Branch County, home to the historic communities of Bronson, Union City, Quincy, Coldwater, and Sherwood, was named for John Branch, President Jackson's Secretary of the Navy. The original county seat was Masonville, in 1830, followed by the Village of Branch in 1831, and finally, Coldwater, in 1842. By 1836 there were 30 inns between Sturgis and Quincy along the Sauk Trail. Railroads first traveled through Branch County in 1850, and the presence of trains facilitated further growth and settlement. Individuals in Branch County accumulated wealth by selling horses, participating in the burgeoning cigar industry, and producing agricultural goods. The county is divided into 16 townships, and this book details the history of each city, village, and small settlement. Author Randall Hazelbaker shares images and memorabilia from his vast personal collection to document and celebrate the development of Branch County.
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ALGANSEE DISTRICT BAPTIST CHURCH Batavia BETHEL DISTRICT Branch County Branch County Federal Branch County includes brick schoolhouse BRONSON HIGH SCHOOL building survives today Burch BUTLER cement CENTENNIAL Charles church was built Clark clerk Coldwater City COLDWATER LAKE COLDWATER TOWNSHIP Coldwater's Company County Federal Savings courthouse CRYSTAL BEACH donated DOWNTOWN BRONSON East factory farm fire four townships Fred GILEAD GILEAD TOWNSHIP Girard Girard Township Goodwinsville Greek Revival Hodunk KINDERHOOK Kulow later left to right MARBLE LAKE Mason Block Matteson METHODIST CHURCH Michigan mill NOBLE TOWNSHIP Office OVID DISTRICT OVID TOWNSHIP Palm Sunday photograph is dated photograph was taken Pictured postcard shows Quincy State Bank razed replaced residence Restaurant Safford school was built schoolhouse was built second row settler Sherwood shown side of Chicago South Hanchett Street south side southeast southwest corner third row Tibbits Opera House torn TRAIN DEPOT unidentified UNION CITY UNION TOWNSHIP West Chicago Street William wooden