William Greenly was born in New York and came to Adrian in 1836. He became a lawyer and in 1838 was elected a state senator on the Democratic ticket. In 1846 Greenly was elected lieutenant governor. When Governor Alpheus Felch resigned a year later to serve in the U.S. Senate, Greenly served out Felch's term as the sixth governor of Michigan. During his tenure from 1847-1848, the state decided to make the new town of Lansing the state's capital. After serving as governor, Greenly returned to Adrian to practice law, serve as a justice of the peace, and the city's mayor in 1858-1859.
The most successful politician in Adrian's history was Charles Croswell. Orphaned at an early age, Croswell came to Adrian with his uncle in 1837. In 1846 he began studying law while also showing an aptitude for politics and business. in 1854 he was a delegate to the convention in Jackson, which formed the Republican Party. A year later he began practicing law in Adrian with Thomas Cooley (future Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court). By 1864 Croswell was elected to the Michigan State Senate. His proudest moment came in 1865 when he began pushing Michigan's vote to end slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In 1876 Croswell was elected the seventeenth Governor of Michigan and served two
terms until 1881. While Croswell was governor, he worked to make state government as honest, efficient, and inexpensive as possible, as he continued to show compassion for the less fortunate. Croswell worked to create special institutions such as orphanages, a state school for the blind, and a state reform school for girls. After his second term as governor, Croswell returned to Adrian, assumed control of the opera house that would later bear his name, and also served as president of the Lenawee County Savings Bank until his death in 1886.
Dedicated to our community with pride in our Adrian heritage. From the "A-Team" (Employees of Adrian Steel Company).