In 1849 the state of Michigan gave Porter Hazelton over six thousand acres of land in what soon became Hazelton Township. The land was partial payment for his construction of a bridge over the Flint River. A thriving village, popularly known as "Ratville," developed. With an economy based primarily on agriculture, Hazelton by 1863 had three churches, a post office, a general store, and four hundred residents. In 1902 the post office closed as the town gradually disappeared.