City of Essexville & Hampton Township
Sequenced by street location.
Most of the pictures contained in this presentation are courtesy of the Essexville - Hampton Historical Development Committee of 2001 which researched and published the book, "From Chalkboard to Computers". The book includes numerous photos and stories written by individuals recalling memories of earlier times.
Hampton township was originally organized in 1843 under Saginaw County, preceeding the 1857 organization of Bay County. Hampton and Williams were founding townships of the newly created county of Bay which included all of what is present Arenac County. The two townships were about equal in size and were separated by a north-south boundary line.
Ransom Essex founded what is now the city of Essexville. Shorly after the large Carriere & Company sawmill opened in 1866 at the edge of the Saginaw River at the foot of Main Street, Ranson Essex decided to plat eight acres of his property for homestead land to sell to the workers of the sawmill. This became the village of Essex. Later, "ville", a French word for "village or town" was added. However, it wasn't until 1883 that fledging community gained official status as the village of Essexville.
Most of the early families that settled this area were Dutch immigrants with a strong farming background. They incorporated an irrigation system using the diking knowledge of their home country making the farming soil of Hampton exceptional fertile and productive.
Education has historically enjoyed a high priority for the citizens of this community which is reflected upon well in their history and the present Essexville Hampton school system.