“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Coldwater in Branch County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Branch County / Branch County Courthouse Site

Branch County Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 17, 2013
1. Branch County Marker
(Obverse Side)
Branch County
Branch County, named for John Branch, President Andrew Jackson's secretary of the navy, was one of thirteen counties established by the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1829. The village of Branch, located three miles southwest of Coldwater, was the original county seat, but in 1842 county commissioners decreed that the seat be moved to Coldwater. In 1848 a courthouse was erected on this site. The Chicago Road (now US-12) and the coming of the Michigan Southern Railroad in 1850 attracted settlers. During the 1850s and 1860s, Coldwater was a horse training and breeding center. Local breeders provided three thousand horses to the Union army during the Civil War. In the 1870s and 1880s, the manufacture of cigars contributed to Coldwater's prosperity. In 1882, some 13.4 million cigars were manufactured in Coldwater.

(Reverse Side)
Branch County Courthouse Site
Coldwater's first county courthouse was erected on this site in 1848. Forty years later local architect M.H. Parker designed the second courthouse, a High Victorian building. The stately corner
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tower--visible for miles--housed a 3,500-pound bell manufactured by the C.H. Meneely Company of Troy, New York, and a clock manufactured by the Howard Company of Boston. In 1972 the building was destroyed by arson, but the bell and clock were salvaged. Organized in 1974 and reactivated in 1987, the Branch County Clock Committee collected monies from generous citizens and businesses to restore the clock and bell and construct a new tower. The Branch County Clock Tower was dedicated on July 30, 1988. The original finial tops the cupola.
Erected 1992 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L1642C.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1932.
Location. 41° 56.374′ N, 85° 0.052′ W. Marker is in Coldwater, Michigan, in Branch County. Marker is at the intersection of Division Street and East Pearl Street, on the right when traveling north on Division Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31 Division Street, Coldwater MI 49036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coldwater War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Michigan Library Association
Branch County Courthouse Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 17, 2013
2. Branch County Courthouse Site Marker
(about 300 feet away); The City of Coldwater, 1861-1961 (about 400 feet away); Branch County World War I Memorial (about 500 feet away); Old Sam (about 500 feet away); Branch County World War II Memorial (about 500 feet away); Governor Cyrus Gray Luce (about 500 feet away); Coldwater Michigan National Guard Armory Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coldwater.
Branch County Clock Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 17, 2013
3. Branch County Clock Tower
Marker to the left of the clock tower
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 543 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 16, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 4, 2023