History of GRATIOT CO., Michigan. Historical Biographical, Statistical

By Willard D. Tucker pub. 1913 Press of Seemann & Peters, Saginaw, Michigan

Village of Ashley;  pgs.  1063-1094


“Next came the table factory with a capital stock of $50,000, L. A. Green, president ; Geo. W. Mead, secretary; Chas. E. Beck, treasurer; M. W. Bullock and Chas. E. Chittenden, directors. This gave the town an enormous boom, the population increased rapidly; business of all kinds was attracted this way. In 1886 the present schoolhouse was erected, and in 1887 the T. S. & M. Railroad entered Ashley and again Ashley boomed. A man named Briggs started a newspaper, and was succeeded by Louis Fuller, who published it several years. Of the business men of 1889 there remain but five at this time—L. M. Hutchinson, James Woolston, C. E. Beck, Thos. E. Brown and B. F. Pease. In 1896, I think, occurred the great fire on the west side of Sterling Street, after which the great boom subsided, and Ashley was at a standstill for several years.

The big fire mentioned by Mr. Harris occurred July 27, 1897. It is appropriate to state here that the depression in business mentioned by Mr. Harris was not of a lasting nature—at least it was not everlasting—and Ashley has in later years taken her place in the ranks of the prosperous and progressive towns of Central Michigan.


The Village of Ashley was incorporated by resolution of the board of supervisors at its October session, 1886. Preliminary to this action of the supervisors a petition was presented, signed by 14 freeholders, residents of the territory which it was proposed to incorporate, setting forth the desires of the petitioners, the description of the particular territory and the number of inhabitants. The census had been taken by Ansel H. Phinney who found the number to be 405. The territory to be incorporated was described as follows: “Commencing 80 rods north of the southwest corner of section 6. Elba, thence east one mile, thence south one mile, thence west one mile, thence north one mile to place of beginning.”

The signers of the petition were the following: James Clifford, David H.  Helt, Eli Bailey, Thomas Brown, R. M. Brooks, E. S. Bailey, A. H. Phinney, C. E. Chittenden, W. A. Chittenden, Herbert Bishop, W. R. Perry, T. B. Hirt, R. Blanter, Joseph St. Johns.

The board of supervisors received the petition and referred the whole matter to a committee composed of Supervisors Edwin Meacham, of Elba, Henry Stitt, of Fulton, and Jesse Pepple, of Emerson. The report of the committee was favorable, and the necessary resolution was passed October 15, 1886, F. E. Kneeland, Eli Bailey and F. M. Nichols being designated as election inspectors for the first election which was to be held at the Aldrich House in Ashley, November 11, 1886. The election came off according to schedule. 


Ashley’s first village election, held November 11, 1886, resulted as follows: Nov. 11, 1886: Pres.—Wm. A. Chittenden; Chk.—O. E. Gibson; Treas.—Ansel H. Phinney; Ass’r—F. E. Kneeland; Trustees—J. Woolston, T. Kirby, M. Bishop, F. Riddle, Eli Bailey, L. M. Hutchinson; Mar.—C. H. Gunn; St. C.—T. Kirby; F. W.—N. P. Helt; P. M.—David Frost. 

At a council meeting Nov. 17, ‘86, E. L. Walbridge, of Ithaca, was appointed attorney for the village at a salary of $50 per annum.

A special election was held Nov. 29, 1886, to vote on the question of issuing bonds to the amount of $8,500 to provide for public improvements. The affirmative prevailed.

March, 1887: Pres.—Wm. A. Chittenden; Trustees—T. E. Brown, T. Kirby, E. Z. Fuller; Clk.—Thos. B. Hirt; Treas.—A. H. Phinney; Ass’r— Chas. E. Chittenden; Mar.—Chas. H. Gunn; St. C.—L. M. Hutchinson

At a later date Dr. B. C. Sickles was appointed health officer, G. W. Mead, trustee, vice Riddle resigned, and Eli Bailey, marshal, in place of Gunn, resigned.

1888: Pres. B. C. Sickles; Trustees—J. F. Bush, Jas. Woolston, Edwin W. Field; Clk. Thos. B. Hirt; Treas.—Morris Netzorg;. Ass’r—Solomon J. Haring; Mar.—Fred Osborne; St. C.—Frank M. Nichols.

1889: Just previous to this time the village had become re-incorporated under the general law, and the first election resulted as follows:

Pres.—B. C. Sickles: Trustees, 2 yrs.—John H. Tripp, T. Kirby, Cooley C. Green; 1 yr.—Chas. E. Henry, Andrew J. French, Jacob M. Wiltse: Clk.—Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.—Wm. J. Barker; Ass’r—Jerome F. Bush; St. C.—L. M. Hutchinson; Const.—Henry Shellenbarger.

Ap.: Atty.—K. S. Searl ; Mar. Henry Shellenbarger.

May 13, ‘89, John S. Wolverton was appointed trustee vice A. J. French, resigned.

1890: Pres.—Jacob M. Wiltse; Trustees, 2 yrs.—Francis Ban croft, Geo. E. Clutterbuck, Joseph W. Beechey; 1 yr. Daniel W. Rumbaugh, D. W. C. Tiffany, Orin B. Hoover; Clk. Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.—Benj. D. Ackmoody; Ass’r—Jas. Woolston; St. Com.—Myron H. Mills; Const.—Eugene Kirby.

Ap.: Mar.—Thompson Kirby; H. O.—Dr. W. A. Hale.

1891: Pres. J. M. Wiltse; Trustees—C. E. Chittenden, Orin B. Hoover. D. W. C. Tiffany; 1 yr., S. J. Haring; Clk.—Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.— Win. H. Cobb; Ass’r—Jas. Woolston: St. Coin. Myron H. Mills; Const.—Frank Pratt.

Ap.: Mar.—T. Kirby: H. 0. Dr. B. C. Sickles.

Nov. 10, ‘91, Benj. Garrett was appointed treasurer, to fill vacancy. C. E. Beck was appointed trustee vice F. Bancroft.

1892: Pres.—E. Z. Fuller; Trustees—Benj. Garrett, W. B. Roof, John N. Day; Clk.—Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.—Chas. E. Beck; Ass’r—Eugene Pitts; St. C.—Cyrus G. Hayner; Const.—Chas. H. Gunny.

Ap.: Mar.—T. Kirby; H. 0. Dr. J. H. Day. June 4, ‘92, Louis W. Fuller was appointed clerk vice Douglas, resigned.

1893: Pres. E. Z. Fuller; Trustees—J. M. Wiltse, C. E. Chittenden, Orin J. Dutton; Clk.—L. W. Fuller; Treas.—Chas. E. Beck; Ass’r— D. W. C. Tiffany; St. C.—Myron H. Mills: Const.—Chas. H. Gunn.

Ap. Mar.—Chas. H. Gunn; H. O.—Dr. W. A. Hale.

Nov. 4, ‘93, W. R. Perry was appointed trustee vice Day, resigned

A special election to vote on the question of issuing bonds of $1,500 for securing fire protection, resulted  Yes 87 ; no, 9.

1894: Pres.—J. F. Bush; Trustees L. M. Hutchinson, Robert M. Bird, C. E. Beck; Clk. L. W. Fuller; Treas.—Benj. Garrett; Ass’r Eugene Pitts; St. C—M. H. Mills: Const—Wm. H. Wolverton.

Ap.:Mar.—B. C. Sickles; H. O.—B. C. Sickles.

1895: Pres.—Thompson Kirby: Trustees—Geo. S. Hoard, Chas. F. Pratt, Geo. L. Bennett: 1 yr., Chas. Kerr; Clk.—L. W. Fuller; Treas.— Benj. Garrett; Assy’r Jas. Woolston.

Ap.: Mar.—J. E. Kirby; St. C.—-M. H. Mills; Const.—C. H. Gunn; H. O.—Dr. W. A. Hale; Review—Geo. Hoard, L. M. Hutchinson.

1896: Pres.—Geo. W. Mead; Trustees—Ira Otto, Chas. Kerr, L. M. Hutchinson; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—W. B. Roof; Ass’r—D. W. C. Tiffany.

Ap.: Mar.—Chas. H. Gunn; St. C.—Warren Smith; Const.—G. B. Smith; H. O.—W. A. Hale; Atty.—John T. Mathews, of Ithaca.

1897: Pres.—Geo. S. Hoard; Trustees—Myron H. Mills, H. E. Murphy, Frank Pratt; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—T. Kirby; Ass’r—D. W. C. Tiffany.

Ap.: Mar.—Warren Smith; Atty.—J. T. Mathews; Ch. F. D.—J. F. Bush; H. O.—W. A. Hale.

W.  B. Roof was appointed treasurer vice Kirby.

1898: Pres.—Benj. Garrett; Trustees—L. M. Hutchinson, Chas. Kerr, Ira Otto; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Jas. Woolston; Ass’r—D. W. C. Tiffany.

Ap.: Mar.—Chas. H. Gunn; St. C.——M. H. Mills; H. O.—W. A. Hale.

1899: Pres.—Chas. E. Chittenden; Trustees—Harry C. Rose, Lewis E. Pratt, Wm. R. Perry; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Jas. Woolston; Ass’r—­D. W. C. Tiffany.

Ap.: St. C.—W. B. Roof ; H. O.—M. G. Bassett. The president twice appointed Chas. H. Gunn, marshal, and the trustees twice refused to confirm him, standing three and three. Then the president asked the six trustees to take a ballot, which they did, resulting in a tie vote—three for Gunn and three for Loren Corwin. Then the president gaily gave the casting vote for Gunn; and the deed was done.

1900: Pres.—Zachary V. Payne; Trustees—Chas. Kerr, Thos. Brown, Samuel Gordon; 1 yr., Albert Follett; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Perry D. Pease; Ass’r—D. W. C. Tiffany.

Ap.: Mar.—Chas. H. Gunn; St. C.—H. C. Terwilliger; H. O.—M. G. Bassett.

May 9, 1900, W. R. Perry was appointed trustee vice Gordon, removed from town.

May 21, 1900. W. B. Roof was appointed street - commissioner vice Terwilliger, resigned.

1901: Pres.——Lewis E. Pratt; Trustees—Chas. Corwin, Chas. A. Greene, Napoleon B. Bowker; 1 yr., Orin J. Sprague, D. W. C. Tiffany; Clk ---E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Geo. S. Hoard; Ass’r—W. B. Roof.

Ap.: Mar.—C. H. Gunn; St. C.—Chas. Manchester; H. O.—W. A. Hale; Atty.—J. T. Mathews.

1902: Pres.—De Witt Clinton Tiffany; Trustees, Jas. E. Vanalstine; L. M. Hutchinson, Chas. E. Pechtil; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Geo. S. Hoard; Ass’r—W. B. Roof.

Ap.: Mar.—C. H. Gunn; St. C.—W. A. Smith; H. O.—W. A. Hale.

April 14, ‘02, the board appointed A. N. Palmeter trustee vice Corwin, removed from the village.

1903: Pres.—D. W. C. Tiffany; Trustees—Albert E. Church, Lewis E. Pratt, Albert N. Palmeter; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Cyrus Stratton; Ass’r—W. B. Roof.

Ap.: Mar.—Henry- Hull; St. C.—Chas. Manchester.

1904: Pres.—D. W. C. Tiffany; Trustees—Albert E. Fuller, W. N. Gladstone, Geo. F. Coon; Clk.—E. Z. Fuller; Treas.—Lester Fox; Ass’r— W. B. Roof.


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