Children of Charles Pierce and Margaret (Rogers) Bigelow:
16313.1331 John Elmer, b 10 June 1861 Muskegon, MI; d 17 June 1861 Muskegon;
16313.1332 Charles Francis, b 03 Feb 1863 Alexandria,
VA; d _ Jan 1943 Grand Rapids, MI age 79; bur Oaklawn cem, Grand Rapids;
16313.1333t Clarence Eugene Rogers, b 19 Dec 1865 Great Bend, PA; d 20 Feb 1950 Wisconsin Rapids, WI; m 1893 Ida May Pfistner; 2 children;
The Bigelow Family Genealogy, Volume II, page 493;
Howe, Bigelow Family of America;
vital records VT;
1850 census, Worcester, Washington co, VT;
Charles Pierce Bigelow was the youngest of three children. About 1850 he left home and moved to Michigan. He studied medicine under a Dr. Bliss of Grand Rapids -- Dr. Bliss was later personal physician to another Bigelow descendant, President James A. Garfield.
Charles Bigelow then attended the University of Michigan obtaining a degree in medicine in 1856. He moved first to the village of Newaygo on the Muskegon River, then to the town of Muskegon at the river's mouth. There on 16 February 1859 he married Margaret Jeanette Rogers in Newaygo at the old Brooks House. Jeanette was born 28 Oct 1838 at Addison, New York. Margaret was cousin to the writer Will Rogers, and sister to James Rogers, on whose homestead Consumers' Power Companywas to build Rogers Dam to produce electricity from the Muskegon river near Big Rapids. Mrs. Bigelow was a wonderful nurse and never refused to give her services for the care of those unable to pay for such service. She is still remembered by many as an angel to those who were in sorrow and suffering pains of body and metal ills.
His first location as a physician was at Newaygo. He remained in this position three years. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he raised a company of cavalry, then he proceeded to Grand Rapids and raised a company of infantry. He received appointment of surgeon by passing an examination before the U.S. Medical Board at Washington, D. C. He did field duty, six months, then was advanced to the rank of Major and placed in charge of the military hospitals at Alexandria, Virginia, fourteen miles from Washington. His wife followed Charles, and after the birth of their second son in 1863, she joined him in the hospital as a volunteer nurse. From Virginia they were posted to Pennsylvania, where in 1865 a third son was born at the end of the war. They then went to Great Bend where he practiced, 4 1/2 years.
Returning to Michigan in 1870, Dr. Bigelow practiced medicine in Big Rapids for the next 12 years. He set up his Practice and Drug Store at 212 Michigan Ave. (The Old Building was torn down and a new building built in the 60's and stands in the original place).
While in Big Rapids he influenced the founding of Community Hospital. (In 1931 his son Clarence placed a six sided fountain at the hospital as a tribute to his Father's work.) While in Big Rapids, he was active in civic affairs, serving as the first democratic mayor of the town, as president of the County Medical Society, president of Northern Michigan Medical Society, and on the Board of Examining Physicians (for veterans' pensions) at Reed City, Michigan.
In 1882 he moved to Grand Rapids, purchased the Mill & Lacey Drug Store, which was then located in the building now occupied by the West Drug Company, just opposite the present Grand Amway Hotel. Later he entered into his practice for about six years. He then moved back to Big Rapids about 1890, where he had a practice until 1897 when he moved to Grand Rapids. Due to his wife's health, lived a quiet life. He devoted most of his time to his interest in the Masonic order. He held many posts in the Masons. He was Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of Michigan 1888-1889 and Prelate Emeritus of De Molai Commandry.
Dr. Bigelow was a man of commanding appearance and high character and was noted all his life for the large percentage of calls he made on people who were not able to pay for medical service.
His wife, Margaret, died 23 Jun 1916 in Grand Rapids, after which Charles health declined rapidly. After spending three months in Blodgett Hospital he passed away at 7:30 pm 14 Oct 1916.
His youngest son, Clarence Eugene Rogers, erected imposing monuments to their memory in Oak Hill cemetery, Grand Rapids; at Hess Lake, in Newaygo Co., and donated the six sided fountain at Community Hospital, Big Rapids.
Sources: Michigan Vital Records; various articles unknown sources, on Clarence Bigelow; correspondence with descendants. Oak Hill Cemetery Records....and e-mail from Donald Bigelow, Grand Rapids, Michigan(dec); Grand Rapids Herald Jan 10, 1937; Michigan Tradesman Magazine Nov 25, 1936; FORGE: The Bigelow Society Quarterly, Apr 1984, Vol 13, No. 2, pg 26.