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Judge Albert Miller was the first postmaster. He was appointed in 1836 by Amos Randall, as postmaster of Portsmouth, and the late Thomas Rogers was his deputy, and carried the mail to and from Saginaw once a week in a canoe in summer, and on the ice in winter. This office being discontinued there was no office for a while, but shortly after Mr. Rogers received the appointment of postmaster of Hampton, and kept his office in his dwelling house where the Shearer block now stands, till in 1852 he died with the cholera. Also Mr. Monroe brother-in-law died at the same time, each leaving large families, who are now identified with the business men of this city.

Capt. B.F. Pierce also settled here as early as 1839 and was known among the enterprising men of the river. He built a store house and dock, just north of the bridge, and the old store house stands there yet. He was a steam boater and owned the first steam tug on the river that towed the first vessel ever towed by steam here.

Mike Daily, an Irish lad of eleven years came here in 1837, with Norman Little from New York, and has served since in almost any capacity imaginable, and by his shrewdness and ability has accumulated a large fortune.

Edwin Park and Curtis Munger came to Lower Saginaw in 1848, as coopers, and carried on that business successfully for some time, furnishing fish barrels to the fishermen. During the winter their shop, tools and clothing were all lost by fire, but that did not discourage them, they got new tools and went on, and commenced fishing in the spring, made money, and afterwards engaged in mercantile business, and are known among the business me of the city.

Capt. Lyman Carroll came in 1849, and was a resident till 1853. He was a partner of Russell, Miller and Co. of Portsmouth.

J.S. Barclay came and built the Wolverton House after being in trade two or three years. It was much the best house of any kind at the lower end of the Saginaw river and is still a good house to stop at.

Capt. Raby and H.C. Scott are also among the enterprising pioneers of the Saginaw, having visited the river in 1837-8.

Alexander and William McEwan came to Lower Saginaw in 1850, and in the fall commenced to erect their mill at Woodside. Some time in the next year they were joined by John McEwan, brother of William and Alexander. The three brothers operated the mill till 1853, when Alexander died, and business went on in the name of McEwan & Brother.

Charles E. Jennison came here in 1850 as a partner of James Fraser in the mercantile business.

James Watson, of the firm of J. & J. Watson of Detroit came here in 1850, and his mill and mercantile operations made him one of the most enterprising men on the river, contributing largely to the welfare of Bay City.

It is seen that business began greatly to revive in the Saginaws, which brought such men here.

Another worthy business pioneer who came here in 1850 was Henry Raymond to put a mill operation with Mr. James Watson and has always been known as one of the sterling business men of this county.

In 1846 J.B. and B.B. Hart came to establish a trade with Indians and both became good Indian traders and talkers and business men here.

Dr. L.T. Miller, brother of Judge Albert Miller came to Portsmouth in 1836, and was the first family that lived in the limits of Bay County that was not French or Indian, B.K. Hall next, and Cromwell Barney, third.

Dr. George E. Smith was the second male physician and kept the first drug store at Lower Saginaw.


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[Index to People]
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Names Referenced
Barclay, J.S.
Daily, Mike
Fraser, James
Hart, B.B.
Hart, J.B.
Jennison, Charles
Little, Norman
McEwan, Alexander
McEwan, John
McEwan, Wm.
Miller, Albert(Judge)
Miller, L.T.
Monroe,
Munger, Curtis
Park, Edwin
Pierce, B.F.(Capt.)
Raby, (Capt.)
Randall, Amos
Rogers, Thomas
Scott, H.C.
Smith, Geo. E.(Dr.)
Watson, James


Capt. Benjamin Pierce


James Watson


Charles E. Jennsion
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HISTORY: Elizabeth Rogers, wife of Thomas served as a doctory to the early pioneers.