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Fenton is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan that lies mostly in Genesee County, with small portions in neighboring Oakland County and Livingston County. It was first established in 1834 and was originally named Dibbleville after Clark Dibble, one of the first settlers. It was platted in 1837 as Fentonville by William M. Fenton who would later become lieutenant-governor of Michigan. When the settlement was incorporated as a village in 1863 the name Fenton was used. The settlement’s post office used the name Fentonville from 1837 until 1886, when it adopted the current name.
In the 1970s, the city leveled its downtown buildings and closed Leroy Street as part of an urban renewal plan. On August 24, 2007, an EF2 tornado hit Fenton, damaging several homes, a school, and almost completely destroying the newly opened Tractor Supply Company. This caused many people to go without power, leaving the city in a state of emergency. There were no fatalities or serious injuries. In July 2011, the first proposed building, Cornerstone, to restore the city’s old downtown area was announced. A renovation and expansion of the Old Fire Hall (Fenton, Michigan) is also planned.
As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,756. The city was incorporated from Fenton Township in Genesee County, and the city and township are administratively autonomous. Fenton includes several historic buildings. It was home to the first aviation school in Michigan and the A.J. Phillips Fenton Museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.00 square miles (18.13 km2), of which, 6.68 square miles (17.30 km2) is land and 0.32 square miles (0.83 km2) is water. Most of the city is in Genesee County. The city has also annexed approximately 56 acres (0.23 km2) in Livingston County. Approximately 1.5 acres (0.0061 km2) was formerly used as the city dump. The Tipsico Lake Project is a brownfield redevelopment project to restore the land and surrounding area. Small portions of the city also extend into Oakland County and Livingston County.
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,756 people, 5,067 households, and 2,953 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,759.9 inhabitants per square mile (679.5 /km2). There were 5,572 housing units at an average density of 834.1 per square mile (322.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.1% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.
There were 5,067 households of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.7% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.96.
The median age in the city was 36 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.7% were from 25 to 44; 22.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.