University of Michigan-Flint
Frances Willson Thompson Library
Genesee Historical Collections Center
|Name of the collection:||Arthur Giles Bishop and R. Spencer Bishop|
|Quantity:||1 linear ft. (8 ledgers) and 6 outsized scrapbooks|
|Acquisition:||The collection (donor no. 025) was given to the University of Michigan-Flint History Department in 1981.|
|Access:||There are no restrictions.|
|Photographs:||The photographs were removed from the collection and are cataloged separately.
|Processed by:||Darwin C. Matthews, February 1985.|
Arthur Giles Bishop was born in Flint, Michigan, on April 12, 1851. His parents came to Flint from Genesee County, New York, in 1837. Bishop grew up and went to public schools in Flint. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1873 and then worked as a clerk at Citizens' National Bank and later in the Genesee County Savings Bank. He became the assistant cashier of the latter bank in 1889 and head cashier in 1892. In 1911, he was named vice-president and a year later he became president of the bank. He was named chairman of the board in 1933. Mr. Bishop's influence on banking was not limited to Flint. In 1915-1916 he was elected president of the Michigan Bankers Association, and he was a widely known and respected figure in the state's financial world.
Bishop was instrumental in the development of General Motors Corporation. He and other members of the community helped orchestrate the move of C. S. Mott and his company to Flint in 1905. Bishop was director of the Buick Motor Company in 1905 and on the Board of Directors of General Motors from 1915 until his death in 1944.
Bishop was well known for his philanthropic deeds. He was a generous supporter of the Genesee County Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and many other civic organizations. His contributions to St. Paul's Episcopal Church were both financial and spiritual. Bishop was a life-long member of the church and was a member of the vestry for many years.
His attachment and loyalty to the University of Michigan was solid. An avid sports fan, Bishop often attended home and away varsity football matches. During his college days Bishop earned a varsity "M" letter as a member of the Michigan baseball team. At the time of his death he was the oldest living member of the "M" Club.
Bishop married Carrie E. Spencer in 1879. Carrie Spencer had grown up in Flint and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Spencer. A newspaper in Flint hailed the couple as "two of the most highly respected young people in the city." They had two children, Katherine and R. Spencer. Mrs. Bishop died in 1936.
A grand home in the 600 block of East Kearsley Street was built for the Bishops in 1895. The house had a ballroom on the third floor, which was the scene of many social functions. After Mrs. Bishop's death, Michael Gorman, editor of the Flint Journal, moved into the house and lived with Bishop until the latter's death. Bishop's children gave the house to the local Red Cross chapter in 1944.
DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
There are eight ledgers/journals of Arthur G. Bishop covering the period from 1895 to 1939. Of more importance are the six family scrapbooks containing news items pertaining to the Bishop family; a collection of telegrams, letters, and cards. The subjects of these books include A. G. Bishop's 90th birthday, his death, R. Spencer Bishop's appointment as Regent of the University of Michigan, R. Spencer's death, and his family. Photographs from the collection are cataloged separately.
August 1, 1895-September 3, 1913
November 10, 1917-September 9, 1930
November 10, 1917-January 31, 1931
A. G. Bishop's 90th birthday
R. Spencer Bishop's appointment as Regent of the University of Michigan
A. G. Bishop's death
A. G. Bishop's death
R. Spencer Bishop family
R. Spencer Bishop's death/family