The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Biographical Record, Containing Biographical Sketches Of The Leading Citizens Of Oakland County, Michigan, Biographical Publishing Co. (1903) pp. 615-617

HON. I. ROY WATERBURY, a member of the State Senate of Michigan from the Twelfth Senatorial District, is a prominent farmer and stock breeder of Highland township, Oakland County, where he owns a well improved, 130-acre farm located in sections 15 and 22.  He was born October 2, 1869, in Highland township, Oakland County, Michigan, and is a son of Richard H. and Loxey L. (Sutton) Waterbury, and a grandson of William Waterbury, and a great-grandson of David Waterbury[Begin Page 616] 

David Waterbury was born in the State of New York and lived there all his life, being engaged principally in agricultural pursuits.  William Waterbury, our subject's grandfather, was born in New York State and was for many years engaged in farming there.  About 1840 he removed from Rensselaer County, New York, to Michigan, and first located in Troy township, Oakland County, later moving to Highland township, where with his younger sons, he purchased land which he was successfully engaged in operating throughout the remainder of his life until he retired from active work.  He is remembered by some of the oldest inhabitants of this county as a sturdy, honest, hard-working and thrifty farmer.  He married his wife in New York, she also being a native of that State, and they had the following children; Archibald; Isaac; Ezra (deceased in childhood); David; William; Martha; Richard II.; Lydia L.; Ezra (the second of that name); and BetseyMr. Waterbury died in 1845.  He and his wife were prominent in the Baptist Church.

Richard H. Waterbury, who was born in New York State, came to Oakland County, Michigan, in the same year with his father, and settled first in Troy township, and later upon land in Highland township.   He became one of Oakland County's substantial and leading farmers and stock raisers.  In his agricultural operations he was very successful; he wisely invested his surplus earnings in land, and at the time of his death had accumulated a comfortable estate.  His wife, Loxey L. Sutton, was a native of Michigan.   Four children were born to them, of whom the subject of this sketch, I. Roy, is the only one living.  The others were: Archibald, deceased; an infant, not named, deceased; and Harry S., who was married to his cousin, Ida B. Waterbury, and died at the age of 29 years.  Richard H. Waterbury was a Democrat and took a great; deal of interest in local politics; it is not known, however, that he ever consented to fill any office.  He was a Mason, being a member of Pettibone Lodge, F. & A. M., of Milford, Michigan.  Mr. Waterbury died May 18, 1883, aged 64 years, his death being caused by an accident; his wife lived 20 years longer, dying October 9, 1903, at the age of 63 years.  

I. Roy Waterbury, the subject of this sketch, received but a common school education, but to this he has added through his contact with the business world, so that he is now a man of extended information. He has spent all of his life on the farm, and has met with much success in his agricultural [Being Page 617] operations.  In addition to farming, he also devotes much of his time to the breeding of high class, registered Oxford Down sheep, which he has exhibited in county and State fairs, having been awarded first premiums upon several occasions.

Mr. Waterbury has evinced a decided interest in politics ever since he attained his majority, at which time he affiliated himself with the Republican party, and is considered as one of the leaders in the politics of Oakland County.  He first held several of the township offices, such as clerk, treasurer and supervisor, and in 1899 was elected from the Second District of Oakland County to the Lower House of the Michigan State Legislature.  After holding this position for two terms and giving universal satisfaction to his constituents, he was elected to the Upper House of the State Legislature from the Twelfth Senatorial District.  He is held in the highest esteem by all who have had dealings with him, whether along business, social or political lines.  There are few men in the county of such wide acquaintance as Mr. Waterbury, for he possesses the art of making friends with all whom he meets. In his official capacities, he has always given excellent satisfaction. 

Mr. Waterbury was married in 1892 to Emma Hagadorn, who was born in Oakland County, Michigan, and is a daughter of Joseph V. Hagadorn, of Highland township, this county.  Our subject is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Knights of the Maccabees.  He has taken an active interest in the welfare of the farmers of his native State, and at the present time is president of the Michigan State Association of Farmers' Clubs.


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