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HISTORY INDEX>Henry Waldron

Henry Waldron
Henry Waldron's name appears in many locations in the city of Hillsdale and the County. The small town of Waldron in the southern part of the County was named for Waldron. It is said by the early historians that Waldron gave money for the school bell and as a consequence the residents gave the village his name. In the city of Hillsdale, the Waldron block is in the business section and now houses the District Court and a street bears his name.

Waldron came from Albany, N.Y. in 1839. He was trained as a civil engineer and is credited with laying out the rail line extending the railroad from Adrian to Hillsdale. (He had at age 18 already been employed by Michigan Southern railroad to make a preliminary survey for the extension of the line). Waldron, like Cook,in 1848, built a warehouse along the track in Hillsdale to store goods to be trans-shipped east and west. He was director of the Michigan and Southern Railroad and then President of another rail line known as Detroit Hillsdale and Southern. He engaged in a large real estate business and platted land north of Railroad St. (now Carleton Rd.) In 1851, he served as the village president.

In the midst of these commercial activities , he was one of the directors of the first bank in Hillsdale. He then established the Second National Bank and still found time to serve on the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale College in its early years in Hillsdale.

Waldron also became involved in politics. When he was only 23, he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1854, as a member of the new Republican Party, he was elected to the House of Representatives, served three terms and was re-elected in 1870 for three more terms. Waldron, elected as Vice President for the Republican National Convention, took part in the proceedings which nominated Ulysses S. Grant for U.S. President.

When he died a banner stretched across Hillsdale St., which read, "Hillsdale Mourns her Dead." This man too contributed greatly to the progress of Hillsdale.
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