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Charles Beecher Warren (1870-1936)
Bay City native, attorney, politician and former ambassador to Japan.

1922 biography. (Added Mar., 2009)

The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, by Burton, Stocking & Miller, 1922


American ambassador to Japan, one of the most eminent lawyers of Michigan whose reknown in his profession has long since been international, is senior member of the firm of Warren, Cady, Hill & Hamblen, and for more than a quarter of a century has been a member of the Detroit bar. He was born at Bay City, Michigan, April 10, 1870, a son of Robert L. and Caroline (Beecher) Warren, also natives of Michigan. The father was born and reared at Flint, this state, and completed his education by graduation from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He was prominently identified with the development of the Saginaw Valley and had wielded wide influence in public affairs through his efforts as a journalist, giving much time and study to the question of civic and political matters. He was the founder of the Bay City Journal and also the Saginaw Daily Enterprise, which was one of the first daily newspapers printed in the Saginaw valley. The recognition of his ability and public spirit on the part of his fellowmen led to his election to the state legislature in early days. For many years he was president of the board of trustees of the Michigan School for the Deaf at Flint. In 1908 he was made a delegate to the republican national convention from the second district of Michigan and he was long a prominent figure in political circles in this state. His death occurred at Ann Arbor, in 1916, where for a number of years he owned and edited daily papers of that city.

Charles B. Warren spent a portion of his boyhood in Bay City and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Albion. He pursued a preparatory course in Albion College and was prominent in college circles, being president of the freshman class and managing editor of the college paper in his sophomore year. In 1889 he became a junior in the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated in 1891 with the Bachelor of Philosophy degree, having during his university course given special attention to the study of history and constitutional law. It was his class that established the college paper, “The Islander,” of which Mr. Warren was chosen the first editor in chief. On the completion of his university course he came to Detroit and entered the law office of Don. M. Dickinson, who directed his reading until his admission to the bar in 1893. He also studied in the Detroit Law School and was graduated with the class of 1893, his L.L. B. degree being at that time conferred upon him. He remained, however, in the office of Mr. Dickinson until 1897 as an assistant and was then admitted to a partnership under the firm of Dickinson, Warren & Warren, a relationship that was maintained until 1900, when the firm of Shaw, Warren & Cady was formed, his partners being John C. Shaw and William B. Cady. With the death of Mr. Shaw in January, 1911, the firm name of Warren, Cady and Ladd was adopted and for some time Judge Claudius B. Grant, for a number of years one of the supreme court justices of Michigan, was associated with the firm as counsel. Subsequently changes in the firm led to its present name – that of Warren, Cady, Hill & Hamblen, representing one of the foremost legal firms in this section of the country. No dreary novitiate awaited Colonel Warren at the beginning of his professional career, for his talent rapidly brought him to a position of prominence in his profession. In 1896, or before he was twenty-seven years old, he was appointed associate counsel for the United States before the Joint High Commission, which adjudicated the claims of Great Britain in that historic controversy involving the rights of the two nations in the Behring Sea. This great honor gave him a high standing in his own state and at once placed him in a foremost position among the younger lawyers as well as gaining for him an international reputation. In 1909 he was appointed by President Roosevelt and Elihu Root, then secretary of state, as one of the counsel for the United States in the controversy with Great Britain over the North Atlantic waters and fisheries. The case was presented to the Permanent Tribunal of Arbitration at the Hague during the summer of 1910 and Colonel Warren was one of the counsel chosen to make the oral argument for the United States. Here was probably assembled the greatest array of legal talent available in the United States and Great Britain at that time. Colonel Warren is one of only two members from Michigan of the executive committee of the American Society of International Law, his contemporary formerly sharing this honor being the late James B. Angell, president-emeritus of the University of Michigan. He has been counsel for and an official in many of the important corporations and business interests of Detroit. He was made a member of the directorate of the Old Detroit National Bank, of the National Bank of Commerce, the Detroit Stove Works, and the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company. He is also director and general counsel for the Michigan Sugar Company and his interests and activities have thus cover a broad scope.

When this country declared war upon the Central powers, he was at once called upon for services, and immediately responded. He was commissioned a major in the Reserve Corps in the first month of the war, April, 1917, being the first reserve officer in his Corps called form civilian life into active service; was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in February, 1918, and in July, 1918, was made a colonel in the National army. Colonel Warren served as chief of staff to Major General Crowder, who as provost marshal general was in charge of raising the National army under the Selective Service Law. He was the author of the plan which put into operation the raising of our army. General Crowder stated in the military record attached to Colonel Warren's certificate of discharge:

“He was rendered the administration of the selective draft many notable service, the enumeration of which is not possible at this time. It is proper, however, to note his very signal service in the preparation of the first regulations under the Selective Service Law. It was a lawyer's task to interpret, in the form of regulations, the large delegation of authority to the President by that law and he brought to the task ability of the highest order and especially a sane judgment which was the greatest value in adopting the execution of the law to the legal sense of our people.”

He was awarded by the President the Distinguished Service Medal with this citation in the Military Records:

“For exceptional, meritorious and distinguished service to the government in connection with the administration of the Selective Service Law during the war. In all of his varied and important duties he displayed unselfish devotion, tireless energy and extraordinary executive ability.” He was active in the great international charity movements antedating our entrance into the World war, and has received decorations from the French republic, the Kingdom of Belgium and Serbia.

On December 2, 1902, Colonel Warren was married to Miss Helen Wetmore, a daughter of the late Charles Wetmore of Detroit, and a niece of the late United States Senator James McMillan. Colonel and Mrs. Warren have become parents of four sons: Wetmore, born November 17, 1903; Charles B. Jr., born July 4, 1906; Robert, born July 17, 1907; and John Buel, born May 4, 1914.

Colonel Warren is well known in club circles, having membership in the Detroit, Country, Yondotega, University, Detroit Athletic, Bloomfield Hills Country, Grosse Pointe Hunt and Huron Mountain Clubs of Detroit; the Chevy Chase and Metropolitan Clubs of Washington, D.C.; and the University Club of New York. In 1916 the University of Michigan conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts and he is a voter, has been a staunch supporter of the republican party and for a number of years has been one of the party's able counselors and advisers in both state and national politics. He has been a delegate to the National conventions of his party. In 1912 he was chosen Michigan's member of the Republican National Committee. He was at once made a member of its executive committee, and was chairman of the sub-committee that revised the procedure of the party organization and revamped the representation from the southern states in future conventions. He served for eight years, and then voluntarily declined to stand for reelection.

Colonel Warren was president of the Detroit Board of Commerce in 1914 and 1915, during the first years of the World war, when the work of this organization was probably of greater importance than at any time before in its history. Colonel Warren was appointed ambassador to Japan in June, 1921 and arrived at his post in Tokio in September following.

Additional Notes.

    Past & Present of Washtenaw Co., Michigan
    Robert L. Warren:

  • Parents: Samuel N. & Anna K. Warren
  • Married: Miss Carrie W. Beecher of Flint, on Dec. 21, 1865.
  • Children: William B., died in 1884; Mrs. Emily L. Ware; Charles B.
  • Military: Served in Co. K, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry.

    1865 - Michigan Marriages: Flint,Genesee, Mich.

  • Robert L. Warren, b. 1842, married on Dec. 21, 1865, Carrie W. Beecher, b. 1843.

    1870 - Michigan Births: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Charles B. Warren born April 10, 1870, son of Robert L (editor) and Carrie Warren.

    1880 - Census: Lawrence, Van Buren, Mich.

  • Warren, L. Robert - b. 1843 Mich. - editor
  • B. Carrie, wife - b. 1843 Mich.
  • B. Charles, son - b. 1870 Mich.
  • B. William, son - b. 1871 Mich.
Related Pages/Notes

Charles B. Warren

Warren Robert -father
Warren, Byron E. -uncle
People Referenced
Beecher, Caroline (mother)
Cady, William B.
Crowder, Maj. Gen.
Dickinson, Don. M.
Grant, Claudius B. Judge
McMillan, James Senator
Roosevelt, F.D. Pres.
Root, Elihu
Shaw, John C.
Warren, Anna Mrs. (g-mother)
Warren, Charles B. (subject)
Warren, Charles B. Jr. (son)
Warren, Emily (sis)
Warren, John B. (son)
Warren, Robert (father)
Warren, Robert (son)
Warren, Samuel (g-father)
Warren, Wetmore (son)
Warren, William (bro)
Wetmore, Charles
Wetmore, Helen (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Albion College
Ann Arbor, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay City Journal
Bearing Sea
Detroit, MI
Detroit bar
Detroit Bd. of Commerce
Detroit Law School
Detroit National Bank
Detroit Stove Works
Dickson, Warren & Warren
Distinquished Service Medal
Flint, MI
French republic
Great Britain
Mich. Sch. for Death
Michigan Sugar Co.
New York, NY
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co.
Saginaw Daily Enterpise
Saginaw Valley, MI
Shaw, Warren & Cady
Tokio, Japan
Univ. of Michigan
Warren, Cady, Hill & Hamblen
Warren, Cady & Ladd
Washington, D.C.
Internet Resources
[Wkikpedia] Includes links to New York Times articles and other resources on subject.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.