In the early 1830's, Isaiah W. Bennett, of New York State, made a prospecting tour along the Saint Joseph River. He was struck with the advantages of a village site located at the junction of the Saint Joseph and Coldwater Rivers. Mr Bennett and another prospector, Jeremiah Marvin, immediately purchased a tract of several hundred acres from the government.
The first permanent settler of the area was Justus Goodwin. In 1833, he purchased from Jeremiah Marvin, 568 acres of land, which included the site to become Union City, and built the first home there. Mr. Goodwin was appointed the first postmaster of the Goodwinsville Post Office in 1834. The Village carried this name until it officially became Union City, an incorporated Village, on January 25, 1866.
A store was established on the corner of Broadway and High Streets. The supply of good money became somewhat limited, and a general system of bartering was conducted at the store, which came to be known as the "Sub-Treasury." Some years later, the building was moved to a spot across from the Congregational Church where it now serves as a private residence.
Union City was designated as Station No. 2 of the famous "Underground Railroad" and Mr. John D. Zimmerman formerly of Connecticut was stationmaster. The slaves seeking refuge were taken into a home built by Mr. Zimmerman and it is located at 119 East High Street.
Deacon Chester Hammond came to Goodwinsville in 1836 and built a home that now serves as the Hammond House Museum. A son, Henry, became a noted minister and another son, Charles, became first president of the Union Pacific Railroad. A daughter, Ellen, was the first teacher at the "Red School House" built in 1837. Ellen Street i named after her.
Early in the 1840's, large quantities of "bog" and "kidney iron" ore were found in the vicinity. In March of 1846, the Union City Iron Company was formed and incorporated. A historic marker can be seen in front of the power plant on Coldwater Road. Other manufactures in the late 1800's and early 1900's were the Peerless Portland Cement Co., Peerless Yeast Co., Peerless Monument Co., Monarch Cigar Co. The Village had a large dairy, saw mill, gristmill making "Spotlight" flour and many small businesses supplying the needs of the community and outlying areas.
In the 1930's, a"pioneer travel trailor" was built by a local resident who later established the Duo Trailor Plant. This was the beginning of a new era in Union City. The mobile home industry flourished for many years. The plant where the first Duo Coaches were made is still standing, as well as, the one owned and operated by the Mid-States Corporation.
In the 1920's, a hydroelectric generating plant was built on the Saint Joseph river, thus forming Union Lake.
Two historic churches grace the downtown area. The Congregational Church, dedicated in1862 and the Methodist Church, which has been designed as a State Historic site, dedicated in 1881.