Chase Osborn
Governor (1911 - 1913)


Chase Osborn Signature while he was Postmaster of Sault Ste Marie 1889-1893
Signature contributed by Paul Patosky (Postmarks from the Past)


In the year 1883, H.D. Fisher of Florence, Wis., owned several mines and a newspaper. He knew how to manage the mines, but couldn't run the paper, and asked me to send him a likely newspaper man. I sent him a young reporter on the Milwaukee Wisconsin. It wasn't long before he owned the paper and was the most popular man in Florence. He edited his paper, the local and political pages, did job work, and when the apprentice was on a vacation swept the office. A few years of good management put $15,000 in his pocket. Then he bought the Sault Ste. Marie News and some city lots and an interest in an iron mine.  The young newspaper man stepped across the line into a state reputation of an orator of unusual power, a writer of much force and a business man of exceptionally good judgment.

HIs party narrowly escaped nominating him for congress and then made him state game and fish warden. In 1900 he was a leading candidate of the Republican party for governor. For several years he was railroad commissioner. He has remained an interest in two or three papers, has been president of the State Press association and has made hundred of campaign speeches, and all of the time has added to his wealth by fortunate investments.

Some years ago he bought, for a small price, a mining property on Moose mountain, Michigan. His friends told him he was throwing away money in that purchase, but he hung on to the mine. Not many months ago he sold an interest in it for $250,000. He still owns enought of it and other property to make him, if not a millionaire, very well to do.

But that is not so much to rejoice over as the fact that he is a manly man whose example and good work have been of value to all about him.

The more I see of that young reporter of 1883 the better pleased I am with my choice of a man to take charge of H. D. Fisher's paper. HIs name? Chase S. Osborn, the Republican candidate for governor and doubtless the next governor of Michigan. As boy and young man Mr. Osborn did not have had as good a chance to succeed in life as have thousands of boys and young men who will read this brief sketch of a man who has succeeded because he earned success on his merits. -- Col. J. A. Watrous in Chicago Record-Herald."

Contributed by Mark Seeberg --The Denver Post, CO, October 3, 1910

Former Governor Chase S. Osborn, Michigan's 88 year old "elder" statesman, is preparing to leave for Georgia with the good wishes of some 200 friends who visited him last night.

Osborn is a patient in a private hospital, undergoing a final medical checkup before going to his winter home. He spent the summer at his Duck Island home on the St. Mary's River near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Chippewa County). The former governor underwent an eye operation in July and his physician, Dr. Alexander Blain, said he has regained partial vision after being blind for several years.

Osborn smilingly greeted old friends last night including some of his aids while he was a law-maker and then chief executive at Lansing. Friends of the former governor arranged the reception after he had said he would like to see them once again.

From the Holland Evening Sentinel 1 October 1948

Former Michigan Governor Is Married In Bedside Ceremony to Aide; Her Adoption Set Aside

Poulan Ga., April 9 (AP) -- Rugged Chase S. Osborn, former Michigan governor, desperately ill two days ago, became a bridegroom today at the age of 89.

His bride is the long-time assistant and adopted daughter, Stellanova. They were married at his Georgia home, "Possum Poke," less than an hour after the adoption was dissolved.

The adoption was set aside in superior court at nearby Sylvester. Rev. W. C. Smith performed the ceremony at Osborn's bedside shortly afterward, at 5 p.m.

The bride said the wiping out of the adoption was for sentimental purposes. She added that such action leading to marriage was not without precedent.


The brilliant Mrs. Osborn is 55 years old. She was Stella Lee Brunt of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, until the ex-governor adopted her in 1931. Her first name at that time was changed to Stellanova.

The former governor fell and broke his hip four years ago and has spent much time since in a wheel chair. Earlier this week he was stricken with pneumonia and lapsed for a time into semi-consciousness.

An announcement from his home Friday, however, said he had thrown off a stubborn high fever and partly regained his strength. Plans for the wedding ceremony followed.

Only a few close friends were present at the marriage. The bride, standing by the groom's bedside, wore a becoming two-piece sky-blue linen suit.

Rev. Mr. Smith quoted Osborn as turning to Stellanova after the rites and saying softly: "Now you are my beloved wife, aren't you?"

The bride smiled and gently caressed her husband.

The Presbyterian church marriage form was used with a simple one-ring ceremony. The minister said he did not remember whether the work "obey" was recited.


Mrs. Osborn has nursed the former governor through all his illnesses, including a two-month stay in an Albany, Ga., hospital late last year for a clot on the lung. She pledged herself as a wife to continue to care for him in his "fight for full recovery of health."

The bride was Osborn's secretary for 18 years and is the co-author with him of many books. They have written more than 20 volumes on national resources, especially in the south Georgia natural history. One book woven around his Georgia is "Posum Poke in Possum Lane."

Mrs. Osborn is a Summa Cum Laude (highest honor) graduate of the University of Michigan where Osborn met her in 1925. She is a member of the scholarship fraternity Phi Beta Kappa and the still more exclusive group, Phi Beta associates. She is staff editor of the new International Yearbook, a contributing editor of the new International Encyclopedia, and an author and poet in her own right.


The former governor, friend of nine presidents, arose from his sickbed for his wedding. Earlier this week he was stricken with pneumonia and lapsed for a time into semi-consciousness.

His recover, called "remarkable" by his physician, was as swift as the onset of his illness. He shook off a stubborn high fever, regaining his strength and returned to near normal health.

Late last year he spent some time in a hospital for treatment of a lung clot. His stamina and determination enabled him to throw off this illness and return to his Georgia home, "Possum Poke," just outside Poulan.

Osborn, a staunch Republican was born in a log cabin in Hunting county, Indiana, and rose to be Michigan's governor from 1911 to 1913. HIs administration was marked by reform in legislation and taxation and government re-organizaton.


He called on seven other governors to draft Theodore Roosevelt for president in the unsuccessful Bull Moose campaign of 1912. After his term as governor, he never again held public office.

During his long adventurous years he has been, in addition to a political reformer, a newspaper publisher, dock hand, ore prospector, foreign correspondent and lumberjack.

He made two great fortunes in timber and iron ore. In recent years, however, he has given most of his money away, chiefly to schools, charitable institutions and friends.

In 1881 he was married to Lillian G. Jones, who is now dead. They had two sons and a daughter.

The ex-governor first came to Georgia in 1890 to hunt and soon decided to make the state his part-time home. Since 1931, he has been spending nine months of the year at "Possum Poke" and the other three at his home on Duck Island in  St. Mary's river, 20 miles below Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Years ago, he started the Sault Ste. Mare News in partnership with two others. Later, he became sole owner.

Published in Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) 10 Apr 1949

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