Community

Moran Township was born on April 1st, 1844. In the Laws for the State of Michigan, 1844, Section 5 (pages 21 and 22), Act No. 22 was, among other things, an act to organize certain townships. It stated that all the portion of the County of Michilimackinac included between the western boundary of the county and a line running coincident with the “French grants” in the county, extending to the northern boundary of the county, be set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Moran, and that the first township meeting be held at the house of Abraham Slocum, in Section 11 of the township. Approval date was February 29, 1844, but the act took effect on the first day of April !844.

It should be noted that, through the years, many township records were lost owing to early records being kept in the homes of elected township officials. Even with the building of the township hall in Gros Cap, the records were not stored in the hall. It wasn’t until 1976, when the present township hall on West US-2 was erected, that most of the remaining records were moved to the hall, and earlier permanent records books were recovered and stored in the book vault there.

In preparation for the celebration of Moran Township’s 150th Sesquincentennial birthday in July of 1994, a quest began throughout the area for the oldest documents, pictures, maps, and record books of the township. Many were forthcoming, for which the township will be eternally grateful.

Seven years after Michigan became a state, the Township of Moran received its charter. The President of the United States in 1844 was John Tyler, A Whig from Virginia. John S. Barry was Governor of the State of Michigan (1842-1846); Origen D. Richardson was Lieutenant Governor; Robert P. Eldredge, Secretary of State; Elon Farnsworth, Attorney General; John J. Adam, State Treasurer; Charles G. Hammond, Auditor General; and Oliver C. Comstock was Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Since Moran Township’s advent in 1844, several changes have taken place to its physical shape. From the State of Michigan, Local Acts, 1881, Act 327 is “an act to detach certain territory from the Township of Moran, Mackinac County, and to organize the same into a separate township to be known as the Township of Brevort. This “redistricting” has caused much confusion since then for those who try to geographically place the villages of Moran and Brevort, for the Village of Moran is in Brevort Township and the Village of Brevort is in Moran Township!

The township’s General Record Book of 1889 lists these elected officials:

Supervisor Ambrose Corp
Clerk Don A. Cheeseman
Treasurer William Bryce Sr.
Commissioner Napoleon Rapin
Justice of the Peace George L. Cheeseman
Overseers for Highways


 
Joseph Freschette
Augustus Lajoie
Sammuel Vallier
George L. Cheeseman
School Inspector John Hintz

 

Terms of office were for one year with the exception of the Justice of the Peace, which was a four-year term. Elections were held in April of each year. Poll Books of Moran Township in 1894 show the General Election was held Tuesday, November 6, 1894. The Clerks of Election were Napoleon Rapin and J.B. Blanchard. Inspectors of Election were Ambrose Corp, Don A. Cheeseman and Neal McCullough. The List of Voters states fifty men cast their votes for state and county offices. The early Registration Books do indicate three voting precincts:

Precinct One - Eastern end of township including Ste. Helene Island Precinct Two - Town of Brevort Precinct Three - Community of Ozark

The information obtained at registration included name, residence, race, political party, birth date, and in some places, marital status is noted. Today, in 2007, Moran Township includes 955 voters divided between Precinct One and Precinct Two, which includes Brevort and Ozark area.

In the year 1887, the Township Assessment Roll estimated there were 1,068 parcels in the township. Total taxes collected were $5,852.53, and they were distributed as follows:
 

School Tax $237.00
Special School

$156.02

Township Tax $1134.22
County Tax $1478.86

 

The remainder was paid to state tax, highway tax, cross roads/bridges, and rejected tax. It should also be noted that the Mackinaw Lumber Company was the largest taxpayer in the township.