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Hon. Henry Harrison Aplin (1841-1910)
Merchant, Civil War veteran and politician.

1912 Historical bio. (Added Mar, 2009)

Historical Collections, Michigan State Historical Society, 1912


Henry Harrison Aplin, formerly one of the best known public men in Northern Michigan died at his home in Bay City, July 23, 1910.

His parents Thomas and Elvira (Metcalf) Aplin, came to Michigan in 1835, settling in Thetford Township, Genesee County, where Henry H. was born April 15, 1841, the family removing to Flint in 1848. The son's education was received in the public schools of Flint. The family returned to the farm in 1856 where he son remained until the outbreak of the Civil War when he enlisted on July 3, 1861, in Company C, 16th Michigan Infantry, which was attached to the first division, Third Brigade, Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, serving until the close of the war and leaving the service July 16, 1865, with the rank of second lieutenant.

Returning to Michigan he engaged in the mercantile business at Wenona, now the west side of Bay City. He was postmaster of West Bay City from November, 1869, to June, 1886, and was again appointed to the same office October 1, 1898.

In I886 he was elected auditor-general of the State. His personal popularity was shown by his having led his party ticket by over 10,000 votes in the State and by nearly 2,000 in his own county. He was reelected to the same office in 1888. After the expiration of his term he with others undertook the construction of a system of electric street railway in West Bay City, of which he was general manager until he closed out his interest in the enterprise in 1891.

At the time of his death Mr. Aplin was a member of the Union Ice Co., and engaged in farming. The summer resort known as Aplin Beach was named in his honor.

In 1894 Mr. Aplin was elected to the lower house of the State Legislature from the second district of Bay County, serving during the session of 1895. He had represented the Republican Party for many years and was a delegate to the national convention that nominated Blaine and Logan in 1884. He was a member of the Republican Central Committee from 1888 to 1892 and had been chairman of every local committee, congressional, senatorial, representative, county, township and ward. He served as township clerk and township treasurer, each for three years.

Mr. Aplin was elected to the Fifty-seventh Congress, October 15, 1901, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of R. O. Crump. He was defeated in the convention that nominated George A. Loud for the Fifty-eighth Congress.

On his father's side Mr. Aplin was of Scotch descent. He was a member of the Mason fraternity, of the Knights of Pythias, the National Union, the Royal Arcanum, the Order of Foresters, the G. A. R. and National League of Veterans and Sons and had been commander of Ralph Cummings Post, of the West Side, for seven terms.

Mr. Aplin was married at Maumee City, Ohio, in 1879, to Miss Frances L. Patchen, daughter of Malcolm B. Patchen, who with one daughter, DaisyA., (Mrs. Sigurd Oleson of Chicago), and one brother, George Aplin, of Bay City, Mich., survive him.

1924 Political bio. (Added May, 2005)

Michigan Biographies
Michigan Historical Commission, 1924 (Page 27)



Representative from the Second District of Bay County, 1895-6;
Auditor General, 1887-91;
and member of Congress, 1901-3.

Was on a farm in the township of Thetford, Genesee County, Mich., Apr. 15, 1841.
In 1848 his father moved to the city of Flint, where they remained until 1856, when the family again returned to the farm, where he remained until the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company C, 16th Mich. Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He was made a Second Lieutenant in 1865.
Returning to Michigan at the close of the war he entered into the mercantile business at Wenona, now West Bay City, and was identified with its growth and progress.
He immediately took an active and prominent part in local politics, and was appointed Postmaster by President Grant in Nov., 1869, succeeding Newcomb Clark, which office he held until June, 1886.
Always a staunch Republican, as well as a strong advocate of the rights of labor, he represented his town and county in local and State conventions for many years and his State in the National Convention which nominated Blaine and Logan at Chicago, in June, 1884.
He was elected Auditor General by the Republicans in 1886 and was re-elected in 1888.
He was elected a member of Congress from the Tenth District Oct. 15, 1901 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of R. O. Crump.

He died at Bay City July 23, 1910.

Congressional Bio. (Added May, 2005)

Congressional Biographies
Library of Congress

APLIN, Henry Harrison, a Representative from Michigan;
born in Thetford Township, Genesee County, Mich., April 15, 1841;
moved with his parents to Flint, Mich.,in 1848;
attended the public schools;
enlisted July 3, 1861, in Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry; served until July 16, 1865, with the rank of second lieutenant;
returned to Michigan and engaged in mercantile pursuits at Wenona (now West Bay City);
postmaster of West Bay City from November 1869 to June 1886;
served as township clerk and township treasurer, each for three years;
delegate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1884;
elected auditor general of the State in 1886 and 1888;
interested in the construction of the electric railways of West Bay City and served as general manager until 1891;
member of the Michigan house of representatives in 1894 and 1895;
was again appointed postmaster of West Bay City and served from October 1, 1898, to June 1902;
elected as a Republican to the Fifty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Rousseau O. Crump and served from October 20, 1901, to March 3, 1903;
unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1902;
engaged in agricultural pursuits and was also interested in the manufacture of ice;
died in West Bay City, Mich., July 23, 1910;
interment in Elm Lawn Cemetery, Bay City, Mich.

Additional Notes:

    1850 - Census: Flint, Genesee, Michigan.

  • Aplin, Thomas - b. 1810 New York.
  • Anna, wife - b. 1810 New York.
  • Mary, daughter - b. 1831 New York.
  • Sarah L., daughter - b. 1836 Mich.
  • Ira C., son - b. 1838 Mich.
  • Henry H., son - b. 1841 Mich.
  • Thomas B., son - b. 1844 Mich.

    1870 - Census: Bangor, Bay, Michigan.

  • Aplin, Henry - postmaster, b. 1841 Mich.
  • Aplin, Elvira - keeping house, b. 1807, New York.
  • Collis, L.B. - carpenter, B. 1842 New York.
  • Aplin, Sarah - school teacher, b. 1839 New York (sister)

    1870 - Michigan Marriages: Genesee Co.

  • Henry H. Aplin married Fannie L. Patchin on May 15, 1870.

    1880 - Census: West Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Aplin, Henry - postmaster, b. 1843 Mich.
  • Fraik, wife - b. 1846 New York.
  • Pachin, Clara - sister-in-law, b. 1862 Ohio.
  • Aplin, Daysie - daughter, b. 1875 Mich.

    1910 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Aplin, Henry H. - age 69, b. New York.
  • Francis, wife - age 64, b. Ohio.
  • Tanks, Daisy - age 17, b. Germany

Related Pages/Notes

Henry H. Aplin

Related Pages:
Bay Co. Civil War
People Referenced
Aplin, Daisy A. (dau.)
Aplin, George (bro.)
Aplin, Henry H. (subject)
Aplin, Ira C. (bro)
Aplin, Mary (sis)
Aplin, Sarah L. (sis)
Aplin, Thomas (father)
Aplin, Thomas B. (bro)
Clark, Newcomb
Collis, L.B.
Crump, Rousseau O.
Grant, (President)
Cummings, Ralph
Loud, Geo. A.
Metcalf, Elvira (mother)
Patchen, Clara (sis-inlaw)
Patchen, Frances L. (wife)
Patchen, Malcolm B.
Tanks, Daisy
Subjects Referenced
5th Army Corps, 3rd Brigade,
16th MI Inf., Co. C
Aplin Beach
Auditor General
Bay City
Chicago, IL
Civil War
Co. C, 16th Mi. Inf.
Elm Lawn Cemetery
Fifty-fifth Congress
Flint, Genesse, MI
Genesee County, MI
Maumee City, OH
Merchantile business
National convention
New York
Second Dist. Bay Co.
MI State convention
Thetford Twp., MI
Township clerk
Union Ice Co.
Wenona (village), MI
West Bay City, MI
1870 Michigan Census
APLIN (Bangor, Bay Co.):
Henry H: 29,m,postmaster,MI
Eliz?: 63,f,keeping hse.,NY
  • [Roll 662, Page 333]
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