Cass County, Michigan: Wikis

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Cass County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Cass County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Seat Cassopolis
Largest city Dowagiac
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

508 sq mi (1,316 km²)
492 sq mi (1,274 km²)
16 sq mi (41 km²), 3.20%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

51,104
104/sq mi (40/km²)
Founded 1829
Website www.casscountymi.org

Cass County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 51,104. It is part of the South BendMishawaka, IN-MI, Metropolitan Statistical Area which has a total population of 316,663 and is sometimes considered part of Greater Michiana. Cass County has numerous lakes and is popular for fishing and boating.

Contents

History

The county is named for Lewis Cass, the Michigan Territorial Governor at the time the county was created in 1829. Cass later served as the United States Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson, thus making a case for including Cass County as one of Michigan's "cabinet counties".

Cass County was not so heavily forested and had more fertile prairie land than other nearby areas of Michigan, and thus during early settlement it grew more rapidly in population. As early as 1830, a carding mill was started in the county on Dowagiac Creek, a branch of the St. Joseph River. Although the Sauk Trail (Chicago Road) passed through the southern part of the county, early settlement did not come primarily from eastern Michigan. Instead, settlers from Ohio and Indiana who had heard of the prairie lands came to occupy them, reaching the Michigan Territory over a branch of the Chicago Road leading from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The population of Cass County was over 3,000 by 1834.[1]

Among the most prominent early settlers of Cass County were Baldwin Jenkins and Uzziel Putnam, who both came from Ohio by way of the Carey Mission in Berrien County. Jenkins had been born at Fort Jenkins in Green County, Pennsylvania, and had migrated to Tennessee, but then left that state to avoid the presence of slavery. Putnam, who had lived in Massachusetts and New York, came to Cass from Erie County, Ohio, by way of Fort Wayne. These settlers, and their families, established the nucleus of the village of Pokagon on Pokagon Prairie in 1825. The next year, a settlement was made on Beardsley’s Prairie, where the village of Edwardsburg was laid out in 1831.[2]

The village of Cassopolis was platted in 1831 and intended as the county seat, although no settlers yet lived there, because it was the geographical center of the county.[3]

Cass County became known early on for the anti-slavery attitudes of its population. Pennsylvania Quakers made a settlement in Penn Township in 1829, which later became a prominent station on the Underground Railroad.[4] One established Underground Railroad route ran from Niles through Cassopolis, Schoolcraft, Climax, and Battle Creek, and thence along the old Territorial Road. In 1847, a group of Kentucky slave owners came to Cass County to reclaim slaves who had escaped, only to be "surrounded by crowds of angry farmers armed with clubs, scythes, and other farm implements", resisting their attempt.[5]

Historical Markers

There are 26 historical sites located in Cass County as of December, 2009. [6]

Name of Site City Location Township Location Date Listed Marker erected
Cass County Courthouse Cassopolis Lagrange Township 12/14/1976 08/17/1977
Cass County Office Building / Masonic Temple Cassopolis Lagrange Township 07/23/1985 N/A
Centennial Hall Building Marcellus, Michigan Marcellus Township 03/19/1980 N/A
Chain Lake Baptist Church Cemetery Calvin Calvin Township 12/05/1986 04/07/1992
First Methodist Episcopal Church Dowagiac Silver Creek Township 07/18/1996 10/12/1999
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Pokagon Pokagon Township Pokagon Township 04/01/2002 N/A
First Universalist Church of Dowagiac Dowagiac Silver Creek Township 05/30/1984 09/08/1982
Jarius Hitchcox House Union Porter Township 12/10/1971 N/A
Indian Lake Cemetery Silver Creek Township Silver Creek Township 03/15/1990 N/A
Carroll Sherman Jones House Marcellus, Michigan Marcellus Township 03/15/1990 N/A
George Washington Jones House Marcellus, Michigan Marcellus Township 12/09/1994 01/17/1986
Joseph Webster Lee House Ontwa Township Ontwa Township 03/19/1987 N/A
Mason District Number 5 Schoolhouse Mason Mason Township 06/10/1980 10/06/1981
Methodist Episcopal Church Dowagiac Pokagon Township 01/20/2000 02/02/2000
Michigan Central Railroad Dowagiac Depot Dowagiac Silver Creek Township N/A N/A
George Newton House Volinia Township Volinia Township 11/14/1974 10/07/1977
Poe's Corners Volinia Township Volinia Township 03/21/1991 06/25/1991
Presbyterian Church of Edwardsburg Edwardsburg Ontwa Township 04/20/2000 06/09/2000
Sylvador T. Read House Cassopolis Lagrange Township 06/10/1980 N/A
Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church Silver Creek Township Silver Creek Township 01/16/1976 07/19/1977
Smith's Chapel and Cemetery Milton Township Milton Township 04/24/1979 04/07/1981
Sumnerville Cemetery Niles, Michigan Pokagon Township 01/20/2000 N/A
Sumnerville Mounds Dowagiac, Michigan Pokagon Township 01/20/2000 2000
Thompson Road/Air Line Railroad Bridge Howard Township Howard Township N/A N/A
Underground Railroad Informational Designation Vandalia, Michigan Volinia Township 01/19/1957 04/12/1957
Wayne Township School District No. 7 School Wayne Township Wayne Township 04/19/1990 N/A

Government

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, 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 and townships.

Lake Driskel in Jones, an unincorporated community in Cass County
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Cass County elected officials

(information as of September 2005)

Education

Higher Education

Cass County is home to Southwestern Michigan College. The college is a public two-year institution of higher education, the college is part of the Michigan community college system. The college is the largest employer in Cass County.

Libraries

Cass county has several library system which operate in the county. The Cass District Library is the largest library in the county, have branch located in 4 cities around the county. Cass District Library is the library system which services Calvin, Howard, Jefferson, LaGrange, Mason, Milton, Newberg, Ontwa, Penn, Pokagon, Porter and Volinia Townships.

The Dowagiac District Library service the city of Dowagiac, but has worked with the Cass District Library to see about merging with them in an effort to save money. Marcellus Township also operates their own library apart from the Cass District library to service the residence of the village of Marcellus and the Township of Marcellus.

Southwestern Michigan College operates the Fred Mathews Library on its Campus in Dowagiac.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 508 square miles (1,317 km²), of which, 492 square miles (1,275 km²) of it is land and 16 square miles (42 km²) of it (3.20%) is water. The county seat is Cassopolis[7].

Cities, villages, and townships

Unincorporated

Townships

Highways

US highways

Michigan State trunklines

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the 2000 census, [8] there were 51,104 people, 19,676 households, and 14,304 families residing in the county. The population density was 104 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 23,884 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.19% White, 6.12% Black or African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 2.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26.6% were of German, 11.1% American, 10.3% Irish, 10.1% English and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.4% spoke English and 2.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 19,676 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.30% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,264, and the median income for a family was $46,901. Males had a median income of $35,546 versus $24,526 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,474. About 6.80% of families and 9.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

References

  1. ^ Fuller, George Newman (1916). Economic and Social Beginnings of Michigan: A Study of the Settlement of the Lower Peninsula During the Territorial Period, 1805-1837, pp. 244-51.
  2. ^ Fuller (1916), pp. 261-62, 274.
  3. ^ Fuller (1916), p. 275.
  4. ^ Fuller (1916), p. 302.
  5. ^ McGinnis, Carol (2005). Michigan Genealogy: Sources & Resources (2nd ed.), pp. 199-200. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0806317558.
  6. ^ [1], Retrieved December, 24, 2009
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  8. ^ Statistical profile of Cass County, Michigan, United States Census Bureau, Census 2000

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 41°55′N 85°59′W / 41.91°N 85.99°W / 41.91; -85.99


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Cass County, Michigan
Map
File:Map of Michigan highlighting Cass County.png
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the USA highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1829
Seat Cassopolis
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 3.20%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

51104
Website: www.casscountymi.org

Cass County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 51,104. It is part of the South Bend-Mishawaka, Indiana, metropolitan area which has a total population of 316,663. The county seat is Cassopolis6. The county name comes from Lewis Cass, the United States Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson, making Cass County one of Michigan's "cabinet counties".

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,317 km² (508 sq mi). 1,275 km² (492 sq mi) of it is land and 42 km² (16 sq mi) of it (3.20%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 51,104 people, 19,676 households, and 14,304 families residing in the county. The population density was 40/km² (104/sq mi). There were 23,884 housing units at an average density of 19/km² (48/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 89.19% White, 6.12% Black or African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 2.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 96.4% spoke English and 2.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 19,676 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.30% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,264, and the median income for a family was $46,901. Males had a median income of $35,546 versus $24,526 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,474. About 6.80% of families and 9.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government

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, 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 and townships.

Cass County elected officials

(information as of September 2005)

Cities, villages, and townships

Cities

Villages

Townships

External links

Coordinates: 41°55′N 85°59′W / 41.91, -85.99

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Cass County, Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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This article uses material from the "Cass County, Michigan" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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