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Twps.1873-1886  · Twps.1887-1914

Ogemaw County was once part of Cheboygan, Midland and Iosco Counties.


April 15, 1873 

The first election had the following officials

Sheriff- W. H. Hosier

Clerk-Dr. C. L. Nauman

Treasurer-Edward Washington

Register of Deeds-Allan S. Rose

Judge of Probate-Zenas H. Wright

Prosecuting Attorney-A.P. Lyon from Bay City

Coroners-A.L. Cumming and Zenas H. Wright


In 1876 there was an election to see where the county seat was to be located, Ogemaw Springs or West Branch.

West Branch won the election.


The first Courtouse was built in 1880 at the cost of $10,000.  It was a two story wood building with a basement.  The basement held the jail, on the ground floor were offices and the living quarters for the sheriff, the second story held the court and committee rooms.

Before this time the trials were held in Tawas City.


1887 a fire destroyed the courthouse.  Luckily this happened in the middle of the day as the vaults which held all the county's records were not fireproof.  All of the records were saved.


1888 a new courthouse was build.  This one was a handsome brick building.  The plans for it were prepared by Pratt & Koeppe from Bay City.

This building had large furnaces in the basement, the ground floor- offices for County Clerk, Judge of Probate, Register of Deeds, and the County Treasurer.  Large fireproof vaults were connected to each of the offices.

The upper story- courtroom, two jury rooms, a judges room, and a stenographers room.

The jail and sheriff residence was in a separate brick building.  The jail had ten cells for the male prisoners, the female prisoners were in a cage in the attic.

The courthouse and jail/sheriff residence had water supplied from a tank in the upper story of the jail.  A windmill supplied the water to the tank.

This was situated on a full block which is a 2 1/2 acre site.


Ogemaw County Poor Farm was located just outside the village of West Branch.  It was on 120 acres of land on section 20 in West Branch Township.  The buildings were wood, well constructed, roomy and comfortable.

The paupers have always been treated kindly and humanely.


Ogemaw Agricultural Society was formed in 1885.  They have continued to have annual fairs.  The fairgrounds were located on 20 acres at the Northend of the Village. 

Today the fairgrounds are located on Rifle River Trail, south of M-55.








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