THROUGH THE YEARS
The Michigan Territory was established by an act of the United States Congress on January 11, 1805, effective June 30 of that year. Detroit was named the territorial capital.
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against Great Britain and its allies in British North America. The war greatly influenced the settling of Michigan since tracts of land were offered to soldiers who wished to remain in Michigan.
The Erie Canal opened on Oct 26, 1825, allowing settlers from New England and New York to reach Michigan by water through Albany and Buffalo. The canal brought a greater influx of homesteaders to the territory.
Peter Coan came from New York, where he was born, and settled on an 80-acre parcel of land in Section 28, part of what was then called Ecorse Township. Tract index records indicate that the first person to purchase property from the United States Land Office in Taylor was Peter Coan, whose deed was returned on Jun 3, 1831.
On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted to the Union as the 26th State. Detroit remained the capital until March 17, 1847, when Lansing was chosen as a replacement.
The land where Taylor is now situated was originally part of Ecorse Township which was established in 1827. Because of poor roads and horse transportation, it required nearly a day to journey to and from the riverfront. To eliminate the travel, the residents in the area petitioned the State to organize as a separate community. The petition was approved by the State of Michigan on March 16, 1847. On April 5, 1847, the first town meeting was held at the home of Richard Sutliff.
During the early years, town meetings were held in homes or business establishments. In 1855 the first town hall in Taylor Center was built at a cost of $200. It housed the offices of several departments for the township. They included the Treasurer’s office, Township Supervisor, Township Board, Township Clerk, and Building Department. Within this small building, citizens could register to vote, pay their taxes, get a building permit, pay their water bill, and also attend Council meetings. In 1863 the Township Hall was damaged by fire but was repaired the following year. It served as the Township Hall until August of 1887 when a larger hall was built on Goddard Road, west of Telegraph.
In 1876 the Wabash Railroad built a railroad line through the Taylor area and built a railroad station there. They named the station Hand Business Station after George E. Hand, a local property owner, and judge in Detroit. Hand, along with his relatives owned much property that the Wabash Railroad used to build their line. The Hand family was so eager to have the railroad transportation for their crops to get to further markets, that they gave Wabash Railroad sections of their farmland in exchange for the arrival of the railroad. Not only did they give up some of their lands, but they also harnessed their horses to clear the land, all at no charge to Wabash Railroad. Residents living in the vicinity used Hand Corners as their mailing address, as mail was delivered by train and dropped off at the station. In the early 1960s, the Hand Train Station was destroyed by fire.
On Oct 4, 1958, Taylor Township celebrated the opening of its first post office to serve its 45,000 residents. The facility, located on Goddard, just east of Telegraph Road, replaced the mail service provided by four neighboring communities. Taylor Township’s 24-square mile area has been served from Dearborn, Romulus, Wyandotte, and Inkster.
On November 8, 1966, a nine-man commission was elected to draft a charter for Taylor to become a city. After several unsuccessful attempts at cityhood for Taylor and 121 years of being a township, on April 28, 1968, voters approved the new charter and Richard Trolley was elected the first mayor of the new City of Taylor. On May 13, 1968, Taylor Township was incorporated as the City of Taylor.