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



Loren Myron Hutchinson, farmer, residing in the suburbs of Ashley, was born in Highland Township, Oakland County, Mich., May 16, 1855. He is son of Myron B. and Lavisa (Wait) Hutchinson, the former born in Pen-field Township, Monroe County, N. Y., November 25, 1835, died December, 1902, the latter born in Vermont in 1835, died in 1866, leaving two children—Loren M. and Cora. The latter married Orin Leland now deceased. Half-sisters and half-brothers of Loren M. Hutchinson are the following: Zella, married Byron Turner and resides at Reese, Mich. Hattie Eloise married George Tappan and resides at Niles, Mich. Willard N. is married and resides at Bay City, Mich. Sadie married Charles Mudge and resides at Caro, Mich. Ruby married Fred Little and resides at Caro.

Loren M. Hutchinson was married to Armina A. Pitts, of the Township of Bennington, Shiawassee County, Mich., April 6, 1880. She was born in Williamston, Mich.,December 13, 1857. Her father, Willard Pitts, a native of Vermont, died May 1892. Her mother, Permelia (Burchard) Pitts, is living at the home of Mr. Hutchinson, at the age of 82 years. Eugene Pitts, a brother of Mrs. Hutchinson, is a resident of Henderson, Mich. Her sister, Jennie, married Frank Chipman, of Owosso; now deceased. Mrs. Hutchin­son died at her home in Ashley, January 8, 1913.

Some of Mr. Hutchinson’s ancestors were in the military service of their country. His great grandfather, Graves, was in the Revolutionary War. His grandfather, Hutchinson, saw service in the War of 1812.

Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson have been the parents of three children as follows: Cora died in infancy;Mabel died at the age of sixteen months; Jennie was born November 26, 1887. She was married June 28, 1911 to Grover Cleveland Roof and resides at Byron, Mich.

Mr. Hutchinson bought his land in Elba Township in 1879, before the Village of Ashley appeared upon the map. He moved on to the place in March 1881, and moved back to Shiawassee County in March 1882. Then, in 1884, when the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan Railroad was established on the bias through Elba he moved on or in, for there was much water in those days and has remained to the present time. In the years that have passed he has worked hard to bring his forest farm to its present condition of fruitfulness. As a side-line to the usual agricultural program, he early embarked in dairying, to the extent of keeping a few cows and furnishing milk to the increasing population of the village, the business expanding until it attained gratifying proportions and with correspondingly satisfactory returns. He disposed of this business in the summer of 1913.

At the incorporation of the Village of Ashley Mr. Hutchinson was chosen a member of the first council, and he has done duty in that capacity for twelve years, first and last. He has also served many years as member of the board of education; one of the substantial and dependable citizens of the town. In his Church affiliations he was connected with the Baptist society from its organization in an early day to its recent dissolution. He now affiliates with its successor, the Disciple Church. Politically he is a Demo­crat, persistently sticking to his faith in spite of discouraging conditions. He is pleased to see the dawn of a brighter day for his party, and, though not a rank partisan, he hopes for better things for the people.




In educational matters Ashley is not behind other towns of its size in Central Michigan. The school building, a picture of which is shown in this connection, was built in 1886. I suppose a strict regard for absolute truthwould compel the statement that the edifice under con­sideration is not bewilder­ingly beautiful to look upon, though it has what might be called a majestic aspect. However, a strict regard for politeness suggests silence on the subject.

The school is graded, all of the usual twelve grades being taught. Five teachers are required. The corps of teachers for the year com­mencing September, 1913, is constituted as follows: Supt.—Otto J. Heber; Assistants—Gertrude Redford, Jennie A. Coon, Josephine Cornwell, Bernice Mills.

The present board of education is made up as fol­lows: Pres.—Ira Otto ; Sec. Bigelow,  —M. W. Coon ; Treas.—David Duncan ; Asa Bigelow, Whitfield De Bar.


The Ashley Banking Company was organized May 20, 1903, for the purpose of doing a private banking business in the Village of Ashley, Mich., the company being composed of James Anstey, Thomas Anstey, Lorenzo Chambers and George H. Lewis.  Mr. Lewis was elected president, James Anstey vice-president, L. Chambers cashier, and Gertrude A. Lewis, assist­ant cashier. The same officers have been in control ever since the organiza­tion of the company.

In 1909 Gertrude A. Lewis succeeded to the cashiership. She is the only lady cashier in the county and it is believed that there are only two more in the entire state. A. C. Aldridge is assistant cashier.

The bank has had a steady and satisfactory growth from the beginning, until it has now reached a high place as a strong, conservative and reliable institution. Its career has been one of unvarying success. Being managed by well-known citizens, and backed by well-earned capital, the confidence of the people is firmly established. The bank will continue to give to its patrons the same careful attention in future as in the past, and thus confidently expects to merit and enjoy the continued good will of all.

Thos. Anstey, one of the members of the banking company died April 11, 1912.



Congregational Church.

This organization went out of existence some years ago, but as it was the first to establish itself in the village, and was very strong for several years, it seems appropriate to mention such facts concerning it as are now available. The society was organized in June, 1885, with about eight members, as follows: Isaac P. Rose, Ansel H. Phinney and wife, Ransom M. Brooks and wife, Ed. Fields and wife. Rev. Frink was the first minister and his wife may be included in the first membership.

The society being the first of the kind organized, and the village increasing rapidly in population the membership grew and flourished until within two years the number reached about 100. A church building was erected and matters progressed very satisfactorily for several years. Then trouble began to creep in, and dissension arose, caused mainly, it is said, by a bad minister, and the Church rapidly went to pieces and disbanded finally, after an existence of about ten years, the members going into other organizations as they came into existence. The church building was sold to the Baptist society.



The Church dates its organization from May 6, 1895. Rev. C. E. Conley was largely instrumental in bringing it about. He was the first pastor, Rev. David Porterfield succeeding him in 1896. At the organization of the society and the election of a board of trustees L. M. Hutchinson was chairman and Dr. W. A. Hale was secretary. The three trustees elected were L. M. Hutchinson, Frank H. Gallup and Peter Rhynard.

The membership at the organization was as follows: L. M. Hutchinson, Mrs. Mina A. Hutchinson, Peter Rhynard, Mrs. Lena F. Rhynard, Wallace A.    Hale, Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, Levi Murphy, Mrs. Mary D. Murphy, Frank H. Gallup, Mrs. Maud L. Gallup, Mrs. Laura C. Mead, Orin Nickerson, Mrs. Matilda Daily, Mrs. Clara Woolston, Mrs. Emily J. Moore, Mrs. Katharine Hinman, O. J. Dutton, Mrs. O. J. Dutton, C. J. Brewbaker, Mrs. C. J. Brewbaker, Mrs. Ida M. Pitts, Mrs. Proctor.

The society has no stated services at the present time, and it seems not at all unfair to say that interest and effort are at a very low ebb with the organization. The church building was sold to the Disciples in 1912, and that society holds services quite regularly; Rev. R. Bruce Brown, pastor.

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