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Charles Coryell (1865-?)
Historical biography.
  • Transcribed November 2007.
  • History of Michigan, Vol. II, by Charles Moore (1915)



    For upwards of half a century the name Coryell has been identified with the developments in salt manufacture, coal mining, and other large business undertakings in the vicinity of Bay City, where the Coryell family have had their residence during the greater portion of their of this time. Mr. Charles Coryell is the son of one of the early salt manufacturers in Bay City county, and to his own independent career are to be credited many achievements, particularly in the direction of coal development, in this part of the state. Mr. Coryell has for many years enjoyed a place on conspicuous prominence in Bay City, both as a business and civic leader. He had acquired wealth, but has used it without ostentation, and has made himself a valued and esteemed factor in the citizenship of the state.

    His birth occurred at Petrolia, Ontario, September 2, 1865. His parents were John and Elizabeth (Carnell) Coryell, the father a native of New Market, and the mother of Tiverton, England, and from that country the farther, after getting his education in the local schools, came to America and settled in Bay City in 1863.

    During the one year of his residence there he married, and in 1864 went to Petrolia, Ontario, where the oil excitement had attracted thousands of prospectors and others interested in the development of petroleum. At Petrolia he engage in the work of drilling oil wells. In 1866 the discovery of salt water in Bay county, Michigan, led him to return to his original place of residence and he utilized his experience in drilling oil wells in the sinking of deep wells for the salt beds, and in a year or so became one of the successful manufacturers of salt. Thereafter his interests grew and expanded rapidly, and John Coryell became one of the leading business men of Bay City. He was born in 1843, and his death occurred at Saginaw, September 1, 1905, when sixty-two years of age. His wife, who was born in 1840, died in 1885 at Bay City, aged forty-five. They had two children, and the daughter is Mabel Coryell, of Bay City.

    Charles Coryell grew up in Bay City, attended the grammar and high schools until twenty years of age, when he became associated with his father in the manufacture of salt. At the age of twenty-five he started on a new line. With Dr. Ferguson he became interested in the coal, lime and mason’s supply business at Bay City, and as active manager did a large business for the following six years.

    The firm was known as the Bay City Coal & Lime Company. It was this experience chiefly which turned his attention to coal mining, and on leaving mercantile operations he began prospecting in both Bay and Saginaw counties for coal, and discovered and brought about the development of what became the Standard Mine, one of the earliest paying mines opened up in that section. Mr. Coryell became a director of the Standard Mining Company. Since the beginning of his career as a mine operator, Mr. Coryell has been associated with Robert Gage, whose name is that of one of Michigan’s leading and successful business men. After his experience with the Standard Mine, Mr. Coryell located and operated the Central Coal Mine of Bay county, then the St. Charles Mines, and altogether has developed fifteen mines in this state, eight being still in active operation. Six of these were in Bay county, and nine in Saginaw county. In 1907 the Robert Gage Coal Mining Company was organized and incorporated, and Mr. Coryell has since been vice-president and general manager of this well-known organization. The company secured all the interests of the J. H. Somers Coal Mining Company, and at the present time fully twelve hundred men are employed by the Gage Company, which is regarded as the largest firm of the Beaver Coal Mining Company of Bay City and The Saginaw Salt Company, is also secretary of the Republic Fuel Company of that city, and is regarded as one of the distinctive leaders in the larger field of business affairs. In politics he is Republican, in Masonry has taken the Knights Templar degrees, and belongs to the Shrine, is an enthusiastic yachtsman, a director in Bay City Boat Club, a member and director of the Country Club, a member of the Bay City Club, and was for three years president of the Bay City Boat Club. Mr. Coryell owns one of the finest yachts between Bay City and Detroit. The “Caroline” is a seventy-foot boat, constructed at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars, luxuriously equipped and furnished, and during the summer it is put in almost constant use by Mr. Coryell for the pleasure of his family and their friends.

    In April, 1888, Mr. Coryell married Elizabeth Cunning, who was born in Edinburg, Scotland, a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Cunning, now residents of Port Huron, Michigan. Andrew Cunning, who is now retired, was, during his business career, one of the prominent coat and mason supply men of Bay City. To the marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Coryell have been born six children, as follows: Jane Coryell, at home; Ida, whose marriage, September 27, 1913, at the Center Avenue Presbyterian church of Bay City to Clarence Ambrose, was the most brilliant social event of the year in Bay City; John Andrew Coryell, who is a graduate of the Bay City High School, and is now general superintendent of the Robert Gage Coat Mining Company; Charles Alexander Coryell, a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Harry Coryell, still in the grade schools.

    Additional Notes.

      1878 Brown's Directory Bay City, Mich.

    • Coryell, John - well borer, s e cor 4th and Grant.

      1893 - Directory Bay City, Mich.

    • Bay City Coal and Lime Co. - Charles Coryell Mngr, cor 24th and S. Water.
    • Coryell, Charles - Mngr Bay City Coal and Lime Co, 24th and Water, res 301 24th.
    • Coryell, John - (Coryell & Brock), res 301 24th.
    • Coryell, Miss Mabel A - bds 301 24th.
    • Coryell & Brock (John Coryell, Wm Brock), salt and artesian well contrs, 24th and Water.

      1900 - Census Bay City, Mich.

    • Coryell, Charles - b. Sep 1866 Canada, emigrated 1870, mgnr coal co
    • Elizabeth - wife, b. Oct 1867 Scotland
    • Jane - daughter, b. Mar 1888 Mich.
    • Ida - daughter, b. Sep 1889 Mich.
    • John - son, b. Oct 1891 Mich.
    • Charles - son, b. Apr 1894 Mich.
    • Margaret - daughter, b. Apr 1895 Mich.
    • Harry - son, b. Jan 1898 Mich.
    • Mabel - sister, b. Jun 1874 Mich.
    • La Follett, Linda - servant, b. Sep 1877 Ohio
    Related Pages/Notes

    Charles Coryell
    Sketch 1907

    Related Pages:
    Coryell, John father
    Coal Mining, Sag. Valley
    People Referenced
    Ambrose, Clarence
    Brock, William
    Carnell, Elizabeth (mother)
    Coryell, Charles (subject)
    Coryell, Charles A. (son)
    Coryell, Elizabeth Mrs.
    Coryell, Harry (son)
    Coryell, Ida (dau.)
    Coryell, Jane (dau.)
    Coryell, John (father)
    Coryell, John A. (son)
    Coryell, Mabel A. (sister)
    Coryell, Margaret (dau.)
    Cunning, Andrew
    Cunning, Elizabeth (wife)
    Ferguson, Dr.
    Gage, Robert
    La Follett, Linda
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Bay City Boat Club
    Bay City Club
    Bay City Coal & Lime Co.
    Bay City Country Club
    Bay Co., MI
    Beaver Coal Mining Co.
    Coal mining
    Coryell & Brock
    Detroit, MI
    Edinburg, Scotland
    Gage Co.
    J.H. Somers Coal Mining Co.
    New Market, England
    Petrolia, Ont.
    Presbyterian Ch., Bay City
    Republic Fuel Co.
    Robt. Gage Coal Mining Co.
    Saginaw, MI
    Saginaw Salt Co.
    Salt mfg.
    Standard Mining Co.
    Tiverton, England
    Univ. of Michigan
    Yacht, Caroline
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.