Saginaw County Michigan

Zilwaukee Township

comprised at its organization, Jan. 20, 1854, all the land within its present limits, together with a large tract on the east side of the river, since annexed to Buena Vista. Within the township proper are four villages or settlements: Bliss Mill settlement, containing a population of 174; Melbourne settlement, with 315 inhabitants; New York Works settlement of 145 inhabitants, and Zilwaukee village, containing a population of 915. The township outside these centers is thinly settled, containing only 81 people. The entire population is 1,630. The land along the river is low and marshy. The people look to the great industries of Rust, Eaton & Co., the New York works, Oneida Salt Co.'s works, Burt's mill and other factories as the main pillar of support. With a system of drainage and embankment, the lands could be converted into the richest agricultural district in the county.


The application for the organization of Zilwaukee was signed by John L. Richman, P. N. Davenport, L. Wellington, Louis Duprat, Antoine Duprat, John Davis, David Johnson, Jerry Davis, B. J. Fisher, Jacob Wright, James Barrett, Casper Schulteis, Michael Walker, J. H. Schoeder, representing the 41 electors then in the township, and presented to the Board of Supervisors. The territory to be organized comprised the south half of township number 13 north, of range 4 east; the south half of township number 13 north, of range 5 east; fractional section 6, and all that part of fractional section 5 lying west of Saginaw river, in township number 12 north, of range 5 east. The board granted the request of the applicants Jan. 3, 1854, and ordered that the first annual meeting for the election of township officers be held at the office of D. & S. Johnson, in Zilwaukee, Jan. 20, 1854; and that the following-named persons—Luke Wellington, Charles Danes and B. F. Fisher, being three electors of said township—be designated and appointed to preside at such meeting.

The first town meeting was held at D. & S. Johnson's office Jan. 20, 1854, as ordered. Charles Danes was elected Supervisor; Chas. H. Brower, Town Clerk; Charles Lewis, Treasurer; Louis Duprat, Commissioner of Highways; Benj. F. Fisher, School Inspector; Daniel Johnson, Benj. F. Fisher, Win. L. Marsh, Casper Schulteis, Justices of the Peace; Asher Parks, Henry Flatan, John G. Brindle and Jeremiah, Davis, Constables; Jacob Wright, Louis Duprat, Overseers of the Poor.


The following list embraces the township officers from 1854 to 1881:


Charles Danes 1854 Thomas W. Hastings 1863-65
Luke Wellington 1855 Jacob Wright 1866-69
B. F. Fisher 1856-57 John H. Doyle 1870-71
George Lewis 1858-59 Jacob Wright 1872-73
Alexander Alberti 1860-61 John H. Doyle 1874-81
Casper Schulties 1862    


Charles H. Brower 1854 F. A. Martin 1864-65
James Barrett 1855 Clark C. Butts 1866-68
T. N. Tabor 1856-57 S. H. Gould 1869-72
N. D. Birdsall 1858 Christoph. Kastner 1873
Casper Schulteis 1859-61 William Gardner 1874-79
Charles Glave 1862-63 Christoph. Kastner 1880-81


Charles Lewis 1854 Jacob Wright 1858-65
Louise Duprat 1855 Nat. Duprat 1866-69
Charles Lewis 1856 Ernst Weizel 1870-79
Casper Schulteis 1857 Fred. Otto 1880-1881


Daniel Johnson 1854 C. C. Chappel 1870
B. Fisher 1854 Ezra Lougeor 1871
W. L. Marsh 1854 H. S. Bennet 1871
Casper Schulteis 1854 C. Russel 1871
B F. Fisher 1855 John Reneke 1872
C. Schulteis 1856 J. Fleming 1872
George Lewis 1856 Chris. Kastner 1872
T. N. Taber 1857 C. Chappel 1872
J. Wright 1858 George Wacker 1873
George Lewis 1858 Ernst Wetzel 1873
C. Chase 1859 Jacob Wright 1874
C. Schulteis 1860 T. Shea 1874
Charles Glave 1860 Chris. Kastner 1875
Jerreaus Bissett 1861 W. Torrance 1875
J. Wright 1861 J. H. Fleming 1875
A. Alberti 1861 D. Creasor 1876
James Maloney 1862 John Steele 1877
Charles Glave 1862 William Torrance 1878
Jacob Wright 1863 M. McPhillips 1878
George D. Sargent 1864 Christopher Kastner 1878
John W. Robertson 1865 William Torrance 1878
William L. Marsh 1866 Isaac Turner 1879
J. Doyle 1866 J. H. Doyle 1879
H. S. Bennet 1866 Patrick Ryan 1879
Robert Manthon 1867 E. Wetzel 1879
Ernst Wetzel 1868 James E. Sanders 1879
J. Wright 1868 Christopher Kastner 1880
J. Doyle 1868 Fred. Ash 1881
C. C. Rice 1869 J. Pidgeon 1881
DeWitt Valentine 1870    


The churches of the township compris the Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist. The Lutheran church is said to be a pretentious building.


There are three school districts in the township; No. 1 presided over by James Malony; No. 2 by Joseph C. Bixby, and No. 3 by Edward Lambert. The number of children of school age in the township in September, 1880, was 503, of whom 374 were reported in attendance. The schoolhouses are frame buildings, valued at $8,656. There are seven teachers employed, who received during the past year $1,912 for their services. The total disbursement of money for school purposes during the year ending in September, 1880, was $2,981.90. The district taxes amounted to $2,412, primary school fund $207.27, non-resident fees $600, and $197.27 raised from other sources, aggregating $2, 981.90. The township library contains 422 volumes, including 118 volumes added during the year 1880.


Theodore F. Casamer, Principal of the Zilwaukee Public Schools, was born in Orion tp., Oakland Co., Mich., in 1844; parents are Isaac and Prudence (Buchner) Casamer, natives of New Jersey, of German descent; subject of sketch received his education at the Ypsilanti Normal School, also attended Eastman's Commercial College, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; when 17 years of age, enlisted in Co. C, 10th Reg. Mich. Vol. Inf., and was wounded in the shoulder at battle of Jonesboro, Ga., Sept. 1, 1864; was discharged, and re-enlisted again in 1864, but was discharged again in 1865 on account of wounds received; was a resident of Genesee Co., Mich., for some time; and was appointed County Superintendent of Schools; was also nominated for Register of Deeds of Oakland Co., Mich., in 1876; came to Zilwaukee in 1868, and accepted present position, which he has since filled; is Republican in politics; was married in 1880, to Jane Chase.

George Hendry, physician, was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, in 1838, and is a son of John and Mary Ann (Clark), natives of Scotland; received his literary education in the high schools of Canada, and was a teacher at Farmersville for two years; entered Queen's College (Medical) at Kingston, from which he graduated March 29, 1869; came to this tp. in 1868; is Republican in politics; has twice been delegate to State Conventions, and in 1880, was delegate to Detroit to elect delegates for the Presidential election; has been Superintendent of Schools and Justice of the Peace; was President of the Saginaw County Medical Society in 1874; enjoys an extensive and lucrative practice; was married, in Canada, in 1873, to Mary Simpson, a native of Scotland; have 2 children—George David Kerr and Isabella Henrietta.

Frederic Otto, residence Zilwaukee village, was born in Germany, in 1833, and is a son of Frederic and Frederika (Phulshur) Otto; he received a common-school eduation in Prussia, and has served some years as engineer of a stationary engine; he came to this country in 1855; is Democratic in politics, and has officiated as School Inspector and Tp. Treasurer two terms; he owns 35 acres of land, two of which are in the village of Zilwaukee; also 11 village lots; he was married in 1859, to Caroline Hilderbrand; of their 10 children, 8 are living—Fred, Charlie, John, Rudolf, Alvina, William, Caroline and Albert. The deceased are Louisa, and Abesia.

Philo Stafford was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., in 1831; is a son of John and Margaret (Orr) Stafford; father native of Rhode Island, of English descent; mother native of Vermont, of Scotch parentage. Subject of sketch was educated at the common and high schools of Ohio, and has been engaged in a saw-mill since 1851. On Aug. 25, 1862, enlisted in Co. A, 18th Mich. Vol. Inf., and was honorably discharged in 1863. In 186– obtained position as foreman of Rust, Eaton & Co's saw-mill, and has been engaged in that business since; has full charge of everything connected with mill, and has on an average 50 men employed. Was married in 1859 to Francis C. Riddle, a native of Ohio, of English and Irish descent. Of their 6 children 5 are living. Subject of sketch votes for candidates of Republican party.

Ernst Wetzel was born in Prussia, Dec. 4, 1830; is a son of Charles Wetzel, a sea captain. Subject of sketch received a fair education in his native land, and in 1843 shipped on board a vessel as a common sailor. In 1848 he cruised to America, and subsequently to Buenos Ayres; took a trip around Cape Horn, and arrived at San Francisco, Cal., May 4, 1850. For two years was proprietor of a general store in the mining regions, being very successful in this business. Was a miner for 12 years; came to this county in 1866, and has since been a farmer; owns 122 acres of land and property in East Saginaw. Is a member of the Lutheran Church, and a Democrat. Was Justice of the Peace and Tp. Treasurer for 10 years. Was married in 1866, to Mary Ann Huss, a native of Germany, born Nov. 30, 1840; have 6 children, 1 daughter and 5 sons—Albert, Herman, Ernest, Emil, Bernard and Clara.



Source: History of Saginaw County Michigan, By Michael A. Leeson, Damon Clarke, Published 1881 Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Chicago pages 957-960.
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