Jackson, Michigan

History Of Jackson, Michigan

Photo of the business district of jackson michigan

In the U.S. state of Michigan, Jackson is the only town and county seat of Jackson County. The population of the town was 33,534 as of the 2010 census, down from 36,316 in the 2000 census. Situated on Interstate 94 and the U.S. It is about 40 miles (64 km) west of Ann Arbor and 35 miles south of Lansing on Route 127. Jackson is the central city of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses 160,248 residents and all of Jackson County.

Established in 1829, President Andrew Jackson named it after him. The first jail in Michigan, the Michigan State Prison, opened in 1838 in Jackson and remains in operation. The town was regarded as the “birthplace of the Republican Party” for the longest time when politicians gathered in Jackson in 1854 to argue against the extension of slavery, but its birthplace is now officially recognized by the political party as Ripon, Wisconsin. The earliest history of the Republican Party, however, dates back to Jackson and is commemorated by a plaque in the Under the Oaks City Park in the city, which has been visited by several Republican presidents since then.

Jackson, Michigan factories were manufacturing parts for automobiles and bringing them together until Detroit began constructing automobiles on assembly lines in 1910. The auto industry had become the primary industry of Jackson by 1910. More than 20 different car brands, including: Reeves, Jaxon, Jackson, CarterCar, Orlo, Whiting, Butcher and Gage; Buick, Janney, Globe, Steel Swallow, C.V.I., Imperial, Ames-Dean, Cutting, Regular Electric, Duck, Briscoe, Argo, Hollier, Hackett, Marion-Handly, Diamond, Earl, Wolverine, and Kaiser-Darrin, were once manufactured in Jackson. In Spring Arbor, Ye Ole Carriage Shop exhibits over 60 antique and classic cars, including five one-and-only and 16 made in Jackson. The auto parts industry today remains one of Jackson County’s largest employers of professional machine operators. For the moped parts industry, the town was also an early location.

In 1838, the legislature approved Michigan’s first state jail. A temporary wooden jail, surrounded by a fence of tamarack poles, was constructed within the city limits of Jackson on 60 acres donated for that purpose. In 1839 the first 35 prisoners were received. Three years later, a permanent prison was built. Warden H.F. Hatch put more emphasis on the education and rehabilitation of prisoners beginning in the 1850s. By 1882, the First State Prison of Michigan had grown as the world’s largest walled prison from 1838 to 1934. The factories and surrounding farms within its walls, staffed by inexpensive inmate labor, made Jackson one of the nation’s leading industrial cities. A new prison was built just north of the town limits of Jackson in Blackman Township in 1934; it took all state prisoners.

Numerous railroad ties to Jackson have been built, linking it to several markets. Bortree ‘s local invention of the duplex corset helped make Jackson a corset development hub. By the early 20th century, there were as many as 16 women’s corset manufacturers working here, most of which were situated on the streets of Cortland and Pearl. The corset industry soon deteriorated as elastics were adopted in manufacturing and fashions shifted. By 1920, most corset makers in Jackson had closed their doors. By turning their development to therapeutic and prosthetic support clothing and equipment, only three of the original corset companies survived after the 1920s.