Named for John H. Eaton, Secretary of War under Andrew Jackson, Eaton County was set off in 1829. Bellevue, where the county's first settlement took place in 1833, was platted by Isaac E. Crary and John D. Pierce
, fathers of Michigan's public school system. Most of the early settlers were Yankees. The county was organized in 1837. Charlotte, which was built on a prairie near the center of the county, became the county seat. Maple sugar soon was a famous county product.