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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William H. Morgans, president of the Standard Vehicle Company of Pontiac and vice-president of the Pontiac Light Company, has been a resident of the city since 1880 and has been identified with many of its business enterprises. He was born in New York City, October 5, 1844, and is the youngest son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Edwards) Morgans.

Isaac Morgans was born in Glenmorganshire, Wales, and was quite young when he immigrated to this country with his parents, locating in New York City. He was a manufacturer of boots and shoes and was visiting in Connecticut at the time of his death, which occurred shortly before the birth of our subject. He married Elizabeth Edwards, who was born in New York City in 1815 and was a daughter of John Edwards, a native of Wales. She died at Detroit, Michigan, January 17, 1884.

William H. Morgans received a limited education in the public schools of New York City, and at the age of 11 years began to learn the trade of a sailmaker, serving an apprenticeship of three years. March 21, 1862, he enlisted for a term of three years in Company G, 1st New York Independent Batallion of Infantry; upon the consolidation of the battalion two years later with the 47th and 48th New York regiments, he held the rank of sergeant. After serving three years in those commands, he was mustered out by General Order No. 506. He remained at home for two months and then re-enlisted in Company E, 8th Reg., New York Vol. Cav., which was attached to the 3rd Division of the Army of the Potomac. During his service in the army, Mr. Morgans took part in the following engagements: Yorktown; siege and capture of Morris Island, South Carolina; Kenesaw Mountain, and the siege of Atlanta. He accompanied Sherman on the memorable “March to the Sea,” and at Milledgeville, Georgia, was taken prisoner and for six months confined at Florence, South Carolina, He was transferred to Richmond, there exchanged and immediately after rejoined his regiment at Cloud’s Mills, Virginia. June 27, 1865, he received his discharge and returned to New York City.

In October, 1865, acting upon the advice of an uncle, Mr. Morgans came west and located at Seller’s Landing, Illinois. In the spring of 1866, he moved to Toledo, Ohio, where, in partnership with his brother David, he engaged in the manufacture of sails, and in the fall of 1866 located in Detroit, where he followed his trade for a period of four years. He then became connected with the gas works and by close application became acquainted with the work in all its details. In 1880, he came to Pontiac, and accepted the management of the Medbury Gas Works, owned by Mrs. L. R. Medbury, of Detroit. He continued in this capacity until 1899, when he purchased the gas plant of Mrs. Medbury and organized the Pontiac Gas & Electric Company, of which he became general manager. On January 15, 1902, he and his associates disposed of a portion of their interest to H. D. Walbridge, and the Pontiac Light Company was organized and incorporated, which company furnishes fuel and commercial lighting exclusively. The officers of the company are: H. D. Walbridge, president; W. H. Morgans, vice-president; and Miss Florence E. Morgans, secretary, treasurer and manager. The board of directors includes the officers and Aaron Perry, Joshua Hill, Frank G. Jacobs and Frank H. Carroll. The offices of the company are on Saginaw street, South, the gas plant on Wessen street, and the electric plant on Lawrence street, West. From 12 to 20 men are employed, and Miss Morgans has displayed great executive ability in the management. Mr. Morgans is director in the Wolverine & Buckeye Oil Company of Birmingham, Michigan, also a member of a Kentucky syndicate in the Kentucky oil fields.

On November 18, 1867, Mr. Morgans was married to Mrs. Mary E. Pittinger of Detroit, a daughter of James A. and Betsy (Newell) Cole, and they have four children: Onithia K., a graduate of the Pontiac High School and wife of Edward E. Morrill, a wealthy and prominent citizen of Oak Park, Illinois, by whom she has two children, Mary Rebecca and Helen; Florence E., a graduate of Akeley Hall, at Grand Haven, who is secretary and manager of the Pontiac Light Company; Anna A., a graduate in music of Akeley Hall and the Chicago Conservatory of Music; and Morgan, a graduate of St. Johns College. Annapolis, Maryland, who is engaged with the Snow Pump Works of Buffalo, New York. Our subject has always been a Republican in politics and has held numerous municipal and township offices, serving two terms as alderman from the First Ward. Fraternally, he is a member of Pontiac Lodge, No. 3, I. O. O. F.; Pontiac Lodge, No. 21, F. & A. M.; Chapter, R. A. M.; Commandery No. 2, K. T., of which he is past eminent commander; Moslem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Detroit; Knights of Pythias; Uniform Rank, K. of P., in which he has served as 1st lieutenant, captain and major of the 4th Battalion, and is at present holding the office of assistant quartermaster general with the rank of colonel on the staff of the brigadier-general; the Royal Arcanum; Ancient Order of United Workmen; and Knights of the Maccabees. He is also past commander of Dick Richardson Post, G. A. R. Mr. Morgans and his family are members of the Protestant Episcopal Church. For a period of five years he has efficiently served as a member of the Board of Public Works. The family reside in a beautiful home at No. 509 Orchard Lake Avenue. A portrait* of Mr. Morgans accompanies this sketch.

*Editor's note: Portrait was included in the original printed book.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

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