LODGES AND SOCIETIES                                                                 Page 51-53



     Cass River Lodge, No. 163, F. and A. M., was granted a charter by the Grand Lodge at its session of January, 1865, with J. J. Wilder, W. M.; I. C. Kibbe,  S. W: B. A. Wood, J. W.; H. P. Atwood, secretary.  In February the following officers were elected:  I. C. Kebbe, W. M; H. P Atwood, S. W.; I. Killam, J. W. : J.W.; J. H. Grinnell, treasurer; W. Lake, Jr., secretary; J. Gould, S.D.: L. F. Hinson, J. D.: P. D. Bush , tyler.  Monday evening February 20, the lodge was duly constituted and the officers installed.  The officer in 1883 are as follows:     W. M., J. A. Trotter; S. W., J. R. Bancroft; J. W., L. C. Merritt; treasurer, M. L. Gage; secretary, E. A. Bullard; S. D., C. H. Richardson; J. D., Jas. Stewart; stewards, T. H. Lake, E. J. Hovey; tyler, M. P. McHose.     A few years after its organization the name of the lodge was changed to Vass Lodge.  The lodge is building a new hall on Pine Street which, when completed, will provide it with desirable apartments. 


     Vassar Lodge, No. 264, I. O. O. F., was organized in February, 1876.  The charter members were P. D. Irons, H. B. McHose, J. H. Wagner, H. N. Montague, P. L. Varnum, John Clark and A. W. Wilber.  Principal officers were: N. G., P. D. Iron; secretary, J. A, Clark; treasurer, H. B. McHose; V. G., J. H. Wagner; present officers: N. G., J. A. Clark; secretary, P. L. Varnum; treasurer, J. H. Wagner; V. G., D. C. Bennett. 


     The Vassar Library Association was organized in January, 1882, largely through the instrumentality of Mrs. Anna Oakley.  A village library has been established which now contains 268 volumes.  The officers in 1883 are: President Horace A Miller; vice president, P. L. Varnum; secretary, Rev. E. P. Clark; treasurer, Geo E. Williamson. 


     Eureka Lodge, No. 869, Knights of Honor, was organized with about eighteen members, in September, 1878.  The present dictator is D. G. Whitcomb; reporter, Horace A. Miller; finance reporter, M. P. McHose; medical examiner and treasurer, D. L. C. Davis. 


     Vassar Lodge of Good Templars, No 431, was organized in May, 1882.  W. C. T., W. E. Clough; W. V. T., Mrs. W. H Dack; secretary, Mary E. Kesseler; treasurer, Mrs. A. Hartman; P. W. C. T., H. H. Dack.  The lodge has had a successful career thus far, and is at present in a flourishing condition. 


     A lodge of the order of Chosen Friends was organized in March, 1883, with twenty-two members.  The following were the officers elected: Chief councilor, W. E. Clough; vice councilor, G. W. Laking; secretary, G. R. Wightman; treasurer, J. H. Wagner; medical examiner, D. T. A. Cullis probate Wm. Kenyon. Marshal, John Scott; guard, M. Fogler; warden, John Parker; sentinel, E. Adams. 


     Vassar Tent, No. 66, Knights of the Maccabees, was organized in December, 1882.  Sir Kt. C., Frank L. Fales; S. K. L. C., Horace A. Miller; R. K., H. S. Hadsall; F. K., T. Lane; P. S. Kr.; C., S. A. Lane; prelate, D.C. Atkins. 


     The Vassar postoffice was established in 1852, and was kept in the store of North & Edmunds.  Dr. William Johnson was the first postmaster.  The mail was brought from Tuscola, and the carrier’s hat was usually the mail bag.  Soon after the mail was received regularly from Bridgeport.  Dr. Johnson held the office until the election of James Buchanan as president, when a political change of administration resulted in a change of federal office holders, and he was succeeded by B. W. Huston, Jr.  Mr. Huston was followed by W. R Bartlett, Isaac Jameson, Alexander Totter and William Lake, Jr.  The present postmaster, E. C. Caine, took the office in January, 1882.  A new postoffice is being erected in the summer of 1883, adjoining the store of John Johnson & Son, on Main street.  The business of the office is constantly increasing, and on the 1st of July, 1882, was made a third-class office, and a separating office from April 1st, 1882.  A large amount of mail is thrown into this office by the junction of the two railroads.  Pouches are made up her for Bloomfield, Richville, Buena Vista, Watrousville, Caro, Tuscola, Saginaw, East Saginaw, and D. & B. C., East Saginaw and Port Huron agents.  Eight-three lock pouches are received and the same number dispatched every week, besides a number of sacks of paper mail. 


     The village of Vassar was incorporated under a special law in 1871, and the first village election was held on the tenth day of April in that year.  Thirty-six votes were polled, and nearly all the officers elected received the entire vote.     The records state that the common council of the village held their first meeting at the office of B. W. Huston, Jr., April 22, 1871.  William Johnson was appointed clerk, to fill the vacancy caused by failure of Thomas F. Sawyer to qualify.     The first ordinance passed was one restraining horses, cattle, sheep and swine from running at large.     At the spring election in 1873, 102 votes were cast.     In December, 1874, occurred the death of William Butler, president of the village.  Sutabel notice of the event was taken president of the village.  Suitabel notice of the event was taken by the council.  Charles Curtis was elected to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the year.     In 1877 the village obtained a new charter under the general laws, and the first election under the new charter was held April 2, of that year.  The highest number of votes polled was 176.  Under the new charter the number of trustees was increased from four to six. 


          PRESIDENT               CLERK                     TREASURER              ASSESSOR

1871   Townsend North       Thos F. Sawyer               Morgan L. Gage       Henry A. Brockway

1872   Townsend North       Wm.  Johnson                   Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1873   Wm. Lake, Jr.           Wm. Johnson            Morgan L. Gage      Joseph Selden

1874   Wm. Butler               Wm. Johnson            Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1875   James Graham          Wm. Johnson            Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1876    James Graham         Wm. Johnson            Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1877    J. G. Selden              Jas. A. Trotter        Morgan L. Gage       Henry A. Brockway

1878    J. G. Selden              Jas. A. Trotter          Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1879    James Graham          Jas. A. Trotter          Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1880    Jeff J. Wilder            Jas. A. Trotter          Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1881    Ed. C. Caine            Henry A. Hadsall      Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1882    Frank L. Fales         Henry A. Hadsall      Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway

1883    John W. Brainard    Henry A. Hadsall      Morgan L. Gage      Henry A. Brockway



     The Vassar Opera-house is a building highly creditable to this flourishing village.  The building is situated on the corner of Main and Pine Streets, and was erected by R. W. & F. Miller in 1879, at a cost of $7,500.  The auditorium is reached by an easy flight of stairs from Main Street, and the house will seat 750 persons, about equally divided between the parquette and gallery.      The exterior of the building is very pleasing, the red brick showing off well and the interior is not only cozy and comfortable, but decorated in a manner that reflects much credit upon the proprietor and the artist.  The property is now owned by Frank Miller, his brother, having retired from a proprietary interest in 1881. 


     The First Nation Bank of Vassar is the successor of T. North & Son.  The business was first established in 1875 by Mr. North, who associated with him Bostwick Noble, of Lowell, Mich.  The following year Mr. North purchased Mr. Noble’s interest.  In 1878 he built a handsome brick building in which the bank is now located.  In 1882 Mr. North took his only son Frank into partnership, and the firm name of T. North & Son was adopted.  The business was continued by this firm until the summer of 1883 when the organization of the First National Bank took place.  The organization was completed in June, and the first currency issued early in August.  The capital stock is $50,000.     Directors:  Townsend North, D. G. Slafter, B. W. Huston, Justin Wentworth, Frank North, George Williamson, and r. C. Burtis.     Officers of the board were elected as follows: President, Hon. Townsend North; vice-president, Hon. D. G Slafter; cashier, Frank North.     The Vassar Exchange Bank is one of the thrifty business institutions of the village of Vassar.  It is conducted under the firm name of I. Gibbard & C., the proprietors being Isaac Gibbard, of Rochester, N. Y., and C. C. Curtis, of Vassar.  Mr. Curtis is cashier, and has the general management of the business.  It was established in February, 1882, and is located in the Opera-house Block. 


     The professions are represented in Vassar as follows:
Three legal firms, Huston & Hadsall, Frank L. Fales, and E. H. Taylor, prosecuting attorney.
Seven physicians, L. C. Davis & T. A. Cullis, H. M. Leach, Wm Johnson H. A. Brockway, J. B. Lewis, allopathic, and J. R. Nunn, Homeopathic.
Two dentists, E. J. Hovey and L. G. Dean


This beautiful city of the dead is one of the delightful and interesting points about the village of Vassar.  Among the inhabitants of the village are a considerable number, well advanced in years.  As the years roll by, members of these families are laying aside life’s burdens, and are borne to their last resting place.  The place of their sepulcher possesses a solemn and sacred interest to those who are left behind.  It had been felt for some years the township burying grounds did not meet the requirements of the village, and steps were taken toward securing a more desirable place.  In 1879 a stock company was formed, and a tract of land containing thirty-eight acres, located on the river bank a short distance below the village, was purchased.  A large sum of money has been expended in clearing the ground, laying out drives and fitting it for the purpose intended.  The location is very desirable, and the improvements that have been made indicate a spirit of refinement and enterprise on the part of the people of the village.  Many of the lots are already graced with handsome and enduring family monuments; graceful winding drives, sloping banks of green award, and carefully tended graves give promise of surpassing beauty in time to come. 


     This park is owned by the Vassar Driving Park Association, and was started in 1881.  It is situated on River Street, about half a mile from the business center of town, has a good half-mile track, and abundance of room for other purposes, the grounds containing twenty acres.  Last year the track was graded and rolled the grounds thoroughly drained, the stumps taken out, most of the land inside and outside the track plowed leveled and seeded down, and a high, tight board fence built around the entire tract.     The work of improving the place has been continued, and the association now have a delightful park and an excellent track.  A large sum of money is being expended the present season, and the County Agricultural Society having arranged to hold their fairs.
Here, are providing the necessary facilities.  It is now proposed to increase the capital stock to $5,000.  The present directors are L. C. Merritt, S. Blackmore, E. H. Taylor, J. P. Blackmore, J. A. Trotter, C. D. Bennett, James McConnell.  The officers are: President, E. H. Taylor; secretary, James A. Trotter; treasurer, L. C. Merritt.