Located in the city park at the 4-corners stoplight downtown Bronson, the Historic Marker reads:
Bronson was named after Jabez B. Bronson, who was the first settler to the area, moving her from Ohio in 1828. He became the first postmaster in 1830, calling it Bronson’s Prairie. It was incorporated as a village in 1866. The name was shortened to Bronson in 1871 when the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad built a rail station in Bronson. Bronson wsa chartered as a city in 1934 and developed into a fine community. Bronson established a new City Charter in 1985 establishing the Council-Manager form of government. In the fall of 2016 the City celebrated its 150th anniversary.
HISTORIAN NOTES (Dave McDonald):
Jabez Bronson originated from the state of Connecticut where he apprenticed as a ship carpenter. He worked in shipyards in New York State before venturing into Canada. He wed a widow who had four children, all accompanying him to the future Branch County area. Jabe was identified as the first settler to the area because he brought his new family along with him. When organizing a settlement, he called it ‘York’. This would be changed later to name the village after its founder. He operated both a tavern/inn and served as the Justice-of-the-Peace. It was seen as inappropriate for an Inn keeper to be a Justice or a tavern to be the courthouse, so, Jabe’s son-in-law, Abiel Potter, declared himself to be the tavern owner. Jabez Bronson only remained in the Bronson area until 1836 leaving his cabin to be occupied by E. L. Rose who then built a new hotel called the “Rose House”. This was the second community to be called ‘Bronson’, with the first being the current community of Kalamazoo. That community was called Bronson after Titus Bronson. Upon Titus’s departure from that area the settlement was quickly changed to Kalamazoo.