The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. It was founded in 1817, 20 years before Michigan became a state, and its alumni include President Gerald Ford, Google co-founder Larry Page, and actor James Earl Jones.
Branch County, Michigan, located in the Great Lakes region, has a rich history spanning centuries. Native American tribes, including the Potawatomi and Miami, originally inhabited the area before European settlement. In the early 19th century, pioneers from New York and New England began to settle in the county, attracted by the fertile land and abundant water resources.

Branch County was officially established in 1829 and named after John Branch, the United States Secretary of the Navy at the time. The county quickly saw growth and development as a result of its advantageous location along the historic Sauk Trail, an important trading route between Detroit and Chicago. With its proximity to major waterways such as the St. Joseph River, the county became a hub for trade and transportation, attracting even more settlers.

The county's economy thrived on agriculture, with settlers focusing on farming, particularly the production of wheat and corn. The development of the railroad in the mid-19th century further fueled the county's growth, as it improved transportation and facilitated the movement of goods to larger markets.

Throughout its history, Branch County has played a role in important historical events. In the mid-1800s, the county served as an important stop on the Underground Railroad, aiding escaped slaves on their journey to freedom. The county also witnessed significant industrial development, including the establishment of factories and mills in cities like Coldwater and Union City, which brought economic prosperity to the region.

Today, Branch County remains a vibrant and diverse community that continues to honor its rich history while embracing modern progress. From its early days as an agricultural center to its present-day status as a thriving community, Branch County serves as a testament to the resilience and fortitude of its residents.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Branch County, Michigan.

  • 1829 - Branch County is established
  • 1831 - The first permanent settlement is established in Union City
  • 1837 - The Michigan state government approves the formation of Branch County
  • 1840 - The county seat is established in the village of Branch
  • 1842 - The village of Branch is renamed Coldwater
  • 1850 - The railroad reaches Coldwater, enhancing transportation in the region
  • 1859 - The first public high school in the county is built in Coldwater
  • 1861 - The American Civil War begins, and many soldiers from Branch County serve
  • 1870 - Population growth in the county leads to improvements in infrastructure
  • 1898 - The Michigan Bean Company is established in Coldwater, becoming a major industry
  • 1920 - The historic Tibbits Opera House is built in Coldwater
  • 1933 - The Prohibition era ends, boosting the local economy with the reopening of breweries and distilleries
  • 1950 - The construction of Coldwater Lake State Park begins
  • 1970 - The population of Branch County exceeds 30,000
  • 1983 - Fire damages several buildings in downtown Coldwater
  • 1998 - Branch County celebrates its 150th anniversary
  • 2008 - Economic downturn affects the county, leading to job losses and businesses closing