About This Place
Howard City is a village in Montcalm County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,585 at the 2000 census. The village is within Reynolds Township.
Benjamin Ensley owned the land on which he, E. W. Muenscher, and Mr. Shaw began the settlement that Muenscher platted in 1868. It was named for William A. Howard, a Detroit railroad attorney. The Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad depot opened in 1869. A post office was established on January 12, 1870, with John B. Spencer as the first postmaster. It incorporated as a village in 1873. The post office name was shortened to "Howard" on February 2, 1895, but restored to Howard City on January 19, 1899.
Main street was initially constructed on Ensley street, which was named after early settler Benjamin Ensley, but in 1883 many of the wooden buildings on Ensley street burned down. Main street was then shifted over to Edgerton street, where it still stands today. The Hudson Knife factory and The Skinner and Steenman sideboard factory were two of the earliest businesses. Later, Hudson Knife Co. went through changes and became the Joslin and eventually Olsen Knife Company, which had somewhat famous jingle "Fatty Fatty run for your life, here comes Skinny with an Olsen Knife." Howard City schools were combined with Sand Lake schools to the south in 1962, and renamed Tri County, because students from Kent, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties all attended. The school still runs under the same moniker today.