Vassar Village Incorporation

Taken from The History of Tuscola County, Biographical Sketches and Illustrations, H. R. Page Co., Chicago, 1883. Thanks to Bonnie Petee.

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The Post Office

The Vassar postoffice was established in 1852, and was kept in the store of North & Edmunds. Dr. William Johnson was the first postmaster. The mail was brought from Tuscola, and the carrier’s hat was usually the mail bag. Soon after the mail was received regularly from Bridgeport. Dr. Johnson held the office until the election of James Buchanan as president, when a political change of administration resulted in a change of federal office holders, and he was succeeded by B. W. Huston, Jr. Mr. Huston was followed by W. R. Bartlett, Isaac Jameson, Alexander Trotter, and William Lake, Jr. The present postmaster, E. C. Caine, took the office in January 1882. A new postoffice is being erected in the summer of 1883, adjoining the store of John Johnson & Son, on Main street. The business of the office is constantly increasing, and on the lst of July, 1882, was made a third-class office and a separating office from April 1st, 1882. A large amount of mail is thrown into this office by the junction of the two railroads. Pouches are made up here for Bloomfield, Richville, Buena Vista, Watrousville, Caro, Tuscola, Saginaw, East Saginaw, and D. & B. C., East Saginaw and Port Huron agents. Eighty- three lock pouches are received and the same number dispatched every week, besides a number of sacks of paper mail.

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The village of Vassar was incorporated under a special law in 1871, and the first village election was held on the tenth day of April in that year. Thirty-six votes were polled, and nearly all the officers elected received the entire vote.

The records state that the common council of the village held their first meeting at the office of B. W. Huston, Jr., April 22, 1871. William Johnson was appointed clerk, to fill the vacancy caused by failure of Thomas F. Sawyer to qualify.

The first ordinance passed was one restraining horses, cattle, sheep and swine from running at large.

At the spring election in 1873, 102 votes were cast.

In December, 1874, occurred the death of William Butler, president of the village. Suitable notice of the event was taken by the council. Charles Curtis was elected to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the year.

In 1877 the village obtained a new charter under the general laws, and the first election under the new charter was held April 2, of that year. The highest number of votes polled was 176. Under the new charter the number of trustees was increased from four to six.

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Riverside Cemetery

This beautiful city of the dead is one of the delightful and interesting points about the village of Vassar. Among the inhabitants of the village are a considerable number, well advanced in years. As the years roll by, members of these families are laying aside life’s burdens, and are borne to their last resting place. The place of their sepulcher possesses a solemn and sacred interest to those who are left behind. It has been felt for some years that the township burying grounds did not meet the requirements of the village, and steps were taken toward securing a more desirable place. In 1879 a stock company was formed, and a tract of land containing thirty-eight acres, located on the river bank a short distance below the village was purchased. A large sum of money has been expended in clearing the ground, laying out drives and fitting it for the purpose intended. The location is very desirable, and the improvements that have been made indicate a spirit of refinement and enterprise on the part of the people of the village. Many of the lost are already graced with handsome and enduring family monuments; graceful winding drives, sloping banks of greensward, and carefully tended graves give promise of surpassing beauty in time to come.

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Recreation Park

This park is owned by the Vassar Driving Park Association, and was started in 1881.

It is situated on River Street, about half a mile from the business center of town, has a good half-mile track, and abundance of room for other purposes, the grounds containing twenty acres. Last year the track was graded and rolled, the grounds thoroughly drained, the stumps taken out, most of the land inside and outside the track plowed, leveled and seeded down, and a high, tight board fence build around the entire track.

The work of improving the place has been continued, and the association now have a delightful park and an excellent track. A large sum of money is being expended the present season, and the County Agricultural Society having arranged to hold their fairs here, and providing the necessary facilities. It is now proposed to increase the capital stock to $5,000. The present directors are L. C. Merritt, S. Blackmore, E. H. Taylor, J. P. Blackmore, J. A. Trotter, C. D. Bennett, James McConnell. The officers are President, E. H. Taylor; secretary, James A. Trotter; treasurer, L. C. Merritt.

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If you would like to contribute to this page, please e-mail Debbie Axtman

July 1998

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