Biography of Francis B. Stockbridge
Monroe County, MI Biographies





FRANCIS B. STOCKBRIDGE, of Kalamazoo, was born in the town of Bath, Maine, April 9, 1826. When sixteen years of age he left his native place and went to Boston, and was employed as a mercantile clerk. He is of English origin, his great-great-grandfather having been a member of the Plymouth colony, though not of the Mayflower party. When Mr. Stockbridge was only sixteen years old his school advantages ceased, and he began his struggle, penniless and alone, in the great New England metropolis. He remained in Boston five years, when in 1847 he went to Chicago and commenced business in a small way as a dealer in lumber. Three years later he began manufacturing lumber in Allegan county, and continued in this business twentyfour years. In 1859 he formed a partnership with Otis R. Johnson. He is now part owner of the lumber mills on Green Bay, with headquarters at Menominee; president of the Mackinaw Lumber Company, having mills at St. Ignace, and president of the Black River Lumber Company, mills at Gilchrist, Michigan. His mining interests are with the Lumberman's Mining Company, at Iron Mountain, Michigan, and the Crescent silver mines at Park City, Utah. With Senator Palmer, Jay Hubbell, W. A. Moore, of Detroit, and seven others, be is owner of 100,000 acres of pine in Mississippi; and with ex-Governor Alger and O. R. Johnson owns the Fort Bragg Redwood Lumber Company, of Fort Bragg, California. Besides these great interests Mr. Stockbridge is also president of the Kalamazoo Spring and Axle Company, and with Mr. S. A. Browne, of Kalamazoo, Mr. Stockbridge is engaged in breeding thoroughbred trotting and roadster horses at the Kalamazoo Stock Farm.

Senator Stockbridge has always been an ardent Republican of Whig extraction, and received the title of colonel from a position which he occupied on Governor Blair's staff. In 1868 he was elected Representative, and the next election advanced to the Senate. In 1876 he was proffered by President Grant the position of Minister to the Hague, but diplomatic life not being to his liking, this was declined. In 1863 Mr. Stockbridge married Miss Bessie Arnold, of Gun Plain, Allegan county, whose father came to Michigan from Vermont in 1836. Mrs. Stoekbridge is a sister of Judge Dan J. Arnold, of the twentieth judicial circuit. Removing from Saugatuck to Kalamazoo in 1874, Mr. Stockbridge purchased a large mansion with ample grounds, and there has made a home and filled it with treasures of art and literature. Mr. Stockbridge was elected United States Senator, January 19, 1887, for a full term of six years from March 4, 1887.

From:
History of Monroe County, Michigan
Talcott E. Wing, Editor
Munsell & Company, Publishers
New York 1890.

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