The growth and development of Hillsdale County in general is closely linked to agriculture and the evolution of agricultural practice. Hillsdale county was organized into an separate political entity February 11, 1835, and division of the new county into townships began shortly after that. Local political control was required as land of the public domain was sold. By 1837, settlers began to arrive, and as the 1879 History of Hillsdale relates:

(The early settlers) were obliged to clear away the dense forest with their own hands before they could raise a single bushel of grain......Large tracts were of a swampy nature, saturated with malaria....Sickness was the greatest enemy of the prioneers of Michigan. P.43

But the "steady cultivation of the soil" proved to be the necessary tool to eliminate malaria. The heavy immigration of 1827 had slowed to a trickle by 1844, so that little land remained to be sold from the public domain by 1867. The growth of agriculture is linked to the establishment of stable political units such as townships and villages between 1844 and 1848

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