Published Under the auspices of Muskegon Board of Trade 1892
Practically speaking, the town of Muskegon was unborn at the beginning of the late war. To be sure, a goodly number of mills had been started, and there was a nucleus, but no preconcerted attempt had been made to make a permanent town prior to that time. Early in 1861 the village was incorporated, and on July 8th the following officers elected: L. G. Mason, president; E. Potter, R. W. Morris, C. P. Bigelow and Thos Mills, trustees; Robt. McQueen, recorder; C. D. Nelson, treasurer; Luman Hamblin, marshal, and Henry H. Holt, attorney. The succession of presidents was S. B. Peck, 1862-3; Joseph H. Hackley, '64-6; E. W. Merrill, '67; Benj. L. Piper, 1868-9.
The population had increased to 6,002 in 1870, and March 7th, that year, a city government began. These figures had been nearly doubled when the census of 1880 was taken, and the showed 11,262 inhabitants. Notwithstanding this phenomenal growth, 1890 gave even a better showing, and 22,668 inhabitants were found in the city, giving an increase of over 100 per cent in ten years. Only fifteen cities in the United States having as great a population in 1880 as Muskegon doubled their population within the census decade ending 1890. Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn., and Denver, Col., have tripled to 30,000 in 1890. Some of these are boom cities of mushroom growth, and will probably not show more in 1900 than they did in 1880.
Muskegon's present population, including the suburban villages of Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon, Lake Harbor and other suburban surroundings, properly belonging to the development of this city, is about 30,000. As the timber is fast disappearing, her future permanency must largely depend upon diversified manufacturing, and with the end in view of promoting industrial pursuits this pamphlet has been compiled. Every page contains some information worthy of consideration, and the whole taken together, presents incontrovertible proof that, considering all conditions and material features, there is no better place in the wide world than Muskegon for general manufacturing, or for pleasant homes with healthful surroundings and superior educational adavantages up to a college course. Look at our geographical position near the center of the great lakes basin; consider our nearness to the homes of ten millions of people, the boundless supplies of raw material for the leading lines of manufacture at our command, our unsurpassed harbor and favorable position on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and then decide whether a superior location can be found in America.
The City Hall, headquarters for the municipal government, was completed in 1882 at a cost of about $25,000. It is a plain but commodious brick structure, fronting 66 feet on Clay avenue and extending 132 feet on Jefferson street. The city lockup occupies the basement. On the third floor, in addition to the principal city offices, headquarters for the police and fire departments are found. The second floor contains a large council chamber, convenient commitee rooms and offices for the surveyor and assessor.
Police Department,-Muskegon's police department is composed of 16 patrolmen, under charge of Chief Thomas Murphy, an old resident of the city, formerly conductor, and sunsequently division superintendent of the C. & W. M. R. R. Mr. Murphy, while acting as chief of police for five years past, has become well known to our people, and is held in respectful fear by transgressors of the law.
Fire Department.-Efficient protection from fire is an essential element in every growing city. With the present powerful water pressure, the Muskegon force is able to do good work contending with fires. The fire department has 5 hose carts, a hook and ladder outfit, each with a company of 6 men; a chemical fire engine, with 3 men; a Silsby steam fire engine; more than a score of fine horses; 13,000 feet of hose and numerous other adjuncts necessary to make up a complete outfit. There are five stations situated in convenient buildings, and an electric fire alarm system. The average number of fires is about 200 per year. The force is in charge of James P. Fallon, a native of Southington, Conn. He has resided in Muskegon for the past 15 years, and been with the fire department since June, 1880. Mr. Fallon was appointed chief in 1887. He is furnished with a horse and buggy with which he makes quick trips to fires, and thoroughly understands how to get good service out of the force under his command. The city takes just pride in the efficiency of its fire department.
Water Works,- For sanitary and many other reasons, a pure and boundless supply of water is of vital importance to any city. Until recently, Muskegon could make no special claim in that direction. The city was supplied by a series of drive wells operated on the Vergennes system. The plant owned by the city had 35 miles of water mains, and prior to the recent improvements, had cost about $225,000. The new pumping station, shown on another page, was completed for work October, 1891, and is equipped with duplicate Holly vertical pumps, each having capacity of lifting 4,000,000 gallons per day, and capable, on very short notice, of giving extra pressure for fire service. The intake pipe at a cost of about $50,000, was extended 4,000 feet into Lake Michigan, where with proper crib and strainer, submerged 40 feet below the surface, it draws from an unlimited supply of the purest lake water. The new plant, costing $250,000, is supplied with 3 huge boilers, a 100 light incandescent dynamo and every necessary adjunct for efficient service. The pumping station is in charge of A. A. Green, as chief engineer, with four assistants. The system has now over 35 miles of mains and laterals, 450 fire plugs, and furnishes 2,500 consumers. With present advantages the plant could furnish water by meter for motor power, as low as any works in the country, and small manufacturing enterprises be supplied at advantageous rates.
Supt. Wm. Dixon has been a resident of Muskegon over 30 years. He is a native of Oswego, New York, and after acquiring the machinist trade, operated as engineer in mills and steamboats for some time. He was engaged in the furniture trade just prior to accepting the superintendence of the water works. Much of the efficiency of the present water system is attributable to his skill in superintending the construction of the new plant and placing of mains.
Board of Public Works.- A board of public works, compased of seven members, has charge of the police, fire, water, and health departments; buildings and other public improvements. The mayor is ex-officio president; William Brinen, president pro tem; Tate Starke, W. F. Ninnemann, W. H. Barney, James Balbirnie and H. Cummings, complete the Board, all tried and well-known citizens of Muskegon, who have found to have the public weal at heart. John Kuppenheimer, who has officiated as clerk of the board for 5 years past, is a native of Germany, 12 years in Muskegon and in the mercantile trade for some years.
Mayors.-At the first election for city officials, held April 4, 1870, Major Chauncey Davis was chosen, and re-elected in '72; Jos. Ireland, '71; H. H. Holt, '78-9; Francis Jiroch, '80-1; Nelson De Long, '82-3; Francis W. Cook, '84; S. H. Stevens, '85; L. G. Mason, '86; John Torrent, '87-8; Martin Waalkes, '89-91.
James Gow, who has officiated as mayor of Muskegon since April last, is a native of Chippewa, Canada, residing in this city since Sept. '66, and engaged in lumbering. With John Campbell, he owns a well-equipped saw mill in North Muskegon, and is largely interested in the north side suburb as well as in this city.
City Recorders.-C. C. Chamberlain was elected in 1870-1; Geo. F. Outhwaite, '72; Jas. S. Campbell, '73; Dan'l J. Moriarty, '74-7; Frank Wood, '78-9; Edgar W. Thayer, '80-5; John Hulst, '86; H. E. Kingsbury, '88-90; M. R. Stevens, app '91.
Geo. H. McKillip, who was elected last April, is a native of Traverse City, and for 25 years past a resident of Muskegon. After attending the union school of this city he engaged in lumbering, serving as inspector for several years prior to becoming recorder. He wears his honors easily and gives strict attention to the duties of the office. Miss Alice Brandt, a native of Muskegon, has been asistant in the recorder's office for 5 years past.
City Treasurers.- A. C. Truesdell was elected treasurer '70-1; Squire Davis, '72; Peter Lansiff, '73; Uriah Culbert, '74; Jacob Heitz, '75-8; Matthew Wilson, '79-81; S. A. Hofstra, '82; M. J. Moriarty, '83-4; Rollin S. Thompson, '85; Wm. B. Cutter, '86-87; James Gow, '88; S. H. Stevens, '89-90; Leonard Eyke, '91.
Wm. F. Wiselogel, who was elected last April as city treasurer, was born in Massillon, Ohio, and for 23 years past has been connected with the planing mill business. He is prominent in secret society circles, and has served two terms as alderman from the second ward. Mrs. W. F. Wiselogel is deputy treasurer, with other assistants as required.
City Attorneys.- Francis Smith was city attorney 1870-1; H. J. Hoyt, '72, '78; Wm. C. Odell, '73; James Snow, '74-5; Henry Slater, '76; F. W. Cook, '77; A. B. Allen, '80; R. E. Bunker, '82-3, '86; S. H. Clink, '84; C. W. Sessions, '88; N. DeLong, '89-91.
Wm. Carpenter, the present city attorney, officiated in 1885 and again in '87, now holding the office for the third time. He was born in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., removed to this state in childhood, graduated from the literary department of the Michigan Univeraity in 1877 and the law department in 1880, locating at once in Muskegon. He served as probate judge, '82-5.
City Assessor.- Wm. McLaughin, who officiates as city assessor was born in Scotland, in 1841, and emigrated to America in '53. He located in this city in 1867, was for several years in mercantile trade and for some time past has been in official positions, having been elected to the assessor's office in April 1890.
City Surveyor.- J. B. Smalley is also county surveyor and will be noticed under that head. The Stevens and other private sewers have sufficed for urgent needs until the present season. A large main sewer has recently been located from the foot of Eleventh street, running diagonally across the city to Third and Jefferson; another extends about a mile on Spring street, and those with laterals will meet the pressing wants of city sewerage.
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Copyright © 1999 by Patti Norton .All rights reserved