North Branch

The village of North Branch or Beachville, as it was sometimes called, was first settled by David C. Wattles and Geo. Bennett in 1854. The only people in the area were two tribes of Indians. Wattles and Bennett’s started to build log shanties to move their families into the area. Many other men and their families’ soon ventured into the area and began chopping trees to make open land for farming and houses. A year after Wattles and Bennetts came the town of North branch was created, in 1855. The village was founded by John and Richard Beach. Richard Beach owned the post office, including a store, that was the center of the town. There soon was a copper-shop, a physician, a wagon shop, a law office, and a sawmill.  (1884)

huron st
View of Huron St. in North Branch, MI

The first official town meeting was held at Richard Beach’s house in 1866. The total number of votes was twenty-six. The population in 1881, when the village was incorporated, the population was 900. Also in 1881 there was a giant fire, in which people lost their barns, crops, livestock, houses, and lives. (1884) As a result of parts of the town being destroyed, the main road changed from Jefferson Street to Huron Street. The name North Branch came from the fact that North Branch sits on the north branch of the Flint River, which flows through the township and is the principal stream. (North Branch)