Belknap Township is a unit of local government that is located in Presque Isle County. It is a subdivision or rather a local division of Presque Isle County. Your Township Board’s regularly scheduled meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month. The meetings are held at the Township Hall at 1720 W. 638 Hwy and start at 7:00 pm during the daylight saving months and 5:30 pm during the non daylight savings months. Residents are encouraged to attend. Belknap Township is a civil township of Presque Isle County in the U.S. state of Michigan.
Belknap Township Statistics
1990 Population: 920
2000 Population: 854
2010 Population: 751
Area: 35.79 mi² Elevation: 774′
Map of Township
Belknap Township Voters: July 2009: 557 December 2009: 552 October 2010: 561 October 2011: 556 October 2013: 570 October 2014: 569 Voter Turnout: November, 2010: 273 (49%) November, 2012: 384 (66%) November, 2014: 264 (46.4%) Belknap Township - Parcel Count 12/31/08: 691 Parcels 12/31/09: 692 Parcels 12/31/10: 693 Parcels 12/31/11: 697 Parcels 12/31/12: 703 Parcels 12/31/13: 709 Parcels 12/31/14: 698 Parcels Belknap Township - Assessments 2005 Assessment: 30,216,900 2006 Assessment: 32,250,600 2007 Assessment: 33,854,000 2008 Assessment: 34,157,200 2009 Assessment: 33,416,400 2010 Assessment: 31,957,200 2011 Assessment: 30,116,500 2012 Assessment: 27,924,400 2013 Assessment: 28,060,840 2014 Assessment: 28,527,200 2015 Assessment: 28,681,400
Early History of Belknap Township
Prior to 1875, there were only two townships in Presque Isle County, Presque Isle and Rogers. On April 9, 1875, the Michigan Legislature enacted Public Act No. 80 of 1875, creating five townships in the county: Rogers, Presque Isle, Moltke, Posen, and Belknap. The first Supervisor of Belknap Township was John McArthur. There is no information available on how the names of the new townships were chosen. The five townships created in 1875 were much larger than the standard township sizes used throughout the Northwest Territories, which were six miles by six miles, or thirty-six square miles. As the population of the county grew, most of the large townships were eventually divided and Metz Township was split off from Belknap Township in 1879. The populations of the townships surrounding the Village of Rogers, now Rogers City, grew much more rapidly than that of Rogers, the county seat. In 1880, for example, the population of Rogers was only 325, while Moltke Township had a population of 490, Belknap had 620, and Posen had 858. The rapid growth of the townships around Rogers can be attributed to the fact that most of the settlers coming into the county were farmers. The three townships mentioned contained a great deal of quality farmland and, at the same time, were in close proximity to the Rogers, the center of commerce for the region. The earliest homesteaders in Belknap Township included Samuel Blake, Julius Bredlow, Michael Elowski, William Meredith, and Friedrich Pieper, who arrived in 1870. The following year, they were joined by August Barabas, Wilhelm Buller, August Elowski, August Fuhrmann, Jacob Geddert, Albert Grulke, Gottlieb Hasenburg, William Hardies, Henry Mahrtens, John McArthur, and Horatio Pemberton. Descendents of many of those early settlers still reside in the township and the surrounding area.
Because of the ethnicities of the early settlers and present residents of Presque Isle County, we probably have a tendency to think of “Belknap” as a German name, like “Bismarck” or “Moltke.” In all likelihood, however, the name is of English origin, as documented in the following article: Belknap or Belnap is a surname of Norman origin from England that may come from the Anglo-Norman words "belle," meaning beautiful, and "knap," meaning the crest or summit of a small hill. Although today the "k" in Belknap is generally silent as in the words "knight" or "knee," it is evident from documents dating from the Middle English period that it was originally pronounced as a hard "k." The surname is believed to be somewhat unique, not only due to its relative infrequency but also because all known Belknaps or Belnaps living today are thought to descend from one man, Abraham Belknap (formerly known as Beltoft), who migrated from Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England to Lynn, Massachusetts about 1635. The surname continued in England for several centuries through other branches of the family but eventually died out in its country of origin in the early 20th century. Today, a wide variety of locations and institutions are named Belknap or Belnap, all of which are believed to be connected in some manner to this early Puritan emigrant to America. Places named Belknap or Belnap include over 130 streets, approximately 20 towns, and 1 U.S. county. Natural features named Belknap range from a nunatak near the South Pole in Antarctica, to a Canadian cape near the North Pole, to a seamount beneath the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, to a tiny rocky island in Indonesia in Southeast Asia.