Allegan County's name was coined by the noted student of the Indians, Henry Schoolcraft. The county was set off in 1831 and organized in 1835. Settlement of the county seat, Allegan, was promoted in 1835 by eastern capitalists who were attracted by the site's sources of water power. For many years steamboats plied the Kalamazoo between here and Saugatuck. Extensive lumbering by the pioneers cleared the way for farm production in which the county has been a leader.