Henry Porter Baldwin

Henry P. Baldwin

A wealthy businessman and banker, Henry Porter Baldwin served two terms as Governor of Michigan and became the fourth Governor to become a U. S. Senator.
Baldwin was born in Coventry, Rhode Island in 1814. He was orphaned at the age of 12 yet he was a clerk in a mercantile establishment. He went into business for himself in 1834 at the age of 20. In 1835, he married Harriet M. Day. He later married Sibyle Lambard (1866) and they had seven children

The Baldwin’s moved to Detroit in 1838. He established a successful shoe manufacturing business. He later became a banker and manufactured chewing tobacco. Both Mr. And Mrs. Baldwin were active in the community, giving both their resources and time to charitable and cultural activities.

Baldwin was an active Republican and was elected to the state Senate from Wayne County in 1861. In 1868, he was elected Governor and was re-elected in 1870. During the second term as Governor, a devastating fire swept across Michigan from Holland and Manistee on Lake Michigan to the Saginaw Bay and the Thumb Area. Thousands of people were left homeless and destitute. A relief fund of over $450,000 was raised and Baldwin’s personal contribution was over one-third.

Upon completing his second term as Governor on January 1, 1873, Baldwin retired to private life. After the death of U. S. Senator Zachariah Chandler in 1879, he was appointed by Governor Croswell to fill the vacancy. He was unsuccessful in his 1881 bid for election to the Senate seat. Baldwin, who was an easygoing and generous man, died on New Year’s Eve in 1893.

Resolutions of St Paul’s Church Detroit January 2nd 1893

At the regular meeting of the rector wardens and vestrymen of St Paul’s Church in the City of Detroit held January 2nd 1893 the following minute was made and entered upon the records.

It is with great sorrow that we have heard of the death of the Hon Henry P. Baldwin which occurred on December 31st 1892 and we desire hereby to express our high estimate of his character and usefulness during the many years that he has lived in this city. Since 1838 he has been a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Michigan and from 1843 to 1859 he was a member of the Vestry of St Paul’s Church.  His was a rare example of beneficence integrity and devotion to his Church.  His interest in everything which had to do with the welfare of his fellow men has entitled him to a measure of honor and affection seldom equalled.  To Mrs Baldwin and the members of his family we send our words of deep sympathy as well as our tribute of gratitude and regard

Rufus W Clark Rector
Justin E Emerson Secretary


Born: February 22, 1814
Died: December 31, 1893
Buried: Elmwood Cemetery, Section B, Lot 9