Biography of Asa Kingsbury
Cass County, MI Biographies

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The subject of this sketch, probably the most suecessfiil of the business men of Cass County, was born at Newton Heights, near Boston, Mass., May 28, 1806. In 1830, he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was engaged for a period of about three years in the manufacture of glue. In 1833, he was given an opportunity to go farther West, which he embraced, after short reflection, and as his remarkable success has demonstrated, very fortunately. A business man of Cleveland desired him to take his son, a wild, reckless young man, and in return for his trouble, volunteered to furnish him with whatever capital he might need for the enterprise in which he might engage. Mr. Kingsbury chartered a schooner, and loading her with about $3,000 worth of miscellaneous goods, started up the lakes, bound for any port where he could advantageously dispose of his cargo, or find an opening for trade. While passing up the St. Clair River, Mr. Kingsbury was relieved from the care of his protege, the young man deserting the vessel. Mr. Kingsbury went to Green Bay, but not liking the location, sailed up the lake to St. Joseph, where, after being long delayed from landing by rough weather, and narrowly escaping shipwreck, he finally disembarked and had his goods unloaded. In prospecting for a good location for opening ‘business, he visited Bertrand, which was then enjoying its palmiest days. Liking the appearance of the place, he had his goods brought up the river and went into business. In 1834, it became apparent to Mr. Kingsbury that the village, which had only the year before seemed so prosperous, had begun to retrograde. Hence, he removed to Cassopolis, which was a promising hamlet. His first venture was the management of a distillery and store, which he purchased of John M. Barbour. From that time on, Asa Kingsbury has been intimately and extensively identified with the business interests of Cassopolis. In 1837, his brother Charles came to the village, and a general mercantile business was opened by the firm of Asa & Charles Kingsbury, which was carried on for a period of twenty years, or until 1857. They also dealt extensively in real estate. In Jane, 1855, Asa Kingsbury opened a private banking office, in which he did business until the First National Bank was established in 1871. Of this institution, Mr. Kingsbury may be properly termed the founder. He has been its President from the time of its organization to the present. In politics, Mr. Kingsbury has been a Democrat. While taking a citizen’s interest in political affairs, he has not been an active office-seeker. He was once a candidate for the position of State Senator, and in 1842 was elected County Treasurer. Mr. Kingsbury has been very successful in business, and accumulated a large property. of which he has been a worthy steward. His benevolence, never ostentatiously displayed, has been in proportion to his ample means, and could be attested by hundreds of worthy and needy men. His character and ability are well known to the people among whom he has dwelt.

Mr. Kingsbury has been three times married. His first wife was Adaline M. Fisk, of Massachusetts. The children by this marriage were Charles H. and Amanda (Mrs. J. K. Ritter). Mr. Kingsbury’s second wife was Emily, daughter of Allen Monroe. After her decease he married Mary Jane Monroe. The offspring of this marriage were Nancy E. (Hull), now of Jackson, Mich.. Asa, Allen M., Ruth T. (wife of James Hayden), Hattie J. (wife of Dr. Holland, of Edwardsbarg), George, Cyrus, Georgianna, David, Emmeline, Blanche, Verna D. and Winnie May.


From:
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.

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