Sunday, August 19, 2007

Branch County - Better Know A County

Michigan is often divided along regional lines-- East, West, and North. The 7th Congressional District serves as a bridge between East and West, stretching from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek, and from the Lansing area south to the state line. It's not often that those in one part of the district visit (or even think about) those on the opposite end.

Let's get to know each other.

Branch County

Branch County serves as the southwest corner of the 7th District and as the smallest-population county. From Wikipedia:
As of the census² of 2000, there were 45,787 people, 16,349 households, and 11,575 families residing in the county. The population density was 35/km² (90/mi²). There were 19,822 housing units at an average density of 15/km² (39/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.37% White, 2.63% Black or African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.39% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. 2.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Branch County was named for John Branch, the Secretary of Navy in Andrew Jackson's administration, making it one of the Cabinet Counties. (Jackson was president when Michigan became a state.) Branch County also had a vessel of the United States Navy named for it, the USS Branch County, a World War II tank landing ship.


The county seat of Branch County, Coldwater is the largest city of Branch County, at 12,697 at the 2000 census. It was hometown to Harriet Quimby, the first woman to get a pilot's license in the United States.


From his official website, Congressman Tim Walberg visited Branch County for a Farm Bill listening session in April and visited the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater in February. From what I can find, these have been Walberg's only visits to the county so far this year.

Walberg also had one appropriations request for Branch County, which he announced in June. The request was a $217,632 grant for the Branch Area Transit Authority, which was to be spent on buses, radio equipment, and facilities upgrades.

The chairman of the Democratic Party in Branch County is Jerry Fair, while the Republicans are led by Ken Delaney.

Branch County Election Results

2006 General Election:

Tim Walberg (R): 7,744 (55.3%)
Sharon Renier (D): 5,572 (39.8%)
Joe Schwarz (Write-in): 169 (1.2%)

Jennifer Granholm (D): 6,901 (47.98%)
Dick DeVos (R): 7,248 (50.39%)


Branch County Government
Branch County Tourism Bureau
Attractions and Entertainment
Festivals and Events
City of Coldwater
City of Bronson
The Coldwater Daily Reporter

Next time: Calhoun County!

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I've lived in Michigan my entire life, and have only been through Branch County on my way to Indiana! Thanks for the great information!
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