Alcona County is a county of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 10,167. Its county seat is Harrisville. Alphabetically it is the first county in Michigan; as its flag states, it is the "First of 83".
|• Total||1,791 sq mi (4,640 km2)|
|• Land||675 sq mi (1,750 km2)|
|• Water||1,116 sq mi (2,890 km2) 62.%%|
|• Density||16/sq mi (6/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
The county was created by the state legislature on April 1, 1840. It was at first named Negwegon County, after the name of a well-known Chippewa chief, also known as "Little Wing". He was honored as having been an American ally against the British in the War of 1812.
It was renamed to Alcona County on March 8, 1843, after a neologism created by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft from parts of words from Native American languages, plus Arabic, Greek and Latin. These were amalgamated to mean "fine or excellent plain". He was an influential US Indian agent and geographer.
Alcona County was initially attached to Mackinac County for purposes of revenue, taxation, and judicial matters. The attachment shifted to Cheboygan County in 1853, to Alpena County in 1857, to Iosco County in 1858, and to Alpena County in 1859.
Harrisville Township, then comprising the entire county, was organized in 1860. County government was organized in 1869, becoming effective on May 8, 1869. The County's slogan on its seal (a single gold star on a green field in the shape of Alcona County) is "First of 83," which refers to its place alphabetically among Michigan counties.
In 2007, Alcona County was forced to explore options to remedy a major budget shortfall resulting from an official's embezzlement. Former County Treasurer Thomas Katona pleaded guilty in June 2007 to charges that he embezzled more than 1.2 million dollars from county funds to invest them in a Nigerian scam which he fell for.
Katona was sentenced to 9–14 years imprisonment on June 12, 2007 by the 23rd Circuit Court. Judge William Myles said Katona's crimes warranted more severe punishment than called for in state sentencing guidelines, due to the amount of money involved and the number of victims in the case.
Lakes in the county include:
- Lake Huron
- Alcona Lake
- Badger Lake
- Bear Lake
- Brownlee Lake
- Byron Lake
- Cedar Lake
- Clear Lake
- Crooked Lake
- Crystal Lake
- Curtis Lake
- Honawan Lake
- Horseshoe Lake
- Hubbard Lake, one of the state's twenty largest inland lakes.
- Hunter Lake
- Indian Lake
- Jenkins lake
- Jewell Lake
- Lost Lake
- North Hoist Lake
- North Lake
- O'Brien Lake
- Poplar Lake
- Reid Lake
- South Hoist Lake
- Tompson Lake
- Alpena County - north
- Iosco County - south
- Ogemaw County - southwest
- Oscoda County - west
- Montmorency County - northwest
National protected areaEdit
- Huron National Forest (part)
The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the local courts, records deeds, mortgages, and vital records, administers public health regulations, and works with state agencies to provide social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget and has limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.
The Alcona County Circuit Court is part of the 23rd Circuit of Michigan. This multicounty circuit also includes Arenac, Iosco and Oscoda Counties. This court was previously part of the 26th Circuit, which included Alpena and Montmorency Counties.
- Prosecuting Attorney: Thomas Jay Weichel
- Sheriff: Scott A. Stephenson
- County Clerk/Circuit Court Clerk: Stephany Eller
- County Treasurer: Cheryl L. Franks
- Register of Deeds: Melissa A. Cordes
- Road Commissioners: Alfred J. Scully, Harry L. Harvey, Theodore R. Somers
(as of May 2018)
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,942 people living in the county. 97.9% were White, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Black or African American, 0.2% of some other race and 0.9% of two or more races. 1.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the 2000 United States Census, the county held 11,719 people, 5,132 households, and 3,566 families. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km2). There were 10,584 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.04% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 0.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.4% were of English, 23.0% German, 9.2% Irish, 7.7% Polish, 7.5% French and 5.0% French-Canadian ancestry according to 2012 American Community Survey. 98.2% spoke English as their first language. Those citing "American" ancestry in Alcona County are of overwhelmingly English extraction, however most English Americans identify simply as having American ancestry because their roots have been in North America for so long, in some cases since the 1600s.
There were 5,132 households; 20.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.10% were married couples living together, 5.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.67.
The county population spread showed 19.00% under the age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 20.90% from 25 to 44, 31.00% from 45 to 64, and 24.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,362, and the median income for a family was $35,669. Males had a median income of $29,712 versus $20,566 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,653. About 9.10% of families and 12.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 9.00% of those age 65 or over.
Alcona County is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. and the Presbytery of Mackinac (http://www.presbymac.org/) and the Presbyterian Church USA (Presbyterian Church/USA- https://www.pcusa.org/).
As of 2012, these church meetinghouses were listed in Alcona County:
- Baptist (general listing) – 7
- Lutheran – 7
- Presbyterian (general) – 3
- Methodist (general) – 3 –
- Episcopal – 1
- Seventh-Day Adventist – 1
- Rome Catholic Church - 3
There were no meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Alcona in 2018.
Alcona County has been reliably Republican since the beginning. Since 1884, only five elections did not favor the nominee of the Republican Party.
- US 23 — north of Standish, it has been designated the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway. Parallels the Lake Huron shore, connects with M-72 in Harrisville. US 23 is the most proximate connector to Alpena and Mackinaw City.
- M-65 — runs along the western side of the county, from US 23 north of Standish to Rogers City.
- M-72 — In 1936, downtown Harrisville became the eastern terminus of the 133 mile (214 kilometers) M-72, which runs across the lower peninsula from Empire, Michigan. It is one of three true cross peninsular highways.
- F-30 — runs from US 23 at Greenbush through Mikado to M-65 at Glennie.
- F-32 —
- F-41 — runs north-south from US 23 at Oscoda to US 23 south of Ossineke.
Alcona County has been a part of developing the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, which became a public airport in 1993. It now occupies a portion of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, which is in Oscoda Township, Michigan in neighboring Iosco County, Michigan. It is primarily used for cargo and light general aviation activities. The Airport offers 24-hour near all weather daily access.
- The Alcona County Review located in Harrisville is the county's newspaper of record, and has served the community since 1877.
- The Alpena News serves the northeastern lower peninsula.
- The Oscoda Press is a weekly newspaper serving southern Alcona County and northern Iosco County.
- Daily editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News are available throughout the area.
- Harrisville (county seat)
Other unincorporated communitiesEdit
- "Bibliography on Alcona County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Newberry Library. "Michigan: Individual County Chronologies". Atlas of County Historical Boundaries. Archived from the original on November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- Powers, p. 87
- Romig, Walter (October 1, 1986) . Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities. Great Lakes Books Series (Paperback). Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X.
- Names of Michigan Counties Archived March 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Powers, p. 94
- Powers, p. 88
- Alcona Review[permanent dead link]
- Neighbor Hub. "Alcona County website".
- "Officials begin talks on how to make painful budget cuts," Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The Bay City Times, May 31, 2007.
- "Michigan Attorney General press release", June 12, 2007
- "Former Alcona treasurer sentenced to 9-14 years," Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The Bay City Times, June 13, 2007. Accessed June 24, 2007.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "DNR - DNR". www.michigan.gov.
- Top 20 Michigan inland lakes Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Alcona County Government
- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Statistical profile of Alcona County, Michigan Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980 - Table 3" (PDF). Retrieved February 10, 2012.
- Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
- Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
- Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-46.
- Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.
- "Diocese of Gaylord".
- "Alcona County Review/Church.html". Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- churchofjesuschrist.org Meetinghouse Locator
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org.
- "Photos of ends of M-72". state-ends.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007.
- History of Michigan highways
- "Alcona County Review".
- "News, Sports, Jobs - The Alpena News".
- "Oscoda Press home page". Iosco County News Herald. East Tawas MI. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Spruce
- "Michigan Historical Markers". michmarkers.com. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- "Springport Inn".
- "Platt, Connie Faussett, Northern Journal (November-December, 2004), Captain Joseph VanBuskirk of Springport (Harrisville, Michigan)" (PDF). mieastsidepubs.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 25, 2008.
- "History of Alcona County". History of the Lake Huron shore. With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Library. 2005 . pp. 255–274. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
- Powers, Perry Francis (2005) . "Alcona County". A history of northern Michigan and its people. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Library. pp. 498–505. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
- Alcona County Government
- Alcona County Review Newspaper
- Alcona County Historical Society
- Alpena News (serving N.E. Michigan)
- Alcona Park
- "Bibliography on Alcona County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Enchanted forest, Northern Michigan source for information, calendars, etc.
- Harrisville City Airport information and map
- Harrisville Harbor, information, webcam, etc.
- Information and links about Harrisville
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources maps of lakes in Alcona County.
- Sunrise side travel and information