Deerfield Township was organized in March 1861 and its first supervisor was Samuel S. Chipman. The first Caucasian settler was George Quigley who located on section 4. The first Caucasian birth was that of his son, James Quigley in 1858. The first school building was erected in section 5 in 1862. The first teacher of this school was Margaret Quigley. In 1863, George Magill opened the first store in the township. The first post office was opened at Big Creek in 1865. Early population growth of the township was as follows:
1864 – 296
1870 – 564
1874 – 654
1880 – 1,093
By 1881, The township had 4,491 acres of improved land.
One of the earliest communities established in Deerfield Township was that of Rustford on the Little Muskegon river. In 1860, 29 families came to Michigan from Rustford Canada and founded the settlement, naming it after their hometown in Canada. At one time, this village had three stores, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a sawmill an a post office. It had a main street called Pink Street. In 1862, a log school was built in section 25. One of the original families which founded Rustford was the Buchner family