The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter I
Governor Hazen S. Pingree

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



Hazen S. Pingree was elected governor in 1894. His career was short, but strenuous. He was a native of Denmark, Maine. Mr. Pingree's most marked characteristic was dislike of conventional ways of doing things and a determination to be his own "boss" while governor. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having seen service in the battles of second bull run, Fredericksburg, Spottsylvania, cold Harbor, Petersburg and other desperate and bloody engagements. After the war he became a show dealer in Detroit and made wealth by hard work, good business judgment and energetic management. His business ability and freedom from political antagonisms made him mayor of Detroit. His political shrewdness during the streetcar strike in 1890, while he ws mayor, secured his re-election three times afterwards, and his genuine sympathy with working men, amply demonstrated, made possible his election as governor.

The keynote of governor Pingree's policy was primary election and railroad taxation. He also in his characteristic manner paid his respect to a class of persons who frequented the capital during sessions of the legislature. He had decided views upon the question of public franchises, gained through his experience with the Detroit street railways. The great weakness of his administration was lack of tact in dealing with members of the Legislature. During his administration provision was made for agricultural institutes in the several counties. The beet sugar industry was bonused; and another law in the interest of the farmer made it a penal offense to color oleomargarine in imitation of butter.


History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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