Establishing Royal Oak

         When people started coming to Royal Oak it did not immediately become a city. Instead it was over a hundred years before it became an official city. The land of Royal Oak was originally surveyed in 1815, and was said to be a good region for agriculture. Thanks to Territory Governor Lewis Cass people started to trickle into Michigan over those next several years to come. It was not until 1819 did a man by the name of William Thurber buy the first piece of land in the city that is now known as Royal Oak. At this point in time Thurber paid $1.25 per acre. It was that same year that Royal Oak officially became a township. While it is still a rumor it is said that Lewis Cass himself was the one to name Royal Oak, He was said to be visiting the area and was tired from his travels so he decided to take a rest under some of the trees. As he was relaxing he looked at his surroundings and allegedly said, “this is truly a royal oak”, referring to the tree that he was leaning against. Well apparently the name stuck thus the rumored origin of the city that many are familiar with today. (Shultz)


          People continued to come to the Township of Royal Oak not only for the farming but in 1835 the manufacturing of cow and sheep belles started to take off. In fact Royal Oak became the number one area for the production of these items. Most of Oakland County, Royal Oak included, was used for farmland until about 1910. After that time highways started to become created, industrializing the area. This was a factor that increased population all over Michigan. For Royal Oak that meant the population going from 1,071 people in 1910 to 6,007 in 1920 people after the creation of these high ways. It was between these two decades that Royal Oak felt it necessary to create its first police due to the increase in population. It was on November 18th 1921 that Royal Oak was finally established as a city. (Shultz)