Owosso is the largest city in Shiawassee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 15,194 at the 2010 census. The city is mostly surrounded by Owosso Township on its west, but the two are administered autonomously. The city was named after Chief Wosso, an Ojibwe leader of the Shiawassee area.
Alfred L. and Benjamin O. Williams were early European-American settlers in the area. They were joined by Elias Comstock, who built the first permanent home in the settlement. Owosso was incorporated as a city in 1859, at which time it had 1000 people. The city's first mayor was Amos Gould, a judge originally from New York. Many other settlers also migrated across the Northern Tier from New York and New England. In 1876, the city organized its fire department.
The pattern of settlement and migration resulted in a majority-white city. In the 1950s, Owosso was reported by a major Montgomery, Alabama, newspaper to be a sundown town, where African Americans were not allowed to live or stay overnight.