Ingham & Livingston Counties
GOVERNORS OF MICHIGAN
Image of Austin Blair
AUSTIN BLAIR, Governor of Michigan from Jan. 2,
1861, to Jan. 4, 1865, and known as the War Governor, is and illustration of the
beneficent influence of republican
institutions, having inherited neither fortune nor fame. He was born in a log cabin at Caroline,
Tompkins Co., N. Y., Feb. 8, 1818. His ancestors came from Scotland in the time of George
I, and for many generations followed the pursuit of agriculture. His father,
George Blair, settled in Tompkins County in 1809, and felled the trees and erected the
first cabin in the county. The last 60 of the four-score and four years of his life were spent on that
spot. He married Rhoda Blackman, who now sleeps with him in the soil of the old homestead. The first
17 years of his life were spent there, rendering his father what aid he could upon the farm. He then
spent a year and a half in Cazenovia Seminary preparing for college; entered Hamilton College, in
Clinton, prosecuted his studies until the middle of the junior year, when, attracted by the fame of Dr.
Nott, he changed to Union College, from which he graduated in the class of 1839. Upon leaving
College Mr. Blair read law two years in the office of Sweet & Davis, Owego, N. Y., and was admitted to practice
in 1841, and the same year moved to Michigan, locating in Jackson. During
a temporary residence in Eaton Rapids, in 1842, he was elected Clerk of Eaton
County. At the close of the official term he returned to Jackson, and as a Whig, zealously espoused the cause of Henry Clay in the campaign of 1844. He was chosen Representative to the Legislature in 1845, at which session, as a member of the Judiciary Committee,
he rendered valuable service in the revision of the general statutes; also made an able report in favor of abolishing
the color distinction in relation to the elective franchise, and at the same session was active in securing the abolition of capital punishment. In 1848 Mr. Blair refused longer to affiliate with the
Whig party, because of its refusal to endorse in convention any anti-slavery sentiment. He joined the Free-soil movement, and was a delegate to their convention which nominated Van Buren for President that year. Upon the birth of the Republican party at Jackson, in 1854, by the coalition of the Whig and Free-soil elements, Mr. Blair was in full sympathy with the movement, and acted as a member of the Committee on Platform. He was elected
Prosecuting Attorney of Jackson County in 1852; was chosen State Senator two years later, taking his seat with the incoming Republican administration of 1855, and holding the position of parliamentary leader in
the Senate. He was a delegate to the National Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln in
1860. Mr. Blair was elected Governor of Michigan in 1860, and re-elected in 1862, faithfully and honorably
discharging the arduous duties of the office during that most momentous
(146) and stormy period of the Nation's life. Gov. Blair possessed a clear comprehension of the perilous situation from the inception of the Rebellion, and his inaugural address foreshadowed the prompt executive policy and the administrative ability which characterized his gubernatorial career.
Never perhaps in the history of a nation has a brighter example been laid down, or a greater sacrifice been made, than that which distinguished Michigan during the civil war. All, from the "War Governor," down to the poorest citizen of the State, were animated with a patriotic ardor at once magnificently sublime and wisely directed.
Very early in 1861 the coming struggle cast its shadow over the Nation. Governor Blair, in his message to the Legislature in January of that year, dwelt very forcibly upon the sad prospects of civil war; and as forcibly pledged the State to support the principles of the Republic. After a review of the conditions of the State, he passed on to a consideration of the relations between the free and slave States of the Republic, saying: "While we are citizens of the State of Michigan, and as such deeply devoted to her interests and honor, we have a still prouder title. We are also citizens of the United States of America. By this title we are known among the nations of the earth. In remote quarters of the globe, where the names of the States are unknown, the flag of the great Republic, the banner of the stars and stripes, honor and protect her citizens. In whatever concerns the honor, the prosperity and the perpetuity of this great Government, we are deeply interested. The people of Michigan are loyal to that Government--faithful to its constitution and its laws. Under it they have had peace and prosperity; and under it they mean to abide to the end. Feeling a just pride in the glorious history of the past, they will not renounce the equally glorious hopes of the future. But they will rally around the standards of the Nation and defend its integrity and its constitution, with fidelity." The final paragraph being:
"I recommend you at an early day to make manifest to the gentlemen who represent this State in the two Houses of Congress, and to the country, that Michigan is loyal to the Union, the Constitution, and the laws and will defend them to the uttermost; and to proffer to the President of the United States, the whole military power of the State for that purpose. Oh, for the firm, steady hand of a Washington, or a Jackson, to guide the ship of State in this perilous storm! Let us hope that we will find him on the 4th of March. Meantime, let us abide in the faith of our
fathers--'Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and
HENRY HOWLAND CRAPO
Image of Henry H. Crapo
(149) HENRY HOWLAND CRAPO, Governor of Michigan from 1865 to 1869, was born May 24, 1804, at Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Mass., and died at Flint, Mich., July 22, 1869. He was the eldest son of Jesse and Phoebe (Howland) Crapo. His father was of French descent and was very poor, sustaining his family by the cultivation of a farm in Dartmouth township, which yielded nothing beyond a mere livelihood.
His early life was consequently one of toil and devoid of advantages for intellectual culture, but his desire for
an education seemed to know no bounds. The incessant toil for a mere subsistence upon a comparatively sterile farm, had no charm for him; and, longing for greater usefulness and better things, he looked for them in an education. His struggles to secure this
end necessitated sacrifices and hardships that would have discouraged any but the most courageous and
persevering. He became an ardent student and worker from his boyhood, though the means of carrying on his studies were exceedingly limited. He
sorely felt the need of a dictionary; and, neither having money wherewith to purchase it, nor being able to
procure one in his neighborhood, he set out to compile one for himself. In order to acquire a knowledge of
the English language, he copied into a book every word whose meaning he did not comprehend, and
upon meeting the same word again in the newspapers and books which came into his hands, from
the context, would then record the definition. Whenever unable otherwise to obtain the signification of a word in which
he had become interested he would walk from Dartmouth to New Bedford for that purpose alone, and after referring to the books at the library and satisfying himself thoroughly as to its definition, would walk back, a distance of about seven miles. the same night. This was no unusual
circumstance. Under such difficulties and in this manner, he compiled quite an extensive dictionary in manuscript which is
believed to be still in existence.
1832, at the age of 28 years, he left his native town and went to reside at New Bedford, where
he followed the occupation of land surveyor, and occasionally acted as
an auctioneer. Soon after becoming a citizen of this place, he was elected Town
Clerk, Treasurer, and Collector of taxes, which office he held until the municipal government was changed,--about fifteen years,--when, upon the inauguration of the city government,
he was elected Treasurer and Collector of taxes, a position which he held two or three years. He was also Justice
of the Peace for many years, he was elected Alderman of New Bedford; was Chairman of Council Committee on Education, and as such prepared a report upon which was based the order for the establishment of the free Public Library of New Bedford.
On its organization, Mr. Crapo was chosen a member of the Board of Trustees. This was the first free public library in Massachusetts, if not in the world. The Boston Free Library was
established, however, soon afterwards. While a resident in New Bedford,
he was much interested in horticulture, and to obtain the land necessary for carrying out
his ideas he drained and reclaimed several acres of rocky and swampy land adjoining
his garden. Here he started a nursery, which he filled with almost every description of fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs,
flowers, etc. In this he was very successful and took great pride. He was a regular
contributor to the New England Horticultural journal, a position he filled as long as
he lived in Massachusetts. As an indication of the wide reputation he acquired in that field of labor, it may be mentioned
that after his death an affecting eulogy to his memory was pronounced by the President of the National Horticultural Society at its meeting in Philadelphia,
in 1869. During his residence in New Bedford, Mr. Crapo was also engaged in the
whaling business. A fine barque built at Dartmouth, of which he was part owner, was named the "H.
H. Crapo" in compliment to him.
HENRY P. BALDWIN
Image of Henry P. Baldwin
(153) HENRY P.
BALDWIN, Governor of Michigan from Jan.
4, 1869, to Jan. 1, 1873, is a lineal descendant of Nathaniel Baldwin, a Puritan, of Buckinghamshire, England, who settled at Milford, Conn., in
1639. His father was John Baldwin, a graduate of Dartmouth College. He died at North Providence, R. I., in 1826. His paternal
grandfather was Rev. Moses Baldwin, a graduate of Princeton College, in 1757, and the first who received collegiate honors at that ancient and honored institution. He died at Parma, Mass., in 1813, where for more than 50 years he
had been pastor of the Presbyterian Church. On his mother's side Governor B. is descended from
Robert Williams, also a Puritan, who settled in Roxbury, Mass., about 1638. His mother was a daughter of Rev. Nehemiah Williams, a graduate of Harvard College, who died at Brimfield, Mass., in 1796, where for 21 years he was pastor of the Congregationalist
Church. The subject of this sketch was born at Coventry, R. I., Feb. 22,
1814. He received a New England common-school education until the age of 12 years, when, both his parents having died,
he became a clerk in a mercantile establishment. He remained there, employing his leisure hours in study until 20 years of age.
At this early period Mr. B. engaged in business on his own account. He made a visit to the West, in 1837, which resulted in his removal to Detroit in the spring of 1838. Here he established a mercantile house which has been successfully conducted until the present time. Although he successfully conducted a large business, he has ever taken a deep interest in all things affecting the prosperity of the city and State of his adoption. He was for several years Director and President of the Detroit Young Men's Society, an institution with a large library designed for the benefit of young men and citizens generally. An Episcopalian in religious belief, he has been prominent in home matters connected with that denomination. The large and flourishing parish of St. John, Detroit, originated with Governor Baldwin, who gave the lot on which the parish edifice stands, and also contributed the larger share of the cost of their erection. Governor B. was one of the foremost in the establishment of St. Luke's Hospital, and has always been a liberal contributor to moral and religious enterprises whether connected with his own Church or not. There have been, in fact, but few public and social improvements of Detroit during the past 40 years with which Governor B.'s name is not in some way connected. He was a director in the Michigan State Bank until the expiration of its charter, and has been President of the Second National Bank since its organization.
In 1860, Mr. Baldwin was elected to the State Senate, of Michigan; during the years of 1861-2 he was made Chairman of the Finance Committee, a member of Committee on Banks and Incorporation; Chairman of the Select joint Committee of the two Houses for the investigation of the Treasury Department and the official acts of the Treasurer, and of the letting of the contract for the improvement of Sault St. Marie Ship Canal. He was first elected Governor in 1868 and was re-elected in 1870, serving from 1869 to 1872, inclusive. It is no undeserved eulogy to say that Governor B's happy faculty of estimating the necessary means. to an end--the knowing of how much effort or attention to bestow upon the thing in hand has been the secret of the uniform (154) success that has attended his efforts in all relations of life. The same industry and accuracy that distinguished him prior to this term as Governor was manifest in his career as the chief magistrate of the State, and while his influence appears in all things with which he has had to do, it is more noticeable in the most prominent position to which he was called. With rare exceptions the important commendations of Governor B. received the sanction of the Legislature. During his administration marked improvements were made in the charitable, penal and reformatory institutions of the State. The State Public School for dependent children was founded and permanent commission for the supervision of the several State institutions. The initiatory steps toward building the Eastern Asylum for the Insane, the State House of Correction, and the establishment of the State Board of Health were recommended by Governor B. in his message of 1873. The new State Capitol also owes its origen to him. The appropriation for its erection was made upon his recommendation, and the contract for the entire work let under this administration. Governor B. also appointed the commissioners under whose faithful supervision the building was erected in a manner most satisfactory to the people of the State.
He advised and earnestly urged at different times such amendments of the constitution as would permit a more equitable compensation to State officers and Judges. The law of 1869, and prior also , permitting municipalities to vote aid toward the construction of railroads was, in 1870, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Many of the municipalities having in the meantime issued and sold their bonds in good faith, Governor B. felt that the honor and credit of the State were in jeopardy. His sense of justice impelled him to call an extra session of the Legislature to propose the submission to the people a constitutional amendment, authorizing the payment of such bonds as were already in the hands of bona-fide holders. In his special message he says : "The credit of no State stands higher than that Michigan, and the people can not afford, and I trust will not consent, to have her good name tarnished by the repudiation of either legal or moral obligation ." A special session was called in March, 1872, principally for the division of the State into congressional districts. A number of other important suggestions were made, however, and as an evidence of the Governor's laborious and thoughtful care for the financial condition of the State, a series of tables was prepared and submitted by him showing, in detail, estimates of receipts, expenditures and appropriations for the years 1872 to 1878, inclusive. Memorable of Governor B.'s administration were the devastating fires which swept over many portions of the Northwest in the fall of 1871. A large part of the city of Chicago having been reduced to ashes, Governor B. promptly issued a proclamation calling upon the people of Michigan for liberal aid in behalf of the afflicted city. Scarcely had this been issued when several counties in his State were laid waste by the same destroying element. A second call was made asking assistance for the suffering people of Michigan. The contributions for these objects were prompt and most liberal, more than $700,000 having been received in money and supplies for the relief of Michigan alone. So ample were these contributions during the short period of about 3 months, that the Governor issued a proclamation expressing in behalf of the people of the State grateful acknowledgment, and announcing that further aid was unnecessary.
Governor B. has traveled extensively in his own country and has also made several visits to Europe and other portions of the Old World. He was a passenger on the Steamer Arill, which was captured and bonded in the Caribbean Sea, in December, 1862, by Capt. Semmes, and wrote a full and interesting account of the transaction. The following estimate of Governor B. on his retirement from office, by a leading newspaper, is not overdrawn: "The retiring message of Governor B., will be read with interest. It is a characteristic document and possesses the lucid statement, strong and clear practical sense, which have been marked features of all preceding documents from the same source. Governor B. retired to private life after four years of unusually successful administration amid plaudits that are universal throughout the State. For many years eminent and capable men have filled the executive chair of this State, but in painstaking vigilance, in stern good sense, in genuine public spirit, in thorough integrity and in practical capacity, Henry P. Baldwin has shown himself to be the peer of any or all of them. The State has been unusually prosperous during his two terms, and the State administration has fully kept pace with the needs of the times. The retiring Governor has fully earned the public gratitude and confidence which he to-day possesses to such remarkable degree.
JOHN J. BAGLEY
Image of John J. Bagley
JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY, Governor of Michigan from 1873 to 1877, was born in Medina, Orleans Co., N.Y., July
24,1832. His father John Bagley, was a native of New Hampshire, his mother, Mary M. Bagley, of Connecticut. He attended the district school of Lockport, N. Y., until he was eight years old, at which time his father moved to Constantine, Mich., and
he attended the common schools of that village. His early experience was like that of many country boys whose parents removed from Eastern States to the newer portion of the West. His father being in very poor circumstances, Mr. B. was obliged to work as soon as
he was able to do so. Leaving school when 13 years of age he entered a country store in Constantine as clerk. His father then removed to Owosso, Mich., and he again engaged as clerk in a store. From early youth Mr. B. was extravagantly fond of reading and devoted every leisure moment to the perusal of such books, papers and periodicals as came within his reach. In 1847,
he removed to Detroit, where he secured employment in a tobacco manufactory and remained in this position for about five years.
In 1853, he began business for himself in the manufacturing of tobacco. His establishment has become one one of the largest of the kind in the West. Mr. B. has also been greatly interested in other manufacturing enterprises, as well as in mining, banking and insurance corporations. He was President of the Detroit Safe Company for several years. He was one of the organizers of the, Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Company of Detroit and was its President from 1867 to 1872. He was a director of the American National Bank for many years, and a stockholder and director in various other corporations. Mr. B. was a member of the Board of Education two years and of the Detroit Common Council the same length of time. In 1865 he was appointed by Governor Crapo one of the first commissioners of the Metropolitan police force of the city of Detroit, serving six years. In November, 1872, he was elected Governor of Michigan and two years later was re-elected to the same office, retiring in January, 1877. He was an active worker in the Republican party, and for many years was Chairman of the Republican State Central committee.
Governor Bagley was quite liberal in his religious views and was an attendant of the Unitarian Church. He aimed to be able to hear and consider any new thought from whatever source it may come, but was not bound by any religious creed or formula. He held in respect all religious opinions, believing that no one can be injured by a firm adherence to a faith or denomination. He was married at Dubuque, Iowa, Jan. 16, 1855, to Frances E. Newberry, daughter of Rev. Samuel Newberry, a pioneer missionary of Michigan, who took an active part in the early educational matters of the State and in the establishment of its excellent system of education. It was principally (158) through his exertions that the State University was founded. Mr. B.'s family consists of seven children.
As Governor his administration was characterized by several important features, chief among which were his efforts to improve and make popular the educational agencies of the State by increasing the faculty of the University for more thorough instruction in technical studies, by strengthening the hold of the Agricultural College upon the public good will and making the general change which has manifested itself in many scattered primary districts. Among others were an almost complete revolution in the management of the penal and charitable institutions of the State; the passage of the liquor-tax law, taking the place of the dead letter of prohibition; the establishing of the system of dealing with juvenile offenders through county agents, which has proved of great good in turning the young back from crime and placing the State in the attitude of a moral agent; in securing for the militia the first time in the history of Michigan a systematized organization upon a serviceable footing. It was upon the suggestion of Gov. B. in the earlier part of his administration that the law creating the State Board of Health, and also the law creating a fish commission in the inland waters of the State, were passed, both of which have proved of great benefit to the State. The successful representation of Michigan at the Centennial Exhibition is also an honorable part of the record of Gov. B.'s administration.
As Governor, he felt that he represented the State not in a narrow, egotistical way, but in the same sense that a faithful, trusted, confidential agent represents his employer, and as the Executive of the State he was her "attorney in fact." And his intelligent, thoughtful care will long continue the pride of the people he so much loved. He was ambitious for place and power, as every noble mind is ambitious, because these give opportunity. However strong the mind and powerful the will, if there be no ambition, life is a failure. He was not blind to the fact that the more we have the more is required of us. He accepted it in its fullest meaning, He had great hopes for his State and his country. He had his ideas of what they should be. With a heart as broad as humanity itself; with an intelligent, able and cultured brain, the will and the power to do, he asked his fellow citizens to give him the opportunity to labor for them. Self entered not into the calculation. His whole life was a battle for others; and he entered the conflict eagerly and hopefully.
His State papers were models of compact, business-like statements, bold, original, and brimful of practical suggestions, and his administrations will long be considered as among the ablest in this or any other State.
His noble, generous nature made his innumerable benefactions a source of continuous pleasure. Literally, to him it was "more blessed to give than to receive."
His greatest enjoyment was in witnessing the comfort and happiness of others. Not a tithe of his charities were known to his most intimate friends, or even to his family. Many a needy one has been the recipient of aid at an opportune moment, who, never knew the hand that gave.
At one time a friend had witnessed his, ready response to some charitable request, and said to him: "Governor, you give away a large sum of money; about how much does your charities amount to in a year?' He turned at once and said: " I do not know, sir; I do not allow myself to know. I hope I gave more this year than I did last, and hope I shall give more next year than I have this." This expressed his idea of charity, that the giving should at all times be free and spontaneous.
During his leasure hours from early life, and especially during the last few years, he devoted much time to becoming acquainted with the best authors. Biography was his delight; the last he read was the "Life and Work of John Adams," in ten volumes.
In all questions of business or public affairs he seemed to have the power of getting at the kernel of the nut in the least possible time. In reading he would spend scarcely more time with a volume than most persons would devote to a chapter. After what seemed a cursory glance, he would have all of value the book contained. Rarely do we see a business man so familiar with the best English authors. He was a generous and intelligent patron of the arts, and his elegant home was a study and a pleasure to his many friends, who always found there a hearty welcome, At Christmas time he would spend days doing the work of Santa Claus. Every Christmas eve he gathered his children about him and, taking the youngest on his lap, told some Christmas story, closing the entertainment with "The Night Before Christmas," or Dickens's Christmas Carol."
CHARLES M. CROSWELL
Image of Charles M. Croswell
CROSWELL, Governor of Michigan from
Jan. 3, 1877 to Jan. 1, 1881, was born at Newburg, Orange, County, N.Y.,
Oct. 31, 1825. He is the only son of John and Sallie (Hicks) Croswell. His father, who was of Scotch-Irish extraction, was a paper-maker, and carried on business in
New York City. His ancestors on his mother's side were of Knickerbocker descent. The Croswell family may be found connected with prominent events, in New York and Connecticut, in the early existence of the
Republic. Harry Croswell, during the administration of President Jefferson, published a paper called the Balance, and was prosecuted for libeling the President under the obnoxious Sedition Law. He was defended by the celebrated Alexander Hamilton, and the decision of the case
established the important ruling that the truth might be shown in cases of libel. Another Member of the family was Edwin Croswell, the famous editor of the Albany
Argus; also, Rev. William Croswell noted as a divine and poet.
When Charles M. Croswell was seven years of age, his father was accidentally drowned in the Hudson River, at Newburg; and, within three months preceding that event, his mother and only sister had died,--thus leaving him the sole surviving, member of the family, without fortune or means. Upon the death of his father he went to live with an uncle, who, in 1837, emigrated with him to Adrian, Michigan. At sixteen years of age, he commenced to learn the carpenter's trade, and worked at it very diligently for four years, maintaining himself, and devoting his spare time to reading and the acquirement of knowledge. In 1846, he began the study of law, and was appointed Deputy Clerk of Lenawee County. The duties of this office he performed four years, when he was elected Register of Deeds, and was re-elected in 1852. In 1854, he took part in the first movements for the formation of the Republican party, and was a member and Secretary of the convention held at Jackson in that year. Which put in the field the first Republican State ticket in Michigan. In 1855, he formed a law partnership with the present Chief Justice Cooley, which continued until the removal of Judge Cooley to Ann Arbor.
In 1862, Mr. Croswell was appointed City Attorney of Adrian. He was also elected Mayor of the city in the spring of the same year; and in the fall was chosen to represent Lenawee County in the State Senate. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1864, and again in 1866, during each term filling the positions above mentioned. Among various reports made by him, one adverse to the re-establishment of the death penalty, and another against a proposition to pay the salaries of State officers and Judges in coin, which then commanded a very large premium, may be mentioned. He also drafted the act ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, for the abolishment of slavery, it being the first amendment to the instrument ratified by Michigan. In 1863, from his seat in the State Senate, he delivered an elaborate speech in favor of the Proclamation (162) of Emancipation issued by President Lincoln, and of his general policy in the prosecution of the war. This, at the request of his Republican associates, was afterwards published. In 1867, he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention, and chosen its presiding officer. This convention was composed of an able body of men; and though, in the general distrust of constitutional changes which for some years had been taking possession of the people, their labors were not accepted by the popular vote, it was always conceded that the constitution they proposed had been prepared with great care and skill.
In 1868, Mr. Croswell was chosen an Elector on the Republican Presidential ticket; in 1872, was elected a Representative to the State Legislature from Lenawee County, and was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives. At the close of the session of that body his abilities as a parliamentarian, and the fairness of his rulings were freely and formally acknowledged by his associates; and he was presented with a superb collection of their portraits handsomely framed. He was, also, for several years, Secretary of the State Board for the general supervision of the charitable and penal institutions of Michigan; in which position, his propositions for the amelioration of the condition of the unfortunate, and the reformation of the criminal classes, signalize the benevolence of his nature, and the practical character of his mind.
In 1876, the general voice of the Republicans of the State indicted Mr. Croswell as their choice for Governor; and, at the State Convention of the party in August of the same year, he was put in nomination by acclamation, without the formality of a ballot. At the election in November following, he was chosen to the high position for which he had been nominated, by a very large majority over all opposing candidates. His inaugural message was received with general favor; and his career as Governor was marked with the same qualities of head and heart that have ever distinguished him, both as a citizen and statesman.
Croswell has always prepared his addresses with care; and, as his diction is terse, clear, and strong, without excess of ornament, and his delivery impressive, he is a popular speaker; and many of his speeches have attracted favorable comment in the public prints, and have a permanent value. He has always manifested a deep interest in educational matters, and was for years a member and Secretary of the Board of
Education of Adrian.
At the formal opening of the Central School building in that city, on the 24th day of April, 1869, he gave, in a public address, an "Historical Sketch of the Adrian Public Schools."
DAVID H. JEROME
Image of David H. Jerome
JEROME, Governor of from Jan. 1, 1881, to
Jan. 1, 1883, was born at Detroit, Mich., Nov. 17, 1829. His parents emigrated to Michigan from Trumansburg, Tompkins Co., N. Y., in 1828, locating at Detroit. His father died March 30, 1831 leaving nine children. He
had been twice married, and four of the children living at the time of his death were grown up sons, the offspring of his first union. Of the five children by his second marriage, David H. was the youngest. Shortly
after Mr. Jerome's death, his widow moved back to New York and settled in Onondaga County near Syracuse, where they remained until the fall of 1834, the four
sons by the first wife continuing their residence in Michigan. In the fall of 1834, Mrs. Jerome came once more to Michigan, locating on a farm in St. Clair County. Here the Governor formed those habits of industry and sterling integrity that have been so characteristic of the
man in the active duties of life. He was sent to the district school, and in the acquisition of the fundamental branches of learning he displayed a precocity
and an application which won for him the admiration of his teachers, and always placed him at the head
of his classes. In the meantime he did chores on the farm, and was always ready with a cheerful heart
and willing hand to assist his widowed mother. The heavy labor of the farm was
carried on by his two older brothers, Timothy and George, and when 13 years of age David received his mother's permission to
attend school at the St. Clair Academy. While attending there he lived with Marcus H. Miles, now deceased doing chores for his board, and the following
winter performed the same service for James Ogden, also deceased. The next summer Mrs. Jerome moved into the village of St. Clair, for the purpose of continuing her son in school. While attending said academy one of his associate students was Senator Thomas W. Palmer, of Detroit, a rival candidate
before the gubernatorial convention in 1880. He completed his education in the fall of his 16th year, and the following winter assisted his brother Timothy
in hauling logs in the pine woods. The next summer he rafted logs down the St. Clair River to Algonac.
In 1847, M. H. Miles being Clerk in St. Clair County, and Volney A. Ripley Register of Deeds, David H. Jerome was appointed Deputy to each, remaining as such during 1848-49, and receiving much praise from his employers and the people in general for the ability displayed in the discharge of his duties. He spent his summer vacation at clerical work on board the lake vessels.
In 1849-50 he abandoned office work, and for the proper development of his physical system spent several months hauling logs. In the spring of 1850, his brother "Tiff " and himself chartered the steamer "Chautauqua, and "Young Dave" became her master. A portion, of the season the boat was engaged in the passenger and freight traffic between Port Huron and Detroit, but during the latter part was used as a tow boat. At that time there was a serious obstruction to navigation, known as the "St. Clair Flats," between Lakes Huron and Erie, (166) over which vessels could carry only about 10,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Jerome conceived the idea of towing vessels from one lake to the other, and put his plan into operation. Through the influence of practical men,--among them the subject of this sketch,-- Congress removed the obstruction above referred to, and now vessels can pass them laden with 60,000 or 80,000 bushels of grain.
During the season, the two brothers succeeded in making a neat little sum of money by the summer's work, but subsequently lost it all on a contract to raise the "Gen. Scott," a vessel that had sunk in Lake St. Clair. David H. came out free from debt, but possessed of hardly a dollar of capital. In the Spring of 1851, he was clerk and acting master of the steamers "Franklin Moore" and "Ruby," plying between Detroit and Port Huron and Goderich. The following year be was clerk of the propeller "Princeton," running between Detroit and Buffalo
In January, 1853, Mr. Jerome went to California, by way of the Isthmus, and enjoyed extraordinary success in selling goods in a new place of his selection, among the mountains near Marysville. He remained there during the summer, and located the Live Yankee Tunnel Mine, which has since yielded millions to its owners, and is still a paying investment. He planned and put a tunnel 600 feet into the mine, but when the water supply began to fail with the dry season, sold out his interest. He left in the fall of 1853, and in December sailed from San Francisco for New York, arriving at his home in St. Clair County, about a year after his departure. During his absence his brother "Tiff" had located at Saginaw, and in 1854 Mr. Jerome joined him in his lumber operations in the valley. In 1855 the brothers bought Blackmer & Eaton's hardware and general supply stores, at Saginaw, and David H. assumed the management of the business. From 1855 to 1873 he was also extensively engaged in lumbering operations.
Soon after locating at Saginaw he was nominated for Alderman against Stewart B. Williams, a rising young man of strong Democratic principles. The ward was largely Democratic, but Mr. Jerome was elected by a handsome majority. When the Republican party was born at Jackson, Mich., David H. Jerome was, though not a delegate to the convention, one of its "charter members." In 1862, he Was commissioned by Gov. Austin Blair to raise one of the six regiments apportioned to the State of Michigan. Mr. Jerome immediately went to work and held meetings at various points, The zeal and enthusiasm displayed by this advocate of the Union awakened the feeling of patriotic interest in the breasts of many brave men, and in a short space of time the 23d Regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry was placed in the field, and subsequently gained for itself a brilliant record.
In In the fall of 1862, Mr. Jerome was nominated by the Republican party for State Senator from the 26th district, Appleton Stevens, of Bay City, being his opponent. The contest was very exciting, and resulted in the triumphant election of Mr. Jerome. He was twice re-nominated and elected both times by increased majorities, defeating George Lord, of Bay City and Dr. Cheseman, of Gratiot County. On taking his seat in the Senate, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee on State Affairs, and was active in raising means and troops to carry on the war. He held the same position during his three terms of service, and introduced the bill creating The Soldiers' Home at Harper Hospital, Detroit.
He was selected by Gov. Crapo as a military aid, and in 1865 was appointed a member of the State Military Board, and served as its President for eight consecutive years. In 1873, he was appointed by Gov. Bagley a member of the convention to prepare a new State Constitution, and was Chairman of the Committee on Finance.
In 1875, Mr. Jerome was appointed a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners. In 1876 he was Chairman of a commission to visit Chief Joseph, the Nez Perce Indian, to arrange an amicable settlement of all existing difficulties. The commission went to Portland, Oregon, thence to the Blue Hills in Idaho, a distance of 600 miles up the Columbia River.
At the Republican State Convention, convened at Jackson in August, 1880, Mr. Jerome was placed in the field for nomination, and on the 5th day of the month received the highest honor the convention could confer on any one. His opponent was Frederick M. Holloway of Hillsdale County, who was supported by the Democratic and Greenback parties. The State was thoroughly canvassed by both parties, and when the polls were closed on the evening of election day, it was found that David H. Jerome had been selected by the voters of the Wolverine State to occupy the highest position within the gift.
JOSIAH W. BEGOLE
Image of Josiah W. Begole
JOSIAH W. BEGOLE, the
present (1883), Governor of Michigan was born in Livingston, County, N.
Y. Jan. 20, 1815. His ancestors were of French descent, and settled at
an early period in the State of Maryland. His grandfather, Capt. Bolles, of that State, was an officer in the American army during
the war of the Revolution. About the beginning of the present century
both his grandparents, having become dissatisfied with the institution of slavery, although slave
holders themselves, emigrated to Livingston County, N. Y., then a new country
taking with them a number of their former slaves, who volunteered to accompany them. His father was an officer in the American army, and served during the war of 1812.
Mr. B. received his early education in a log school house, and subsequently attended the Temple Hill Academy, at Geneseo, N. Y. Being the eldest of family of ten children, whose parents were in moderate though comfortable circumstances, he was early taught habits of industry, and when 21 years of age being ambitious to better his condition in life, he resolved to seek his fortune in the far West, as it was then called. In August, 1836, he left the parental roof to seek a home in the Territory of Michigan, then an almost unbroken wilderness. He settled in Genesee County, and aided with his own hands in building some of the early residences in what is now known as the city of Flint. There were but four or five houses where this flourishing city now stands when he selected it as his home.
In the spring of 1839 he married Miss Harriet A. Miles. The marriage proved a most fortunate one, and to the a faithful wife of his youth, who lives to enjoy joy with him the comforts of an honestly earned competence Mr. Begole ascribes largely his success In life. Immediately after his marriage he commenced work on an unimproved farm, where, by his perseverance and energy, he soon established a good home, and at the end of eighteen years was the owner of a well improved farm of five hundred acres.
Mr. Begole being an anti-slavery man, became a member of the Republican party at its organization.
He served his townsmen in various offices, and was, in 1856, elected County Treasurer, which office
he held for eight years.
RUSSELL A. ALGER
Image of Russell A. Alger
RUSSELL A. ALGER, Governor
of Michigan for the term commencing Jan. 1, 1885, was born in Lafayette Township,
Medina Co., Ohio, Feb. 27, 1836. Having lived a temperate life, he is a comparative
young man in appearance, and possesses those mental faculties that are the distinguishing characteristics of
robust, mature and educated manhood. When 11 years of age both his parents
died, leaving him with a younger brother and sister to support and without any of the
substantial means of existence. Lacking the opportunity of better employment, he worked on a farm in Richfield, Ohio, for the greater part of each of the succeeding
seven years, saving money enough to defray his expenses at Richfield Academy during the winter
terms. He obtained a very good English education, and was enabled to teach school for several subsequent winters. In 1857 he commenced the study of
law in the offices of Wolcott & Upson at Akron, remaining until March, 1859, when
he was admitted to the bar by the Ohio Supreme Court. He then removed to Cleveland, and entered the law office of
Otis & Coffinbury, where he remained several months. Here he continued his studies with increased zeal, and did much general reading. Hard
study and close confinement to office work, however, began to tell on his constitution, and failing health
warned hint that he must seek other occupation. He therefore reluctantly abandoned the law and removed to Grand Rapids, Mich., to engage in the lumber business.
When Michigan, was called upon to furnish troops for the war, Mr. Alger enlisted in the Second Mich. Cav. and was mustered into the service of the United States as Captain of Co. C. His record as cavalry officer was brilliant and honorable to himself and his company. He participated in some of the fiercest contests of the rebellion and was twice wounded. His first injury was received in the battle of Booneville, Miss., July 2, 1862. His conduct in this engagement was so distinguished that he was promoted to the rank of its Major. On the same occasion his Colonel, the gallant Phil. Sheridan, was advanced to the rank of Brigadier General. A few months later, on the 16th of October, Major Alger became Lieutenant Colonel of the Sixth Mich. Cav., and was ordered with his regiment to the Army of the Potomac. After marked service in the early campaign of 1863, he was again advanced, and on June 2 received his commission as Colonel of the Fifth Mich. Cav. His regiment at this time was in Custer's famous Michigan cavalry brigade. On the 6th of July occurred the battle of Boonesboro, Md. In this conflict he was again wounded. His health received a more than temporary impairment, and in October, 1864, he was obliged to retire from the service. His career as a soldier included many of the most celebrated contests of the war. He was an active character in all the battles fought by the Army of the (174) Potomac, from the time of the invasion of Maryland by Gen. Lee in 1863, up to the date of his retirement, with the exception of those events which occurred while he was absent from duty on account of wounds. In all he took part in 66 battles and skirmishes. At the close he was breveted Brigadier General and Major General for "gallant and meritorious services in the field."
Aside from regular duty, Gen. Alger was on private service during the winter of 1863-4, receiving orders personally from President Lincoln and visiting nearly all the armies in the field.
Gen. Alger came to Detroit in 1865, and since that time has been extensively engaged in the pine timber business and in dealing in pine lands. He was a member of the well-known firm of Moore & Alger until its dissolution, when he became head of the firm of R. A. Alger & Co., the most extensive pine timber operators in the West. Gen. Alger is now president of the corporation of Alger, Smith & Co., which succeeded R. A. Alger & Co. He is also president of the Manistique Lumbering Company and president of the Detroit, Bay City & Alpena Railroad Company, besides being a stockholder and director of the Detroit National Bank, the Peninsular Car Company and several other corporations.
While always an active and influential Republican, Gen. Alger has never sought nor held a salaried office. He was a delegate from the First District to the last Republican National Convention, but aside from this his connection with politics has not extended beyond the duties of citizen to his party and his country.
Gen. Alger is now forty-nine years of age, an active, handsome gentleman six feet tall, living the life of a busy man of affairs. His military bearing at once indicates his army life and although slenderly built, his square shoulders and erect carriage give the casual observer the impression that his weight is fully 180 pounds. He is a firm yet a most decidedly pleasant-appearing man, with a fine forehead, rather a prominent nose, an iron-gray moustache and chin whiskers and a full head of black hair sprinkled with gray. He is usually attired in the prevailing style of business suits. His favorite dress has been a high buttoned cutaway frock coat, with the predominating cut of vest and trousers, made of firm gray suiting. A high collar, small cravat, easy shoes and white plug hat complete his personal apparel. He is very particular as to his appearance, and always wears neat clothes of the best goods, but shuns any display of jewelry or extravagant embellishment. He is one of the most approachable men imaginable. No matter how busy he may be, he always leaves his desk to extend a cordial welcome to every visitor, be he of high or low situation. His affable manners delight his guests, while his pleasing face and bright, dark eyes always animate his hearers.
Gen. Alger is a hard worker. He is always at his office promptly in the morning and stays as long as anything remains that demands his attention. In business matters he is always decided, and is never shaken or disturbed by any reverses. He has the confidence of his associates to a high degree, and all his business relations are tempered with those little kindnesses that relieve the tedium of routine office life. Although deeply engrossed in various business pursuits, Gen. Alger has yet found time for general culture. He owns a large library and his stock of general information is as complete as it is reliable. His collection of paintings has been selected with rare good taste, and contains some of the finest productions of modern artists. His team of bays are perhaps the handsomest that grace the roads of Detroit, and usually lead the other outfits when their owner holds the reins.
Gen. Alger has an interesting family. His wife was Annette H. Henry, the daughter of W. G. Henry, of Grand Rapids, to whom he was married April 2, 1861. She is a slender woman of fair complexion, bright and attractive, and a charming hostess. She is gifted with many accomplishments and appears quite young. There are six children. Fay, a lively brunette, and Caroline A., who is rather tall and resembles her mother, have completed a course at an Eastern seminary, and during the past year traveled in Europe. The remaining members of the family are Frances, aged 13; Russell A., Jr., aged 11; Fred, aged 9, and Allan, aged 3. All are bright and promising children. Gen. Alger makes his home at his handsome and large new residence on Fort street, at the, corner of First street, Detroit.
CYRUS GRAY LUCE
Image of Cyrus Gray Luce
CYRUS GRAY LUCE, the present Governor of Michigan, combines in his character the substantial traits of the New England ancestry of his father, and the chivalrous and hospitable elements peculiar to the Southerners, which came to him from his mother's side of the house. The New Englanders, active in the cause of American liberty, after this desired result was accomplished, turned their attention to the growth and development of the country which their noble daring had constituted independent of foreign rule. The privations they endured and the struggles from which they had achieved victory built
up in them those qualities which in the very nature of events could not be otherwise than transmitted to their posterity, and this posterity comprises a large number of the men who to-day, like the subject
of this history, are making a record of which their descendants will be equally proud.
Gov. Luce was born in Windsor, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, July 2, 1824. His father was a native of Tolland, Conn., served as a soldier in the War of 1812 and soon after its close emigrated from New England and settled on the Western Reserve in Northern Ohio. His mother, who in her girlhood was Miss Mary Gray, was born in Winchester, Va. Her father, tinctured with Abolitionism, found his home in the Old Dominion becoming uncomfortable as an abiding-place at that time, and accordingly, with his wife and family of young children, he also migrated, in 1815, to the wilds of Northern Ohio. There the parents of our subject, in 1819, were united in marriage, and continued residents of Ashtabula County until 1836. There also were born to them six sons, Cyrus G. of this sketch being the second.
The incidents in the early life of Gov. Luce were not materially different from those of other boys living on the farms in that new country. He was taught to work at anything necessary for him to do and to make himself useful around the pioneer homestead. When twelve years of age his parents removed further West, this time locating in Steuben County, Ind. This section of country was still newer and more thinly settled, and without recounting the particular hardships and privations which the family experienced, it is sufficient to say that but few enjoyed or suffered a greater variety. Markets were distant and difficult of access, the comforts of life scarce, and sickness universal. Young Luce, in common with other boys, attended school winters in the stereotyped log school-house, and in summer assisted in clearing away the forests, fencing the fields and raising crops after the land was improved. He attended three terms an academy located at Ontario, Ind., and his habit of reading and observation added essentially to his limited school privileges.
When seventeen years of age the father of our subject erected a cloth-dressing and wool-carding
establishment, where Cyrus G. acquired a full knowledge of this business and subsequently had
charge of the factory for a period of seven years. In the meantime he had become interested in local
politics, in which he displayed rare judgment and sound common sense, and on account of which, in
1848, he was nominated by the Whigs in a district composed of the counties of DeKalb and Steuben
for Representative in the State Legislature. He made a vigorous canvass but was defeated by eleven
majority. This incident was but a transient bubble on the stream of his life, and that same year
Mr. Luce purchased eighty acres of wild land near Gilead, Branch Co., Mich., the improvement of
which he at once entered upon, clearing away the trees and otherwise making arrangements for the establishment of a homestead. In August,
1849, he was united in marriage with Miss Julia A. Dickinson, of Gilead, and the young people immediately commenced housekeeping in a modest dwelling
on the new farm. Here they resided until the death of the wife, which took place in August,
1882. Mrs. Luce was the daughter of Obed and Experience Dickinson, well-to-do and highly respected residents of Gilead. Of her union with our subject there were born five children, one now deceased.
EDWIN B. WINANS
Image of Edwin B. Winans
HON. EDWIN B. WINANS who began his duties as
Governor of Michigan, January 1, 1891, is a son of the Empire State, of
which his parents also were natives. From German ancestry on the father's side, he derives the
instincts of frugality and careful consideration of ways and means, and these are strengthened by the
substantial traits of the Puritan forefathers of his mother. Both lines
have transmitted to him the love of country and home that has led thousands into untrodden wilds where they might secure that which world be for the future good of
themselves and posterity.
John and Eliza (Way) Winans removed from New York to this State in 1834, and settled on a farm in Livingston County, where the boyhood of Gov. Winans was passed. He was about eight years old at the time of the removal, having been born at Avon, Livingston County, N. Y., May 16, 1826. Up to the age of eighteen years he attended the district school, and he then entered Albion College, from which he was graduated in 1850. The excitement attendant upon the discovery of gold in California had not died out and young Winans felt a strong desire to visit the coast and try his fortune in the mines. He decided in favor of the overland route, crossed the plains in safety, and spent the ensuing eight years in seeking the precious metal--a quest that was fairly successful.
Returning to Livingston County, this State, Mr. Winans bought land and engaged in general farming. He has retained the farm as his home through all the changes various official positions have brought him, and joyfully returned to it whenever his, faithful discharge of public duty would allow. His estate now includes four hundred acres of land under a high state of cultivation and improved with buildings of the best construction and modern design. In connection with general farming Gov. Winans has given considerable attention to raising stock of high grades, and his understanding of agriculture in its various departments is broad and deep. He believes that his success in political life is largely due to his thorough identification with the agricultural interests of the State and no doubt he is right.
The public career of Gov. Winans began in 1860, when he was elected to represent his county in the State Legislature. He served two consecutive terms, covering the period from 1860 to 1865. In 1867 he was a member of the Constitutional (182) Convention of the State, and in 1876 he was elected Probate Judge of Livingston County for a term of four years. The next important position occupied by Gov. Winans was that of Congressman during the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses, representing the Sixth District. It was always his lot to be nominated for office when the Democratic party was decidedly in the minority, but such were his personal characteristics and his reputation as one interested in the welfare of that great class the farmers, that in every case he made a successful race. When he was put up for Congress the opposition had a majority in the district of three thousand votes, but he was elected by a plurality of thirty. While in Congress he took an active part in all measures tending to the public good and served on the Committees on Agriculture and Pensions. In the fall of 1891 his name headed the Democratic ticket and he was elected Governor of the State.
In his private life Gov. Winans has been as exemplary as in his public career he has been useful and influential. He is a consistent member of the Episcopal Church and in his religious faith and practice has the close sympathy of his wife, who belongs to the same society. His marriage was solemnized in Hamburg, Livingston County, in 1855, his bride being Miss Elizabeth Galloway, who was born and reared on the farm she still calls home, as it was bought of her fattier by Gov. Winans. She is a daughter of George and Susan (Haight) Galloway, who are numbered among the early settlers of Livingston County, whither they came from New York. She is an educated, refined woman, whose mental attainments and social qualities fit her for the position which she occupies as hostess of the Gubernatorial mansion. Governor and Mrs. Winans have two sons, George G., who is now acting as his father's private secretary, and Edwin B., Jr., a graduate of West Point.
Gov. Winans has in former years shown himself capable of close application to the duties which lay before him, and his judicious decisions and wise course when attempting to bring about a worthy object, are well known to those who are acquainted with the history of the State. Although it is often said that it is scarcely safe to judge of a man until his career is closed, yet Gov. Winans has acted his part so well thus far in life that he is confidently expected to add to the credit that already belongs to the great commonwealth of Michigan, and which to a certain extent lies in the hands of those who have been and are its chief executives. Among his personal characteristics are those of a love of truth, justice and progress, and a cordial, kindly spirit which makes warm friends and stanch adherents.
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