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Michigan's Loss

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By the death of ex-Governor Iiagley, Michigan has lost one of its most highly esteemed citizens. Ilis public spirit and Iiis munificience have made his name a liousehold word throtighout the state. In public station and in private Ufe he was alike genial, large hearted ajid generous. ïo few men does our state owe more of its prosperity. Few have done more to give stability to its best institutions. Few, indeed, have jiven greater sympathy or more material aid to the unfortunate. John J. Bagley was bom in Medina, New York, July 24, 1832. His father was a native of New Hampshire and his mother of Connecticut. He attended school at Lockport, New York, until 1845 when he removed witli bis father, (who was a tanner), to Constantine, Mich. A year later they removed to Owosso. The family being in very moderate circumstances, he sought such employment as the vicinity of his residence afforded. At lioth Constantine and Owosso he worked in a store and was for some time on a farm at the latter place. At the age of 15 he went to Detioit and found employment in a tobáceo factory. He WB8 fond of telling that of the 150 dollars which he received (in addition to his board) for that year's work.he sa ved half. In 1853, when he attained his majority.he began business for himself as a manufacturerof tobáceo and f rom a very small beginning built up a business that gave him fortune and a worldwide fame. Several years since he relinguished personal supervisión of the business,having formed a stock company in which he enabled a number of old employees to secure an interest. As one of the organizers and vice-presdent of the American Natinal bank; an organizer aud for many years President of the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Company; as President of the Detroit safe company, and in his connection with many of the more prominent business enterprises in the city of his adoption and of his pride, he has for a long period been a central figure in commercial and manufacturing circles. His political success was what mig'ht have been expected of a man of great personal purity, large executive ability and rnarked geniality. His record as the cliief executive ofticer of the State for two terms commencing in 1872 is familiar to every citizen. Governor Bagley's inaugural address was strikingly bold and original, abounding in fresh and practical suggestions. IIis administration was prudent and in some respects brilliant. The state educational and charitable institutions were especially the objects of his fostering care. The state public school at Coldwater was mainly organized and put in operationduriiig hit adininistration. The state reform school, largely through his influences was relieved of many of its prison features and becanie more of aii etlucational institution, and the present system ol dealing with juvenile off endei's througl county agents was originated during nis administration, and received lus hearty support. The state university and the agricultural college never had a inore sincere or active friend in the gubernatorial chairthan Governor Uacley. During his term also the state ïnilitia was reorganized and new life infused into its ïuembership, and the state board of healtli and the state fish commission wereorganized. Governor Bagley was also an earnest advocate of the tax system as applied to tlie liquor traflic, in place of the Uien inoperative prohibitory system. He presentedstrongreasonsfor the change in his messages to the legislature, and urged in other ways the passage of the act, which took its phice on the statute books in 1875. Previous to his nomination for governor, he had not been much given to public sspeuking, but in the ciiinpaigns of 1872 and 1874 he was much on the slump, and his portly foni) and genial smile became familiar to many voters in all parts of tle state. Expressions of the deepest feelings are heard on every hand, and most of our public bodies hasténed to record the sorrow which they, in common with all the people of the state, feit upon hearing of his loss. Michigan has had but few governors whose personal care and uniform success in the direction of the affaire of theState liave been so marked. Nothing of interest to the State in any direction.was too tri val fr his consideration; nothing too broad for him to successfully direct. To detail the public measures with which his name has been associated would require a volume. He had a strong personal following, and this in later years made him a prominent candidato for the United States senate. He was mentioned in connection with that office in the winter of 1877, when Senator Ferry was re-elected, and again in 1879, when Senator Christiancy resigned, but his candidacy did not assume very formidable proportions until the winter of 1881, when iluring the first ballots in the liepubliean caucus he was the leading candidate. On the final ballot he was barely beaten by a combination of the friends of the other two candidatos, Messrs. Baldwin and Conger, receiving 57 votes to 59 for Mr. Conger. In the city of Detroit he has always taken the highest interest. In the municipal affairs of that city he has exerted a large influence alike when in and out of office, and always has the beautii'ul City of the Straits been beneflted in following his wise suggastions. In matters regarding which he feit adeep interest, as he did in fact in everything pertaining to his city or his state, it was his habit to give great personal care to the execution of details. Of a commanding figure, with a head and face that was a perfect index to his large lieart and his broad mind. Gov. liagley was a marked man, whose form was familiar in every part of the state. Few men would be so missed as will he whose home friends were numbered by the census of the stato. Gov. Bagley was married in 1855 to Francés E. Newberry of Dubuque. Ia., whose father, llev. Samuel Newberry, was one of the pioneer missionaries of Michigan. Heieaves seven children - six at home and one raarried and living in Conn. Mrs. Bagley accompanied her husband to the Pacific coast and was with h i in at the time of his death. Gov. Bagley's untiring energy caused him to assume cares and to forego rest and recreation to a degree that linally undermined his magnificeHt physique. IIÍ8 history was cwrtly condensed in a conversation with a friend but a few days bef ore he went to California in the f utile search for healtli. He said: "I have not lived long. but I have lived a great leal too much. I was managing an extensive business before I was much more than a boy. Indeed I had no boykood. I skipped it. I spwmg from childhood into the cares and work of niitldk: aga, and have never taken a holiday. I had done the work of a long life before I was tliirty, and now I (ind myself spent before I am lifty, although I started with a tal of vitality that should have lasted me lili eighty." Al a meeting of the state ofticers, the overnor presiding. the following resoutions were adopted: Whereas, We, the governor and the UiU: oflicers, liave learned of tlie great ereavement of the people of this state n tl ie death of ex-Gov. John J. Bagley; hereforo llesolved, ïhat in the death of John J. Bagley, twice governor of Michigan, the state has added another to the long roll of her illustrious dead and has lost n him one of her foremost men, an oficer and acitizen of commanding influence, who by his integrity of character, is honesty of purpose, his ability displayed in every official position, and his great kindness of heart, won the luve and admiration of the people of this great commonwealth. Resolved, That we hereby express our sadness at the death of him whom we have so long and so favorably known and respeeted, both in our personal and our oiïicial relations, and that we on our own behalf, and on behalf of the people ef this state, extend to his bereaved wife and family our united sympathy on this sad occasion, t rusting that Ho who "doeth all things well," will lift up and heal the hearts wounded by the death of their husband, father and friend. Resolved, That the flag on the capitol be daily displaced at half-mast, until after the burial of our honored dead. Kesolved, That the secretary of state cause a copy of these resolutions to be engrossed and presentad to the family of the deceased governor. The following telegram was sent by the governor to the widow of ex-Gov. Bagley. Lansing, Mich., July 28, 1881. To Mrs. John J. Bagley, Occidental Hotel, San Francisco, California. In behalf of myself and the state officers, now convened at the capítol, I extend to yourself and afllieted family the sincero sympathy of the people of the state of Michigan, on the death of your husband, our late governor. We f eel that your loss is our loss, and mouni with you.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat