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George Washington (1851-?)
Native of Ireland, mayor West Bay City, sheriff and newspaper man.

1892 Bio. (Added Mar., 2011)

History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan - 1892.


a prominent real-estate and insurance man of Bay City, is also interested int he business of millinery and fancy goods. He was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, July 25, 1851, and when one year old came with his parents, George and Margaret (Kenney) Washington, to this country. They settled in Hamilton, Ontario, and our subject spent his early life upon the farm and received a good practical common-school education.

Before he was sixteen years old, this young man came to Bay County, entering the employ of H. W. Sage & Co., and of Weidman & Wright, being their foreman in the woods until 1874. He than began his mercantile career in Wenona, which is now West Bay City, and bought a general stock and established himself on Linn Street. Afterward he went to Midland Street, where he had a larger store and remained in business until 1878, when he was elected Sheriff on the Democratic ticket, and was the only one who was elected on that county ticket during that campaign. He served for two terms, being re-elected in 1880, with a largely increased majority, and his incumbency of that office was satisfactory to the citizens irrespective of party.

This stirling citizen was somewhat remarkable as a young man, as he was President of the village of Wenona before he was twenty-two years old, and at the time of the consolidation of Salzburg, Wenona and Banks into West Bay City, he was President of the village council, and was nominated for its first Mayor, but declined to run. At the time of the second campaign he accepted a nomination and was elected Mayor, and was serving in that capacity when he was elected Sheriff, although he was ot then thirty years old.

On New Year's day, 1879, Mr. Washington removed to Bay City, where he filled the office of Sheriff, resigning his Mayoralty of West Bay City that he might devote himself entirely to his new office. After holding office for two terms, he went into the mercantile business again, locating on Water Street, where he carried on a general store and grocery until he was appointed Postmaster, which position he held until the close of Cleveland's administration, after which he resumed business until July 8, 1891, when he closed out his general merchandise and grocery stock, and put in a millinery and fancy goods business which he operated with the help of his wife and sister, and he is now engaged in insurance and loans with an office in the Crapo Block.

Our subject is now one of the County Commissioners for constructing stone roads in this county, having been appointed by the Board of Supervisors. He has been at various times interested in newspaper business, and now owns the plant on which the Bay City Democrat is printed. He has at different times been in the lumber business in the North since 1874, when he first became interested in it until the time when he was elected Sheriff of the county. He and his brother were at first the only men who were interested in West Branch, and had the first and only store there for a long time, and practically established the town. His marriage with Miss Adeline Campbell, of West Bay City, was solemnize November 6, 1884, and they have three beautiful children – Adeline, Mary Blanch, and Edward.

Bay City Democrat newspaper.

Official Year Book, Michigan Federation of Labor – 1907


The Bay City Democrat, the only weekly as the general term is applied, in Bay City, exercises a good influence among its many supporters and admirers. It was established by the present publisher in 1891, and has steadily progressed until today it takes its place among the foremost publications of its kind in the state. Its motto is: “Tell the truth and shame the devil,” and its politics, consistently and independently democratic. It has always shown a most friendly and urging influence on the cause and progress of labor, especially in this city, where conditions are so satisfactory at present.


The Industrial Herald, published in Bay City, has the distinction of being the only labor paper in the county of Bay. It was started six years ago and has been a constant and consistent advocate of the cause of labor during the period of its existence. It has much influence in its home neighborhood, being the official organ of the Bay City Trades Council and the local defender of the trades union movement. Publication is weekly and the subscription prices is $1.00 a year.


National Newspaper Directory and Gazette – 1899.

Bay City, Mich.

Democrat – Thursday: Dem; Est. '91: 8p 18X22; sub. $1. Geo. Washington, Circ. 1567 Publisher's Statement. -- The Democrat (daily, evening and weekly) occupy a leading position in Bay City journalism, and advertisers intending to cover this territory will, upon investigation, find the Democrat an indispensable factor. Its circulation is clean and its rates are low for service rendered. If you go into Michigan you should go into Bay City and the Daily and Weekly Democrat. Make no errors on this – look up the Democrat before deciding on your Bay City papers.


Congressional Serial Set by U.S. Government Printing Office – 1898.

Page 340.

Bay City, Mich. Custodian Service. File 9918.

In December, 1896, complaint was made by one Octave Ardouin, janitor of the Federal building at Bay City, Mich., charging the publisher of the Bay City Democrat and another person with violating the civil-service law by soliciting contributions, for campaign purposes, inside the post-office building, with the sanction of the postmaster; and also charging several persons with conspiring to secure his dismissal from the position of janitor because of his refusal to contribute to the campaign fund as requested. Later, on being removed from his position, he filed statements to show that he had been removed on account of his political and religious affiliations, and an investigation of the charges was made by a representative of the Commission. It was found that the charge of religious prejudice as a factor in Ardouin's removal was especially unfounded, that his other statements had no foundation in fact, and that he had been removed solely because of inefficiency and neglect of duty upon charges file by the custodian of the building and supported by the statements of many reliable and disinterested public officials.

The case was accordingly dismissed and Mr. Ardouin notified June 7, 1897.


Listing from Directories:

  • 1891 – Bay City Democrat (weekly), Cook & Stephens, proprs, 209 1/2 5th.
  • 1905 – Bay City Democrat, weekly newspaper, 309 9th.

Additional Notes.

    1870 Census: Bangor, Bay, Mich.

  • Note: Most likely Adeline that married George.
  • Campbell, James - b. 1838 Canada - restraurant keeper.
  • Bridget, wife - b. 1838 Canada. (Maiden name Brophy)
  • Adeline, dau. - b. 1854 Canada.
  • Annie, dau. - b. 1866 Canada.

    1880 Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Washington, George – b. 1846, Ireland – Sheriff Bay Co.
  • Margaret, mother – b. 1817, Ireland (widow)
  • Mary, sister – b. 1857, Canada

    1890 – History of Bay County, Mich. (1905)

  • Founded the Bay City Democrat newspaper, and later, the Industrial Herald (labor) newspaper, both published in plant on Ninth Street. (Note: The Bay City Democrat was located at 309 Ninth Street, and is still being publish today.)

    1893 – Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Washington, George – Real Estate and Insurance and Publisher Bay City Democrat, 209 1/2 5th ave, res 314 N Jackson.
  • Washington, Mrs. George – Millinery, Fancy Goods and Ladies' Furnishings, 304 12th, res 314 N Jackson.
  • Washington, Miss. Mary, bkkpr George Washington, bds 314 N Jackson.
  • Washington, Thomas J. - printer B C Democrat, bds The New Republic. (black, b. 1848 Canada, died 1905 Saginaw)

    1900 Census – Bay City, Mich.

  • Washington, George – b. May 1850, Ireland
  • Addie, wife – b. May 1865, Canada
  • Mary, sister – b. Aug. 1861, Canada
  • Addie, dau. - b. Aug. 1884, Mich. (Married 1908 Thomas G. Kavanagh.)
  • Blanch, dau. - b. Jul. 1886, Mich. (Married 1890 John H. Hurley)
  • Edward, son – b. Oct. 1889, Mich.
  • Ruth, dau. - b. Oct. 1891, Mich. (Married 1914 John S. Ress)
  • Mary, dau – b. Oct. 1899, Mich.

    1900 Census – West Bay City, Mich.

  • (Note: brother of George.)
  • Washington, James (widow) – b. Apr. 1855 Canada. - parents born in Ireland.
  • Mary, dau. - b. Mar. 1882 Canada.
  • Margaret, dau. - b. Jul. 1883 Mich.
  • George, son – b. Jan. 1892 Mich.

    1910 – Michigan Marriages: Saginaw, Bay, Mich.

  • Dated: July 26, 1910.
  • Groom: James Washington, b. 1854 Canada, son of George Washington and Margaret Kinney.
  • Bride: Margaret Edwards Alberts, b. 1854 Canada, daughter of Thomas Edwards and Elizabeth Evans.
  • Official: Joseph Reis, priest.
  • Witnesses: Chas. A. Pool and Mrs. Alice Pool.
Related Pages/Notes

Hon. George Washington

Related Pages:
Campbell, James
Sage, Henry W.
People Referenced
Brophy, Bridget (m-inlaw)
Campbell, Adeline (wife)
Campbell, Annie.
Campbell, Bridget Mrs.
Campbell, James (f-inlaw)
Cleveland, Pres.
Edwards, Margaret
Edwards, Thomas
Evans, Elizabeth
Hurley, John H.
Kavanagh, Thomas G.
Kenney, Margaret (mother)
Pool, Alice Mrs.
Pool, Charles A.
Rees, John S.
Reis, Joseph (priest)
Sage, Henry W.
Washington, Addie (dau)
Washington, Blanch (dau)
Washington, Edward (son)
Washington, James (brother)
Washington, George (father)
Washington, George (subject)
Washington, George (nephew)
Washington, Margaret (neice)
Washington, Mary (sister)
Washington, Mary (dau)
Washington, Mary (neice)
Washington, Ruth (dau)
Washington, Thomas J.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay City Democrat
Bay Co., MI
Banks, MI
Co. Roscommon, Ire.
Crapo Block
Hamilton, Ontario
H.W. Sage Mill
Industrial Herald
Salzburg, MI
Wenona, MI
Weidman & Wright Co.
West Bay City, MI
West Branch, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.