Fred M. Warner, the twenty-sixth governor of Michigan, was born in Hickling, Nottingham, England on July 21, 1865. Warner became an orphan at three months of age, and consequently was adopted by a couple in Farmington, Michigan. His early education was attained in the common schools of Michigan, and later he attended the Michigan Agricultural College. Warner went to work in his father's general store, and eventually became the owner of thirteen successful cheese factories. He entered politics in 1894, serving as a member of the Michigan State Senate, a position he held four years. He also served as the secretary of state of Michigan from 1900 to 1904. Warner next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 8, 1904. He was reelected to a second term in 1906, and to a third term in 1908. During his tenure, a factory inspection bill was authorized; a direct primary law was sanctioned; highway construction was promoted; and railroad and insurance regulations were initiated. After completing his term, Warner left office on January 2, 1911. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a Republican National Committeeman, a position he held from 1902 to 1923. Governor Fred M. Warner passed away on April 17, 1923, and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Farmington, Michigan.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
National Association of Governors
Orlando, Fla., April 17. -- (By A.P.) -- Fred M. Warner, former governor of Michigan, and at one time national republican committeeman, died here this morning following an extended illness. Mr. Warner came to Orlando seeking relief. His death was not unexpected by his relatives. The body will be shipped today to Farmington, Mich.
Pontiac, April 17. -- (By A.P.) -- Relatives here
received telegraphic news this forenoon of the death of Fred M. Warner,
of Farmington, former governor of Michigan at Orlando, Fla., at 4 o'clock
this morning. The former governor was spending the winter at a resort
there seeking to regain his health. which has been uncertain since his
serious illness more than a year ago. With him were Mrs. Warner and his
Fred M. Warner, for three successive terms as governor of Michigan, covering the period from 1905 to 1911, was a native of England, born in Nottinghamshire, July 21, 1865. He was brought to America by his parents when but three months old and about three months later his mother died, and he was adopted into the family of P. Dean Warner, a pioneer of Farmington, Oakland county, Michigan. His foster father was a person of prominence in the state, serving as representative and state senator and in the constitutional convention of 1850.
Mr. Warner was educated in Farmington high school and the state agricultural college and succeeded to a mercantile business left by P. F. Warner. In 1889 he established the first of a chain of cheese factories which made him prosperous. This business was incorporated in 1895.
RAPID POLITICAL RISE
From village president, Mr. Warner advanced to the state senate in 1895 and at the republican state convention of 1900 was nominated for secretary of state, serving two terms. His personal popularity and ability became so evident that he was nominated and elected governor in 1904, being then the youngest man to hold that office.
Following his retirement from Lansing, Governor Warner devoted his time to business and was active in state politics only indirectly until he announced himself for United States senate during the famous Newberry-Ford campaign, withdrawing after Newberry's entry. He later became a storm center in state republican politics over his denunciations of "Newberryism" and demands were made for his resignation as national committeeman. He did not resign however.
HIs health has been failing for about three years and news of his death was not entirely unexpected by friends here, although he is but in his 58th year.
His widow, two sons and two daughters, survive.
Published in Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) 17 Apr 1923
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