A Drive Down History Lane

Many street names in Flint originate from the settlers who platted the city’s land. Early pioneers named roads after themselves, their wives, families, histories and interests. A local man by the name of Cecil McKenna is said to have conducted years of research on the origins of Flint’s street names, but sadly, after his death, that research was lost.

Turns out, Kearsley Street is named for Jonathon Kearsley, a two-time Mayor of Detroit who fought in the War of 1812 and had nothing to do with Flint.


Atherton road:
The Athertons were early settlers of Burton, including brothers Perus, Shubael, Adonijah and Elihu.

Garland Street:
Named after one of Flint’s earliest settlers General John Garland, whose wife, Harriet Smith Garland, was the daughter of Flint’s first settler, Jacob Smith

Pierson Road:
Named after William S. Pierson, who moved to Flint in 1839

Stockton Street:
Named after T.B.W. Stockton, whose wife, Maria Smith Stockton, was the daughter of Flint’s first settler, Jacob Smith

Robert T. Longway Blvd.
A native of New York, Robert T. Longway started his career as an accountant for the Weston-Mott Company. He rose to become Vice-President of Buick, and after retiring in 1932, he worked at the National Bank of Flint until 1942. Longway served on many local boards and is best known for his gift to the develop the Cultural Center in 1956, which is why the Planetarium is also named after him.

Other Automotive Barons

Dupont Street:
Pierre S. DuPont managed General Motors from 1915-1920, became GM’s president in 1920, and served on GM’s Board of Directors until 1928.

Dort Highway:
Named after J. Dallas Dort

Chevrolet Ave:
Named after Louis Chevrolet

Ballenger Highway:
William S. Ballenger was the first treasurer of Buick and Chevrolet. He was remembered for the trust he left to MCC to pay for quality instructors.

Hurley Street
James J. Hurley arrived in the city of Flint with one dollar in his pocket. He was one of the earliest stockholders in the W. A. Paterson carriage factory, and later helped to organize the Union Trust and Savings Bank, of which he was director for some years. At the time of his death, he left a donation to every church in the city regardless of denomination, and also provided the funds ($25,000) and the land to build what is now Hurley Medical Center.

Thomson Street
Col. Edward H. Thomson arrived in Flint from England in 1837. He worked as the prosecuting attorney, was elected to State Senate, appointed to positions abroad by Governor Ransom, and returned to Flint later in life; he also had an extensive Shakespeare collection, and his love of the bard inspired the naming of Avon Street (pronounced with the ‘a’ sound in ‘have’) for Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Lippincott Blvd.
Rev. Charles Lippincott was the officiant of the First Presbyterian church from 1901 to 1913.

Averill Avenue
Joseph K. Averill came to Flint from New York in 1839 with a printing press and began printing Genesee County’s first newspaper, The Flint River Gazette, which published until 1841.

Norbert F. Dougherty was hired by GM to build Mott Park, and named the streets after himself (Norbert St., Dougherty Place), his wife (Weller was her maiden name), and even his old boss, Frank. He was born in Tyrone, PA and lived in Altoona, hence those names. He also admired Michigan’s explorers, Marquette, Monteith, St. Clair, and Cadillac, which is why those streets can be found in the park.

Streets Named for People of International Importance

Whittlesey Street:
Named after a WWI War hero and Medal of Honor Recipient who was known as the commander of the Lost Battalion.”

Wallenberg street:
Named after a Swedish architect who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary during WWII and was killed in a Russian prison.

Streets Named for Governors of Michigan

Bagley Street
Begole Street
Blair Street
Cass Avenue
Crapo Street
Ferris Avenue
Hull Avenue
Murphy Road
Pingree Avenue
Warner Avenue
Winans Avenue
Woodbridge Street
Streets Named for
Mayors of Flint
Aitken Street
Atwood Street
Axford Street
Baker Street
Chase Street
Dayton Street
Decker Street
Durand Street
Eddy Street
Fenton Road
Fox Street
Hamilton Street
Joyner Street
Mason Street
Newall Street
Page Street
Paterson Street
Patrick Street
Rankin Street
Stone Street
Taylor Street
Walker Street
Warren Street
Williams Street
Witherbee Street


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