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Bryon Elbridge Warren (1836-1919)
Born in Southfield, Mich., prominent banker and business man in Bay City.

1883 biography. (Added Nov., 2009)

History of Bay City, Michigan, Vol. 4, Charles Moore (1915)


The name Byron Elbridge Warren has been written into Bay City business history, in connection with banking, numerous mercantile and industrial enterprises, though every year since he first came to that then new city on September 15, 1866. For nearly half a century, his influence has directed, upheld, strengthened and protected the sound and permaent commercial integrity of a great industrial community. Business has been only one side of Mr. Warren's life. Bay City takes commendable pride, not only in banks and factories, but in institutions and those organizations which best express civic and social energy. In that field Mr. Warren has for years been foremost in planning and execution, in the generous use of his means, and in a wise and disinterested helpfulness. Mr. Warren is still active in affairs, and was president and incorporator of the Bay City Insurance Agency in 1911, that agency succeeding the previous firm of Warren and Warren, Evan Tuyl & Company, Ribble & Murphy, and C. S. Skibbe.

A son of Samuel Nott and Anna Keeler (West) Warren, Byron E. was born at Southfield, Oakland county, Michigan, February 23, 1836. His early education was acquired in the public schools of Fenton, with a few terms at a private school, and later by attendance for four year in the Flint high school, Albion College three terms, and one year at Dr. Hoyt's School at Niagara Falls. On returning to Michigan, he finished with a course in Mayhew's Business College at Detroit. The practical training for a business life was secured as a clerk in his father's store at Flint, and he was assistant to the elder Warren during all his school years. In 1855, at the age of nineteen, he became more closely associated with his father, and during that year they both went to Boston to make purchases of new stock, and after that he became the regular buyer for the store. In 1857 the son succeeded his father in business in Flint. In 1858 Mr. Warren was caught by the gold excitement which periodically flashed over the country, and selling out his store went around by the Isthmus of Panama, and arrived at San Francisco, September 28. Mining lost its charms when the promised land was reached, and instead he took a clerkship in a drygoods store. In the spring of 1859, Mr. Warren set out on his return to his native state. Some of the details of that journey are of interest. He came by the Tehauntapec route. The steamer anchored in the bay of that name on the west coast of Mexico, and the passengers and baggage were landed in small boats. He crossed the continent, a distance of one hundred and twelve miles on horseback, arriving at the Coatzaqualce River after a three days' journey. In a small steamer he passed down the river to its mouth in the Bay of Yucatan, where he boarded an ocean liner and sailed for the mouth of the Mississippi River, arriving in New Orleans three days later. New Orleans still had no transcontinental railway connections, and the Mississippi was the main artery of travel. Six days were consumed in the steamer's journey to St. Louis, and the then came on to Chicago by rail, and ended his trip by a stage ride from Holly to Flint.

On returning to Flint, Mr. Warren resumed merchandising and so continued until 1862. In that year he was appointed deputy collector under his father, for the sixth revenue district of Michigan. In that work he had the practical charge of the entire business, and over the vast territory previously described. He devised a new system for keeping track of the work, and remained in the office for four years, his efficiency attracting the attention of bankers, with whom he daily came in contact. In September, 1866, at the suggestion of Col. W. L. P. Little, a prominent banker of East Saginaw, he moved to Bay City, and established a banking office in that city in a part of the Fraser House. In order to secure a lease of the office, it was necessary for him to buy out a drug store, as buildings were very scarce at that time. Thus his first participation in business affairs at Bay City was as a private banker, and also a druggist. January 1, 1867, Hon. N. B. Bradley became associated with him in the banking business, and on February 1, 1868, their business was merged with that of the First National Bank of which Mr. Warren became cashier. James Shearer was president of the reorganized institution, and later on his talents for finance contributed greatly to the enduring prosperity of an institution which always stood unscathed by the financial storms through which it passed. On the expiration of the original charter of the First National Bank in 1883, a reorganization was effected, and the title changed to the Bay City National Bank, Mr. Warren being elected first president of that institution.

In addition to the banking business, Mr. Warren was a dealer in timber lands, and from 1876 to 1882, in connection with the late Hon. N. B. Bradley and the late W. C. Yawkey, he carried on large operations in lands, logs, and lumber. Mr. Warren attended to all the details of the business and turned over enormous profits to this partners. His connection with that business continued with various partners and varying results until 1898. In 1899, he and his son, , established an insurance and real estate business under the style of Warren & Warren, a business which was reorganized in 1911 at the incorporation of the Bay City Insurance Agency of which Mr. Warren has since been president.

Mr. B. E. Warren has done as much if not more than any other Bay City citizen to improve the general industrial status of his community. The Bousfield Plant was secured for Bay City by his own personal efforts. He was largely interested in forming the Ross, Bradley & Company corporation for assorting lumber for the car trade, and was also instrumental in the reorganization of the Michgan Pipe Company. He secured the franchise from the Bay City Electric Light Company, of which he was the principle promoter, treasurer, and a director. The establishment at Bay City of Washington Theatre, first known as Woods' Opera House, was an achievement the success of which must be largely credited to Mr. Warren. His brother, Robert L. Warren, was long identified with newspaper history in Bay City, and Mr. B. E. Warren was the chief promoter and backer of the Bay City Tribune, founded in 1873. He served as first vice-president of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce, organized in 1882.

To Mr. Warren, more than to any other individual, was due the development of the Bay City Public Library Association in 1870, and later was a member of the committee drafting the bill establishing the Bay City Public Library, of which he has long served as a trustee. After the organization of the public library, Mr. Warren advocated donating to it the five thousand volumes belonging to the Library Association, and that formed the beginning of the extensive collection now embraced and contained on the shelves of the library. Very soon after taking up his residence in Bay City, Mr. Warren became a communicant of the Trinity Episcopal church, and has been one of the most active workers in that congregation. He was chairman of the building committee that constructed the present beautiful stone church, and contributed very materially to the erection and furnishing.

In 1861 Mr. Warren married Jennie Elsa Ives, a daughter of Amasa Ives of Oakland county, who died in this city May 12, 1907. The Ives family also came from Vermont. Five children of Mr. and Mrs. Warren, grew to maturity, namely: Stuart, of Ogemaw county; Anna Elizabeth, now deceased, former wife of W. O. Lewis; Jennie Blanche, who became the second wife of W. O. Lewis; Frederick I.; and Henry L., who is an associate of his father in the insurance business at Bay City.

Death noice, 1919. - Added May, 2012.

Michigan Manufacturer & Financial Record, Vol. 23, 1919.

Byron E. Warren, one of Bay City's pioneer bankers, is dead at the age of 83. Mr. Warren was born in Southfield, Oakland county, February 23, 1836. He came to Bay City in 1866, became associatd in the lumber business with the late Nathan B. Bradley and two years later assisted in the formation of the First National Bank, of which he became cashier. He retired about a quarter of a century ago.

Additional Notes.

  • 1880 Census, Bay City, Mich.
  • Warren, Byron E. , b. 1836, Mich.
  • Warren, Jeannie E., wife.
  • Children: Stuart, Blanche, Sam, Fred, Henry, Annie.

    1886 Directory, Bay City, Mich.

  • Warren, Byron E. - pres. Bay National Bank, res 814 5th.
  • Warren, Stuart B., lumberman, bds 814 5th.

    1902 - National Register of the Sons of the American Revolution Society, Vol. 2.

  • Henry Latimer Warren, Bay City, Mich. (14167). Son of Byron E. Warren and Jennie E. Ives; grandson Samuel Nott Warren and Anna Keeler West; great-grandson of Andrew West and Elizabeth Younglove; great-grandson of Samuel Younglove, private Fourteenth Albany County, New York Militia.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
Warren, Robert -brother
Warren, Charles -nephew
Bradley, Nathan B.
Shearer, James
Trinity Episcopal Church
People Referenced
Bradley, Nathan B.
Ives, Amasa
Ives, Jennie E. (wife)
Lewis, W.O.
Little, W.L.P.
Shearer, James
Warren, Anna E. (dau.)
Warren, Byron E. (subject)
Warren, Frederick (son)
Warren, Henry L. (son)
Warren, Jennie B. (dau.)
Warren, Sam (son)
Warren, Samuel N. (father)
Warren, Stuart B. (son)
West, Andrew
West, Anna K. (mother)
Yawkey, W.C.
Younglove, Elizabeth
Younglove, Samuel
Subjects Referenced
Albany, NY
Albion College, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay City Elec. Light
Bay City Ins. Agency
Bay City Natl. Bank
Bay City Public Library
Bay city Tribune
Boston, MA
Bousfield Plant
C.S. Skibbe Co.
Detroit, MI
Dr. Hoyt's School
East Saginaw, MI
Evan Tyul & Co.
Fenton, MI
First National Bank
Flint High School
Fraser House
Holly, MI
Mayhew's Bus. College
Michigan Pipe Co.
New Orleans, MS
Niagara Falls, NY
Oakland Co., MI
Ogemaw Co., MI
Ribble & Murphy Co.
Ross, Bradley & Co.
San Francisco, CA
Southfield, MI
St Louis, MO
Trinity Episcopal
Warren & Warren Co.
Washington Theatre
Woods Opera House
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.