Nestled between small lakes and public recreation areas in west-central lower Michigan, the city of Stanton offers a small town environment with agricultural roots, a low cost of living and a high quality of life. Conveniently located within an hour drive of more populated areas (Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Big Rapids) and two major airports (Lansing and Grand Rapids), the city also serves as a gateway to northern lower Michigan via M-66. The residents of Stanton appreciate the small town, rural feel of their community, knowing that the “bright lights” of urban areas are an hour’s drive away for entertainment, education, cultural, and work opportunities.
As the county seat of Montcalm County, Stanton has several county facilities and office buildings within its boundaries, which adds to the vitality of the business community. Its classic downtown hosts parades and an annual festival each year.
The city of Stanton is a safe, family-friendly place with historic homes and an excellent K-12 public school system serving the area. Montcalm Community College’s main campus is only seven miles from town and offers 60 associate degree and certification programs in a wide variety of occupational fields.
Stanton is a full-service, commission-manager city with 1,417 residents (as of the 2010 census). A 2017-2018 general fund budget of $738,000 and a total funds budget of $1.5 million support six full and five part-time employees who are engaged in providing quality municipal services. Its general fund currently has a 70 percent fund balance.
Stanton was organized in 1860 when the people of Montcalm County voted to move the county seat here from Greenville, which was the original county seat since 1840. At that time, the County Board purchased 40 acres (160,000 m2) from Fred Hall of Ionia and named the city “Fred” in his honor. The family of Levi Camburn was the first to settle here and he became its first postmaster on March 10, 1862. The city was renamed for Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton in 1863. Stanton was platted in 1865, incorporated as a village in 1869, and as a city in 1881.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.5 km²), all land. It is located at the corners of four townships and incorporates land from each: Day Township to the northeast, Evergreen Township to the southeast, Sidney Township to the southwest, and Douglass Township to the northwest. The Stanton post office, with ZIP code 48888, also serves portions of the these four surrounding townships, as well as areas of Ferris Township to the east of Day, Belvidere Township to the north of Douglass, and Pine Township to the west of Douglass.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,417 people, 508 households, and 315 families residing in the city. The population density was 659.1 inhabitants per square mile (254.5/km2). There were 579 housing units at an average density of 269.3 per square mile (104.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.8% White, 1.8% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.8% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.
There were 508 households of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.0% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.
The median age in the city was 33.8 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.5% were from 25 to 44; 21.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.