Open main menu

MICHIGAN, a State in the North Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ontario; counties, 83; area, 57,430 square miles; pop. (1890) 2,093,889; (1900) 2,420,982; (1910) 2,810,173; (1920) 3,668,412; capital, Lansing.

Topography.—The State is divided by the Great Lakes into two peninsulas, the lower of which occupies nearly two-thirds of the land area. The surface of the S. peninsula is generally level, broken by conical hills rising to an altitude not exceeding 200 feet. It is divided by a low watershed running N. and S., the larger portion of the State being on the W. of this and gradually sloping toward Lake Michigan. The N. peninsula is mountainous; the Porcupine range, rising to an altitude of 2,000 feet above the sea, forming the watershed between the streams flowing into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The surface on either side of this range is rugged. There are numerous lakes and marshes in both peninsulas, and the coast is much indented. Keweenaw, White Fish, and the Big and Little Noquette bays are the principal indentations on the N., while the Grand and Little Traverse, Thunder and Saginaw bays indent the S. peninsula. The State has numerous large islands, the principal ones being the Manitou, Beaver and Fox groups in Lake Michigan; Isle Royale, and Grande Isle, in Lake Superior; Marquette, Bois Blanc, and Mackinaw in Lake Huron; and Nebish, Sugar, and Drummond Islands in St. Mary's Strait. The rivers are small, short and shallow, and but few are navigable. The principal ones include the Au Sable, Thunder Bay, Cheboygan, and Saginaw, flowing into Lake Huron; Ontonagon, and Tequamenon into Lake Superior, and the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, and Escanaba into Lake Michigan.

Geology.—The geological formation of the State is greatly varied. Primary boulders are found over the entire surface, the N. part being principally of primitive origin, while Secondary deposits cover the entire S. peninsula. The upper peninsula exhibits Lower Silurian sandstones, limestones, copper and iron bearing rocks, corresponding to the Huronian system of Canada. The central portion of the S. peninsula contains coal measures and rocks of the permo-Carboniferous period. Devonian and sub-Carboniferous deposits are scattered over the entire State.

Soil.—The soil is of a varied composition and in large areas is very fertile, especially in the S., but the N. peninsula for the most part is rocky and mountainous and the soil unadapted to agriculture. The climate is tempered by the proximity of the lakes and is much milder than in other localities with the same latitude. The principal forest trees include basswood, maple, elm, sassafras, butternut, walnut, poplar, hickory, oak, willow, pine, birch, beech, hemlock, witch-hazel, tamarack, cedar, locust, dogwood, and ash.

Mineral Production.—Michigan is one of the great mineral producing States. It excels chiefly in the production of copper and iron. In the production of copper it ranks third, being exceeded only by Arizona and Montana. The smelter output of copper in the State in 1918 was 231,096,158 pounds. The production of copper began in the State before the first visits of European explorers. The commercial production dates from 1845, since which time copper has been steadily produced in increasing quantities. The production of copper is limited to the Keweenaw or Lake Superior district. The iron ores of the State are hematites. The production is in four regions, the Marquette, Menominee, Gogebic, and Vermilion. The shipments of iron ore in 1918 amounted to 17,587,416 tons and was valued at $65,900,501. This was a slight decrease from the production of 1917. In the production of iron ore, Michigan is exceeded only by Minnesota. Coal is also produced in large quantities. The production in 1918 was 1,385,000 tons. Coal is obtained almost entirely from the lower peninsula. Michigan is among the first of the States in the production of cement. There was produced in 1918 3,618,088 tons, valued at $6,078,167. Other important mineral products are salt, clay products, and stone products.

Agriculture.—The soil of S. Michigan is especially adapted to fruit and berry growing; grapes, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, apples, pears, peaches, and plums are raised to a large extent. The figures for production of the principal crops in 1919 were as follows: corn 64,350,000 bushels, valued at $88,803,000; oats, 36,875,000 bushels, valued at $26,181,000; rye, 13,500,000 bushels, valued at $17,280,000; hay, 3,180,000 tons, valued at $74,412,000; potatoes, 28,688,000 bushels, valued at $38,729,000; barley, 5,200,000 bushels, valued at $6,278,000; wheat, 20,237,000 bushels, valued at $42,497,000.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 110 National banks in operation, having $19,205,000 in capital; $11,597,338 in outstanding circulation; and $11,037,450 in United States bonds. There were also 511 State banks, with $39,114,000 capital, and $25,233,000 surplus; 70 private banks, with $752,000 capital, and $204,000 surplus; and 8 trust and loan companies with $4,200,000 capital and $3,217,000 surplus. The exchanges for the year ending Sept. 30, 1901, at the United States Clearing House at Detroit amounted to $4,032,443,000, an increase over those of the preceding year of $1,084,090,000.

Manufactures.—Michigan is one of the great industrial States. The last decade has witnessed a remarkable development in a number of the larger cities, notably Detroit, where the automobile industry has become one of the greatest in the world. Other cities of the State have shared in the increased industrial production. There were, in 1914, 8,724 industrial establishments, in which were engaged 320,611 persons. Wage earners numbered 271,090. The capital investment amounted to $869,043,000. The value of the materials used in manufacturing was $592,801,000. The value of the finished products was $1,086,162,000.

Education.—In 1917 there were in the State 892,888 children of school age. The enrollment in the public schools was 662,452, of whom 86 per cent, attended school There were 3,084 men and 18,908 women teachers. The average monthly salary for men teachers was $103 monthly and for women teachers $64 monthly. There was expended for public education $27,549,985. There are four State normal schools. Among the institutions of higher education are the University of Michigan, the Michigan Agricultural College, Adrian College, Hope College, Hillsdale College, Olivet College, and the University of Detroit.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Methodist Episcopal; Regular Baptist; Lutheran; General Conference; Lutheran, Independent Synods; Presbyterian; Congregational; Protestant Episcopal; Reformed; German Evangelical Synod; and United Brethren.

Railroads.—The railroad mileage of the State in 1919 was 8,907. For several years there has been practically no construction of new lines.

Finance.—The total receipts for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1918, was $26,152,138, and the expenditures were $26,551,763. There was a balance on hand at the end of the year of $13,159,742. The bonded debt amounts to about $7,000,000.

Charities and Corrections.—The charitable and correctional institutions are governed by boards appointed by the Government and Senate. These include hospitals at Kalamazoo, Pontiac, Traverse City, Newberry, and Ionia. There is an industrial school for boys at Lansing and industrial school for girls at Adrian, and a farm colony for epileptics at Wahjamega.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years. Legislative sessions are held biennially beginning on the first Wednesday of January, and are unlimited as to length of session. The legislature has 32 members in the Senate and 100 in the House. There are 13 Representatives in Congress. The State government in 1920 was Republican.

History.—This region was first visited by Jean Nicolet in 1634, at Sault Ste. Marie, at which locality Father Marquette made the first permanent white settlement in 1668. French settlements were also made at Mackinaw and Green Bay, and in 1701 Detroit became the seat of a French colony under Cadillac. The country passed to the English at the end of the French and Indian War, and during the war of the Indians under Pontiac for the extermination of the whites the garrison of Mackinaw was butchered and Detroit suffered a long siege. The country was held by the English after the close of the Revolution, being delivered to the Americans in 1796. Michigan became a portion of the Northwestern territory, and in 1802 was annexed to the Territory of Indiana. On Jan. 11, 1803, it was set aside as a separate Territory. It suffered severely during the War of 1812, Detroit and Mackinaw being captured by the British, and the Territory held till the successes of the Americans in 1813. In 1818, all the region N. of Illinois and Indiana was incorporated with Michigan. In 1823, the legislative power was transferred, by Act of Congress, from the governor and judiciary to a council of nine persons selected by the President from 18 nominees by the citizens at large; and the judicial term was reduced to four years. In 1825 the council was increased to 13 members, selected as before. Michigan was admitted into the Union as a State, Jan. 26, 1837, and in 1838 the capital was removed from Detroit to Lansing.


Collier's 1921 Michigan.jpg
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921


Collier's 1921 Michigan - regrinding copper.jpg
 © Ewing Galloway
INTERIOR OF A PLANT FOR REGRINDING COPPER, IN THE COPPER DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN