Branch County, named for John Branch, President Andrew Jackson's secretary of the navy, was one of thirteen counties established by the territorial legislature in 1829. The village of Branch, located three miles southwest of Coldwater was the original county seat, but in 1842 county commissioners decreed that the seat be moved to Coldwater. In 1848 a courthouse was erected on this site. The Chicago Road (now US-12) and the coming of the Michigan Southern Railroad in 1850 attracted settlers. During the 1850s and 1860s, Coldwater was a horse training and breeding center. Local breeders provided three thousand horses to the Union Army during the Civil War. In the 1870s and 1880s, the manufacture of cigars contributed to Coldwater's prosperity. In 1882, some 13.4 million cigars were manufactured in Coldwater.