Chase Salmon Osborn and Stellanova Osborn

CHASE S. OSBORN by Saralee R. Howard.
A biographical sketch.
Books by Stellanova Osborn.
The Governor's homes:
Photographs with Stellanova's poems - Duck Island
Photographs - Possum Poke
A photograph of the Governor at his desk.
View a biographical sketch and photo of young Chase Osborn from Men of Progress: Embracing Biographical Sketches of Representative Michigan Men With an Outline History of the State, published by the Detroit Evening New Association, circa 1900. (From the Library of Congress American Memory project.)

Why a Chase and Stellanova Osborn Web page?

Chase Salmon Osborn
The easiest way to identify Chase Osborn's place in history is to say that he was Governor of Michigan in 1911-12. But that can not begin to describe the life of this complex man.

I learned about "The Governor" (as he is always referred to there) on my first visit to Sugar Island, in 1966. A friend took us along on his traditional after dinner walk to the Governor's grave. He regaled me with tales of the Governor... colorful, brilliant, eccentric: how could I not be enchanted. I went on to read all I could about this man.

Stellanova Osborn
Finding books and articles by and about the Governor also lead me to several slim volumes of poetry by his second wife, Stellanova. These poems became, and still are, a very important part of my life. I love places. I become attached to spots on this earth. If you also do this, you will want to find and read Stellanova's poems. If the place you love is along the great waterway of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, or the Laurentian Shield, so much the better. You will recognize the plants, the weather and the land she writes about. But even if the place you love is in the desert or the mountains, I think these poems will speak to you.


This river haunts me!
My heart cannot contain
Its flooding grandeur,
Yet when my fires would mold
Immensity in music,
Like Angelo's Isaiah,
All that evolves
Is a crude imagestone.

Now I am finding shell-like little songs
To sing upon a slender but strong string
Like wampum.

-- Stellanova Osborn
Page 12, Balsam Boughs, copyright 1949.
Reprinted: Page 15, Summer Songs on the St. Marys, copyright 1982.

Stellanova's poems also show the devotion, that lasted all her life, for the Governor. And this is what made him "real" to me, as much as that is possible, after all the rest I had read and heard.

This page is under construction. Future additions will include a bibliography of books and articles by and about Chase S. Osborn, a biographical sketch of Stellanova Osborn, and genealogical information.

If you have information about the governor that you would like to share, please contact Kathy Dahlstrom at  She is doing research on the Osborns.

Michigan State University - - Judith Dow
Last updated: May 26, 2003
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