|Table of contents|
Founded in the early 1800's, Tecumseh was actually the first town to spring up in Lenawee County due to its founders' unique strategy. Theorizing that a new county would be created in that part of the state, Musgrove Evans and the other founders of Tecumseh decided it would be best for their new town to be the county seat. Therefore, they first applied to the territory government for the creation of Lenawee County. They then created Tecumseh Township, and then the town itself. To others at the time, this procedure (and founding dates in reverse order to unit size) seemed quite odd. Evans considered it just right.
During most of the 19th century, Tecumseh figured little in the history of the region. The most noteworthy event during this time period was the burying of the horse that belonged to the infamous General Custer in Tecumseh, the horse having been sent to a friend living there after the General's death. It was also during this period that the residents of Adrian, Michigan, through making a higher bid for the construction of a new courthouse, stole the county seat from Tecumseh. Residents of both towns have never forgotten this.
The 20th century brought with it the main source of this small town's fame, Tecumseh Products. Founded by the Herrick family during the earlier part of the century, Tecumseh Products initially began business manufacturing refrigeration compressors. The company was wildly successful, and was largely responsible for the town's better-than-average survival during the Great Depression. Indeed, for some period during the middle part of the century, Tecumseh had the record for the most millionaires per capita of any city in the world, due to the fortunes made by the founders and early members of Tecumseh Products. While the company has receded somewhat from its former heights, Tecumseh is still known as the "refrigeration capitol of the world."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.0 km² (5.4 mi²). 13.4 km² (5.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.26% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 8,574 people, 3,499 households, and 2,337 families residing in the city. The population density is 640.3/km² (1,659.4/mi²). There are 3,651 housing units at an average density of 272.7/km² (706.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 95.85% White, 0.19% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.49% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 4.40% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 3,499 households out of which 33.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% are married couples living together, 10.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% are non-families. 28.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.42 and the average family size is 2.99.
In the city the population is spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $46,106, and the median income for a family is $58,239. Males have a median income of $39,672 versus $27,630 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,797. 4.9% of the population and 3.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 3.9% are under the age of 18 and 7.4% are 65 or older.