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Thomas Emmet Webster (1848-1940)
Bay County Probate Judge and last Bay City Civil War veteran to die.

Brief biography, 1883. - Added Jan., 2011.

History of Bay County, MIchigan - 1883.

Thomas E. Webster.

T. E. Webster, probate judge of Bay County, was born at Cooperstown, N. Y., in 1849. He began his education at Cornell University, and after leaving there entered Michigan University at Ann Arbor, where he graduated in 1873 and immediately settled at Bay City and began the practice of law. In the Fall of 1880 he was elected judge of probate, and entered upon the duties of that office January 1, 1881. Judge Webster is a young man of fine legal abilities, and in the office which he holds is particularly popular with the people.

  • Thomas Emmet Webster attended Cornell Univ., 1868-71, residence then was Maryland, N.Y. [Ten-Year Book Cornell Univ.-1878.]

    1884 letter by Judge Webster. Contributed by Joe Gonsowski, Feb., 2011.

    Office of
    Judge of Probate, Bay County,

    Bay City, Mich., April 25, 1884.

    W. H. Watkins Dear Sir, Bennett has been out of town for the last week so I suppose you have not heard from him. How are you getting along. I see youu had plenty of rain at Louisville. Write us and let me know the particulars. I see you have not pitched Rexceirs. Is he good for anything? Some of the directors expressed themselves that you should try him at any role. I told them you was the manager, Who do you think of releasing. Don't be in to much of a hurry in the matter of releasing till you have thoroughly tried them is my adise. I suppose you did not play at Cincinnati yesterday. How is Goodman. We are well satisfied with your success. Write by return mail.

    Yours truly, T. E. Webster
    Note: Judge Webster was among a group of business men that formed the Bay City semi-pro baseball team, of which Watkins was a player/manager before moving on to the major leagues.

    Obituary. Contributed by Alan Flood (April, 2005).

    Bay City Times – Monday, September 16, 1940 (Page 1)

    Dies In Florida.

    Rites Held for T. E. Webster
    Was Last of City’s Civil War Veterans.

    Thomas E. Webster, former Bay county probate judge and last of Bay City’s Civil War veterans, was buried today in Elm Lawn cemetery.

    He died Friday in Lake Worth, Fla. Of the effects of a fall. He was 92 years of age.

    Mr. Webster left Bay City last fall to spend the winter in Florida. He had intended to return here in the spring, but suffered a fractured pelvis in a fall at his home there in May. He never recovered from the injury.

    The body arrived here by train at noon today and was immediately taken to the cemetery for simple burial services.

    Last of G. A. R.

    Not only was he the last war veteran but he was the only remaining member of the Grand Army of the Republic in Bay county. His death brought to a close a chapter of local history.

    Mr. Webster was born in Otsego county, New York, Sept. 11, 1848, the son of Ebon and Margaret Webster. He ran away from home in 1864 to enlist with Co. E. 2nd New York heavy artillery.

    Upon being honorably discharged from the army, he entered the Delaware Literary institute in Franklin, N. Y. Two years later, he entered Cornell university as a member of its first freshman class.

    Ill health forced him to leave Cornell after three years but he returned to his studies at the University of Michigan law school.

    Came Here in 1874.

    He came to Bay City from Ann Arbor in 1874 and became associated with the late Windson Scofield being admitted to the bar in 1875.

    After being with Scofield for three years, Mr. Webster was made a member of the firm and shortly afterwards was elected probate judge. He held the office for two terms and at the same time serve on the Bay City board of education.

    When the Mutual Building and Loan association was incorporated in 1890, he became its secretary and in 1910 was appointed attorney for the association serving in both capacities until several years ago.

    He lived for 45 years in a home he built at 900 Fifth Avenue.

    Mr. Webster was married, first in 1897 to Ella Howell, daughter of the late Dr. Charles Howell of Bay City. She died four years later leaving two sons, Charles D. Webster, of Sacramento, Cal., and Warren Webster of Lake Worth. He married again in 188, this time to Isabel Ingraham, of Brooklyn, N. Y. A daughter, Mrs. Amelia McKinley, of Bay City, survives. Other survivors include three grandchildren.

    Additional Notes.

  • One of Judge Webster's favorite past times was baseball, he played first base on the Bay City team. [Bay City Tribune - Sep. 3, 1884]
  • In 1896, patent #591.622 was issued to Robert L. Doran and Thomas E. Webster, entitled, "System of Lighting for Hydrocarbon-Lamps. [U.S. Patents Nov. 24, 1896]

      1875 Michigan Marriages.

    • Date: June 23, 1875 at Bay City, Mich.
    • Groom: Thomas E. Webster, age 26, b.New York, attorney.
    • Bride: Ella May Howell, age 19, b. Mich.
    • Official: J.G. Potter, pastor M.E. Church.
    • Witnesses: Abraham Gridley & Miss Mae Howell.

      1880 Census Bay City, Mich.

    • Webster, Thomas - b. 1851 New York
    • Ella A. - wife
    • Children: Charles D., Warren.

      1893 Directory Bay City, Mich.

    • Mutual Building and Loan Association of Bay County, 309 Phoenix block, Clarence B. Chatfield, president; Charles E. Jennison, vice-president; Frederick P. Browne, treasurer; Thomas E. Webster, secretary; John L. Stoddard, attorney.
    • Webster, Hon Thomas E., Pres Bay County Abstract Co (Limited), sec. Mutual Building and Loan Assn, Lawyer, 310 Phoenix Blk, res 900 5th ave.

      1900 Census Bay City, Mich.

    • Residence: 900 Fifth Street.
    • Webster, Thomas E. - b. Sept., 1848 NY; real estate agent
    • Bella - wife, b. Oct., 1853 Conn.
    • Chas. D. - son, b. May, 1876 Mich.; school teacher
    • Emilia - daughter, July, 1886 Mich. at school
    • Swartz, Emma - servant, b. Sept., 1880 Mich.

      1920 Census: Bay City, Mich.

    • Webster, Thomas E. - age 71, b. MD.
    • Isabel, wife - age 69.
    • McKinley, Frank - age 42.
    • Amelia, wife - age 33. (Emilia, Webster's dau.)
    • D. Webster, son - age 2y 6m.

  • Related Pages/Notes

    Judge with Amelia

    Judge Webster

    Residence 900 Fifth St.
    (Click to enlarge)

    Related Pages: Heritage/Groups/Military/
    Civil War History
    Lount, Ira A.
    People Referenced
    Browne, Frederick P.
    Chatfield, Clarence B.
    Doran, Robert L.
    Gridley, Abraham
    Goodman, Mr.
    Howell, Charles D. (Dr.)
    Howell, Ella M. (1st wife)
    Howell, Mae
    Ingraham, Isabel (2nd wife)
    Jennison, Charles E.
    McKinley, Amelia Mrs. (dau.)
    McKinley, D. Wester
    McKinley, Frank
    Potter, J.G. (pastor)
    Rexceirs, Mr.
    Scofield, Windson
    Stoddard, John L.
    Swartz, Emma
    Watkins, Wm. H.
    Webster, Charles D. (son)
    Webster, Ebon (father)
    Webster, Emilia (dau.)
    Webster, Margaret (mother)
    Webster, Warren (son)
    Subjects Referenced
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Bay City, MI
    Bay Co. Abstract Co.
    Board of Education
    Brooklyn, NY
    Civil War
    Co. E. 2nd New York
    Cornell university
    Delaware university
    Elm Lawn cemetery
    Fifth Ave., 900
    Lake Worth, FL
    Maryland, NY
    Methodist Episcopal ch.
    Michigan, Univ.
    Mutual Bldg. & Loan Assoc.
    Otsego Co., NY
    Phoenix block
    Probate judge
    Sancramento, CA
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.