Cranberry Township was established in 1804. The most populated area of the township was originally called Criders Corners. Criders Corners is an intersection of two roads. The intersection was named after Jacob Crider who was a trustee of the local Methodist Church. He bought 50 acres in the area in 1871. Cranberry Township takes its name from the cranberry bogs that used to be prevalent in the area. Pioneers arrived in the area in the 1790's and discovered wild cranberries in the Bush Creek area.
The marsh areas in the region were drained by the settlers in the 1800's. The land was now available for the settlers to farm and for grazing by cattle. As the swamp areas were drained and converted to farmland the natural habitat for the wild cranberries was significantly reduced. By 1900 the cranberries were no longer growing in the area.