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Ogemaw County, Michigan
Ogemaw County Building (Michigan).jpg
Ogemaw County Building in West Branch
Map of Michigan highlighting Ogemaw County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded G, 1840 (authorized)
1875 (organized)[1]
Seat West Branch
Largest city Skidway Lake

West Branch (incorporated)

Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

575 sq mi (1,489 km²)
563 sq mi (1,458 km²)
11 sq mi (28 km²), 2.0%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

20,770
39/sq mi (15/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Ogemaw County ( /ˈɡəmɔ:/ OH-guh-maw) is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 20,770.[2] The county seat is West Branch.[3]

The county newspaper of record is the Ogemaw Herald.[4]

History[]

Ogemaw County started as part of the Virginia Land owned by England. After the Revolutionary War, it broke up into smaller and smaller pieces. The county was originally created by the Michigan Legislature in 1840 from unorganized territory, but was absorbed into Iosco County in 1867. It was re-created in 1873, and was finally organized in 1875.[1] The county's name is an Anglicization of the Anishinaabemowin word ogimaa, meaning "chief".[1] Ogemaw's name came from an eloquent, respected Native American orator named Little Elk. One of the first settlements in the county was Ogemaw Springs, the genesis of lumbering operations in the county. The settlement of Ogemaw Springs ended when the lumber industry in the region ended. (Due to the lumber industry, railways were built to transport the lumber, and towns often sprang up along the tracks. After timber supplies in the Midwest dwindled, loggers shifted westward to the Pacific Northwest to find new sources of lumber, and many of these fledgling settlements foundered.) With Ogemaw Springs in decline, the people flocked to West Branch, causing an economic boom, including the construction of its first hotel. This created even more growth, causing many restaurants, hotels, and businesses to be built, a vast majority of which still stand today.[5]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 575 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 563 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.0%) is water.[6] Ogemaw County is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Highways[]

  • I-75 – Runs SE across the southwest part of the county; passes south of West Branch.
  • M-30 – Enters from Gladwin County at 5.5 miles (8.8 km) east of the SW corner of Ogemaw County; runs north and NE to intersection with M-55 near West Branch.
  • M-33 – Runs north–south through the middle of county; passes Rose City.
  • M-55 – Runs east–west across the lower part of county; enters from Iosco County at 6 miles (9.6 km) north of SE corner of Ogemaw County; runs west to intersection with I-75, west of West Branch.[7]

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Huron National Forest (part)

State protected area[]

  • Au Sable State Forest (part)
  • Rifle River State Recreation Area

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 12
1880 1,914 15,850.0%
1890 5,583 191.7%
1900 7,765 39.1%
1910 8,907 14.7%
1920 7,786 −12.6%
1930 6,595 −15.3%
1940 8,720 32.2%
1950 9,345 7.2%
1960 9,680 3.6%
1970 11,903 23.0%
1980 16,436 38.1%
1990 18,681 13.7%
2000 21,645 15.9%
2010 21,699 0.2%
US Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[2]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[12] there were 21,645 people, 8,842 households, and 6,189 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 15,404 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.48% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.7% were of German, 12.3% American, 10.2% English, 9.2% Irish, 7.0% French and 6.7% Polish ancestry. 97.9% spoke only English at home.

There were 8,842 households, out of which 27.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.40% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.87.

The county population contained 23.50% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 24.40% from 25 to 44, 27.00% from 45 to 64, and 18.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 98.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,474, and the median income for a family was $34,988. Males had a median income of $31,003 versus $20,544 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,768. About 11.00% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 9.90% of those age 65 or over.

Government[]

For many years, Ogemaw County has been reliably Republican. Since 1884, the Republican Party nominee has carried the county vote in 82% of the national presidential elections (28 of 35).

United States presidential election results for Ogemaw County, Michigan[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,253 69.23% 3,475 29.15% 193 1.62%
2016 6,827 65.39% 3,030 29.02% 583 5.58%
2012 5,437 52.31% 4,791 46.09% 166 1.60%
2008 5,133 47.54% 5,391 49.93% 274 2.54%
2004 5,454 50.52% 5,215 48.30% 127 1.18%
2000 4,706 47.75% 4,896 49.68% 253 2.57%
1996 2,904 32.04% 4,725 52.13% 1,435 15.83%
1992 2,936 32.17% 4,016 44.01% 2,174 23.82%
1988 4,091 50.20% 4,012 49.23% 47 0.58%
1984 4,901 60.81% 3,132 38.86% 27 0.33%
1980 4,169 51.29% 3,426 42.15% 533 6.56%
1976 3,212 47.07% 3,545 51.95% 67 0.98%
1972 3,367 60.77% 2,056 37.11% 118 2.13%
1968 2,526 54.56% 1,647 35.57% 457 9.87%
1964 1,609 36.36% 2,812 63.55% 4 0.09%
1960 2,664 58.65% 1,867 41.11% 11 0.24%
1956 2,931 69.18% 1,300 30.68% 6 0.14%
1952 2,983 73.91% 1,030 25.52% 23 0.57%
1948 2,062 64.70% 1,038 32.57% 87 2.73%
1944 2,339 69.55% 1,006 29.91% 18 0.54%
1940 2,447 65.45% 1,278 34.18% 14 0.37%
1936 1,631 45.24% 1,774 49.21% 200 5.55%
1932 1,472 45.94% 1,645 51.34% 87 2.72%
1928 1,630 73.39% 579 26.07% 12 0.54%
1924 1,714 79.32% 258 11.94% 189 8.75%
1920 1,687 75.55% 444 19.88% 102 4.57%
1916 878 51.20% 743 43.32% 94 5.48%
1912 541 31.64% 319 18.65% 850 49.71%
1908 1,218 68.47% 454 25.52% 107 6.01%
1904 1,320 75.47% 329 18.81% 100 5.72%
1900 1,186 67.31% 518 29.40% 58 3.29%
1896 793 56.64% 560 40.00% 47 3.36%
1892 594 50.64% 514 43.82% 65 5.54%
1888 620 48.44% 579 45.23% 81 6.33%
1884 478 49.48% 472 48.86% 16 1.66%



Ogemaw County operates the County 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[]

  • Prosecuting Attorney – LaDonna A. Schultz
  • Sheriff – Brian D. Gilbert
  • County Clerk – Breck Gildner
  • County Treasurer – Caren Piglowski
  • Register of Deeds – Denise Simmons
  • Drain Commissioner – Michael DeMatio
  • Commissioner Dist. 1 – Craig Scott
  • Commissioner Dist. 2 – Mark Surbrook
  • Commissioner Dist. 3 – Ronald Vaughn
  • Commissioner Dist. 4 – Brad Neubecker
  • Commissioner Dist. 5 – Jenny David[14]

(information as of February 2021)

Communities[]

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

Cities[]

  • Rose City
  • West Branch (county seat)

Village[]

  • Prescott

Civil townships[]

  • Churchill Township
  • Cumming Township
  • Edwards Township
  • Foster Township
  • Goodar Township
  • Hill Township
  • Horton Township
  • Klacking Township
  • Logan Township
  • Mills Township
  • Ogemaw Township
  • Richland Township
  • Rose Township
  • West Branch Township

Census-designated places[]

  • Lupton
  • Skidway Lake

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Camp Lu Lay Lea
  • Campbells Corners
  • Damon
  • Edwards
  • Elbow Lake
  • Fayettes Corner
  • Goodar
  • Greenwood
  • Ogemaw Springs
  • Selkirk
  • Shady Shores
  • South Branch

See also[]

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

References[]

External links[]

Template:Ogemaw County, Michigan Template:Northern Michigan

Coordinates: 44°20′N 84°08′W / 44.33, -84.13

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