Welcome to the History of Michigan's Beet Sugar Industry where you will discover the detailed history of many of the sugar companies that once dotted Michigan's landscape and of those that continue to add value to Michigan's economy. Much of the credit for what became one of Michigan's enduring industries is owed to Thomas Cranage who formed Michigan Sugar Company in 1898. Read his story and others in this blog.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Who Was Who in the Michigan Sugar Industry
Achard, Anton William Waldemar (1825-1906)He was the grandson of Franz Karl Achard, the Prussian chemist who was born in Berlin, Germany , April 28, 1753 and died in Kunern, Silesia, April 20, 1821. Franz Karl Achard was the first to turn the discovery of Andreas S. Marggraf to practical use. Marggraf died in 1782. He was the first to extract sugar from the beet root. Franz Karl Achard, at the time of the discovery was a young student of Marggraf. Little was done with the idea until in 1799 when Achard, who was at the time the director of the royal Prussian Academy of Science, presented samples of beet sugar to King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Wilhelm then funded an experimental farm in Silesia for the purpose of perfecting the growing of sugar beets and the manufacturer of sugar.
Anton Achard migrated to America when he was twenty-four years old. He was an architect and builder. He settled on a farm near Saginaw, Michigan Anton Achard enjoyed a successful career in a number of enterprises that included banking, hardware, construction and architecture. He helped finance and promote the development of the early sugar beet industry in Michigan. He and his wife, Hulda became the parents of five children, Emil, Franz, Oscar, William and Clara.
Achard, Franz Karl(April 28, 1753, Berlin - April 20, 1821, Kunern, Wohlau-Cunern, Silesia) was a German (Prussian) chemist, physicist and biologist. Though he never resided in Michigan,without his discoveries, the Michigan beet sugar industry would never have existed. His principal discovery was the production of sugar from sugar beets.
In 1801, with the support of King Friedrich Wilhelm III, he opened the first sugar beet refinery at Gut Kunern near Steinau Silesia, Prussia. In 1802, the refinery processed 400 tons of beets with a degree of efficiency of 4%. Other refineries were soon built by his students Johann Gottlob Nathusius and Moritz, Freiherr von Koppy. In 1806 Achard's plant was burned down by Napoleon's war, a loss that led to his financial ruin. It was rebuilt on a small scale in 1910. Embargoes by Napoleon kept cane sugar imports away from Germany and thus the growing and refining of sugar beets became highly important for the Prussian government. Refineries also appeared in Bohemia, Augsburg and in 1811 in France. (Some of the information used here was taken from Wikipedia.)
Allen, Jotham (1857-Unknown
Jotham Allen (whose name appears in some chronicles as Jetham), a native of Michigan, operated a farm in Emerson Township near Alma, Michigan in 1898. His experiments with sugarbeets caused him to become enthused for their potential. He read all the current beet literature and corresponded with experts of the day. Employing the sobriquet, Farmer Brown, he broadcast what he learned via public lectures and writings. “Farmer Allen” columns appeared regularly in the Beet Sugar Gazette under such titles as “Plain Talks” and “Chapters for Live Farmers; Shiftless Farmers Please Don’t Read.” He joined the Caro Sugar Company’s staff in 1899 for a short period for the purpose of recruiting farmers to grow beets for the newly organized company and its brand new factory. The Alma beet sugar factory was completed the same year. Jetham Allen then joined the Alma Sugar Company as its agriculturist.
In 1901 he was elected president of the Michigan Sugar Beet Agriculturists Association and in 1908 accepted the Manager’s position at the Alma Sugar Company. He was noted for accomplishing his tasks without the aid of anger, liquor, tobacco or profanity. The absence of such qualities and habits was considered unusual during the era in which he served the beet sugar industry. Wife: Anna born 1863. Children: Edna born 1884, Marshall, born 1887, Florence, 1890, and Margaret,1894
Allen, Marshall. R. (1887- 1954)
Marshall R. Allen was the son of Jotham Allen, famous in the 1899-1930 era as “Farmer Allen”. Jotham Allen promoted the development of beet sugar industry in Michigan and was instrumental in the construction of a beet sugar factory in Alma, Michigan. Allen Marshall graduated from Michigan State College in 1908 and immediately began employment at the Alma Sugar Company which had come under the control of Michigan Sugar Company two years earlier. Within the year, he was promoted to Chief Chemist. Two years later he was advanced to the position of Assistant Superintendent at the Sebewaing factory which was also owned by Michigan Sugar Company. Another two years passed and he was reassigned to the Alma factory, this time as Assistant Superintendent to Bill Holzheuer. In 1916 he was transferred to Michigan Sugar Company’s Carrollton, Michigan beet sugar factory. After a four-year stint, he resigned to accept the challenge of helping to construct a new factory at Maumee near Toledo, Ohio. The offer included an opportunity of ownership toward which he applied his savings of $10,000. He was named Treasurer of the venture. Timing was against him. 1920 was the year the price bubble for sugar burst. Sugar priced at .18 per pound in January, 1920 had fallen to 5.3 cents by December. The investors determined that it would not be possible to pay both operating costs and construction costs from such a meager price.
The new sugar company was dissolved before the first brick was laid. Marshall Allen, demonstrating the integrity for which the Allen name was known, returned the uncashed checks of the original investors and applied to his $10,000 investment toward the organization costs. He applied for employment to Henry Vallez who was then constructing a beet factory in Mount Pleasant for Columbia Sugar Company. Vallez took him on as a member of the construction crew. By the next processing season, Marshall Allen had secured a berth as Superintendent of the Owosso factory which was managed by Charles D. Bell. It was Bell who hired out of college for his first job at Alma, at a rate of $.15 per hour plus, “all the experience he could handle.”
He next spent several years in the cane industry, chiefly at what was then North America’s most luxurious and extensive cane sugar estate. In 1933 he accepted the superintendent’s job at the Holland Sugar Company, a job he held for four years after which he transferred to the management of a sugar factory in Fremont, Ohio. After a brief period, restlessness set in again and he headed for St. Hilaire, Quebec to manage a beet factory. Two years later, now with 37 years in sugar beet factory management, he returned to Michigan, this time to Detroit where he acted as general superintendent for the several factories that operated under the style, Great Lakes Sugar Company.
Bach, Frank (1881-Unknown)
Born in Michigan, 1881. Wife's name: Hattie. Superintendent, Sebewaing Sugar Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1906-1932, General Superintendent of Michigan Sugar Company, 1932. Served as mayor of Sebewaing, Michigan for 20 years. Sources: U.S. Census, 1910
Factory Construction engineer employed by Kilby Manufacturing Company
Bell, Charles D (1875-1947)
Charles D. Bell (no relation to Charles L. Bell who also appears in this listing) began his career in Alvarado, California, the site of the first successful beet sugar factory in the United States. He was born and raised in Los Alamos, California, graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of California (1897) whereupon he began a long career in the sugar industry, first as chief chemist of the Alvarado factory. In 1900, he managed the La Grande, Oregon factory. He then created a pattern of superintending beet sugar factories for one year and then moving on. After a year at La Grande he spent a year respectively as superintendent at Waverly, Iowa, Washington, Carrollton, Michigan, two years at Kitchener, Ontario and three years at Alma, Michigan before settling in at the Owosso Sugar Company for 14 years beginning in 1910. He was the plant manager of Alma Sugar Company during the years 1905, 1906, and 1907. In 1908 he accepted the same position and responsibility at the Owosso Sugar Company. He ended his career at Owosso (Following that company's acquisition by Michigan Sugar Company.). It was then he gathered his wife, Esther, his sons, John and Richard and his daughter, Ann, and returned home to California where he assumed control of the family's extensive ranch. According to Daniel Guttleben in his chronicle, The Sugar Tramp – 1954, page 200, Bell had the good fortune of discovering an oil dome on the ranch property and became an overnight millionaire.
Bell, Charles L (September 28, 1919 – June 15, 2001)
Charles L. Bell was born September 28, 1919 in Jackson, Michigan, the son of Perry and Lena (Marshall) Bell. Following graduation from Jackson Community, he joined the Eighth Army Air Force in England, serving during the years 1942-1945. He then enrolled at Michigan State University where he graduated with a B.A. degree in business administration. Following graduation, he joined the Lufkin Rule Company in Saginaw, Michigan and in 1956, joined the Robert Gage Coal Company, the then parent company of Monitor Sugar Company as its chief accountant. He was named Controller in 1969 and vice-president in 1975. He became President and chief operating officer in 1978. It was during his term of office that Monitor Sugar Company added bulk sugar storage capacity and began an expansion program that would, within three years, double the factory’s output. He took a lead role in negotiating the sale of Monitor Sugar Company to Barlow Rand Ltd in 1982. He retired in 1984. (Sources: Saginaw News, Sat. June 16, 2001 C7 and Saginaw News, June 18, 2001, A2, Sweet Energy, The Story of Monitor Sugar Company, by Thomas Mahar)
He married Dorothy Bricker on September 11, 1948. The couple became the parents of three children, Jeffery, Marcia, and Laurie.
Bentley, Alvin M (Oct 20, 1858- October 1, 1917)
A founding shareholder in Owosso Sugar Company. His son was Alvin M. Bentley, Jr (b. 1894 d. 1918) who married Helen Webb Patterson in April 1917 in Portland, Maine. They had one son, Alvin M. Bentley III, born August 30, 1918, died 1969. Alvin, Jr died while serving in France during World War I. His son, Alvin Bentley III, was shot while attending a session of Congress as a first term Congressman on March 1, 1954. He was struck in the liver and lungs and was the most seriously wounded of the five men hit. He served four terms in the House but did not run in 1960, choosing instead to seek a U.S. Senate seat then held by Patrick McNamara. McNamara won by a wide margin. His first wife, Arvilla Peterson. Three children, Alvin M. Bentley IV, Michael, and Helen Arvilla. Divorced in 1951. Second marriage on November 10, 1952 to Arvilla Billy Duescher, born August 5, 1923. Two children, Clark and Ann Marie. In 1962, he again sought a Congressional seat but did not prevail. Daughter, Helen Arvilla Bentley married James Somervell Dawson III.
Berry, Thomas (February 7, 1829 - ) Thomas Berry was born in Horsham, England., Feb. 7, 1829; son of John and Catherine Berry; came to America with parents, 1835; educated in private school at Elizabeth, N.J,; married at Niagara, N.Y., 1860, Janet Lowe. Began active career in tannery business with his father at Elizabeth; was manager of branch establishments for his father at Richmond and other points in Virginia; traveled for a year and in 1858 located in Detroit, and joined his brother, Joseph H. Berry, in the manufacture of varnish, in which his brother had been engaged for some time. The factory grew to become the largest varnish factory in the world. He was the chairman Berry Brothers, Limited, May, 1897. A founder, 1901, of the Croswell Sugar Company, later a component of the Michigan Sugar Company. Vice president Citizens' Savings Bank. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Formerly trustee Michigan College of Medicine, and member Detroit Board of Estimates, Board of Education, Poor Commission, City Council. Republican. Member Masonic order, Knights Templar. Residence: 1100 Jefferson Av. Daughters, Charlotte, Lottie and Alice
Berry, Joseph (unknown-May 22, 1907 Joseph Berry was born, Horsham, Eng., one of the co-founders of the Croswell Sugar Company, later a component of the Michigan Sugar Company. (Source: Date of death: New York Times, May 22, 1907)
Bialy, Abraham D (1865-1953)
Assisted his brother Mendel in the operation of West Bay City Sugar Company. Carried the title, Official Secretary. His wife, Sarah, was a teacher in the Bay City Public School system. One daughter, Marion was born in 1906. (Source: 1930 United States Federal Census > Michigan > Bay > Bay City
Bialy, Mendel J (1852-1948)
Founder of West Bay City Sugar Company. A native of London, England, he came to the United States with his parents at the age of eleven, settling first in Detroit where he remained three years before moving to Bay City. At age 20, he took employment as a lumberjack on the Au Sable River where his father had an interest. He followed with a job as a bookkeeper with Hitchcock Mills, a lumber concern. In 1872 he was advanced to the Superintendent’s position at the mill. He married Elizabeth McDonall, a native of Canada on November 28, 1877. The decline in Michigan’s timber industry caused him to turn to selling the land from which the trees had been removed. In 1895 Bialy was elected to the Michigan state senate. In 1898, after growing sugarbeets in his garden, he became a principal in the founding of West Bay City Sugar Company and was its general manager from its inception until the factory closed in 1938.
Bialy, Robert C
Co-founder of West Bay City Sugar Company. A hardware merchant who invested in his brother's company and then served on the first board of directors. Source: The Sugar Tramp-1954 by Daniel Guttleben.
Blesch, Gustavus (January 4, 1859-unknown )
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the son of Francis Blesch and Antoinette Schneider. Francis Blesch was a native of Germany and his mother a native of Belgium. His father was a cooper; he erected the first brewery in Fort Howard, Wisconsin. Gustavus's family consisted of three sisters, Emily, Clara, and Louise and one brother, three years his junior, Frank. Gustavus became an office boy in the Kellogg National Bank of Green Bay. He rose to teller at the age of 20 and five years later moved to Menominee to help establish the First National Bank of Menominee where he served in various capacities beginning was Cashier and ending as its president. He became president of the Menominee Brick Company, vice-president of the Menominee-Marinette Light & Traction Company, treasurer of the Peninsula Land Company. First treasurer of Menominee Sugar Company. He married Bertha Grant Walton of Bloomington, Illinois on February 15, 1893. One son, Francis, born in 1897. (Sources: U.S. Census > 1880 United States Federal Census > Wisconsin > Brown > Ft Howard, The Sugar Tramp-1954 by Daniel Guttleben.
Bliss, Aaron T (1837-September 6, 1906)
Co-founder of the Carrollton, Michigan and Lansing, Michigan factories. Born in Smithfield, Madison County, New York on May 22, 1837. He was the seventh child of Lyman and Anna (Chaffee) Bliss. He spent his early life on the farm, obtaining his education in the little schoolhouse nearby. Afterward, he served as a retail store clerk until he entered the Union army as a private in 1861. He quickly became an officer and was then promoted to captain following the second battle of Bull Run. After the war, as Colonel Bliss, he moved to Saginaw in 1865 whereupon he entered the lumber industry. The scope of his business enterprises gradually enlarged until it embraced besides the manufacture of lumber and salt, banking, mercantile and farm enterprises, giving employment to large numbers of men. After a number of years, he achieved success and then ran for public office. He served a term in the Michigan senate and a term in Congress beginning in 1888 and in 1900 was elected Governor of Michigan. The Carrollton factory was constructed on property he owned which was handily situated on the Saginaw River and thus had access to the rivers Cass, Shiawasse, Flint, Tittabawassee and the Bad which in turn allowed the company to accept sugarbeets grown in Saginaw County as well as four additional counties, Midland, Isabella, Gratiot, and Genesee. In addition, railroad lines made receiving and shipping products less costly than factories lacking both river and rail access.
Blood, F. C.
Member of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory. 1898
Bostock, Edward Crary (October 29, 1884- September 13, 1960)
Was the treasurer of Owosso Sugar Company until 1934 when he was elected President of Michigan Sugar Company, a position he held until 1940 when he became chairman of the company and Geoffrey Childs became president.
Factory operator, Michigan Sugar Company, 1908
Bradford, George M
A graduate of Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). Served as Chief Chemist at Columbia Sugar Company (formerly named German-American Sugar Company and later named Monitor Sugar Company and then a division of Michigan Sugar Company) between 1921 and 1931. Thereafter he served as an agronomist for the same organization. Probably first employed at German-American Sugar Company in 1901.
Bradley, Nathan B (May 28,1831-November 8, 1906)
Promoted the development of the beet sugar industry. He spoke to farmer groups throughout the state and encouraged them to become sugarbeet farmers. Was a founding shareholder of Michigan Sugar Company. In 1865, Nathan Bradley became the first mayor of Bay City. A year later he won appointment to the Michigan State Senate and in 1872 began the first of two terms in the United States Congress, the 43rd and 44th, representing the Eighth Congressional District. He was born in Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts on May 8, 1831. His father, who was in the tanning business, moved the family to Ohio in 1835. At 16, his formal education, completed, Nathan began to learn the craft of the custom clothier. Two years later, his training completed, he set aside the newly learned skill to take employment in a sawmill. He then partnered with his brother to acquire a sawmill. Shortly afterward, he moved to Lexington, Michigan where he again acquired a sawmill. Three years later he moved to St. Charles in Saginaw County where he took employment as a superintendent in a sawmill. In 1858 he moved to Lower Saginaw (now Bay City) where he organized and managed the lumber firm of Frost and Bradley. In 1861, with two of his brothers as partners, he bought out Frost and organized the N.B. Bradley & Company. In time, he bought out his brothers and formed N.B. Bradley & Sons.
Brown, Charles W (June, 1858-unknown)
Major founding shareholder of Owosso Sugar Company. President of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. Wife Alice G, born, 1858, children, Mary A, b 1886, Jacob R 1888, Theodore F 1890, Alice G, 1892, Charles W, born 1895.
Secretary of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory.
Brown, James O (1901-1967)
James O. Brown was employed as the Chief Engineer for Monitor Sugar Company. He was born April 13, 1901 at North Star, Michigan and died in March, 1967.
Bruggemann, Rudolph (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Assistant Superintendent, Crosswell Sugar Factory, 1914, owned by Michigan Sugar Company
Brysselbout, Emile E. (1862-1913)
Emile Cornil Eli Brysselbout was born in September 3, 1862 in Spycker in the Bourbourg region near Dunkerque, France. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Lille. Following his education he took positions in the sugarbeet industry in France and Belgium. It was Belgium that he met the Oxnard Brothers, future sugar manufacturers from the United States. He met also, Claire Vallez, a native of Bresles, who would become his wife. The Oxnards had an interest in establishing a sugar factory in Chino, California, following the lead of Claus Spreckels who had introduced the industry to California. Brysselbout was at the time entertaining a similar offer from St. Petersburg, Russia. After some consideration, he opted for the United States because he felt a younger country offered more opportunity to a young man. Having made the decision, Emile married Claire Vallez in an elaborate ceremony that attracted much interest in Bresles. While Emile was fluent in five languages, he struggled with English during his early days in the United States but then acquired a fluency that caused him to be mistaken for an American during his visits to his homeland.
Emile Brysselbout eventually operated the new factory in Chino, California after serving for a short period in Spreckel’s Western Refinery. The need for additional resource people caused him to suggest his wife’s young brother, Henri Vallez for employment in the California sugar industry (See Vallez, Henry).
In 1891, Emile transferred to a sugarbeet factory in Grand Island, Nebraska where he worked for about seven years. It was also during this period that he became involved with the distillation of alcohol from sugarbeet molasses and is credited for conducting the first successful operation in the United States which occurred on October 12, 1894 on behalf of the Columbian Distillery Company in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1897, investors in Michigan undertook the construction of the first sugarbeet factory in Michigan. It was to be situated in Essexville, a suburb of Bay City, a city some 115 miles north of Detroit. Emile Brysselbout was asked by the new firm’s president, Thomas Cranage, to accept the role as the factory’s first superintendent. By securing Brysselbout’s services, the new company, known as Michigan Sugar Company, also acquired many well-trained men who would follow Brysselbout from Nebraska. His following was caused by his departure from what was becoming an American tradition in the sugar factories, that of keeping technical knowledge to oneself or selling it at a high premium to those who would learn the business. Brysselbout shared his knowledge freely with anyone who wished to learn from him. This ethic would be transferred to his nephew, Henri Vallez, who like Emile Brysselbout, would win a large following among the sugar industry’s engineers, laborers, as well as the farmers who furnished the factory with its raw supply.
In 1901, Brysselbout became a partner in the firm of the American Construction and Supply Company that was given a contract to construct a new sugar factory at Sebewaing, Michigan. He oversaw the construction of the factory.
In 1905, Emile Brysselbout departed Michigan for Garden City, Kansas where he supervised the construction of a sugarbeet factory for the United States Sugar and Land Company. He died there in 1913. His body was taken to Bay City, Michigan for burial.
Credit for the foregoing is attributable to Patricia Bergevin, 12/4/1975, Daniel Gutleben’s Sugar Tramp-1954, and the American Sugar Industry, obituaries, November 1913 and to Sue David of Bay City, Michigan.
Boutell, Benjamin (August 14, 1844-October 26, 1912)
Of all the men and women who invested their lives and their fortunes in the founding of Michigan’s beet sugar industry, few did it with more energy and boldness than did Benjamin Boutell. He was born in Deerfield Township in Michigan’s Livingston County on August 17, 1844. Boutell’s mother, Elizabeth (Betsey) Adams, born 1808 and died November 27, 1880, was a niece of President John Quincy Adams. His father was Daniel Boutell, born in Dublin, Cheshire, New Hampshire, the son of Daniel Boutell, born December 25, 1769 in Leominster, Worchester, Mass. His father was a man with an entrepreneurial spirit that he passed on to his son. Daniel Boutell moved to Birch Run, Michigan in 1858 where he operated a hotel for a year before moving on to Bay City where he converted the old Sherman House into the Boutell House. Young Benjamin decided to make his way in life on the water and thus became the owner of a tugboat that he employed in moving huge rafts of logs from Canada to American sawmills.
In time his roster of tugboats would make him the largest handler of logs on the waterways would earn him the respect of sailors and lumberjacks alike. His boats, the “Annie Moiles”, the Sea Gull and the “Westover”. Early on he was addressed as Captain Boutell. He married Amelia Charlotte Dutlinger of Pine River, Michigan, on December 22, 1869. Later he would add schooners and other freight haulers. The demise of the lumber industry caused him to look for employment for both his capital and his energy.
The newly developing beet sugar industry captured his imagination. In partnership with Captain James Davidson, a man who like himself, earned a fortune on Michigan’s rivers, he invested in the first beet sugar factory built in 1898. He was one of the organizers and principals of the Michigan Sugar Company (the first of two Michigan corporations to bear that name. The second one was organized in 1906 and continues in existence.) Participated in the organization of the Michigan Sugar Company in 1897 and became the company’s first vice-president.
Next he helped organize the Lansing Sugar Company, becoming its president and general manager. He also became the vice-president of the Saginaw Sugar Company and the Carrollton Sugar Company, both of which he sponsored with sizable investments. He also invested in the Macomb Sugar Company, the Menominee Sugar Company, West Bay City Sugar Company and the Marine City Sugar Company. He once told Joseph Kilby, the president of Kilby Manufacturing Company, a company that constructed more beet sugar factories in the United States than did any other company, that anytime Kilby had an order for a factory, he was to put Boutell’s name down for $50,000. With the exception of a beet sugar factory built in Owosso, he invested in each of the ten factories constructed in Michigan by Kilby Manufacturing.
His interest was not limited to Michigan. In addition, he helped found two companies in Colorado, Eaton Sugar Company and Windsor Sugar Company. He served as president of both companies. He also helped found Wallaceburg Sugar Company in Ontario, Canada.
Amelia died in 1902. Benjamin suffered an injury while a passenger on a train in Canada. He did not recover from his injury and died in 1912.
Boutell, Lorenzo S (1868-)
Born in Deerfield, Livingston County, Michigan, father Chancy Boutell, a brother of Benjamin Boutell.
Participated in the organization of Bay City Sugar Company, was its first secretary
Buelow, H. V.
Agricultural manager, Marine City Sugar Company, 1901. Originally from Detroit. He was attracted to Marine City by the interest displayed by local residents who wished to found a beet factory in Marine City.
He was a construction engineer employed by the Kilby Manufacturing Company. In 1902, he supervised the construction of the Mount Clemens sugar factory.
Carpenter, Luther (1877-1949)
He was born August 31, 1877 in Port Dover, Ontario and died May 25, 1949 in Bay City, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan and immediately became employed by Michigan Sugar Company. He joined German-American Sugar Company in 1901 and remained employed primarily as a Superintendent until his death.
Carpenter, William O
President of Menominee Sugar Company, 1905. Lumberman.
Assisted in the installation of centrifugals at Bay City Sugar Company under Frank O’Brien. Would go on to become factory superintendent at Mount Pleasant.
Chief Chemist, Michigan Sugar Company, 1901-1904. His career continued in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Chapman, Lewis - (Unknown – 1949)
Graduated from the University of Michigan after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Engineer, Michigan Sugar Company. Appointed General Engineer in 1935.
Superintendent, Mount Clemens factory, 1950
Childs, Geoffrey (July 29, 1892- December 6, 1956)
Born in Media, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1892, son of Walter Childs. Attended Bryn Athyn Academy at Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania before graduating in 1914 from the New York University School of Commerce. From 1913 to 1926, he was staff secretary at the Alexander Hamilton Institute in New York. He then became executive vice-president of the Pitcairn Aviation Company until 1929 when he joined Autogiro Company of America as its executive vice-president. He joined Michigan Sugar Company in 1934 as a vice-president and was then appointed executive vice-president in 1936 and named president in 1940. He was president of the Farmers and Manufacturers Beet Sugar Association and a director of the Second National Bank in Saginaw, Michigan.
He served as president and director of the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce and was also a past president of the Saginaw Rotary Club and the Saginaw Community Chest and Michigan Welfare League. From 1942 to 1946 he was city chairman of the Saginaw War Chest and during World War II served as vice-chairman of the Saginaw County War Board. Married Olivia Waelchli June 15, 1915 in Ontario, Canada. She died in Kitchener, Ontario. Three children, Elizabeth, Walter C. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw. – Source for some of the information – Saginaw News Obituaries. Another Source: Sugar Beet Journal, December, 1956.
A beet factory chemist who gave credit for his training to Marinus Klaverweiden who was the Assistant Chief Chemist of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1902. Chron later became Chief Chemist, a position he held until 1936 when the factory became permanently closed.
Church, Bayard A (November 10, 1865-Unknown)
He was cashier of the Gratiot County State Bank, at St. Louis, Michigan, and a successful promoter, as well as a substantial supporter of several of the city's most flourishing industries, was born on a farm near Naples, Maine, November 10, 1865, a son of John M. and Cordelia A. (Hasty) Church. The mother of Mr. Church was a native of Portland, Maine. For a number of years before coming to Michigan, in 1873, the father was deputy sheriff of his county and a man of firm and high standing in the public esteem. He first settled at Elsie, and in 1876 located in St. Louis, where he built a sawmill on the site later occupied by a chemical factory, and operating it for a number of years. Subsequently he engaged in a grocery business and for about three years prior to the administration of President Cleveland was postmaster of the city. John M. Church and wife had three children, one son and two daughters.
A.Bayard Church, the eldest of the family, accompanied his parents to Elsie and to St. Louis, the latter having been his home since 1876, with the exception of two years which he spent in travel in the West. Even when a boy he was his father's "right hand man," assisting him in his mill, in his grocery store and in the post office, giving his services to the government work, out of school hours, quite constantly from 1881 to 1884. In the latter year he graduated with the first class of the St. Louis high school, and afterward took a prominent part in the doings of the Alumni Association as well as in the general progress of the city schools. During 1885 he was assistant postmaster under Rev. Theodore Nelson and practically had charge of the office.
After leaving the post office Mr. Church took a trip South, spending one winter in Florida, and upon his return in 1886 he entered the employ of F. G. Kneeland in the Bank of St. Louis, which was a private institution. After serving as a clerk there for three years he resigned his position, and during 1889 and 1890 traveled through the West.
On January 1, 1891, Mr. Church became a clerk in the First National Bank at St. Louis, a position he filled until December 13, 1898. During that period the business was reorganized, the First National becoming the Gratiot County State Bank, and on the above date he became cashier. He thus became, in many respects, the leading executive officer of an institution which has passed triumphantly through not a few financial crises in the history of the country and stanchly supported the business and industrial interests of this section of the State. It was organized in 1870 as a private bank by Hon. A. B. Darragh. Known for the first three years as the Gratiot County Bank, its business thereafter until 1884 was conducted under the name of Darragh & Co., bankers. It was then organized as the First National Bank, with A. B. Darragh as cashier, and in July, 1897, reorganized as the Gratiot County State Bank with Mr. Darragh cashier, and F. M. Thedgar, assistant cashier; capital stock, $25,000. Mr. Darragh soon succeeded to the presidency, a position which he still holds, B. A. Church becoming cashier.
Mr. Church's long connection with this bank has made him well known to almost every capitalist in Gratiot county. As a financier he stands high, while his personal character has gained him the confidence of all who have dealings with this old and well established institution. He is identified with the city's leading interests and is the only resident director of the St. Louis Sugar Company, the largest business enterprise of the city. It was largely through his exertions and influence that the plant was located in St. Louis. The works, which are equipped with the most modern machinery, are valued at $500,000 and rank with the best in the State. They employ one hundred and fifty men, disburse $60,000 annually in wages, and buy $200,000 worth of raw material from the producers of sugar beets. These facts prove their importance as an element in the prosperity of St. Louis and Gratiot county, and redound directly to the credit of Bayard A. Church.
Politically Mr. Church is identified with the Republican party, and has always taken a deep interest in political matters in Gratiot county, although he has not found time to accept office. He is one of the leading members of the Masonic fraternity in the State of Michigan and has been advanced to some of its most honorable and important positions. He is past master of St. Louis Lodge, No. 188, F. & A.M., St. Louis; past high priest of St. Louis Chapter, No. 87, R.A.M., St. Louis; past thrice illustrious master of St. Louis Council, No. 68, R. & S.M., St. Louis; eminent commander of Ithaca Commandery, No. 40, K. T., Ithaca, Michigan; past worthy patron of St. Louis Chapter, No. 144, O.E.S., St. Louis; most illustrious grand master of the Grand Council of Michigan, and representative of the Grand Council of California. He has attained the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, and belongs to the Shrine.
Mr. Church was married March 10, 1891, to Miss Carrie M. Thedgar, who was born February 27, 1866, in Kent county, Michigan, a daughter of John L. and Josephine L. Thedgar. They have two children: Felix M. and Conrad N. Mr. and Mrs. Church are members of the First Baptist Church at St. Louis.
Assistant Superintendent, during the first three campaigns at Bay City Sugar Company. Became Superintendent in 1902 and left the sugar industry in 1906 to pursue other business interests.
Churchill, Worthy, L (December 14, 1839-
He was born December 14, 1839 in Batavia, New York, son of John Churchill, a prominent lawyer and the grandson of General Worthy Lovell Churchill of Revolutionary War fame. At the age of 18, with two companions and a portable sawmill, he organized a “Pikes Peak or Bust” expedition. His associates turned back at Grand Island, Nebraska. Churchill recruited two replacements and continued his journey. His new companions, however, also turned back, causing him to arrive in Salt Lake City alone. From there he headed toward San Francisco, arriving in 1860. He spent some years in Chicago, selling lumber after that city was nearly destroyed by fire. From there, he moved on to Alpena, Michigan in 1874 where in remained in the lumber business until that industry was ended by the exhaustion of timber in 1900. He then joined others in a pioneering effort to establish a beet sugar industry on former lumber lands. He was the president and treasurer of the combined Bay-City-Michigan Sugar Company and is recognized as the founder of Bay City Sugar Company. He was also president and general manager of the Tawas Sugar Company. He was educated at Griswold College then a private institution, leaving as a qualified civil engineer.
With other investors, he organized the Bay City Sugar Company in 1898 which had a factory in operation in 1899. Mr. Churchill was married, during his residence in Chicago, to Amelia Montgomery, who is a daughter of Joseph A. Montgomery of that city. Of their three children but one survives, a daughter, Florence. The family belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church and Mr. Churchill has been a vestryman for many years.
Some of the information in this account was taken from History of Bay County, Michigan, by Augustus H. Gansser, 1905
Clark, F (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Assistant Superintendent, Caro Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Clause, William A (November 6, 1858-October 7, 1931)
A major founding shareholder in Owosso Sugar Company. Organized the Diamond Plate Glass Company in 1889 at Kokomo, Indiana. Selected Kokomo because of the presence of natural gas. John Pitcairn and John B. Ford founded the New York Plate Glass Company which became the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in 1883. Six plate glass companies merged in 1895, including Clause’s Diamond Plate Glass Company. Clause was named general sales manager of the merged companies. When Pittsburgh Plate Glass purchased the Praire Farm in Saginaw County, Michigan, he created three towns within the farm, one of which – Clausdale – was named in his honor. He developed the idea of forming distribution centers for the glass business, created 7. Became vice-president in 1904, president in 1905, chairman of the board 1906, a position he held until his death in 1931. Wife – Elizabeth Ann Fish, daughter, Elizabeth, Luelle Ruth, and son Robert Lewis Clause.
Cranage, Samuel P (September 26, 1865-)
Attended schools in Bay City, was in the first graduating class of Central High School. Attended University of Michigan one year, left after 1887 because of illness. Traveled to Texas and then Europe before returning to Bay City in 1889 to assist his father, Thomas in the management of the lumber firm of Pits and Cranage. In 1892, he joined McGraw Transportation, a company over which his father presided. He served as secretary. He also was secretary of the Cranage Steamship Company until 1911 when he became president upon the death of his father, serving until 1912.
He also served as secretary-treasurer of the Croxton Steamship company, again serving until 1912. He served as a director of Michigan Sugar Company (1907) and in 1914 was named Director of Columbia Sugar Company. He served as president of the Shearer Building and shared ownership of the Cranage Block with his brother-in-law, Virgil Langstaff Tupper. Also served on the Electric Light Commission where he served as president for a number of years and was a director of the National Bank of Bay City. Was a member of the Saginaw Bay Yacht club, Bay City Country Club. Preferred sailing, motion pictures, history and biography. Retired in 1933.
Cranage, Thomas (July 21, 1833-March 5, 1911)
Born at Ludlow, Shropshire, England, July 21, 1833 and died in Bay City, Michigan, 1911. Settled in America in 1835, arriving with his parents, Thomas, Sr (Sep 15, 1804, Ludlow, Shropshire, England-April 20, 1886, Detroit, Michigan) and mother Mary Hill (Aug 17, 1798, Ludlow, Shropshire, England-July 4, 1873, Detroit, Michigan). Landed in New York via sailing vessel and settled in Ohio, residing in Cleveland, Warren and Princeton, Ohio. Moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1845. He worked as a clerk in the firm of Theodore Eaton rising to manager, a position he held for several years, having been promoted at age 22. In 1859, he established his own drug business. Four years later he entered the lumber business in association with Samuel Pitts and moved to Bay City, Michigan where he operated a sawmill owned by Samuel Pitts.
He married Julia Larned Pitts on October 20, 1863, the daughter of Samuel Pitts and Sarah Merrill. The couple had three children, Sarah, Mary and Samuel.
Following the death of Pitts, he became a partner in the firm successfully known as Thomas Pitts & Co and Pitts and Cranage. In 1892, he sold the business to his brother and joined McGraw Transportation Company, a firm engaged in hauling logs from Canada to planning mills in Bay City. He was named president of McGraw. In 1893, he became president of the Cranage Steamship Company. Also served as president of the Croxton Steamship Company from 1907 until his death in 1911. He served as president of the Michigan Salt Association for many years.
President Michigan Sugar Company – Operated first sugar factory in Michigan- organized Michigan Sugar Company in 1897. Was president until 1904.
He was president of the Bay County Savings Bank for several years and was vice-president of the First National Bank of Bay City between 1890 and 1900.
He erected the Cranage Block in 1872
The source of some of the foregoing information is The Citizens Historical Association of Indianapolis, Indiana, a firm that gathered and sold biographical information until it discontinued business in the 1950s. Other information is attributed to History of Michigan, Volume IV, by Charles Moore (1915) and from The Sugar Tramp-1954 by Daniel Gutleben. Bay City Birth Register, Volume A, beginning in 1867 shows Thomas Cranage and Julia Cranage, as the parents of new born Mary Cranage on July 29, 1867.
Crawford, Fred Lewis (May 1888- April 13, 1957)
Born in Erath County, Texas, son of William C and Isabella Crawford. Sister, Mattie (Mae) a school teacher, born 1885, brothers William C, born 1875, Littleton (Hubert), born 1894. His formal education ended after completing the 7th grade and then learned accounting via a correspondence course. Worked as a bookkeeper in Hale, Texas, and later became an auditor at Mason City, Iowa, at a sugar factory headed then by Hiram A. Douglas, a law partner of Charles Warren who was majority shareholder of a number of Michigan beet factories controlled by the Sugar Trust. Named Secretary of Michigan Sugar Company in 1925. In 1932, he operated sugar factories at Alma and Lansing, having leased them from Michigan Sugar Company. Director of the Michigan National Bank and the Refiners Transport & Petroleum Corp. of Detroit, Michigan. Elected to the U.S. Congress from Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in 1934. Served 18 years until he was defeated by Alvin Bentley.
Cressey, Edward Wilson (1866-1936)
He was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 5, 1866. He was the son of Colonel Edward P. Cressey who graduated from West Point Military Academy. As a 1st Lieutenant serving in the Third United States Cavalry he participated in military actions against the Navaho Indians in February, 1860 at Canon de Muerto, in New Mexico, then was engaged in a conflict with the Confederates at Mesilla, New Mexico on July 25, 1861. His mother, Caroline Frances Cressey, died at age 26 on September 27, 1867. E. Wilson was a year and a half old at the time of his mother’s death. His sister, Frances, was two and one half years old. The children were then raised by their grandparents. E. Wilson attended the University of Michigan. In 1895 he became president of Kern Manufacturing, a position he held until he accepted an offer to become the Secretary of Michigan Sugar Company in 1898. He married Cornelia W. Buckley on October 13, 1891. They had one child, Cornelia M. Cressey. She was born on August 20, 1892.
In 1901 he transferred his allegiance to the German-American Sugar Company where he became Secretary and shortly thereafter became the company’s general manager, a position he held until control of the business transferred to new investors in 1931. He then became secretary-treasurer of the Farmers and Manufacturers Beet Sugar Association. Along with John Ross, Justin Wentworth, and Henry Vallez, he guided the German-American Sugar from its rocky beginnings to its ultimate success as a company respected for its technological advances and business expansion. In 1910, the management team constructed a modern sugar beet processing facility in Paulding, Ohio and in 1920 repeated the feat by constructing one in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Collings, George E (1854-1941)
Founder of the Blissfield factory, member of the board of directors, Dow Chemical Company.
Colwell, Augustus Warren (February 5, 1842-January 2, 1917)
Educated at the College of the City of New York , received engineering experience at Colwell Iron Works founded by his father in 1842. This refinery along with West Point Iron Works built most of the sugar refinery equipment for the New York refineries in the 1870s. Colwell pans, evaporators, char filters, driers and kilns were standard equipment in the refineries of Havemeyer & Company. He served in the Union army
Built Marine City sugar factory. Father Lewis Colwell, mother Catherine Lavina Bertholf, six children, Catherine Elizabeth, Lewis, Charles, Clarence, Lino, and James. Clarence died in childhood. The remaining four sons became engineers as did his daughter’s husband, Henry H. Supplee.
Coryell, Charles (d.1960)
Founder of Robert Gage Coal Company in 1900, operated fourteen coal mines. Became CEO in 1919. Founder of Monitor Sugar Company upon acquiring the interests of Columbia Sugar Company in 1931. Served as chairman of the combined interests until his death in 1960
Coryell, Charles A (d.1977)
Director Robert Gage Coal Company and Monitor Sugar Company, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Monitor Sugar Company. Also served as the company’s president. Active in various capacities from 1916 until his death which occurred in 1977. Served 61 years.
Coryell, John (d.1961)
Director Robert Gage Coal Company and Monitor Sugar Company. Also served as the company’s president. Active in various capacities from 1909 until his death in 1961. Served 52 years.
A plant engineer at Loveland, Colorado
Davidson, James (1841-1929)
Was an orphan. He built a row-boat for use in ferrying sailors to the grain ships anchored in Buffalo Harbor. Became a sailor, ship builder, owner of the largest shipping fleet on the Great Lakes, a marine salvaging company, timber lands, banks and sugar companies.
At one time or another, he had a financial interest in Croswell Sugar Company, Macomb Sugar Company, West Bay City Sugar Company, Saginaw Sugar Company, Owosso Sugar Company, Mount Clemens Sugar Company (same as Macomb Sugar Company), St. Louis Sugar, Charlevoix Sugar Company and Lansing Sugar Company, and Janesville, Wisconsin. Also one in Dresden, Ontario. (The Dresden and Janesville factories are the same – Davidson moved the Dresden factory to Janesville after it failed.)
Davidson Shipbuilding Company (1871 - 1929)
Bay City, MI
by Alan Flood (August 2003)
Three Generations of Heritage
With the passing of Edward C. Davidson on March 27, 1984, another family name linked with the history of Bay City's early days is gone. The Davidson family's association with this area goes back three generations to Captain James Davidson.
James Davidson was born at Buffalo, New York in 1841. From his earliest years, Captain Davidson's life was intimately tied with the sea and its commerce. As a very young man, he began sailing on the Great Lakes and became a Master at the age of 19. In his early 20's, he left the Lakes to sail the oceans of the world for approximately two years. On returning to the lakes, he sailed as master and soon became a vessel owner. Shortly after, he spent time at the shipyards of Buffalo and Toledo to learn wooden ship construction.
James Davidson began shipbuilding operations at West Bay City in 1871 with the building of the schooner E. M. DAVIDSON at the site where the Fletcher Oil is now located. The following year, he relocated his yard in Saginaw. Finding that location unfavorable to shipbuilding, Captain Davidson returned to Bay City in 1873, purchased a site at the foot of Randolph street and began building a sawmill and laying the keel of the steam JAMES DAVIDSON. Prior to this time, it was customary for a builder to lease a piece of land, build and launch a ship and then move on. The ships in those days were entirely built by hand. The JAMES DAVIDSON was the first ship on the lakes to be built with the timbers cut in a sawmill. While the vessel was still on the stocks, a fire swept through the yard destroying the mill and badly damaging the steamer; the craft, however, was rebuilt and completed for service the following year. About this time, a business panic shook the country; and Captain Davidson was obliged to halt his operations here and close the yard. During these uncertain times, he gave his attention to the operation of his vessel interests. In 1880, Captain Davidson returned to his property here with a large equipment of machinery and organized a shipbuilding force. He built the steamship OCEANIA, then the largest craft on the lakes. Over the years, Captain Davidson, enlarged his facilities, yard room, etc., to meet the steadily increasing demands made upon the resources of the establishment. In 1887, the yard contained a sawmill and two jig mills, but these were considered inadequate. In January 1888, Davidson completed a new band mill which was "the most thoroughly modern shipmill in the United States" and supplied it with the latest improved machinery for working heavy timber and improved punches for heavy iron work. Fire completely destroyed the new band mill in August of the same year. The premises were immediately rebuilt, however, and furnished with additional tools and appliances to meet the needs of the yard. During its heyday, Davidson's Yard employed about 1,000 men and 150 teams of horses. Two side tracks from the Michigan Central Railroad supplied the yard with oak timber, Material by water came from Sebewaing and from up the Kawkawlin River. There were often five or six vessels on the stocks at any one time, and some years he built and repaired as many as thirteen. In addition to his shipbuilding operations here at Bay City, Captain Davidson operated an extensive fleet of wooden steamers and schooner barges under the houseflag of the Davidson Steamship Company. He would operate these vessels in the ore, coal, and grain trades in the great ports of Buffalo, Cleveland, and Chicago they would "create the most favorable comment." He was involved with grain interests at Buffalo and with the Frontier Iron Works at Detroit which built some of the machinery for his steamers. He was founding member and served on the Board of Managers of the Lakes Carriers Association at Cleveland, Ohio. The facilities at the yard reached their peak in 1900 with the building of the drydock. Captain Davidson owned the old "WESTERN WORLD" drydock at another site downriver, but it had become inadequate. As the timberlands of Michigan were being depleted, the focus of year operations shifted from new construction to the repair and rebuilding of the wooden ships. The new drydock was capable of handling the largest vessels afloat on the lakes and brought much repair work to the yard. In 1903, Captain Davidson, completed construction of the schooner barge MONTEZUMA. She and her sister ship, the CHIEFTAIN, which was completed the previous fall, were, at 352 feet overall, the largest wooden vessels ever built on the lakes. They represented the last major construction project undertaken at the yard. A few new hulls continued to be built until 1915, but these were small lighter and mud scows which predominately were used in dredging the ships around the yard. During the entire span of his shipbuilding activities, Captain Davidson never converted his yard to build iron or steel ships. However, in 1902, in association with his son, James E. Davidson and his son-in-law, G.A. Tomlinson, Captain Davidson was intimately involved in the founding and managing of the affairs of the Tomlinson Fleet Corporation of Duluth and Cleveland. This modern fleet of large steel steamers operated in the ore, coal and grain trades on the lakes and continued in operation with the active Davidson family participation until its demise in 1971. The wooden steamers and barges of the Davidson fleet generally wintered here at Bay City, where ongoing maintenance prolonged their lives. By the 1920s, however, the steamers SACRAMENTO and SHENANDOAH, and their consorts MONTEZUMA, CHIEFTAIN, and GRAMPIAN were "the proud leaders of the remaining wooden ships on the Great Lakes." The age of the ships, new modern steel steamers, and changing economic conditions all combined to spell the end of the wooden ship era. One by one the vessels were laid up here at the yard, and at the end of the 1929 season, the Davidson Steamship Company ceased operations. It was said of Captain Davidson, "He has gone quietly but makes no display, seemingly impressed with the maxim that the value of life consists in being faithful in the work undertaken and to the trust imposed." On his passing on February 5, 1929, he was eulogized as a pioneer both for his technical achievements in the shipbuilding industry and his efforts towards the prosperity of Bay City and the state of Michigan. With the death of James Davidson, the family interests were carried on by his son, James E. Davidson. In addition to his involvement with the affairs of the Davidson shipyard and the Tomlinson fleet, he was actively involved with the local banking community. He was chairman of the board of the Bay Trust Company and President of the People's Commercial & Savings Bank. In 1932, during the great depression, James E. Davidson, through his personal efforts, was able to keep the People's Commercial Bank solvent thus protecting the saving of their investors. His bank was the only bank in town not to fail. These successful efforts were reminiscent of those of his father when, during the business panic of 1893, Captain James Davidson had stepped into the breach and kept the local financial firms on a sound footing.
The Davidson shipyard closed in 1932, but James E. Davidson continued his family's association with the shipbuilding industry as a member of the board of the American Shipbuilding Company of Cleveland.
Edward C. Davidson, the third generation of this family, was born at Bay City on December 9, 1899. He was raised and attended in school in Bay City and later went on to the University of Michigan where he was graduated in 1922 with a degree in Naval Architecture. In 1929, he returned to Bay City to join his father in the firm of James E. and Edward C. Davidson. During the Second World War, he served in the U.S. Navy with the rank of commander. After his father's death in 1947, Ed Davidson continued the family's local affairs in real estate and banking and in June, 1952 he was elected president of the Tomlinson Fleet Corporation of Cleveland. He continued in this position until August 1971, when the vessels of the Tomlinson fleet were sold to the Columbia Transporation division of Oglebay Norton of Cleveland. In 1972, the city of Bay City acquired the old Davidson shipyard property from Edward Davidson and was used in developing the present Veterans Memorial Park. In 1982, the city mounted a six ton rudder of the Davidson steamer SACREMENTO and since has developed displays along the river to interpret the history of the shipyard area. In 1992, Captain James Davidson was inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame at the U.S. Merchant Academy at Kings Point, New York.
Davidson, James E. (December, 1864 – 1947)
Inherited Davidson properties, director of German-American Sugar Company and successor, Columbia Sugar Company. He owned a 100% interest in the Mount Clemens Sugar Company, Also, he was a Director of Monitor Sugar Company. Wife, June, born June 1865 and son Edward, born December 1899
First appeared as a worker at Michigan Sugar Company’s Bay City Sugar factory (Essexville) about 1900. In a story related by Dan Gutleben in The Sugar Tramp-1954, Archie Deary complained to his wife that his favorite raisin pie was missing. Innocent horseplay always accompanied the long hours the early sugar operators worked. His wife prepared a “special” raisin pie the following day. Again, the pie disappeared. There were no further thefts of Deary’s raisin pies after fellow employee, Buck Gartipy reported after a day’s absence that he was allergic to raisins because of a certain cathartic effect.
Assistant Superintendent, Carrollton factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
DeGEUS, Jacob (September 17, 1854 –October 1947)
Born in S’Gravendeel in the Netherlands. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1888 – hired as an agriculturist for the Kalamazoo beet sugar factory and then for the first Mount Pleasant factory (construction never completed). Hired in 1904 by the Owosso Sugar Company to manage the Praire Farm, the largest sugarbeet farm in the United States – more than nine thousand acres dedicated to sugarbeets, peppermint, corn and rye – which DeGeus turned into a showplace agricultural center. He was the first chairman of the Saginaw County Fair, was president of the Michigan Horse Breeders Association. Married Johanna Herwiger, May 16, 1881 in the Netherlands. She died in 1938. Four sons, Harry, Leonard, Dammis and Andrew and one daughter, Anna.
Demuth, William (Dad)
Construction Superintendent during the construction of Bay City Sugar Company, Essexville, Michigan in 1898 and the Alma Sugar Company in 1899. He began his career in the lumber industry where he attained craftsman status as a millwright. In 1915 he was elevated to Superintendent of the Owosso beet sugar factory.
Construction Foreman during the construction of Bay City Sugar Company, Essexville, Michigan. His father was William Demuth.
Dewey, Edmund Otis (August 24, 1861-195
Born in 1862 in Niles, Michigan Owosso Sugar Company – led initiative to establish a sugar factory at Owosso and encouraged the Michigan Chemical Company to provide the necessary investment. He was also the uncle of Thomas Edmund Dewey, three-time governor of New York and the candidate for the U.S. presidency in 1948 who lost his bid to Harry S. Truman in an historic upset.
Dewing, William Sheldon (9/17/1845-1929)
First president of the Kalamazoo Sugar Company
Dewing, Charles A
Charles A. Dewing shared many business interests with his brothers, William S, and James. He, too, invested in the paper industry, including Superior Paper and King Paper, and served as the first treasurer for the Kalamazoo Stove Company. He was an early investor in Kalamazoo’s automobile industry as a partner in the Michigan
Automobile Company and was a principal organizer of the Kalamazoo Beet Sugar Company that sought to develop sugar-beet agriculture and processing. That business failed but its sugar refinery, located several miles north of town on the river, was later the home of the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Co. Today, the downtown W. S. Dewing Building and Kalamazoo College’s Dewing Hall are among the last visible traces of this intriguing family. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, they contributed significantly to the economic development of Kalamazoo.
Assistant Factory Superintendent for Detroit Sugar Company’s Rochester, Michigan beet sugar factory in 1902, the fifth and final processing season for the factory. He was the assistant superintendent of the Alma Factory during the years 1905, 1906, and 1907.
Donaldson, Andrew T
In 1918 was president of Macomb Sugar Company. Also, president of Citizens Savings Bank and Donaldson Brothers (manufacturers of farm implements).
He first appeared as lime kiln and carbonator station operator for the Essexville factory. In 1900, he was loaned by that company to West Bay City Sugar Company to assist them in operating similar stations. Later, he advanced to the position of Superintendent at Michigan Sugar Company’s Carrollton Sugar Factory. Became General Superintendent of Michigan Sugar Company in February, 1913 upon the death of Superintendent, Edward Hopkins who had died as the result of a skull fracture when stepping from a streetcar onto an icy surface. Later employed by Henry Vallez to install his Triple Osmosis process in sugar beet factories.
Drawe, John (June 21, 1856-unknown)
Chairman of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory. 1898. Later became one of the initial investors in the factory.
He was a merchant tailor, a native of Michigan, and was born in Detroit on June 21, 1856. His father, William, was born in Westphalia, Germany, and emigrated to this country in 1856 and began working at this trade-tailoring. He soon after started business for himself and carried on the business of merchant tailor until 1880, John J. who succeeded to his father's business, learned his trade in the city of Chicago in 1875. In 1878, he married Miss Augustina Kuhn. They had three children-Abbie, Georgie, and May.
Dumont, Joseph C
Construction Engineer for the building of the Kalamazoo Sugar Company, 1899.
Duston, J. C.
First vice-president and general manager of Marine City Sugar Company, May, 1901.
Member of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory. 1898.
Dwyer, Charles (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Engineer, Bay City Factory of Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Eckert, Joseph S (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III and pages 31 and 55)
Born in the Bavarian village of Zwiesel in 1869. Arrived in America in 1889 after completing Gymnasium and Polytechnicum. Joined two uncles in Toledo, Ohio. Sought work as a draftsman with Frederick W. Wolf but was declined employment until Wolf happened upon him during one of his employment attempts.
He was assigned as Construction Engineer for the construction of a beet sugar factory built in Rochester, Michigan in 1899. Later, he was teamed with Emil Salich in an assignment to develop a standard sugarbeet factory. Frederick Wolf sold the design to Thomas Cranage and was awarded the contract to build Michigan’s Pioneer sugar factory.
Superintendent of the Essexville factory for Michigan Sugar Company-1914-
Superintendent of the Lansing beet sugar factory 1915-1916
Superintendent of Blissfield beet sugar factory-1917-1922
Superintendent of Ottawa, Ohio beet sugar factory where he refined 11,000 tons of raw cane sugar from Puerto Rica. He melted 100,000 pounds of cane sugar with each 1,000 tons of sugarbeets. He incurred difficulty in filtering the material. He may have developed the idea from Alfred Musy who tried a similar experiment in Rochester, Michigan in 1902. See Alfred Musy.
Edgar, Clinton Goodloe (December 21, 1873-1932)
Grandson of the founder of the Edgar Sugar Brokerage firm of Detroit, Michigan. Was a stockholder in Continental Sugar Company of Cleveland, Ohio. He acquired a large block of the company’s stock in 1914 and became the company president. Continental owned a beet sugar factory in Blissfield, Michigan in addition to one in Findley, Ohio and another in Fremont, Ohio. In 1926, Continental purchased the Holland-St. Louis Sugar Company. He was a graduate of the Michigan Military Academy (1893) and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell University in 1897. At the outbreak of World War I, he attended Officers Training School at Plattsburgh Camp, New York. Following his training, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the Supply Division, Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, the predecessor of the Air Corps. He was appointed General by order of President Harding in 1922 as a reward for meritorious service.
Eldred, Hugh Boyce (1913-1999)
Former President of Michigan Sugar Company, 1956-1963, Executive Vice-President, Monitor Sugar Company, 1963-1975. Born December 14, 1913 in Malone, New York. He earned a degree from Syracuse University in 1936 where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in business administration and became a Certified Public Accountant attached to the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse. He was a director of the Farmers and Manufacturers Association, the U.S. Beet Sugar Association, Washington, D.C., and several area charitable and social organizations, in addition to two banks, the Second National Bank of Saginaw and the Peoples National Bank of Bay City, Michigan.
First appeared as an engineer in sugar refineries in the eastern United States. He was the chief engineer, representing the construction firm of Bartlett, Hayward. In that capacity, he supervised the construction of the West Bay City Sugar Company in 1899. The contract between the firm’s organizers, Mendal Bialy and others, called for a factory capable of slicing 500 tons of sugarbeets daily. Godfrey Engle was then engaged by Great Western Sugar Company to construct a factory at Sugar City, Fort Morgan, and Brighton, Colorado. Later, in 1921, he moved to New York where he took employment as the engineer in charge of the sugar machinery department of the Buffalo Foundry and Machine Company. In 1924 he transferred to a similar position with J. P. Devine of New York City.
Everden, Oscar M. (January 10, 1861-June 14, 1905)
Was one of the best known citizens of St. Louis, Michigan, and publisher of the Republican Leader of that city, in that connection being for a number of years an important factor in township and county politics. He was born in Emerson township, Gratiot county, Michigan, January 10, 1861, a son of the late Oscar A. and Harrietta (Phelps) Everden, natives of New York, who migrated to Michigan in 1854 and settled in Emerson township. The father died in St. Louis, March 18, 1903, leaving three children, of whom Oscar M. Everden was the youngest.
Oscar M. Everden was reared in Emerson township, and educated in the common schools and at Ithaca high school. At the age of nineteen years he commenced teaching, in 1883 removing to Montana, where he spent one year. He then returned to Gratiot county and taught school until 1888, when he entered the newspaper field, purchasing a one-half interest in the Alma Record. In 1893, selling his interest in that publication, he removed to Ithaca and took charge of the Gratiot County Journal, continuing with that publication until 1896, when he purchased the Republican Leader, of which he was the publisher at the time of his death, which occurred in St. Louis, June 14, 1905. He was buried in the city cemetery. The interests of the paper were assumed by his widow.
The Leader is an official organ of the Republican party in this section and reaches a great number of readers, the subscription list having over twelve hundred names. Mr. Everden's services were in a measure recognized by his party in his appointment to the office of deputy State oil inspector in 1899 and 1901, a position that he admirably filled. He took a deep and practical interest in all movements which promised to advance the industrial and commercial standing of his city, serving as the first secretary of the St. Louis Sugar Beet Company, and for four years as secretary of the St. Louis Board of Trade. Locally he also took a very prominent part in educational and reformatory movements, and on all occasions was ready to perform his part in advancing the interests of the community. He served from 1884 to 1887 as a member of the county board of school examiners.
Mr. Everden was married, June 24, 1890, to Miss Anna M. Bahlke, a native of Michigan, and to them was born one son, Raymond J. Everden. Fraternally, he was a member of the Masonic order.
FANCHER, Isaac A. ( 1883-
A member of the board of directors of the Mount Pleasant Sugar Company in 1903. The factory was not completed, however, and the company discontinued operations. He was born in 1833 in New York. He was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives (1873-1874) and a member of the Michigan State Senate. A lawyer. Wife Malie, born 1865 in Pennsylvania and a son, Isaac A, born in 1907.
Supervisor, Mount Clemens Sugar factory-1925. Was present when the factory was expanded to 1,000 ton capacity.
Engineer, Croswell Sugar Factory, 1914 owned by Michigan Sugar Company
First Agricultural manager for Carrollton
One of the organizers of the Bay City Sugar Company (later merged with Michigan Sugar Company). Was elected as Secretary in 1901. Also grew 240 acres of beets in Bay County, Michigan and had an interest in 1,200 acres in Saginaw County, many of which were dedicated to sugarbeets. He was secretary and a director of the Tawas Sugar Company. In 1886 he was elected director of the Michigan State Agricultural Society and for several years served as its general superintendent. In 1875 he married Hattie B. Hammond, the daughter of Joel Hammond, of Oakland County. One daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fifield, a child whose death occurred February 23, 1893, when she was 13 years of age.
Some of the information listed here is attributed to the History of Bay County, Michigan, Augustus H. Gannser (1905)
Fisher, Andrew T
An attorney in Detroit, he began interest in sugarbeets that led to the construction of the Marine City sugar factory.
Fisher, Spencer Oliver (February 3, 1843-June 1, 1919)
Born in Camden, Michigan (Hillsdale County) attended the public schools and Albion and Hillsdale Colleges in Michigan; engaged in lumbering and banking in West Bay City, Michigan. One of the founding members of Michigan Sugar Company in 1898. Was a large stockholder. Was its vice-president. One of the founding members of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1898. Was its first president. Was mayor of West Bay City 1881-1884. U.S. Representative from Michigan’s 10th District, 1885-1889. Candidate for Governor of Michigan 1894.
Flegenheimer, Albert (1890-1972)
Albert Flegenheimer, a native of Germany, shared his birthday, July 4, with that of the country he would adopt fifty-one years after his birth. It was in 1941 that he entered the United States after establishing credentials as a sugar executive first in Germany where he held management positions with the South German sugar company, Sueddeutche Zucker, A.G., followed by a period of service with Europe’s largest sugar combine, the Montesi Group of Padua, Italy. He departed war-troubled Europe in 1939 for the North American continent where he settled in Manitoba, Canada. While in Manitoba he became a principal in the organization and construction of the Fort Garry beet sugar factory. Two years later, he accepted the presidency of the Waverly Sugar Company located in Waverly, Iowa. In 1954, Albert became the major stockholder of an organization that controlled the Menominee and Green Bay, Wisconsin beet sugar factories and seven years later, at the age of 71, became a significant shareholder in Michigan Sugar Company. Two years later, in 1963, Albert was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Michigan Sugar Company. His son, Ernest, was named President and Treasurer. Albert Flegenheimer died in December, 1972 after gaining recognition in Who’s Who In America for a lifetime dedicated to beet sugar.
Foley, Wilbur D (1910-2003)
At the onset of America’s involvement in World War II in 1941, Wilbur Foley was working at General Motors. He had completed two years of college. He enlisted in the army where he served in the officers ranks until 1946. He was discharged as a reserve Lieutenant Colonel and joined Monitor Sugar Company in an administrative capacity. Within seven years, he was judged a master sugar craftsman and was advanced to the post of factory superintendent following the exit of Thomas Neering who had suffered an illness that compelled early retirement. In 1967, he was elected Vice-President of Operations of Monitor Sugar Company, a newly created office.
Fordney, Joseph W. (1853-1932)
Not all those worthy of mention as having a role in Michigan’s sugar beet history was engaged directly in the growing of sugarbeets or the manufacture of sugar. Among them is Joseph Fordney. He began a career in business and politics with little in the way of educational accomplishment to recommend him—three months of formal education. He experienced the rigors of work in a small sawmill operated by his father. Later, at age 16, he took a job as a grocery store clerk and errand boy before advancing to a job a chore boy at Saginaw lumber camp where he earned 50 cents a day for a day that began before sun up and ended when it became too dark to see. Self-study and an aggressive attitude toward taking responsibility led him to successively more important roles. He possessed a skill with numbers that led him to become an estimator. He could estimate the value of a track of land with uncanny accuracy and in a few years carved a fortune out of Michigan’s forests. He successively ran for Congress in 1898 and promptly became an advocate of protective tariffs for Michigan industry. He was co-author of the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Bill of 1921. Earlier, in 1913, he defended Michigan’s fledgling sugar beet industry by opposing legislation that would eliminate tariffs on sugar.
He was born on November 5, 1853 in Blackford County, Indiana, one of ten children of John and Achsah Fordney, natives of Pennsylvania.
Frenkl, Johann H
In 1899, Johann H. Frenkl was named assistant to Mendal Bialy, the president of West Bay City Sugar Company. He became Superintendent, Marine City Sugar Company, 1901. Had trouble controlling lumberjacks who worked in the factory. Was badly injured when one dropped a bucket of molasses on his head. Unable to finish the campaign because of his injury. Eli Vaupre took his place. Lumberjacks feared Vaupre’s temper.
FUEHRMAN, Henry Theodore Julius (March 27, 1858-1932)
Architect, born in Brunswick, Germany, March 27, 1858. Served as contractor for the construction of the Sebewaing factory with his partner, Theodore Hapke. Only son of Henry and Tulia Fuehrman. Attended the schools of his native land until he was fourteen years of age, after which he served an apprenticeship at the mason's trade. Upon leaving school, he decided to prepare himself for the duties of an architect, and throughout his entire youth, he devoted himself closely to the study of architecture in different polytechnic institutions throughout his native land.
When twenty years of age he entered the Germany Army, serving one year, and in 1882 he came to America, and after spending Two years in Chicago and in different places in Dakota and Omaha, Nebraska. He moved to Grand Island in Hall County. The following are some of the principal buildings on which he has worked: The Grand Island city hall, Michelson Block, Catholic Church, Baptist University, Soldiers' Home, and the Oxnard Beet-Sugar Factory in Grand Island and the Buffalo County courthouse at Kearney, Neb. September 19, 1885, he was married to Miss Dora Joehnck, a daughter of Henry Joehnck. Two children: Julia and Gustav.
Gagner, Arthur J (1879-1958)
He was born June 28, 1879 in Saguenay, Canada. First employed at German-American Sugar Company in 1905. He began his career as a laborer in the diffusion station which was then called a “battery”, a complex web of tanks and valves marked by temperatures ranging from 100 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Eventually, he advanced to Superintendent and retired from that position in 1951. During his period of service he assisted in the management of Isabella Sugar Company beginning in 1932 when it fell under the control the same group of investors who controlled Monitor Sugar Company.
Known as “Colonel” Gallagher, he was President of Continental Sugar Company prior to its acquisition by James Larowe and Edgar. In 1924, he announced that after 27 years if research he made discoveries that would increase the output of sugar in the United States by 20 to 30% without increasing acreage. He gathered climatological data over a period of 27 years. By making comparisons with beet crops he found that sugar beets need a fixed amount of rain and sunshine to reach maximum sugar content. Experiments were conducted at Bono, Ohio (175 acres) and Merrill, Michigan (640 acres).
Garrison, Charles M.
He was a land agent for the Detroit and Mackinac Railroad. He was considered the original sugar bounty proponent, a movement that resulted in the passage of a bill on March 26, 1897 by the Michigan Legislature that offered beet processors a bounty of one cent per pound for sugar produced in Michigan from Michigan grown beets provided that the purity of the product was at least 90 percent and that the farmers received at least four dollars per ton for sugarbeets. He addressed the Business Men’s Association of Bay City in April, 1897, one month after the passage of the sugar bounty bill. The speech created much interest.
The first master mechanic for German-American Sugar Company (Later named Columbia Sugar Company and renamed Monitor Sugar Company in 1931.)
Gilchrist, Frank W
Sawmill operator, founded F.W. Mill, Alpena, Michigan in 1869. Co-founded Bay City Sugar Company, Bay City, Michigan, 1899.
“Across the river from the Alpena Lumber Co., stands the mill of F.W. Gilchrist, containing 1 gang, 1 circular, edgers, slab saws and lath machine. This mill has a cutting capacity of 9,000,000 feet per year. Number of men employed, 50. Full stock of logs on hand.”
Above quoted from "COMPLETE HISTORY" Alpena County, MICHIGAN,Written by: William Boulton, 1876 Entered according to Act of Congress on the 2d day of June 1876,
by William Boulton, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
ALPENA:ARGUS BOOK AND JOB ROOMS 1876
Superintendent of Mount Clemens sugar factory (owned by Franklin Sugar Company).
Assistant Superintendent for Continental Sugar Company’s Blissfield, Michigan factory. Assistant Superintendent at Mount Clemens, 1933-
Glave, Carl (1895-1966)
General Field Manager and chief agriculturist for Monitor Sugar Company 1936-1966.
He was born February 22, 1895 and died September 13, 1966. He had retired in March, 1966 but had remained on call in the capacity of a consultant.
Green, Harry J
President, Mount Clemens Sugar Beet Growers Association, 1948
Appointed Chief Engineer of Monitor Sugar Company in 1950 (Sugar Tramp-1954, page 134)
Gutleben, Daniel (1878-1969)
Daniel Gutleben was born October 5, 1878, the son of a Lutheran minister. He married Miriam Church, the sister of Bayard Church, one of the founders of St. Louis Sugar Company. His sugar house construction career began in 1899 with Oxnard Construction Company at Ames, Nebraska. Following that experience, he completed a degree at the University of Nebraska in 1900. The following year he was engaged in the construction of the Caro sugar factory after which he returned to school for another year. He next worked at Croswell as assistant construction engineer for the construction of that factory and began seeking full time employment with E. F. Dyer Construction Company. Dyer had contracts to build four factories and was in need of construction engineers. He was hired and then sent to St. Louis to take charge of building a factory in that city after National Construction Company defaulted on its contract to build and finance the construction of a 600-ton factory. The contract was switched to Dyer who then built a 500-ton per day factory. Later, he built one at Hooper, Utah on his own account. He then became chief engineer for the National Sugar Company. He retired in 1945 and spent the next 20 years traveling the country, collecting and writing sugar history. Among his volumes in his Sugar Tramp series:
1950 – Hawaii, 1954 – Michigan, 1961 – The Oxnard Beet Sugar Factory and the Oxnard Brothers, 1962 - The Pennsylvania Refinery, 1963 - Ohio, MSG, Indiana, Illinois
Hance, John W ( 1849- Unknown)
A member of the board of directors of the Mount Pleasant Sugar Company in 1903. The factory was not completed, however, and the company discontinued operations. John Hance was born in Ohio in 1849. He served as county clerk and registrar of deeds for Isabella County (per 1880 U.S. Census) In 1910 he was the postmaster for Mount Pleasant. His wife was Sarah, born in 1849 in Michigan.
Hallam, Earl (1892-1976)
He was born on April 26, 1892 in Sherrodsville, Ohio and died in Pinconning, Michigan on August 4, 1976. Began working for German-American Sugar Company in 1912 at the age of 20. His employment began just as the company was undergoing an expansion and modernization program which would cause the factory to become fully electrified. There were no electricians available. Young Earl Hallam applied himself to mastering the new science and overtime took the lead position on introducing and maintaining electricity within the factory walls.
Handy, Thomas L (February 4, 1866-1922)
President and General Manager of Handy Brothers of Bay City, Michigan, founder of Independent Sugar Company, formerly Marine City Sugar Company and formerly owned by Western Sugar Refining Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Handy Brothers was noted for sugar beet factory construction and repair. Originally operated a box manufacturing business then expanded into railroads, eventually owning the Bay City and Western Railroad. Died in 1922.
He was born February 4, 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, the third son of Thomas and Mary Handy. His middle name, Lincoln, was a reminder that his father had known and admired the martyred 16th President of the United States. He entered business at the age of 16 in Hart, Michigan where he operated a mill. He was too young to transact business so he grew sideburns to give him the appearance of an older man. One by one, his brothers Charles, George and Frank moved to Bay City to assist him in managing his growing empire which eventually was made up of railroads, box manufacturing, machinery repair, extensive coal mining and sugar manufacturing.
He married Harriet Emery. The Handys had four children, Dorothy, Thomas, Jr, Hiram and Paul.
Handy, Charles W
Vice-President of Handy Brothers of Bay City, Michigan, noted for sugar beet factory construction and repair. Also founders of Independent Sugar Company, formerly Marine City Sugar Company and formerly owned by Western Sugar Refining Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
Handy, George W
Treasurer of Handy Brothers of Bay City, Michigan, noted for sugar beet factory construction and repair. Also a co-founder with his brothers Charles, Thomas, and Frank of Independent Sugar Company, formerly Marine City Sugar Company and formerly owned by Western Sugar Refining Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
Handy, Frank S
Secretary of Handy Brothers of Bay City, Michigan, noted for sugar beet factory construction and repair. Also founders of Independent Sugar Company, formerly Marine City Sugar Company and formerly owned by Western Sugar Refining Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in 1922.
Hanson, Rasmus (1846-1927)
One of the founding members of Michigan Sugar Company in 1897.
One of the founding members of German-American Sugar Company in 1901. He was the third president of German-American Sugar Company (1904-1907) and served as a director during the years 1901-1907 and again during the years 1915-1927. He was of average height, slim, and wore a mustache that dropped around the corners of his mouth. He was born in Denmark in 1846. He attended school until the age of 14. Following a period of service on his father’s farm and a failed business enterprise, he departed for America at the age of 19 with little more than his father’s best wishes and enthusiasm for a new land.
After a four-month stint as a farm laborer near Racine, Wisconsin, he moved to Manistee, Michigan where he took employment that quickly led to a supervisor’s post. Two years later, having accumulated a small sum of money, he associated himself with Ernest N. Salling in the business of buying and selling timber. He was now a lumberman and would remain one throughout his life and during that time would associate with a number of partners who would include Nels Michelson, Ernest Salling, James Davidson, Justin Wentworth and many others. He eventually owned individually or through the companies he controlled, more than 80,000 acres of timber, much of it hardwood and operated major sawmills in a number of Michigan communities.
On September 1867 he married Margarethe. The couple parented five children, Thorwald, Espern, Oscar, Matilda, and Margretha.
Hathaway, Frederick (1875-1952)
Held the position of Principal of the Raisin Valley Seminary at Adrian Michigan and then Superintendent of Schools, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was engaged as the general manager of the Alma Sugar Company factory in Alma, Michigan. Later became an investor in the company. In 1906, the American Sugar Refining Company (popularly referred to as the "Sugar Trust") merged six of its Michigan sugar holdings into one company which it named the "Michigan Sugar Company". The holdings were factories located in Alma, Bay City, Caro, Carrollton, Croswell, and Sebewaing. Charles B. Warren was named president, a title he held for the next 21 years. William H. Wallace, the head of the Sebewaing factory, was named general manager and Frederick Hathaway was named Secretary and Treasurer.
In 1916, he enlisted the expertise of an architect from Huntingdon, England to build his home at the highest point on the city’s ridge in Huntington Woods, a subdivision of Detroit, Michigan.
Information was derived from the Sugar Tramp-1954 by Daniel Gutleben and from an early edition of the Beet Sugar Gazette and the History of Huntington Woods.
Havemeyer, Henry O (Oct 18, 1847- December 4, 1907)
Born in New York City.
New York City Directory 1890:
Havemeyer Henry O. sugar, 117 Wall, h 34 E. 36th
Havemeyer Sugar Refining Co. 112 Wall
Havemeyer Theodore A. refiner, 117 Wall, & consul, 31 B'way, h 244 Madison av.
Havemeyer William F. v. pres. 112 Wall, h Orange, N. J.
Havemeyers & Elder Sugar Refining Co. 117 Wall
Havemeyer, William Frederick (1804-1874)
Manufacturer, was born in New York city, Feb. 12, 1804; son of William and nephew of Frederick C. Havemeyer, two brothers who came from Bückburg, Schaumburg-Lippe, Germany, in 1802, and established a sugar refinery business in Vandam street, New York, as W. & F. C. Havemeyer. William Frederick was graduated from Columbia college in 1823. He then entered the sugar refinery of his Father, where he gained a thorough practical knowledge of the business in all its details. In 1820 he succeeded to the business with his cousin, Frederick C., Jr., as a partner. In 1842 the cousins retired from active participation in the sugar-refining business but retained interests, and were succeeded each by a brother and the firm became Albert and Frederick Havemeyer. In politics William F. was a disciple of Jackson and a friend of Van Buren. He was an early director of the Merchant's Exchange bank, and predicted the collapse of the Bank of the United States, while it was at the height of its prosperity, and his prophecy was ridiculed. He was president of the Bank of North America in New York, 1851-61, and his financial skill carried the bank safely through the crisis of 1857. He was a Polk and Dallas elector in 1845; mayor of New York, 1845-46, 1848-49 and 1873-74; commissioner of emigration, 1847-53; and vice-president of the citizens' committee of seventy whose investigations overthrew the Tweed ring. He died in New York city, Nov. 30, 1874.
Havemeyer, Horace (March 9, 1886-October 25, 1956)
Heath, Thomas (January 22, 1894 – November 1967)
Began his career hoeing beets for German American Sugar Company shortly after emigrating to the United States in 1908 from England with his parents. Later held a variety of factory positions before moving to Idaho where he became the general manager of the Franklin County Sugar Company and a member of the Idaho State Senate where he served as President Pro Tem during the 1939-1940 session. Involved in the construction of a beet factory at Mason City factory in 1917. Acquired the Mount Clemens factory from the Davidson Estate on behalf of the Franklin County Sugar Company in 1942. Wife Luetta born 1896 and daughter Patsy born 1923.
Associated with Macomb Sugar Company –latest record-1950
Began his career in 1899 as a diffusion station battery (explain) operator at West Bay City Sugar Company. It was the first campaign for the new company. He was promoted to foreman at the beginning of the second campaign in 1900.
Graduated from University of Michigan 1931. Operated a self-owned trucking company until 1937 when he joined Michigan Sugar Company agricultural staff in 1937. Recruited labor for farm operations. In 1948, was appointed Vice-President and General Manager, Michigan Sugar Company, Saginaw.
Toastmaster at the Bi-Annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Technologists held in Detroit, Michigan in 1958.
Henry, George (Caro)
Henze, CharlesServed as a mechanic in Michigan’s first beet sugar factory, Essexville and later in, 1902 worked for the Detroit Sugar Company in Rochester, Michigan for a single processing season. He then joined the National Construction Company, a company engaged in the construction of beet sugar factories and headed by sugar pioneers Alfred Musy and Emil Salich, among others. A year later he served as master mechanic for the Mount Clemens Sugar Company headed by James Davidson but left because of a wage dispute. In 1903 he accepted the Chief Engineer’s post at a new sugar factory in Charlevoix, Michigan. The Charlevoix factory failed to become completed because of exhausted funds.
Appeared in Michigan in 1899 after serving a tour of duty at the Reserve Sugar Company in Louisiana. Was engaged by Mendal Bialy as chief chemist for the newly constructed West Bay Sugar Company.
Higgins, Samuel GPromoter of the Michigan sugarbeet industry. Developed stratagems to bring the prospective beet growers together with prospective investors during the 1890s.
Hillmer, Ulrich – (1936-1995)
Vice-president of operations – Monitor Sugar Company (1974-1995)
Hine, Gustave (1842-1927)
He was the second president of German-American Sugar Company (1901-1904). Beginning in 1904 he served as a director until his death in 1927. He was the first mayor of Bay City following its consolidation with West Bay City in 1905. Served as mayor until 1908 than again in 1910 and again during the years 1913-1915 for a total of seven years. Married to Louisa Voight of Owosso. Father of seven daughters, including Bertha, Ada, and Charlotte. Began as an operator of a meat market. He was born in Germany on February 8, 1842. At the age of 13 he entered the United States with his parents, living first in New York for three years before moving to a farm in Saginaw Valley where he spent seven years. He established a meat market in Bay City in 1865 where he both retailed and wholesaled meat. Farmers and others who dealt with him came to trust his integrity, capacity for hard work as well as his business judgment. He was an original investor in the German-American Sugar Company and became its president in 1901 after the founding President, Alexander Zagelmeyer, served less than one year in that office. He relinquished the post in 1904 to pursue his interest in consolidating the cities of West Bay City and Bay City. In 1904, he became a director of the company.
Hopkins, Edward (1865-1913)
Immigrated to the United States while a small boy. Was an engineer for Kilby Manufacturing. Attached to the construction crew at Crockett, California in 1897.
First Superintendent under the reorganized Michigan Sugar Company’s Bay City Sugar Company factory in 1906. In 1911 he was appointed General Superintendent with responsibility for all of Michigan Sugar’s factories. He held the position for a few weeks but then approached W. H. Wallace, and announced that W. H. Hoodless, the superintendent of the Crosswell factory was better qualified for the responsibility. Accordingly, Wallace gave the job to Hoodless who held it until early 1913 when he resigned to take a similar job with a raw cane refinery in Pennsylvania. The job was again offered to Hopkins who then accepted it. Unfortunately, he would die shortly after the second appointment. In getting off a streetcar in front of his house in Saginaw he slipped on the icy street and fractured his skull. He went about his business for a week suffering from a severe headache then died while hospitalized. (Saginaw Daily News, Page 10 – February 15, 1913)
Hopkins, Samuel W. (April 1845-)
A member of the board of directors and President of the Mount Pleasant Sugar Company in 1903. The factory was not completed, however, and the company discontinued operations. Born in Rhode Island. An attorney. Wife, Maggie V. born Feb 1846 in New Jersey. A daughter, Lita.
Associated with the founding of a sugar factory in Caro, Michigan
Hoodless, William H (1877-1947)
Superintendent of Michigan Sugar Company’s Crosswell factory.
General Superintendent for Michigan Sugar Company, 1911-1913
Began his career as one of the initial workers at Caro Sugar Company in 1901. He was assigned to the evaporator station. He followed the custom of staying on after his 12-hour shift to study the operations of other stations. In that way he mastered the battery diffuser, carbonation station, and several other stations. In 1907 he proposed boiling out the evaporators one effect at a time, without shutting down. Plant Superintendent Wetstein feared the idea would bring about contamination in the evaporators, thus declined the suggestion. When Wetstein was succeeded by Sullivan the following year, the idea was given a chance and was so successful that it became standard operating procedure. In 1920, while working at Great Western Sugar Company, he pioneered the use of filters as settlers ahead of the vacuum filters. It became Great Western practice to train future superintendents and master mechanics in Hooper’s district.
Worked as a member of the construction crew during construction of Macomb Sugar Factory. Later worked as a centrifugal operator then advanced to centrifugal foreman and finally beet end foreman. Served 48 years before retiring.
Jameson, E. S.
Member of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory. 1898
Joy, Henry C (1864-1936)
President of Packard Motor Car Company, Henry Joy was an original founder of the Peninsular Sugar Refining Company in Caro, Michigan. He and other members of the Joy family controlled approximately 10% of the outstanding shares of the company. The company merged with Michigan Sugar Company in 1906. He was Peninsular’s first Treasurer.
Kaiser, Oscar F (d. 1925)
Given name is sometimes spelled “Oskar”. Superintendent of Macomb Sugar Company, nine years, 1918-1925. Born October 1868. Wife Mollie A, born 1880. Children, three sons, Theodore, Francis, and Oscar, Jr. Graduated from Bay City High School and Michigan Agriculture College. Served as chemist at Lansing Sugar Company, 1903. Died, 1925.
Supervisor, Mount Clemens Sugar Factory-1925. Was present when the factory was expanded to 1,000 ton capacity.
Leased in 1917 the Marine City beet factory, which had been closed since 1913, appointed himself president and began organizing a management team. Before completing the task, however, he was arrested for involvement in terrorists activities on behalf of Germany. References: New York Times, April 7, 1917, and Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Fall 2005, Vol. 8, Issue 1.
KANE, Michael E. (Dec 1845)
A member of the board of directors and President of the Mount Pleasant Sugar Company in 1903. The factory was not completed, however, and the company discontinued operations. He was born in Canada, as was his wife, Mary. She was born in 1844. A son, Arthur M was born in 1887. He was an attorney and a farmer. The 1900 census shows the family had four servants.
Manager Mount Clemens Sugar factory in 1950. Formerly had worked for 20 years for the United States Department of Agriculture in Southern Utah.
Kedzie, Robert Clark (1923-)
A pioneer teacher at the fledgling Michigan Agricultural College (later renamed Michigan State University). He was appointed to the chair of chemistry on January 28, 1863 after serving as a camp and hospital surgeon in the Civil War. No other institution at that time attempted to give instruction in the sciences as they related to agriculture and to teach at the same time the practical applications of chemistry and botany to farming. Courses in chemistry for the most part were confined to medical colleges. Experimental work carried on at Michigan Agricultural College under his direction was the means for bringing to the attention of investors the suitability of Michigan soil and climate to the culture of sugar beets. He imported 1600 pounds of beet seed in 1890 and subsequently published a report of the growing results.
Son of John. M. Kelton. Employed by West Bay City Sugar Company during its first campaign and remained there for the duration of his career.
Kelton, Frank (-1928)
Son of John M. Kelton. Employed by West Bay Sugar Company during its first campaign. Was timekeeper. Later, became vice-president and superintendent, a position he held until his death in 1928. He served Bay City as mayor for one term. Also was vice-president of Kelton-Aurand Manufacturing Company. Member of the Masonic Lodge.
A nephew of John M. Kelton. Employed by West Bay City Sugar Company during its first campaign. Transferred to Chaska, California in 1906 where he served as chief engineer for a number of years. Later transferred to a sugar factory in Toledo, Ohio.
Kelton, John M (1840-)
He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in October, 1840. His family had settled in Chester, Pa prior to the Revolutionary War after arriving in the U.S. from Montross, Scotland. He was the second president of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1900. He was president of Standard Hoop Company. Standard Hoop Company was organized in 1886 by John M. Kelton and H. B. Aurand. The company produced between 12 and 15 million barrel hoops per year. He married Mary Smith, daughter of Captain Peter C. Smith of former West Bay City.
Kennedy, Stiles (1838-Unknown
A prominent and influential citizen of St. Louis, Michigan, and a skilled physician and surgeon-the oldest practitioner of the city engaged in active professional work—was born April 1, 1838, in Lebanon, Kentucky, son of Rev. George W. and Ellen (Jennings) Kennedy.
In public affairs Dr. Kennedy was considered one of the most public-spirited men in central Michigan, being one of the originators of the Lansing & St. Louis Electric railway, as well as an energetic promoter of the municipal water-works, electric lighting plant and sewerage system. He was one of the earliest promoters of the St. Louis sugar factory and the St. Louis chemical works—two of the largest and most successful industrial concerns in the State.
Kilby, Herbert Nelson (Bert) (Oct, 1872-April 2, 1951)
Son of Joseph Kilby, founder of Kilby Manufacturing who built of 10 beet sugar factories in Michigan and 11 in states other than Michigan. Wife, Florence Mae Shutts, born in Alabama, August 27, 1872 to Benjamin Shutts and Mary Pollock. Died January 19, 1964. One son, Joseph Herbert Kilby, born in Ohio October 15, 1902, died January, 1970. Bert Kilby was a construction engineer. Supervised construction of the beet sugar factory built in Alma, Michigan
Kilby, Daniel Joseph (May, 1870-March 17, 1931)
Born in Ohio, son of Joseph Kilby, founder of Kilby Manufacturing, builder of 10 beet sugar factories in Michigan. Wife, Emma J. Kimmel, born February, 1875 in Pennsylvania, died September 7, 1960, in Ohio. No Children.
Kilby, Joseph Franklin (Feb 22, 1847- July 12, 1914)
Born in Baden, Germany, owner of Kilby Manufacturing. Emigrated to the United States in 1870 where he founded an iron foundry in Cleveland, Ohio. Wife Lucinda Reed, born in Ohio, June 21, 1850, died August 31, 1899, and sons Daniel, born May, 1870 and Herbert, born in October, 1872. Both sons joined him in the management of Kilby Manufacturing. Kilby Manufacturing Company constructed more beet sugar factories in Michigan than any other manufacturer, 9 of the 24 factories constructed in Michigan. They were:
Essexville 1899, Alma 1900,Mount Clemens 1901,Lansing 1901, Carrollton 1902, Saginaw 1902, East Tawas 1903, Menominee 1903, Owosso 1903
Kirk, Merton (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Assistant Superintendent, Carrollton factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Arrived in the United States from Holland in 1899 and after serving three campaigns at West Bay City Sugar Company accepted a position as Assistant Chemist to Karl Rueben at German-American Sugar Company in Bay City. Later, he transferred to a beet factory in Binghamton, New York and still later, moved on to the cane sugar estates located in the tropics.
Kohn, Joseph (1858-1910)
Educated at the Prague Institute of Technology. Graduated in 1883 with degrees in mechanical and chemical engineering. Following his schooling he was employed at Breitfeld-Danek of Prague. Later he gained experience by serving as a chemical engineer with Carl Steffen at the Moravia sugar factory and also worked with the evaporator designer, Hugo Jelenik. Kohn established the Kilby standard factory arrangement. He was responsible for the “Goller” style of beet cutter. The 100-inch disc with 16 knife boxes of one 17-1/4 cutting edge each and operating at 38 rpm was rated at 700 tons per day.
Joseph Kohn was the general superintendent of the Owosso Sugar Company and served as a consultant to the directors of German-American Sugar Company in 1902.
Arrived from Bohemia, Germany in 1900 to work in Michigan Sugar Company’s Bay City Factory, possibly as a chemist. In 1902 he served the Detroit Sugar Company in Rochester, Michigan and in 1903 accepted the Superintendent’s position at a new factory in Charlevoix, Michigan.
Engineer Croswell Sugar Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Ladd, Wesley (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Engineer Caro factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Lang, John (Sugar John) (-1950)
He was born on a Bay County farm near the site where German-American Sugar Company would build a sugar beet factory. At age 16 he gained employment with the construction crew and then became employed in the factory. He was appointed assistant engineer in 1920 and Chief Engineer in 1930. In 1950, on the second day of the campaign, he fell from a temporary catwalk and suffered an injury that ended his life.
He began his career in the sugar industry as a storekeeper at Michigan Sugar Company’s Essexville, Michigan factory in 1898. In 1899 he advanced to the laboratory. During the off season, he attended the Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). In 1903 he was appointed chemist of the day shift at German-American Sugar Company in Bay City and in 1906 became the Chief Chemist a position he held until 1921 when he set aside his career in Michigan’s sugar industry to take up the retailing of footwear. His company, LaPorte Shoes, continues in existence to the current period.
Larrowe, James (-December 1943)
James Larrowe joined his father at an early age in the milling business. In 1891, he was superintendent and treasurer of Larrowe Milling Company in Cohocton, New York. Later he established himself in Michigan as a miller as well as a manufacturer of pulp drying equipment and eventually constructed beet sugar factories in partnership with Henry Vallez. President, Larrowe-Vallez Construction Company. He constructed and then owned a beet factory at Mason City, Iowa.
Leipprandt, C (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Assistant Superintendent, Sebewaing Sugar Factory, 1914, owned by Michigan Sugar Company
Lewis, George Felix
Construction Engineer, Bay City Sugar Company’s factory
Construction Engineer, Macomb Sugar Company’s Mt. Clemens factory in 1902
Construction Engineer, Menominee Sugar Company
Master Mechanic employed at a glucose plant in Rockford, Illinois in 1898.
Liken, John C
Co-founder of Sebewaing Sugar Company
Lindfors, Karl Ruben.
A pioneer chemist. He was first employed in the Michigan beet sugar industry by the German-American Sugar Company in 1902. He served a brief period at a new beet sugar factory in Charlevoix, Michigan before settling into hGeneral Chemist, Michigan Sugar Company,
Lindow, J. W.
Member of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory. 1898
Lyon, Lucius (1800-1851)
First grower of sugarbeets in Michigan. He attempted two processing campaigns beginning in 1839 during which he employed the system perfected in France under the direction of Count Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832). The factory constructed on his farm in White Pigeon, Michigan was designed to process five and one-half tons of beets per day. Unfortunately, Lyon did not have access to experienced technicians thus could do little more than produce a low-grade molasses from the boiled beets.
Lucius Lyon was born near Burlington, Vt., trained as a civil engineer, and in 1821 went to Michigan to survey public lands. The 1833 territorial Democratic convention elected Lyon its representative in Congress. He served in the state constitutional convention in 1835 and was elected the first United States senator from Michigan. Before he could take his seat, however, he had to work for the adjustment of the boundary with Ohio and the admission of Michigan to the Union. Largely by his efforts the upper peninsula was made a part of Michigan. Lyon did not seek reelection and refused nomination for governor. He did accept the appointment of surveyor general for Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan in 1845 and retained this office until 1850. Lyon owned extensive tracts of land in Michigan and Wisconsin. Throughout his life he was interested in a variety of internal improvements: Detroit water works; Galena, Ill., lead mines; the improvement of St. Joseph Harbor; silk culture, canals, railroads, and banks. He pioneered in sinking salt wells near Grand Rapids and in addition to raising sugar beets on one of his farms.
Mantey, William (1882-1966)
Entered the sugar industry as operations employee at the Alma Sugar Company in 1899 and from there went to the Caro Sugar Company owned by Michigan Sugar Company where he remained throughout his career. He served as an assistant superintendent. He was noted for energy and progressivness. (11 Aug 82- Nov 66 –SS#373-07-4862 per SS death index)
Assistant Superintendent, Blissfield sugar factory early 1930’s. Operated by Great Lakes Sugar Company during this period.
McCormick, George W (Sep 1879-1950)
First manager of Menominee Sugar Company, Menominee Michigan, 1903-1935. Born in Canada. Both parents born in Ireland. Graduate of Napanee College of Ontario, Canada. Began career as an insurance salesman in Kalamazoo. Later was district manager for Travelers Insurance Company in Bay City, Michigan. Helped Benjamin Boutell establish the Wallaceburg Sugar Company in Ontario and was then appointed general manager of the Menominee Sugar Company when that company was established in 1903. Wife, Anna, born in Indiana, 1876, son Morrison N, born 1906 and George M, born 1908.
McFarland, T. D.
Chief Chemist of Marine City Sugar Company in 1901,
McKinney, Ira (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III)
Superintendent Alma Sugar Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company – 1914-1917.
Superintendent Independent Sugar Company (formerly Marine City Sugar Company), 1918
First President of Marine City Sugar Company, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio
Montague, Charles (1847-1920)
Founder of Caro factory
Morley, George (1857-1935)
He was born in Painesville, Ohio on October 16, 1857 and arrived in Saginaw, Michigan at the age of 19 where he took employment as a teller at the Second National Bank which had opened in 1852. Twenty-four years later he would assume the presidency of that bank. He encouraged the founding of the beet sugar industry in Saginaw Valley. He was for many years vice-president and later president of Michigan Sugar Company and was its chairman at the time of his death in 1935.
Moxon, William TAssistant Chief Chemist, Marine City Sugar Company, 1901. Chief Chemist and Assistant Superintendent of Macomb Sugar Company, 1903
Superintendent of Mount Clemens factory, eight years 1906-1913. He retired in 1913.
Murphy, Edward (Red)
Master Mechanic German-American Sugar Company.
Musy, Alfred (1851-1916)
Alfred Musy was the operator of a sugar beet factory in Rochester, Michigan, a factory that experienced of life span of only five years. Alfred Musy was the manager in one of those years, 1902. Born in France. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in France. Following a brief career in the French army he joined his father in the sugar manufacturing business in Abscon in Northern France. After he mastered the technology of a beet sugar factory he accepted a variety of positions that took him to South America, the West Indies, Quebec, and the United States. In America, Alfred Musy installed a beet sugar factory in New Mexico on the behalf of a brewery and in 1899 constructed a factory at Waverly, Iowa. In this endeavor, he partnered with Emil Salich, a friend from France who would also make a mark in Michigan beet sugar history. Musy wrote prolifically about sugar manufacturing techniques. He was noted to be a man of imposing stature and exceptional dignity. His ambitions matched his stature.
In 1901, in a period when a beet factory rarely exceed a processing capacity of 500 tons per day, Musy proposed the construction of a factory that would have a capacity of 5,000 tons per day. The proposed factory would become situated in Chicago and receive its beet supply from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. He proposed the installation of cutting stations at strategic locations from which beet juice would be extracted and pumped through pipe lines to the Chicago factory. He envisioned beets growing on sixty-thousand acres from which 500,000 tons of beets would be harvested and the production of 110, 000,000 pounds of sugar annually. Musy expected to capitalize the operation at $3,500,000. Within a few months it became clear that his ideas lacked appeal to capitalists. He set aside the scheme and proceeded to Rochester, Michigan where he took command of a factory that had been built in an area where farmers showed little enthusiasm for growing beets. A year later he was involved in the design of a new factory scheduled for construction in Charlevoix, Michigan. His Michigan experience ended after Charlevoix.
He spent the balance of his career in sugar related enterprises in Europe, Mexico and the United States. He died in Montreal in 1916, leaving behind a wife of a few months and five children from a previous marriage.
Neering, Thomas (1890-1958)
He was born September 19, 1890 in Essexville, Michigan. Joined Columbia Sugar Company in 1924 as a chemist at the company’s Mount Pleasant factory. He became plant foreman in 1928. In 1933, after the Mount Clemens factory came under the control of Monitor Sugar Company via its Northeastern Sugar Company, he was appointed Superintendent. Later, in 1941, he became Assistant Superintendent at the Monitor Sugar Company, and Superintendent in 1949. He retired in 1953.
Nellett, Charles Henry (1877-1954)
Charles H. Nellett was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on July 1, 1877. On October 20, 1896 he married Lulu Elizabeth Manning of Capac, Michigan She had been born on May 27, 1879. The couple became the parents of five children, George, Charles, Lulu, Floyd, and Ralph. He died on May 29, 1954 in Philadelphia.
He was master mechanic for West Bay City Sugar Company during its first campaign which began on January 5, 1900. He left for a time to work as a member of crews involved with the construction of other beet sugar factories. He traveled to Kalamazoo for that purpose. The project manager at Kalamazoo, to Nellett’s chagrin, lacked experience. The project was in serious disarray, a condition that was reflected in the temperament of the work crew. A pipe fitter heaved a wrench at Nellett and had it returned with interest. Nellett then departed Kalamazoo headed for Rochester, Michigan where he appeared in September 1900 to assist in the construction of a beet factory for the newly styled, Detroit Sugar Company. Just in time, as it turned out, because a mechanic had dropped a section of pipe into the valve gear of one of the Corliss engines (Corliss engines served as the heart of most beet factories in early 1900’s.) The factory’s master mechanic took on the chore of effecting repairs but surrendered after he estimated his skill was inadequate for the assignment. Charley Nellett leapt to the task and produced satisfactory results in quick order. His reputation as a quick-thinking and resourceful mechanic continued unabated. His enterprise was demonstrated at West Bay City Sugar Company on a balmy day early in 1904. The supply of beets received from the farmers had become exhausted. It was time to shut down the factory. The company head, Mendal J. Bialy, ordered Nellett to lay off the mechanics, which he did. By nine p.m. the temperature had fallen to the point that there was considerable risk that the factory pipes would freeze. If they did, the damage would be considerable. Without asking for permission to return the workmen, Nellett rounded up his crew and set them to work draining, hoses, pipes, and engines. Lines 2-1/2 inches and greater were disconnected with the aid of wrenches. In the case of smaller lines, of which there were hundreds, Nellett directed that the fittings be loosened with the aid of a hammer. By morning, the ground floor, the final destination of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of free-flowing water, resembled a skating rink, but the factory’s piping system had been saved. Despite the cost, Mendal Bialy applauded the fast thinking Superintendent.
The practice of sugar beet factory managers in the early part of the nineteenth century was to lay off employees at the end of a processing season (or “campaign” in the parlance of the beet sugar industry). Accordingly, Nellett, despite the value he demonstrated, was laid off at the end of the campaign. Possibly, the decision to lay him off was fostered by another incident that accrued less to his credit than had the episode concerning the freezing pipes. In order to maintain warmth for a few days to accommodate the pipes that were still draining, one of the boilers was fired under a pressure of 15 pounds. A watchman had been given temporary duty as a fireman. Charley Nellett had been charged with instructing him in the duties of a watchman. He instructed him to prepare the boiler by laying wood on the grates and wait for further instructions. When Charley returned, the novice fireman had a fire going though there was no water in the boiler. The damage was not great, but in the penurious operation guided by Mendal Bialy, even small losses were give the importance of major reverses. Blame was attached to Charley Nellett.
He next reported to the Lansing factory, headed at the time by Joseph Kohn. Kohn was held in higher regard by investors and those who encountered him than he was by the everyday worker where he was considered a meddler. He was a former officer in the Austrian Cavalry, had a commanding presence and could play the violin with remarkable skill. He was also a fine horseman. He was considered the catch of the day by the young women in Bay City until he married a young woman from his homeland who matched his skill with the violin. When touring through the factories he managed, he had a habit of turning valves without bothering to inform the station operators. Generally, a few hours after he passed through the factory, it no longer was running well. Well, Charley Nellett had someone follow Kohn who was assigned the task of removing each valve he meddled with. The station operator was given a Stilson wrench to use in its stead. Kohn later demanded an explanation and exploded when Charley told him why he had the valves made immune to his trespass. Nellett was not fired, however. Charley Nellett bought 10 pounds of Ungentine, the entire supply of Lansing at the time, in case any of his men became burned. Not long after, while four men were inside a pan (a tank where sugar crystals are grown under vacuum and operated by steam pressure) someone turned a valve and the four were scalded. All of the 10 pounds was spread on the faces and hands of the four men. The doctor was summoned. When he arrived, he used his finger to collect the small amount remaining in the bottom of the cane. He explained he needed it for a small boy who had suffered a burn when his shirt came ignited from a kerosene stove. The boy's life had been saved when an older brother smothered the flames with a rug. The boy's name was Charles Nellett, Jr . The next year Charles Nellett appears in Kitchener, Ontario for the 1906 campaign. The account reports that he left the sugar business and went to Cincinnati where found work in the chemical construction business. He returned to sugar for a brief period in 1920 at the Henderson Refinery in New Orleans. As for Charles Nellett, Junior, when he attained adulthood he went on to become the Superintendent of the Philadelphia Refining Company.
North, Donald O (1901-1970)
He was born August 15, 1901 in Bay City, Michigan. At age 17 he became attached to the laboratory at German-American Sugar Company as a sweeper. He applied himself to acquiring the skills necessary to become a chemist in a sugar beet factory. In 1924 he was appointed assistant chief chemist. In 1928 and again in 1930 he served as general foreman at Columbia Sugar Company’s Mount Pleasant factory, both times returning to the base company that became Monitor Sugar Company in 1932. In 1953 he was appointed Assistant Superintendent for the Monitor Sugar Company. On February 4, 1960, The American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists awarded him a certificate for 40 years of service to the industry.
Another abiding interest for Donald North was poetry. His subject matter was the sugar factory. He recorded in metric verse, significant events, comedies, dramas, tragedies and the idiosyncrasies of his fellow sugar craftsmen. His poems appeared frequently in the local press and from time to time was set to music and broadcast on local radio stations.
Olsen, Van Roger (May 25, 1933-December 25, 2008)
Van Roger Olsen, was born in May 25, 1933 in Sanish, North Dakota and grew up in Sidney, Montana. He is the former president of the U.S. Beet Sugar Association. As a representative of the sugar industry for 25 years, Van Olsen influenced legislation to support domestic producers. He was chairman of the American Sugar Alliance in 1992, president of the New York Sugar Club in 1995 and in 2001 received the Dyer Memorial Award as Sugar Man of the Year. He served in the Army from 1954 to 1955 as a food inspector in Hawaii, then graduated from the University of Montana. Early in his career, Van Olsen focused on political campaigns and state ballot referendum measures in North Dakota. In 1965, he became chief of staff to Rep. Mark Andrews (R-N.D.) and helped run several successful congressional election campaigns.
In 1975, he joined the U.S. Beet Sugar Association, where he represented the nation's beet sugar industry before Congress and on international trade matters. As an appointee to the federal Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee, he helped negotiate several international trade agreements. Mr. Olsen was a golfer and crossword puzzle enthusiast. He was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Bethesda and was a founding member of a nonprofit corporation operating a halfway house for recovering mental patients. Survivors include his wife, Myrna Olsen of Rockville; three children, Matthew Olsen of Rockville, Jennifer Olsen of San Francisco and Susan Olsen of Los Angeles; two sisters; and five grandchildren.
Superintendent of Bay City factory of Michigan Sugar Company beginning in 1929. He would be the last superintendent of the factory that was destined to close in 1933. It was idle in 1931 but was reopened by Monitor Sugar Company under lease in 1932.
Ortmann, Charles L. (1848-1923)
Charles Ortmann served as the mayor of East Saginaw in 1872. He was a dealer in pine and farm lands. In 1869, he received a bushel of sugarbeet seed from the immigration commissioner who was touring Germany. He distributed the seed but received no response from the farmers. Fifteen years later, Joseph Seeman returned from a trip to Germany with a supply of seed and literature which he distributed among the farmers.
Rowley, FRED N.Director, Kalamazoo Sugar Company. Elected March 11, 1899
PALMER, Lowell Melvile
Lowell Melville Palmer of New York, president of the Brooklyn Cooperage Co., came to this area in 1897 to buy timberland for the purpose of using the trees to manufacture staves and other wood products. According to research done by the late James Mottram of Poplar Bluff, the American Sugar Co., to ship sugar needed thousands of wooden barrels a years. Eastern timberlands were depleted and southeast Missouri presented great forests for the company to harvest.
Parker, E. H.
Peffer, Elwood (1875-1902)
Elwood Peffer was born in Kansas in 1872, the son of the honorable William Alfred Peffer and Sarah Jane Barber. He was the Assistant Superintendent of the Bay City Sugar Company about 1901. Previously was Superintendent of a sugar factory in Rome, New York after learning the sugar craft at Chino, California. In 1897 he published a handbook for sugar factory operators. He died at the age of 27 after serving the Bay City Sugar Company for one year. (Sugar Tramp-1954, page 43)
Penoyar, Frank C
Assistant Manager, Saginaw Sugar Company, 1901. He was the son of William V. Penoyar (see below).
Penoyar, William V (1848-March 3, 1920)
President Saginaw Sugar Company, 1901. Wife Antoinette, born 1852, daughter, Florence, born October 4, 1888 in Au Sable, Michigan, died January 27, 1974, married Walter Beeson, born 1880 in Detroit, died in 1932 and who worked as a clerk in 1900.
General Manager and Superintendent of Columbia Sugar Company’s Paulding, Ohio factory (1912-1929) and then held a similar position with the Isabella Sugar Company in Mount Pleasant, Michigan (1932-1949).
Was the chemist on the day shift for the 1902 campaign at German-American Sugar Company.
Pitcairn, John (January 19, 1841-July 22, 1916)
Major founding shareholder Owosso Sugar Company. Was chairman of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. Born in Johnstone, Scotland. Father, John Pitcairn, born 1804, mother, Agnes, born 1804. Father was a machinist. Siblings, Catharine, 1824, Lennett, 1832, Robert, 1836, Margaret 1839. Immigrated to America in 1846 with family. Married Gertrude Starkey Jan 8, 1884. Sons Raymond b. 1885, Theodore, 1894, Harold, 1898, daughter Vera born 1887. Gertrude died March 27, 1898.
Pitcairn, Edward (1866-1939)
First comptroller of Owosso Sugar Company. A nephew of John Pitcairn. Became Treasurer of Pittsburgh Plate Glass.
Pfund, Oscar J (1898-1984)
Employed at Monitor Sugar company from 1915 until his retirement in 1964, lastly serving as the factory Superintendent.
Superintendent, Mount Clemens factory, six years, 1926-1932. Arrived in the United States from Bohemia in 1904 to work in the Owosso sugar factory. Noted for developing a patented process for refining raw cane sugar in a sugar beet factory. The process began with mixing raw cane sugar into beet molasses and then by successive boilings in a vacuum pan and the addition of water, he progressed to white sugar.
Reed, William B (1882-1959)
He was born April 6, 1882 in Peppin County, Wisconsin. He moved to Bay City, Michigan when he was eighteen years old. He joined the then new firm of Robert Gage Coal Company, a company that would found the Monitor Sugar Company in 1932 after taking over the failed Columbia Sugar Company. He served Robert Gage Coal as the company’s purchasing manager. Later, he became secretary of Republic Fuel Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monitor Sugar Company. In 1932, he was appointed Purchasing Agent for Monitor Sugar Company and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1950.
Richter, Clyde (1901-1984)
He was born October 30, 1901. At the age of 17 he began a career in the sugar beet processing industry that would span 66 years. He worked first for the Holland-St. Louis beet factory, rising to Superintendent. The factory closed in 1955. From there he went to Buckeye Sugar Company in Ottawa, Ohio where he remained until 1962 when he retired for the first time. After a five-month absence from the beet industry, he joined Monitor Sugar Company as an assistant engineer, a position he held until his second and final retirement in 1983. He was a second-generation member of the beet industry. His father, Edward, served the beet industry as did his brothers Donald, Howard and Aaron.
Roeske, Edwin C. Jr. (1909-1985)
He was born October 10, 1909 in Bay City, Michigan. He joined Monitor Sugar Company in 1932 and served in several capacities, rising to Beet End Foreman and later to factory Superintendent, a position he held until his retirement in 1972.
Ross, John C (1869-1929)
He was, for thirteen years (1916-1929) the President of Columbia Sugar Company the forerunner to Monitor Sugar Company. Previously (since 1901) he had served as the vice-president. He was born in Bay City on May 19, 1869. After acquiring an education in Bay City schools he joined his father in the lumber business named William Ross and son. After his father’s death in 1898 he formed a partnership with Norris Wentworth. The pair operated one of the few lumber mills to survive the end of the Saginaw Valley lumber era. He was also President of Lewis Manufacturing Company, and a vice-president of Bay City Bank and the Northern Title and Trust Company, and secretary of Jay Thompson and Company. He was instrumental, along with Justin Wentworth, E. Wilson Cressey, and Henry Vallez, in constructing sugar factories in Paulding, Ohio, and Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He resided in one of Center Avenue’s stately homes with his wife, Margaret Keith Ross and their four children.
Salich, Emil -
Erected the Grand Island Sugar Company for Oxnard in 1890
Erected the Norfolk sugar factory for Oxnard in 1891
Erected the Eddy, New Mexico sugar factory in 1896
Erected the Essexville sugar factory for Michigan Sugar Company in 1898
Erected Waverly, Washington factory, 1899
Construction Engineer for Macomb Sugar Company’s Mount Clemens factory. 1902
Factory Superintendent, Bay City Sugar Company. During its first campaign, factory performance was so poor that thought was given to condemning the factory. Benno Sandmann who then working for Belle Alliance, a cane refinery in Louisiana, was asked to show the crew how to run the factory (1899). In 1901 he instituted operation of the Saginaw factory and then later the Lansing, Michigan factory before moving on to Kitchener, Ontario (1907) and then Janesville, Wisconsin (1909). From 1911 to 1917 he served as white sugar expert for the Godchaux cane refinery at Reserve, Louisiana. He promoted various processes for making white sugar, including the use of phosphate. He became a prolific writer on cane sugar production. Sandmann’s distinguishing facial features were saber scars, which he achieved in his college in Germany. (Sugar Tramp-1954, page 42)
Sauber, William. H. (July 16, 1848-1916)
Marine engineer, native of Prussia. His parents emigrated to the United States in 1852; lived in Detroit two years; then went to New Baltimore, where he was brought up and in 1873 came to Marine City, learned marine engineering; was engineer on the Mary Pringle for seven years, and since then engineer on the W. H. Gratwick. He owned an interest in the new steam barge Edward SMITH. Also owned one-twentieth interest in the Tonawanda Transportation Company, one-fourth interest in the barge Pindar, and Lots 5 and 6, block 51, Marine City. Engaged as an engineer on the Ed SMITH. In 1870, married Mary GOLDENBOGEN, a native of Germany, four children-Alvina, Louise, Mary, and Williaminna. 1900 – director of Marine City Sugar Company, 1902- Secretary-Treasurer and general manager. Was Mayor of Marine City, Michigan, 1900, died 1916. Daughter, Mrs. John Weng, 206 South Main Street, Marine City, Michigan (as of 1950).
Sheldon, Clarence (1894-1978)
He was Sales Manager for Monitor Sugar Company until his retirement in 1963. He was first employed by Monitor Sugar in 1934. He was related by marriage to Charles Coryell, the founder of Monitor Sugar Company.
Schwieren, Hans J. ( December 6,1935-July 24, 2005)
Hans J. Schwieren was born on December 6, 1935 in Elsdorf, Germany, the son of Johann and Katherina (Mertens) Schwieren. He married Evelin Paulick on February 2, 1959. The couple became the parents of three children, Bernd, Gabriele and Christina. He began his career in the sugar industry at a beet sugar factory in Elsdorf, Germany, where his grandfather, father, and brother also worked. From there he joined a manufacturer of sugar equipment and helped construct factories in Israel, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Pakistan, Venezuela, Mexico, Finland, Chile, and Canada. He entered the United States in 1964 to engage in the construction of a beet factory in Rupert, Idaho and made a permanent move to the United States in 1971. He was acknowledged by all who knew him as the most informed sugar manufacturing technologist they had ever encountered. He died July 24, 2005 in Bay City, Michigan.
Superintendent Croswell Sugar Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company - 1914
Schmitt, William F – 1876-
An engineer employed by James Larrowe, Secretary of Sebewaing Sugar Company, married Emma Bach, born 1883, son, Paul born 1904, Daughter, Hannah, born 1905, Elsa, born 1910. Was manager of the Sebewaing factory in 1906-1912. He joined Continental Sugar Company in 1912 as head of the agricultural department and remained active until after 1954.
Schmoedler, Paul He was the first of two foreman at West Bay Sugar Company after it was constructed in 1899.
Factory Superintendent for the second of five processing seasons for Detroit Sugar Company’s Rochester, Michigan beet factory. Previously had served the beet industry in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Scott, W. H.
Member of the Marine City Citizens Committee formed for the purpose of attracting investors to Marine City for the purpose of constructing a beet sugar factory.
Seeman, Joseph (1845-)
He promoted the idea of growing sugarbeets in Saginaw Valley. In 1884 he returned from a trip to Germany with a quantity of beet seed and literature which he distributed among the farmers, accompanied by much publicity in the press. His efforts were ceaseless. Five years later, in 1889, he returned to Germany for a second visit to learn first-hand about sugarbeets. From there he sent a supply to his partner, Charles H. Peters who in turn sent it on to Professor Robert Kedzie at Michigan Agricultural College (Later renamed Michigan State University). In experiments conducted by Professor Kedzie in Saginaw County it was determined that beets grown on sandy loam soil could produce beets varying from one pound three ounces to four pounds eleven ounces and that production could range from twelve to thirty-two tons to the acre.
Joseph Seeman was born in Goerkau, Bohemia on December 25, 1845. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1852. He was the founder of the Saginaw Evening News which produced its first issue on May 2, 1881.
He married Mary Pauline Sandmann on May 4, 1869. The couple bore no children.
Born September 2, 1865 in Diedorf, Saxony, Germany, he became an apprentice in a beet sugar factory. Arrived in US in 1891 and began working in a sugar factory in California. In 1903, he accepted a superintendent’s position at Crosswell Sugar Company where he remained for three years until 1906 when he returned to Caro where he remained for the balance of his career as that factory’s superintendent. Owned a 160 acre farm eight miles north of Caro in Columbia Township and was a director of Peoples State Bank of Caro. Fathered 13 children, two from his first wife Thressa Knapke whom he married in 1897 in California and who died in Bay City, Michigan in 1901. In 1903 at Leopold, Missouri, he married Marie Vandeven who became the mother of eleven children. Children’s names, Thressa (became Sister Florentine of Monroe), Mrs. J. A. Shevlin (Detroit), Carl, Jr. Clara, Joseph, Edmund, Harold, Bernard, Adolph, John, Frederick, Marie, and Elizabeth.
Smith, Carmen M (1858 – February 1920)
Headed the Owosso and Lansing sugar companies, formerly was Secretary-Treasurer of Michigan Chemical Company. Born in Iowa, parents born in Pennsylvania. Lawyer. Wife Isabella, born in Minnesota as were her parents and three of the family’s four children, Margaret, born 1892, Carmen, born 1893, Cedric, born 1895. Kenneth, born 1903, was born in Michigan.
Smith, Charles J
Co-founder, with his brother Peter C. Smith and Mendel J. Bialy, among others, of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1898.
Smith, Peter C.
Co-Founder, with his brother Charles J. Smith and Mendel J. Bialy, among others, of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1898. He was the father of Mary Smith, who married John M. Kelton. For several years, Captain Smith was in partnership with Captain Benjamin Boutell. The two men controlled more than fifty tugs employed in the rafting of logs from Canada to U.S. based saw mills. Peter C. Smith was also president of West Bay City Sugar Company.
Engineer, Alma Sugar Factory, owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914
Spies, Augustus (October 23, 1836-August 14, 1915)
Born in Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany situated on the east bank of the Rhine Germany, father Justus, born 1804, mother Dorothea Schaetzel, born 1907. Augustus had a twin, Gertrude, and sisters, Dorothy, born 1838, Christina born 1842, Mary 1844. Bertha 1848. Arrived in America December 13, 1850 at New York on Lebanon from Havre. Settled on a farm in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Bought a farm in Appleton, Wisconsin, sold it and moved to Menominee in 1866, where his entrance into the meat business was given a cool welcome. He returned to Appleton for a few years and then returned to Menominee. Founding shareholder of Menominee River Sugar Company, owned 7,500 of the original 82,500 shares issued. Was a butcher by occupation but invested his profits in the lumber industry, eventually owning a saw mill for processing white pine. He was an incorporator of the Stephenson National Bank of Marinette, Wisconsin, the First National Bank of Menominee, the Marinette and Menominee Paper Company and president of the Menominee Light, Railroad and Power Company. He served as mayor of Menominee for four years beginning in 1906. Married Gertrude Prinz born in February, 1837 in Guntersblum, Rheinhessen, Hessen, Germany, in 1860. Daughters Della, 1861, Bertha, 1866, Elizabeth, 1876, Harriet, 1872, Alice, 1874, and Nellie, 1878. Sons, Charles A, 1862, Frank, 1865, Arthur, 1880.
Credit for a portion of the foregoing is given to the 1962 Twin City Community Resources Workshop, section entitled Famous Leaders Who Helped Build Menominee, prepared by Irene Swain, Dr. Leo J. Alilunas, Director. 1874 – Isaac Stephenson, J.W.P. Lombard, Samuel Stephenson, Robert Stephenson, and Augustus Spies signed the charter creating the Stephenson Banking company the first bank in the area. The five gentlemen pooled a total of $25,000 to form the capital base of the bank. The bank opened for business at 1910 Hall Avenue, Marinette.
Spies, Frank (April 27, 1865-August 25, 1935)
Born in Wisconsin, son of Augustus Spies. Graduated University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was active in promoting the establishment of a sugar factory in Menominee. Business activity was primarily confined to that of a financier rather than a managing executive.
Appointed manager of Macomb Sugar Company, 1906
In 1899, was appointed foreman of the West Bay City Sugar Company for its first campaign. He had originally come from the beet sugar factory located in Chino, California where he had gained experience first as a member of the construction crew for that factory and later as an factory operator. After two years of service, he accepted the job of Superintendent of the Binghampton, New York beet sugar factory and one year of service accepted a similar position in Eaton, Colorado. Mendal Chron, the chief chemist for West Bay Sugar Company, described Leo Stephen as, “the most mild mannered of men.”
Stephenson, Samuel Merit (December 23, 1831-July 31, 1907)
Wife, Jennie, born 1842 in Wales as were her parents, daughters Emma, 1865, Elizabeth, 1867, Nellie, 1869, Clara 1874, Son Edward, born 1861. His father was born in Ireland, mother in England. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1850, Jennie, in 1851. Married in 1859. President of Menominee River Sugar Company. 1902. (first president)New Brunswick, December 23, 1831. Brother of Isaac Stephenson. Republican. Member of Michigan state house of representatives from Delta District, 1877-78; member of Michigan state senate 31st District, 1879-80, 1885-86; Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1880; delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1880 (alternate), 1884; U.S. Representative from Michigan, 1889-97 (11th District 1889-93, 12th District 1893-97). Died in Menominee, Menominee County, Mich., July 31, 1907. Interment at Riverside Cemetery, Menominee, Mich. His brother, Isaac, born in 1829, served as a U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin’s 9th District, 1883-1889 and a member of the U.S. senate from 1907-1915. The following entry appears in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present
STEWART, Nathaniel H
Lawyer, involved in founding the Kalamazoo Sugar Company. U.S. Congressman Michigan’s 10th District, elected 1910.
Supervisor, Mount Clemens sugar factory -1925. Was present when the factory was expanded to 1,000 ton capacity.
Strait, William M
Began working for the Macomb Sugar Company in 1906 as a field man. Advanced to auditor, then manager under James Davidson. Retired from the company in 1932. Also was mayor of Mount Clemens for eight years.
Sutherland, William (August 22, 1861- December 21, 1928
He was born August 22, 1861 in Michigan City, Ind., a son of George L. S. and Marcia Sutherland. When a young man he moved to Bay City and was married there December 24, 1883, to Miss Bertha C. Spears. She was a step-sister to Amelia Duttlinger who became the wife of Captain Benjamin Boutell, noted ship owner and founder of a number of beet sugar factories in Michigan, Colorado and Canada. William Sutherland was employed as a master mechanic in several sugar factories, specifically Carrollton, Caro and the Saginaw factory. He was also engaged in other Boutell enterprises, the Marine Iron Company and the Boutell Steel Barge Company. He was a member of Joppa Lodge No. 315, F.& A. M, of Bay City, Bay city Consistory. Bay City Chapter No. 59, R. A.
M. Bay City Commander of Knights Templar, and Elf Khrafeh Shrine and Merlin Grotto. The couple had a daughter, Amelia. Interred Forrest Lawn Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan.
Obituary: (Sources not identified- received from Charlene Reese, a Boutell descendant)“William F. Sutherland, 67 died Friday at his home, 2438 North Michigan
Avenue. He was born August 22, 1861 in Michigan City, Ind., a son of George L. S. and Marcia Sutherland. When a young man he came to Bay City and was married there December 24, 1883, to Miss Bertha C. Spears. After marriage they lived in Bay City until 1908 during which time he was employed by the Marine Iron Co. and the Boutell Steel Barge Co. In 1911 they came to Saginaw. He was a member of Joppa Lodge No. 315, F.& A. M, of Bay City, Bay city Consistory. Bay City Chapter No. 59, R. A.
M. Bay City Commandery of Knights Templar, and Elf Khrafeh Shrine and Merlin Grotto. He leaves his widow and one daughter, Miss Amelia B. Sutherland and two sisters. Mrs. Russell Wallace, Oak Park, Ill., and Mrs R. S. Genet, San Diego, Calif. The funeral will take place at 2:30 p.m. Monday at his home and services will be under the auspices of Bay City Commandery Knights Templar. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.”
Served as master mechanic for Mount Clemens sugar factory 1942-1943. Resigned to accept a mechanic’s position with Mount Clemens Pottery Company.
Ulrich, Frank W (1892-1979)
Assistant Factory Superintendent at Monitor Sugar Company. He was born April 28, 1892in Michigan and died July 5, 1979.
Vallez, Henry - (1871-1964)
Henri Andre Vallez was born April 1, 1871 at Briastre, Department du Nord, France. He graduated in 1889 from Ecole Des Arts et Metiers at Chalons Sur Marne, Department Marne, France. Upon completing his education he immediately departed France and secured a position in the sugarbeet industry at the Alvarado Sugar Company in California where he served as a chemist. After he emigrated to the United States, he Americanized his name by changing his given name to “Henry”.
During the next several years he would become one of America’s most sought after sugarbeet factory managers and before the age of 30 would win appointment as a factory superintendent in four separate sugarbeet factories. The last and most enduring of his appointments was made by German-American Sugar Company, a company founded Bay City, Michigan during the early days of 1901 and continuing in existence one hundred years later under the name, Monitor Sugar Company. He maintained his association with the sugar factory as its superintendent until 1928 while at the same time installing any number of his own inventions in sugar factories throughout the United States.
In 1910, the firm in which he was a principal, Larowe-Vallez, constructed a beet sugar factory in Paulding, Ohio and in 1919 he completed construction of a sugar factory in Mount Pleasant, under his own name for Columbia Sugar Company, a successor company to the German-American Sugar Company, where construction had started in 1901 but faltered because of finances.
His inventions included a rotary filter, and an osmosis process for removing sugar from molasses. His most famous, however, was the invention of the Zeolite Process, which relied upon the principles of ion-exchange. To reach a satisfactory conclusion, he would apply ten years to the research and the cost of both his health and financial resources.
Sugar manufacturers had been dedicating themselves to the recovery of sugar from molasses since the construction of the world’s first sugarbeet factory. Henry Vallez had also applied himself to that effort and had installed his osmosis process in more than twenty factories. However, the amount returned in most cases was too little at too high a cost. His Zeolite Process returned more sugar at less cost (relative to the market price of sugar then in existence) thus found easy acceptance. His discovery of an economical process was expanded to more than seven sugar factories during the war. Post-war conditions allowed the manufacture of more sugar from conventional sources, thus the Zeolite Process slid into oblivion. His application of the principles of ion-exchange, however, remained a viable concept and today modern sugarbeet factories employ methods for recovering sugar from molasses that are based on the technology first employed by Henry Vallez.
In 1910, the firm in which he was a principal, Larowe-Vallez, constructed a beet sugar factory in Paulding, Ohio and in 1919 he completed construction of a sugar factory in Mount Pleasant, under his own name for Columbia Sugar Company, a successor company to the German-American Sugar Company, where construction had started in 1901 but faltered because of finances.
In 1946 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award-40 Year Veteran awarded by the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. In 1954, he was similarly recognized by the Farmers and Manufacturers Beet Sugar Association. The award said in part:
“WHEREAS, his achievements with respect to the Vallez rotary leaf filter, the use of paper pulp as a filter aid, “cold boiling” and ion-exchange coupled with his generous contribution to the education of sugar craftsmen assure him a permanent place in the history of beet sugar processing.”
Chemist – Alvarado Sugar Company, Alvarado, California
Chemist – Grand Island Sugar Company, Nebraska
Chemist –Lehi Sugar Company, Lehi, Utah
Superintendent – Lehi Sugar Company, Lehi, Utah
Superintendent – Eddy, New Mexico about 1897 Sugar Tramp-1954, pg. 37
Superintendent – Binghampton Sugar Company, Binghampton, New York
Superintendent – Michigan Sugar Company, 1899, Bay City, Michigan
Superintendent – German-American Sugar Company (renamed Columbia Sugar Company in 1916) Bay City, Michigan. 1902-1928
Construction Engineer – German-American Sugar Company’s Paulding, Ohio, beet sugar factory in 1910. Construction contract was awarded to Larrowe-Vallez Construction Company.
Construction Engineer- Columbia Sugar Company’s Mount Pleasant, Michigan factory in 1920.
President, Isabella Sugar Company, 1932 (formerly owned by Columbia Sugar Company)
Triple Osmosis system for removing sugar from molasses, about 1899. System installed in approximately 21 sugar beet factories.
Vallez paper pulp filtering system, first installed at Yonkers, New York
Vallez rotating leaf-filter
Pulp dryer (A popular addition to US industry and the initial product of the Larrow-Vallez construction Company.)
Was the first to employ the use of paper bags for sugar. Purpose was to overcome objections to the presence of burlap in sugar.
Developed concept of “Cold Boiling” whereby he heated the syrup from the centrifugals to melt the grain then introduced air to grow the crystals large enough to become separated from in the centrifugals. The process was widely adopted and remains in use.
Inventor of the Zeolite Process for recovering sugar from molasses, 1942, Isabella Sugar Company.
Sources for the foregoing includes correspondence from Henry Vallez to W. E. Kraybill, American Crystal Sugar Company, December 5, 1949 (acquired from Sue David of Bay City, Michigan) sundry United States Patent applications, Daniel Gutleben’s travel log, November 10-14, 1942, Daniel Gutleben’s Sugar Tramp-1954, and the Bay City Times, February 27, 1964.
Vandercook, Frank M Biographical Memoirs - JB Beers & Co., Chicago, IL 1906
Editor and publisher of the St. Louis Independent, of St. Louis, Michigan, was born June 27, 1853, in the village of Fulton, Fulton county, New York. When two years of age he was brought by his parents to Ingham county, Michigan, the family locating on a farm four miles north of Mason, where they resided until 1857, in that year removing to the city. When ten years of age Mr. Vandercook became the "devil," in the office of the Ingham County News, with which he remained until he finished his trade, attending school three years thereafter. On April 7, 1870, Mr. Vandercook was married to Elvira Near, and in February, 1877, removed with his family to St. Louis, Gratiot county, where his wife died April 7, 1884, leaving three daughters: Ethel, who became Mrs. Floyd Butler, of Wayne, Michigan; Maud, wife of Charles Vandenbergh, of St. Louis, Michigan; and Hattie, Mrs. S. J. Bole, superintendent of schools at Durand, Michigan. In May, 1885, Mr. Vandercook was married (second) to Miss Elsie Livingstone, of Saginaw.
In 1882-83 Mr. Vandercook held the office of clerk of Pine River Township, to which he was elected on the Republican ticket, a portion of the village of Alma, and the city of St. Louis, being then included in the township named. In 1889 and 1891 he was elected village clerk of St. Louis on the Republican ticket, and in 1894 was appointed by the mayor as the first member of the board of public works, for a term of five years, in 1899 being re-appointed for a like period. In 1891 he was elected member of the school board and has since served continuously. In 1896 he joined the Silver party, and was elected register of deeds of the county, being re-elected in 1898. In the latter election Mr. Vandercook received a majority of 339 votes in his home city, although the Republican party had an average majority of seventy-five votes.
In the newspaper business Mr. Vandercook's experience has been varied. Establishing the St. Louis Spy in 1878, he continued that publication but a few weeks, then establishing the St. Louis Leader, which he published until 1883, when it was sold to E. S. Hoskins. Mr. Vandercook then removed to Ithaca, and established the Ithaca Times, which he sold a year later, on account of the illness of his wife, and returned to St. Louis. In 1885 he founded the St. Louis Republican, a semi-weekly, which in 1889 was sold to a stock company and consolidated with the St. Louis Leader. In 1890 Mr. Vandercook again entered the newspaper field with the St. Louis Independent. In 1893 he established the first daily newspaper of St. Louis, which was published for three years, or until the election of its proprietor to the office of register of deeds.
Mr. Vandercook owned a one hundred and twenty-acre farm near the city of St. Louis, the care of which, in connection with the publication of his paper, engaged his time and attention. His residence was located on Washington avenue.
Van Loo, Walter
Assistant Superintendent, Mount Clemens sugar factory, 1942 – formerly with Holland Sugar Company. Returned to Holland Sugar Company after one year.
Born in France, Eli Vaupre began his career in the United States in 1891 shortly after arriving from his homeland. He had been engaged by Carion-Delmontte of Lille, France to assist in the construction of beet sugar factory for the Norfolk Sugar Company. As was the custom in that era, Vaupre stayed on as an operator of the factory he had helped construct. He remained there five years. Next, he joined the Pecos Valley Beet Sugar Company to participate in the construction of a beet factory to have a capacity of 200 tons of slice per day. Eli Vaupre’s French origins would serve him well because the company had purchased used equipment of French manufacture. The next year he was in Rome, New York where he was engaged by the New York Beet Sugar Company to affect the transfer of equipment from West Farnham, Quebec.
Superintendent Marine City Sugar Company, Marine City, Michigan.
Eli Vaupre was reputed to have, during business hours, a stern demeanor and in those cases where his orders had not been carefully followed, a fiery impatience. The founding of the beet sugar industry coincided with the demise of Michigan’s lumber era. For that reason, factories it became common practice to staff a beet sugar factory’s ranks with former lumberjacks. Often, the lumberjacks, disrespectful of authority and mean of temper, would cause physical harm to supervisors who didn’t measure up to their former masters, the lumber barons. Supervisors sometimes moved on, hoping to land a job at a factory staffed from sources other than Michigan’s disappearing forests. Eli Vaupre, who could display a temper that all but dwarfed their own, however, struck fear into the hearts of the lumberjacks. The behavior of lumberjacks in an Eli Vaupre managed factory was above reproach.
In 1909, Eli Vaupre accepted the position of Superintendent for the Charlevoix, Michigan factory. The factory was in its fourth year and not progressing well because of a combination of a low investment and lassitude for beets on the part of farmers. Vaupre’s service ended two years later when the owners decided to dismantle the factory and remove it from Michigan. He accompanied the equipment to Ottawa, Ohio where it was installed in a new factory. He operated that factory for two years before returning to Michigan where he operated a beet sugar factory in Holland, Michigan for another two years. Following his Holland experience he retired from the sugar industry in favor of soft drinks, a successful business he entered in Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo would become his permanent home until his death in 1928.
Reference: The Sugar Beet, January 12, 1901 and The Sugar Tramp-1954-Michigan by Daniel Gutleben.
Served as a superintendent at Michigan Sugar Company 1899-1900
With Alexander Zagelmeyer, founded the German-American Beet Sugar Company in 1901. Was its first superintendent.
Alois Volter's son. Engaged as an operator in a number of beet sugar factories.
Walker, Franklin H
Wallace, William Henry (September 17, 1861-July 29, 1933)
Son of Robert and Margaret Ellen (Deegan) Wallace. His father was a native of Armagh, Ireland, having emigrated to Canada in 1850 then to the United States, settling in Grindstone City where he owned and operated a grindstone manufacturing enterprise. William attended business school in Detroit, Michigan but gave up his studies to take a job on a Great Lakes lumber freighter after which he spent some time in a lumber camp. He then took employment as a salesman for his father’s grindstone business, a position that entailed much travel. After a time, he surrendered that position to become a school teacher in Port Austin, Michigan. During that period of his life, he studied the natural resources of the region, becoming aware of business opportunities in quarrying limestone. He then met William Webber of Saginaw who was managing the Jesse Hoyt estate and seeking new opportunities in Huron County. A common interest in Huron County business opportunities brought about a meeting between Webber and Wallace which led to the construction of Saginaw, Tuscola, & Huron Railway and the founding of a quarry near Bay Port.
William Henry Wallace was the Co-Founder of the Sebewaing Sugar Company, president of Michigan Sugar Company, co-founder and president of Wallace & Morley Company, co-founder and president of Bay Port Fish Company, co-founder and president of banks in Bay Port, Fairgrove, and Tawas, Michigan, a director and vice-president of the Second National Bank, Saginaw, member of the state board of agriculture appointed in 1909 and 1915, Chairman of the state Conservation Commission. He also served as a delegate to Republican National Conventions in 1908, 1916, and 1924. Married his first wife on September 17, 1883 to Francis Elizabeth Harding. Five children resulted from that marriage: Nellie (born 1885; married Walter P. Maner) Isabel (born 1886; married Ray P. Chatfield), Robert Nicholas (born 1887), Francis Elizabeth (born 1890), and William Henry Wallace, Junior (born 1893). Second wife was Margaret Ellen McIntyre of Huron City, Michigan, daughter of Donald McIntyre. Two children resulted from the second marriage: Ora Marie (born 1895; married John Walter Symons, Junior) and Catharine Margaret Wallace (born 1901; married Gordon Mackenzie Guilbert). Died as a result of a head injury resulting from an automobile accident which took place on July 25, 1933, two miles south of Sebewaing.
Wanless, Clayton (1870-1951)
He was born December 1, 1870 in Bay City, Michigan and died in that city on October 7, 1951. He was Chief Engineer Bay City Sugar Company, 1906 (Sugar Tramp-1954, page 44). Following that service, he was Chief Engineer Carrollton Sugar Factory owned by Michigan Sugar Company, 1914 (Sugar Tramp-1954 plate III) and Chief Engineer, Monitor Sugar Company 1933-1951. Also he served as Chief Engineer for the Mount Clemens sugar factory, 1934 (During this period the factory was leased by Monitor Sugar Company.)
Warren, Charles Beecher (April 10, 1870- February 3, 1936)
Born in Bay City, Bay County, Michigan April 10, 1870. Was a member of the Bering Sea Commission, 1897, serving under Judge Patnum, chief arbitrator, also on the commission were Robert Lansing and Don M. Dickinson. Republican. Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1908 (alternate), 1912 (alternate), 1916 (alternate), 1924, 1928, 1932; member of Republican National Committee from Michigan, 1912; President of the Detroit Board of Commerce, 1914-1916, colonel in the U.S. Army during World War I; U.S. Ambassador to Japan, June 29-1921-January 28, 1922, Mexico, 1924. During his second term, Calvin Coolidge made several changes in his Cabinet. Charles E. Hughes, secretary of state, left to serve in the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands and was replaced by Frank B. Kellogg. Dwight F. Davis was appointed secretary of war when John W. Weeks resigned. Coolidge tried to appoint sugar-beet magnate Charles B. Warren as attorney general, but the Senate voted against him twice. He was first nominated on January 10, 1925, then re-nominated on March 5, 1925 and rejected by the senate on March 10, 1925. He was nominated again on March 12, 1925 and rejected on March 16 by a vote of 46-39. When the Senate voted on the confirmation of Charles B. Warren as Attorney General in 1925, Dawes fell asleep. The vote was a tie. Vice President Dawes, had he been awake, would have cast the deciding vote, but, instead, ~ a major Presidential nominee went down to defeat for the first time in 60 years. Outside the Dawes' hotel, a ~ wag put up a sign: DAWES SLEPT HERE. The Senate, considering that Warren had been connected with the " Sugar Trust," rejected him, 41 to 39 . Not until 80 years later would an appointee to the attorney general post receive so few minority party votes in the senate. That occurred when Anthony Gonzales was confirmed to the post by a senate vote of 60-36 in April, 2005. He married Helen Hunt Wetmore (1873-1941), she was prominent in the Republican Party as was Charles. Children: Charles Beecher, Junior, 1906-1952, John Buhl Warren, May 4, 1914-August 15, 1957, Wetmore Warren November 17, 1903-Jan 20, 1920, Robert Warren, 1907-1960. Died in Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Mich., February 3, 1936. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, Mich. Warren, Mrs. Charles Beecher — of Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Mich. Republican. Member of Republican National Committee from Michigan, 1940. Female. Still living as of 1940.
Weadock, John C.
Partner in law firm with Thomas A. E. Weadock. Long term counselor to Consumers Power Company. The Karn/Weadock generating complex sits at the mouth of the Saginaw River along the Saginaw Bay shoreline in Hampton Township, Mich. The Weadock plant began generating electricity in 1940. He was company president from 1941-51 and director from 1934-38 and 1940-65. The Karn plant began serving Michigan customers in 1959 and is named for Dan E. Karn, a former company president (1951-60) and director (1933-67). Represented Michigan Sugar Company before Michigan State Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court in case that arose when the Michigan Auditor General refused to pay bounty amounts to Michigan Sugar Company resulting from the passage of Michigan’s Public Act 48, in 1897 which created a bounty of .01 per pound of white granulated sugar produced from sugarbeets in Michigan provided the farmer was paid $4.00 per ton of beets containing at least 12% sugar and bearing 90% purity. The case was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1900 and by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1902. Resided at 701. N. Hampton, Bay City, Michigan, 1902-03- Ref: R. L. Polk Directory.
WEADOCK, Thomas A. E. (1850-1938) Lawyer; born, Ireland, Jan. I, 1850; son of Lewis and Mary (Cullen) Weadock; came to America with parents, 1850; educated in district school in Ohio and St. Mary's Union School; married, 1874, Mary E. Tarsney, who died, 1889; again, in 1893, Nannie E. Curtiss. Studied law, was admitted to the bar and began practice at Bay City, Mich., 1874; has practiced in Detroit since 1895. Vice president Drake Law Book Co.; director Commercial Bank, Bay City. Served two years in Michigan Militia and was honorably discharged; prosecuting attorney two years; mayor Bay City, 1883-85; representative in Congress, Bay City, four years, 1891-95. Democrat; delegate-at-large Democratic National Convention, 1896. Member American Bar Association, Michigan State Bar Association, Detroit Bar Association. Roman Catholic. Club: Detroit. Recreations: Horseback riding and collection of books, especially those relating to Napoleon Bonaparte and Andrew Jackson. Office: Hammond Bldg. Residence: 53 Woodward Terrace. Foregoing from: THE BOOK OF DETROITERS, A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Detroit, Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, Chicago, A. N. Marquis & Company 1908 Pages 469 – 472, Copyright, 1908 by Albert Nelson Marquis. Represented Michigan Sugar Company before Michigan State Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court in case that arose when the Michigan Auditor General refused to pay bounty amounts to Michigan Sugar Company resulting from the passage of Michigan’s Public Act 48, in 1897 which created a bounty of .01 per pound of white granulated sugar produced from sugarbeets in Michigan provided the farmer was paid $4.00 per ton of beets containing at least 12% sugar and bearing 90% purity. The case was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1900 and by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1902. Resided at 2123 Center Avenue in 1902-1903, Bay City, Michigan – Ref: R. L. Polk Directory.
Superintendent Macomb Sugar Company, three years,1903-1905. Arrived from Stettin, Germany in 1902. In 1905 he resigned for a similar position at Wallaceburg, Ontario.
Superintendent, Michigan Sugar Company’s Essexville factory, 1901
Assistant Superintendent, German-American Sugar Company, 1902
Superintendent, Macomb Sugar Company, Mount Clemens, four years 1914-1917.
Superintendent at Blissfield sugar factory, 1945.
Completed the 1947 campaign at Blissfield on November 30, 1947, was stricken with illness on December 1, 1947 and retired.
Wentworth, George K (1842-Unknown)
He was a director of German-American Sugar Company (1904-1914) and the brother of Justin Wentworth who was president of German-American Sugar Company during the period 1907-1914. George Wentworth comes from one of America’s oldest families. His ancestor, William Wentworth is listed as one of the original members of the town of Exeter, New Hampshire, organized on October 4, 1639. Several other of his ancestors served as governor of New Hampshire and another, John Wentworth, served in Congress, representing a district in Illinois and served also, as mayor of Chicago.
He was born in Maine on October 28, 1842. At the age of 19 he enlisted in the army and served three years. Afterwards, he joined his brother Justin in the lumber business in Michigan. By 1869 he and Justin shared equal interest in a thriving lumber business. On June 10, 1878, he married Maggie Hamilton of Sanilac County. They had two children. George Wentworth opened an office for the firm in Chicago, Illinois while Justin opened a similar office in Bay City, Michigan. Eventually the partnership expanded to the ownership of timber lands throughout Michigan and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Alabama.
In addition to overseeing the lumber enterprise, George Wentworth was president of Portland Lumber Company, located in Oregon.
Wentworth, Justin (1834-1914)
Justin Wentworth is one of the founders of the company that became Monitor Sugar Company. He was an original bondholder. He was the fourth president of German-American Sugar Company (1907-1914) and was a director during the years 1901-1914.
He, along with John C. Ross, Henry Vallez, and E. Wilson Cressey, represented German-American Sugar Company in negotiations with the leaders of Paulding, Ohio that led to the construction of a modern sugar factory in that community in 1910.
Justin Wentworth came from one of America’s oldest families. His ancestor, William Wentworth is listed as one of the original members of the town of Exeter, New Hampshire, organized on October 4, 1639. Several other of his ancestors served as governor of New Hampshire and another, John Wentworth, served in Congress, representing a district in Illinois and served also, as mayor of Chicago.
He was born in Knox County, Maine near the town of Hope on March 7, 1834, the son of Leonard and Mary (Arnold) Wentworth.
On September 1, 1855, at the age of 21, Justin Wentworth proceeded to Tuscola County, Michigan where he worked for a monthly salary for four years. After saving a sufficient sum, he entered farming where he remained for five years before exchanging the small holding for a larger farm. He farming activity was in conjunction with other business interests. He had begun lumbering on his own account as early as 1860, doing an extensive business in buying and selling logs. In 1868 he formed a partnership with his brother, George, one that would last until his death 46 years later. Eventually the partnership expanded to the ownership of timber lands throughout Michigan and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Alabama.
Justin Wentworth was married twice. The first marriage, to Sophronia Merrill (1841-1876) of Brewer, Maine resulted in the birth of four sons, George, William, Norris and Lloyd. George died at the age of 20 of consumption. Sophronia died of consumption, as well. She was originally buried in Millington, Michigan but was moved to Riverside Cemetery in 1880 upon George’s death when a family plot was purchased in Section I of that cemetery. William died also at about 20. Justin and his son, Harold, also secured another plot consisting of five gravesites, two of which are in use but lack headstones. Sexton records list the remains as those of Elmira Root (1843-1869) and Eliza Dacy (1826-1895).
Norris Wentworth followed his father into the lumber business by joining John C. Ross to form the partnership of Ross & Wentworth. Lloyd became the Vice-President and General Manger of Portland Lumber Company in Oregon. George and William did not survive past the age of 21. His second marriage was to Susie L. Teller of Vassar. Two children resulted from the second marriage, Hazel and Harold.
Justin Wentworth died on August 31, 1914, kidney ailment.
R. L. POLK & CO.’S, BAY CITY DIRECTORY 1902-1903
Bay City Bank-Crapo Block. Organized 1871. Capital and surplus, $200,000; undivided profits $35,000.George H. YOUNG, Pres.; Justin WENTWORTH, Vice Pres.; Harry C. MOULTHROP, Cashier.
Bay County Savings Bank-202 Phoenix Block. Incorporated 1884. Capital, 50,000; surplus, $25,000; Thomas CRANAGE, Pres.; G.H. SHEARER, Vice Pres.; John MULHOLLAND, Treas.
From: Bay County, Michigan Dibean Marriage Index 9 :
WENTWORTH,JUSTIN - WENTWORTH,TELLER,SUSAN M TELLER,BAY,,27 AUG 1884
Wentworth, Norris (1867-1938)
The son of Justin Wentworth, an early president of the German-American Sugar Company (formed in 1901) (later named the Columbia Sugar Company (1917) and then later the Monitor Sugar Company (1932)). Norris was made a director of the German-American Sugar Company in 1917. Served as director, 1909-1931 and vice-president, 1917-1924. Also a principal in the lumber firm of Ross and Wentworth (partner was John C. Ross who also served as president of Columbia Sugar Company (1916-1929)).
Norris married Martha Agnew of Grand Rapids. Two children, John and Lloyd J.
He served as President of the YMCA and was a 32nd Degree Mason. He also was a charter member of the original Bay City Exchange and was elected city commissioner in 1926 where he served three terms. He died of a heart attack at his home 809 N. Farragut Street, Bay City, Michigan in 1938. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Vassar, Michigan along side his wife and other family members.
Wertenbruch,An engineer employed by James Larrowe
Wheeler, Frank W
He was a shipbuilder under the style, Frank W. Wheeler, shipbuilders. He became one of the founders of West Bay City Sugar Company in 1898.
Detroit Tribune - June 7, 1886
Ship-building at Bay City.
The Men Who Have Followed It and the Vessels Put Afloat.
Frank W. Wheeler has also come up to his present standing from a small beginning, and has climbed the ladder from a sort of chore-boy in his father's yard.
In 1876 Mr. Wheeler removed to Bay City and launched out on his own account with a sectional dry-dock, which was located on the west side of the river, just north of the present free bridge. His work at the time was principally repairing, but during the year he built his first two boats, the Luther Westover and Mary Martini. He continued the business of repairing and building small craft up to the year 1880, when he turned over to his father the repairing business and devoted his whole time and attention to building new boats, and during his operations has put afloat the following list of vessels:
Year Name. Cap. Cost.
1876 Steamer Mary Martini 80 $ 6,500
1876 Steamer Westover 150 12,000
1878 Steamer Christie Forbes 60 5,000
1879 Tug Marion Teller 30 4,000
1879 Barge Hannah B 120 6,000
1880 Propeller Lycoming 1,850 100,000
1880 Propeller Conemaugh 1,850 100,000
1880 Tug C. W. Liken 30 6,000
1880 Tug C. Cuyler 40 7,000
1881 Propeller Saginaw Valley 700 60,000
1881 Steam barge Fred McBrier 700 50,000
1881 Tug Maud S 60 7,000
1882 Schooner Galatea 1,100 30,000
1882 Propeller Osceola 1,000 60,000
1882 Tug Handy Boy 30 5,000
1883 Propeller Kittie M. Forbes 1,300 70,000
1883 Tug Sarah Smith 60 7,000
1884 Schooner Alta 1,600 40,000
1884 Schooner F. W. Wheeler 1,400 35,000
1884 Propeller W. A. Avery 1,900 100,000
1884 Tug Tempest 30 4,000
1885 Steam barge T. S. Christie 700 45,000
1885 Steam barge A. Folsom 1,000 60,000
1885 Steam barge B. W. Arnold 1,400 70,000
1886 Schooner H. A. Hawgood 2,300 60,000
1886 Propeller Ossifrage 240 25,000
NOW ON THE STOCKS (14)
Propeller for Ward's Lake Superior Line 1,500 90,000
Steam barge for Bay City & Cleveland transportation company 1,000 60,000
Schooner for Capt. William Forbes 2,300 60,000
It will be perceived that during the year 1886 he has completed and now on the stocks five vessels, four of which are of mammoth proportions, the five costing $295,000. The Ossifrage is a passenger propeller built on his own account, running between Alpena and Black River.
Williams, Edward Y.
One of the founding members of Michigan Sugar Company in 1897. With Thomas Cranage, he toured Nebraska, California and Utah. The two prepared a report that resulted in the founding of Michigan Sugar Company in December, 1897.
Wolf, Frederick W Sugar Tramp-1954 page 31
Indentured as blacksmith in his hometown in Germany. Matriculated at the Polytechnicum for a four-year term, graduating in 1859. He then joined a sugar machinery construction company located in Magdeburger, Germany. In 1867 he immigrated to the United States, settling in Chicago where he took a job in a company that manufactured brewery equipment. He eventually became the company’s owner and then in 1897 expanded the operation to include sugar equipment.
Wolf, Jacob. V.
Chief Chemist Detroit Sugar Company located at Rochester, Michigan. Joined faculty of Michigan State College in 1900 where he lectured on then evolving beet sugar technology. He was appointed assistant
First Superintendent of Mount Clemens Sugar Company, one year, 1902.
Woodrow, W. S.
Agriculturist for the Detroit Sugar Company’s Rochester, Michigan beet sugar factory in 1903.
Founder of Alma Sugar Company, also listed among first farmers of Michigan Sugar Company even though he was a wealthy industrialist who resided in the city of Saginaw.
Young, Walter D (1855-1916)
He was the president of German-American Sugar Company (renamed Columbia Sugar Company in 1916 and renamed again in 1932 to Monitor Sugar Company).
Walter D. Young was born on September 25, 1855 in Albany, New York and moved to Michigan in 1870 with his parents and three brothers. The purpose of the family’s move to Michigan was to allow his father, George, to found the Bay City Bank which he managed as its president until his death in 1890. –Bay County History -
He began his career as a clerk in his father’s bank, a position that led him eventually to the presidency of the Bay City Brewing Company and leadership posts in a number of Bay City industries including, coal, ice, lumber and sugar. He founded the W.D. Young and Company and the Young Brothers Building Company and in so doing headed the largest hardwood manufacturing company in the United States.
Walter D. Young was twice married. In 1878, he married Florence E. Blanchett. The only issue of the marriage was Fannie Young who later settled in Oregon with her husband Dr. W. L. Bishop. The second marriage was to Elizabeth Ambrose of Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of pioneer lumberman, George H. Ambrose. Three children resulted from the second marriage, Walter D, Junior, Florence and Francis.
When the sugar beet industry was in its infancy, he was among the first to recognize that Bay City, Michigan held the potential for becoming the center of sugar beet production in the United States. He served as a director since the founding of German-American Sugar Company. He became the company’s vice-president in 1907 and served in that capacity until the death of the then existing president, Justin Wentworth, in 1914. He then assumed the presidency but held the post only a short while because he died suddenly of pneumonia on December 23, 1916. He was 61.
Zagelmeyer, Alexander (1858-Unknown)
Alexander Zagelmeyer inspired the founding of German-American Sugar Company. He was its first President. He and his brother, Frank Zagelmeyer, with the aid of Alois Volter, persuaded area farmers to form the first sugarbeet cooperative in the United States. The cooperative named, German-American Farmers Cooperative Beet Sugar Company. Within a short time, the company evolved into the German-American Sugar Company. In 1916, through a name change, it became Columbia Sugar Company and in 1932 was renamed, Monitor Sugar Company.
He was born October 28, 1858 in Saginaw, Michigan. He moved to West Bay City with his family while in boyhood. Following an education in West Bay City schools, he entered the lime business with his father. By the time he was 21, however, he was in the lake ice business with his brother, Frank. After meeting success, the two merged the company with the Young Brothers Bay County Ice Company. The amalgamation resulted in the largest ice plant in the State. The company handled forty thousands tons of ice per season and shipped it in barges and tugs in its ownership. The ice company’s main office was at the foot of Center Avenue in Bay city, a short walk from his deluxe, New York-styled apartment building. In addition, Zagelmeyer is also considered the father of Bay County coal industry (see History of Bay County-page 478), establishing the first coal mine in 1894.
He married Emma Brenner of Saginaw on April 3, 1881. They became the parents of four children, Alma, Eddie, Leona and Dorothy. For three years, Zagelmeyer was Supervisor of the Fifth Ward in Bay City. Previously, he had served two years as Comptroller of West Bay City and served one term as a member of the Michigan State Legislature (1889-90) and also served as the Treasurer of Bay County.
Zimmerman, C. A.
Superintendent of Marine City Sugar Company, 1901, resigned to accept a similar position at Michigan Sugar Company. Remained only two years – was considered critical of management for poor maintenance. Sugar Tramp-1954 pg. 37
Zitkowski, Herman (about 1878-died before 1954)
Was the superintendent of the Detroit Sugar Company in Rochester, Michigan. He began his career in 1894 as an errand boy for the factory superintendent at Norfolk, Nebraska. He developed beet acreage near Valpariso, Indiana, thus becoming the first beet grower in a region that subsequently, in 1912, supported a beet sugar factory in Decatur, Indiana. In 1899, he was employed in the laboratory at a beet sugar factory in Kalamazoo but surrendered the position to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry. He eventually joined American Sugar Crystal Company and was given responsibility for constructing a state of the art beet sugar factory in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1948. He was awarded a “forty-year” pin by the American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists in 1954, the third year in which such awards were given. He was listed as deceased.