Michael Daily (1826-1900)
Born in New York City, one of Bay City's earliest pioneers.
Biography. - Added Apr., 2013.
Pioneer Memoirs by William R. McCormick (1995)
One of the early pioneers of the Saginaw Valley was born in the City of New York, May 24,1826. He came to Saginaw in 1837 then a boy of 12 years old. He soon procured work in a tannery grinding bark by horse power at a salary of five dollars a month. After working some time he saw the necessity of getting an education when he went to live with Capt Malden, who kept a tavern in the old Block house corner of what is now Court & Hamilton Streets, originally the barracks where soldiers were quartered while building the fort. He was to do chores nights and mornings foor his board and go to school. Well does the author remember little Mike as he ws generally called for we were school boys together. We were great friends then and are still, although fifty years has passed, we shall never forget our school boy friendship. He continued to lived with Capt. Malden until 1843 during which time he had picked up a good deal of the Indian language. When he was employed by Harvey Williams to go to the mouth of the Kaw-Kaw-lin to trade with the Indians at his trading post and also to attend to his fishing business. When he soon learned the Indian language fluently, when he felt competent to go into business on his own account in 1846 he started business for himself and was very successful up to 1866 when he purchased real estate in Bay City. He then built a nice residence when he married a Miss Longton an old pioneer's daughter. He has kept on buying and selling real estate up the present time and has accumulated a fortune.
He has often taken his blanket and pack on his back in winter as this is the season for buying up fur and start on the ice from the mouth of the Saginaw River and follow the west shoe as far north as Mackinaw and sometimes to Sault Ste. Marie, and Marquette picking up all the fur he could on the route. One of these excursions he came from Lake Superior to Mackinaw ust as the dog train was starting with the mail for Saginaw accompanied by two Indians or half breeds on snow shoes. He said he would go with them. They told him it was of no use as no white man could keep up to them as they calculated to go over 50 miles a day. He said he would try it. So they started the half breeds doing their best. Mike kept up to them for over 150 miles when he left them and came into Saginaw ahead some time, when they arrived they made inquiries for the little whit man. When they were told who he was they replied O we have heard the Indians tell about that little white man that beats all the Indians traveling or running.
He could travel faster in a day than any man I ever saw.
In 1855, Michael Daily gave property to Rev. Peter Paul Levfevre for establishing the St. Joseph Cemetery on Bay City's west side, which was closed in 1952, and burials removed to other cemeteries..