Saginaw County Michigan

St. Charles Township

This township was organized Feb. 9, 1853. The territory composing this township at the present time is described on the map as township 10 north, range 3 east, and is bounded on the north by the townships of Swan Creek and James, on the east by Albee, on the south by Chesaning, and on the west by Brant township. The Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railroad enters the township through section 5, passing nearly due south in a straight line out of the township through section 33. Within the township there are two railroad stations, one at the village of St. Charles, and the other at Pine Grove station, on section 28.

The lands of the township are drained by the Shiawassee river, which passes from south to north through its center, while the Bad river and its branches course through its northwestern corner. The soil of the township is fertile, and consists of various kinds, such as sandy clay, loam, gravel, etc. Originally its lands were covered by a dense growth of forest of various kinds of hard-wood and pine.

Among the first permanent settlers in the township were Hiram Davis, C. B. Kimberly, Alpheus Oliver, from Ohio; Frank Oliver, Benjamin Colvin, from New York; Francis Harris and O. Doty came in 1852. At this time the only means of conveyance for families or goods was by canoe and rafts, it being almost impossible to pass through the dense forests with a team.

The following year many other settlers came into the township, and soon there were enough inhabitants to perfect its organization. Among other early settlers may be mentioned J. T. Symes and Jared Freeman.

The first house built in the township for a dwelling, was built of logs in 1852, by Hiram Davis. It was 18x26 feet, three rooms below and two above stairs. Mr. Davis occupied it with his family; also keeping a hotel. It was located on the south side of the south branch of the Bad river at its junction with the north branch. The first frame building was a storehouse, built in 1852, by C. B. Kimberly; he kept some general goods for sale in this building, though not a regular store. The first frame built for a regular store was in 1853, by Mr. Kimberly. He kept a full line of general goods. This was the first store, and was located on the N. E. corner of Saginaw avenue and Water street, in St. Charles village. The building is still standing, and used as a store-house. The first frame dwelling house was built in the summer of 1854, just south of log house, by a Mr. Carpenter.

The first post office was established in the township in 1853, at St. Charles village: Frank Oliver was the postmaster. The first school-house was built in 1853. It was a frame building, located on section 5, and is now used for the same purpose in school district No. 1. The first teacher in this building was a Miss Joslin, who opened her school in May, 1854, and presided for about two weeks. There were some large scholars who were very disorderly. The teacher tried to enforce order, when the scholars forcibly seized and threw her out at the window. This young lady abandoned the school in disgust, and the district was without a teacher until Sept. 8, 1854, when they secured the services as teacher of Mrs. C. J. E. Bixby, who was willing to run the chances of similar treatment for $1 per day. This lady remained as teacher for two years. The first male teacher was John W. Thorn, who succeeded Mrs. Bixby.

The first Sunday-school was started in 1854, by Artemus Doty and Mrs. Bixby. These same parties organized the first Bible class the same year.

Mrs. Bixby was the first music-teacher in the township, and her piano (an upright) was the first one to make its appearance within the limits of the township. This instrument was bought by Mrs. Bixby in London, England, while she was attending the "World's Fair." The first regular 4th of July celebration in the township was in 1855, within what is now the corporate limits of St. Charles village. It was a grand affair, and among the most prominent features of the procession were the scholars of Mrs. Bixby, dressed to represent the different States.

The population of the township is 1,539. The township outside of St. Charles village has three school-houses, being districts Nos. 3 , 5 and 7; average attendance of scholars in the three combined is 186. Each district averages six months school per year.

On section 28 is a saw and stone mill, owned and operated by C. H. McArthur.


The township of St. Charles was organized under a resolution of the County Board, dated Feb. 9, 1853, ordering that the unorganized territory known as township number 10 north, of ranges 1, 2 and 3 east, and township number 11 north, of range 1, 2 and 3 east, also township number 11 north, of range 1 west, be organized into a township, to be known and designated by the name of St. Charles; which said township is described as being within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the county of Saginaw. It was also resolved "that the first annual township meeting for election of township officers for the further organization of said township, be held at the house of Hiram Davis, situated in said township of St. Charles, on the first Monday of April next; and that the following named persons—David Gould, Isaac Bennett and Hiram Davis, being three electors of said township, be, and they are hereby designated and appointed to preside at said township meeting."

The meeting was duly held in accordance with the spirit of the order, and the organization of the new township perfected. The record of township elections from 1853 to 1868 could not be found; since that period, however, the names of the principal officers have been obtained, and are given in the following list:


A. L. Wetmore 1869 Wm. A. Conklin 1874-75
Francis Ackley 1870-71 V. L. Parsons 1876
Jared Freeman 1872 D. Paul 1877-78
A. L. Wetmore 1873 Geo. A. Wallace 1879-80
F. Ackley 1873 Edward A. Stimson 1881


A. L. Simons 1869 Geo. G. Goodrich 1876
Anson Simons 1870 D. O. Smith 1877
A. J. Wood 1871 Geo. G. Goodrich 1878
Henry Hirst 1872 D. O. Smith 1879
A. J. Wood 1873 Geo. G. Goodrich 1880
J. B. Adams 1874-75 Louis Flickinger 1881


O. Eddy 1869-70 W. W. Eddy 1875
W. W. Eddy 1871 F. Ackley 1876-78
R. S. Case 1872 Geo. B. Symes 1879
F. Lytle 1873 F. Ackley 1880
W. L. Eddy 1874 D. O. Smith 1881


F. Lytle 1873-73 Geo. A. Wallace 1873
L. Cross 1870 D. J. Orr 1873
Orlando Eddy 1871-74 Geo. Spencer 1874-77
Geo. A. Wallace 1871 Geo. A. Wallace 1875-78
Robert R. Thompson 1872-75 Peter McCully 1875
Geo. Spencer 1872 Wm. H. English 1876
Mason L. Dexter 1872-75 D. J. Orr 1877
W. W. Farmer 1872 Geo. F. Brown 1878
Wm. Swart 1873 O. Williams 1879
D. J. Orr 1873 R. Ryness 1880-83
A. Smith 1873 J. W. Thorn 1881-84
A. L. Wetmore 1873 Geo. Spencer 1881


This thriving and pleasant village is located on the Bad river, and on the line of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railroad, 14 miles in a southwesterly direction from the county-seat. It is the head of navigation on the Bad river. Two steam towing tugs, the "Nickel" and "Saidee," ply between here and Bay City. The village has a population of 683, and is an important shipping point; from this place, from May 1 to Dec. 31, 1880, was shipped by railroad 21,416,953 pounds of freight; major portion of which was staves and lumber; during the same period there was received by railroad 2,372,848 pounds of freight. The post office at this point receives and distributes regularly 1,000 weekly, including local, 25 daily and 100 monthly newspapers and magazines; receives annually 40,000 to 50,000 letters and postal cards, while there is mailed at this postoffice about 50,000 letters and postal cards per year.

The original proprietor of the first village plat was Charles S. Kimberly; and it was surveyed and laid out by J. B. Parks. The village was incorporated Oct. 26, 1869, and re-incorporated Jan. 15, 1874, under Legislative enactment dated 1873. The territory within the corporate limits comprises the land described as follows: The southeast fractional quarter, the southwest quarter, and the south half of the northwest quarter, of section 5. That part known as the Mickle, Lytle, and Hanchett's addition is described as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of section 8, thence north, 88° 15' east, 2,201 feet; thence south, 30° 17' west, 3,2541 feet; thence north, 59° 43' west, to the east bank of the south branch of the Bad river; thence northerly along the east bank of the south branch of Bad river to the west line of said section; thence north, 3° 41' west, to the place of beginning.

The first village election was held Dec. 6, 1869, and the officers from that time to the present are as follows:

1st Board 1869 2nd Board 1870
R. R. Thompson President Lewis Penoyer President
Lewis Penoyer Trustee J. M. Silsbee Trustee
Joseph Anderson Trustee Francis Ackley Trustee
A. L. Wetmore Trustee Orlando Eddy Trustee
H. S. Guilford Trustee A. N. Hart Trustee
Alfred Stewart Trustee Joseph Anderson Trustee
Wm. Ashman Trustee Alfred Stewart Trustee
A. L. Simmons Clerk A. L. Simons Clerk


3rd Board 1871 4th Board 1872
Lewis Penoyer President Francis Ackley President
Isaac M. Silsby Trustee Alson L. Wetmore Trustee
Francis Ackley Trustee D. W. Greene Trustee
Alson L. Wetmroe Trustee Hiram S. Guilford Trustee
Joseph Anderson Trustee Henry Case Trustee
D. Webster Greene Trustee Alfred Stewart Trustee
Hiram S. Guilford Trustee A. J. Wood Clerk
Addison J. Wood Clerk    

5th Board 1873 6th Board 1874
W. W. Eddy President Henry Case President
Henry Case Trustee D. A. Wetmore Trustee
A. Stewart Trustee Austin Smith Trustee
M. L. Dexter Trustee Wm. English Trustee
Daniel Paul Trustee Wm. Conklin Trustee
D. W. Greene Trustee Mason L. Dexter Trustee
A. J. Ward Clerk Daniel Paul Trustee
    James W. Harden Clerk

7th Board 1875 8th Board 1876
W. W. Eddy President W. W. Eddy President
Wm. Ashman Trustee Victor L. Parsons Trustee
John B. Adams Trustee G. T. Brown Trustee
Wm. A. Conklin Trustee John S. Mathews Trustee
Andrew Kanzig Trustee E. A. Stimson Trustee
Carl Shepan Trustee Carl Shepan Trustee
Peter McCauley Trustee Peter McCauley Trustee
John Gollwitzer Clerk John Gollwitzer Clerk

9th Board 1877 10th Board 1878
Francis Ackley President Henry Case President
Alfred Stewart Trustee David O. Smith Trustee
Geo. F. Brown Trustee Justice Ashman Trustee
Carl Shepan Trustee John D. Thomas Trustee
John D. Thomas Trustee C. Shepan Trustee
V. L. Parsons Trustee A. Stewart Trustee
J. S. Matthews Trustee G. F. Brown Trustee
C. M. Butterfield Clerk C. M. Butterfield Clerk

11th Board 1879 12th Board 1880
Francis Ackley President Geo. A. Wallace President
John D. Thomas Trustee Roswell R. Hickey Trustee
Justice Ashman Trustee Dale C. Bennett Trustee
David O. Smith Trustee Geo. F. Brown Trustee
Carl Shepan Trustee Wm. Swart Trustee
Wm. Swart Trustee Carl Shepan Trustee
Wm. Penny Trustee Wm. Panney Trustee
Miles C. Holliday Clerk Dewitt C. Tiffany Clerk

11th Board: June 26, to fill vacancies were elected Sylvester Crandle and Geo. A. Wallace

13th Board 1881
John W. Thorn President
Geo. F. Brown Trustee
E. A. Stimson Trustee
R. R. Hickey Trustee
Dale C. Bennett Trustee
Chas. Ditzler Trustee
Wm. P. Stacy Trustee
Louis Flickinger Clerk


The lumber and lath mill of Gould, Osburn & Co., manufacture 5,000,000 feet per year, approximate value, $60,000. It gives employment to 25 men, to whom is paid annually, $10,000. This business was established in 1874.

St. Charles Stave and Heading Factory.—This concern was built and put into operation in 1874, by Francis Hood and Victor L. Parsons, under the firm name of F. Hood & Co. The capacity of the mill per annum is 5,000,000 staves and 12,000 barrels of headings, each barrel containing 50 heads. The value of manufactured goods is estimated at $35,000 per annum. This mill furnishes work to 35 or 40 men and boys, to whom is paid annually about $10,000. The motive power is steam, and is supplied with one 75 and one 30-horse power engine. The mill with its machinery cost about $6,000. Their goods are sold and shipped mostly to New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore parties. A cooper shop is also attached to this mill.

The Lumber and Lath Mill owned and operated by L. Penoyer & Co., manufactured in 1880, 5,960,000 feet valued at from $70,000 to $75,000, and employed 30 hands, who received $ 12,000.

St. Charles Shingle Mill was established in 1880; manufactures 400,000 shingles per annum, valued at $9,000, and gives employment to eight hands.

Cheese-box and Hoop Factory was established in 1880; has a capacity of 250,000 hoops, and 200,000 bands; elm wood is exclusively used. It employs six men; a 20-horse power steam-engine furnishes motive power.

The Mystic Flouring and Custom Mill was built in 1880 by A. L. Wetmore & Co. It is two-story and basement, 30 x 56, furnished with improved machinery, and run by a 40-horse power engine. The mill has a capacity to grind 250 bushels of wheat per day. It is now owned and operated by W. W. Eddy.

The village is supplied with four hotels. The "Symes House," a large, new and well-furnished building, owned and kept by Mr. J. T. Symes, one of St. Charles pioneer citizens, and the "Diamond House," kept by Andrew B. Diamond, may be specially mentioned. The different places and kinds of business in the village, not heretofore mentioned, are as follows: one hardware, one jewelry and cigar, one furniture and notion, one boot, shoe and gents' furnishing stores, 1 news depot, 2 meat markets, 1 pump factory, 1 photograph gallery, two wagon shops, one planing-mill, one wood yard, one brick yard, two livery stables, three blacksmith shops, two harness shops, two barber shops, one gunsmith, one custom boot and shoe shop, two millinery stores, five general stores, two drug store, one dry-goods, five groceries, a charcoal kiln, a blackberry wine factory which has produced as much as 8,000 gallons of wine in a year. The Leader is a weekly paper, edited by Gropengeiser & Rice, and the Reformer, a semi-monthly paper edited by Mrs. H. M. Conklin; of the professional men, there are four physicians and one dentist.


for districts Nos. 1 and 2 are located in the village. No. 1 has an attendance of 35 scholars and has six months school during the year. District No. 2 has enrolled 105 scholars, and has nine months session during the year. The buildings are frame and fitted with modern seats and desks.


The first religious services in the township were held in the village. The Methodists were the pioneers and held their meetings until 1869 in private houses, schoolhouses, etc. The year above named a fine church edifice was erected, since which they have held their meetings in it. The first regular pastor of the denomination was the Rev. J. H. Curnalia. Those following were: Charles Simpson, W. E. Dunning, J. W. Crippen, A. S. Fair, Frederick Strong, A. B. Clough and the present pastor, J. W. Holt. The number of members in 1867 was 17, and at present 45. The Sabbath-school has 60 scholars. The Church is out of debt.

In 1869 the Presbyterian society built a neat church building, but most of its members having moved away, Church meetings were discontinued, and the building was rented for several years, when, in the spring of 1881, the society sold it to the Catholics, and it is now being fitted up for a Catholic church. The Catholics had held meetings here for several years, mostly in rented halls, until this purchase was made. There is no resident priest, but the new parish is visited by the Rev. Mr. Van der Hayden, Pastor of Saginaw City. Previously, the Catholics of the district were compelled to drive into Saginaw on Sundays and other holidays to attend Church.

The first meetings of the denomination of Adventists were held in 1860, in the old schoolhouse, the membership being from 30 to 40. In 1869 they erected their present church building at an expense of about $2,500. The first to preach the Adventist doctrine in this district was the Rev. M. E. Cornell, who held meetings in the old school-house during the winter of 1860-61.


Good Templars.—St. Charles Lodge received its charter April 7, 1875, then having 24 members. The lodge has held regular meetings up to the present time, and has now 40 members in good standing. Its present officers are: James Brott, W. C. T.; Mrs. Abar, W. V. T., and George Stewart, R. S.

Knights of Honor.—St. Charles Lodge, No. 1,642, was instituted April 25, 1879, with 23 charter members. Officers are: C. M. Butlerfield, Dictator; Tobias L. Thompson, Vice-Dictator; R. J. Webb, Reporter; W. W. Eddy, Treasurer. The objects of this society are fraternity, benevolence, and mutual insurance.

Masonic.—St. Charles Lodge, No. 313, worked under a dispensation for about one year, and received its charter Jan. 29, 1874. The first officers under the charter were: Henry Case, W. M.; Mason L. Dexter, S. W.; Alson L. Wetmore, J. W. Its present officers are: E. A. Stimson, W. M.; J. D. Thomas, S. W.; and A. D. Huntington, J. W.

Odd Fellows.—Perseverance Lodge, No. 253, was chartered Feb. 19, 1875. R. C. Myers, J. M. Silsby, Nelson Hickey, B. Colvin, A. Cogswell, J. D. Thomas, Thos. Russell, Charles Parks and Abraham K. Stoner were charter members. Present membership is 38. Present officers are: Wm. Harvey, W. G.; W. W. Eddy, V. G.; R. J. Webb, R. S. and P. S.; and C. M. Butterfield, Treasurer.

The St. Charles Library Association was organized in May 1881; objects of the association are social and literary, and also to establish a permanent library of miscellaneous and standard books that will be accessible to all the citizens of the village. The officers of the association are Dr. Henry Case, President; Mrs. Dr. Hamilton, Vice President; Miss Kittle Stewart, Librarian.


The sketches of the first settlers of a new township are doubly interesting, since they are at once historical and biographical. From the following, much that is instructive may be gleaned:

J. G. Booth, blacksmith, St. Charles, was born in Pennsylvania in 1845. His parents are Samuel and Ruth (Gee) Booth, natives of England and Scotland. Mr. Booth received a common-school education, and commenced to learn his trade at the age of 15 years. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. E, 58th Reg. Penn. Vol. Inf., and was discharged at Washington, D. C., in 1865, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He came to Saginaw county in 1867, and located at St. Charles village; is a member of the Republican party and the St. Charles Band. Has been moderately successful in life. He was married in 1870 to Miss N. J. Wallace. They have 2 children, Cynthia Myrtle and Maud.

At the battle of Sandy Ridge, N. C., 8th February, 1862, Mr. Booth was taken prisoner by the rebels. He was first sent to the prison known as "Castle Thunder," Richmond, Va.. where he was kept about three weeks, when he was sent to the "Libby prison," where he was confined until June. From here he was sent to Belle Island prison, near Richmond, remaining there until the 31st of December. At this place the prisoners suffered untold hardship, having no shelter, or food or water fit to eat or drink. The food mostly was corn ground with the cob, which they were obliged to eat without cooking. He was finally exchanged Jan. 1, 1863, when, receiving a furlough of 30 days, he returned home, and then returned to his regiment.

Charles M. Bradt, M. D., St. Charles, Mich., was born at Utica, N. Y., in 1838; parents were Peter and Catherine (Cutter) Bradt, the former a native of New York, and the latter of Massachusetts; subject of sketch was educated at Falley Seminary, at Fulton, Oswego Co., N. Y.; taught school at age of 18 years; subsequently attended State Medical University at New York city, graduating therefrom in 1879; located at St. Charles in 1880; has built up a large practice; in 1862 enlisted in Co. C, 121st Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf., and was promoted to 1st Lieut.; resigned in 1863; is Republican in politics; was married in 1861 to Julia G. Countryman, a native of Herkimer Co., N. Y. They have 3 children—Frank C., Lincoln E. and Peter E.

Andrew B. Diamond, proprietor Diamond House, St. Charles, was born in Livingston Co., Mich., in 1843. His parents were natives of Queen's county and Belfast, Ireland. He was educated in the public schools of Michigan, and in 1862 located in this county, and engaged in the lumber business. He is Democratic in politics, and has served as Deputy Sheriff of Saginaw county, and Clerk of St. Charles tp. He was married at Bay City, Mich., in 1869, to Ella Downes. Of their 5 children, 4 are living—Clara A., born April 21, 1870; Charles H., born Aug. 8, 1872; Ella May, born Oct. 18, 1874, and Andrew Richard, born April 7, 1877. Robert William was born Nov. 15, 1879, and died April 1, 1881.

William Doty, gunsmith at St. Charles, was born in Oakland Co., Mich., Dec. 21, 1844. His parents were Orsamus and H. Loretta (Seaman) Doty, the former a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1817, and died in 1867, and the latter of Rutland Co., Vt., and born May 21, 1820. They located in St. Charles village in 1851, and brought the subject of this sketch with them, he then being about six years of age. When he was but four years of age he had an attack of brain fever, which has caused him ever since to be quite deaf. He was educated at the Asylum at Flint, Mich. He learned the trade of gunsmith at St. Charles, at which he has worked seven years, and is more than ordinarily skillful at all kinds of mechanical operations; is good with stationary engines. He resides with his mother in St. Charles village. Mrs. Doty is the oldest settler now living in St. Charles tp., Hiram Davis and family being the only ones that settled here before Mr. Doty's family.

Jared Freeman.—This gentleman is one of the most substantial and enterprising business men of St. Charles village, as well as one of its earliest settlers. He was born in the town of Belleville, Jefferson Co., N. Y., in 1834. His parents, George H. and Rebecca (Eaton) Freeman, came to this county with their family when Jared was but 18 months old. Here he received his early education at the common schools. Mr. Freeman located at St. Charles village in 1854, his worldly goods consisting at that time of only $5 in money, the clothes he wore and those contained in his satchel; but with good health, habits and perseverance, success followed. He soon opened a store with a general stock of goods. This was the second store ever opened in the village. He has been identified with the business interest of St. Charles 27 years merchandising and 24 years in the lumber trade, and is still largely interested in both lines of business. He now carries one of the largest stocks of general goods in the village. He is also largely interested in real estate, owning 2,655 acres of land in Saginaw county, 1,840 acres in Bay county and 720 acres in Gratiot county. Mr. Freeman is a Democrat in politics, and has served the tp. in various offices, among which were: Supervisor, three years; Township Clerk, two years; Village Trustee, two years; and Justice of the Peace one term. He was married in 1858 to Miss Caroline Adams, of New York. They have a family of 2 children—Mart and Augusta L.

Rev. Joseph W. Holt, of St. Charles, was born in Connecticut in 1819. His parents were Oliver and Sidney (Clapp) Holt. His maternal grandfather, Earl Clapp, was a Major in the Patriot army, and served under Gen. Warren at Bunker Hill. Mr. H. was educated at Albion College, Michigan, and commenced to teach at the age of 21 years. His first ministerial work was among the Indians in 1846, and he was also engaged at Detroit for a short period. He was reared in the doctrines of the Congregational Church, but has been a member of the M. E. Church since 1842. He was married in 1848 to Caroline C. Woodruff. They have 5 children—Nellie E. L., Judson C., Edwin D., Arthur E. and Lucius I.

Edwin H. Jones was prominent among the early settlers of Saginaw county. He was born in Tompkins Co., N. Y., in 1825, and is a son of E. K. and Maria (Andrews) Jones, natives of New York, and of English descent. Edwin received his education in the common schools and subsequently attended an academy. His occupation has always been that of a farmer and dealer in lumber. He settled in St. Charles village the same year it was surveyed by his brother-in-law, J. B. Parks, and until 1874 operated a saw and shingle mill. Since then he has devoted his entire attention to farming. He owns a well-improved farm and a neat and substantial residence. Mr. Jones believes in the principles as set forth by the Republican party, and has filled various tp. offices. He was married in 1855 to Ann Louisa Lewis. They have 5 children—2 boys and 3 girls, all living. Mr. Jones enlisted in the 29th Mich. Vol. Inf., and served one year in the war of the great Rebellion, from September, 1864, to September, 1865. He was Orderly Sergeant.

Freeman Lytle, retired farmer, sec. 7, was born in New York in 1827; parents were Stephen and Abby (Sheldon) Lytle, former a native of New York, of Irish descent, and the latter of Vermont, of English ancestry; subject of sketch received a common-school education, and operated the second saw mill in St. Charles tp., now the Penoyer mill; has been very successful in business, and owns 160 acres of land, a portion of which lies within the limits of St. Charles village; has held all tp. offices is a Greenbacker, and has retired from active business; married Mary Brink, who bore him 2 children, and died in 1853; in 1854 he married Sarah Davis, of New York; parents were, of English and German descent; father was the first white man to settle at the forks of Bad river, or what is now the village of St. Charles; 6 children were sent to bless this marriage, 3 of whom are living.

C. H. McArthur, proprietor of a saw and shingle mill, was born at Detroit, Mich., in 1834. He is a son of Alexander and Tirzah (Root) McArthur, the former of whom was an extensive landowner in this State, at an early day. He first settled at Corunna in Shiawassee county, and it was mainly through his exertions that the county-seat was located at that point. He also discovered and opened the first coal mine at that place. He is Vice-President of the First Nat. Bank of Corunna, and was once Mayor of the place. While living in Detroit, he was High Sheriff of Wayne county. He was a strong Democrat until the war, and since then he has been a Republican. C. H. came to Corunna in 1838, and took charge of a saw-mill north of Chesaning, and operated it four years. After three years at Corunna, in the same business, he came to St. Charles tp., and in partnership with his father, built a saw-mill on sec 28, at a cost of $8,000. The mill was destroyed by fire, and they have since erected another in its place, of which C. H. has full charge. He was married in 1863, to Frances O. Ware, a native of Rochester, N. Y. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church. They have 3 children—Harry E., Myrtle T. and Erwin E. Mr. McArthur owned at one time here, about 1,200 acres of land.

Victor L. Parsons, of the firm of F. Hood & Co., stave manufacturers, St. Charles, Mich., was born in New York in 1840. His parents were E. G. and Emeline Parsons, natives of New York, and of English and German descent. Victor was educated in Oswego Co., N. Y., and when young shipped as a sailor on the Great Lakes, and arose to be commander of the vessel, "Commodore Foote." He learned his present business in New York, and in 1874 located at St. Charles. He commenced business with F. Hood, of Saginaw City, and although having to suffer twice from financial embarrassment, he has finally conquered all difficulties, and the firm are doing a large and flourishing business. Mr. Parsons was married in New York, in 1865, to Helen A. Passmore, who bore him 2 children—Florence A. and Ernest V. Mrs. Parsons died in 1869, and he was again married in 1871, to Frances P. Johnson. One child has been given to this union—Edward L. Mr. Parsons was at one time Supervisor of St Charles tp.

Charles H. Parks, a son of Asahel Parks, an honored pioneer of Chesaning tp., was born in 1833, and at the age of 12 years accompanied his parents to Michigan. He first found employment with R. P. Mason, with whom he remained six years. After a year with J. W. Turner in the saw-mill business, four years in the same business at Saginaw City, and 12 years working at the carpenter's trade, at St. Charles, he located on his present farm, where he has since resided. He was married Sept. 18, 1856, to Jane Seaman, who was born in Oakland Co., Mich., Jan. 31, 1840, and is a daughter of Charles Seaman. They have 3 children—Elva M., born in October, 1865; Charles, born Aug. 2, 1876, and Ross, born May 22, 1879. Mr. Parks is a Republican. His father, who now resides at Granville, Mich., was the father of 7 children—Isaac, Asher, Mehitable, Eunice, Eshiel, Charles and Oliver.

J. T. Symes, dealer in lumber, St. Charles, was born in Berkshire Co., Mass., June 20, 1821, and is a son of James Symes, a native of London, England. He was educated in the public schools of Massachusetts and Ohio, and in 1855, came to St. Charles with a capital of $25,000. He invested in lumber, sawmill, etc., and in 1861 lost his mill and considerable lumber by fire, his individual loss $5,000. His property was again destroyed in 1869, loss $5,000, and the third time in 1876, the latter fire causing a loss of $20,000. He carries a large stock of lumber, and owns a good hotel at St. Charles, also Symes' Hall at the same village. He is Republican in politics, although he has not voted since leaving Ohio. He was married in Ohio, in 1846, to Mary D. Hines, who has borne him 5 children—4 boys and 1 girl. The sons are all engaged in business in this State, and the wife and daughter are still living in Ohio.

John W. Thorn, merchant, St. Charles, was born at Troy, N. Y., in 1837. He is a son of James H. and Mary C. (Feathers) Thorn, natives of New York, the former of English and the latter of German ancestry. John W. received a practical education at the Yates Polytechnic Institute, from which he graduated, with honor, in 1856. At the age of 19 years he commenced to teach a district school in Michigan, which occupation he successfully followed for three years. In 1857 he was a teacher in the St. Charles school. In 1858 he located in Greenwood Co., Kan., where he was subsequently elected to the office of County Superintendent of Schools. When Kansas was admitted to the Union, Mr. Thorn was a delegate to the State Convention. In 1864 he returned to Michigan and located at Owosso, where he was engaged in the hardware business for six years. After the same period at Detroit, in the same business, he returned to Owosso, and for a time was with Rogers & Stewart. He afterward opened a hardware store at St. Charles for one year, since when he has been engaged in the grocery and general farm produce business. He is a staunch Republican, President of the Village Board of Trustees, and a prominent member of the Knights of Honor. He was married in 1858, to Celia L. Simons. They have 2 children—John B., born in 1867, and George William, born in 1873.

George A. Wallace, St. Charles, Mich., was born in New York, July 29, 1828; parents were George and Abigail (Branch) Wallace, the former a native, of Massachusetts, of Scotch descent, and the latter of Vermont, of English ancestry. Subject of sketch has worked at the blacksmith and cooper trades; first located in Washtenaw Co., Mich., in 1859; located at St. Charles, where he is President of Village Board, and Superintendent of the Schools; has filled various tp. offices; is member of Greenback party; owns 500 acres of land, a hotel and business building in St. Charles; was married in 1848 to Nancy Rose, who bore him 5 children and died in 1874; was again married in 1876, to a widow lady, formerly Miss Cynthia Adams.

Alson L. Wetmore, proprietor saw-mill in Marion tp. and resides at St. Charles, was born in Ohio in 1832. His parents, Asher and Electa (Talcott) Wetmore, are natives of New York, and of English descent. Alson received the educational facilities afforded by the district school, and until his 21st year, spent his life on a farm and in the lumber business. In 1842 his parents decided to remove to Michigan, but after the household effects had been shipped, the mother died, and the father and son came alone. Alson erected the first grist-mill in St. Charles tp., now owned and operated by W. W. Eddy. He removed to St. Charles village in 1854, since which time he has been prominently identified with the growing interests of that thriving village. He was a clerk for three years and served the same length of period as Postmaster. He has filled the principal tp. offices. In 1856 he married Elizabeth Duty. Their only child is Carrie E. In 1870 Mr. Wetmore and wife visited California on a pleasure trip.



Source: History of Saginaw County Michigan, By Michael A. Leeson, Damon Clarke, Published 1881 Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Chicago pages 901-914.
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