Hillsdale is the largest city and county seat of Hillsdale County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 8,305. The city is the home of Hillsdale College, a private liberal arts college noted for its academics and its influence in politics and education. This area is located in the rolling, fertile hills of South Central Michigan, bordering Indiana and Ohio, according to the boundaries set up under United States settlement. It was long occupied by the Potowatomi, an Algonquian-speaking people who were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). A Potowatomi band of about 150 people, led by the chief known as Baw Beese, had a base camp near the large lake in the area.
The first European-American settler, Jeremiah Arnold, arrived in 1834 and encountered the band. They helped the early settlers. Arnold erected a cabin and moved in with his wife Percy (Round) Arnold. With the arrival of other settlers, the pioneers erected the first schoolhouse in 1838. The City was established in 1839. In 1840, the US forced out Baw Beese and his people, as well as other Potowatomi in neighboring and more distant areas of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, making them remove to Indian Territory in present-day Kansas. Founded in 1844 as Central Michigan College in Spring Arbor, Hillsdale College relocated to this city in 1853 and changed its name.
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