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White River Township first extended from Manistee to Grand Haven and ever so far inland. The township was eventually stripped of portions of its territory leaving 15.9 square miles, less than half the size of a regular township. The exact municipal records for the township officially begin in 1859 due to the fact there was a somewhat dubious fire at the township in1859 that destroyed the records prior to that date.

As of the 2010 census there were 1,338 people living in the township. White River Township is fortunate to have a fair amount of farmland, open space, natural habitats and Lake Michigan as the western border and White Lake to the south. It is a goal of the White River Township board to maintain a balance between development and the available resources and land to support it.