From Michigan Place Names
Genesee County: Stephen and Arnos Biegel and Matthew McCormick had built their homes here when, in 1851, John Hayes came with men and machinery and built a sawmill. In 1852, Francis Otis who, with his two brothers owned 5000 acres of pine land in the township, bought out Mr. Hayes. The settlement was given a post office on April 5, 1861. The first plat of the village was made and recorded by William F. Otis and T. D. Crocker in 1863. Given a station on the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1874. Incorporated as a village in 1877. Named for Francis Otis [Paul L Laing; PO Archives) .