Bay City, Mich., Oct. 22 — Thomas L. Handy, railroad builder and operator, coat operator and manufacturer, and one of the men who had a great deal to do with the development of Bay City, died at his home on Euclid avenue shortly before noon today after an illness of several weeks.
Mr. Handy came to Bay City about 1885 when almost a youth and engaged in the box manufacturing business, the firm name being Handy & Cramer. Within a year or two Mr. Cramer was succeeded by Charles W. Handy, the firm being known as Handy Bros. Later Geo. W. and Frank S. Handy came here and entered the business and it was incorporated under the name of Handy Bros. This business grew to immense proportions and Thomas L. Handy with his brothers, branched Graphic – Thomas L. Handy. (1921) out into the coal business within a few years after coal was discovered in paying quantities in this vicinity. Their first mine was located in Bangor township, near Wenona beach. Later they bought was was known as the Wolverine Mine No. 2 and also developed Wolverine Mine No. 3, and in connection with these mines they built, and operated for a time, the Huron & Western railroad, connecting the Wolverine mines with the several railroads operating into Bay City. These mines and the railroads were sold to interests representing the Pere Marquette railroad and the Consolidated Coal Co., and Handy Bros. then developed another mine in Monitor township which was operated for a time. They leased and tested a large tract of land in Saginaw which was later sold to Saginaw parties and on which the Uncle Henry mine is located and built and operated mines in Tuscola county, the first being the Akron mine and later the Unionville mine.
In the meantime Mr. Handy bought, operated for a short time and then sold the Pontiac, Oxford & Northern railroad, the Grand Trunk system being the purchaser from him.
To Mr. Handy Bay City owes the fact that it has direct railroad connection with Port Huron. At various times for half a century projects for the construction of such a road had been sprung on Bay City always with a demand for a bonus, some of which was, on at least two occasions, subscribed.
When the Handy Bros. were developing their coal properties in Tuscola county they found a need for a railroad and started on the construction of the Detroit, Bay City and Western road, building first from Bay City to Caro, and later to Port Huron. They then bought the Port Huron Southern railroad a line running from Port Huron to Marine City, and started on securing a right of way into Detroit. This latter road proved a valuable piece of property as it is the only steam road running through Marysville, which was then a mere village, but which has since become the scene of great industrial development. Another industrial enterprise in which T. L. Handy was the leader was the organization of the Independent Sugar Co., and the purchase of a plant at Marine City which had not been operated for several years, which was remodeled by the new owners and has been run for several years.
Mr. Handy was also a large owner of Bay City real estate and was one of the most liberal givers to all public propositions. Notable among his gifts was the site of the Thomas L. Handy Junior High school, the building of which is now nearing completion.
Mr. Handy was married about 30 years ago to Miss Harriet Emery, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Hiram A. Emery, and they have four children, Mrs. John White, of Utica, N. Y.; Thomas L., Jr., Hiram and Paul, of this city.
He is also survived by two brothers, George W. and Charles W., and one sister, Alida R., all of this city. He was an active member of the First M. E. church and belonged to numerous fraternal organizations.