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Amos Gould Biography


Amos gouldJudge, Prosector, Senator, Banker, Railroad Pioneer, Explorer, Timber Baron, and First Mayor of Owosso

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Amos Gould Biography


Amos gouldJudge, Prosector, Senator, Banker, Railroad Pioneer, Explorer, Timber Baron, and First Mayor of Owosso

amosgould

Amos Gould came to Owosso, as did several other members of his family, from New York State. He moved to Owosso, Michigan, in 1843 and in the next 40 years, his services to the public identified him, not only on behalf of Owosso, but also to the larger development of the state.

Gould was elected in 1859 as Owosso's first mayor. He founded Owosso's first bank, organize the first school district, brought in the first school teacher, organized the first cemetery association (Oak Hill) and organized the first Congregational Church. Gould was also the first lawyer in the city and served as prosecuting attorney and probate judge. Amos was mayor when the Civil War broke out, and he and his brother, Ebenezer Gould, flipped a coin to decide which would enlist and which would remain home to continue the law practice and take care of both families. Ebenezer went to war and came back to Owosso a hero while Amos stayed home to care for the family.

 

Gould Tax Deed

Tax Deed

From the time of his arrival in Michigan in 1843, Gould speculated in land, much of which he purchased at tax sales. When the demand for Michigan pine skyrocketed following the Civil War, he cut, sawed, and marketed lumber on a large scale.

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Check Book

Amo's Gould's check book from the First Nation Bank dated 1873. It was the same year he renovated his home on North Washington Street form a classic Italiante Villa style to the then "modern" Second Empire. You can see in this photo,that Amos wrote a check on March 13th, 1873 for Judge (Elias) Comstock for the amount of $23.50.

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Railroad and Community Service


Railroad and Community ServiceRailroad Pioneer & Timber Baron

Railroad and Community Service


Railroad and Community ServiceRailroad Pioneer & Timber Baron

Gould served as the attorney For the Detroit and Milwaukee railroad company, 1852 – 1881, a position which was quite involved with the acquisition of land four it's right-of-way from Pontiac westward to Grand Haven, Michigan. He also promoted the establishment of the Amboy, Lansing, and Traverse Bay Railroad (one of Michigan's first land grant roads) and directed construction of its first section from Owosso to Lansing, Michigan.

Amos also organize the Michigan Central Railroad when it was extended from Jackson to Saginaw and secure the right-of-way for the Ann Arbor Railroad. He was supervisor for Owosso Township from 1844 to 1850, probate judge in the fall of 1844, and a State senator in 1852. After many years of public service, he retired to his home where the last twenty years of his life he was engaged in private business until a few days prior to his death on Sunday, May 14, 1882.

 

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Amos Gould House


Amos Gould HouseHome & Legacy

Amos Gould House


Amos Gould HouseHome & Legacy

Gould House circa 1865 - Amos Gould with wife Louisa and daughter Philena May Gould

The distinctive appearance of the Gould House reflects the distinctive life of its builder. Gould completed construction of the house on its current site in 1860, locating it just south of his prior residence, a frame built house in 1843. The earlier Gould home was subsequently moved to a lot on King Street, where it remains an occupied residence today. The Gould House was initially constructed in the style of an Italian villa. It was remodeled in 1873 to add a mansard roof, ornate front and side entrances, and its creamy yellow brick, unique among Owosso homes.

Mary Lena, the last member of the Gould family to live in the house, had the upstairs converted into two rental apartments in 1938. The Owosso Historical Commission, representing the City of Owosso, purchased the house in 1979.

Current efforts to preserve and maintain the Gould House are underway by the Owosso Historical Commission. For more information about these efforts and more visit our partners page.