The first known settler
was Richard Ford who built his cabin upon the highland for which the town was
eventually named, a ridge later leveled when Woodward Avenue was put through from
Detroit. It was then some six miles northwest from the city. Judge Augustus B.
Woodward bought the ridge in 1818 and platted the village of Woodwardville in
1825. His plans failed as did those of Judge Benjamin F Witherell who attempted
to found a village on the site in 1836. The settlement was given a post office
as Whitewood on February 12, 1873. The post office was renamed Highland Park on
June 27, 1889.
The successful promotion of the town is credited to William
H. Stevens and Henry Ford's building a factory here in 1909. This settlement was
incorporated as a village in 1889 and as a city in 1917.