -83.82639Coordinates: 42°57′43″N 83°49′35″W / 42.96194°N 83.82639°W / 42.96194; -83.82639
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorDavid Krueger
 • Mayor Pro-temDennis Pinkston
 • City ManagerAdam Zettel
 • Total4.07 sq mi (10.54 km2)
 • Land4.07 sq mi (10.53 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
791 ft (235 m)
 • Total5,758
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,355.63/sq mi (523.46/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
48473, 48554
Area code(s)810
FIPS code26-77700[5]
GNIS feature ID1614476[6]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Swartz Creek is a city in Genesee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,758 at the 2010 census. The city is a suburb of Flint and has incorporated land formerly within Flint Charter Township, Gaines Township, and Clayton Township, but is administratively autonomous from all three.


The Indians travel the trail that paralleled the Swartz Creek to reach the maple trees on what would later be the Crapo Farm and to fish, fruit gathering and hunting while the trail terminated in the Lansing area.[7]

Predecessor communities[edit]

Miller's Settlement[edit]

Miller Settlement Population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1880 132
1916 650 +4.53%
source: [8]

The Miller Settlement, and future core Swartz Creek community, was founded in June 1836 when it was first settled by Adam Miller, a German, and his family of eleven children[7][9] in then Flint Township at its original size of 9 township survey areas.[10] On March 11, 1837, just weeks after Michigan became a state, the southern area that would make up the community was placed into Mundy Township.[8] Flushing Township was formed on March 6, 1838, split off from Flint Township,[8] and included the northern part of the settlement. Two settlers were buried on the Miller property before that acre was deeded to Flushing township by Adam Miller.[11]

In 1848, Miller Road was designed as a state road.[7] in 1842, a post office was set up in the community called Swartz Creek after the stream. Soon, the community assumed that name. The Village of Swartz Creek subdivision was platted in 1877.[9]

In 1881, Swartz Creek had a rail station called Hamilton. Serving the station was the Goodyear and Miller elevator and Western Union Telegraph. The locality also had a hotel run by William Brown, a Methodist church and a district school. The creek powered a saw mill and a flour mill at the time. Sommers & Brewer business was a manufacturer of potash.[12]

The first Masonic Temple in the community was built in 1906 on Miller Road.[7] By the 1910s, the unincorporated village's major industry was sugar beet farming with three beet weighing stations. An elevator and two churches were located there by 1916. A private bank, which was managed by Ira T. Sayre as part of a chain, was also open at that time.[8]

In 1927, the community's downtown roads were paved with gravel supplied by the Crapo Gravel Company, which created the now Winchester Lake. Electrical power was brought to the area that same year.[13]

On Wednesday April 7, 1954 at about 7:40 PM, a small tornado hit the community. The tornado destroyed the fire hall, knocking down power lines and taking roofs off homes while only injuring two.[14]


Otterburn as the rest of Flint Township was in Grand Blanc Township at its organized on March 9, 1833 then split off into Flint Township on March 2, 1836 then with the west half of the survey area was place in Flushing Township. The first land purchase in section 31, the general area of Otterburn, was on May 30, 1836 by John W. McNair.[11]

Otterburn was in Flint Township, had about 150 residents and had its own train depot that opened in 1882.[15] The location was known as Otterburn as otters were generally seen there on the Swartz Creek, a burn. On August 27, 1887, Charles F. Shumway assumed the position of postmaster for the post office upon its opening. The post office closed on October 31, 1913.[15] In 1957, a Chevrolet plant, which was also referred to as Otterburn, was built in this area[16] for its service and parts operations moved from the west Flint Chevy in the Hole complex.[17]

Winchester developments[edit]

Crapo Farm was sold in 1955 after parts were donated for St. Mary's Cemetery and Mary Crapo School.[18] The Winchester Village subdivision was built on the former farm.[9] Which was followed by another, Winchester Woods. All of the village and most of the woods[19] were incorporated into the City of Swartz Creek in 1959 at its founding.


In 1950s, GM executive started a "New Flint" regional/metropolitan government plan to incorporate the metropolitan area into Flint. The proposal was released in 1957 and petition began circulating the next year. Area residents were fearful of the New Flint would take the Otterburn plant into its borders. While New Flint proponents indicated that that would not be the case, area residents campaigned against New Flint while moving to incorporate the area.[17] The city was incorporated in 1959.[13] The city included parts of Gaines, Clayton and Flint Townships (Otterburn).[17]

In 1986, Sports Creek Raceway opened. The raceway was a harness racing track.[20] The city received about $425 thousand a year from wager dollars until 1993 when John Engler became Michigan governor. Engler reduced cash flow from the casinos for two years until a new distribution formula allow the state to pay less, $126 to 118 thousand in the mid-2000s.[21]

Gaines and Mundy Townships ceased contributing to cover building cost for the Swartz Creek Perkins Library in the 2000s, while Clayton Tonwship stopped their funding in 2011.[22]

As early as 2006, Meijer was planning to locate in Swartz Creek. Construction finally started in September 2012 on the new prototype store. On May 16, 2013, the store opened on Morrish Road north of I-69.[23]

In December 2013, the city council voted 4 to 3 to adopt a public safety special assessment district consisting of the whole city with a millage levy of 4.9 mills. While a referendum petition could take the assessment to the ballot, some residents threatened a recall.[23] In January and February 2014, the city and Gaines Township was contact by Mundy Township Supervisor David L. Guigear in attempt to meet over regionalization of building department, code enforcement, janitorial and especial police.[24]

Also in December 2013, City Manager Paul Bueche planned for a medical and disability leave from his job with the recommendation that an interim and permanent replacement be hired, city zoning administrator and DDA director Adam Zettel. Zettel was also assistant city manager for the city of Owosso and former assistant city manager for the city from 2006 to 2010. The city council accepted Bueche's recommendation and hired Zettel effective January 1, 2014.[25] Bueche died on May 15, 2014.[26]

Sport Creek Raceway was closed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board on January 1, 2015 when the raceway could not agree to terms with the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association.[20] Fourth precinct council member Michael Shumaker died on March 2, 2016 with his appointed temporary replacement being Jim Florence. A council member considered the city charter to have conflicting provisions thus bring into question an interim election in November.[27]

A 5.7-mil property tax levy for streets was placed on the May 5, 2015 ballot that had a statewide street proposal. The city proposal failed 729 to 831.[28] The city residents passed a street repair millage of 4.22 on May 3, 2016.[29]

After 34 years of council service, Richard B. Abrams, last serving as mayor pro tem, did not seek reelection in November 2016.[30] On January 9, 2016, the Swartz Creek City Council voted to disband its police department by merging the department with Mundy Township's into the Metro Police Authority of Genesee County effective February 1, 2017.[31] On October 1, 2019, the city turned over the operation of the city’s parking violations bureau to the Metro Police Authority.[32]

Swartz Creek began receiving Karegnondi Water Authority water treated by Genesee County Drain Commission Water and Waste Division on December 15, 2017.[33]


David A. Krueger
At-Large John A. Gilbert
At-Large Dennis W. Cramer
Mayor Pro-tem
Dennis Pinkston
2nd Acting Mayor Pro-tem
Rae Lynn Hicks
Acting Mayor Pro-tem
Curtis Porath
4 Jentery Farmer[36]

The City has three parks, Elms Road Park, Winshall Park and Bicentennial Park with Bicentennial being a limited park with a pavilion and a few benches.[37] The city provides a building that is shared by the senior center and the library branch.[22]

The city is served by the following other governmental agencies:

District Number[40] Officeholder
U.S. Representative 5th Dan Kildee
State Senate 27 Jim Ananich
State Representative 49 Phil Phelps
County Commissioner 8 Ted Henry
District Court 67th 4th Division A - Fenton Mark McCabe, Chief Judge
Community College C.S. Mott Multiple; see article
Polling Location SC United Methodist Church all precincts


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.04 square miles (10.46 km2), all land.[41]

The west branch of the Swartz Creek flows from west to east through the city, generally as the southern border for the east most third, toward the Flint River, leaving the southeast corner of Clayton Township separated from the rest of the township. Just south and parallel to the creek is the Canadian National Railway line, formerly the Grand Trunk line, which runs between Flint and Durand.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20175,512[4]−4.3%
Source: Census Bureau. Census 1960-2000, 2010.
City of Swartz Creek
2010 Racial Makeup
African American
two or more
other races
Native American
Hispanic or Latino

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 5,758 people, 2,554 households, and 1,632 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,425.2 inhabitants per square mile (550.3/km2). There were 2,749 housing units at an average density of 680.4 per square mile (262.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.6% White, 5.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 2,554 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.1% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.80.

The median age in the city was 41 years. 22.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.5% were from 45 to 64; and 20.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.8% male and 55.2% female.

2000 Census[edit]

At the 2000 census, there were 5,102 people, 2,233 households and 1,460 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,269.6 per square mile (490.0/km²). There were 2,355 housing units at an average density of 586.0/sq mi (226.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.83% White, 1.22% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.

There were 2,233 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.82.

Age distribution was 22.3% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.

The median household income was $42,112, and the median family income was $52,147. Males had a median income of $46,442 versus $29,010 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,046. About 4.4% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Swartz Creek has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rocha, Lania (June 21, 2018). "Swartz Creek council selects new city slogan". The Swartz Creek View. JAMS Media. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ a b c d Angus, Laura (September 2, 2008). "Miller Road in Genesee County originally American Indian path". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Wood, Edwin O. (1916). "The Villages of Genesee County, Part II". History of Genesee county, Michigan, her people, industries and institutions. Indianapolis, Indiana: FEDERAL PUBLISHING COMPANY. pp. 722–723. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Swartz Creek rich in Genesee County history". Flint Journal Answer Book. Mlive Media Group. April 6, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Wood, Edwin O. (1916). "Chapter V. Pioneer Days in the Townships". History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions. Michigan Historical Commission.
  11. ^ a b Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Abbott. pp. 269, 355, 359. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  12. ^ H.g. Osborne's Flint City & Genesee Co. Directory 1881-82. Flint, Michigan: W. I. beardsley's Steam Job Print. 1881. p. 202. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Blythe, Natalie (January 27, 2011). "Moments in history: Swartz Creek celebrates 175th anniversary of Miller settlement". Swartz Creek View. VIew Newspaper Group (JAMS Media). Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "Small Tornado Strikes Swartz Creek Near Flint". Ludington Daily News. AP. April 8, 1954. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. p. 423. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X.
  16. ^ Angus, Laura (January 9, 2009). "Closing or bankruptcy for GM would devastate retirees, tax base in Swartz Creek". Swartz Creek News. Flint, Michigan: Booth Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-03-20. The plant, also known as Otterburn, opened in 1957.
  17. ^ a b c Highsmith, Andrew R. (July 6, 2015). Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American. University of Chicago Press. p. 122,123,139. ISBN 9780226050058. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  18. ^ "A look back: Crapo Farm Depot in Swartz Creek was once the only private farm depot in North America". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. February 24, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  19. ^ Chiu, Eric (April 17, 2013). "Swartz Creek subdivisions plan annual garage sale for May 11". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  20. ^ a b Dresden, Eric (January 6, 2015). "Sports Creek Raceway for sale as doors close on longtime horse track". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  21. ^ Bohn, Dean (October 16, 2009). "Horse racing industry undergoes changes, Sports Creek Raceway attendance declines". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c Habermehl, Kayla (September 29, 2011). "Swartz Creek alone in covering building, utility costs for Perkins Library this year". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  23. ^ a b Rocha, Lania (December 26, 2013). "Take 5". The Swartz Creek View. JAMS Media. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  24. ^ "Joining forces?". The Swartz Creek View. February 13, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  25. ^ Aldridge, Chris (December 4, 2013). "Swartz Creek Zoning Administrator Adam Zettel taking reins as city manager". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  26. ^ Dresden, Eric (May 16, 2014). "Swartz Creek remembers former city manager, police chief: 'This community and the world lost a really good person'". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  27. ^ Rocha, Lania (March 17, 2016). "Florence appointed to council vacancy". Swartz Creek View. JAMS Media. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  28. ^ Rocha, Lania (May 7, 2015). "Voters reject city street tax". Swartz Creek View. View Newspaper Group. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  29. ^ Rocha, Lania (May 5, 2016). "Swartz Creek street repair millage passes". Swartz Creek View. JAMS Media. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Rocha, Lania (November 17, 2016). "Creek Council selects leaders" (PDF). Swartz Creek View (Vol. 7, No. 17). JAMS Media. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  31. ^ a b Pierret, Ann (January 9, 2017). "UPDATE: Swartz Creek council gives final OK to police merger with Mundy Twp". ABC12.com. WJRT. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Rocha, Lania (September 6, 2018). "City, Metro to step up parking code enforcement". Swartz Creek View. View Newspaper Group. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  33. ^ a b "KWA pipeline, Genesee County Water Treatment Plant hit full operation". ABC12. WJRT. December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  34. ^ "Pinkston wins city race". Swartz Creek View. Davison, Michigan: View Newspaper Group. November 6, 2014. p. 1. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  35. ^ Rocha, Lania (November 10, 2016). "The votes are in". The Swartz Creek View. The View Newspapers. pp. 1, 12. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  36. ^ Acosta, Roberto (Novemer 7, 2018). "Results of contested local government races in Genesee County". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved January 23, 2019. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ "Genesee County parks directory". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  38. ^ Thorne, Blake (May 4, 2011). "Voters support new tax for Genesee District Library". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  39. ^ Adams, Dominic (June 27, 2014). "Flint monthly water and sewer bills highest in Genesee County by $35". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  40. ^ Genesee County Political District Map Book (PDF) (Map). Genesee County GIS Department. 2017. pp. 1, 11, 12. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  41. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  42. ^ Climate Summary for Swartz Creek, Michigan

External links[edit]