Hillsdale, Michigan

Hillsdale is the largest city and county seat of Hillsdale County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 8,305. [6]

Hillsdale, Michigan
City of Hillsdale
Hillsdale County Courthouse
Location within Hillsdale County
Location within Hillsdale County
Hillsdale is located in Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 41°55′10″N 84°38′00″W / 41.91944°N 84.63333°W / 41.91944; -84.63333Coordinates: 41°55′10″N 84°38′00″W / 41.91944°N 84.63333°W / 41.91944; -84.63333
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorAdam Stockford
 • ClerkKaty Price
 • ManagerDavid Mackie
 • Total6.13 sq mi (15.86 km2)
 • Land5.69 sq mi (14.75 km2)
 • Water0.43 sq mi (1.12 km2)
1,119 ft (341 m)
 • Total8,305
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,405.51/sq mi (542.68/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)517
FIPS code26-38460[4]
GNIS feature ID0628321[5]
WebsiteOfficial website

The city is the home of Hillsdale College, a private liberal arts college noted for its academics and its influence in politics and education.


This area is located in the rolling, fertile hills of South Central Michigan, bordering Indiana and Ohio, according to the boundaries set up under United States settlement.[7] It was long occupied by the Potowatomi, an Algonquian-speaking people who were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). A Potowatomi band of about 150 people, led by the chief known as Baw Beese, had a base camp near the large lake in the area.

The first European-American settler, Jeremiah Arnold, arrived in 1834 and encountered the band. They helped the early settlers. Arnold erected a cabin and moved in with his wife Percy (Round) Arnold. With the arrival of other settlers, the pioneers erected the first schoolhouse in 1838. The City was established in 1839. In 1840, the US forced out Baw Beese and his people, as well as other Potowatomi in neighboring and more distant areas of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, making them remove to Indian Territory in present-day Kansas.

Founded in 1844 as Central Michigan College in Spring Arbor, Hillsdale College relocated to this city in 1853 and changed its name. It was the first American college to prohibit in its charter discrimination based on race, religion or sex, and became an early force for the abolition of slavery. It was the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women.[8]

The city was chartered in 1869. In 1885 Hillsdale dedicated its first high school building, on what is now West Street. (It is now used as the middle school.) In the late 1800s, Hillsdale became a booming railroad town, served by both freight and passenger trains.

The railroad was used by tourists to enjoy cottages and other facilities on Baw Beese Lake, named after the Potowatomi chief. About 20 minutes from downtown, the area was developed as a lake resort by the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. People could avoid dusty travel on unpaved roads by taking the train. At the turn of the 20th century, it began to attract tourists from a wider range of cities, such as Chicago, Toledo, Elkhart and others at what had been known as Archer's Landing. People swam in the lake and could rent two types of canoes.[9]

After World War II, the construction of interstate highways encouraged use of automobiles, and passenger traffic declined on many lines. Railroads had to restructure and the last passenger train left Hillsdale in 1956. Dozens of fine Victorian homes had been built during the prosperity of the 19th century, many of which are still occupied as private residences, contributing to the city's historic fabric.

The 20th century brought additional improvements. In 1908 the city opened its first public library. In 1921 it opened its first hospital and in 1934 Hillsdale Municipal Airport opened.[10]

Neighboring communitiesEdit

Nearby communities include: Allen, Bankers, Cambria, Camden, Frontier, Jerome, Jonesville, Litchfield, Montgomery, Moscow, Mosherville, North Adams, Osseo, Pittsford, Prattville, Ransom, Reading, and Waldron.

Geography and climateEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.19 square miles (16.03 km2), of which, 5.92 square miles (15.33 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2) is water.[11]

The St. Joseph River begins in Hillsdale, flowing from Lake Baw Beese. Several parks and a beach are located around this major body of water in the city.

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Hillsdale has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[12]

Climate data for Hillsdale, MI 41°55′12″N 84°37′50″W / 41.92000°N 84.63056°W / 41.92000; -84.63056, 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 30.0
Average low °F (°C) 15.0
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.36
Source: "U.S. Climate Data"[13]



  •   US 12, passes about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Hillsdale
  •   M-99, run diagnally northwest through the center of the city


Hillsdale Municipal Airport (KJYM) established in 1934, has a 5000' paved lighted runway with instrument approaches, hangars, tie-downs, and fuel services available.


Indiana Northeastern Railroad serves Hillsdale.


Census Pop.
Est. 20198,003[3]−3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 8,305 people, 2,970 households, and 1,686 families living in the city. The population density was 1,402.9 inhabitants per square mile (541.7/km2). There were 3,383 housing units at an average density of 571.5 per square mile (220.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.8% White, 0.7% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 2,970 households, of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.03.

The median age in the city was 30.2 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 21.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.9% were from 25 to 44; 20.5% were from 45 to 64; and 13.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 8,233 people, 3,067 households, and 1,781 families living in the city. The population density was 1,548.2 per square mile (597.5/km2). There were 3,274 housing units at an average density of 615.7 per square mile (237.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.5% White, 0.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 3,067 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 21.3% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,695, and the median income for a family was $42,649. Males had a median income of $32,573 versus $22,707 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,062. About 5.5% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.


The Hillsdale Community School District serves the city of Hillsdale. The school district is composed of one high school, Hillsdale High School (Michigan), one middle school, Davis Middle School, and two elementary schools.[15] A private school, Hillsdale Academy, and two charter schools, Will Carleton Academy and Hillsdale Preparatory School, also serve the city of Hillsdale.[16]

The town has a lending library, the Hillsdale Community Library.[17]

Points of interestEdit


There are no television stations broadcasting from within the county; Hillsdale County gets its television signals from the Lansing-Jackson, Toledo-Port Clinton-Lake Erie Islands, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek-Grand Rapids, and Detroit-Windsor SMSAs.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ "The City of Hillsdale, Michigan". cityofhillsdale.org.
  8. ^ "About/History – Hillsdale College". Hillsdale College.
  9. ^ "Baw Beese Lake", Hillsdale Historical Society
  10. ^ City of Hillsdale history
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  12. ^ "Hillsdale, Michigan Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  13. ^ "Climate Hillsdale – Michigan". usclimatedata.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Hillsdale Community Schools". Hillsdale Community Schools. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  16. ^ "City of Hillsdale Schools". The City of Hillsdale. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Michigan eLibrary". Library of Michigan. Retrieved 13 May 2019.

External linksEdit