Ottawa County Courthouses


First Ottawa County Court House


Second Ottawa County Court House

Third Ottawa County Court House

Ottawa County was an unchartered territory supervised by the United State government.  On January 26, 1837, the federal government adopted legislation to make Michigan the twenty-sixth state in the Union.  On December 29, 1837 the Michigan legislature enacted a law declaring Ottawa a County of Michigan.  The area was divided to make Muskegon and Ottawa separate counties. In 1840 a County Board of Supervisors was appointed: Erastus Wilcox, Bethuel Church, and William Hathaway.  Later Sanders Coats replaced Hathaway.  Taxes were apportioned in 1839.  The total evaluation was $33,127.  The property tax generated was $1,700.  Ten years later the entire county evaluation was $500,00. 

The selection of a county seat caused many heated arguments.  A vote settled the debate: Grand Haven, the trade center with one third of the county population, won.  By the centennial, 1876, Ottawa County's population was 32,000.

Transcribed and Scanned: ES
Created: 26 Jul 2006