Bay County, Michigan

Bay County, Michigan

Infobox U.S. County
county = Bay County
state = Michigan

map size = 225
founded = February 17,1857 []
seat = Bay City | area_total_sq_mi =631
area_land_sq_mi =444
area_water_sq_mi =187
area percentage = 29.59%
census yr = 2000
pop = 110157
density_km2 =96
web =

Bay County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 110,157 with an estimate of 108,390 in 2006. [ [ U.S. Census Bureau] ] The county seat is Bay CityGR|6. Bay County is included in the Bay City Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Bay County was created in 1857 from portions of Midland County, Saginaw County, and Arenac County. Being only sparsely populated at that time, Arenac County government was unorganized and was attached to Saginaw County for administrative purposes. There was considerable opposition to the creation of Bay County from elected officials in both Saginaw and Midland counties. In 1854, a bill introduced to the state legislature to create Bay County was defeated by a small majority. In 1857, a new bill was introduced into the legislature. After initial opposition from the representatives of Saginaw and Midland counties, a compromise revision that would present the matter for ratification to the voters of "in said county" was passed by the legislature on February 17, 1857. The matter was put before all the voters of Saginaw and Midland counties and was soundly defeated. However, the population within the boundaries proposed for Bay County approved the measure. The bill passed by the legislature included phrasing, which was deliberately included by the Bay City lawyer Chester H. Freeman, that allowed Bay County to claim ratification. Under the act, the county was to become effective April 20, 1857. Residents of Bay County held elections for county officials in June 1857. However, Saginaw County did not recognize the organization of the new county government. In the winter of 1858, Freeman secured passage of a bill in the legislature that would have confirmed the organization of Bay County. But the bill was vetoed by the governor. However, a case that went before the Michigan Supreme Court in its May 1858 term settled the matter. In the case, a defendant was tried in a Saginaw County court, but filed a plea for abatement, claiming that the supposed offense was committed in Bay County and was not in the jurisdiction of the Saginaw County court. Freeman had represented the defendant and prepared arguments, but became incapacitated due to illness. At the request of Freeman's wife, Colonel William M. Fenton argued the case before the Michigan Supreme Court, with the result that Bay County was declared a fully organized county. [cite book |last=Butterfield |first=George Ernest |coauthors=George N. Fuller |title=History of Bay County |origyear=192? |url= |accessdate=2008-03-22 |year=2005 |publisher=University of Michigan Library |location=Ann Arbor, Mich. |pages=pp.42-53 |chapter=Conty Organization and Government |chapterurl=;cc=micounty;q1=organized;rgn=full%20text;idno=arx1008.0001.001;didno=arx1008.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000040 ]


*According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 631 square miles (1,634 km²), of which, 444 square miles (1,151 km²) of it is land and 187 square miles (483 km²) of it (29.59%) is water.
*The Saginaw River flows through Bay City while the Kawkawlin River drains much of the central portion of the county. The Pinconning River and Saganing Creek drain the northern portion. The Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron lies to the east, giving the county its name.
*The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is the controlling regional body for the Catholic Church. [ [ Saginaw County Diocese home page] ]
*I-75 and US 23, which are coterminus within the county, are the major north-south route. North of Bay City, M-13 follows a parallel route a few miles to the east. US 10 has its eastern terminus in Bay City. M-25, M-15, and M-84 enter Bay City from the east, southeast and southwest respectively and terminate in or near the city.
*Bay County is considered to be part of the Flint/Tri-Cities region.
**It also makes up the Greater Tri Cities region of Michigan.

Major Highways



US Highways


Michigan State Trunklines


Adjacent counties

*Arenac County (north)
*Gladwin County (northwest)
*Tuscola County (east)
*Midland County (west)
*Saginaw County (south)


As of the 2000 census, [ [ Statistical profile of Bay County, Michigan] , United States Census Bureau, Census 2000] there were 110,157 people, 43,930 households, and 30,048 families residing in the county. The population density was 248 people per square mile (96/km²). There were 46,423 housing units at an average density of 104 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.94% White, 1.26% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. 3.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.2% were of German, 20.6% Polish, 10.8% French, 6.8% Irish, 6.0% English and 5.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.5% spoke English and 2.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 43,930 households out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.70% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 27.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,646, and the median income for a family was $48,111. Males had a median income of $38,190 versus $23,879 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,698. About 6.70% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts,keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, andparticipates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The countyboard of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. InMichigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, streetmaintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Bay County elected officials

* County Executive: Thomas Hickner
* Prosecuting Attorney: Kurt C. Asbury
* Sheriff: John E. Miller
* County Clerk: Cynthia A. Luczak
* County Treasurer: Richard F. Brzezinski
* Register of Deeds: Vicki Roupe
* Drain Commissioner: Joseph Rivet
* Road Commissioners: Robert Lewandowski; Gerald (Mick) Redmond; Dick Gromaski

(information as of February 2007)

Cities, villages, and townships

*Bay City
*Midland (partially)Villages

*Mount Forest
*University Center

*Bangor Township (Charter)
*Beaver Township
*Frankenlust Township
*Fraser Township
*Garfield Township
*Gibson Township
*Hampton Township (Charter)
*Kawkawlin Township
*Merritt Township
*Monitor Township (Charter)
*Mount Forest Township
*Pinconning Township
*Portsmouth Township (Charter)
*Williams Township (Charter)


External links

* [ Bay County Government]
* [ Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on Bay County.]

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