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Frankenlust Township Main Page

Township Hall: 2401 Delta Road - Bay City, MI 48706-9430
Phone: 989-686-5300

Frankenlust Township was organized in February 1881, becoming the eleventh township of Bay County.
- {View} historical maps reference.

Geographic area at time of organization:

    Created from land detached from the upper portion of Koschville Township of Saginaw County.

Township History (History of Bay County, Michigan - H.R. Page, 1883)


This township was formerly called Kochville, and of Saginaw County. In the winter of 1880-81 it was detached from that county and annexed to Bay County. The settlement of Frankenlust was established by Rev. Sievers about the year 1848. About that time several German colonies emigrated to the Saginaw Valley, one of which composed the Frankenlust settlement. The population of the township as given in the census returns of 1880, was, at that time 1,768. There are five school districts and two fractional, each provided with a substantial school building. The church buildings are four in number comprising three Lutheran and one German Methodist. The lands of townships are as fertile as any in the valley, the people, industrious and enterprising. The appearance of the county bespeaks great progress, and releases, as it were, the story of German perseverance. Under authority given by the Board of Supervisors, Oct. 12, 1855, the name of Kochville, viz: Township Thirteen north of Range Four east; Sections Six, Seven, Eighteen, Nineteen, and the north half of Section Twenty-five, Twenty-six, Twenty-seven, Twenty-eight, Twenty-nine, Thirty, Thirty-one, Thirty-two, Thirty-three, Thirty-four, Thirty-five and Thirty-six in Township Fourteen north, of Range Four east. The application to organize was signed by seventy-five electors. In granting the prayer of these citizens, the Board ordered that the first annual meeting for the election of township officers should be held at the house of Adam Goetz, of Kochville, on the first Monday in April, 1856, and that the following named persons: G. Stengal, J. P. Weggel and J. S. Hebelt, being three electors, be designated and appointed to preside at such election and to perform all the duties required by the statute.

The first Kochville Township election was held, April 7, 1856, at the house of Andreas Goetz, with the following results: Luke Wellington, supervisor; John C. Schmidt, township clerk; Andreas Goetz, treasurer; J. G. Helmrenb, Caspar Linik, school inspectors; William Butts, Heinrich Hipser and Paul Stephen, highway commissioners; Luke Willington, Louis Loeffler, George Hengee and Leonard Fleabite, justices of the peace; George H. Hengee and Andreas Goetz, overseers of the poor; G. M. Geigler, George Sturm, Andreas Schmidt and Mark Kranzlein, constables.

Peter Weggle and Heinrich Hebert were name inspectors of election; but owing to their absence, Luke Wellington and Casper Linik filled their positions, with George Stengel, an inspector named in the first order. Louis Loeffler was appointed clerk and John C. Schmidt, assistant clerk.

First township supervisor under Bay was John Leinberger.

Historical population of the Frankenmuth farming community:

    1880 - 768 residents.
    1894 - 1,266 residents.
    1900 - 1,395 residents.
    2000 - 2,530 residents.

A key figure in the township's history is {Rev. Ferdinand Sievers} who led several groups of immigrants from Germany that were the first to settle here in 1848. They organized the {St. Paul Lutheran church} and school located on West Side Saginaw road. Rev. Sievers was an instrumental in helping several other German settlements in Michigan including Frankenmuth.

Frankenmuth's history is that of a German farming community. Although a part of Saginaw County initially, most of the product they grew was sold Bay City and was cause for the desire to a part of Bay County. That effort was led by John Leinberger, a large land owner and farmer who successfully lobbied the state for the change.

During the 1900s, several coal mines existed in township.


Two major arteries run through the township, West Side Saginaw Road and I-75. The area where they intersect is a major rest stop for travelers. The St. Paul church and school sit just north of the intersection on West Side Saginaw Road which separates the church and school properties. This area includes several gas stations and fast food establishments and a donut shop. Nearby, is the popular Saginaw Bay Valley Hotel resort with a professional golf course which is lined by residential homes. Delta College lies a few miles to the west and due south is the Bay City Country Club and Saginaw State Valley University.

West Side Saginaw Road that once served farmers and was the only road to either Bay City or Saginaw is well developed with housing developments near the Bay Valley Hotel and condominium complex.

Community Resources:
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    Related Histories

    Bio. Rev. F. Sievers
    Founder of St. Paul Lutheran church and settlement of Frankenlust.
    St. Paul Lutheran church
    First framed church building.

    St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery.
    View of present church building from cemetery.
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