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Township Hall: 48 E. Munger Road
Post Office: Munger, MI 48747
Phone: 989-659-2136

Merritt Township was organized on July 8, 1871, becoming the eighth township of Bay County.
- {View} historical maps reference.

Geographic area at time of organization:

    Created from south east portions of Portsmouth Township, consisting of all of township 13 north of range 6 east, and sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 of township 13 north of range 5 east.

    In 1873 land was detached from Merritt and added to Portsmouth Township, this consisted of township 13 north of range 5 east, and sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 in township 14 north of range 6 east.

The first townships elections were held at the home of Joseph Gerard on Tuscola Plank road, first officers were:

Supervisor: Henry F. Shuler
Inspectiors: Gen. B.F. Partridge, Henry Hess, Martin Powell

Historical population:

1894: 1,217 residents
1900: 1,562 residents
2000: 1,510 residents

One of the earliest settlers of that area was Rev. Thomas Histed and his wife, who removed from Vassar. It is said, they had but $3.00 , 8 bushels of potatoes and a little flour. They cleared a path through the woods to use in building their cabin. He was good success farming his land, and as a preacher spreading the word of the Gospel to his neighbors, and many who traveled long distances to hear him preach.

Martin Powell was an early investor if the area. In 1854, he worked at the sawmills in Bay City saving his money which he used to purchase 160 areas in Merritt at one shilling per acre. He then sold about 30 acres after preparing the land for homesteads making himself $1,450.00.

Samuel M. Brown came to this area in 1859 and took up farming.

B. Schabel who also worked in the sawmills in Bay City during 1857-58, also purchased 160 acres of marsh land in Merritt which later became ideal land for farming after water from the swamps was drained into th Quanicassee river.

Other names among the first settlers were Nicholas Thayer, Robert Whiteside, William Treiber, John Fegert, Frederick Beyer, A. Lovejoy, DeWitt Burr, Joseph B. Hazen and John M. Lefevere.

MUNGER

The Bay City division of the Michigan Central Railroad which had a station at the small community of Munger help grow the community into a trading center for the farmers of the area. The village of Munger derived its name from Curtis and Algeron S. Munger, who were Bay City merchants who invested early in choice farmlands in Merritt. The first postmast at the Munger post office was Horace D. Blodgett. Other prominent political citizens included C.A. Howell, Henry Horton and F.R. Tennant.

When sugar beet factories sprung up in Bay City, many of the Merrit farmers found good fortune in supplying this factories. Chickory was also a good product at the time as well for them. In 1883 the township had 26 farms and this grew to over 200 by 1905. Discovery of coal in the township in 1904 brought an unexpected deviation from farming. The What-Cheer coal mine was the first of several to operate in the township. While coaling mining faded from the scene long ago, farming continues to prosper.

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    Merritt Twp. Related Pages
    Munger, Algernon S.
    Munger, Curtis

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