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

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



The board appointed N. W. Kaltrider drain commissioner vice Myron H. Mills, resigned.

April, 1892: Sup.-Chas. E. Chittenden; Clk.-Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.- Jerome F. Bush; H. C.-Wm. B. Roof; J. P.-T. Kirby; Sch. Insp.-Wallace A. Hale; Dr. Com.-Wm. B. Roof; Review-Benj. Garrett, Loren M. Hutchinson.

April, 1893: Sup-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.-E. C. Brown; H. C. N. W. Kaltrider; J. P.-Andrew H. Steadman; Sch. Insp.-Chas. Dickerson; Review-J. W. Smith.

April, 1894: Sup.-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.-E. C. Brown; H. C.-Reuben R. Smith; J. P.-N. Lamb; Sch. Insp.-John N. Day Dr. Com.-Daniel Kelsey; Review-J. W. Smith.

April, 1895: Sup.-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.-J. W. Smith; H. C.-Benj. C. Brewer; J. P-John N. Day; vacancy, Riley Letts; vacancy, Geo. W. Mead; Sch. Insp.-Chas. Dickerson.

April, 1896: Sup.-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.- J.W. Smith; H. C.-R. R. Smith; J. P.-T. Kirby; 3 yrs, John D. Willis; 2 yrs, Aaron Martin; Sch. Insp.-Frank Sebring; Dr. Com.-Martin Z. Lewis; Review-Wm. A. Emery.

April, 1897: Sup.-Ed. Mecham; Clk.-Ebenezer 7. Fuller; Treas.-Lewis G. Boyd; H. C.-R. R. Smith; J. P.-B. D. Ackmoody; vacancy, John W. Letts; Supt. Sch.-Orin J. Dutton; Review-Chas. Kerr.

April, 1898: Sup.-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-E. 7. Fuller; Treas.-Lewis J. Boyd; H. C.-D. W. C. Tiffany; J. P-John W. Letts; Sch. Insp.- John W. Peternell; Review-J. W. Smith.

April, 1899: Sup.-Wm. A. Emery; Clk.-E. 7. Fuller; Treas.-A. W. Dickerson; J. P.-Jacob Weidner; vacancy, Benj. Pease; Sch. Insp.- Hewitt J. Moulton; Review-Chas. Emmett.

April, 1900: Sup.-Wm. A. Emery; Clk.-E. 7. Fuller; Treas.-A. W. Dickerson; H. C.-D. W. C. Tiffany; J. P.-Alonzo Peterson vacancy, John D. Willis; vacancy, Thos. Brown; Sch. Insp.-John W. Peternell.

April, 1901: Sup.-Martin W. Coon; Clk.-A. B. Klooz; Treas.-Harry C. Rose; H. C.-Riley Letts; J. P.-B. D. Ackmoody; Sch. Insp.-H. J. Moulton; Review-W. H. Gilman.

April, 1912: Sup. - M. W. Coon; Clk. - Frank Sebring: Treas. -Harry C. Rose; H. C-Riley Letts; J. P.-Thos. Brown; Sch. Insp.-Dr. Hale; Review-Frank Newson.

Later the board appointed John W. Smith treasurer, vice H. C. Rose.

April, 1903: Sup-Ed. Meacham; Clk.-E. Z. Fuller; Treas.-J. W. Smith; H. C.-Jas. B. Crook; J. P.-Chas. E. Beck Sch. Insp.-Chas. B. Porter; Review-Geo. Oberlin, Wm. L. Wooley.

April, 1904: Sup.-Wm. A. Emery; Clk.-Geo. E. Cordray Treas.-S. E. Peterson; H. C.-M. Z. Lewis; J. P.-Wm. B. Roof; 3 yrs, John Riley l yr, Frank Downie; Sch. Insp.-Wm. Campbell Review-L. M. Hutchinson.

April, 1905: Sup.-A. N. Palmeter; Clk.-G. E. Cordray; Treas.-R. D. Letts 163, Lester G. Fox 163; H. C.-Benj. Roof; J. P.-Chas. A. Green; Sch. Insp.-J. E. Hunter; Review-Chas. Kerr.

The tie on treasurer resulted in Letts securing the office.

April, 1906: Sup-M. W. Coon; Clk.-W. N. Gladstone; Treas.-J. W. Smith ; H. C.-M. Z. Lewis ; J. P.-Thos. Brown; 3 yrs, Edward Bensinger; Sch. Insp.-Alfred Sutfin; Review-C. F. Patton.

April, 1907: Sup.-M. W. Coon; Clk.-W. N. Gladstone; Treas.-John Scott II. C.-J. Smith; J. P.-John Willis ; vacancy, Albert Fuller; Sch. Insp.-John Hunter; Review-Chas. Kerr.


April, 1908: Sup.-M. W. Coon; Clk.-W. N. Gladstone; Treas.-John Scott; H. C.-M. Z. Lewis; vacancy, Will Peternell; J. P.-C. F. Thayer Sch. Insp.-A. Sutfin; Review-C. F. Patton.

April, 1909: Sup.-John Scott; Clk.-David Duncan; Treas. A. F. Rider; H. C.-Stephen Burlingame; vacancy, Frank Bensinger; J. P.-Bert Angell: Review-D. W. C. Tiffany.

April, 1910: Sup.-M. W. Coon-resigned and board appointed John Scott; Clk.-David Duncan ; Treas.-A. F. Rider H. C -Frank Manning Overseer-W. H. Willis; J. P.-Jas. B. Crook; vacancy, Frank Sebring Review-Jacob Weidner.

April, 1911: Sup.-John Scott; Clk.-David Duncan; Treas. Chas. E. Beck; H. C.-Wm. Peternell; Overseer-Jas. Hoover; J. P-Hubert C. Rose; vacancy, Miles Simpson; Review-A. N. Palmeter.

April, 1912: Sup.-A. F. Ryder Clk.-D. Duncan; Treas.-Chas. E. Beck H. C.-Frank Manning; Overseer-Wm. Peternell; J. P. Ernest J. Heinze; vacancy, 2 yrs, Thos. Brown; vacancy;3 months, G. B. Turner Review-Jacob Weidner.

April, 1913: Sup.-A. F. Ryder; Clk.-David Duncan: Treas.-Lewis Kirby; 14. C.-Wm. Peternell; 0. of H.-Wm. Mitchell; J. P.-M. E. Simpson; Review-A. N. Palmeter.

Woman Suffrage: Yes, 80; no, 150.

County Road System: Yes, 66; no, 195.



Hason Sinclair, 1856, '70 Edwin Meacham, 1881, '83, '84, '86,
Abram B. Beebe, ap. 1856. '88, '89, '90, '93, '94' '95, '96, '97'
Richard G. Finch, 1857, '58. '98, '03.
Chas. Dodge, 1859, '60. N. W. Kaltrider, 1885.
Wm. Call, 1861. Lorenzo F. Randolph, 1887, '91.
Daniel Call, 1862, '63, '64, '65. Chas. E. Chittenden, 1892.
Ira J. Andrews, 1866, '67, '68. Wm. A. Emery, 1899, '00, '04.
Wm. H. Morrison, 1869. Martin W. Coon, 1901, '02, '06, '07,
John B. Kneeland, ap. Nov. 1,1869; '08, '10.
'71, '72, '73, '74, '75, '76. A. N. Palmeter, 1905.
G. S. Stewart, ap. July 23,1870. John Scott, 1909, ap. April, '10; '11.
Wm. W. Wooley, ap. Dec.31, 1870. A. F. Ryder, 1912, '13.
Alex. T. Rice, 1877, '78, '79, '80, '82.


Township Clerks

John O. Wool, 1856, '57. T. A. Hanvey, 1881, '82, '93, '84, '86,
Daniel Call, sp. el., Dec. 26, 1857; '58. '90.
Wm. W. Wooley, 1860. Burwell Teeter, 1885.
Nathan S. Spooner, 1861. Alonzo M. White, 1887.
M. Nicholas, 1862, '63. Kelly S. Searl, 1888
Chas. Bradford, sp. el., May 25, '63. Wm. J. Barker, 1889.
L. M. Crego, ap. 1863. Geo. C. Douglas, 1891, '92, '93, '94,
Derrick R. Sutfin, 1864. '95, '96.
Ira J. Andrews, 1865. E. Z. Fuller, 1897, '98, '99, '00, '03
Henry Edden, 1866, '67. A. B. Klooz, 1901.
Daniel B. Wooley, 1868, '69, '70 '71. Frank Sebring, 1902.
Edwin Meacham, 1872, '73, '76. Geo. E. Cordray, 1904, '05.
Wanton Westgate, 1874, '75. W. N. Gladstone, 1906, '07, '08.
John W. Smith, 1877, '78, '79, '80. David Duncan, 1909, '10, '11, '12, '13.



Michael Miller, 1856, '57.

Alonzo Peterson, 1883.

Wm. W. Wooley, ap. Oct. 26,1857;

W. D. Letts, 1884, '85

'62, '63, '67, '68, '78, '79.

Chas. E. Chittenden, 1887.

Michael Nicholas, sp. el., Dec. 26, 1857.

T. A. Hanvey, 1888, '89.

Wm. Call, 1858, '59.

Edson C. Brown, 1890, '91, '93, '94.

Hiram Coffman, 1860.

Jerome F. Bush, 1892.

Rufus Sheldon, 1861.

Lewis G. Boyd, 1897, '98.

Chas. Dodge, ap. Oct. 31, 1863.

A. W. Dickerson, 1899, '06.

Loren M. Crego, 1864, '65, '66.

Harry C. Rose, 1901, '02.

Wm. A. Krom, 1869, '70, '71, 72,

S. E. Peterson. 1904.

'73, '74, '75, '76, '77, '86.

R. D. Letts, 1905.

J. B. Kneeland, 1880.

John Scott, 1907, '08.

J. W. Smith, 1881, '82, '95, '96, '03, '06.

A. F. Rider, 1909, '10.

Chas. E. Beck, 1911, '12.

Lewis Kirby, 1913.





Hason Sinclair and Wife Photo

Hason Sinclair was the last surviving member of the board of supervisors elected in the spring of 1856, the first board elected after the organization of the county. He was Elba's contribution to that body of legislators and was elected again in 1870. Hason Sinclair was born in Royalton, Niagara County, N. Y., March 31, 1830. He came to Gratiot County in 1854 or '55, locating in Elba Township; probably its first settler, certainly one of the first. He was married June 15, 1856, to Miss Eliza Miller, born in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1836. Their children are Mrs. Mertie Hatfield, of Ashley; Mrs. Ida M. Criss, of Elba; James and Michael Sinclair, of Elba. The picture of Mr. Sinclair and his wife was taken in the fall of 1910, at their home in Haniilton Township, specially for this volume. It shows a couple of Gratiot County's good, reliable citizens who were on the ground early and had many of the strenuous experiences that were the lot of the pioneers. The death of Hason Sinclair occurred May 8, 1911. The aged wife resides with her son, Michael Sinclair, in Elba Township; route 3, Ashley.


From first to last Elba has been favored with many substantial and progressive citizens who have done duty nobly in upholding the dignity and the interests of the township, socially, industrially and politically, and it is a pleasure to give them honorable mention in this connection.

Edwin Meacham was horn November 30, 1845, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, son of Almon and Polly (Kelly) Meacham. He came to Gratiot in 1866, settling on section 35, Elba Township. He was married March 21,1870, to Alice A. Crego. Until the time of his death Mr. Meacham was prominent in the affairs of his township, serving as township clerk three years, and as


supervisor fourteen years. He also served seven years as postmaster at Bannister. He was the Republican candidate for county treasurer in 1890 but went down with his ticket. He died December 23 1904.

The Wooleys were among the very first settlers. Wm. W. Wooley was present at the first election, and thereafter held many official positions. Daniel B. Wooley also was at the front, being clerk four years. John O. Wool also took a hand in the township's affairs. The Calls-Daniel, William and Andrew-took an active interest. Ira J. Andrews; Richard C. Finch; Loren M. Crego; Ralph Sutfin; Derrick R. Sutfin; John B. Kneeland; Alex. T. Rice Lorenzo F. Randolph; William A. Krom; Chas. Stewart Douglas; Abram Shellenbarger; Albert W. Dickerson, Democratic candidate for county treasurer in 1900; A. T. Rice; Wm. C. Wooley; Wm. D. Letts.







1875, July 11-By the burning of Bentley's saw mill in Elba, together with a large amount of lumber on hand, a loss of about $10,000 was sustained.

1885, May 7-Hewitt's saw mill caught fire from burning sawdust, night of May 7, and was destroyed, entailing a loss of $3,000, and no insurance.

1890, April 23-The depot at Ashley, and Ahren's saloon, adjoining, burned at 2 o'clock, a.m.

1890, May 2-The Ashley House, at Ashley, burned this morning. It was owned by Mrs. J. Huson, but had been closed for a few weeks. Loss, $1,500; insurance on house and contents, $1,000.

1891, May 2-A fire at Bannister burned the hotel, of which Ed. C. Brown was proprietor, a barber shop, a saloon, and the residence of J. R. Hammond.

1891, May 5-At 3 o'clock p. m., fire destroyed the stave and hoop factory of Salliotte & Chittenden, Ashley, with a large amount of staves and other adjoining property. Loss, about $20,000; insurance, $12,000.

1891, Nov. 1-The residence of C. Peterson burned Sunday night, Nov. 1, with most of the contents.

1897, July 26-The Village of Ashley had its worst experience with fires this morning, when five business places were wiped out. Nearly the entire business portion of the west side of the main street was reduced to ashes. Those burned out were M. M. Clark, grocer; J. F. Bush, hardware and implement dealer; Louis W. Fuller, postmaster and publisher of the Ashley Post; Frank Gallup, barber; D. Pechtil, a barn; an ice house, and other sheds and smaller buildings. The residences of O. J. Dutton and Mrs. Robinson were damaged. The loss on buildings and goods was heavy, the insurance light. The hand engine did good work in preventing the further spreading of the fire.

1898, January 17-Bannister sustained a bad loss in the burning of her grist mill and grain elevator. Loss estimated at $3,500; insurance, $1,500.

1899, Oct. 10-Ashley was visited by a serious conflagration which burned P. W. La Clear's livery barn, a brick blacksmith shop occupied by A. E. Church, a dwelling house occupied by Mat. Whitford, and a barn belonging to Mr. Campbell. Six horses, four buggies, harness, hay, tools, etc., were destroyed, the total loss being about $5,000.

1900, July 31-Charles Rose of Ashley Lost a barn by fire early this morning, together with a span of horses, vehicles, farm implements, etc. It was thought to have been set by tramps, accidentally or otherwise.

1900, Oct. 23-C. E. Chittenden's stave mill at Ashley was destroyed by fire.

1901, Feby. 16-Fire visited Bannister and inflicted a loss estimated at $10,000. The Greif Bros., proprietors of the stave works, were the losers. The mill itself was saved, but their kilns and sheds, with a large stock of staves and material were destroyed.

1905, Dec. 31-The year went out with an exciting and disastrous fire at Ashley. The hotel was burned, with a large portion of its contents. By


hard and persistent work the fire was kept from spreading to adjoining property. The family and boarders had a busy time getting to safety, hut all escaped. The World printing office narrowly escaped being burned out.

1907, Feby. 3-Ashley's new brick Hotel Brimmer was burned in the morning together with the contents. Wm. Toms, the bartender lost his life. The fire was presumed to have had an incendiary origin. Loss, $12,000, pretty well covered with insurance.

1907, Sept. 9-The large farm barns of Lewis Clark, east of Bannister, were struck by lightning and consumed by fire, with a large amount of hay, grain and implements.

1907, Nov. 17-The residence of Charles Kerr of Ashley was burned at noon, with most of the contents. One of the finest residences in town.

1909, July 26-The residence of E. Ladd, in eastern Elba, was burned July 26.

1910, Dec. 14-Fire destroyed the house of John Riley, in Bannister. It is said to have been the first house erected in the village.

1911, Feby. 1-An evening fire destroyed Fred Kelsey's furniture store at Bannister, also a dwelling house adjoining, belonging to George Goodin, and occupied by George Cordray. Some of the contents of the buildings were saved.

1911, Feby. 28-A serious fire visited Ashley February 28th destroying a brick block on the east side of the main street, occupied by the general store of Harry C. Rose, and by the Masonic order in the upper story. Mr. Rose's loss was severe, as he was only lightly insured. The building was owned by Chas. E. Beck, and was insured for about half its value.

1912, July 20-Ashley had a disastrous fire at about 2 o'clock in the morning, which destroyed several business places on the north end of the principal business street. The total loss was estimated at $20,000, with insurance aggregating $4,000. The principal losers were A. M. Derry & Son, implements; Earl Derry, clothing; Bert Wight, photograph gallery; D. E. Bickford, grocery; A. Landi, new store building; D. W. C. Tiffany, store building. The Ashley World building was in great jeopardy, but was only slightly damaged. The buildings were all of wood.

1913, April 21-At about 11 a. m. fire broke out in the millinery store of Mrs. Bessie Chapman, east side of Sterling Street, destroying store and stock, also the adjoining jewelry store of Ernest Culver. The contents of the jewelry store were mostly saved. The fire seems to have started from an explosion of gasoline, and Mrs. Chapman was badly burned about the head and arms. The firemen and citizens succeeded in preventing serious damage to adjoining building.

1913, May 1-Wm. Shaw, northeast of Ashley, lost his barn by fire, with contents of corn, beans, wool, hay, two buggies and other articles. Loss $800, with insurance of $300.

Photo of Bridge



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