Forest Township Online
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Welcome to Forest Township Online. Forest Township is located in the north east corner of Genesee County, Michigan. The 2009 population of the township is 4,748.

Forest Township Terrace

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Forest Township's newly built terrace using Community Development Block Grant funds. A roof will be built in the next round of disbursements.


The name of this township, as might be supposed, was derived from its heavy growth of timber. About three-fourths of it was covered with pine, which stood in its natural state for many years. Speculators, who bought up the land for the pine timber, let the trees stand till lumber was worth a price which would warrant them in cutting the timber. At the time the act was passed by the Legislature organizing the township there was some difficulty in fixing upon a name, until a facetious member of the House said, "As it is all woods and nobody lives there, I think we had better call it Forest,' and Forest it was called.

James Seymour entered the first land in this township, March 1, 1836, on section 36. The first land entered by an actual settler was that of Henry Hiester (or Heister), November 9, of the same year, on section 19. Mr. Hiester brought his family here from Livingston county, New York, early in the spring of 1837. For a bout two months the Hiesters were the only white residents of the town. Then the Smith family came. The head of the family was Nathaniel smith, a man of a religious turn of mind, steady and industrious habits and upright, straight-forward, irreproachable character. The first religious meetings in Forest were held at the houses of Mr. Smith and Mr. Hiester. The members of the Smith family grew up in this community and were numbered among the most influential citizens of the town. Next after the Smiths in 1837 came the Begel family, from the town of Howard, Steuben county, New York, at whose head was Stephen Begel. The site of their settlement became later the village of Otisville, on section 21, about which grew up this numerous and useful family of fourteen children.

Other early settlers were Matthew McCormick (1839), an Irish immigrant who had for some time lived in Washtenaw county; Stephen J. Seeley (1841); John Nixon; John Crawford (1842), a native of the county of Antrim, Ireland; James Crawford, John's father (1844); Jeremiah Olds, William H. diamond, John H. Fry and John Darling.

Forest township grew slowly for some fifteen year after its first settlement, on account of the heavy timber and the great quantities of the best lands held by speculators. About 1845-50 the trade in Michigan pine lumber began. In 1851 the Hayes saw-mill was built near the Begel settlement. A boarding-house, store and several dwellings for the mill hands were built. This was the first impulse to the future village of Otisville. John Hayes was from Cleveland, Ohio.

Source: History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916...


April 9, 2020 Board Meeting (notice and documents)


Board Meeting (notices and documents)


Freedom of Information Request (FOIA)


Township taxing and assessing information available online. Click here to view.

Genesee County Code Red Genesee 911 is offers CodeRed notification system to inform residents of emergencies. Click logo above to sign up.

To reach Emterra with a concern or complaint regarding garbage or recycling pick up, Dan Garman can be reached at 810-397-0610.

Please conduct campfires/brush burning with caution.

Effective Nov. 17, 2020, the township offices will be accessible by phone, email, or appointment. Please contact the treasurer at 810-631-6645, clerk at 810-631-4997, and supervisor at 810-631-6040.

Congratulations to Dan Campbell on his promotion to Forest Township Fire Chief!
Governor Whitmer has released a statewide hotline for corona virus health related questions, 1-888-535-6136.

The January 14, 2021, board meeting will be held via zoom. See meeting announcement on website.

Effective Nov. 17, 2020, the Forest Twp offices will be accessed by phone, email, and appointment only. Documents can be dropped of through the Clerk's or my windows, or the drop box.

Student wifi is available at the township hall. Please contact my office for information and password.

Please let me know if you are in need any assistance. I can be contacted in my office at 810-631-6040.

Mary Ann Price

Otisville, Michigan WEATHER