taken from History of Barry County w/Biographies (1912)
PHILIP T. COLGROVE
Mr. Colgrove is a native of the State of Indiana, having been born at Winchester in that state, April 17, 1858. His first American ancestry is traced in the person of Francis Colgrove, born in 1667, who settled in Warwick, Rhode Island. Philip T. Colgrove’s father was Charles H., who came from Steuben county, New York, and his mother was Catherine Van Zile, a sister of Judge Philip T. Van Zile of Detroit.
Good educational advantages in his early youth, at Olivet College, coupled with a commendable energy and application, placed him some years in advance of the average student. He read law concurrently with his literary studies and was admitted to the bar before the Supreme Court of Michigan, on his twenty-first birthday, one of three out of a class of fourteen.
Mr. Colgrove’s first practice was at Reed City, but in 1880 he removed to Hastings and formed a law partnership with Clement Smith, now Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. The partnership was terminated upon the appointment of Mr. Smith to the judgeship in 1893 and Mr. Colgrove is now the senior member of the firm of Colgrove & Potter.
In 1882 Mr. Colgrove was elected prosecuting attorney of Barry County and was re-elected for two additional terms, in 1884 and 1886. In 1886 he was elected to the State Senate, and although nominated for re-election in 1890, declined the honor. During his term in the senate Mr. Colgrove was a member of the Judiciary committee and chairman of the Committee on Insurance. He has also been city attorney at Hastings for several years. He is a Republican in politics and during many campaigns has been an eloquent and effective speaker in the behalf of his party’s principles and candidates, not only in Michigan, but in the nation at large.
Of recent years Mr. Colgrove has been actively interested in the cause of good roads. As president of the Michigan Good Roads Association he has done much to increase the efficiency of Michigan’s highways and much of the present widespread interest in better thoroughfares must be directly attributed to the enthusiasm and organized effort which Mr. Colgrove has given to the duties of his office as executive of the State association. During Mr. Colgrove’s administration the membership of the association has grown almost unbelievably and he is always ready to preach the cause of good roads at public gatherings everywhere. Mr. Colgrove is without doubt the great apostle of good roads in Michigan.
Mr. Colgrove’s business interests are many and varied. He is director and stockholder in numerous enterprises and is also the owner of a considerable number of successful farms. In the management of these farms he has shown conclusively that modern business methods pay well when applied to agriculture.
Mr. Colgrove is a Knight Templar Mason and a member of the Hastings lodge of the Knights of Pythias. In this latter fraternity Mr. Colgrove has been especially prominent. In 1886 he was a member of the Grand Lodge and was elected Grand Master-at-Arms of that body. In 1887 he was elected Grand Chancellor, and in 1889 and 1890 he was the representative of the Grand Lodge to the Supreme Grand Lodge. In 1894 he was elected Supreme Vice Chancellor. But the highest honors of the order awaited him in 1896 when, at the session of the Supreme Grand Lodge held at Cleveland in August of that year, he was elected Supreme Chancellor of the Supreme Lodge of Knights of Pythias of the world.
Mr. Colgrove has two children, Mabel, who is Mrs. William M. Stebbins of Hastings, and Lawrence, of Pontiac, Michigan. Two years ago Lawrence Colgrove married Miss Grace Grant of Hastings and to them has been born a son, Philip Grant Colgrove.
In church relations Mr. Colgrove is a vestryman of Emmanuel Episcopal church and has always been ready to put his shoulder to the wheel and help the church through all difficulties.
Mr. Colgrove is a lawyer of ability and learning. He is a convincing and eloquent pleader and speaker and an energetic citizen who is always to be found on the side of progress.
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