Deerfield Township

On March 20, 1837 the town of Deerfield was formed from the town of Howell and included present day Tyrone. On March 6, 1838 Tyrone was split from Deerfield. Since the splitting off of Tyrone the boundaries of Deerfield had remained constant. In surveying terms Deerfield is township 4 north, range 6 east. Deerfield is bounded on the north by Argentine (Genesee Co), on the east by Tyrone, on the south by Oceola, and on the west by Cohoctah.

According to the 1880 History of Livingston County, the land represented such a peaceful beauty to the "land-lookers" that it is no wonder people rushed to settle beneath the the shade of the beautiful oaks. The first land entry was by John How on 27 September 1833. In October 1835 the land rush began and continued until the spring of 1837. Deerfield was a farming community and village growth was slow. There were two, Deer Creek (section 6 and 7) and Deerfield Center (section 16). The 1880 History of Livingston County, pages 413-437, contains tax lists, the first land owners of the township, elected officals from 1835-1879, schools, churches and family histories.


Deer Creek sits high on a bluff on the east side of the south branch of the Shiawassee River. People in the area generally refered to Deer Creek as "Howburg". Deer Creek was on the land bought by the first settler, John How. At one point in its history, the village boasted a grist mill, a saw mill, a wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, two stores, a cemetery, and 15 dwellings and a population of 75. Today in Deer Creek the visitor will find a small cluster of homes and the Deer Creek Cemetery.


Deerfield Center sits in the middle of the township in section 16. This village had its beginnings in 1842 when Calvin W Leonard made the first purchase of land in the school section. At the writing of the 1880 history, the statistics show that the village had one church, one school, one town house, one store and postoffice, one blacksmith shop, twelve dwellings and a population of 50. Today Deerfield Center has a small cluster of homes, a church, the township hall and an empty building that was once a general store (see center photo above).




National Register of Historic Places and a Michigan Historic Site