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Morrice, Michigan is situated in Perry Township of Shiawassee County, in the Lower Peninsula.

The chief routes through the village are Britton Road (South Street), Lansing Road, and Morrice Road, the latter of which intersects Britton and Lansing Roads within the village limits. I-69 passes by just north of the village, but does not enter its boundaries.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Morrice include Perry, which is just west of Morrice, as well as Bancroft, Vernon, Durand, Owosso, Corunna, Laingsburg, Byron, Webberville, Williamston, Gaines, Fowlerville, East Lansing, Lennon, and Ovid.

The center of population in Michigan, which is the geographical point that describes a centerpoint of a state's population, is in Morrice. However, the population of Morrice, itself, is just above nine hundred.

Prior to the European-American settlement of the area in the mid-1830s, the Ojibwe, Pottawatomi, Ottawa, and Huron people frequented the area of Morrice, at various times, although there were no indications of a Native American village. Britton Road was built on what had previously been a well-traveled Native American trail.

Acknowledged as the first European-American settler, Josiah Purdy built a cabin on the south side of what is now Britton Road in the fall of 1836. He maintained good relationships with Native Americans who came by his cabin. The northern half of his land became the village of Morrice. William Morrice came to the area in 1837, acquiring 160 acres northwest of Purdy's land. He and his wife built a cabin there, and his three brothers settled nearby, although one of them didn't stay long. The Morrice family were Scottish immigrants, as were several of the early settlers. In 1839, the First Presbyterian Church of Bennington was formed, thus named because the area was then part of Bennington Township. In 1841, the southern portion of Bennington Township separated to form Perry Township

The new Perry Township board established school districts, with the settlement that arose around the Purdy and Morrice farms were in District #1, so students walked a mile west to Perry for school each day. In 1858, families in the Morrice area petitioned to be set off as District #5, establishing the Purdy School at the intersection of Britton and Morrice Roads.

The townsite was established by the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, which opened a depot there, on its Chicago to Port Huron main line. In September of 1876, Isaac Gale, a vice-president for the railroad, officially established Morrice as a village on 160 acres. Mr. Gale wanted to name the village Galesboro, but the state refused to accept that name as it was too similar to the names of other Michigan towns. Instead, it was named for William Morrice, who had become a friend of Mr. Gale.

A post office was established at the railroad depot, with Charles Tyler as postmaster, on May 14, 1877, and Morrice was incorporated as a village in November of 1884. By 1890, the village had a population of 229 and, by the turn of the 20th century, Morrice had a flour mill, a grain elevator, a sawmill, a canning factory, an apple dryer, a bank, three churches, and a public school. The village was served by Western Union Telegraph, National Express, and a local telephone company, and it had electric lights, cobblestone streets, a couple of miles of cement sidewalks, and two mail routes.

In 1911, the Michigan United Traction Line, known locally as the Inter-Urban Line, began operating an electric railway from Owosso to Morrice, where it turned west toward Lansing, then south to Jackson. A station was set up in Morrice, and cars ran four times in both directions each day. Initially, the Inter-Urban Line brought new settlers to Morrice, but the migration was soon reversed. Morrice residents were able to commute to better jobs in Owosso or Lansing, and then moved closer to their work. As a result, the population of Morrice dropped by more than twenty percent by the time of the 1920 census.

The Inter-Urban Line closed in 1929, largely due to the growing availability of automobiles. Perhaps coincidentally, the population of Morrice increased by nearly twenty-five percent in the 1940 census and continued to increase slightly each decade until 1980 and 1990, when there were declines. However, the population of the village increased by forty percent in 2000 and by another five percent in 2010, as people began to escape the larger cities.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the village of Morrice, Michigan. Online resources for the village government, or for any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organization, attractions, events, sports programs, or recreational opportunities, are appropriate for this category.



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