Thus the village continued to increase the efficiency till the Water works were in operation, when the Holly system of fire protection was instituted , and with the fire alarm telegraph and the steam and hand engines constitute the most efficient fire protection to use by any city in the State of Michigan.
In order to be in fashion with other and larger towns, and to accommodate the traveling community on Water street to the various mills and other places, a company was formed in December 1864 to build a street railroad, and this company has not only extended its lines and firmly fixed itself, but has extended its franchises to the right to use its tracks for a transfer railroad, from 10 o'clock at night to until 6 o'clock in the morning, thus giving all the mills and salt works and other manufacturies direct access to the railroad connections to ship from their very doors.
The lumbering and salt business, employing so many transient people - men of disparate characters may be found more numerous in these trades in connection with shipping and sailing than all others. These facts and the demands for greater safety in traveling the streets of the place in the night, and the belief of the merchants and others that gas light was much cheaper and better than any other light induced an effort to secure the erecting of gas works in Bay City. So in February 1865, a charter was granted to the Bay City Gaslight company, and the works were in due time completed and their pipes extended to every part of Bay City.
The banking business of this county commenced in 1863. The Bay Bank was opened by C.W. Gibson with about $5,000 in the shape of a small sized "broker's office." Mr. Gibson started his bank on Water street, on the site of Campbell house, and continued until Jan. 16, 1864, when the First National Bank was organized with C.W. Gibson president and Clark cashier, with $5,000 capital.
In 1867 N.B. Bradley and B.E. Warren opened a banking house on the corner of Center and Water streets, where hey continued some time, but they and James Shearer and others re-organized the First National Bank and finally increased the capital to $400,000 with James Shearer president and B.E. Warren cashier. The same president and cashier have been continued to this date. There are now, also, besides the First, the Second National Bank, Bay City Bank and the Savings Bank in Bay City and the Lumberman's Bank in West Bay City, with a total banking capital in the county of not less than a million dollars. These facts surely seem to indicate rapid strides in the accumulation of wealth and prosperity in this community.
The Circuit court calendar from year to year shows the importance of this branch of business simply immense.
The very relative of the immense business transacted in this county renders legitation in this court almost impossible.
The Hon. Sanford M. Green has ably presided in this court about twelve years in succession, with great honor to himself and to the full satisfaction of all doing business in his court.
The bar of Bay County is so numerous that but few of the oldest will be named, there being at this time forty-eight members.
It is a seeming paradox but very true perhaps that this numerous class of man operates to prevent much litigation.
Among the pioneer layers will be remembered W.L. Sherman who came here in 1853 from the State of New York. Mr. Sherman was a "character" never letting a chance linger when he could get his "one per cent." A.C. Maxwell, who was "all over" like bad weather, came here in 1854 or 1855. Maxwell was then a large-size "green looking horn" but anybody who took him for one of that species found his mistake. He is now counted on of the shrewdest lawyers in this part of the state. He has contributed largely to the growth and prosperity of this city and county.