CHARLES B. CROSS. The firm of Cross, Vanderwerp, Foote & Ross, attorneys at law, at Muskegon, Michigan have the largest practice enjoyed by any firm in that city, and all its members are men of high standing and first-grade ability in the law. The present firm are successors to two well known Muskegon legal partnerships, the first being Nims, Hoyt, Erwin, Vanderwerp & Foote and the second being Cross, Lovelace and Ross. Mr. Charles B. Cross, who is now senior member of this firm, has been in practice as a lawyer for twenty-five years, and in the general branches of the law, and both as a counselor and advocate has few superiors in this section of the state.
Charles B. Cross was born in Tuscola County, Michigan, December 4, 1861, a son of James A. and Sarah A. (Tenny) Cross. The Cross family were originally of Welsh stock, and has been identified with American residence for a number of generations. Great-grandfather Elihu Cross was born in Vermont, but spent many years of his life in New York, where he was both a farmer and hunter. Grandfather Luman Cross, born in Vermont, was a young man where he located in New York, on a farm, and that was in the pioneer times in their section of New York State. It was necessary to build six miles of road through the woods, in order to reach the Cross home. James A. Cross, father of the Muskegon lawyer, was born in Monroe County, New York, in 1835 and in 1859 married Miss Sarah A. Tenny, who was born in the same county in 1834, and who died in January, 1895. James Cross, in early manhood, came out to Michigan, where he took up land in the wilderness of Tuscola County, after making some improvements returned to New York State where he was married, and then with his bride, came back and took up the life and labors of a pioneer. After a long and active career, marked by prosperity in material tings, and honorable dealings with his community, the father now lives retired at Spring Lake, Michigan. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Masonic Order, and his wife was active in the Baptist Church. Of their four children Charles B. Cross was the oldest, the others being; Lewis L., who is a farmer and is a bachelor; George H., and attorney at Traverse City; and Ira, a Michigan farmer. The maternal grandfather was Peter B. Tenny, who spent his life in New York State as a farmer.
Charles B. Cross grew up in the country around Spring Lake, where he attended the local schools, and at the age of sixteen was qualified and taught his first term of school. School teaching was largely the means by which he was enabled to pay his way through college. In 1887, Mr. Cross graduated from the Valparaiso University Law School, and after teaching one year began practice in 1888. At first, he was alone, then became associated with Chamberlain & Cross, then in the firm of Cross & Lovelace, and then as head of the firm of Cross, Lovelace & Ross, from which the present partnership was formed.
In 1888, Mr. Cross married Miss Myrtle E. Hill, a daughter of Charles J. Hill, a prominent farmer and an old settler in this state. Two that union have been born four children; Claude L. who for two years taught manual training, and is now taking a course in dentistry at the State University in Ann Arbor; Arthur G., fourteen years of age, Clarence R., aged eleven; and Elinor. Mr. Cross has social relations with the Masonic Order and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in Masonary he has been Master of his Lodge and is Past Eminent Commander of the Knights Templar. For a number of years, Mr. Cross has taken a decided interest in political affairs, has gone on the stump in a number of campaigns, and his support has been regularly given to the Republican Party. His record of public service includes a term as assistant prosecuting attorney and four years as prosecuting attorney.
Charles B. CROSS has been engaged in the practice of law in the city of Muskegon nearly forty years and is now one of the veteran, honored and representative members of the bar of Muskegon County. He has long controlled a large and important law business, and in addition to his private practice he has served two terms as prosecuting attorney of the county and one term as city attorney of Muskegon. Mr. CROSS is a stalwart advocate of the principles and policies of the Republican Party, and he and his wife hold membership in the Baptist church in their home city. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and is a loyal member and supporter of the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce. Mr. CROSS is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of Tuscola county, Michigan, and on the old homestead farm in Koylton township, that county, he was born December 4, 1861. He is a son of Arthur and Sarah Ann (TENNY) CROSS, who continued their residence in Michigan until their death and who are survived by four sons, of whom the subject of this review was the first in order of birth. Of the other sons it is to be recorded that Lewis Dumen is a prosperous farmer near Spring Lake, Ottawa County; that George Herbert is engaged in the practice of law in Muskegon; and that Ira Howard is another of the representative farmers of the Spring Lake district of Ottawa county. Charles B. CROSS gained the greater part of his early education by attending the public schools at Spring Lake, he having been a child at the time of the family removal from Tuscola County to Ottawa County. In preparation for his chosen profession he completed a course in the law department of what is now the great Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Indiana. In this institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1887, thus receiving his degree of Bachelor of Laws, and soon after he was admitted to the bar of his native state. He has been established in the general practice of his profession in Muskegon since 1888, and has appeared in connection with much important litigation in the various courts of this part of the state, the while he has gained prestige as a resourceful and successful trial lawyer and well fortified counselor. September 26, 1888, Mr. CROSS was united in marriage to Miss Myrtle Eva HILL, daughter of the late Charles J. HILL, of Spring Lake, Ottawa County. Dr. Claude Lionel CROSS, eldest of the four children of this union, was graduated in the department of dentistry at the University of Michigan and is now engaged in the practice of his profession in the city of Detroit; Arthur Gordon was twenty-three years of age at the time of his death in April 1922; Clarence Raymond and Elinor Myrtle, wife of Van D. DYER, of Muskegon.
Source: “Historic Michigan”, George N. Fuller/ James L. Smith (1925) Vol. III, p.143