TUSCOLA COUNTY HISTORY
LODGES AND SOCIETIES.
Monunt Moriah Lodge No. 226, F. & A. M., was organized February 23, 1867, with eleven members, viz.: Samuel C. Armstrong, J. J. Wilder, Farley Craw, Daniel Kinyon, Elisha Kinyon, Thomas B. Morrison, Peter D. Bush, Avril Harris, John Morrison, John C. Santee and Tiffany Nettleton.
The first officers were: W. M., J. J. Wilder; S. W., Samuel C. Armstrong; J. W., T. Nettleton; secretary, John Morrison; treasurer, Farley Craw; S. D., Peter D. Bush; J. D., Thomas Morrison; T., Avril Harris. The lodge worked under dispensation until February 5, 1868, when it received a charter from the grand lodge of Michigan. Its membership by last report was seventy. Meetings are held Wednesday evenings on or before the full moon. The present officers of the lodge are: John Basston, W. M.; S. F. Chase, S. W.; George Brown, J. W.; James Sutton, treasurer; Charles H. McEckron, secretary; W. C. Buchanan, S. D.; A. C. Young, J. D.; S. C. Dickensheets, T.
Caro Chapter No. 96, R. A. M., was constituted by charter January 19,1875, its charter members being Alonzo Washburn, Henry P. Atwood, William L. Rogers, L. Wilcox, J. H. Howell, J. T. Mills, A. M. Judd, J. J. Packer and J. D. Sutton, and its first officers: A. Washburn. H. P.; H. P. Atwood, K.; William M. Rogers, S.; L. Wilcox, C. H.; J. H. Howell, P. S.; J. D. Mills, R. A. C.; J. Sutton, G. M., Third V.; J. J. Packer, G. M., Second V.; A. M. Judd, G. M., First V.; J. J. Packer, treasurer; A. M. Judd secretary. The present number of members is sixty-two. Regular convocations are held on the fourth Thursday of each month. The officers of the chapter at the present time are as follows: H. P., John Staley, Jr.; K., Melzer E. Mallory; S., Peter D. Bush; C. H., L. Wilcox; P. S., C. H. McEckron; R. A. C., George B. McClelland; treasurer, A. M. Judd; secretary, N. M. Richardson; sentinel, D. C. Dickensheets; M. 3d V., E. G. Fox; M. 2d V., A. M. Judd.
Caro Lodge No. 173, I. O. O. F., was chartered November 17, 1871, with the following charter members: George W. Howell, Charles Montague, James W. Graves, Daniel Kinyon and Frank Fairman. Its first officers were: George W. Howell, N. G.; Charles Montague, V.G.; James W. Graves, secretary; Daniel Kinyon, treasurer; John Riley, W.; Frank J. Curtis, R. S. N. G. The last two were initiated at the first meeting.
After an existence of some six years, the charter was revoked by the grand lodge for non-payment of grand lodge dues. A few of the members clubbed together and paid the grand lodge dues for the purpose of retaining possession of the furniture. In December, 1879, the charter was restored, and the following officers installed by Grand Master Servoss. N. G., John A. McPherson; N. G., John Staley; secretary, E. R. Cookingham; P. S., John Sprague; treasurer, A. L Keifff; warden, Alexander Montague; I. G., J. D. Knight; conductor, E. R. Billings; O. G., F. Pool; R. S. N. G., H. G. Chapin; L. S. N. G., H. P. Atwood; R. S. V. G., R. P. Edson; L. S. V. G., James O. Hendricks. The present membership numbers forty-three. The officers are: N. G., F.C. Townsend; V. G., John Riley; R. S., F. W. Osterle; P. S., C. N. Worthington; T., W. Lewenberg; R.S. N. G., H. S. Johnson; L. S. N. G., F. A. Pool; W., H. S. Lee; C., F. H. Thomas; R. S. S., John Watrous; L. S. S., John Sprague; O. G., Edward Darby; I. G., Frank Dyer; R. S. V. G., E.R. Cookingham; L.S. V. G., William Imerson. The lodge meets every Monday night, and is enjoying an unusual degree of prosperity.
Caro Encampment No. 54, was instituted August 14, 1872, by A. Ferguson, G. H. P., of the Grand Encampment, and the following officers were elected and installed: M. D. Orr, C. P.; J. P. Hoyt, H. P. ; J. W. Graves, S. W.; F.A. Goodell. Scribe; John Riley, treasurer; C. Montague, J. W. Its present membership is thirty-five. Present officers: H. S. Johnson, C. P.; John Sprague, H. P.; E. R. Cookingham, S. W.; F.C. Townsend, J. W.; John Riley, treasurer; F. W. Osterle, scribe; John Watrous, J. S.; F. H. Thomas, G.; C. N. Worthington, First W.; F. A. Pool, Second W.; William Imerson, Third W.; A. L. Keiff, Fourth W. Meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
KNIGHTS OF HONOR.
Caro Lodge No. 1143, Knights of Honor, was instituted July 3, 1878, with twenty-five charter members. The officers elected were as follows: Dictator, J. F. Wilmot; vice-dictator, C. O. Adams; assistant dictator, H. S. Harcout; reporter, F. H. Robbins; financial reporter, W. F. Street; treasurer, John Staley, Jr.; chaplain, Rev. J. W. Campbell; guide, Charles Pyne; guardian, John Sprague; sentinel, Henry Sellick; past dictator, H. G. Chapin. The lodge has been prosperous and has increased largely in membership, numbering at present fifty-two members. Two have died, Henry G. Chapin and T. C. Johnson. The present officers of the lodge are: Dictator, M. Herbert Smith; vice-dictator, William A. Lewenberg; assistant dictator, Frederick S. Wheat; reporter, J. Langworthy Duck; treasurer, James H. Howell; chaplain, W. J. Taylor; guide, Myer Himelhouh; guardian, Wolf Himelhoch; sentinel, I Himelhoch. Meetings are held Friday evening of each week.
KNIGHTS OF THE MACCABEES.
January 9, 1883, Advance Tent No. 71, of Knights of the Maccabees, was instituted by Sir Knight, Hugh Elliott, D. G. C., of Michigan, the number of charter members being twenty-eight. The following officers were chosen: Past Sir K. Com., John F. Seeley; Sir K. Com., Frank H. Thomas; Lieut. Com., Charles A. Pyne; K. K., Charles Wilsey; F. K., John C. Watrous; prelate, Benjamin F. Harris; physician, W. J. Taylor, M. D.; sergeant, Frank Hamilton; M. at A., Charles W. Graham; 1st M. of G., W. C. Riley; 2nd M. of G., Edward C. Humphrey; sentinel, E. A. Fuller; picket, Marshall Stewart.
Caro Council No. 661 of the Royal Arcanum, was organized March 6, 1882, with twenty-three charter members. The officers elected were: Regent, Cyrenius P. Black; vice-regent, George H. Pond; orator, W. J. Taylor; past regent, John A. McPherson; secretary, J. Ralph Gillespie; collector, Jas. L. Duck; treasurer, Fred. D. Aplin; chaplain, A. L. Keiff; guide, A. C. Dickensheets; warden, R. P. Edson, sentry, W. S. Cassitt; trustees, Geo. B. McCelland, J. D. Knight and J. H Howell; medical examiner, W. J. Taylor: representative to Grand Council, John A. McPherson; alternate, C. P. Black.
The present membership of the Council is twenty. Meetings are held on the third Friday in each month. The following officers were chosen at the last election: R., C. A. Van Wagner; V. R., G. H. Pond; secretary, J. R. Gillespie; collector, W. N. West; treasurer, F. D. Aplin; chaplain, A. L. Keiff; G., R. P. Edson; W. J. Taylor; trustees, S. Strickland, J. H. Howell and F. Townsend; representative to Grand Council, J. A. McPherson.
LADIES’ LIBRARY ASSOCIATION.
The records state that the ladies of Caro convened July 28, 1877, to effect a legal organization of the society called the Caro Ladies’ Library Association. The meeting was duly organized, Mrs. N. M. Richardson in the chair. Miss Della Cumings, clerk. A constitution and by-laws were read and adopted, committees appointed, and the following officers were elected for the ensuing six months: Mrs. N. M. Richardson president; Mrs. Wm. MPhail, vice-president; Miss Della Cumings, secretary; Mrs. A. P. Cooper, corresponding secretary; Mrs. John Staley, treasurer; Mrs. D. C. Bush and Mrs. R. Whiteside, librarians.
The membership at first was very small, being barely sufficient to maintain a working organization. It has, however, increased until there are at present about sixty-five members. Already the library they established contains nearly four hundred volumes of well selected books, and the number is being increased from time to time. The present officers of the society are as follows: President, Mrs. L. A. Hankerson; vice-president, Mrs. S. F. Chase; treasurer, Mrs. C. R. Selden; secretary, Mrs. N. M. Richardson; librarians, Mrs. S. P. Spafford and Mrs. N. M. Richardson.
W. C. T. U.
The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Caro was organized at a meeting held at the residence of Mrs. Field, in January, 1880. The following officers were elected: President, Mrs. John Staley, Jr.; vice-president, Mrs. J. A. McPherson; treasurer, Mrs. N. M. Richardson; secretary, Mrs. R. J. Parkhurst. The society has continued its organization to the present time, and from time to time has public temperance meetings. The officers for the last half of 1883 are as follows: President, Mrs. John Staley, Jr.; vice-presidents, Mesdames H. K. Winans, G. Spaulding and L. W. Chapin; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Dr. Wheat; treasurer, Mrs. J. F. Seeley; recording secretary, Mrs. P. VanDyke.
G. A. R.
May 26, 1883, a meeting of soldiers was held at Odd Fellows Hall for the purpose of organizing a post of the Grand Army of the Republic. Col. George Aiken, of Bay City, and Col. Markis, commander of the Tuscola post, were the officers who mustered in the boys. It was decided to name the organization “Whiteside Post No. 143, G. A. R., department of Michigan,” in honor of the late Col. Richard Whiteside, of this place. The following is the list of officers elected: Commander, W. C. Buchanan; senior vice commander, N. M. Richardson; junior vice commander, Alex. Richards; surgeon, Dr. D. S. Stevens; quartermaster, M. A. Jones; officer of the day, John Staley, Jr.; officer of the guard, D. C. Dickensheets; chaplain, Alex. Reynick; adjutant, R. J. Parkhurst; sergeant major, G. S. Nutt.
The following is the muster roll: D. S. Stevens, N. M. Richardson, G. S. Nutt, Rev. E. B. Sutton, Geo. Roxbury, E. D. Hollister, Isaiah Smith, John Monk, C. L. Taggett, R. J. Parkhurst, Jas. Monroe, Geo. K. James, M. A. Jones, J. Eisenstein, D. C. Dickensheets, Alex. Richards, John Strohauer, A. H. Wortman, Frank A. Goodell, W. C. Buchanan, John Staley, Jr., Andrew Richards, H. E. Gidley, S. McTaggett, H. G. Sherman, E. B. Bills, B.F. Richards, Chas. M. Amsden, J. T. Williams, John Wagner, Wm. Hodges, Alex. Reynick, Jas. S. Gillespie, E. P. Randall, E. Belmer, D. D. Ingels, Henry Wright, J. Mintline.
THE PIONEER MERCHANT AND BANKER.
Mr. Charles Montague is the oldest merchant in Caro, having been continuously in the mercantile business longer than any one now engaged in that pursuit in the place. He was also the first to engage in the banking business in Caro.
Mr. Montague was born near London, in Ontario, Canada, and came to Macomb County, Mich., in the year 1859. In 1863, being then about eighteen years of age, he came to Centerville, now Caro, and was temporarily in the store of J. C. Montague as clerk. He then enlisted and went into the army where he remained nearly two years. Returning to Centerville, he went into the mercantile business in 1865 with J. C. Montague, the style of the firm being J. C. Montague & Co. From that time to the present he has been continuously interested in the mercantile business, though for several years his personal attention has been given to more extensive business operations. In 1867 J. C. Montague & Co. sold out and Charles bought out D. C. Bush. He was alone in business until February, 1868, when he took William E. Sherman into partnership. That firm continued until 1870, when Mr. Sherman withdrew and Mr. Montague continued business alone for a time. The present firm is Charles Montague & Co.
In 1875 Mr. Montague engaged in the banking business, a history of which is given on another page.
Mr. Montague has been very successful in his business operations, and his liberal enterprise has had much to do with the prosperity of Caro. In 1869, as a member of the firm of Montague & Sherman, he built the first brick block in Caro, now the Wilsey Block. In 1878 he built the Opera-house Block, in which the Opera-house is located. The following year he built the Bank Block, in 1880 the Citizen’s Block, and in 1881 the block of six stores on Frank Street, at the corner of State Street. These blocks are all of brick and constitute an important part of the business buildings of the village.
In all public enterprises calculated to contribute to the welfare of Caro, Mr. Montague has taken a prominent part, and aided them liberally with his means. It was largely due to his efforts that a railroad was secured to Caro. He gave $5,000 in money, besides donating the depot grounds, and guaranteeing the payment of the $30,000 that was subscribed by the people of Caro and vicinity. He made the contract with the company to pay the sum of $30,000 and furnish the right of way.
Mr. Montague’s business in Caro at the present time is principally in real estate operations and banking. He is the owner of a large amount of real estate, in both the village and county, the management of which occupies a considerable portion of his time. But his most important interest is in the lumbering business of the firm of Van Winkle & Montague near Green Bay, Wis. This firm has been operating about two years, and is one of the most extensive lumber manufacturers in that part of the State. Their mill is
located on Garden Bay and cuts annually about 30,000,000 feet of lumber. The firm own about 100,000,000 feet of standing pine on Fish Dam River, and control the booming operations of the river. Their investment at this point represents nearly half a million dollars.
In tracing the rise and progress of Caro it will be observed that Mr. Montague has been prominently identified with all the public enterprises which have combined to work out prosperity in the place.
Since the year 1871 various railroad projects have been brought to the attention of the Caro people, but only one has been carried to completion.
In 1871 the Flint & Pere Marguette Company proposed to build a road from East Saginaw to Caro, and asked a bonus of $15,000 from the people of this village. Nothing was done, however, toward raising that amount, but a route was surveyed by the company and some work was done on a portion of the line and then the project was abandoned.
In 1877, after a good deal of agitation, the preliminaries of a road from Vassar to Caro were arranged. The People of Caro and vicinity subscribed the sum of $30,000, of which Charles Montague, of Caro, and William A. Heartt, of Wahjamega, subscribed $5,000 each. Mr. Montague donated the depot ground and gave a personal guarantee for the payment of the $30,000 and that the right of way should be furnished. The road was completed in the summer of 1878 and commenced business in July.
Another project is the Grand Trunk Line from Port Huron to Bay City by way of Caro. This has been agitated for some time and there is some prospect of its being carried out. There is a railroad committee organized in Caro, composed of some of its leading business men, for the purpose of looking after the railroad interest of the place.