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The village is located within Manchester Township, but is politically autonomous. Manchester was founded in 1833 by John and William Manchester, who were brothers. It was named after their home town of Manchester in Vermont. The first post office opened with the name "Manchester" on March 28, 1836; it closed on October 31, 1870 and reopened under the name "Newton" (the current city of Newton) until December 1 that year when it returned to its original name as part of a postal reorganization plan by which all mail addressed to places whose names began with New would be sent instead to Detroit for delivery from there via Ypsilanti or Ann Arbor if addressed further east than those cities. In 1880 the population stood at 590. By 1900 this had increased slightly more than threefold, but has since declined somewhat due to suburbanization into nearby Saline and Milan townships along US-23 southward toward Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti.