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Charles Babo (1822-1897)
Born in New York, pioneer of Bay City, MI.

History of Sagnaw and Bay Counties, Michigan - 1892.


Bay County has greatly honored our subject by reposing such confidence in his integrity an honor as to give him control of so responsible a position as Treasurer of the county. He has also been the city Treasurer of Bay City, and has carried on this business most conscientiously and thoroughly in connection with his individual interests which center about the grocery business. Of the latter interests he has two establishments, one located in Bay City and one in West Bay City. These are carried on under the firm name of Charles Babo & Sons, his partners being Charles A. and Augustus Babo. No trait is more marked in the character of our subject than the purity of his Republicanism.

Mr. Babo, who was been a resident of Bay City since 1863, was born in the city of Rastadt, Baden, Germany, October 15, 1822. He is a son of Charles and Charlotte (Olsen) Babo. His father was a Government official in the customs service. He was the father of six children; of these our subject was the third son. Charles attended the common schools and finished at the High School in Rastadt, and at the age of eighteen years entered the University of Freiburg. He had been a student there but six months when he was persuaded to take up the study of pharmacy, to which he was an apprentice for a short time, but was unable to continued in the business because of his sensitiveness to the odor of the drugs.

Dropping pharmacy, our subject took up the study of law in Freiburg and became a Notary Public. He then located in Baden, but, considering that he had not seen enough of the world, he obtained a furlough of six months, and in 1853 left Havre, France, with his wife and two children. After a voyage of four weeks he landed in New York and becoming proprietor for a a drug store, he remained there for two years, thence going to Boston, where he was in the drug business in partnership with his brother for three years. In 1858 he came to Michigan and located in Lansing. He was in business there for about five years and in the fall of 1863 located in Bay City, since which time he has been engaged in the grocery business, and since 1870 has conducted a thriving business on the east side of the river, being the oldest grocer in the city.

In 1880 Mr. Babo was elected County Treasurer on the Republican ticket. He held the office for two years and in April 1883, was elected city Treasurer and continued in that office until the fall of 1884 when he resigned to again accept the office of County Treasurer, of which position he was incumbent until January, 1887. Since that time he has confined his attention strictly to his private business. Our subject is the owner of a fine brick block at the corner of Third and Grand Streets. His residence, which adjoins this property, is a beautiful place and attractive and modern in every feature. Mr. Babo also owns a fine brick block in West Bay City, in which his store there is located. This block is at the corner of Lynn and Midland Streets, and in connection with the grocery business he has a large trade in crockery and glassware. Aside from these properties spoken of, he has built several brick stores which he has sold. He erected the Frazier Block, at the corner of Water and Fifth Streets, in company with Mr. Wilour and Keiser. He also built the brick store on Water Street now owned by John Welsh.

The marriage of our subject took place in Germany, in October, 1850, his bride being Miss Stephania Holzer, who was born in Litchtenthal, Baden. This union has been graced by the coming of eight children into the family, viz: Marie, Mrs. I. Moravitz, who resides in Milwaukee, Wis.; Alice, who was a teacher of high repute and who died at the age of thirty-two; Charles A., is his father's partner; Augustus, also in partnership with our subject; William died at the age of twenty-seven; Amy, Ida and Clara. Socially Mr. Babo is a Mason and also belongs to the Royal Arcanum. He has frequently been chosen by his part to represent it at the county and State conventions. He is a genial and whole souled man and the effervescence of his wit and humor is oil upon troubled waters of social and political life.

Additional Notes.

The Babo Block in West Bay City, was built in 1869 and was the first three-story building on Midland Street. To help fund the construction of this block, Charles Bobo received a $6,000 loan from Henry W. Sage, a wealthy lumber baron. The building was designed to provide room not only for the grocery business of Charles Babo & Sons, but for a number of other commercial firms, all of which were located on the street level. The upper levels were used for apartments, which included a meeting hall for those leased space for their business. A number of these owners also rented an apartment. Today a parking lot exists where the Babo block was once located.

    1867 Directory: Michigan State Gazetteer.

  • Babo, Charles billiard saloon, 114 Centre, Bay City.

    1880 Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Babo, Charles b. 1823, Germany
  • Stephanie, wife b. 1827, Germany
  • Alice, dau. - b. 1859, Mich.
  • Ida, dau. - b. 1865, Mich.
  • Clara, dau. - b. 1867, Mich.
  • William F., son b. 1861, Mich.
  • Amy, dau. - b. 1863, Mich.

    1881 Directory: Bay City, Mich.:

  • Babo, Miss Alice, teacher, 2d ward school, bds n w cor 3d and Grant.
  • Babo, Augustus - (Charles Babo & Sons), bds Wells House (West Bay City).
  • Babo, Charles County Treasurer, Office Court House, and Grocer n w cor 3d.
  • Babo, Charles A. - clerk Charles & Babo, bds same.
  • Babo, Wm. - clerk bds Charles Babo. West Bay City, Mich.:
  • Charles Babo & Sons (Charles, Charles A. and Augustus), Groceries and Crockery, 101 Midland (West Bay City).

    1887 Michigan Deaths: Bay City.

  • William Babo, born 1861, Bay City, son of Charles and Sephinois Babo, died May 27, 1887.

    1897 Michigan Deaths: Bay City.

  • Charles Babo, born 1822, Germany, son of Charles Babo and Charlotte Olsen, died November 30, 1897.

    1899 Michigan Deaths: Bay City.

  • Stephanie Babo, born 1827, Germany, daughter of F. Solzer, died February 17, 1899.

    1900 Census: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Residence: 923 Third Street.
  • Babo, Augustus b. Feb., 1859, Mass., jobber in trade.
  • Charles A., bro., Jan., 1857, New York, grocer
  • Clara, sister, b. May, 1874, Mich., house keeper
  • Ida B., sister, b. May, 1872, Mich., school teacher
  • Amy, sister, b. June, 1869, Mich., school teacher

    1917 Journal of the Senate, State of Michigan.

  • On Feb. 6, 1917, the name of Augustus Babo was submitted by the governor to the Senate, recommending Augustus Babo as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Employment Institution for the Blind, to succeed John P. Smith, for the term ending Dec. 31, 1922.

    LINKS 1he/bldgs/wbc-1877.html

Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
West Bay City, 1877
People Referenced
Babo, Alice (dau)
Babo, Amy (dau)
Babo, Augustus (son)
Babo, Charles, Sr. (father)
Babo, Charles (subject)
Babo, Charles A. (son)
Babo, Clara (dau)
Babo, Ida (dau)
Babo, Marie (dau)
Babo, William F. (son)
Hozler, Stephanie (wife)
Keiser, Mr.
Moravitz, I.
Olsen, Charlotte (mother)
Sage, Henry W.
Smith, John P.
Welsh, John
Wilour, Mr.
Subjects Referenced
Babo block
Baden, Germany
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Boston, MA
Charles Babo & Sons
Frazier block
Havre, France
Lansing, MI
Litchtenhal, Germany
Milwaukee, WI
New York, NY
Rastadt, Germany
Univ. Freiburg
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.