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Eaton County, Michigan facts for kids

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Eaton County
Eaton County Courthouse
Eaton County Courthouse
Official seal of Eaton County
Map of Michigan highlighting Eaton County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Michigan
Founded 1837
Named for John Eaton
Seat Charlotte
Largest city Charlotte
 • Total 579 sq mi (1,500 km2)
 • Land 575 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Water 4.3 sq mi (11 km2)  0.7%%
 • Total 109,175
 • Density 187/sq mi (72/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 7th

Eaton County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 109,175. The county seat is Charlotte. The county was organized in 1837; it was named for John Eaton, who was Secretary of War under US President Andrew Jackson, making it one of Michigan's Cabinet counties.

Eaton County is included in the Lansing-East Lansing, Metropolitan Statistical area in Central Michigan.


Eaton County was formed in 1837 from open territory. It was named after John H. Eaton, an American Secretary of War. The county is one of the so-called Cabinet counties because it was named after a member of the cabinet of US President Andrew Jackson.

The county of Eaton was created by an act of the legislative council of the territory of Michigan, passed October 29, 1829, which reads as follows: "That as much of the country as is included within the following limits, viz., north of the base line and south of the line between townships four and five north of the base line, and east of the line between ranges six and seven west of the meridian, and west of the line between ranges two and three west of the meridian, be and the same is set off into a separate county, and the name thereof shall be Eaton." The county was named in honor of Gen. John H. Eaton, secretary of war in the cabinet of President Andrew Jackson.

On November 4, 1829, the territorial council of Michigan enacted, "That the county of Eaton shall be attached to and compose a part of the county of St. Joseph." The next day, November 5, 1829, the same council passed a law that the counties of Eaton, Branch and Calhoun, and all the country north attached to Eaton be set off into a township by the name of Eaton, and it was ordered that the first town meeting should be held at the house of Jabez Bronson, who lived on the site of the present village of Bronson in Branch county. This was no hardship, for there was not at that time a single white settler within the bounds of Eaton county.

On July 30, 1830, the territorial council attached Eaton to Kalamazoo county for judicial purposes. This attachment lasted for nearly five years, but on March 17, 1835, the territorial council enacted: "That the county of Eaton shall be a township of Belleville,' and the first township meeting shall be held at such place as the sheriff of Calhoun county shall appoint in said county of Eaton, and shall be attached to the county of Eaton for all judicial purposes."

The final act which gave Eaton county an independent existence was passed by the state legislature, December 29, 1837. It provided "that the county of Eaton be and the same is hereby organized, and the inhabitants thereof entitled to all the rights and privileges to which by law the inhabitants of other counties of this state are entitled." While the name "Belleville" was given to the first organized township, including the whole county, it does not appear to have been used in any official documents. The second place where the name of the township is mentioned in a legislative enactment is in the session laws of 1837, March 17, where it appears under the name of "Bellevue." Official business has always been transacted under the latter name, and yet there is no known law showing that the name has ever been legally changed from "Belleville." The first division of the town of Bellevue occurred March 11, 1837, when Eaton and Vermontville were organized. The four northwestern townships, now Vermontville, Chester, Roxand and Sunfield, were set off as a township and named Vermontville; while the four southeastern townships, now Eaton, Eaton Rapids, Hamlin, and Brookfield were organized as the township of Eaton.

This left the four northeastern towns, Benton, Oneida, Delta, and Windsor, and the four remaining towns, Bellevue, Kalamo, Carmel, and Walton, cornering at the geographical center of the county in a single organized township known as Bellevue. But on March 6, 1838, the northeast quarter of the county was detached from Bellevue and formed the town of Oneida. As early as 1832, George W. Barnes, a surveyor, found the beautiful prairie near the center of Eaton county, on which the city of Charlotte is located, and bought the land of the government; and on March 21, 1833, before the county contained a single white settler, he made application to Governor George B. Porter for the appointment of commissioners to locate the seat of justice, making affidavit, "that in the month of may last he put up in three public places in the county of Kalamazoo notices that application would be made to the governor of the territory of Michigan to appoint commissioners to locate a seat of justice for Eaton County, agreeably to the law in such cases made and provided."

On April 29, 1833, Charles C. Hascall, Stillman Blanchard, and John W. Strong were appointed such commissioners. On June 5, of the same year, they reported to Governor Porter that they met "at Prairie Round (Ronde) in the county of Kalamazoo on the 27th day of may, 1833, and on June 4, located the county seat on land which is owned by George W. Barnes;" and they added, "the point selected for the seat of justice in this county is on a beautiful prairie, about one mile square, near two and a half miles south of the center of the county, and about one mile north of the Battle creek, the nearest point to the center of the county where water can be obtained for hydraulic purposes.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 579 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 575 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 4.3 square miles (11 km2) (0.7%) is water.


Adjacent counties


Major highways

  • I-69
  • BL I-69
  • BL I-69
  • I-96
  • BL I-96
  • I-496
  • M-43
  • M-50
  • M-66
  • M-78
  • M-79
  • M-99
  • M-100
  • M-188



Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,379
1850 7,058 196.7%
1860 16,476 133.4%
1870 25,171 52.8%
1880 31,225 24.1%
1890 32,094 2.8%
1900 31,668 −1.3%
1910 30,499 −3.7%
1920 29,377 −3.7%
1930 31,728 8.0%
1940 34,124 7.6%
1950 40,023 17.3%
1960 49,684 24.1%
1970 68,892 38.7%
1980 88,337 28.2%
1990 92,879 5.1%
2000 103,655 11.6%
2010 107,759 4.0%
2020 109,175 1.3%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 107,759 people living in the county. 87.8% were White, 6.3% Black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% of some other race and 2.6% of two or more races. 4.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 24.2% were of English ancestry, 22.9% were of German ancestry and 9.3% were of Irish ancestry.

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 103,655 people, 40,167 households, and 28,237 families in the county. The population density was 180 people per square mile (69/km2). There were 42,118 housing units at an average density of 73 per square mile (28/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.25% White, 5.29% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 1.13% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.70% from two or more races. 3.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 95.6% spoke only English, while 2.0% spoke Spanish.

There were 40,167 households, out of which 33.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.30% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.03.

The county population contained 26.10% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,588, and the median income for a family was $57,898. Males had a median income of $41,978 versus $29,638 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,411. About 4.10% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.80% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities



School districts located in Eaton County:

  • Bellevue Community Schools, Bellevue
  • Charlotte Public Schools, Charlotte
  • Eaton Intermediate School District, Charlotte
  • Eaton Rapids Public Schools, Eaton Rapids
  • Grand Ledge Public Schools, Grand Ledge. Village of Mulliken schools was annexed by Grand Ledge Public Schools
  • Maple Valley Schools, Vermontville
  • Olivet Community Schools, Olivet
  • Oneida Township S/D #3, Oneida Township
  • Potterville Public Schools, Potterville
  • Roxand Township School District #12, Roxand Township
  • Waverly Community Schools, Delta Township

Some county residents attend out-of-county schools:

  • Village of Dimondale (Holt Public Schools, Holt, Ingham County)
  • Village of Sunfield (Lakewood Public Schools, Lake Odessa, Ionia County)
  • A small portion of northeast Delta Township (Lansing Public Schools, Lansing, Ingham County)
  • Ingham Intermediate School District (Waverly Community Schools, Village of Dimondale, portion of Delta Township)
  • Ionia Intermediate School District (Village of Sunfield)
  • Calhoun Intermediate School District ( Bellevue Community Schools, Olivet Community Schools)
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