McCreery family

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The McCreery and Fenton families were prominent Genesee county residents some of whose members distinguished themselves in local and state government, as soldiers during the Civil War, and in the United States diplomatic service.

William M. Fenton (1808-1871), for whom the city of Fenton, Michigan was named, was a lawyer, state senator (1846), lieutenant governor (1848, re-elected 1850), mayor of Flint (1858), and Democratic candidate for governor (1864). During the Civil War, although in his fifties, Fenton raised some of the first troops in the state. His initial appointment was as major in the 7th Michigan Infantry. He later transferred to command of the 8th Michigan Infantry. In 1863, he was discharged with the rank of colonel.

His son-in-law, William B. McCreery (1836-1896), also served in the Civil War. As colonel in the 21st Michigan Infantry, McCreery was wounded and captured at the Battle of Chickamauga (1863) and imprisoned for a time at Libby Prison, but escape with others through the famous tunnel. After the war, he became involved in public service. He was mayor of Flint (1865) and state treasurer (1875-1879). He later was selected to be United States Consul to Chile. During his period of service (1890-1891), relations with Chile were difficult as the country underwent a revolution against the Balmaceda administration. There was an attack on U.S. sailors, sometime referred to as the "Baltimore Affair" that threatened to bring the United States into a war with Chile. Assisting McCreery in Chile was his son Fenton R. McCreery (1866-1940) whose subsequent diplomatic career would take him to different countries of Central and South America.

From the guide to the McCreery-Fenton family papers, 1842-1935, 1860-1865, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf McCreery-Fenton family papers, 1842-1935, 1860-1865 Bentley Historical Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Blair, Austin, 1818-1894 person
associatedWith Crapo, Henry Howland, 1804-1869 person
associatedWith Fenton family. family
associatedWith Fenton, William M., 1808-1871 person
associatedWith Libby Prison. corporateBody
associatedWith McCreery, William B. (William Barker), 1836-1896 person
associatedWith Robertson, Jno. (John), 1814-1887 person
associatedWith Thomas, George Henry, 1816-1870 person
associatedWith United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 21st, 1862-1865 corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 7th, 1861-1865 corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 8th, 1861-1865 corporateBody
associatedWith Willcox, Orlando B. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863


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