Michigan Center is an unincorporated community in Leoni Township of Jackson County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is also a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes and without legal status as an incorporated municipality. The population was 4,641 at the 2000 census. Michigan Center was platted as "Michigan Centre" in 1837 by Abel Fitch and Paul Ring, although there were settlements in the area from at least 1834. The name was presumably derived from the proximity to the Michigan Meridian which divided the state into eastern and western portions for surveying. The community is not close to any sort of geographical center of the state. Fitch became the first postmaster in 1838. Michigan Center began developing as a mill town on a tributary of the Grand River. There was a station on Michigan Central Railroad. However, nearby Jackson rapidly outpaced Michigan Center, which has since become a bedroom community to the city of Jackson.