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Conklin, Michigan is an unincorporated community in southwest Chester Township, in northeastern Ottawa County.

Other nearby communities include Harrisburg, which is 5.3 miles north of Conklin, Crockery Lake, 5.6 miles to the north, and Lisbon, 6.3 miles northeast. Incorporated villages and cities near Conklin include Coopersville (6.9 miles), Ravenna (7.1 miles), Sparta (11.5 miles), Casnovia (12.3 miles), Walker (13.0 miles), and Kent City (13.2 miles).

As an unincorporated community, Conklin has no firmly defined boundaries, but it is generally considered to be the settlement north and south of Sehler Street, east of 40th Avenue and east of 32nd Avenue. The Musketewa Trail, a four-season recreational trail from Marne and East Muskegon, runs through it.

The Conklin post office serves most of Chester Township.

The first European-American settler in the community was Ananias J. Peugh, who came in 1854. He later sold his land to Oscar F. Conklin, who opened a store to serve farmers who were settling the surrounding region. Learning that the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad was planning a route from Grand Rapids to Muskegon, Mr. Conklin persuaded the railroad to pass through the southwest corner of Chester Township. He sold the railroad a right-of-way through his land and convinced them to established a depot on what had been his land. Originally known as the West Chester Station, the first train arrived on December 1, 1886. The following year, the railroad changed the name of the station fo Conklin Station. The railroad has since been abandoned, and the Musketawa Trail follows the old railroad bed.

Before the building of the railroad, settlers had no direct mail service. Stagecoaches delivered mail along their routes from Six Corners to Big Springs. On June 2, 1887, a post office was established under the name of Conklin, which is what prompted the railroad to change the name of its depot. The first postmaster was Henry A. Miller, a local merchant.

As more people settled in the community and the surrounding region, businesses were opened to serve their needs, including that of the railroad and area farms. These included a tavern, a drug store, a blacksmith shop, a hardware and implement store, a feed store, a grist mill, a lumber mill, and a hotel. Later, the growing community supported a lawyer's office, doctor's office, bank, barbershop, billiard hall, carpet and paint store, clock and watch repair shop, creamery, and construction companies. Still later, Conklin had a Ford dealership selling cars and tractors, a funeral parlor, furniture store, gas station, grain elevator, insurance office, John Deere dealership, lumber yard, millinery shop, newspaper, real estate office, restaurants, a sawmill, shoe store, and more taverns.

A school was built on land in the northwestern part of the village, and a Congregational Church was founded in 1896. In 1912, a group of businessmen established a fire department.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Conklin Grange were formed. The Grange Hall was also used for theatre productions and other performances.

Telephone service was established in 1905, utilizing crank phones that rang into a central switchboard located in an office on Miller Street. Powered by batteries, the phones were on a party-line, with from three to nine households sharing the same line. Dial phones weren't introduced until 1958.

The focus of this category is on the Michigan community known as Conklin. Websites representing individuals, businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events in Conklin are appropriate for this category. As the unincorporated community has no defined borders, resources in this category may include websites from outside the community that use a Conklin postal address.

 

 

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