Heritage \ Writings \

Colonel Charles R. Hawley (1840-1920)
Born in Chenango Co., N.Y., owned dry-goods business in Bay City.

History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan 1892


who is the Colonel of the Third Regiment of the Michigan State Troops, is also the leading dry-goods man of Saginaw Valley. He owns the finest dry-goods block in the State, and in size it is outdone by only two establishments in Detroit and one at Grand Rapids. Col. Hawley was born in Chenango County, N. Y., and is a son of Dr. B. M. Hawley, who was born in Delaware County, and was a son of William Hawley, a native of Connecticut, whose ancestors came from the Northern Ireland.

The father of our subject was a physician and surgeon of the Eclectic School in Chenango County, N. Y., and later he practiced at Painted Post, Steuben County. He was Captain of a company of New York Militia and in politics was a Henry Clay man. The mother bore in maidenhood the name of Abigail Hathaway, and was born in Delaware County, N. Y., being of an old Massachusetts family, which traced its ancestry back to Plymouth Rock. The mother, who is an earnest member of the Presbyterian Church, still resides with our subject, but the father died in 1869.

Our subject is one of nine children and had his early training at Painted Post, N. Y. He left the common schools at the age of fourteen to begin clerking in a dry-goods establishment at Olean, N. Y. He continued with his employer, N. S. Butler, until he reached the age of twenty-two, when he was taken into partnership under the firm name of N. S. Butler & Co., which connection lasted until the fall of 1865, when our subject sold and came to Bay City.

Here Mr. Hawley established himself in the dry-goods business with his former partner, Mr. Butler, having a firm name of C. R. Hawley & Co., and started on a small scale on Water Street adjoining the Frazier Block. Later he removed to the corner of Center and Adams Streets, where he continued until the fall of 1891, when he located in his large, new, magnificent store.

In 1875 Mr. Butler retired from the firm, and since that time Col. Hawley has been virtually along, and has been the most successful dry-goods' man in Saginaw Valley. His splendid store occupies a space 75x100 feet in dimensions, and is four stories and a basement in height, with a commodious elevator and with cut stones and Tennessee marble front, splendidly lighted with plate glass. The plans of this building were laid out by Col. Hawley himself, and he has shown himself as good an architect as merchant. The first floor is devoted to general and fancy dry-goods, the second floor to cloaks, shawls and dress-making, the third to carpets and curtains, and the fourth to manufacturing.

A branch store was opened in Alpena in 1876 and is still running under the firm name of Hawley & Fitzgerald, and is the leading and largest dry-goods house in Alpena. The Colonel was an organizer and is a stockholder in the Bay County Electric Light Company, and also in the Bay County Mutual Building and Loan Association. He is also a stockholder and director of the Commercial Bank and member of the Bay City Business Men's Association.

Col. Hawley is a charter member and one of the organizers of the Company D, Third Regiment Michigan State Troops, and has worked his way up from Sergeant to Colonel, being very active in matters pertaining to the militia, and was on duty during the riots in Saginaw as Major commanding two companies. His residence is on the corner Eighth and Sheridan Streets. He is eminent Commander of the Bay City Commandry of Knights Templar and is connected with the Mystic Shrine of Detroit, besides being one of the Masonic Temple Association, and Chairman of Finance Committee and a member of the Knights of Maccabees. He is a prominent and influential Republican and earnest worker in the church and Sunday-school of the Presbyterian denomination.

Additional Notes.

    1880 Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
  • Hawley, Charles b. 1840, NY. - merchant. Boarder.

    1881 - History of Bay County, Mich. - Gannzer, 1905.

  • In 1881, under Capt. C. R. Hawley, the Peninsulars were the body-guard of Governor Begole at the centennial celebration upon the battle-field of Yorktown, Virginia.

    1886-7 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Hawley, Charles R. - (Hawley & Fitzgerald), res. 1214 8th.
  • Hawley & Fitzgerald (Charles R. and Benjamin Hawley, ,J. Wm. Fitzgerald) Dry goods and carpets, 312 and 314 Center.

    1897-9 Directory: Alpena, Mich.

  • Hawley & Fitzgerald (Charles R. Hawley, Bay City, Mich., Joseph W. Fitzgerald, John L. Bassingwaite, Bay City, Mich.), Dry goods, carpets and milinery, 121-123 N. 2d Tel 146.

    1900 Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Hawley, Charles R. - b. Apr. 1840, NY
  • Abigial, mother b. 1814, NY

    1901 - American Tyler-Keystone, Jan. 1902.

  • At the reception and ball of Detroit Commandry No. 417, of Detroit on December 31, Grand Commander Charles R. Hawley, of Bay City, was presented with his staff and was mde an honorary member of the Detroit body.

    1902 - Bay County Mich. Genealogy Society.

  • Abigail (Hathaway) Hawley died December 13, 1902, burial at Elm Lawn Cemetery.

    1920 - Bay County Mich. Genealogy Society.

  • Charles R. Hawley died May 19, 1920, burial at Elm Lawn Cemetery.
Related Pages/Notes

Col. Charles R. Hawley
Related Bay-Journal Pages
None at this time.
People Referenced
Bassingwaite, John L.
Begole, Gov.
Butler, N.S.
Clay, Henry
Fitzgerald, Joseph W.
Hathaway, Abigail (mother)
Hawley, Benjamin M. (father)
Hawley, Charles R. (subject)
Hawley, William (g-father)
Subjects Referenced
3d Reg MI State Troops
Alpena, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay City Bus. Men's Assoc.
Bay Co. Electric Light Co.
Bay Co. Mutual Bldg & Loan Assoc.
Chenango County, NY
Commercial Bank
C.R. Hawley & Co.
Delaware County, NY
Detroit, MI
Elm Lawn Cemetery
Fraser block
Hawley & Fitzgerald Co.
Painted Post, NY
New York Militia
N.S. Butler & Co.
Olean, NY
Plymouth Rock
Saginaw, MI
Saginaw Valley, MI
Steuben County, NY
Yorktown, VA
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.