Saginaw County Michigan

Bridgeport Township

This township was organized in 1848, under authority given by the Board of Supervisors. It forms a full township, with Buena Vista on the north, Taymouth on the south, Frankenmuth on the east, and Spalding on the west. The Cass river enters the town in section 25, and, flowing northwest through Bridgeport village, enters Spalding township in section 18. The Flint & Pere Marquette R. R. runs through the township. Fish Creek and a few other minor streams course through its sections. The land is capable of a high cultivation, and nothing but enterprise is necessary to raise the district equal to any other section of the county.

The first actual settler in the township was A. Campeau; John Biddle was the first purchaser of land; William Ellis and Matilda Lesia were the first parties married. Henry Campeau was the first child born; the first death was that of Anri Campeau's father and mother, who were carried off by the same disease which decimated the Indian population in 1837.

Eleazer Miller may be considered the first American pioneer of the township. Messrs. Ellis, Kenny, Welding, Garland, Cook, Sidney Campbell and Beach arrived shortly after and occupied their homesteads.

Mr. Campeau built the first log house ever erected in the township; the second was built by Sidney Campbell in 1836.

The first church was built by the Congregationalists on section 16. Prof. Estabrook was the first visiting pastor. Subsequently the Union church was raised, and dedicated about the same time that the Congregationalists began worship in their new building.


The first industrial concern erected in the township was a steam saw-mill, built in 1849 by Thompson & Green, on section 16. In 1856 C. A. Lull erected an extensive saw-mill on Cass river, near that of Thompson & Green.

A shingle mill, built by Heidley on section 16, was used until converted into a blacksmith's shop by C. A. Lull. Subsequently Heidley erected another mill, which, after a few years, he sold to a Mr. Robinson, who in turn disposed of his interest to Christian Messner.

D. A. Pettibone & Co. erected a shingle mill and bored a salt well in 1862, but four years later the works were destroyed by fire.

C. A. Lull's salt well was bored in 1863 to a depth of 660 feet, at an expense of $2,000. The work was conducted by Leonard Blake. Together with those mills there were three shingle factories, all of which have been destroyed by fire or permitted to decay.


The only manufacturing establishment now in the township is a gristmill, built by John and Martin Messner in 1878. It occupies the site of the old Heidley mill. This building is 30x40 feet, 20 feet high, engine room 20x40 feet, and, with machinery, cost $5,000. There are two run of stone, one for flour and one for feed. 3,000 barrels of flour are manufactured annually, and 50 bushels of feed ground per day. The engine need is a 32-horse power. Two salt wells are open, permitting thousands of barrels of rich brine to go to waste. The ruins of old mills and salt works may be seen along the river, all telling of what Bridgeport could have been, and suggestive of what it may be in the near future when enterprise will develop its resources.

The first murders committed in the township were those by the Indians previous to 1837. The first murder of a white man was that of Deputy Sheriff Dineen, by Wm. B. Clark, in April, 1881. This murderer was also known as "Walter E. Clark" and by other false names, but his true name is probably Chisolm. He was convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to the State's prison at Jackson for a term of 15 years. When asked what he had to say why the sentence of the court should not be pronounced, he protested that he was innocent of the charge made against him. He received the sentence with few signs of emotion. He is 57 years of age, so that the sentence is probably as good as a life sentence, and will meet with general approval of those acquainted with the baseness of Clark's character. It also saves the county the expense of trying him for murder. If his residence at Jackson agrees with him, so that he may outlive the term of imprisonment for horse-stealing, he will be tried for the murder of Dineen, and doubtless returned to the prison for the remainder of his life.

There have been two or three cases of suicide in the township, the perpetrators seeking a mud-hole and a rope wherewith to end their existence in this world.


The following sketch was prepared by Mr. Pattee. It deals fully with the church history of Bridgeport:
The first church in Bridgeport township was organized in 1844, by Rev. Bracket, a Wesleyan Methodist. J. B. Garland was leader, and the members were J. B. Garland and wife, Daniel Ellis and wife, Mrs. Eleazer Miller, Peter Leasia, Alonzo Crosby and wife, and several others. Mr. Payne was a local minister, who worked about three years at this point at clearing land for the settlers and other labor incident to a new country, and would preach on Sundays.

He is said to have been a faithful pastor. He subsequently attended the Wesleyan Theological Seminary, at Albion, where he was ordained. About 1850 he married Mary Abrams, of Mt. Morris, Genesee Co., Mich. He went to Lower Saginaw in 1852, and a few years later died at Mt. Morris, where he was buried. His successor (in 1847) was Rev. Isaac Andrews, a good man and faithful worker. Elder Jason Steele came here in 1850, and stayed until 1852 or '53. He subsequently went to California, where he deserted his chosen profession to fight for infidelity. About this time (1852 or '53) there was a frame school-house erected at Bridgeport village, and the services were then held in that building.

After Mr. Steele left, the work was supplied by different preachers, Elder I. Andrews and others, till 1857, when Rev. Curtis Mosher came to East Saginaw, and extended his labors to Bridgeport village. He was a successful revivalist, and did a good work at all points where he labored. Many were converted in Bridgeport, and a Methodist Episcopal class was organized from the new converts, including the greater portion of the old Wesleyan class. Elder Mosher worked faithfully till 1860, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Brown, and the latter by Rev. H. O. Parker. Elder Gordon, the next preacher, is said to have been a good worker, and there were many additions to the Church under his zealous and well directed labors. In 1865 Rev. Crane located at Saginaw City, and also preached in Bridgeport township. The latter was divided in two classes, one being at the village, presided over by D. F. Foster, and the other in the south part of the township, with J. B. Garland as leader. Elder Crane and Mr. Foster did not agree about sundry matters, and finally carried the quarrel among the members, breaking up the class. The following year the conference did not send any minister to carry on the work.

About this time Rev. B. W. Zinney, a local preacher, and a mason by trade, was working for C. A. Lull, the owner of the Bridgeport Center House. He saw a good chance to start a class and immediately went to work, forming a Methodist Protestant class of 18 members. Rev. Sullivan Clark was President of the Michigan Conference; B. W. Zinney, Superintendent of the Saginaw mission; Rev. A. Bradshaw, local minister, and Charles D. Pattee, class-leader. Many of the M. E. members joined the class, but a portion held aloof. Mr. Zinney was an illiterate man, but an earnest, zealous worker. Mr. Bradshaw had formerly been an able preacher in Canada, but had located in Bridgeport township in his old age.

In the fall of 1867 Rev. John T. Husted was sent as superintendent. He was a young man of very good ability, and had just been married. Before he came, the building of a church had begun to be agitated. Mr. D. F. Foster proposed to organize an M. E. class, and negotiate with the Methodist Protestants about the erection of a church building. After several meetings Mr. Foster presented the plan he intended to adopt, which proposed that the Methodist Protestants should furnish half the means for building, and should have the use of the house for preaching one appointment each Sunday, and to use it such evenings as the M. E. class might designate, the church to be the latter's property. The Methodist Protestants of course rejected this proposition, and the conference ended. Mr. Foster then said he would build a church himself; so he paid a visit to Elder Richards (who had succeeded Rev. Crane, at Saginaw City), to consult him in the matter. He could not get the assistance from the M. E. Church that he desired, but Elder Richards advised him to see the members of the Congregational Church. He did so, and raised four or five hundred dollars, the present Congregational church being the final result of his labors.

Elder A. C. Fuller succeeded Mr. Husted in the fall of 1866, and organized a class at Zilwaukee, and another at Carrollton. This same year, the "People's church" was built, with material aid from another organization. The latter denomination were to use it when they wanted to, but any other denomination could have the use of it, provided their appointments would not conflict with any already made.

In 1869 Elder T. H. Beamish was pastor, and in 1870 he was sent again, with a young man named James Wilson as assistant. The same year the classes at Zilwaukee and Carrollton united with the M. E. Church, under the management of Rev. James Riley. Elder Beamish organized a class at Cass river bridge, called the South Bridgeport class. In the fall of 1871 Rev. W. H. Bakewell was sent to minister to the people. He was an Englishman, a graduate of Oxford University, and rather eccentric in his ways. He had considerable trouble in his family, his wife showing marked signs of insanity, which latter seemed to affect the minister's mind. His work did not prosper,—the Bridgeport class had been reduced, by removals, to half a dozen members, and the South Bridgeport class was so weak it was concluded not to have any minister the following year.

In 1873 Rev. James Riley came to Bridgeport Center, and preached in the People's church, in the hope of organizing a class. He did not succeed, but turned his attention to South Bridgeport, where his labors met with great reward. A class was organized, and a local preacher from Tuscola ministered to their spiritual wants once in two weeks. The Methodists at Bridgeport village attended the Congregational Church until 1878. During this year the latter denomination were without a minister, so they engaged Rev. E. E. Caster, M. E. minister at East Saginaw, to preach for them each alternate Sabbath, at two o'clock p. m. The Congregationalists had decided to have no preacher the following year, and when Elder Caster reported this to the M. E. Conference, that body sent Rev. Edwin Foster on to look after the flock at Bridgeport village. He found a discouraging state of affairs, no class, no members to receive him, no foothold of any kind. Nothing daunted, he went out and bought a house and lot, giving his horse for the first payment. Within a year be had a large class, and his salary of $500 had been promptly paid. He was sent again in 1879-'80, and was followed by Rev. William Chaple, the present pastor, who is a native of Cornwall, England, but an enthusiastic admirer of his adopted country, and a promising young man. He is thoroughly in earnest, and his prospects are bright with promises of future usefulness.


The township was organized in 1848, but the record of the first meeting is not now obtainable, nor indeed are the records of township elections down to 1868 forthcoming. Since that period the township books have been well kept, and from them the following list of the principal township officials is made out:


Dennis Bow 1868
Lyman Jackson 1869
Dennis Bow 1870-71
Elias W. Morey 1872
Darwin A. Pettibone 1873-80
Chauncey Wisner 1881


George J. Hill 1868-69
Walter A. Griffin 1870-72
T. S. Eddington 1873
Seymour Hill 1874-75
Adelbert Wolcott 1876-81


George Miner 1868
Leverett Hodgman 1869-71
Jehiel Jackson 1872-73
Walter A. Griffin 1874-75
Leverett Hodgman 1876
Walter A. Griffin 1877-78
Seymour Hill 1879-80
August Bachman 1881


Leander L. Hill 1868-71
William H. P. Benjamin to fill vacancy 1868
John Liedlein 1869-81
Elias W. Morey to fill vacancy 1870
Leonard Blakley 1871-82
Hatten W. Beach 1872-75
William L. Cook 1873-76
Petter Leasia 1874-84
Henry Schultz 1876-83
Christopher Spangler to fill vacancy 1877
John Leidlein to fill vacancy 1879
Henry Schultz 1881

The village of Bridgeport, formerly known as the "Bend of the Cass," is beautifully situated. In 1868 the population of this little hamlet was 500; today it is only 239. The population of the township apart from the village is 1,405.


In the following pages the names of the patentees of the township lands are given, with location and bate of entry:

Surname Given Section Purchase Date
ADAMS James W. 31 1854 Oct. 18
AYRAULT Allen 22 1836 Feb. 23
AYRAULT Allan 15 1836 Feb. 23
AYRAULT Allen 20 1836 Feb. 23
AYRAULT Allen 21 1836 Feb. 23
BEACH Noah 25 1835 Nov. 17
BEERS Josiah 19 1836 March 21
BEERS Josiah 36 1836 March 21
BEERS Stephen 36 1836 March 21
BEERS S. D. 20 1836 March 21
BEERS Josiah 21 1836 March 21
BERRY James S. 34 1855 May 18
BIBBLE J. 26 1826 Jan. 11
BIDDLE John 22 1823 May
BIDDLE John 23 1823 May 19
BIRCHHEAD Hugh 28 1836 July 13
BIRCHHEAD Hugh 27 1836 July 13
BROWN Edward 5 1836 March 24
BURCHHART H. 24 1836 June 3
BURTIS O. Tile 31 1854 Dec. 9
CAMPBELL S. S. 25 1835 Dec. 8
CAMPEAU J. 25 1824 March 26 year added
CAMPEAU Henry 22 1834 Oct. 3
CARROLL Charles H. 6 1835 June 15
CARROLL Charles H. 5 1836 June 22
CARROLL Charles H. 7 1835 June 15
CARROLL William T. 5 1836 June 22
CARROLL C. H. 18 1835 June 13
CARRROLL W. T. 4 1836 Aug. 25
CARY Trumbull 15 1835 Oct. 21
CLAPP Benjamin 24 1835 Oct. 24
CLAPP Benjamin 23 1835 Oct. 24
CLAPP Benjamin 15 1835 Oct. 24
CLIFFORD John 18 1836 Feb. 19
COLBORN Elias 36 1836 Nov. 14
COLE Joseph 34 1851 July 31
COLLOM Elias 19 1836 Nov. 15
CUMMINGS M. M. 1 1837 Jan. 31
EDMUNDS J. W. 3 1836 Nov. 10
EDMUNDS J. W. 1 1836 Nov. 10
EDMUNDS J. M. 30 1854 April 8
ELLIS William 30 1853 Nov. 14
FARLEY J. 26 1826 Jan. 11
FISHER Johan M. 31 1854 Dec. 21
FITZHUGH D. H. 6 1835 June 15
FOSTER N. 21 1836 March 11
GARDNER Perry G. 19 1836 Feb. 22
GARDNER Perry G. 18 1836 Feb. 22
HADSELL Asa B. 35 1837 Feb. 20
HENICH S. H. 12 1835 July 11
HERRICK S. H. 26 1835 July 13
HESS Moses B. 30 1854 Oct. 18
HESSICK Edwin 9 1835 July7 11
HOTCHKISS Calvin 15 1836 Jan. 4
HOTCHKISS Calvin 14 1836 Jan. 4
HOTCHKISS Calvin 23 1836 Jan. 4
HOTCHKISS L. B. 24 1836 Jan. 4
HOTCHKISS H. G. 24 1836 Jan. 4
HURD Russel G. 26 1836 April 6
JEROME James H. 18 1836 Sept. 15
JONES John D. 15 1836 June 27
LAKE Warner Jr. 14 1836 June 4
LAKE Warner Jr. 13 1836 June 4
LANGDON Ananias 34 1851 July 31
LEE Gideon 1 1837 Feb. 23
LEE Gideon 4 1837 Feb. 23
LEE Gideon 15 1837 Feb. 23
LEE Gideon 12 1837 Feb. 23
LEE Gideon 12 1837 Feb. 23
LESIA Peter 35 1851 Nov. 11
LESIA Peter 34 1853 Dec. 16
LESIA Peter 30 1853 Nov. 17
LITTLE Norman 29 1836 Aug. 25
LITTLE Norman 28 1836 Aug. 25
LITTLE Norman 32 1836 Aug. 25
LITTLE Norman 27 1836 Aug. 25
LITTLE Norman 21 1836 Feb. 23
LITTLE Norman 20 1836 Feb. 23
LITTLE Norman 15 1836 Feb. 23
LITTLE Norman 22 1836 Feb. 23
LITTLE Norman 33 1836 Aug. 25
LYTLE Charles 31 1853 Dec. 16
MALONE Thomas 13 1836 Oct. 12
MASON Eleazer 15 1835 July 21
MASON Eleazer 22 1835 July 21
MILLER Eleazer 21 1835 Sept. 1
MILLER Albert 20 1836 Aug. 25
MILLER Eleazer 22 1835 Sept. 1
MILLINGTON Abel 21 1835 Oct. 21
MILLS Isaac Jr. 29 1836 July 2
MILLS Isaac 10 1836 July 15
MILLS Isaac Jr. 4 1836 July 2
NEWBOLD T. H. 17 1835 June 13
O'HIGGURSON G. M. 31 1853 Dec. 17
PAGE R. I. S. 12 1837 Feb. 10
PATTERSON John 30 1836 July 2
PETERS Abel S. 8 1835 July 11
PETERS Abel W. 26 1835 July 13
PHILLIPS Nathan 19 1836 Nov. 15
PHILLIPS Nathan 36 1836 Nov. 14
PROUT William 4 1836 Aug. 25
RANDELL Jared H. 25 1836 May 21
RANDELL Jared H. 24 1836 May 31
RANDELL Jared H. 26 1836 May 31
RUDD John 10 1836 Sept. 21
SAWYER T. P. 10 1836 Sept. 21
SCHULTZ A. I. 11 1836 Oct. 15
SHULTZ A. I. 10 1836 Oct. 15
SHULTZS A. I. 2 1836 Oct. 17
SHULTZS A. I. 3 1836 Oct. 17
SIMPSON Thomas 25 1831 June 22
STEVENS W. S. 19 1836 Feb. 22
TAYLOR Charles R. 34 1854 Oct. 28
TERRY Joshua 25 1833 Oct. 24
THAYER Loomis 27 1836 June 3
THAYER Loomis 14 1836 June 3
THAYER Loomis 24 1836 June 3
THOMAS William 4 1836 Oct. 17
THOMPSON James 36 1836 May 5
TODD Polly 35 1837 Feb. 20
TOWNE Joseph E. 20 1835 Oct. 21
TUPPER L. 30 1854 Dec. 18
WILLIAMS G. D. 23 1835 Aug. 6
WILLIAMS G. E. 25 1835 June 9
WILLIAMS E. S. 25 1835 July 13
WILLIAMS E. S. 23 1835 Aug. 6
WILLIAMS G. D. 15 1835 Oct. 24
WILLIAMS G. D. 24 1835 Oct. 24
WILLIAMS G. D. 23 1835 Oct. 24


In the following pages much of the history proper of this district is given. In the lives of the men who built up this township to its present prosperous condition, are found important elements of its history:

Burton Andruss, a pioneer of Bridgeport tp, and village, was born at Stafford, Genesee Co., N. Y., July 2, 1820; parents were Arthur and Mary (Ingraham) Andruss, natives of Connecticut; father served four years in U. S. Armory, at Springfield, Mass., during war of 1812; grandfather, Eleazer Audruss, was a soldier in Continental army; subject of sketch accompanied parents to Oakland Co., Mich., in October, 1837, and in July, 1845, to this county, where father died, Aug. 19, 1847, and mother Oct. 26, 1848; subject resided on sec. 27 until 1850, when he removed to village, and erected the first frame house; is Republican, and has been a practicing lawyer for 15 years; was Tp. Clerk four years, and Justice of the Peace eight years; was first Clerk of this tp.; owns 60 acres of land; was married July 10, 1845, to Olive, daughter of Joel and Lucy (Sampson) Pratt, who was born in Orange Co., Vt., May 29, 1821; 5 children are living-Emma C., wife of William Hunn, born Sept. 24, 1848; Clara A., wife of George Bogie, born Sept. 8, 1853: Herbert C., born July 12, 1855; Cora M., wife of William Shaw, born April 11, 1858, and Don Clare, born March 19, 1861; the deceased is Ella G., who was born Feb. 24, 1852, and died Sept. 1, 1854.

Hon. W. H. P. Benjamin, M. D., Bridgeport Center, was born at Salina (now Syracuse), Onondaga Co., N. Y., Sept. 2, 1839, and is a son of Harvey and Sarah Benjamin, natives of Massachusetts. Dr. Benjamin was educated at the Syracuse Institute, and in 1859 began to read medicine with Dr. Hiram Hoyt, of Syracuse, with whom he remained two years. He was graduated at the Medical Department of University of Vermont, in March, 1861, and also took a course in the Albany (N. Y.) Medical University. In April, 1861, he enlisted in the 3d Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf., as hospital steward. In August of the same year he was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. army, and served as such until the year 1863. He received an honorable discharge in August, 1863. In 1866 he came to Bridgeport, and practiced his profession until 1875, since when he has been engaged in mercantile trade. In 1874, he was elected Representative of the 3d district, and in 1878 served one term as State Senator. He is Democratic in politics. He was married Dec. 28, 1876, to Emma Main. They have 2 children, Arthur Wellington and Florence R.

Albert Bates, farmer, sec. 7; P. O., South Saginaw; was born in Erie Co., N. Y., March 3, 1826; parents are Joseph and Eliza Bates, natives of Vermont; father served in war of 1812, filling vacancy of Capt. Ford. The subject of this sketch came to this county in 1854, and for four years was engaged in spile-driving on the Saginaw river; removed to present farm of 107 acres in 1861; is a member of the I. O. O. F., and the Republican party; was married Dec. 29, 1855, to Catherine McGee, born at St. Paul, Minn., March 18, 1835. One child is deceased, 7 living-Ella, wife of William Steckert, born Aug. 29, 1856; Charles, born March 18, 1859; George, born Jan. 14, 1862; Sarah A., born in August, 1866; Joseph, born Oct. 9, 1872; Catherine, born Sept. 3, 1875, and Albert, born in May, 1879.

Leonard Blakely, Bridgeport, was born in Missisko (correction-Missisquoi) Co., Province of Quebec, Jan. 30, 1823; parents were Tilley and Sarah Blakely, natives of Hartford, Conn., and Bennington Co., Vt.; grandfather was Ensign in Revolutionary war, and was acquainted with General Green, who had headquarters at his father's house; subject was left to do for himself at an early age, and has suffered many storms in the voyage through life; came to Bridgeport tp. in 1862, and has served as Justice of the Peace for 14 years; is Republican in politics; was married May 5, 1847, to Martha M. Stone. Of their 6 children, 3 are living-Kirby, born Sept. 11, 1850; Dora G., born Aug. 15, 1859; has been school-teacher since 15 years of age, and last live years in Bridgeport schools; and Clara, wife of George Hall, a telegraph operator at Otter Lake, born Aug. 15, 1862; deceased are:--Oscar L., a vocalist of remarkable ability, and proprietor of the "Blakely Quartette Company," a man of excellent character, who was born July 21, 1848, and died April 27, 1878; Ellen, wife of Austin N. Hill, born Oct. 13, 1852, and died May 17, 1879; and May, born Feb. 7, 1870, and died April 20, 1873.

Dennis Bow, farmer, secs. 14 and 22, was born in Penobscot Co., Me., April 18, 1829. His parents were Edmund B. and Elizabeth Bow; father a soldier in the war of 1812, and died in 1857; mother still survives, and draws a pension. Mr. Bow accompanied his parents to this county in 1836, where his father operated the first grist-mill in the county. He also kept a hotel seven years, and in 1844 removed to Zilwaukee tp.; thence to Bridgeport tp. in 1851, where he was Supervisor two years, and Justice of the Peace four years, and also Justice of the Peace of Saginaw tp. five years. Dennis received a fair education and owns a good farm of 140 acres. He is Democratic in politics, and has been Justice of the Peace one term. Township Clerk one year, and Supervisor three years. He was married June 1, 1850, to Ellen Dupaw, who was born at Detroit, Mich., in 1831. Four children were given them, 2 of whom are living-Lewis, who married Anna Brace, and Frank, husband of Nellie Cole. Mrs. Bow died Jan. 29, 1857, and Mr. B. was again married Oct. 28, 1858, to Arloa D. Andrews, who bore him 3 children, and departed this life Jan. 30, 1861. Mr. Bow was married the third time, Dec. 18, 1862, to Mattie S., daughter of Norman and Sarah Cone, who was born in Genesee Co., Mich., March 27, 1837. Of their 3 children 1 is living, Oliver J. Mr. Bow's Grandfather Haskell was a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary war. Mr. Bow's portrait is given in this work on page 311.

Rodolphus Burt, farmer, secs. 3 and 4, was born at Peru, Bennington Co., Vt., July 7, 1812, parents were Scammel and Sallie Burt, natives of Massachusetts; father was a soldier in the war of 1812; grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and great-grandfather was one of the three men killed in the "Boston Massacre," in March, 1770; latter came to this country soon after the Pilgrims, and was a pioneer of Massachusetts. Mr. Burt was reared on a farm; received education in district school; in 1861 went to Scott Co., Ia., and in 1862 located in this tp.; is Republican in politics; was married Feb. 19, 1835, to Elizabeth, daughter of Dan and Eliza Hitchcock, born in Windham Co., Vt., July 25, 1815. Of 5 children 1 survives, Susan, wife of James E. Haves, born Nov. 2, 1839; Fidelia was born Sept. 9, 1837, and died July 23, 1863; Joseph R. was born April 2, 1855, and died April 19, 1881; Andrew was born May 4, 1859, and died Feb. 5, 1862. His wife's grandfathers were Revolutionary soldiers.

Lilly Cook, farmer, sees. 22, 23, 25 and 26, was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., July 16, 1808; parents were John and Elizabeth Cook, natives of King Co., R. I.; father was a soldier in war of 1812; brother in "Sullivan's Expedition" against the Indians; subject of sketch is a carpenter by trade, and worked at that business till 1841; came to Michigan in 1839, and in 1841 purchased a farm on sec. 23 of this tp., which was mostly covered by timber; had to go to Flint to mill; was tax-agent of the American Fur Company for some time; assisted in building the first school-house in Bridgeport tp.; now owns 360 acres of good land; was married Nov. 2, 1830, to Prudence Butts, who was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., March 2, 1809. Her parents were Abraham and Abigail Butts; father a native of Rhode Island, mother of Long Island. Of their children, 6 are living—William L.; Ruth A., wife of Geo. Rowe; Adeline A., wife of John Crosby; Eliza, wife of Calvin Stafford; Abraham A., and Mary A., wife of Robert Letterman. Mr. Cook is one of the staunchest Republicans in his district, and as a representative and honorable citizen we present his portrait in this volume, page 345.

Daniel Ellis, one of the pioneer settlers of Bridgeport tp., was born in Orange Co., Vt., Nov. 22, 1812. His parents, Elihn and Abigail Ellis, were natives of Keene, N. H., and when Daniel was 15 years of age he went to St. Lawrence, N. Y., where he remained till of age. In 1830 he came to Tuscola Co., Mich., and the year following located in Bridgeport, arriving there by the Indian trail from Pine Run. He assisted in building the first roads in the tp. He was forced to go to mill at Flushing, and remembers when teams came from Lansing to get lumber to build the first frame houses in that village. He was married Jan. 14, 1846, to Matilda Leasia. Of their 7 children 5 are living—George W., Charles D., James H., Julia, wife of John Hurpel, and Eugene A. Mrs. Ellis died in November, 1859, and December, 1861, he married Frances Fritz. Of their 7 children 4 survive—Emma, Anna, Edwin and Freddie.

William L. Cook, farmer, sec. 25, was born at Arcada, Wayne Co., N. Y., July 20, 1830; parents are Lilly and Prudence Cook, who settled in this county in November, 1839; subject received his education in district schools; owns a fine farm of 239 acres and adopts principles of the Republican party; was married April 21, 1857, to Rachel M. Murch, who was born at Mt. Morris, Livingston Co., N. Y., Oct. 18, 1829; parents are William and Margaret (Cooper) Murch. Of their 5 children, 4 are living—Silas G., born Sept. 3, 1859; Lizzie G., born March 23, 1860; Kittie M., born Sept. 29, 1864, and Charles A., born Sept. 28, 1869. Willie was born March 4, 1862, and died 18 days later. Mr. Cook was appointed Postmaster of Cass Bridge under Buchanan's administration, which position he still holds.

Henry S. Edget, retired farmer, sec. 21, was born at Greenville, Greene Co., N. Y., Nov. 26, 1810; parents were Seymour and Abigail Edget; father was soldier in war of 1812, and grandfather served seven years in Continental army; subject of sketch came to this county in 1844; first located in Taymouth tp., thence to Portsmouth and Saginaw City, thence to East Saginaw, where he was bookkeeper for James P. Hayden & Co. for three years; and in 1879, to his present farm; was estimating lumber in the timber for 16 years; is Republican in politics; was married Jan. 1, 1840, to Eliza, daughter of Jacob and Phoebe Van Sickle, who was born in Sussex Co., N. J., April 1, 1818. Of their 4 children 2 are living—John A., a lawyer of East Saginaw, and Alice V.; wife is a cousin of General Rosecranz, and a distant relative of Capt. Rosecranz, of Revolutionary fame. Subject and wife are members of First Baptist Church, of Saginaw City.

Louis Fessler was born in 1843 at Baden, Germany; came to this country at an early day with his parents, locating in Tuscola county, where his mother yet lives. In 1853 he came to Saginaw county, where he has been an active citizen. Was married in Tuscola county to Miss Rachel Eisenstein, a native also of Baden; Germany. His family consists of 6 children, all residing with their parents at the old homestead in Bridgeport, four miles from East Saginaw. Mr. F. is one of the staunchest Republicans, his first vote being cast for Abraham Lincoln.

Leverett Hodgman, an early pioneer of Bridgeport tp:, was born in town of Hartland, Windsor Co., Vt., July 6, 1819. His parents were Lot C. and Mary Hodgman, the former of whom was a keeper in the Vermont State's prison, during the war of 1812. His brothers, Timothy and Jonathan, were soldiers. Mr. Hodgman, Sr., was a Major General in the Revolutionary war. Leverett, when 17 years of age, accompanied his parents to Saginaw county, settling in Saginaw tp., on the Tittabawassee river, and in 1841, locating in Bridgeport tp., where the mother died in 1838, and the father Sept. 10, 1841. Henceforth Leverett had to make his own way in the world, and had his share of pioneer life. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, as was his father for several years, and a Republican. He was married Jan. 22, 1847, to Betsey J. Kittridge, who bore him 2 children, one of whom is living, Charles F. Frances C. is deceased. Mrs. Hodgman died April 7, 1850, and Mr. H. was again married June 15, 1872, to Mrs. Cynthia A. Murphy, daughter of Luna and Betsey Thayer, who was born in Oswego Co., N. Y., May 18, 1835.

M. P. Hodgman, son of Lot C. and Mary Hodgman, was born in Vermont, June 11, 1823. He accompanied his parents to this county in 1836, and was here reared to manhood. Mr. Hodgman owns a valuable farm of 80 acres on sec. 24, and is a believer in the principles of the Republican party. He was married Oct. 19, 1856, to Elizabeth Hudson, who was born in Oakland Co., Mich., Feb. 19, 1836. Her parents are Isaiah J. and Mary B. Hudson, of Genesee Co., N. Y. Of their 5 children, 3 are living—Celestia M., wife of George Becker, was born Oct. 30, 1857 (they have two children); Katie V. and James I., at the old homestead. Mr H. located his present home when in its wild state.

Peter Leasia, farmer, sec. 26, was born at Port Kent, Clinton Co., N. Y., April 5, 1835; parents are John B. and Josephine Leasia; when subject of sketch was four years old, his parents removed to Canada East, and in 1836 to Oakland Co., Mich.; when 16 years of age, he learned the blacksmith's trade, and after a short time at Detroit came to Saginaw City (February, 1842); followed hunting and trapping for some years; on one occasion partner and himself speared 13 barrels of white fish in one November night— the night after J. K. Polk's election; subject worked at lumbering for others till 1851, then worked for himself nine years; since then has been farming; cut the old "Portsmouth road" in 1848; is serving eleventh year as Justice of the Peace, and owns 80 acres of land; was married June 8, 1853, to Ruth A. Cook, who bore him 3 children—Sylvester (dec.), Henry and Almira, wife of James Watson; was again married April 26, 1866, to Mrs. Eliza Walt. They have 1 child, Maud E. M. In 1873 his second wife met her death by the explosion of a can of kerosene oil, while endeavoring to light a fire.

Charles A. Lull, one of Saginaw county's old and respected pioneers, was born at Windsor, Windsor Co., Vt., May 17, 1809, and is a son of Joab and Ruth Lull, also natives of Windsor county. Mr. Lull's father was a Lieutenant in the war of 1812, and his grandfather served as Captain in the Revolutionary war. Charles received a fair education, and in 1831 located in Oakland Co., Mich., and two years later in Saginaw county, entering 80 acres of land on sec. 1, Spalding tp., being the first settler in Saginaw county, east of the Saginaw river. He went to Detroit to enter his land, and while there bought an ox team and cart. He drove them home, over the swamps and through the dense forests up to his own cabin, where his parents, who had settled here the same year, were waiting to receive him. In 1851 he removed to Bridgeport tp., and located 100 acres of land. He built a steam saw-mill at Bridgeport the same year, and operated it two years. He also built the Bridgeport Center House. He now owns 160 acres in Spalding, and 140 acres of land in Bridgeport tp. He is a Republican and during the war was a member of the Union League. He was married Oct. 3, 1835, to Roxy Whitney, who was born in Madison Co., N. Y., Feb. 20, 1809, and is a daughter of Ebenezer and Jerusha Whitney, natives of Connecticut. They have 3 children— Adeline, wife of D. A. Pettybone; Charles L., who married Effie Krause, and Marion, wife of I. C. Simons. In January, 1880, the partner of his joys and sorrows passed away, after passing two-score and five years together of wedded life. No man ranks higher in his community and none can look back upon a life of three-score and twelve with less regret, so far as usefulness is concerned, than our respected citizen Charles A. Lull.

William P. Miner, farmer, sec. 21, was born at Sharon, Windsor Co., Vt., June 14, 1834; is son of William H. and Theda (Wheeler) Miner; father born in Connecticut in 1790, was member of "old Springfield Militia Company," kept toll-gate in Bridgeport tp. for 12 years, and died Sept 10, 1863; mother is native of New Hampshire, and died in September, 1856; subject of sketch came to this county in June, 1853, and a year later went to Wisconsin, where he was engaged in lumbering, and as a pilot for several years; in 1860 returned to this tp., where he owns 80 acres of land; is a Republican, and member of Masonic fraternity; was married Sept. 18, 1860, to Cheslina Hayes; of their 7 children, 3 survive— Carrie S., born June 14, 1865; Frances, born Nov. 7, 1867, and Maynard, born Feb. 7, 1870; wife is a daughter of Alfred and Laura Hayes, and was born in Oakland Co., Mich., Feb. 14, 1839.

Charles D. Pattee, son of Asa J. and Olive (McColister) Pattee, was born in Merrimac Co., N. H., July 28, 1828; subject's grandfather, Dummer Pattee, a soldier in the war of 1812, was killed at Plattsburg; great-grandfather was a Frenchman, and came to this country with Lafayette, served as Captain in Revolutionary war, and died aged 93 years; subject's mother is descendant of the McGregors, who were driven from Scotland; subject accompanied parents to Maine, thence to Monroe Co., N. Y., where mother died; was thrown upon his own resources at age of 10 years; in 1851 came to Lenawee Co., Mich.; thence to Genesee county, and in 1854 to Saginaw county; in 1861 enlisted in Co. M, 3d Mich. Cav., as 1st Duty Sergeant, and was discharged in April, 1864; re-enlisted in October, 1864, in Co. 1, 15th Reg. Mich. Vol. Inf., and was Orderly Sergeant of company on detached service; was discharged Sept. 15, 1865; is Republican in politics, and was appointed Postmaster in 1880; was married Sept. 1, 1850, to Lydia Atherton. They have 6 children,— Flora B., wife of J. Hiram Ellis; John A., Sergeant in the U. S. army; W. Frank, Charles R., Phoebe M. and Fred J. Subject and wife are members of the M. E. Church. Returned from the war in 1865 broken in health, bought 80 acres of land and commenced on it, but on account of ill health sold out and started in the grocery and provision business, but failed. He then returned to the woods, making staves, getting out shingle-bolts, wood, etc.; was burned out clean in the fires of 1871, saving only a part of his furniture, losing staves, wood; and shingle-bolts to the amount of hundreds of dollars, and leaving him bare-handed, with the exception of 80 acres of land well burned over. Bought 160 acres more of timber land on credit, and hired men and went to making staves, etc.; was doing well, when the panic of 1873 struck the country and there was no sale for anything. His land was paid for within $300, but it went under. He left the woods again, settled in the village, where he now resides, and where he expects to remain till he dies.

Albert Procunier, farmer, sec. 19, was born in Upper Canada May 13, 1846, and is a son of Peter and Anise Procunier. He came to Saginaw county in November, 1865, and by industry and economy has succeeded in accumulating 80 acres of good land. He has been engaged in threshing grain for the past few years. Mr. Procunier was married Jan. 7, 1867, to Eliza Shawl, daughter of Alexander and Eliza DeWitt, who was born in Norfolk Co., Upper Canada, Aug. 28, 1854. They have 1 child. Lizzie S., born Oct. 18, 1869.

Andrew J. Phillips, agriculturist, sec. 5, was born in Oakland Co., Mich., May 4, 1828; parents were William and Olivia Phillips, natives of Otsego Co., N. Y., who settled in Oakland Co., Michigan, when Pontiac was an Indian trading post and contained only two inhabitants; mother subsequently visited New York, and took passage on the boat "Walk-in-the-Water," on her first trip across Lake Erie; father was a teamster, and died in August, 1874, aged 72 years, and his wife in September, 1871, aged 71 years. Subject came to this county in 1851, and for 10 years was engaged in drying lumber; since then has been farming; owns 82 acres of land, and is a Democrat; was married in 1848 to Emily Blackburn. Of the 3 children given to seal this union 2 are living, Elvira O., wife of J. R. Leadbetter, and Horace E., who married Rosa Tuttle. Mrs. Phillips' parents, Nathaniel and Roxina (Ritter) Blackmer; father a native of Canada West, mother State of New York, Canandaigua; Mrs. Phillips born in Niagara Co., N.Y., came to Saginaw county, 1857. His business was a builder and contractor, well known to the older citizens of East Saginaw; died in 1855; mother still living.

Isaac C. Simons, merchant and brick manufacturer, Bridgeport Center, was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., March 18, 1839, and is a son of Conrad and Sarah Simons, natives of New York and Vermont. Mr. Simons' father died when he was yet a youth, and he was reared at Camden, N. Y., and received a fair education. In 1869 he came to Bridgeport and operated a saw-mill for two years. He then formed a partnership with W. H. P. Benjamin, in the mercantile trade. On Aug. 15, 1861, Mr. Simons enlisted in Co. E, 32d Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf., under Capt. Forbes, and participated in all the battles of the army of the Potomac. He was honorably discharged June 9, 1862. He was married in April, 1871, to Marion Lull. They have 3 children—Effie, Charles and Edwin. Mr. Simons is a staunch Republican. He manufactured 1,000,000 brick in 1880.

Silas Woodard, agriculturist, sec. 24, was born at Geneva, N. Y., Nov. 11, 1812; parents were Benjamin and Polly Woodard; grandfather and two brothers came from England, and settled in Onondaga Co., N. Y.; subject of sketch passed his early life in Cayuga Co., N. Y., and in 1839, came to Saginaw Co., purchasing 80 acres of land, where he now resides; he returned to New York, and in 1840 located in Oakland Co., Mich., and five years later on his farm in this county; was the first settler in county east of plank road; built log cabin 18x24 feet, where he resided 14 years without seeing the smoke of a chimney of a neighbor; is a cooper by trade, and worked at that trade more or less from 1833 to 1879, six years of which in Tuscola Co., Mich.; is Republican; has been Justice of the Peace two terms, and owns 80 acres of land; was married Oct. 8, 1837, to Elizabeth, daughter of James and Lydia La Rue, of New Jersey, who was born in Livingston Co., N. Y., July 22, 1818. Three children are living--Esther, wife of E. C. Roberts; Henry, who married Sarah Sutherland, and Wilhelmina; deceased are Leona, Desias, Burt and William. Their flour was obtained at the Thread mills beyond Flint, following trail by marked trees.



Source: History of Saginaw County Michigan, By Michael A. Leeson, Damon Clarke, Published 1881 Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Chicago pages 715-722.
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