The City of Standish, situated on the Macinac Division of the M.C.R.R. was first a part of Arenac Township, Bay County, becoming a part of Lincoln Township in 1882. The town was first platted in 1871 by Mr. John D. Standish, who owed all the land in the vicinity. The plat was made by the late P.M. Angus, who came on foot from Whitefeather to do the work, the railroad not having been built as far as Standish at that time.
Before the plat was recorded, Mr. Standish had disposed of some of his interests, and the name was changed to Granton and was so recorded. At the next session of the legislature, Mr. Standish succeeded in having the name changed back to "Standish". The first industry in the place was the saw mill built and operated by Mr. Standish.
Standish was incorporated as a Village in 1893 and Mr. James E. Austin was elected as its first President. In 1903 it was incorporated as a City. Mr. H. Randall was elected its first Mayor.Standish was without a railroad until the early part of 1871, when the Jackson and Lansing road was built, now the Michigan Central. The train at that time ran as far north as Wells Station. The building now used as a freight house and office was the first depot built.
This was used as a passenger and freight depot until 1889, when the new stone depot was erected. The grounds surrounding the new depot were cleared and graded by the Business Men's Association. Previous to the building of the railroad, Standish was reached by stage from Pine River. The first passenger coach to arrive in Standish was attached to a construction train on July 4, 1871.
The first hotel in the Village was built in 1871 by Sheriff Burmel, of Bay City and named the Standish House and was under the management of William Shillinger. This hotel was afterwards purchased by George W. Shillinger who occupied it until 1881, when he sold it to Jerome B. Davis. It was destroyed by fire in March, 1902.