William M. Fenton

William Matthew Fenton
7th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
Governor Epaphroditus Ransom
John S. Barry
Preceded by Charles P. Bush
Succeeded by Calvin Britain
Michigan State Senator
In office
Preceded by Gardner D. Williams
Succeeded by Andrew Parsons
Constituency 6th District[1]
4th Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
Preceded by Henry M. Henderson
Succeeded by Henry H. Crapo[2]
1st Alderman
In office
Serving with Alvin T. Crosman
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Henry I. Higgins
Constituency Third Ward, City of Flint[2]
In office
Preceded by William Patterson
Succeeded by John L. Gage
Constituency Township of Flint[3]
Personal details
Born December 19, 1808
Norwich, New York
Died November 12, 1871
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Adelaide Birdsall
Relations Joseph S. Fenton, Father[4]
Children Ada B., John Brush, Henry, Sarah R.[4]
Alma mater Hamilton College
Occupation Sailor, Lawyer
Religion Episcopal

William Matthew Fenton (December 19, 1808 – November 12, 1871) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. He is the namesake of the city of Fenton, Michigan.

Early life

Fenton was born in Norwich, New York in 1808[5] and graduated at the top of his class in 1826 at Hamilton College.


Fenton was elected to the Michigan Senate from the 6th District,[5] representing Genesee, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston counties, 1846-47. He moved to Flint in 1847. In 1847, he was elected Flint Township Supervisor.[3] He served as the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Michigan[5] from 1848 to 1852 under Governors Epaphroditus Ransom (1848–50) and John S. Barry (1850–52). At the first village elections in 1855, Fenton was elected as a Third Ward Alderman with Alvin T. Crossman.[6] He held the position of register of the U.S. land office at Flint from 1852 until it was moved to East Saginaw,[7] and was mayor of Flint from 1858 to 1859.[5]

Fenton was the Democratic candidate for governor in 1864,[5] losing to Henry Crapo. He erected the large block and public hall in Flint that bear his name.


As chief of the fire department of Flint, while on duty, he received an injury which resulted in his death on November 12, 1871. He was interred at Glenwood Cemetery of Flint.[5]

See also


  1. "Michigan: State Senate, 1840s". Political Graveyards.com. Lawrence (Larry) Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  2. 1 2 Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia, PA.: Everts & Abbott. p. 177.
  3. 1 2 Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee county, Michigan. With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia, PA.: Everts & Abbott. p. 184.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Fenton -- Fenton, William M. entry
  6. Chapter XIII: First City Officers. The History of Genesee County, MI.
  7. The Development of Flint. Historical Collections. By Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. Published by The Society, 1907. pg. 371.
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles P. Bush
Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Calvin Britain
Preceded by
Henry M. Henderson
Mayor of Flint
Succeeded by
Henry H. Crapo
Preceded by
Alderman, of Flint 3rd Ward
jointly with Alvin T. Crossman

Succeeded by
Henry I. Higgins
Preceded by
William Patterson
Supervisor, of Flint Township
Succeeded by
John L. Gage
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