The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Michigan Pioneer And Historical Collections, Wynkoop, Hallenbeck Crawford Co., Lansing (1912), Vol. XXXVIII, pp. 680-681


Arthur C. Bird, state dairy and food commissioner, and one of the leading business men of Lansing, died early Friday morning, May 27, 1910, at his home in East Lansing of heart failure, superinduced by pneumonia.

Mr. Bird has been active politically in this State for many years and was well-known throughout the State, but to Lansing he was one of its leading citizens, interested in every enterprise for the good of the city and out at the college, he will be best remembered as a man anxious for the college to progress at all times, while many students have occasion to remember him for his many kindly acts and interest in their welfare.

He was born in Highland, Oakland County, May 22, 1864.  He attended the public schools until he was thirteen years of age, when he entered his grandfather's bank at Fenton and laid the foundation there for the business career in which he was such a success.  At the age of sixteen he entered the Agricultural College, graduating in 1883.  For a number of years he was engaged in farming in Oakland County, and during part of this time he edited the farmer's club department in the Michigan Farmer and also organized a Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Co., which was conducted successfully under his direction.  He was founder and first president of the State Association of Farmers' Clubs and it was in this connection that he first entered politics.  Governor Pingree, when he entered office in 1897, appointed Mr. Bird a [Begin Page 681] member of the State Board of Agriculture and a few years later he became secretary of the college, a position in which he displayed talent for organization and thoroughness in business matters which accomplished much for the institution.  Since quitting that post he retained his intense interest in the college, doing for it in any way at any time.  He was a member of the Eclectic Literary Society and to him more than any other man the society owes its fine building erected a few years ago.

In 1904 he became superintendent of the State census and in 1905 Governor Warner appointed him dairy and food commissioner.  Mr. Bird's business career in this section began when he became associated a number of years ago with C. D. Woodbury and Edward Cahill in platting the subdivision of Oakwood, in what is now East Lansing.  There he erected a fine and commodious home in which he resided at the time of his death.  Later he acquired an interest in the Clippert & Spaulding Brick and Tile Works, and devoted considerable time to its affairs.  He was also interested in the Hammond Publishing Co., the Auto Body Co., and had large real estate holdings in the city, including the Oakland Block which he erected, and the brick stores and wholesale warehouses on East Michigan avenue.

He was one of the organizers of the Lansing Business Men's Association, was deeply interested in its work and was a member of the board of directors at the time of his death.

Mr. Bird was married in 1889 to Josephine St. Johns and she with two sons and two brothers survive him.  He was a member of Lansing Lodge No. 33, F. & A. M., and Lansing Commandery Knights Templar and the Mystic Shrine of Detroit. - Lansing State Republican, May 27, 1910.


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