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Hillsdale County, Michigan
Hillsdale County Courthouse.jpg
Hillsdale County Courthouse
Map of Michigan highlighting Hillsdale County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1835[1]
Seat Hillsdale
Largest city Hillsdale
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

607 sq mi (1,572 km²)
598 sq mi (1,549 km²)
8.9 sq mi (23 km²), 1.5%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

45,746
78/sq mi (30/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Hillsdale County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 45,746.[2] The county seat is Hillsdale.[3]

Due to an angle in the state's southern border, Hillsdale County has the southernmost boundary in the state and is the only county to border both Indiana and Ohio. Hillsdale County is conterminous with the Hillsdale, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Hillsdale County Courthouse was designed by Claire Allen, a prominent southern Michigan architect.

History[]

The county is named for its rolling terrain.[4] It was described by action of the Michigan Territorial legislature in 1829, and was organized six years later.[1] See List of Michigan county name etymologies.

Hillsdale County was a New England settlement; its early settlers came from the northern coastal colonies – "Yankees", descended from the English Puritans who emigrated from the Old World in the 1600s. There was a wave of such settlers into the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s, many traveling on the newly completed Erie Canal, and made safe by the conclusion of the Black Hawk War. They brought with them a passion for education, establishing many schools. Many were abolitionists.[5]

Geography[]

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 607 square miles (1,570 km2), of which 598 square miles (1,550 km2) is land and 8.9 square miles (23 km2) (1.5%) is water.[6] Hillsdale is the only county in Michigan to have a land border with two other states – Ohio and Indiana. The headwaters of two St. Joseph Rivers rise in Hillsdale County: the St. Joseph River (Lake Michigan) and the St. Joseph River (Maumee River).

Parks[]

  • McCourtie Park
  • Slayton Arboretum

Adjacent counties[]

Climate[]

Hillsdale County experiences four distinct seasons. July is the hottest month with an average high of 82 °F or 27.8 °C and January the coldest with an average high of 29 °F or −1.7 °C. June is the wettest month with 4.29 inches or 109.0 mm of rain on average.

Climate data for Hillsdale, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 29
(−2)
33
(1)
43
(6)
56
(13)
68
(20)
78
(26)
82
(28)
80
(27)
72
(22)
60
(16)
46
(8)
34
(1)
56.8
(13.8)
Average low °F (°C) 13
(−11)
14
(−10)
24
(−4)
35
(2)
45
(7)
55
(13)
59
(15)
57
(14)
49
(9)
38
(3)
29
(−2)
19
(−7)
36.4
(2.5)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.10
(53.3)
1.82
(46.2)
2.77
(70.4)
3.39
(86.1)
3.82
(97)
4.29
(109)
3.54
(89.9)
3.70
(94)
3.71
(94.2)
2.82
(71.6)
3.07
(78)
2.66
(67.6)
37.69
(957.3)
Source: weather.com

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 7,240
1850 16,159 123.2%
1860 25,675 58.9%
1870 31,684 23.4%
1880 32,723 3.3%
1890 30,660 −6.3%
1900 29,865 −2.6%
1910 29,673 −0.6%
1920 28,161 −5.1%
1930 27,417 −2.6%
1940 29,092 6.1%
1950 31,916 9.7%
1960 34,742 8.9%
1970 37,171 7.0%
1980 42,071 13.2%
1990 43,431 3.2%
2000 46,527 7.1%
2010 46,688 0.3%
US Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2020[2]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[11] there were 46,527 people, 17,335 households, and 12,550 families residing in the county. The population density was 78 people per square mile (30/km2). There were 20,189 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.56% White, 0.43% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.4% were of German, 28.2% English and 9.3% Irish ancestry, 97.0% spoke English, 1.2% Spanish and 1.2% German as their first language.

There were 17,335 households, out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.90% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.05.

The county's population contained 26.30% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,396, and the median income for a family was $45,895. Males had a median income of $35,349 versus $23,718 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,255. About 5.20% of families and 8.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.80% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

Government[]

Hillsdale County has been reliably Republican since the beginning. Since 1884, the Republican Party nominee has carried 97% of the elections (33 of 34).

United States presidential election results for Hillsdale County, Michigan[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 17,037 73.11% 5,883 25.25% 382 1.64%
2016 14,095 70.69% 4,799 24.07% 1,046 5.25%
2012 11,727 61.40% 7,106 37.20% 267 1.40%
2008 11,221 54.87% 8,765 42.86% 463 2.26%
2004 12,804 63.34% 7,123 35.23% 289 1.43%
2000 10,483 60.00% 6,495 37.17% 495 2.83%
1996 7,947 48.56% 5,955 36.39% 2,464 15.06%
1992 7,579 42.36% 5,244 29.31% 5,068 28.33%
1988 10,571 68.29% 4,763 30.77% 145 0.94%
1984 12,063 76.50% 3,616 22.93% 89 0.56%
1980 10,951 66.37% 4,375 26.52% 1,173 7.11%
1976 9,307 62.23% 5,427 36.29% 221 1.48%
1972 9,261 68.64% 3,942 29.22% 289 2.14%
1968 8,506 63.27% 3,803 28.29% 1,135 8.44%
1964 6,420 48.51% 6,564 49.60% 250 1.89%
1960 10,208 71.19% 4,069 28.38% 63 0.44%
1956 10,311 74.68% 3,428 24.83% 67 0.49%
1952 10,680 75.51% 3,340 23.62% 123 0.87%
1948 7,232 67.21% 3,095 28.76% 433 4.02%
1944 9,364 74.33% 3,153 25.03% 81 0.64%
1940 9,398 72.25% 3,538 27.20% 71 0.55%
1936 6,723 55.03% 5,023 41.11% 471 3.86%
1932 5,879 49.54% 5,696 48.00% 292 2.46%
1928 8,282 80.99% 1,893 18.51% 51 0.50%
1924 6,556 68.45% 1,980 20.67% 1,042 10.88%
1920 6,690 71.12% 2,467 26.23% 249 2.65%
1916 3,463 48.69% 3,424 48.14% 226 3.18%
1912 3,437 38.41% 2,229 24.91% 3,283 36.69%
1908 4,463 60.98% 2,516 34.38% 340 4.65%
1904 4,951 70.45% 1,659 23.61% 418 5.95%
1900 4,780 56.93% 3,324 39.59% 293 3.49%
1896 4,564 52.12% 3,986 45.52% 206 2.35%
1892 4,119 53.65% 2,613 34.03% 946 12.32%
1888 4,959 57.00% 3,035 34.89% 706 8.11%
1884 4,315 52.80% 3,222 39.43% 635 7.77%



The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, records deeds, mortgages, and vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget and has 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.

Elected officials[]

  • Circuit Court Judge: Honorable Sara S. Lisznyai
  • District Court Judge: Honorable Megan Stiverson
  • Probate Judge: Honorable Michelle A. Bianchi
  • Prosecuting Attorney: Neal A. Brady
  • Sheriff: Scott B. Hodshire
  • County Clerk: Marney Kast
  • County Treasurer: Stephenie Kyser
  • Register of Deeds: Bambi L. Somerlott
  • Drain Commissioner: Matt Word
  • Board of Commissioners:
    • District One: Ruth Brown
    • District Two: Andy Weldon, Vice Chairperson
    • District Three: Mark E. Wiley, Chairperson
    • District Four: Bruce Caswell
    • District Five: John Burtka

Transportation[]

Major highways[]

  • US 12 crosses the county in a generally east–west direction for a distance of about 23 miles. US 12 is the southernmost US Highway in Michigan to go east and west.
  • US 127 is the north–south highway running along a portion of the eastern boundary of the county and is also called Meridian Road as it runs along the Michigan meridian.
  • M-34 is a highway from the eastern border of the county westward until it joins M-99. It is also known as Hudson Road.
  • M-49 is a north–south highway running north from the Ohio border and intersects M-99 in the northwest corner of the county.
  • M-99 crosses the county in a generally north–south direction for a distance of about 30 miles. It is also known as Carleton Road (named after the poet Will Carleton who attended Hillsdale College and lived in Hillsdale for a time.)

Airports[]

Hillsdale Municipal Airport (KJYM) established in 1963, has a 5000' paved and lighted runway with instrument approaches, hangars, tie-downs, and fuel services available. It allows general aviation access to Hillsdale County and nearby areas.

Trails[]

The 4000 mile National Scenic North Country Trail passes through the county in a north–south direction.

Communities[]

U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within Hillsdale County. Shaded areas represent incorporated cities.

Cities[]

  • Hillsdale (county seat)
  • Jonesville
  • Litchfield
  • Reading

Villages[]

  • Allen
  • Camden
  • Montgomery
  • North Adams
  • Waldron

Civil townships[]

  • Adams Township
  • Allen Township
  • Amboy Township
  • Cambria Township
  • Camden Township
  • Fayette Township
  • Hillsdale Township
  • Jefferson Township
  • Litchfield Township
  • Moscow Township
  • Pittsford Township
  • Ransom Township
  • Reading Township
  • Scipio Township
  • Somerset Township
  • Wheatland Township
  • Woodbridge Township
  • Wright Township

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Amboy Center
  • Austin
  • Bankers
  • Betzer
  • Cambria
  • Church's Corners
  • Frontier
  • Jerome
  • Lake LeAnn
  • Locust Corners
  • Moscow
  • Mosherville
  • Osseo
  • Pittsford
  • Prattville
  • Ransom
  • Somerset
  • Somerset Center

Notable people[]

  • Moses Allen, first settler and veteran of the War of 1812.
  • Oscar F. Avery (1841–1924), lawyer and Illinois state senator, was born in Allen Township.
  • Don A. Jones (1912–2000), admiral and civil engineer, seventh Director of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey and second Director of the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps, born in Waldron.

See also[]

  • Bawbeese
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hillsdale County, Michigan
  • List of Michigan State Historic Sites in Hillsdale County, Michigan

References[]

  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Hillsdale County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. https://www.cmich.edu/library/clarke/AccessMaterials/Bibliographies/MichiganLocalHistory/Pages/hillsdale.aspx. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/hillsdalecountymichigan/POP010220. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. p. 157. https://books.google.com/books?id=9V1IAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA157. 
  5. ^ The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865. Lois Kimball Mathews Rosenberry, Houghton Mifflin, 1909. pp. 227-8
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_26.txt. 
  7. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mi190090.txt. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  12. ^ US Election Atlas

Further reading[]

  • Romig, Walter (1986). Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities. Great Lakes Books. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0814318386. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 41°53′N 84°35′W / 41.89, -84.59


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hillsdale 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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