The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XV
Banks and Banking
Part I

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton




Banks and Banking.


When one ascends marble steps into some wonder of the American builders' art; as he moved through the office magnificently finished, with a long line of wickets, behind which are a crown of bookkeepers, collectors and messengers; as he sees desk after desk occupied by sharp-eyed officers and assistants; as he notes with what smoothness and consummate ease the business is divided and handled, like some huge power machine, made of the finest metal--he is truck with admiration for a things so immense, so far-reaching, yet so graceful and perfect. It is difficult to imagine hat the science which it is practicing and developing--the science of banking and finance--had a beginning long ago, in the days of rude, undeveloped bartering. It is a far reach from the days of trade when the medium of exchange was a string of pelts, a sack of meal, or a few green beads, to this age of intricate business system, but our task in this chapter will be to give in brief the history of banking Genesee county.

In March, 1837, two months after Michigan was admitted into the Union as a state, a general banking law was enacted, making the banking business free to all persons. The early bank of Genesee county were inaugurated under this law. The general provisions of the law were fairly drawn, except that in the two most important features--security to the billholders and a bona fide capital to secure the depositors--they were inadequate. The capital must not be less then fifty thousands dollars or more than one hundred thousand dollars. The issue could be two and one-half times the capital paid in. the issue should not exceed seven per cent on discounts, and the banks were required to make semi-annual dividends, thus assuring the banks' ability to do this. The security for the payment of the banks' obligations were to be the specie in the vaults of the corporation and bonds and mortgages on real estate to be held by the bank commissioner. Few, if any, banks has this specie, though the law required thirty per cent of the capital to be paid in "legal money of the United States." These specie deposits furnished little reliable security. The bank commissioner, whose duty it was to examine the banks once in three months, was often deceived, for one bank would inform another as to the advent of this official, thus giving each one an opportunity to secure sufficient funds to meet the requirements of the banking department.

These pioneers of finance were not without strategy. A good story has been told in Abbott's history of an ex-governor of Michigan, who in going from one bank to another on his trip of inspection, thought he noticed a familiar look in the boxes containing the silver. After reaching the end of his route, though finding all the banks supplied with specie, he suddenly turned back, and re-examining the banks, found all but one without coin. This was the system of banking in the early days of Genesee county, the overthrow of which so shocked the state, financially, that many years elapsed before a recovery from its effect was manifest.

One of these "wild cat" banks began operations in Flint in the winter of 1837-38, under the name "Genesee County Bank." The bank was in a one-story wooden building which stood on the corner of Saginaw and Fourth streets, on the site now occupied by the Presbyterian Church. The building was afterwards moved to Ann Arbor street and converted into a dwelling. The president of the "Genesee County Bank" was A. A. Haskell and its cashier, R. F. Stage. In time the credit of the bank reached such a point that its script was not wroth even its former value, ten cents on a dollar in gold and silver, and it was forced to suspend in April, 1839, leaving a large amount of worthless script unredeemed. There were several of these "wild cat" banks in the county, the Genesee County Savings Bank now having in its possession a relic of these wild years of finance, a bank note issued on the "Farmers Bank of Flint River Rapids."

Besides these two banks, there was another "wild cat" bank at Goodrich, which issued irregular currency--$1.50, $1.75, $2.50, and so on. This bank was also forced to suspend operations in the spring of 1838.

During the years when the county has no legitimate banking house, the legal tender was gold and the private banks were usually located in an old stocking or a corner in the loft. Russell Bishop, who had come to Genesee county in 1836, was at that time receiver of the United States land office and was often the custodian of thousands of dollars. On a number of occasions he drove to Detroit, a two-day trip, with as much as one hundred thousand dollars in gold sowed away in the bottom of the wagon.

Land during the thirties could be purchased for as little as a dollar and a quarter an acre. About this time speculators bought up large tracts from the government, which took its pay in the paper currency of the day. Banks of the "wild cat" nature had sprung up all over the country, issuing currency whose circulation was poorly secured, and failures were numerous, occasioning much distress to the people. In 1836 President Jackson issued his famous "Species Circular," which directed all public officers to receive and pay out coin only. This put banks issuing there own paper at a stand-still and a panic occurred in 1837, but the circular was instrumental in bringing this kind of speculation to a close.

When Genesee county had recovered from the "wild cat" banking of the late thirties, it had some bitter experiences as a guide for future banking operations. The first bank to operate in Flint was the private bank of William Paterson and George Hazelton, which occupied the site of the present Citizens Commercial and Savings Bank, the capital being furnished by a brother of Mr. Hazelton. In due time, however, the financial backing of the bank was withdrawn and the balance of the cash on hand, together with the cashier, Mr. Paterson, disappeared, and neither has ever been heard of since.

Another of the early banks of Flint was the private bank of a. W. Brockway. Mr. Brockway was an Eastern gentleman who had come to Michigan and engaged in business in Flint, erecting the building on Saginaw street now owned by Smith, Bridgman & Company. This bank, which occupied a corner of the building, was successful during its existence and supplied a much-needed business want at the time.

Among the first of the legitimate banking houses was the Exchange Bank, opened by the firm of Meigs, Stone & Witherbee in 1858, Mr. Meigs coming from Boston, Massachusetts, and Mr. Stone from Sandy Hill, New Jersey. These two gentlemen formed a partnership with Austin B. Witherbee, who had come with his parents from the East to Flint in 1841.

Mr. Witherbee had drown up from boyhood in Flint, being well and favorably known to everyone in the county. He became known throughout Michigan as a banker of integrity and judgment, and the bank was mainly organized through his personal efforts. He inspired such confidence in the directors of the institution that the management was almost entirely entrusted to his discretion. His wife was the daughter of Col. E. H. Thomson.

The Exchange Bank, under the management of Mr. Witherbee, proved a great financial success. In the spring of 1864, Mr. Witherbee purchased the interests of Messrs. Meigs and Stone, and became sole owner of the bank until the organization of the First National Bank in 1865, of which he took the cashiership, with H. M. Henderson as president, and O. F. Forsyth as vice-president.

Henry M. Henderson, one of the early settlers of the county, came to Michigan in 1836 from Livingston county, New York. He was engaged in the dry goods business in partnership with his brother, James, and together they build the Henderson block in 1842.

O. F. Forsyth came to the West from New York state and engaged in the hardware business in Flint with James H. Whiting, in the store on the northeast corner of Saginaw and East Kearsley streets, now occupied by the United Cigar Company. He also built the home on the corner of Beach and Third streets, which was afterward purchased by Henry M. McIntyre, and is now owned by St. Matthew's Catholic parish. Mr. Forsyth afterwards removed to Bay city, where he was engaged in the hardware business, and in later years, conducted a wholesale establishment in Detroit.

The bank was organized with a capital paid in of one hundred thousand dollars and with the following named gentlemen as directors: H. M. Henderson, O. F. Forsyth, A. B. Witherbee, George Crocker, William M. Fenton, William B. McCreery, Benjamin Pearson, E. H. McQuigg and E. C. Turner.

All of these directors were business men of sagacity and influence throughout the county. E. h. McQuigg, who was born in Tioga County, New York, in 1807, had been engaged in the dairy business on a five-hundred-acre farm in the valley of the Susquehanna. After taking up his residence in Flint he engaged in the lumber business with F. F. Hyatt and E. C. Turner, but the firm afterwards disposed of their interests to Governor Crapo, retaining all their pine lands. At the breaking out of the Civil War Mr. McQuigg was one of the ten men to subscribe to a fund of five thousand dollars to assist in getting the first soldiers into the field from Michigan.

George Crocker, another of the directors of the institution, was widely known throughout the county. He came to Genesee county from Devonshire, England, in the spring of 1837, and purchased from the government four hundred acres of land in Flint township. In 1842 he was joined by his younger brother, Stephen, who purchased one hundred and sixty acres of the land, paying for the same in cash. With this capital, wielded by sagacity and good judgment, Mr. Crocker became one of the affluent men of the county. He was a man of strong commonsense, deliberate incoming to conclusions, but when his opinions were once formed, inflexible in his purpose. As one of the organizers of the bank, one of its first directors, and at the time of his death, 1874, its vice-president, he was a valuable member of its board of managers.

Benjamin Pearson, one of the earliest settlers of Genesee county, arrived at Todd's tavern, in Flint River, in 1833, having come from Avon, Livingston County, New York. He purchased a large section of land in what is now the second ward of Flint and also a great deal of land in Mt. Morris, Genesee and adjoining townships. Mr. Pearson first settled in Mt. Morris township, about four miles north of Flint, and build the first home ever erected in that township. He became widely known throughout Genesee county and was associated with all of its early development. He was one of the original vestrymen of St. Paul's parish and built the second frame house erected on the south side of the river, afterwards owned by William Busenbark on Harrison street. He was also at one time one of the trustees of the Michigan asylum for the deaf, dumb and blind. His death occurred in 1867.

Messrs. Fenton and McCreery withdrew from the bank before the organization was fully completed. They were succeeded by William L. Smith and Leonard Wesson. William Gibson was made teller and acted as such for many years, and at the organization of the Citizens Bank he was chosen its cashier.

Edward C. Turner, who was named as one of the directors of the bank, was prominent among those citizens of the community who were closely identified with its growth and development. Born in Oswego, New York, in 1830, he came west in 1855 and located in Flint, becoming associated with E. H. McQuigg in the ownership of what has since become known as the Crapo Lumber Mills, this association lasting until after the mill was sold to Governor Crapo. Mr. Turner then entered the mercantile business with Henry Haynes, the firm being Haynes & Turner. In company with Oren Stone, Mr. turner laid out Stone and Turner's addition on the north side of the city. The Turner homestead, adjoining the Frederick Judd homestead on East Kearsley street, was one of the fine residences of Flint in its day. Mrs. turner, who was Miss Cornelia Seymour, of Ithaca, New York, is still living and actively interested in the social affairs of the community. Mr. Turner died in 1896.

Leonard Wesson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and came to Genesee county in 1830, when he was but twelve years of age. He was employed by a mercantile firm in Pontiac and in 1836 was detailed to deliver a load of good to Avery & Company in Saginaw. The trip being made by team, he drove through Flint, which at that time was but a hamlet, one his way to Saginaw passing only one home of a white man, a Frenchman, who had a squaw wife. In 1837 ne bought a small stock of merchandise, loaded it into a wagon and drove to Flint, where he found a one-room shanty and stayed until he disposed of his goods. He lived at different times in several places in Genesee county, at one time running a general store in Fenton. In 1834 he located permanently in Flint, being for some time the partner of Elijah Witherbee, the firm conducting a mercantile business on the site now occupied by Zimmerman & Ottaway, on Saginaw Street. Mr. Wesson built the residence at the corner of Beach and Fourth Streets afterward owned by Alonzo Torrey. He afterward owned the Ira Wright homestead, at the corner of Harrison and Second Street, occupied for the last forty-four years by Dr. Orson Millard. Mr. Wesson was actively identified with the pioneer life of the county and became a prominent factor in its early development. His death occurred in 1887.

One of the directors of the First National Bank in its early days was Benjamin Cotharin, during his long life in the community, was a well-known character. He reached Flint River settlement on a bright morning in 1836, riding a diminutive pony, with the tools of his trade, boot and shoe-making, fastened on the saddle behind him. Meeting Ira D. Wright, on of the first residents, he inquired whether it was possible to secure pasture for his pony, and receiving an affirmative reply, made a bargain at eighteen pence per week. Upon inquiring as to the location of the pasture, the reply was "Anywhere on the common." Mr. Wright, having received the first week's pay in advance, generously appropriated it in treating the bystanders. Mr. Cotharin started his shop just north of the city hall on Saginaw street, where he kept the first boot and shoe store in the county. He afterward conducted a large mercantile establishment. Later he built a number of stores in the business district, and by shrewdness and thrift gained a competency that enabled him to retire from active business life in 1868. He served as one of the directors of the First National Bank for twenty-nine years. His death occurred in Flint in 1899.

William L. Smith was a native of Middlebury, Connecticut. He was born in 1831 and came to Flint with his half-brother, Eli T. Smith, founding what is now the well known mercantile firm of Smith, Bridgman & Company. He was one of the original stockholders of Oak Grove Hospital and a prominent member of the Congregational Church. His wife, a woman of great intellect and refinement, much beloved in the community, was Miss Anna Olcott, of Woodbury, Connecticut, her death occurring in Flint in 1900. Mr. Smith died in California in 1906.

In 1870 H. M. Henderson, who had engaged in banking with his son-in-law, Giles L. Denham, withdrew from the presidency of the bank and was succeeded by E. H. McQuigg as president and George Crocker as vice-president. In February, 1871, the cashier, A. B. Witherbee, died and was succeeded by Charles S. Brown, who had been connected with the Old Exchange Bank in 1865, and with the First National Bank in all the various positions. Mr. Witherbee's death was severely felt by all classes of citizens in Flint, and especially by those engaged in manufacturing and mercantile pursuits.

The bank finding its capital not sufficient for the growing wants of the city and county, in June, 1872, increased the amount to two hundred thousand dollars. In 1875, finding their quarters rather inconvenient and being of the opinion that they should own their banking house, they purchased the building of the Walker Brothers, on the northwest corner of Kearsley and Saginaw street.

Mr. McQuigg was succeeded in 1875 by F. F., Hyatt, as president. Ferris F. Hyatt came from Hyattville, New York in the sixties, and at once, on account of his wealth and culture, became influential in the business and social life of the town. He was engaged in the lumber business with E. H. McQuigg and Edward C. Turner. He married a daughter of Governor Henry H. Crapo, who died shortly afterward. Mr. Hyatt's second wife was a daughter of Doctor Campbell, one of the early physicians of Illinois. The Hyatt home in Flint was for many years one of the social centers of the town. It still remains in possession of the Hyatt family, in the very heart of the business district in Flint. Mr. Hyatt's death occurred in 1883.

In 1880 David S. Fox was made president of the First National Bank and Charles s. Brown, cashier. David s. Fox was for many years prominent in the business affairs of the county, he was born in Warren county, Pennsylvania, in 1817, his grandfather being a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was employed by a firm who were engaged in manufacturing shingles and acquired his business training before coming to Michigan in 1846. He was a member of the lumber firm of Walker & Begole, who manufactured shingles and also speculated in timber lands. They bought large tracts of pine, and floated the logs down the river to their mills at Flint. Mr. Fox in later years became connected with the Flint Wagon Works, which afterwards was acquired by the Chevrolet Motor Company. Mr. Fox died in 1901.

Charles S. Brown was the son of the Rev. Daniel E. Brown, the founder of St. Paul's parish in the thirties. He was born in Flint in 1847 and received his early education in Litchfield, Connecticut. When he was only seventeen years of age he enlisted in the army and found during the years of the Civil War. He afterwards became colonel in the First Regiment, and then, in regular line of succession, became general of the Michigan brigade. For seventeen years he was a member of the board of trustees of the Michigan school for the deaf, and for several years was treasurer of the institution. His wife was Miss Harriet Thompson, a daughter of Claudius Thompson, a native of New York state who came West in the pioneer days and was one of the early sheriffs of Genesee county. General Brown died in Flint in 1904.

Paul H. Stewart, who was elected a member of the board of directors of this bank in 1871, came to the township of Flint in 1853, his native home being in New York state. He was born in 1809. A history of this county would be incomplete without a mention of this influential citizen who was associated for many years with the business life of Flint. He was engaged in the hardware business at one time for a number of years and was afterwards in the real estate business. He was a member of the vestry of St. Paul's church. He owned the entire clock bounded by Third, fourth, Beach and Saginaw streets, and his home was built near the corner of the block where the Dresden Hotel now stands. His wife was Miss Adeline Mather, who died in 1890, at the age of seventy-one. Mr. Stewart served as director of this bank until his death.

In 1885, after the expiration of the twenty-year period, the bank was re-chartered as the Flint National Bank. About this time Herman K. Pierson, of Flint, and D. Embury, of Grand Blanc, were added to the list of directors. Charles F. Draper held the position of teller at this time, afterward becoming connected with the American Exchange National Bank of Detroit.

Mr. Embury was a native of Avon, Livingston County, New York, being born in 1817. He was accidentally killed near his home in Grand Blanc in 1885. In 1886 William Hamilton was elected a director and in 1887 Lyman J. Hitchcock's name was added to the board. The board of directors was afterwards augmented by the election of Frank Dullam, S. C. Randall, John J. Carton, William McGregor and B. F. Cotharin. In 1887, William Hamilton was elected president and J. J. Carton, vice-president.

In 1905, at the termination of the twenty-year period, it was again charter as the National Bank of Flint. Austin Witherbee was cashier of the bank from its organization until his death in 1871, when he was succeeded by Charles S. Brown, who continued to serve as cashier until his death in 1904. John J. Carton was then elected president in 1905, after the death of William Hamilton. Bruce J. MacDonald, who had been connected with the bank for many years as teller and assistant cashier, was made cashier in 1904 at the death of C. S. Brown, and continued to occupy this position up to 1916.

John J. Carton was born in Clayton township, Genesee county, in 1856, his father being one of the pioneers of the county. He studied law under the guidance of Charles D. Long, of Flint, afterward judge of the supreme court, and was admitted to the bar in 1884, forming a partnership with George H. Durand. He served as county clerk for two terms and also as the attorney of Flint. Mr. Carton is one of the most prominent members of the Masonic fraternity of the state, being a past grand master of the grand lodge of Michigan, an active member of the supreme council, thirty-third degree, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and deputy for Michigan. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives three terms in succession and during the last two terms was speaker. He was also president of the constitutional convention, which convened at Lansing in 1907. At the annual meeting of the Michigan State Bar Association in 1914 he was elected its president and served in that capacity one year. He is one of the best known lawyers in the state and a jurist of distinction.

William McGregor, a valuable member of the board of directors of the First National Bank, came of sturdy Scottish ancestry and was born in Leroy, New York, in 1836. He came to Flint in 1850, being a protégé of Alexander McFarlan, who was engaged in the lumber business. In 1869 Mr. McGregor joined with William Hamilton in the purchase of the mill located at the dam in the Flint River. This mill was one of the oldest in the country, having been built by Mr. Hamiltons' father, John Hamilton. It was closed in 1875 on account of the exhaustion of timber. In connection with this mill, the firm also ran a large mill at Bay city, where they also operated a salt block. Mr. McGregor's wife was Miss Marie Brousseau, of Rochester, New York, whose death occurred in Flint in 1913. Mr. McGregor may be said to be a splendid example of a self-made man, and has occupied an enviable position in the business and financial life of the community. He is in splendid health at the age of eighty-three.

George L. Walker, one of the directors of this bank, was born in Mt. Morris, New York, in 1838. His father, Frederick Walker, was engaged in the lumbering business in Flint when it was a mere hamlet. Mr. Walker in his youth was a clerk for J. B. Walker in a building on the corner where the National Bank building now stands, on Kearsley and Saginaw streets. He afterwards entered the employ of Governor J. W. Begole, and later was one of the firm of Begole, Fox & company, the firm incorporating in 1884 as the Flint Wagon Works. In 1887 Mr. Walker removed to Detroit and was instrumental in organizing the Consolidated Car heating Company, of Albany, New York, and was also interested in iron mining in Cuba. In 1869 he returned to Flint and was one of the organizers of the Buick Motor Company, being vice-president up to the time it became identified with the General Motor Company. Mr. Walker is entitled to the distinction of having helped to make Flint the progressive city that it is today. His death occurred in 1909.

Samuel C. Randall, who during his association with the National Bank of Flint, was a director and also vice-president, was born in Vestal, New York, and came to Flint in the early fifties. He served during the Civil War and before its close was promoted to a captaincy. He was for many years engaged in the lumbering business and was at one time mayor of Flint. He was a thirty-third-degree Mason and was prominent in Masonic circles throughout Michigan, a past grand commander of Michigan Knights Templar. He died in 1909.

Benjamin F. Cotharin was a son of Benjamin Cotharin, one of the early stockholders of the bank, and was elected a director in 1896. He was for many years engaged in the furniture business in Flint, in 1872 being partner of William Charles, the firm name being Charles & Cotharin. Mr. Cotharin later purchased his partner's interest and conducted the business alone. He was also a director of the Flint Water Works Company, and was closely connected with the progress of Flint. At the time of his death, which occurred in 1905, he was the owner of a great deal of valuable residence and store property.

The following officers and directors have been connected with this bank since its organization: H. M. Henderson, O. F. Forsyth, A. B. Witherbee, George Crocker, William M. Fenton, William B. McCreery, Benjamin Pierson, E. H. McQuigg, and E. C. Turner. Other directors from 1871 to 1885 were: D. S. Fox, Paul H. Stewart, Robert W. Dullam, L. W. Cronkhite, Oscar F. Clarke, David Embury. The directors since 1885 have been: L. J. Hitchcock, Frank Dullam, S. c. Randall, Wm. McGregor, B. F. Cotharin, J. J. Carton, W. R. Hubbard, Geo. L. Walker, B. J. Macdonald, W. E. Stewart, W. C. Wells, Walter O. Smith, Charles W. Nash, Charles M. Begole, C. B. Burr.

In 1916 the First National Bank consolidated with the Genesee County Savings Bank. By this consolidation the charter of the National Bank of Flint was surrendered and the county is now with a national bank. Experience, however, has taught that banks organized under the state law admit of a large scope of business and give better service to a larger number of patrons then banks organized under federal restrictions. The new bank, as one of the big institutions of the state, starts out with an enviable prestige.



The Citizens National Bank of Flint was organized in 1871, by the election of the following gentlemen as directors: Hon. William M. Fenton, Alexander McFarlan, J. B. Atwood, Henry Stanley, Col. William B. McCreery, William Hamilton and J. W. Begole, with a capital of fifty thousand dollars. William M. Fenton was elected president, William Hamilton vice-president, and W. L. Gibson was made cashier. This banking institution commanded the confidence and esteem of the public from the very first day of its existence. The gentlemen having its management were widely known as among the first in the county of Genesee for probity and integrity.

Alexander McFarland was born in Montgomery county, New York, in 1812 and, like thousands of other active young men, who knew no difficulties and obstacles but what perseverance and honesty would surmount, followed the judicious advice of Horace Greeley, and came West. Following the pathway made by the early French voyageurs, he traveled on foot from Chicago to the headwaters of the Illinois river and proceeded by boat to St. Louis; thence down the Mississippi river, and up the Ohio to its junction with the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, visiting St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. These wanderings consumed what money Mr. McFarlan had, but he managed to reach Caledonia, New York, where he operated a small tannery for about ten years before coming to Flint, where he purchased a half interest in the unfinished saw-mill of George H. Hazelton. Later he became the owner of large tracts of pine lands in various parts of Michigan and at the time of his death was the largest stockholder in the Citizens National Bank.

William Hamilton carried the mails from Michigan city to Chicago when a boy, the contract having been taken by his father. He was born in 1824 and 1843 came with his parents to Flint, where for the remainder of his life he was prominent in the development of the town. He operated a flouring-mill for many years, on a site now in the very heart of the business district of the city. Following this he engaged extensively in the lumbering business, later associating himself with William McGregor, this partnership lasting for over thirty years. Mr. Hamilton became closely identified with the growing interests of the community and in the seventies was one of the directors who secured the land grant for the railroad running from Lansing to Flint, which later became a part of the present Grand Trunk Railway. In company with J. B. Atwood, he built what is now known as the Bryant Hotel block, which at that time was the one first-class hotel in the county. When establishing the Citizens National Bank, Mr. Hamilton and colonel Fenton went to Washington to secure the charter. Mr. Hamilton was also engaged in agricultural enterprises and owned the three-hundred-and forty-acre tract of land which is now a part of the enormous factory district of the city of Flint. His death occurred in 1899.

Henry Stanley, one of the directors of this bank, was a member of the Stanley family who formed what was known as Genesee township as the "Stanley settlement,' Sherman Stanley, his father, being one of the most prominent of the early pioneers of this locality, coming from Mt. Morris, New York in 1835. Soon afterwards he induced some of his friends from the East to follow him, and in 1836-37 a number of families from the same town, including Albert T. Stevens, formed this small settlement, their lands adjoining. The village of Mt. Morris derived its name from the native home of these residents. Henry Stanley came to Flint during his young manhood and engaged in the grain and produce business, owning and operating a large elevator, the firm name being Stanley & Clapp. Mr. Stanley built a home at the corner of Beach and Court streets, where he resided with his family for many years. he was well known throughout the county and died in Flint at the age of sixty-six. His daughter, Miss Imogene Stanley, became the wife of Edward Thayer, a brilliant young attorney and a son of Artemus Thayer, but his death occurred when he was still under thirty years of age. Mrs. Thayer has been a resident for the past fifteen years of Paris, France.

Josiah W. Begole, who was afterward elected to the governorship of the state of Michigan, came of French ancestry. His maternal grandfather, Captain Bolles, of Hagerstown, Maryland, was an officer in the War of the Revolution and his father was a non-commissioned officer in the War of 1812. Mr. Begole has been identified with the affairs of Genesee county from an early date, coming with his parents to the township of Mt. Morris in 1815, when he was only a year old. He was one of the members of the lumber firm of Begole, Fox & Company and his name added strength to the bank directorate.



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

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