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General History / Pioneers 11 of 22

In 1868 it was discovered that sewers must be constructed or substantial buildings could not go up, and the city provided for the first sewer and it was built on Center street, a mile in length at a large outlay.

In 1867 a portion of Water and Center streets was paved with Nicholson pavement, and before this work had a vacation some three mile had been paved.

The first couple married here was by Judge Albert Miller and the parties were John Jones to Lucy Trombley, a daughter of old Leon Trombley, the first settler here, at the house of Mr. Trombley. This John Jones was the son of John Jones of Livingston county, N.Y., who was a captive among the Indians for many years in his younger days.

The first white child born here was the daughter of Cromwell Barney christened Elizabeth, and now the wife of Alderman Sinclair.

The first church erected in the limits of this county was the Indian Mission Methodist Church on the Kawkawlin river in 1847. This first in Bay City was the Methodist Church on Washington street in 1852, while at this date - 1880 - almost every denomination has its finely built modern church edifice, the seating capacity of some as being high as 1,500.

In 1860 the first salt well was commenced on the site of the Northwestern Gas and Water Pipe Co., and was in operation in 1861, but the first barrel of salt was made by the Portsmouth Salt Co. in 1861, and at this date there are annually made in the county at least 500,000 barrels of salt.

John Burdon made the first casting in the county in 1847, and subsequently started the first iron foundry and machine shop on the site of the Industrial Works.

In 1865-6, the Third street bridge was opened for travel; it was a wooden structure and has since been replaced by a very beautiful and substantial iron bridge; this is the main thoroughfare to West Bay City, the original bridge cost some $25,000. At this date we have this and the Thirty-third street bridge for travel and the Detroit & Bay City railroad bridge across the Saginaw river between Bay City and the West Bay City.

In 1850, the pioneer newspaper was established by Mr. Perry Joslin and edited by Hon. James Birney. Its career was brief. Since that date newspaper ventures have been too numerous to trace. At this writing the county boasts of fifteen publications of different descriptions.

June 25th 1857, John Robertson vs Harvey Williams was the first suite entered in the Bay County circuit court, W.L. Sherman, attorney for plaintiff; May 31st, 1858, George Lord vs Joseph F. Wittemore, W.L. Sherman attorney for plaintiff; June 2nd, 1858, Andrew C. Maxwell vs James J. McCormick, Maxwell & Wisner for plaintiff and James Birney for defendant. But no court was held in which to try any cases till April 1850, when Judge Hilber of Woodworth presided. The grand jury impanelled for this session consisted of J.S. Barclay, Henry M. Bradley, John Burdon, Daniel Burns, Jonathan Burtch, Calvin C.C. Chilson, William L. Fay, Lyman Garrison, B.B. Hart, Christopher Heintzzmann, Fred Keisler, Nathan Knight, Alexander McKay, Gunder Miller, John W. Putnam, Henry Raymond, Harvey Street, Edward Vosburg, Albert Wedthoff and Michael Winterhalter, Henry Raymond was chosen foreman. It will be conceded in this county by every one knowing these jurors (and everybody in the county did know them) that it would be extremely difficult to summon an equal number of men from any place - even now - of equal general intelligence and of so high standing in a community.

The bar of Bay County at this time consisted of C.H. Freeman, S.P. Wright, James Birney, W.S. Sherman and A.C. Maxwell, and I believe Nathan Knight who long since left practice of law and went to farming and has been one of the most honored men of the county ever since; he lives in the town of Hampton and has been Supervisor many years and represented his district in the State Legislature the past two years.

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[Index to People]
[Index to Places]
Names Referenced
Barclay, J.S.
Barney, Cromwell
Barney, Elizabeth
Birney, James
Bradley, Henry M.
Burdon, John
Burns, Daniel
Burtch, Calvin
Chilson, C.C.
Fay, Wm. L.
Freeman, C.H.
Garrison, Lyman
Hart, B.B.
Heintzzmann, Chirstopher
Hilber, (Judge)
Jones, John
Jones, John Sr.
Joslin, Perry
Keisler, Fred
Knight, Nathan
Lord, George
Maxwell, Andrew C.
McCormick, James J.
McKay, Alexander
Miller, Albert(Judge)
Miller, Gunder
Putnam, John W.
Raymond, Henry
Robertson, John
Sherman, W.L.
Sherman, W.S.
Sinclair, Alderman
Street, Harvey
Trombley, Leon
Trombley, Lucy
Vosburg, Edward
Wedthoff, Albert
Winterhalter, Michael
Wittemore, Joseph F.
Willimas, Harvey
Wright, S.P.

HISTORY: Saginaw Bay Company platted the Village of Bay City.