The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XIII
First City Officers

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton

 

FIRST CITY OFFICERS.

The first charter election was held April 2, 1865, when the following officers were chosen:

Mayor  Grant Decker
Recorder  Levi Walker
Supervisor  Charles N. Beecher
Treasurer  Elihu F. Frary
Marshal  Cornelius Roosevelt
Directors of the Poor  Benjamin Pearson and Henry I. Higgins School Inspector Daniel Clark
Justices of the Peace  Charles Seymour, Levi Walker, Lewis G. Bickford and Willard Eddy.

Ward Officers:

First Ward:  Aldermen George M. Dewey and James W. Armstrong
Assessor Ashael Fuller
Street Comm.  William Moon
Constable  Cyrus A. Goff
Second Ward:  Aldermen Benjamin Pearson and David Mather
Assessor  William Hamilton
Street Comm.  William Eddy
Constable  Erastus K. Carrier
Third Ward:  Alderman William M. Fenton and A. T., Crosman Assessor David Foot
Street Comm.  John C. Griswold
Constable  Daniel L. Nash

 

Respecting the officers of Flint City from the days of the first electrons, W. R. Bates writes:

Grant Decker, the first mayor of Flint, was forty-one years of age when elected mayor, having been born February 4, 1814, in Deckertown, New Jersey, where his family located before the War of the Revolution. He came to Flint in 1839 and engaged in the lumbering business. Subsequently he was interested in a flour mill erected by himself and Hon. Artemas Thayer. Later still he was interested in a flour and feed mill and Capt. Ira H. Wilder was associated with him. Notwithstanding the fact that his various places were burned eight times in forty years, he continued nearly up top the time of his death as one of the active and highly respected business men of Flint. He was one of the founders of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church and was one of its officers at the time of his death. Mr. Decker's large frame mansion was one of the fine old homes of the city, and after his death it made place for the residence of former Mayor William A. Paterson. Since Mr. Decker's incumbency of the office of mayor, that position has been filled by fifty different persons. Of these, Col. William H. Fenton, William Hamilton, Col. William B. McCreery, David S. Fox, Judge George H. Durand, A. D. Alvord, George E. McKinley, Guy W. Selby and Charles S. Mott were re-elected, the others having held the office but one term each.

Among the mayors of Flint are some who had state-wide reputations and who may be mentioned here without detracting from the excellent records made by the others. William M. Fenton, mayor for two terms, 1858 and 1859, was a great lawyer and a successful business man; he was colonel of the Eighth Michgian Infantry during the war of the rebellion, and was lieutenant-governor of Michigan. Henry H. Crapo, mayor in 1860, served that state for two terms as its governor. William B. McCreery was a colonel during the Civil War, state treasurer and United States consul at Santiago de Chili. George H. Durand, mayor two terms, 1873 and 1874, was a member of Congress one term, a justice of the state supreme court, appointed by Gov. E. B. Winans to fill a vacancy; and at the time when he was stricken with the illness which resulted in his death he was the democratic candidate for governor of the state. Jerome Eddy, mayor in 1878, was chairman of the democratic state central committee and United states consul at Chatham Ontario. Mr. Eddy died November 24, 1905. George R. Gold, mayor in 1898, was judge of probate and trustee of the state institution for the feeble minded at Lapeer. Judge Gold was a model citizen, a delightful companion and his death was a distinct loss to this city and state. George e. Taylor, mayor in 1892, was a state senator and judge of probate. Col. Edward E. Thomson, mayor in 1877, was a man of culture, the owner of one of the best private Shakespearean libraries in the country, which is now the property of the University of Michigan, and a man known far and wide as a lecturer on Shakespeare, as a raconteur and a genial gentleman. His hospitable home, containing also his library, was located where is now the residence of Arthur G. Bishop, on Kearsley street. William A. Atwood, mayor in 1882, has long been known as a conservative and successful business man and has served as state senator. D. D. Aitken served two terms as a member of Congress, is a lawyer, manufacturer, banker and a friend to the man who needs a friend. There are few names, if any, among the long list of past and present city officials about whom the writer could not truthfully say complimentary things, did space allow. F. D. Baker is at present postmaster of Flint, Charles S. Mott is a director of the General Motors Company. W. W. Joyner was postmaster of Flint. S. C. Randall was grand commander of Michigan Knights Templar. H. C. Spencer served as state senator.

The office of city recorder was abolished in 1876, since which time the common council has elected a city clerk.

 

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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