Lakefield Township Early Pioneers of Saginaw County, Michigan
Lakefield Township Early Pioneers of Saginaw County, Michigan

Herbert C. "H.C." Fessenden



Herbert C. “H.C.” Fessenden was born 1 May 1847 in Twinsburg, Summit County, Ohio. His parents were John White and Amanda Mary Nichols Fessenden.


Herbert was in the Civil War, he was a Private in the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Company A. He enlisted on 20 February 1863 and was discharged on the 30 July 1865.

The History Book of Battery A: First Regiment of Ohio Volunteers Light Artillery written by Henry M. Davidson states the following about Herbert C. Fessenden: “Joined the Battery as a recruit at Nashville, and participated in all of the marches, battles and skirmishes during the campaigns of 1864, to Atlanta and return. Received a short furlough while the command remained at Gallatin. Discharged at Cleveland, Ohio 31 July 1865. Post Office address, Twinsburgh, Summit County, Ohio.”


Herbert married Sarah Porter on 31 July 1867 in Portage County, Ohio. Sarah was born in 1848 in Ohio; her parents were Horace A. and Sarah Weldy Porter.


Herbert and Sarah had the following children:

  1. Manora “Nora” G. Fessenden was born May 1869 in Ohio. Nora married William K. Parker on 13 April 1896 by C.L. Bronson, Clergyman, in Merrill, Saginaw County, Michigan She was living in Merrill at the time and was 26 years old. William was from Durand, Michigan and was 29 years old.

  2. Myrtle (Mertie/Myrtie) L. Fessenden was born 21 January 1871 in Charlestown, Portage County, Ohio. Myrtle married Daniel L. Davis on 15 January 1919 in Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. At the time of their marriage, Myrtle was a nurse and Daniel was an attorney.

  3. Herbert C. Fessenden Jr. was born 13 January 1879 in Lakefield Township. He died May 1880 of inflammation of the brain.


Herbert was elected or appointed to the following offices in Lakefield Township:

  1. Elected as the first Supervisor in 1876

  2. Elected as first School Director in 1876

  3. Elected as Supervisor 2 April 1877

  4. Elected School Inspector 2 April 1877

  5. Appointed Overseer of Highways, District #1 3 April 1877

  6. Appointed as Health Officer 3 May 1877.

  7. Elected as Supervisor on 1 April 1878

  8. Elected Inspector of Schools 1 April 1878

  9. Appointed as Health Officer 26 April 1878

  10. Elected as Supervisor 7 April 1879

  11. Appointed Committee of Caucus on 2 April 1880 thru 1880.


In 1877, H.C. Fessenden owned and operated 80 acres on SE corner of Swan Creek and Chapin Roads.

His neighbors were: Burt Fessenden, E. Vondette, Charles Cain, Albert Cooper, Howard Colons, Charles Trombley and E. Trombley.


In the book, “Lest We Forget” written by Myron F. Gulick states the following: “There was a man named Herbert C. Fessenden, he gave the township something that was needed at that time – courage, because the future at that time did not look to bright to many. People said this, or that, would work, just like they do today.”


Sarah died on 2 or 29 March 1881 in Charlestown, Portage County, Ohio at the age of 33 years old. Sarah is buried in the Charlestown Cemetery, Charlestown, Portage County, Ohio; Section B, Row 7.

Herbert died in 1882 in Saginaw County, Michigan. He is buried in the Richland Township Cemetery, Hemlock, Saginaw County, Michigan.


In 1900, Nora Fessenden Parker  is living in Gaines, Genessee County, Michigan with her husband William Parker, her daughter Leona and sister, Myrtle Fessenden.



SOURCES: 1877 Lakefield Township Plat Map; 1880 Federal Census; 1900 Federal Census; Lakefield Township Records; Herbert and Sarah Porter Fessenden's marriage record; Sarah Fessenden's Ohio death record; Sarah Fessenden's Fine-A-Grave; Herbert Jr. Fessenden's birth record; Herbert C. Fessenden's U.S. Federal Mortality Schedules 1850-1885; Merty Fessenden Ohio birth record; Myrtle and Daniel Davis' marriage record; Manorah “Norah” Fessenden and William Parker's marriage record; Herbert C. Fessenden's Find-A-Grave.






Pioneers of Lakefield Township - Left to Right: Jacob Brown, Lawrence Dubay, Alva Hinterman, David Dubay, Mr. Harris, George Easlick, Calvin Harris;   Ray Rowell standing towards the top of photo and his daughters, Mildred, Dorothy, and Carrie Rowell,  sitting on the wood pile.    Carry Rowell later married Fred Honaman.     photo from John and Linda Honaman Johnson.



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