Fennville was named after E. A. Fenn, who moved here from New York City in 1853. Fenn opened a sawmill, and it was from this that the settlement was originally called Fenn's Mill. The name was subsequently changed to Fennville in the late 1800's.
On February 20, 1889, Fennville was incorporated as a village. The first Village President was Frank S. Raymond, who was in the hardware business with L.S. Dickinson and also was partners with J. E. Hutchinson in both a store and the bank. The Federal Census listed the population of Fennville in 1890 as 360. On February 7, 1961, Fennville became a City. T.E. Van Dussen became the first Mayor of the City. The current population, according to the 2,000 Census, is 1459.
Today the City Commission, who appoints the Mayor of the City, governs Fennville. The City Commission consists of seven elected officials who hold four-year terms. The Commission meets on the first and third Monday of the month to set policy and make decisions for the operation of the City. The City's largest employers are Agri-Link Foods and the Fennville Public Schools.