Hamburg / Edwin B. Winans
The year 1831 marked the arrival of Hamburg's first settlers -- Felix Dunlavey, Jesse Hall, Calvin Jackson, Cornelius Miller and Herman Lake -- and their families. In 1835, Ann Arbor Merchant E.F. Gay and Amariah Hammond purchased thirty acres of land in this area, constructed a dam and built the area's first sawmill. By 1837 the two men had sold their interest to the Grissom brothers, who had emigrated from Hamburg, Germany, in 1834. The Grissoms also managed a store, a gristmill and a hotel. In 1837 the village of Hamburg was platted, and in 1840 its post office was established. One hundred and fifty years after its founding, the village of nine hundred residents boasted a historic Episcopal church,
a volunteer fire department, several stores and factories, a library, a cemetery and a township hall.
Edwin B. Winans
Edwin B. Winans (1826-1894), was the first Democrat to be elected governor of Michigan after the Civil War. Serving a two-year term starting in 1890, he instituted the secret ballot system. A native of New York, Winans moved to Livingston County, Michigan, at the age of eight. He attended Albion College
and the University of Michigan
Law School before leaving the state to seek his fortune in the California gold rush. In 1858 he returned to Michigan and purchased a 400-acre farm in Hamburg. He enjoyed and active political career, serving as state representative (1861-64), constitutional convention delegate, (1867), township supervisor (1872-73), Livingston County probate judge (1883-86). He died at his Winans Lake estate in Hamburg Township in 1894.