Mecosta County was named for Chief Mecosta, Chief of Potawatomi Indians. The county was established in February, 1859. The word "Mecosta" means "bear cub." The Mecosta County area provides excellent educational opportunities to its community members through vital and active public school systems and adult education programs, as well as Senior Citizen activities. Numerous news schools have been built in the county over the past several years. In addition, a number of existing schools have been remodeled.
In 1884, Woodbridge N. Ferris, later a Governor and U.S. Senator, established Ferris Institute located in Big Rapids. The institute has grown and is now Ferris State University with an enrollment of approximately 9,000 on-campus students. The University offers a diversified curriculum in seven separate schools, including the Michigan College of Optometry and the College of Pharmacy.
Private schools are also well represented in Mecosta County. Big Rapids features St. Michael's and St. Mary's parochial schools as well as the newly formed (1998-99) Big Rapids Charter Academy. Saint Michael's (Remus) and the Barryton Community Christian Schools add depth and diversity to our primary/middle school offering.
With a central location, great highway access, an excellent labor force and Ferris State University that actively supports business by offering the skills of its faculty and staff, Mecosta County is a great place to do business.
The Mecosta County area also provides its residents with some of the finest health care facilities in the state. Big Rapids (the County seat) is the home of the Mecosta County General Hospital, a 74-bed acute-care hospital with its staff of primary care and specialty physicians covering Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as specialists in Anesthesia, Dermatology, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Urology, Radiology, and Physical Rehabilitation.
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