Chester Township History & Genealogy
Early Township History
1864 Plat Map
1876 Plat Map
1897 Plat Map
1912 Plat Map
1955 Plat Map
1965-66 Plat Map
1995 Plat Map
1850 Census
Post Offices
Business Advertising
The Railroads
Fire Department
The Telephone & Other Utilities
Civil War Veterans
Crockery Lake
The Conklin Enterprise Newspaper
Snapshots Through the Years
Video Clips
2008 Michigan Apple Queen
State History Award
Contact Me
Questions & Comments


"We are not free, separate, and independent entities, but like links in a chain, and we could not by any means be what we are without those who went before us and showed us the way."

                                                                      Thomas Mann

On a map, Chester Township looks like a small chimney in the northeast corner of Ottawa County, Michigan.  This location places it in the middle of the Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon metropolitan area.


Early white settlers came to Chester Township to clear the land and till the soil.  The 1850 federal census listed the population of the township at 216.  Still a rural township, with a current population of 2,300, agriculture remains the primary industry.

This web site will focus on the history of Chester Township – its early settlers, villages, schools, churches, modes of transportation, businesses, utilities, organizations, and more.  The genealogy page lists over 2800 surnames.

I invite you to take a trip into the past.  Hopefully, you will find your trip both entertaining and educational.


This site would not have been possible without the help of many individuals.  I want to thank Donald Zimmer who has compiled information on the genealogies of all of the early township residents, from the first settlers through the 1950s.  Donald’s vast storehouse of information on Chester Township history has been an invaluable asset.  I also want to thank all of the township residents who have willingly shared their family photos, letters, journals and stories with me.  Finally, I want to thank the Northeast Ottawa Public Library and the Coopersville Observer.  Reading the articles, from the 1800's through the early 1900's, in the Observer truly took me on a journey back in time.

Recipient of the 2006

Michigan  Digital Government Summit

Excellence in Technology Award

for Demonstrated Excellence in

Project Management


Recipient of the 2005

Historical Society of Michigan

State History Award

for Outstanding Website Design


Chester Township
Ottawa County
Michigan, USA