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Township Hall: 1836 E. Parish Road
Post Office: Kawkawlin, MI 48631
Phone: 989-686-8710

Kawkawlin Township was organized on January 7, 1868, becoming the sixth township of Bay County.
- {View} historical maps reference.

Geographic area at time of organization:

    Created from north portion of Bangor Township and south portion of Beaver.

Alexander Baird was the first supervisor of Kawkawlin Township being named to this position in April 1868.

Historical population:

  • 1880: 1,118 residents
  • 1894: 1,627 residents
  • 1900: 1,964 residents
  • 2000: 5,104 residents

The Kawkawlin River area was a favorite place of the local Indian population prior to the arrival of white settlers after the Indians relinquished this land in the Treaty of 1837.

As early as 1844, the area known as Kawkawlin was being developed by pioneers like James Fraser, James G. Birney and Israel Catlin. Records show this group constructed a water mill in the location of Kawkawlin Village.

Harvey Williams, a furtrader and fisherman was the first settler along the Kawkawlin river. Later on he was involved in lumbering and owned a blacksmith shop where he made implements used in farming.

A notable figure in the townships history was Frederick A. Kaiser who immigrated here in 1849 from Germany. He worked the Kawkawlin sawmill owned by James Fraser. In 1862, he began boring salt, and during the next 15 years had built a number of sawmills. He was the founder of the villages of Kawkawlin and Pinconning, connecting them by railway which help to rapidly develop both communities.

In 1883, there were 452 students, 67 births and 12 deaths. It is noted that in 1905, the township had plans underway to build several new steel bridges to spanned the Kawkawlin river and its tributaries, to extend the exist stone roadway system and expand it and begin work on a drainage system.

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