Swartz Creek, Michigan

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This article is about the city. For other uses, including the waterway, see Swartz Creek (disambiguation).
City of Swartz Creek
Motto: Where Town and Country Shake Hands
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
Country United States
State Michigan
County Genesee
Settled 1836
Platted 1877
Incorporated 1959
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor David Krueger
 • Mayor Pro-tem Richard Abrams
 • City Manager Adam Zettel
 • Total 4.04 sq mi (10.46 km2)
 • Land 4.04 sq mi (10.46 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 791 ft (235 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 5,758
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 5,673
 • Density 1,425.2/sq mi (550.3/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48473, 48554
Area code(s) 810
FIPS code 26-77700[4]
GNIS feature ID 1614476[5]
Website ityofswartzcreek.org

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.


Miller's Settlement[edit]

The Indians travel the trail 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.[6]

In 1848, Miller Road was designed as a state road.[6] The first Masonic Temple in the community was built in 1906 on Miller Road.[6] On Wednesday April 7, 1954 at about 7:40 PM, a small tornado hit the community, destroying the fire hall and injuring two.[7]


Otterburn was in Flint Township, had about 150 residents and had its own train depot that opened in 1882.[8] The location was known as Otterburn as otters were generally seen 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.[8] In 1957, a Chevrolet plant, which also referred to as Otterburn, was build in this area[9] for its service and parts operations moved from the west Flint Chevy in the Hole complex.[10]

City of Swartz Creek[edit]

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. The incorporation of the City of Swartz Creek was approved by the electors on August 5, 1958. The city included parts of Gaines, Clayton and Flint Townships (Otterburn).[10]

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, a Meijer store opened on Morrish Road north of I-69.[11]

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 ballot could take the assessment to the ballot, some residents threatened a recall.[11]

Also in December, 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.[12] Bueche died on May 15, 2014.[13]

After a failed attempt, the city residents passed a street repair millage of 4.22 on May 3, 2016.[14]


David Krueger
At-Large,[15] Mayor Pro-tem[16] Richard Abrams
At-Large John Gilbert
1 Dennis Pinkston
2nd Acting Mayor Pro-tem
Rae Lynn Hicks
Acting Mayor Pro-tem
Curtis Porath[17]
4 Jim Florence[18]

Genesee County Drain Commission provides water to the city.[19]

District Number Officeholder
U.S. Representative 5 Dan Kildee
State Senate 27 Jim Ananich
State Representative 49 Phil Phelps
County Commissioner 8 Ted Henry
District Court 4th Division - 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.[1]

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.
1880 132
1960 3,006
1970 4,928 63.9%
1980 5,013 1.7%
1990 4,851 −3.2%
2000 5,102 5.2%
2010 5,758 12.9%
Est. 2015 5,567 [20] −3.3%
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[2] 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.


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.[21]

Notable people[edit]

  • Paul Spaniola I (2003-2013) is the only six times International Association of Pipe Smoking Clubs World Pipe Smoking Contest champion, a friend of Charles Stewart Mott, founding owner of the iconic Paul's Pipe Shop in Downtown Flint[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b c Angus, Laura (September 2, 2008). "Miller Road in Genesee County originally American Indian path". Flint Journal (Mlive Media Group). Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Small Tornado Strikes Swartz Creek Near Flint". Ludington Daily News. AP. April 8, 1954. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. p. 423. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ a b Highsmith, Andrew R. (July 6, 2015). Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226050058. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Rocha, Lania (December 26, 2013). "Take 5". The Swartz Creek View (JAMS Media). Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Rocha, Lania (May 5, 2016). "Swartz Creek street repair millage passes". Swartz Creek View (JAMS Media). Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ Parlove, Angelo (November 8, 2012). "Swartz Creek council seats picked by voters". Swartz Creek View. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Parlove, Angelo (November 15, 2012). "City Council elects Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem". Swartz Creek View. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Pinkston wins city race". Swartz Creek View (Davison, Michigan: View Newspaper Group). November 6, 2014. p. 1. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  18. ^ Rocha, Lania (March 17, 2016). "Florence appointed to council vacancy". Swartz Creek View (JAMS Media). Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Climate Summary for Swartz Creek, Michigan
  22. ^ "Paul Spaniola, owner of Paul's Pipe Shop, puffs his way to second place in pipe smoking contest". The Flint Journal (Mlive Media Group). October 27, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  23. ^ Atkinson, Scott (August 27, 2013). "Paul Spaniola remembered as family man, Flint icon, and always ready with a joke". The Flint Journal (Mlive Media Group). Retrieved July 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]