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History

Township History

On May 4, 1818, a Proclamation by Lewis Cass, Governor of the Territory of Michigan, formed the Township of Erie. At that time Erie Township included all of the present township of Bedford, Erie, LaSalle, and Whiteford. What is now Bedford Township was identified as West Erie. Bedfordsamaria Township was split off from Erie Township and was organized on March 23, 1836. The first election was held on May 2, 1836, at the home ofLevi Lewis, 166 Samaria Road. William Dunbar was elected Supervisor andTheophilus Osgood, Clerk..

The first post office in Bedford Township was established on June 13, 1834, and was named West Erie Post Office.William Dunbar was Postmaster from 1834 to 1855. On January 15, 1836, West Erie Post Office was renamed Lambertville Post Office. Lambertville was named for John Lambert.

Samaria village was formerly known as Weeksville. In May, 1878, a rail line was completed through this village and on January 17, 1879 the Samaria Post Office was established with Samuel Weeks as the first Postmaster. Samaria was named for Samuel and Mary (Mason) Weeks.

Bedford Center was established in 1859. On December 8, 1884 a post office was established at Bedford Center and was named Temperance with Lewis Ansted as the first Postmaster. A petition was circulated and the name Bedford Center was changed to Temperance.

The 1840 Federal Census for Bedford Township listed 79 people as head of household with a population of 500 and the 2000 Census with 10,659 dwellings and a population of 28,606.

In the early years there were ten separate school districts in Bedford Township with each having their own school directors. In the early 1940’s there was an effort to reorganize the schools to utilize more fully already available facilities and to provide a higher educational standard for school children. On February 4, 1946, the Temperance School District Number 2 was destroyed by fire and this prompted immediate action to reorganize. On June 1, 1946 the Bedford Township voters approved the consolidation and on June 15, 1946 the School Board organized the new consolidated school system to be named Bedford Rural Agricultural Schools. On December 1, 1955 the name was changed to Bedford Public Schools.

Information and Photographs Courtesy of Don Adams

Population
YearBedford TownshipMonroe CountyMichigan Territory/State
1810 Township Not Organized 1,340 4,762
1820 Township Not Organized 1,831 8,896
1830 Township Not Organized 3,187 31,639
1840 500 9,922 212,267
1850 887 14,698 397,659
1860 1,239 21,593 749,113
1870 1,459 27,483 1,184,059
1880 1,835 33,624 1,636,937
1890 1,837 32,337 2,093,889
1900 2,192 32,754 2,420,982
1910 2,213 32,917 2,810,172
1920 2,689 37,115 3,668,412
1930 4,578 52,485 4,842,325
1940 5,487 58,620 5,256,106
1950 7,918 75,666 6,372,009
1960 14,353 101,120 7,824,018
1970 20,875 118,479 8,875,083
1980 22,902 134,659 9,262,078
1990 23,748 133,600 9,295,297
2000 28,606 145,945 9,938,444
2010 31,085 152,021 9,883,640