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Alonzo E. Persons (1818-1894)
Born in N.Y., fishman in Bay City, first State represented from Alpena.

1888 Biography. - Added Oct., 2010.

Early History of Michigan - 1888


Representative from Alpena county in 1861-2, was born at Smithville, N. Y., April 25, 1818. He received a common school education, became a sailor, and in 1840 was master of a vessel. He continued in that business until 1849, when he removed to Bay City and engaged in the fishing business. Removed to Alpena in 1859, and was town clerk. From 1861 to 1874 was keeper of the Thunder Bay Island light. Built the first steam tug for fishing. Now master since 1882, and part owner of the steamer Golden Eagle. Has been justice and coroner. In politics first a Whig, since 1854 a Republican.

Note: Bay City at this time was known as Lower Saginaw located in Hampton Twp. of Saginaw Co. Bay Co. wasn't organized until 1857.

1903 history. - Added Oct., 2010.

Centennial History of Alpena County, Michigan - 1903

Page. 59.

In 1860, Alpena having grown to some importance, resolved to send a Representative to the State Legislature, and request a seat for him in that body, not in opposition to the regular candidate for that office, who was a resident of Grand Traverse county, but conjointly with him, as the territory was ample for districts, with divided interests. Capt. A. E. Persons was nominated for this important and experimental position, and was elected , receiving nearly all the votes of Alpena county and its territory. Captain Persons accepted the nomination and election, as complimentary, but was not a little surprised when the request by his constituents to go to Lansing. He regarded the matter of going to Lansing but little better than a farce, and that, as a matter of course, he would be rejected. But being assured and encouraged by his friends, who thought differently, and who agreed to fund his expenses, in case he was not seated, he made up his mind to “Try the thing on,” and prepared himself with his credentials; went to Lansing; presented himself at the bar of the House of Representatives; was administered the oath of office, and took his seat with as much freedom and matter of course as if he had been a regularly elected member from the oldest counties. No questions were ask and he was addressed at “The member from Alpena.” This affair, for boldness of conception and execution, has few, if any , precedents in the annuals of legislation. This gave importance and notoriety to Alpena, among her sister towns, and brought to her shore many seeking for labor, settlement, or speculation.

Capt Persons was a man of energy, with good judgment, and kind and obliging manners. He was a faithful friend to his Government during the long struggle with rebellion, and by attending to the wants of his county, he gave pride an satisfaction to his friends and constituents.

Page 179.

In February,1870, a temperance organization was effected, called the Temperance League of Alpena, its object being the suppression of the liquor traffic, in the place. The officers of this powerful organization were: for President, Capt. A. E. Persons; for Secretary, F. S. Goodrich; for Treasurer, James J. Potter, and for executive committee, Wm. H. Potter, Scott Doane, Wm. D. Hitchcock, Christopher Burrell and T. M. Luce.

Addition Notes.

    1850 – Census: Hampton Twp, Saginaw Co., Mich.

  • Persons, Alonzo – age 32, b. N.Y., merchant
  • Susan, wife – age 20, b. N.Y.
    Note – In 1857 Hampton Twp., became a part of Bay County.

    1870 – Census: Alpena, Mich.

  • Persons, Alonzo – age 53, b. N.Y., lighthouse keeper.
  • Susan, wife – age 42, b. N.Y.
  • John, son – age 18, b. Ohio, fisherman
  • Byron, son – age 13, b. Mich.
  • Hannah, daughter – age 11, b. Mich.

    1879 – Michigan Deaths: Alpena.

  • Nannie Persons born 1860, died on Feb. 6, 1879, daughter of Alonzo and Susan Persons.

    1894 – Michigan Deaths: Alpena.

  • Alonzo E. Persons, b. 1818, N.Y., died Oct. 1, 1894.

    1930 – Michigan Deaths: Alpena.

  • Byron N. Persons died on June 3, 1930, son of Alonzo Persons and Susan Reed.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
None at this time.
People Referenced
Burrell, Christopher
Doane, Scott
Goodrich, F.S.
Hitchcock, William D.
Luce, T.M.
Persons, Alonzo E. (subject)
Persons, Byron (son)
Persons, Hannah (dau)
Persons, John (son)
Potter, James J.
Potter, William H.
Reed, Susan (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Alpena, MI.
Alpena Co., MI
Bay City, MI
Grand Traverse Co., MI
Lansing, MI
Lighthouse keeper
Lower Saginaw, MI
MI Representative
Smithville, NY
Thunder Bay Island, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.