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Ontonagon County, Michigan
OntonagonCourthouse.jpg
Ontonagon County Courthouse
Map of Michigan highlighting Ontonagon County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded March 9, 1843
1848 organized[1][2]
Named for Ontonagon River
Seat Ontonagon
Largest city Ontonagon
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

3,741 sq mi (9,689 km²)
1,311 sq mi (3,395 km²)
2,430 sq mi (6,294 km²), 65%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

5,816
5.2/sq mi (2/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Native copper from Ontonagon County

Ontonagon County ( /ˌɒntəˈnɑːɡən/ ON-tə-NAH-gən) is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 5,816,[3] making it Michigan's third-least populous county. The county seat is Ontonagon.[4] The county was set off in 1843, and organized in 1848.[1] Its territory had been organized as part of Chippewa and Mackinac counties. With increasing population in the area, more counties were organized. After Ontonagon was organized, it was split to create Gogebic County.[1] It is also the westernmost U.S. county that uses the Eastern Time Zone.

The county is named after the Ontonagon River. The name is said to be loosely derived from an Ojibwe language word noojitoon ziibi, meaning "hunting river."[1] A French transliteration, Nantounagon, identified the river on a 1670 French map. Alternatively, and perhaps more accurately, it is said to be derived from the Ojibwa onagon, which means "dish" or "bowl."[5] See List of Michigan county name etymologies.

Geography[]

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,741 square miles (9,690 km2), of which 1,311 square miles (3,400 km2) is land and 2,430 square miles (6,300 km2) (65%) is water.[6] It is the third-largest county in Michigan by area.

At a longitude of 89.5°W, it is the westernmost county in the United States contained entirely within the Eastern Time Zone.

Geographic features[]

  • Lake of the Clouds
  • Lake Superior
  • Lake Gogebic is the largest lake in the Upper Peninsula.
  • Corpse Pond
  • Ontonagon River
  • Firesteel River
  • Flintsteel River
  • Halfway Creek
  • Townline Creek
  • Maple Leaf Creek

Major highways[]

  • US 45 – runs north–south through east-central part of county. Enters south line from Watersmeet, passes Paulding, Bruce Crossing, and Rockland, ending at Ontonagon.
  • M-26 – enters east line of county at 12 miles (19 km) south of NE county corner. Runs SW, passing Mass City and Lake Mine, to intersection with M-38 east of Rockland.
  • M-28 – runs east–west thru southern part of county. Enters 10.4 miles (16.6 km) north of SE county corner. Runs westerly into Gogebic County.
  • M-38 – enters east line of county at a point east of Mass City. Runs west to Lake Mine, then WNW to terminus at Ontonagon.
  • M-64 – runs north–south through center part of county. Enters south line on west side of Lake Gogebic; runs north to Lake Superior shoreline. Runs NE along shoreline to terminus at Ontonagon.[7]

Airport[]

Ontonagon County Airport (KOGM) serves the county and surrounding communities.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Keweenaw National Historical Park (part)
  • Ottawa National Forest (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 389
1860 4,568 1,074.3%
1870 2,845 −37.7%
1880 2,565 −9.8%
1890 3,756 46.4%
1900 6,197 65.0%
1910 8,650 39.6%
1920 12,428 43.7%
1930 11,114 −10.6%
1940 11,359 2.2%
1950 10,282 −9.5%
1960 10,584 2.9%
1970 10,548 −0.3%
1980 9,861 −6.5%
1990 8,854 −10.2%
2000 7,818 −11.7%
2010 6,780 −13.3%
US Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[3]

The 2010 United States Census[12] indicates Ontonagon County had a population of 6,780. This decrease of 1038 people from the 2000 United States Census represents a -13.3% change in population. In 2010 there were 3,258 households and 1,954 families in the county. The population density was 6 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 5,672 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km2). 97.3% of the population were White, 1.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Black or African American, 0.1% of some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 0.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

There were 3,258 households, out of which 15.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.61.

The county population contained 15.8% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 16.7% from 25 to 44, 37.0% from 45 to 64, and 26.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52.7 years. The population is 51.6% male and 48.4% female.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,786, and the median income for a family was $46,845. The per capita income for the county was $22,195. About 9.0% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

History[]

In 1843, Michigan's Upper Peninsula was divided into Mackinac, Chippewa, Marquette, Schoolcraft, Delta, and Ontonagon Counties. In 1845, a portion of Ontonagon County was partitioned to be part of Houghton County.[13] In 1846, the village of Ontonagon was named as the county seat of Ontonagon County.[14]

Government[]

Ontonagon County is fairly balanced to Republican-leaning. Since 1876 its voters have selected the Republican Party nominee in 62% (23 of 37) of the national elections through 2020.

United States presidential election results for Ontonagon County, Michigan[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,358 61.89% 1,391 36.51% 61 1.60%
2016 2,066 60.18% 1,176 34.26% 191 5.56%
2012 1,906 53.86% 1,586 44.81% 47 1.33%
2008 1,823 46.92% 1,966 50.60% 96 2.47%
2004 2,262 53.96% 1,863 44.44% 67 1.60%
2000 2,472 59.55% 1,514 36.47% 165 3.97%
1996 1,523 35.86% 2,080 48.98% 644 15.16%
1992 1,463 30.83% 2,451 51.65% 831 17.51%
1988 2,023 44.34% 2,517 55.17% 22 0.48%
1984 2,464 50.95% 2,350 48.59% 22 0.45%
1980 2,569 48.95% 2,375 45.26% 304 5.79%
1976 2,462 43.91% 3,104 55.36% 41 0.73%
1972 3,040 57.51% 2,140 40.48% 106 2.01%
1968 2,290 45.72% 2,462 49.15% 257 5.13%
1964 1,658 32.19% 3,485 67.67% 7 0.14%
1960 2,620 50.63% 2,553 49.33% 2 0.04%
1956 2,976 57.73% 2,175 42.19% 4 0.08%
1952 2,961 57.39% 2,134 41.36% 64 1.24%
1948 2,561 50.18% 2,163 42.38% 380 7.45%
1944 2,433 48.07% 2,611 51.59% 17 0.34%
1940 2,880 47.09% 3,103 50.74% 133 2.17%
1936 2,162 38.86% 3,233 58.12% 168 3.02%
1932 2,287 45.53% 2,337 46.53% 399 7.94%
1928 2,394 59.66% 1,353 33.72% 266 6.63%
1924 2,249 71.42% 417 13.24% 483 15.34%
1920 1,977 67.71% 657 22.50% 286 9.79%
1916 1,235 54.29% 888 39.03% 152 6.68%
1912 719 41.13% 359 20.54% 670 38.33%
1908 1,249 71.37% 425 24.29% 76 4.34%
1904 1,345 77.08% 355 20.34% 45 2.58%
1900 982 68.82% 429 30.06% 16 1.12%
1896 757 62.77% 416 34.49% 33 2.74%
1892 678 38.68% 1,041 59.38% 34 1.94%
1888 308 36.15% 542 63.62% 2 0.23%
1884 301 53.94% 233 41.76% 24 4.30%
1880 228 48.31% 218 46.19% 26 5.51%
1876 201 38.29% 321 61.14% 3 0.57%



Ontonagon 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: Michael D. Findlay
  • Sheriff: Dale Rantala
  • County Clerk/Register of Deeds: Stacy C. Preiss
  • County Treasurer: Jeanne M. Pollard
  • Mine Inspector: Douglas Roberts[16]

As of September 2018

Communities[]

U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within Ontonagon County

Village[]

  • Ontonagon (county seat)

Civil townships[]

  • Bergland Township
  • Bohemia Township
  • Carp Lake Township
  • Greenland Township
  • Haight Township
  • Interior Township
  • Matchwood Township
  • McMillan Township
  • Ontonagon Township
  • Rockland Township
  • Stannard Township

Census-designated places[]

  • Bergland
  • Bruce Crossing
  • Ewen
  • Greenland
  • Lake Gogebic
  • Mass City
  • Rockland
  • White Pine

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Agate
  • Algonquin
  • Calderwood
  • Carp Lake
  • Craigsmere
  • Maple Grove
  • Matchwood
  • Paulding
  • Paynesville
  • Robbins
  • Trout Creek
  • Victoria

Ghost town[]

  • Adventure

Indian reservation[]

  • The Ontonagon Indian Reservation, a branch of the Lake Superior Chippewa, has a reservation in the northeastern section of Ontonagon Township on the shores of Lake Superior. The reservation occupies 3.775 square miles (9.777 km2) of land but recorded no permanent population at the 2010 Census.[17][18]

See also[]

  • List of Michigan State Historic Sites in Ontonagon County, Michigan
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Ontonagon County, Michigan
  • Copper Country

References[]

  1. ^ a b c d "Bibliography on Ontonagon County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. http://www.cmich.edu/library/clarke/AccessMaterials/Bibliographies/MichiganLocalHistory/Pages/ontonagon.aspx. 
  2. ^ History :: Houghton County, Michigan Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/ontonagoncountymichigan/POP010220. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  5. ^ "Michigan Counties" from the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  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. ^ Ontonagon County MI Google Maps (accessed September 29, 2018)
  8. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mi190090.txt. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". https://www.census.gov. 
  13. ^ Sawyer, p. 466
  14. ^ Sawyer, pp. 498-9
  15. ^ US Election Atlas
  16. ^ Ontonagon County - Offices
  17. ^ [1] Script error: No such module "webarchive". United States Census Bureau
  18. ^ "Michigan: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). 2010 United States Census. United States Census Bureau. September 2012. p. Michigan E-5. https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/cph-2-24.pdf. 

External links[]

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Template:Ontonagon County, Michigan

Coordinates: 46°59′N 89°16′W / 46.98, -89.27

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