Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Michigan » Cities & Towns » Memphis

Memphis, Michigan straddles the boundaries between Richmond Township in Macomb County and Riley Township in St. Clair County. It is just below, or sometimes considered part of the Thumb Region of the Lower Peninsula.

The Belle River flows through the northern portion of the city and along its eastern border.

The chief route through the city is M-19 (Memphis Ridge Road), a north-south highway that is also known as Main Street within the city.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Memphis include Richmond, Emmett, Armada, New Haven, Capac, New Baltimore, Almont, St. Claire, Marysville, Romeo, and Yale, although the unincorporated communities of Belle River, Lambs, Riley Center, Columbus, and Wales Center are ten miles or less from the city.

The first European-American settlers in the area that was to become Memphis were the Wells family, who came from Albany, New York in the early 1830s. Anthony Wells came in 1834, and James Wells came in 1835. That year, Oel Rix built a sawmill in the area. The settlement that grew up there was first known as Wells Settlement until December 8, 1848, when a post office was established, with Henry Rix as postmaster. The post office, and the community, were named for the ancient Egyptian city Memphis, the City on the Nile.

Memphis was incorporated as a village on April 4, 1865, although it did not become a city until 1953.

The early industry of Memphis was based on agriculture, as its early settlers were farmers. As lumber became a major industry in Michigan, log rafts were floated down the Belle River to the St. Clair River and, from there, south to Detroit, although some lumber was processed in Memphis and in Marine City, where an important shipbuilding industry had developed.

After the decline of the forest industry, Memphis experienced a slight lowering of its population between 1900 and 1920, but its history since has been largely one of steady growth, although there was a decline in 2000. The current population of the city is above one thousand.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the city of Memphis, Michigan, including online resources for the municipal government, local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, sports programs and activities, and recreational opportunities.



Recommended Resources

Search for Memphis on Google or Bing