Officials, boards and commissions of general law and charter townships are an integral and important part of local government. Their decisions and activities affect the lives and property of more than four million people state-wide, 48,875 residents in Newaygo County, and approximately 2,000 citizens in Dayton Township. There is little taught in schools about township government. As a result it is often only after years of service that township officials understand the full potential of their positions and rarely that they are able to share it with students and residents of their respective townships. We appreciate the opportunity to provide this information to you!

Dayton Township is a General Law Township with it's borders being Maple Island Road on the West, Baseline Road to the North, Luce Avenue on the East, and 48th Street and the City of Fremont to its South. The Township is a largely agricultural area with 14,500 acres of farmland and 5,700 of those acres classified as "prime" farmland. Although dairy farming is the leading agricultural activity, at least 600 acres of the township are in orchards, and that number increases annually. The PA 116 Program has played a large part in helping to preserve this ag land. Currently 9,174 acres of agricultural land in the township is in the PA 116 Program.


The existence of prehistoric Native Americans in Newaygo County is evidenced by burial mounds inventoried in 1929.  The inventory showed the County to have 93 mound sites with six of these being in Dayton Township. In 1896 Dr. J. W. McNabb opened a mound on Second Lake, on the boundary between Dayton Township and the City of Fremont, and found a skeleton well preserved. When the first white men came to the Fremont area in 1855, they saw hundreds of Indian canoes in lakes and creeks. The remnants of one such canoe was found on the east end of Third Lake, in Dayton Township, in the late 1800's. Some of the earliest settlers to Dayton Township were the Dickinson brothers: Phillip, John and Wallace. They bought land in sections 26, 27 and 34 and built a lean-to in the northeast quarter of section 34 by 1857. 

Townships first came into existence in Michigan through the Northwest Ordinance passed by Congress in 1787. Dayton Township was formed on January 6, 1857.  To the best of our knowledge, township officials met in their homes to conduct township business until November of 1965 when Packard School (click on picture to enlarge) in District No. 7 was annexed to the Fremont Public School District. At that time the former Packard schoolhouse was deeded to Dayton Township for the sum of one dollar, and the building and grounds at the corner of 32nd and Stone Road became the Dayton Township Hall.


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Dayton Township
Website updated September 27, 2004 . Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.
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