Heritage \ Writings \

William B. Fitzgerald (1874-1930)
Born in Bay City, merchant, fireman & sheriff.
  • Added April, 2014.
  • The History of Michigan, by Charles Moore, 1915


    The sheriff of Bay county, Michigan, William B. Fitzgerald, needs no introduction to the citizens of this community, for more than twenty years he had been an incumbent of office of a public character, and his signal services to this city and county have been of a nature to commend him to all. His election to his present office, in January, 1913, was but the public's stamp of approval on his career, which has demonstrated his fearlessness as an officer, his executive talents, and his courteous and pleasing personality. Mr. Fitzgerald is a native son of Bay City, born June 8, 1873, a son of Daniel and Margaret (Lee) Fitzgerald.

    Daniel Fitzgerald was born in Ireland, and came to the United States in 1864, settling in Bay City. Here he became identified with the lumber trade of the growing city, developed into a contractor of standing, and continued to be connected with this industry during the remainder of his life. He died March 9, 1910, at the age of sixty-six years, in the faith of the Roman Catholic church, of which he had been a lifelong member. In his political views, Daniel Fitzgerald was a sturdy and stanch Democrat, and his influence was ever given to the party and its candidates. He married Margaret Lee, who was also a native of Erin, and who came to the United States as a small child, being reared and educated in Massachusetts. She met and married Mr. Fitzgerald in Bay City. She is still living, having reach the advanced age of seventy years, and is the mother of six children, of whom William B. is the third in order of birth.

    William B. Fitzgerald received his educational training in the public schools of Bay City, but at the age of seventeen years laid aside his books to face the business world. His first experience was with his father, in the line of lumber contracting, but in 1890 he embarked upon a career of his own as the proprietor of a grocery store. It was not long, however, before Mr. Fitzgerald grew dissatisfied with the quiet life of the merchant, and he accordingly disposed of his business interests to become a member of the Bay City Fire Department, in which, during the next eight years, he made an enviable record as a fire-fighter. In 1901, when he left the department, he became a city police officer, and during the next seven and one-half years served Bay City faithfully in that capacity, at the expiration of that period becoming under sheriff, during the administration of Sheriff Henry J. Kinney. In this position he continued to serve for four years, and on November 5, 1912, the people voiced their appreciation of his long and faithful service by electing him sheriff. Sheriff Fitzgerald is not only one of the most active incumbents of the office that county has known, but he has also accomplished some difficult detective work. He is the kind of an officer who has always been depended upon to take hold of any especially knotty businessss with determination, enthusiasm and bravery. A Democrat in politics, he is considered one of the strong party men of his section, but his activities have always been carried on in such a straightforward and honorable manner that he has friends among men of all political creeds. Fraternally, he is connected with the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of the Maccabees and the Loyal Order of Moose. He was reared in the faith of the Roman Catholic church, and has ever endeavored to live according to its teachings.

    On July 20,1893, Mr. Fitzgerald was united in marriage at Bay City to Miss Sadie Fennelly, a native of Michigan and a daughter of James Fennelly. Three children have been born to this union: Margaret, James and Daniel. Sheriff Fitzgerald has a comfortable home, located not far from the County Jail.

    Additional Note:

      1880 - Cenus: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
      Fitzgerald, Daniel - b. 1842, Ireland.
      Margaret, wife - b. 1841, Ireland.
      John, son - b. 1871, Mich.
      Katie, dau - b. 1877, MIch.
      Hannah, dau - b. 1879, Mich.
      William, son - b. 1873, Mich.
      Thomas, son - b. 1875, Mich.

      1894 - Michigan Marriages: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
      Date: Mar. 24, 1894.
      Groom: William Fitzgerald, b. 1874, Bay City, son of Daniel Fitzgerald and Margaret Lei.
      Bride: Sadie Fensselby, b. 1875, Bay City, daughter of James Fensselby and Letie Coreoran.

      1910 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
      Fitzgerald, William - age 37, b. Mich.
      Sarah, wife -age 36, b. Mich.
      Margaret, daughter, age 16, b. Mich.
      James, son - age 12, b. Mich.
      Daniel, son, age 8, b. Mich.

      1930 - Michigan Deaths: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
      Death of William B. Fitzgerald on Mar. 15, 1930, born Jun. 8, 1874, son of Daniel Fitzgerald and Margaret Lee.

    Reference Notes & Pages

    Related Pages:
    Kinney, Henry J.
    People Referenced
    Cororan, Letie (m-inlaw)
    Fennelly, James (f-inlaw)
    Fennelly, Sadie (wife)
    Fitzgerald, Daniel (father)
    Fitzgerald, Daniel (son)
    Fitzgerald, Hannah (sis)
    Fitzgerald, John (bro)
    Ftizgerald, Katie (sis)
    Fitzgerald, Margaret (dau)
    Fitzgerald, Thomas (bro)
    Fitzgerald, Wm. B. (subject)
    Kinney, Henry J.
    Lee, Margaret (mother)
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI Bay City Fire Dept. Bay City Police
    Bay County, MI
    Sheriff Dept.
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.