AARON T. BLISS, the twenty-fifth governor of Michigan, was born in Smithfield, New York on May 22, 1837. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the 10th New York Volunteer Calvary, rose to the rank of captain, was wounded in battle, captured and later escaped from a Confederate prison. After his military service, he moved to Saginaw, Michigan and established a successful lumber mill business. Bliss entered politics in 1882, serving as a one-term member of the Michigan State Senate. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1889 to 1891. Bliss won election to the Michigan governorship by a popular vote in 1900. He was reelected to a second term in 1902. During his tenure, an adult blind institute was established in Saginaw; a state highway department was formed; a soldiers’ home in Grand Rapids was founded; and railroad taxation was sanctioned. After completing his term, Bliss left office on January 1, 1905, and retired from political life. Governor Aaron T. Bliss passed away on September 16, 1906, and was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Saginaw, Michigan.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.