Burns was organized as a separate township with its present name and limits by an act of the Legislature of Michigan approved March 11, 1837. This act also directed the first meeting of the electors to be held at the office of the Byron Company, which was in the home of James Prevost. On the 3rd day of April, 1837, the meetings was called with the named electors present: Ezra Barnes, Thomas Green, Amos Foster, Peter Kanouse, Rufus Rathbun, Francis Prevost, Robert Crawford, John Burgess, Wallace Goodwin and Alonzo Woods. All the voters who attended this meeting received one or more offices. Francis Prevost was elected to four, Thomas Green and Ezra Barnes to three and all others two.
In May 1837 minutes in regard to a road from Genesee County entering Burns just south of the east branch of the Shiawassee were entered on the records of the township. The road had been located a few days previous as was the river road leading northwest of Byron (now Lehring Road). During the same month the road leading north from Livingston County (Reed Road) passing the residence of Thomas Green to the northwest corner of the township was established. On the 9th of August the east and west road passing the Morse Tavern and the Chaffee School (now Beard Road) was laid out. Then the one passing the residence of Isaac Barnum and school district No. 8 was located (south Byron Road). Thomas Green, Wallace Goodwin and Rufus Rathbun, commissioners of highways laid out these roads. In 1840 a state road from Byron to Owosso was planned. Several plank road companies promised to build in Shiawassee County but all failed.