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General History / Pioneers 18 of 22

Total assessed valuation of the county in 1858, as equalized by the first board was $530,589. This board levied $1,164 county tax.

The first superintendents of the poor were E.N. Bradford, Israel Catlin and J.B. Hart. At the first meeting of the board, Oct. 10, 1858, the county treasurer's report showed county orders paid to the amount of $78.14, leaving in the treasury $42.85. Thus it will be seen that the county expenses were extremely light, and all the bills allowed are recorded as having been allowed by an "unanimous vote." But these two supervisors put on record a resolution that the chairman should be "entitled to vote on all questions before the board." But the county was rapidly filling up, and at a special meeting of the county board, in February 1858, township of Arenac was erected into a township, with Daniel Williams, N.W. Sillibridge and Daniel Shaw the board of inspectors, Peter Marksman resigned and M.D. Bourasso was appointed and he took his seat.

At a special meeting held in March 1859, the board erected the town of Portsmouth, J.M. Miller, A. Stevens and Wm. Daglish were the first board of inspectors. In 1859 the town of Bangor was erected into a township and Scott W. Sayles was the first supervisor. So that the board consisted of George E. Smith of Hampton, chairman and four others at the board meeting in 1859.

On the 4th day of July 1859, the board of supervisors met and fixed the location of the county seat and buildings.

On February 6, 1862, the board changed the location and fixed it at Bay City, on block 114 in the village of Portsmouth and on March 3, 1863, the board again changed the location of the building to lots 4, 5, and 6 in block 46, old plat of Lower Saginaw where the court house now stands, the jail is nearly opposite on the south side of Center Street on lots 4 and 10 in block 65. Both these buildings are an ornament to the city and county, and cost about $75,000.

The State Legislature constructed the township of Beaver, in February 1867, by detaching territory from Williams and the town elected Levi Willard, one of its oldest and most intelligent men in the town, it first supervisor. The board of supervisors in January 1868, passed an act to organize the town of Kawkawlin from the territory of Bangor, and Alexander Beard was the first supervisor to the board.

The township of Monitor was made a township by an act of the legislature in 1869, and Wm. H. Needham was elected the first supervisor and in 1870 the board of supervisors took a slice from the township of AuGres which sent the young lawyer W.R. Bates, who had settled there, as their first supervisor to the board, and in the same year another town was created from Arenac called Clayton, and one of its hardy pioneers, Wm. Smith, one of the most upright and intelligent men in the county was its first supervisor. It will have been seen that the county had rapidly advanced in population and that they were distributed nearly all over the county and other territory was being settled so fast that the inhabitants were driven to seek new organizations of towns in order to construct roads and bridges for their use in getting in and out of this vast wilderness, and in 1871 the old town of Portsmouth was divided and the town of Merritt constituted and Henry F. Shuler was first supervisor. In March the charter of Bay City was so amended that it covered the village of Portsmouth, leaving a small amount of land without the limits of any town or city. So the present town of Portsmouth was carved out that part left and a portion of Merritt and a portion of Hampton and created into a town called Portsmouth by act of the legislature in March 1873, and the town was fully organized the next week. B.F. Partridge being elected their supervisor and he has been re-elected ever since, holding the office of chairman of the board.

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[Index to People]
[Index to Places]
Names Referenced
Bates, W.R.
Bourasso, M.D.
Bradford, E.N.
Catlin, Israel
Daglish, Wm.
Hart, J.B.
Marksman, Peter
Miller, J.M.
Needham, Wm. H.
Partridge, B.F.
Sayles, Scott W.
Shaw, Daniel
Shuler, Henry F.
Sillbridge, N.W.
Smith, George E.
Steven, A.
Willard, Levi
Williams, Daniel

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