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Arthur H. Hess (1862-?)
Native of Bay City, dairy farm and horses.
Added April, 2014.

History of Bay County, Michigan, 1883


Although but a young man, scarcely in life's prime, Mr. Hess is one of the largest land owners in Bay City; owns the largest and finest herd of horses, and also operates the largest dairy in the valley. It has been said that every man has hobby, and if such be the case, Mr. Hess makes a hobby of horses, and is particularly well posted on the subject. Personally acquainted with many of the most prominent horsemen in the United States, he is known by them as the owner of some of the finest horses in the country. He is a member of the American Drivers' Association, the Saginaw Valley Drivers' Association, and attends horsemen's conventions whenever it is possible.

Among the fine horses which Mr. Hess owns, may be mentioned: “Flora W.,” the fastest pacer in the city, sired by “Tom Wonder,” record 2:24 ¾; “Mollie H.,” a trotter, sire, “Almont Wilkes,” record 2:26 ½; “Wonder Wilkes,” a bay stallion, sired by “George Wilkes,” with a record of 2:38 as a three-year-old; also the noted Percheron, “Rapido V.,” which was imported from France. Altogether Mr. Hess owns thirty-three head of horses of good grade. In 1882 he commenced in the dairy business, which gradually developed into its present proportions. On his dairy farm he keeps one hundred and twenty cows, one hundred of which are Durham, and sells the dairy products mostly in Bay City.

Mr. Hess is a native of Bay City, born May 26, 1862, and is the son of Henry B. and Ellen M. (Shaffer) Hess. The father, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., came to the Saginaw Valley in 1849, when a young man, and commencing at the bottom of the ladder, worked his way to independence and prosperity. His industry was remarkable, his energy untiring, and he followed any means of obtaining an honest livelihood, speculating in pine lands, working in mills, etc. Afterward he located on a farm comprising three hundred and twenty acres in Portsmouth Township, sections 1, 2 and 12. His home is still there (although the place has been sold to our subject), and he now lives retired from active labor. In the Methodist Episcopal Church he has been an active worker, and in his politics adheres to the Democratic party.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Ellen M. Shaffer, and was born and reared on the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. She became the mother of two children: George H., a commercial traveler for the Natchez Silk Company, of Boston; and Arthur H., of this sketch. The latter was reared in Bay City, and was graduated from the High School at the age of eighteen. After completing his school studies, he returned to the farm of which he assumed the management. In 1888 he purchased the place which is known as the Hess farm, and there has a fine stock farm. The improvements placed upon the land have been first-class, and include all necessary buildings for the carrying on of the estate. There are three barns; one, 36x344 feet, for cows; another, 80x34, for horses; and a granary, 45x100. The residence is a fine structure, erected at a cost of $5,000, while a small orchard, good fencing, windmills, etc., may be found upon the place. Besides this place our subject owns one thousand acres of prairie land in Zilwaukee Township, Saginaw County, and holds considerable city property.

September 2,1892, Mr. Hess was married to Miss Mary Deegan, who was born in Bay City, and is the daughter of Thomas and Ellen B. Deegan. Mrs. Hess received her education in the city schools, and prior to her marriage, followed the profession of a teacher with marked success. In his political affiliations Mr. Hess is a Democrat, and has served as a delegate to State conventions.

Additional Notes:

    1868 – Directory: Bay City, Mich.
    Hess, Henry – farmer, cor Grant and Center. (father)

    1870 – Census: Portsmouth, Bay, Mich.
    Hess, Henry – b. 1830, Penn.
    Minerva, wife – b. 1842, Canada.
    George, son – b. 1857, Mich.
    Arthur, son – b. 1866, Mich.
    Shafer, Alonso – b. 1846, Mich. (in-law ?)

    1880 – Census: Portsmouth, Bay, Mich.
    Hess, Henry – b. 1830, Penn. - farmer.
    Minervia, wife – b. 1837, Canada.
    Arthur H., son – b. 1865, Mich.
    Mimca, daughter – b. 1867, Mich.
    Walter, son – b. 1872, Mass.

    1891 – Michigan Marriages: Bay City, Bay, Mich.
    Date: Sep. 2, 1891.
    Groom: Arthur H. Hess, age 29, born in Mich., son of Henry and Minerva (Schofer) Hess.
    Bride: Mollie E. Deegan, age 30, born in Mich., daughter of Thomas Deegan.

    1893 – Directory: Bay City, Mich.
    Hess, Arthur H. - horse trainer, res 614 N. Birney.

Reference Notes & Pages

Related Pages:
- None at this time.
People Referenced
Deegan, Mollie E. (wife)
Deegan, Thomas (f-inaw)
Hess, Arthur H. (subject)
Hess, George H. (bro)
Hess, Henry B. (father)
Hess, Mimca (sis)
Hess, Walter (bro)
Shaffer, Elonso
Shaffer, Ellen M. (mother)
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Boston, MA
Natchez Silk Company
Philadelphia, PA
Portsmouth Twp.
Saginaw Co., MI
Saginaw Valley
St. Lawrence River
Thousand Islands
Zilwaukee Twp.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.