The Charter Township of Flushing was organized in 1838 and was nine (9) by twelve (12) miles, or 108 square miles. The original Township area included the present area of Flushing and Clayton Townships, as well as the portion one-half of both Mt. Morris and Flint Townships. This area was later subdivided until the Township was reduced to its present size of thirty-six (36) square miles which includes the four (4) square miles of the City of Flushing. The name of Dover was originally adopted by the Township organizers, but because another township of the same name existed in the State, the legislature substituted Flushing.
The earliest inhabitants of the Flushing River Valley were the Sauk Indians, who lived off the land.
The first land purchased in the Township was by John Paton, who bought 131 acres in June 1834. He did not settle his family there until 1837.
The first non-native settler known to have taken up residence within the limits of what is now the Township of Flushing was Rufus Harrison, who settled in the fall of 1835 on a farm in the southeast part of the Township.
Thomas L. Brent, a Virginian, who had acquired a national reputation and a large fortune, built a dam across the Flint River in Section 3 and erected a sawmill the same year. The dam was washed away in 1837. The operation was replaced by another dam and a second mill somewhat removed from the river. The large acreage of pine in that area of the Township was cleared.
In 1840, a number of families from England settled in the northwestern part of the Township, in what was known as the “English Settlement”. The first settlers in that area were John Reid, James Bailey, and Samuel and James Wood.
The first road cut in the Township was the “River Road” from the east, which was surveyed in 1835, through to the Paton farm.
Early extractive industries included coal, salt, and sandstone removal. A vein of bituminous coal on Paton’s farm was worked where it outcropped at the river. A well at one time was dug and brine was struck at a depth of seven hundred (700) feet. Flushing sandstone was pronounced by experts to be "of excellent quality for building purposes and the best in the lower peninsula of Michigan,” and was quarried at beds south and east of Flushing Village. The stone was used in construction of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and numerous other buildings in Flint and elsewhere.
When Flushing Village became a city in 1964, the units of government had their separate headquarters, with the township converting the former James Graham School on Seymour Road into its township office.
One of the first jobs for the new township officers was to lay out road districts. By 1840 there were ten (10) districts. Each owner of land was “charged a certain number of days work on the road” with the time depending on the size of his property.
There is one site in Flushing Township currently on the National Register of Historic Places and one on the State Register of Historic Sites. The residence, located at 10410 Stanley Road, is on the National Register, and believed to have been built in 1870. According to the Register entry “it is considered the most unusual of all nineteenth century architectural resources examined in Genesee County." The Brent Creek Methodist Church located at 10412 W. Mt. Morris Road is on the State Register of Historic Sites. It was built in 1891 as the first permanent church for the Flint River Circuit pastors.
There are three (3) Centennial Farms in the Township. Centennial Farms are those that have been actively worked and been in the same family for over one hundred (100) years. The oldest Centennial Farm, located at 12412 Carpenter Road, was first worked by its current family in 1842.
The Township of Flushing has grown considerably since it was first formed in 1838. In 1840 Flushing Township had a population of 473; by 1860 it was up to 1,237; 1900 showed 2,132; in 1930 there were 3,298 residents and the 1960 population was 8,535. The 1990 census showed a population of 9,223; in 2000 census showed a population of 10,230. In 2010, the population grew to 10,640.
Flushing Township has kept its small town appeal, partly because there are no major highways that cut through the community.
Flushing Township has many treasures to offer to families: The Flushing Township Nature Park
which consists of approximately one hundred twenty-three (130) acres on the scenic Flint River with three (3) fishing piers, an observation tower, native plants, walking trails, pavilion, and fishing and canoeing on the Flint River that flows through the Township; several great community school systems, including Flushing Community School system
; shops, restaurants, and local businesses located in the City of Flushing; the Flushing Area Senior Center
; the Flushing Historical Society, and many more treasures too numerous to mention.