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Source: History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: containing a full account of its early settlement, its growth, development, and resources, an extended description of its iron and copper mines: also, accurate sketches of its counties, cities, towns, and villages ... biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers. Publication Info: Chicago : Western Historical Co., 1883. Pages 436-444.

The site of the city of Ishpeming was known in the early mining days as the Lake Superior Location, taking its name from its parent, the Lake Superior Mine. The name Ishpeming was not adopted until 1862, some six years after, the first settlements were made within its present limits. The word Ishpeming derives its origin from the Chippeway language, and the correct translation signifies Heaven, or great elevation. (ED.—Above is the translation of the Otchipwe Word.) In its early days it was often spoken of as "Hell Town." Nevertheless, the name Heaven was a most appropriate one when the Indian first pronounced it to the early explorers.

If one can imagine this spot of fifty years ago, ere yet the pick of the white man had delved the ground for the precious minerals, the name "Heaven" does not appear so ostensibly antagonistic to the appearance that it presents today. The noble savage, as he stood upon one of the many heights which surround the city, and gazed into the shady valley where nestled so tranquilly the pure crystal waters of two beautiful lakes; where a bubbling silvery brook wended its length with various windings; where the deer came to slake their thirst and under whose surface the speckled trout sported; where all was quiet and peaceful, free from the various strifes of this world, no name could have been more aptly chosen. In those days, it was a heaven of nature, and without doubt approached the red man's ideal of the "Happy Hunting Ground" as closely as anything he could picture to his mind. The country at this point attains an elevation of 1,72 feet above the sea level, and 930 feet above the waters of Lake Superior.

Ishpeming 1883

The surface of this locality is much broken up, the territory now forming the limits of the city formerly consisting of considerable swamp and peat bogs, with immense upheavals of limonitic schist, quartzite and diorite rock, bearing large deposits of the several varieties of the valuable iron ore that have since furnished such immense commercial resources and given birth to so much fame, that its name is known quite as familiarly in the so-called outside world as among its native hills. The city of Ishpeming is located in what was originally an impenetrable cedar swamp, and is surrounded by the iron-bearing upheavals of rock, which dip at almost every angle, but has a prevailing sink to the north and west. Some of the mines from the summit of the elevations are grand beyond pen language, and now that the intervening spaces are filled with the active life of mining and business relating thereto, the natural beauty of the spot is much enhanced by the life and energy shown in the general view.

As the observer looks upon the scene of busy industry laid out before him, it is impossible to comprehend the magnitude and importance of its details. Beautiful wreaths of smoke rise heavenward from the engine and pump house of the six immense mines of the city. Long trains of ore cars come and go, carrying away the precious minerals, while the noise of the hurrying engines, the echo of steam whistles, an occasional muffled roar from the subterranean recesses of the mines, as the ore is started and torn from its long and peaceful repose of ages, creates an impression on the mind long to be remembered.

In the repertory of its resources, mining is the main support and all-important interest. At the head of the six iron mines within the city limits, embraced in a radius of one mile, stands the Lake Superior, which has proved itself to be the greatest iron mine in the known world. It has been in constant operation for a period of twenty-five years, and has today more ore in sight than at any time since the date of its first opening. From present indications, its deposits would seem inexhaustible, and almost require centuries to exhaust them. Up to the present time (July 1, 1882), it has produced 2,775,117 gross tons of ore.

Next in point of wealth is the Cleveland iron Mine, the second in age in the district, which has produced 2,3'77,438 gross tons of ore.

The New York Mine, the third in importance and wealth, nets a total production of 988,880 gross tons. This mine is familiarly known as Tilden's Mine, and from it ex-Gov. Samuel J. Tilden has received many valuable additions to his income.

The Barnum Mine, named after William H. Barnum, who holds the principal part of the stock, has been in operation since 1866, and has produced 496,694 gross tons.

The Lake Angeline Mine began work in 1863, and has shipped since that time 528, 58 7 gross tons.

The Saulsbury Mine was first opened in 1872, and the gross average of the shipments of ore amount to 250,071 tons.

The grand total of the iron shipments of the mines of Ishpeming aggregate 7,376,779 gross tons. The assessed value of this extensive mining property is placed at $8,000,000, and their monthly disbursements for labor alone average over $100,000. In addition to the mining interests within its corporate limits, the city is formed with several others just outside, which tributary resources contribute as fully to its support as those within. The principal mines located near Ishpeming, are the New England, Mitchell, National, Winthrop, Saginaw, St. Lawrence, Cleveland, Hematite and Norwich. Iron interests are further developed by the blast furnaces, one, the Excelsior, located in the city limits, and the other operated at Deer Lake. The former turns out about 850 tons of pig iron annually, and the latter about 2,800 tons.

Manufacturing interests include the Ishpeming Foundry, devoted to the construction of all classes of mining machinery and the Merrit's interval-gear hoisting planks. This enterprise also has extensive boiler works attached to it. The city is well and tastefully laid out, and its buildings are of a good character. The large four-story school building is one of the finest in the Upper Peninsula. It is a solid stone building, erected at a cost of $58,000. The city engine-house is a substantial stone structure, two stories in height, having a hose-tower, large hall and engineer's apartments.

Two moderately good opera houses accommodate the amusement world, and nearly all the secret organizations and societies of the city have good halls of meeting. At the head of all hotels in the Upper Peninsula stands the Nelson House, a large brick veneered building fitted up in the best manner, heated by steam and supplied with baths, gas, hot and cold water. It was completed and opened to the public in 1880 by Robert Nelson, the founder of the city, taking the place of the Barnum House, destroyed by fire in May, 1879.

Ishpeming is the terminus of the Chicago & North-Western Railroad, which also maintains two large roundhouses and large machine and repair shops, and communication north with the copper regions of Lake Superior, and an outlet by the lakes at Marquette, is furnished by the Marquette, Houghton & Ontonagon Railroad. The Detroit, Marquette & Mackinac, now having its western terminus at Marquette, has surveyed a preliminary line in this city and will without doubt extend its line to this point, and compete for the immense ore traffic of the mines.

At this writing, the Holly system of water works is being introduced throughout the city at a cost of $75, 000. A well accoutered fire department of thirty-five active members, two Silsby steamers and two horse hose carts furnish protection against fire. One of the important features of the place is the driving park, which is well fitted up, and possesses the finest course in the country. The moral and religious training of the people is well provided for by six churches. They are attached to the leading and influential denominations of the country, and this liberal support from the citizens of the city speaks volumes in favor of the social and religious sentiments of the mass of the inhabitants. Ishpeming is a city that has attained a wonderful and rapid growth from its wealth of natural resources—resources which seem as yet only partially developed. For the past ten years, the returns of productive industry have annually increased, and the ore products of the Marquette Iron Mining District are constantly growing in favor with the iron commerce of the United States and Europe. The city has manifested a spirit of progress in the past, and it cannot be said otherwise than that this same prosperity will continue to tarry with it. Too bright a future cannot be predicted for a city possessing so much enterprise, a people who take pride in home affairs, and who improve every opportunity to advance their general interests.


The discovery of iron in the region now known as the Marquette Iron District, ultimately led to the settlement of the city of Ishpeming. The first to visit the site of the city were the early explorers, who found a most beautiful country laid out before them, which the red man, in his untutored language, called Ishpeming. But the aborigines' heaven was destined to undergo a rapid and wonderful transition. With characteristic longing for game and fame, the white man came and reported on his return in the East that iron in enormous quantities existed here. Mountains of it, they averred, and soon the story spread and men came to seek the fortune that lay exposed to view. The mountain that called forth these assertions is generally known as Jasper Knob, and lies just south of the shaft of the Cleveland Iron Mine. This mountain is a huge elevation, chiefly composed of granite, covered with a thin layer of iron, but in the days when the only implements to aid the explorer in his discoveries were the pick and shovel, it maintained the outward appearance of possessing an inexhaustible wealth of ore, which, after further explorations were made, proved to be absolutely worthless.

In 1846, Dr. J. L. Cassells, of Cleveland, came up from the Sault and took possession of a tract of land one mile square for the Dead River Silver & Copper Mining Company. His claim included the property of the Cleveland Iron Company mine, and the lands upon which the Lake Superior Iron Company was originally organized. For some reason, Dr. Cassells abandoned his claim in 1847, and left the country. His claim was immediately taken possession of by Capt. Samuel H. Moody, John H. Mann and Edmund C. Rogers, the first two claiming what afterward became the property of the Cleveland Iron Company, and the last named "squatting" on the lands in Sections 10 and 11, the original claim of the Lake Superior Company. The old Marquette Iron Company was organized in the summer of 1848, and afterward took a lease of these lands from E. M. Clark and Robert J. Graveraet, who claimed to have possession as the representatives of Messrs. Moody, Mann & Rogers, with power to sell or lease. A long and bitter controversy followed in the fight for the legal possession of the Cleveland Iron Company's property, the Marquette Iron Company claiming it under their lease, and Mr. Graveraet representing Moody & Mann by a claim of property. The conflicting claims of the litigants were finally settled by a decision of the Interior Department, which accorded the right of purchase to Lorenzo Don Burnell, from whom the Cleveland Iron Company purchased. The company did not enter all the land in dispute, and what is now the Lake Superior Mine proper was claimed by Mr. Graveraet, under the Rogers pre-emption, in behalf of the Marquette Iron Company. Mr. Rogers had lost his interest by failing to reach the Government Land Office at the Sault in November, 1850, being detained by a storm on the lake, at which date the Government sale of the land took place. The location was purchased by one Isaiah Briggs, in the interest of John Burt, under an agreement to lease an undivided one-half interest to Mr. Graveraet for a term of ninety-nine years, which agreement was fulfilled. Mr. Graveraet assigned his lease to the Marquette Iron Company, and the title of this company became perfect.

This lease, together with the assets of the Marquette Iron Company, including sixty-four acres within the limits of the city of Marquette, was purchased by the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, in 1853, which filed its articles of association in April, 1853. These articles were signed by John Outhwaite, Morgan L. Hewett, Selah Chamberlain, Samuel L. Mather, Isaac L. Hewett, Henry F. Brayton and E. M. Clark. The capital stock amounted to $500,000, divided into 20,000 shares.

Subsequently, the Graveraet lease was purchased by the Lake Superior Iron Company, which filed its articles of association March 13, 1853, with a capital stock of $300,000, divided into 12,000 shares of $25 each. The incorporators were Heman B. Ely, Anson Gaston, Samuel P. Ely, George H. Ely and Alvah Strong.

In the fall of 1856, the late H. B. Ely employed the Longtine boys, of Marquette, to cut away the timber and make a clearing on what is now the Lake Superior Mine property. Their labor having proved satisfactory, it was determined to abandon camp life for more comfortable quarters, and accordingly, the erection of a building was commenced. This pioneer building was located north of, and not far from the center line of Section 10, on the Lake Superior Mine property. It was first opened as a boarding-house, kept by C. C. Eddy, who was superseded by Daniel Wilson, John L. Spurr and others, finally assuming the name of the Ishpeming House. It stood upon its original site until 1871, at which date it was removed to a site on Division street, in the new city, and opened as the first hotel by John Mills, under the name of the Mills House. This building was erected under the supervision of John Atwood, while the architect was John Burt; the workman and builder and architect "trailed it" to the Cleveland Mine location, that being opened, under charge of Col. Whittlesey, for their daily bread, very often, and only occupied the partly finished building as their necessities demanded.

In July, 1857, Capt. G. D. Johnson, the first Superintendent in charge of the Lake Superior Mine, arrived at Ishpeming in company with J. Cameron, and assumed the direction of work at the Lake Superior Mine. At first, they were compelled to go to Col. Whittlesey's camp for food and shelter, and not unfrequently were obliged to camp by the side of a "smudge fire," to prevent the stinging insects from tormenting them to death. Later, the old Ishpeming House was completed, and served for some time as a boarding-house and office for the operatives of the mine, which was commenced at this time.

The help employed by Capt, Johnson consisted of six men—Simon Cavenaugh and his son James, "Scottie" Welsh and two others. The output of ore for this first season was 500 tons, taken from the old Macraw's pit, and was shipped to Marquette via the Marquette, Houghton & Ontonagon Railroad, which was completed to the mine in the fall of this year, the first shipment being made on the 14th of October. In the spring of 1858, Capt. Johnson increased his force of men to about twenty-five in number, who mined during the season 4,685 tons of ore, that was shipped to Cleveland and Detroit. Among this number may be mentioned the names of Thomas Flanagan and John Macraw. This season's work virtually established the reputation of the mine for its workable qualities and insured its future success.

The property of the Cleveland was explored in 1846 by Messrs. John Outhwait, Dr. Hewett, S. S. Mather and U. J. Gordon. Mr. Outhwait and party were among the many who came during that year to homestead property in this location. Landing at Marquette, the party started overland, followed closely by a second party under the leadership of Robert Graveraet, Esq., of Cleveland.

The possession of Jasper Knob was the object of the enterprise, and Mr. Outhwaite reached the ground several hours in advance of the opposition party, and was busily engaged in the task of planting potatoes when they arrived.

For a time, the health and safety of all seemed in imminent danger in the strife to gain the coveted title. As fast as Mr. Outhwaite's party planted the potatoes, Mr. Graveraet's would unplant them. Mr. Outhwaite took in the situation and rested for a full half hour between planting each potato, utilizing the friendly services of a log that lay near at hand, resolved that he had an abundance of time to put in his crop. By persistent labor, he succeeded in gaining his point, so far as the staying properties went; but the matter finally went into the courts for settlement, and was decided as related above. After the company had gained the desired possession, which involved the expenditure of an immense amount of money in litigation, they sent up a party of engineers to commence mining operations, who soon discovered the supposed mountain of iron to be of no value whatever. This discovery was a sad blow to the Marquette Iron Company, to find, when the victory had been won, by the loss of so much valuable time and labor, to say nothing of the immense expense involved, that the treasure was only a myth. It nearly terminated the life of the company. Float ore was found at the base of the bluff, and the first opening was made in the regular ore deposit in the summer of 1849, and during this year a few log buildings were erected. The ore that was mined was hauled to Marquette to be forged during the winter, but mining operations were not thoroughly inaugurated until 1853, when the Marquette Iron Company transferred its interest to the Cleveland Mining Company. Mining in those days was conducted in a very primitive manner, and was necessarily a slow and tedious operation, yet when the fact that iron ore existed here in paying deposits was once established, the town began to settle quite rapidly, and from this date begins the settlement of Ishpeming.

The Cleveland Iron Company commenced work at the mine in 1854. In the beginning of operations, tents were used for the shelter of the men, and a short time after a few log buildings were erected. After work was inaugurated at the Lake Superior Mine, other log buildings were erected in the locality near Division street, adjoining the track of the Marquette, Houghton & Ontonagon Railroad. After the advent of Capt. Johnson to the city, and the establishment of the Lake Superior Mine, a few frame buildings were erected, as the necessities of the times demanded.

In 1858, besides the building at the Lake Superior location, there were but seven houses between this building and Marquette—one at the Cleveland and two log shanties; one at the Jackson Mine, near Negaunee; one log house at Negaunee, and two shanties at the pioneer furnaces, which were then in process of construction. The limited populace all along the line enjoyed a great deal of sport in hunting and fishing deer and trout, hitherto the principal game and fish, and the Carp River the field of operation. Night hunting for deer with a boat and lantern was a favorite sport.

During the first twelve years of the city's life, the site was the Lake Superior location. The first store was established in 1860, the business occupying a portion of the old Ishpeming House, and in 1863, the post office was established in the same building. Capt. G. D. Johnson was the pioneer servant of the post office department at Ishpeming, holding the position until succeeded by the present incumbent, Mr. Julius Ropes, in January, 1868. The quarterly revenues of the first year amounted to only $10, and the story is related of Captain Johnson that he paid the entire proceeds of his term of office to an expert to have his reports made out correctly, as provided by law. Postmaster Ropes reported $275 as the amount received during the first quarter of his administration, and soon after his appointment, after the laying-out of the city, the office was removed to its present location, on Division street. In the month of December, 1867, Mr. Julius Ropes came to Ishpeming is the interest of H. H. Stafford & Co., of Marquette, and established the first drug store on the location and the second business house of the city. This building was situated about half way between the office of the company and the residence of Capt. Hall. Robert Nelson, the founder and original proprietor of the town, is the first who entered into business life at Ishpeming. He established the store at the Ishpeming House, and also erected a slaughter-house near Lake Bancroft, in the limits of the city, and established the first meat market, In 1869, Mr.

Nelson purchased the site of the city from the Iron Cliffs Iron Company, and during the summer of this year platted and laid it out into town lots. Ishpeming was incorporated as a village, with Capt. G. D. Johnson as President in the fall of 1869, and the first town election was held this year in the old town hall of the Lake Superior location. James McLeon was elected the first Justice of the Peace, and a Mr. Ryan as Town Marshal. The elements for maintaining peace and order were introduced, and at this date they were badly needed, as many of the older citizens can testify. Previous to this, during the year of 1867-68, Capts. Johnson, Mills, Diamond and Williams were each to their town in the several mining locations, Mayor, Town Council and Chief of Police combined, and they are credited with filling their respective offices in a most complimentary manner.

The men of the hour, in business life outside of the mining interests, were Robert Nelson, Benjamin Wright and Postmaster Ropes. Dr. B. S. Bigelow, early and late, looked after the sick and suffering. The Ishpeming House was the home of the traveler, and St. John's Church the only church building in the town. The town was made up of the several mining locations, and contained a population of about 800 people.

Prior to the laying-out of the town, the only building erected upon it was that of the Lake Superior Foundry. During the summer of 1869, the first buildings were put up, but the town built up so rapidly that it is difficult to determine which were the original. The rock store was first completed, into which Mr. Nelson transferred his business. The second building was erected by Cornelius Keough, in which the first saloon was opened. The second business house was established by Nichols Feolker. Mr. Ropes moved his building down to the new site from force of circumstances, and inaugurated the first drug store. Charles McNamara started the first harness shop, and Patrick Donahoe became the village shoemaker. Messrs. Hotchkins & Whiting established the first livery and feed stable, B. M. Colwell the pioneer hardware store, and Mr. Anderson erected the Anderson Hall, and opened the first jewelry house, in the storerooms underneath. In 1873, the village had gained a population of 6,000 inhabitants and was granted a city charter. Capt. F. P. Mills was honored as the first Mayor of the new city. and W. F. Swift as City Recorder. John Mills, familiarly called "Honest John," was re-elected as Marshal. The city was divided into three wards, and started out under the most favorable auspices. The times were most favorable, and every one prospered. The city was in its infancy, and among the influx of population that thronged to it were many disagreeable characters, who came here to practice their clever, yet illegal, professions, of which it succeeded in afterward ridding itself. It was in those days that the name "Hell Town" was applied to it by the neighboring cities, but this page of its history is nothing more than a repetition of the early days of every mining city.

A sad calamity befell Ishpeming on the 19th of April, 1874. At 8 o'clock, the alarm of fire was sounded throughout the city. The whole populace rushed upon the streets. A flood of smoke was traced to a hardware store on the northeast corner of Main and Pearl streets, and soon the flames burst through the sheathing of the frail and cheap made building, and formed a bonfire of a most formidable character. The fire spread with a rapidity and intensity which is seldom known. Fire-plugs were frozen up and the fire-fighting apparatus generally, like the working firemen, seemed to have been taken by surprise. Meanwhile the conflagration was extending up and down Main street, on both sides, and a strong breeze springing up from the east, carried large brands of fire over the western portion of the city. Thus it was but about two hours before one entire square—between Division and Pine streets—was a mass of flames. Fears were entertained that most of the city would be burned. The neighboring city of Negaunee was telegraphed to and asked to lend assistance. She promptly responded by starting her steam fire-engine, but a tire which broke out in that place, called back that force. The city was in dire distress; but the elements in fire and water favored them. The fire communicated rapidly from the building where it originated to the neighboring tenements, and at about 11 o'clock, having three hours' run, there seemed to be a hope of conquering it. But it was a wierd, wild scene of destruction and devastation. The streets were filled with household goods and articles of merchandise all thrown together promiscuously as if by volcanic action—mud, red ore, slough, snow, ice and debris, forming a combination of the strangest and most conglomerate character—men, women and children running frantic—fear predominating, and many citizens having their goods packed preparatory to move on a moment's notice. Capt. Johnson, the Chief of the Fire Department, and Mayor Wadsworth were most prominent in the scene of action, driving here and there, encouraging, suggesting and working like Trojans. The fire department proved its great efficiency, but found itself sadly crippled for want of water, but persistent exertion prevailed, and the course of the conflagration was stopped, the burned district comprising about two squares of the principal business portion of the city.

The total loss aggregated $130,000, of which sum $50,000 was covered by insurance in several companies, leaving a deficit of $80,000.

This disaster was followed by the panic of 1874, and came very near crippling the young city. A few failures occurred, but, on the whole, the city managed to weather the storm, and with the advent of good times which followed very soon, made rapid strides in the march of prosperity. On the 16th of April, of this year, when the city was experiencing the bitter misfortunes of "hard times," the Iron Home, the pioneer journal and parent of the Iron Agitator, issued its first number, bearing as its motto, "Iron, the right arm of the Nation." During the struggle of the young city with adversity, it ever lent an encouraging voice, and its pages were a welcome friend to its citizens in their endeavors to outlast the storm, that for a time threatened to destroy the business life of the city.

The first banking institution established in Ishpeming was opened on the 24th of December, 1860, by Hon. Peter White, of Marquette, with Mr. F. M. Johnson, as Cashier, under the name of the Scandinavian Savings Bank. The building in which the business was done was located near the office of the Lake Superior Mine, afterward moved to a site near the Rock store, when the town was laid out. On the 15th of October, 1870, the business of this bank was transferred to Messrs. Robert Nelson and H. E. Hayden, who commenced operations under the title of the Ishpeming Bank. After running the bank for about two years, Messrs. Nelson & Hayden transferred their interests to Messrs. B. S. Bigelow and D. F. Wadsworth, who did business for a similar period under the name of the Merchant's and Miners' Bank. In 1874, Mr. Rood was admitted as a partner, and the firm became Bigelow, Reed & Wadsworth. Three years later, the present firm of Messrs. D. F. Wadsworth & Co. entered into possession of the interests of the bank, since which time it has remained under their management.

The First National Bank of Ishpeming went into operation June 1, 1873, with R. Nelson as President, and E. D. Nelson as Cashier. The Bank of Ishpeming was incorporated under the State laws, February 1, 1877, with the following officers: J. O. St. Clair, President; E. G. St. Clair, Cashier.

The Lake Angeline Mine was opened in 1863 by Messrs. G. E. Hall, of Cleveland, and James Laughlin, of Pittsburgh, Penn. In 1864, the first test-pits of the New England Mine were sunk, and under the supervision of Capt. G. H. Williams, and a year later, mining operations wore commenced.

The New York Mine was opened in 1864 by the New York Iron Company, under a lease from A. R. Harlow, Esq , of Marquette.

The test-pits of the Barnum Mine were sunk in 1867, by the Iron Cliff Iron Company, under the management of A. W. Maitland, Esq., of Negaunee, and a small quantity of ore taken out. The following year further explorations were made by Capt. James R. Guy, who assumed the supervision of the company's interests, and mining operations were fairly inaugurated.

The Bigelow Hospital was established under the supervision of Dr. B. S. Bigelow, with Dr. William F. Carpenter as an associate. In 1872, the hospital building was completed and opened for the reception of patients, December. 1, 1872. The object of the institution was to provide a suitable place for treating all unusually bad cases of chronic or organic diseases that might be presented or develop in a mining population, and particularly to provide a place of treatment for those injured in the mines.

The Nelson House, already referred to, is one of the finest and best conducted hotels in Michigan. The house is under the present management of Col. A. B. Todd, well and favorably known in hotel circles in New York and Chicago.

In the foregoing pages, the historical affairs connecting themselves with the beginnings and progress of the village, appear to be very fully portrayed. The growth of the locality was specially rapid, the village bloomed into a city before the busy crowds could scarcely realize the result of their toil, so that, in 1873, the new local government was organized. In the following roster, the naives of Mayors, Recorders and Aldermen are given, while on the organic division of the general history, the roll of Supervisor's appears:


1873—Mayor, F. P. Mills; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, John P. Outhwaite, John Sanson, Gilbert D. Johnson, Jefferson Day, C. R. Ely and Cornelius Gorman.

1874—Mayor, Daniel F. Wadsworth; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, Andrew A. Anderson, Frederick Braastad, Gilbert D. Johnson, John H. Welch, C. R. Ely and Albert Emonson.

1875—Mayor, Daniel F. Wadsworth; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, Lawrence Gent, Nicholas Voelker, Townsend Heaton, Job.n McEncroe, Andrew A. Anderson and Robert C. Bigger.

1876—Mayor, John P. Outhwaite; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, Charles A. Anderson, Lawrence Gent, John McEncroe, Townsend Heaton, John Henrietta and Andrew A. Anderson.

1877—Mayor, John P. Outhwaite; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, Charles A. Anderson, Herman Kretchmar, John McEncroe, James Toner, William H. Murray and Daniel F. Wadsworth.

1878—Mayor, B. W. Wright; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, John E. Westgrew, Herman Kretchmar, James Toner, Jefferson Day, D. F. Wadsworth and George Fisher.

1879—Mayor, John P. Outhwaite; Recorder, W. F. Swift; Aldermen, John Westgrew, W. O. Tislow, Jefferson Day, O. E. Downing, George J. Fisher and D. F. Wadsworth.

1880—Mayor, William F. Swift; Recorder, Conrad Carlson; Aldermen, W. O. Tislow, William Murdock, O. E. Downing, E. R. Hall, D. F. Wadsworth, G. A. Fisher.

1881—Mayor, John P. Outhwaite; Recorder, Conrad Carlson; Aldermen, William Murdock, F. P. Mills, E. R. Hall, O. E. Downing, G. A. Fisher, William H. Rood.

1882—Mayor, John P. Outhwaite; Recorder, Conrad Carlson; Aldermen, August Beerling, Fred Braastad, O. Downing, W. H. Johnston, William H. Rood and W. Swift.


The first attempt to organize the fire department of Ishpeming was made in the spring of 1870, at which date an organization was perfected, with James Torier, Foreman. A system of water mains was laid through the principal streets two years later; supplied from Lake Angeline, and the accouterments of the company consisted of a small portable steam engine and pump, one hose truck and about 500 feet of hose. The engine was loaned to the city by the Lake Superior Iron Company, and the old pioneers speak of this pioneer organization as more of a social club than an effectual fire department.

In May, 1873, the company was reorganized, with the following officers: T. H. Devine, Foreman; Eugene Eddy, First Assistant; Henry Jackson, Secretary. The organization of a hook and ladder company was also effected, with William F. Swift, as Foreman. After the disastrous fire which visited the city in 1874, active measures were taken to perfect a better and more efficient organization of the city fire department, which resulted in the establishment of the present effective system. This department was formally organized October 23, 1874, with the following officers: John B. Outhwaite, Foreman and Acting Chief Engineer; William F. Swift, First Assistant; Charles Pelter, Secretary; T. F. Donahoe, Treasurer.

The equipments of the department at this writing consist of two Silsby steamers, valued at $4,000 each; one Silsby four-wheel horse hosecart and one Canswell hosecart, furnished with 3,000 feet of hose. Steamer Robert Nelson was purchased in 1875, and the new steamer J. P. Outhwaite, in January, 1882. The latter is a model of beauty and mechanical perfection, and will throw 600 gallons per minute. There are two engine-houses, 30x40 feet each, one a neat frame building, the other a fine two-story stone building, furnished with three stables in the rear of the steamer, and a large firemen's hall for the meetings of the company, as also apartments for the engineer on the upper floor. The building, also, has a hose tower sixty feet high for drying the hose. The engine-houses are valued at $10,000, and the amount invested in the property of the department is placed at $25,000. Three horses are kept constantly at the engine-house during the night, but through the day the first team to reach the engine-house after an alarm of fire has been rung is pressed into service, the city giving a liberal compensation to insure promptness. The services of the firemen are rendered voluntary, and the organization is perfect in every detail. At present the company has thirty-five active members, officered as follows: Chief Engineer, W. A. Rood; First Assistant, Eugene Eddy; Second Assistant, G. A. Nuvett; Foreman, P. H. Devine; First Assistant, Walleck Tislore; Second Assistant, R. McSweyn; Secretary, G. A. Hewett; Treasurer, Hogan Asgood, and Engineer, Philip Jones.


Ahmeek Lodge, No. 150, I. O. O. F. was granted a charter Jan. 20, 1871, with H. H. Wilson, N. G.; G. D. Johnson, V. G.; J. M. Wane, R. S.; E. D. Nelson, P. S.; John Oliver, Treasurer. It was instituted by S. P. Murch, of Marquette, District Deputy Grand Master, in the building now occupied by the Lake Superior Iron Company, in which the first meetings were held, the society removing to their present hall in July, 1874. The presiding officers for the ensuing quarter are: William Perry, N. G.; William Lewis, V. G.; John Miners, R. S., James Sellwood, P. S.; H. H. Mildon, Treasurer.

Excelsior Encampment, No. 38, I. O. O. F.—Excelsior Camp, No. 38, was instituted at Negaunee September 20, 1870, by District Deputy H. H. Mildon, with the following charter members: H. H. Mildon, C. P.; H. H. Kretchmar, S. W.; J. H. Taylor, J. W.; James Carter, H. P.; Stephen Goss, Richard Taylor and S. Hartier. The camp convened at Negaunee in its regular meetings for about two years, but was transferred to Ishpeming during the spring of 1873. It is now in a prosperous working condition, with a membership of thirty-four. At this writing, the official chairs are filled as follows: Thomas Allen, C. P.; William H. Closson, S. W.; John Warren, J. W.; William Perry, H. P., and H. H. Mildon, Secretary.

Ishpeming Lodge, No 314, A., F. & A. M.—Was instituted under a charter granted February 25, 1873, with the following charter members: D. F. Wadsworth, B. M. Collwell, H. H. Mildon, B. S. Bigelow, J. B. Andrus, Duncan Gilchrist, John P. Outhwaite, A G. Emery, E. G. Dickenson, P. T. Tracy, James Blackney, K. B. Wilkerson, S. Curry, L. B. Curtis, O. D. Sloat, G. D. Johnson, J. D. Hosking and J. Day. The first officers were: P. T. Tracy, W. M.; H. H. Mildon, S. W.; B. M. Collwell, J. W.; D. F. Wadsworth, Secretary; John P. Outhwaite, Treasurer; O. D. Sloat, S. D.; G. D. Johnson, J. D.; J. D. Hosking, Tiler. The Past Master's chair has been filled by the following members: P. T. Tracy, W. T. Swift, H. H. Mildon, Townsend Heaton. The lodge is now in active working condition. It has a total membership of seventy-three, presided over by the following officers; D. F. Wadsworth, W. M.; D. McNichie, S. W.; Thomas Geary, J. W.; W. F. Carpenter, Treasurer, and T. H. Bough, Secretary.

Ancient Order of Foresters.—The founding of this order was effected at Knaresborough Castle, in the West Riding Park, under the name of the Royal Foresters, by which it was known until a grand convention of delegates convened, in the month of August, 1834, when the order was permanently organized under its present title. The grand points of the order are friendship and benevolence, and it has adopted as its motto, "Bear ye one another's burdens." Pride of Ishpeming, Court of Foresters, No. 6,788, was chartered March 23, 1881, by the following members: John Blewett, Chief Ranger; William Perry, Sub-Chief Ranger, and Thomas P. Bromacomb, Secretary. The court has enjoyed a rapid and prosperous growth, and has attained a membership of sixty-six. The present officers are: T. R. Bromacomb, C. R.; William Barrow, S. C. R.; John Blewett, Secretary; William Reny, Treasurer; John Tankin, D. W.; William McKre, 4. W.; Robert McKre, S. B., and William Rowe, J. B.

L' Union Canadian Francais. —This society was organized July 8, 1881, and incorporated under the general laws of the State July 25, 1881. Its objects are charity and benevolence, and among the seventy-seven members who connected themselves with the society at its organization, the following gentlemen were the prime movers in perfecting it: Rev. H. J. Rousseau, H. Rowthier, F. Houle, C. A. Laurier, Albert Proulx, Alex Chersette, M. B. Toutloff, J. C. H. Pelletier, J. Vadnais, Gilbert Hines, T. Char-tier, J. O. Lefelore and J. B. Liber. The society has a fund of $600 at this writing, which is constantly increasing. The officers elected at the establishment of the society have since filled their respective chairs, and include the following gentlemen: H. Routhier, President; F. Houle, Vice President, James St. Antoine, Vice President; Albert Proulx, Secretary; C. A. Laurier, Assistant Secretary; James Theviault, Corresponding Secretary, and Alex Chersette, Treasurer, The society meets every month at Austin's Hall, and has a total membership of 160.

Scandinavian Benevolent and Social Society.The organization of this society was effected in 1872, partly to establish a political society. From this nucleus, it merged into its present principals, two years later, and became a permanent charitable organization, bearing as its standard charity and benevolence. Its main objects are the affording of relief to sick and distressed members, the visitation of the sick and the burial of the dead and the general care and assistance of its members. It was incorporated under a special act of the Legislature, passed March 20, 1879, and has an established fund of $2,000. The first officers elected are: John Nonberg, President; J. N. Orie, Secretary; John Lamdall, Financial Secretary, and Charles A. Anderson, Treasurer. The society maintains a library of fully 500 volumes of Scandinavian literature for the benefit of its members, and has a well-organized brass band. It is in a prosperous working condition, and has a membership of 160. The present officers are: John Smith, President; F. Schonneran, Vice President; August Swansom, Secretary; John Flock, Financial Secretary; Loris Solstead, Assistant Financial Secretary; A. Sondberg, Treasurer; P. Saltman, Chaplain; Fred Ingstrom, Assistant Chaplain; T. F. Eagan, Marshal; Charles Holingren, Assistant Marshal.

St. Patrick's Catholic Benevolent Society.This society was organized March 10, 1875, with the following officers: Rev. John Burns, Spiritual Adviser; Lawrence Gent, President; John Sullivan, Vice President; Edward McGinty, Secretary; T. F. Donahoe, Treasurer; John Gent, Marshal; John Dugan, William Kelly, William McGinty, Directors. The object of the society is to render pecuniary aid and assistance to any of its members disabled by accident or prevented by sickness from following their occupation in life, and to aid as far as practicable all Catholic endeavors in charity. It is affiliated with the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union of America in its work of charity. It has accumulated a fund of $750, is possessed of property valued at $600 and is supported by a membership of 120. The present officers are: William McGinty, President; John Shean, Vice President; Edward Cronan, Secretary; T. F. Donahoe, Treasurer; John Harvey, Marshal.

Ancient Order of Hibernians.—The society of the Ancient Order of Hibernians was organized at Ishpeming May 30, 1877. It is devoted to charitable and benevolent purposes, and has attained a membership of 125. Meetings are held on the last Sunday of every month, and the society is in a prosperous condition. Present officers: Matthew Dennison, President; J. H. Murphy, Vice President; Timothy Hughs, Treasurer; James Gilluk, Financial Secretary; J. H. Quinn, Recording Secretary.


The press of Ishpeming is represented by the Iron Agitator, a bright, intelligent and ably edited journal, devoted to the interest of mining enterprises of the Upper Peninsula and the general local affairs of the county. It was established by Messrs. George A. Newett and John McCarty, and issued its first number October 11, 1879. At the date of its establishment, it was a seven-column folio in size, but was enlarged to a five-column quarto December 4, 1880. On the 1st of January, 1882, it was again enlarged to a six-column quarto. It is printed on a Campbell power-press operated by steam, and entirely "at home." In politics, its voice is independent, and it is one of the leading journals of the Upper Peninsula. Mr. McCarty retired from the business January 1, 1882, since which time Mr. Newett has been sole editor and proprietor.

The pioneer newspaper of the city, the Iron Home, was inaugurated in 1874, and issued its first number April 16. It was established by a stock company, edited by Col. F. D. Lynn. During the early struggles of the city through the hard times, caused by the panic of 1874 and the disastrous conflagration of that year, it went band in hand with its citizens in their best interests and endeavors, and finally witnessed their triumph. During all these days of adversity, it ever spoke encouragingly to the faltering, and lent its influence to bring the city into the favorable notice of the outside world, It continued in its work until 1880, when its proprietors retired from business, and its place was filled by its youthful successor, the Agitator. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon its early work, and it will ever be remembered by the pioneers of the city.


Methodist Episcopal Church.—The early history and missionary work previous to the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Society, is somewhat shrouded in doubt and uncertainty. The joint result of the early labors of the fathers of this church, that the writer is able to learn of, is the existence of a small class in 1867, under the direction and leadership of a Mr. Eddy. During this year, four new members were added to the class. The first record of the foundation of a Board of Trustees is entered April 16, 1870, but the certificate of the organization of the society bears no date. It is believed that Rev. C. C. Yemans first presided over the church in 1869, at that time stationed at Negaunee.

During this year, the main wing of the building was erected. Rev. Mr. Yemans was appointed pastor in charge in 1870, but was removed in the early part of the year and given charge of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, of Detroit, being succeeded by Rev. S. P. Murch, who served during the balance of that year. In 1871, Rev. J. M. Gordon was appointed Presiding Elder of the District and pastor of the church, remaining in charge until the close of the conference year.

In the fall of 1872, Rev. Leman Barnes was appointed pastor, and served two years. His successors are Rev. A. J. Richards, 1875, who received the appointment of Presiding Elder; Rev. Thomas Wilkerson, who served a period of three years, from the fall of 1875 to the close of the conference year in 1878; Rev. John Hamilton, 1879 and 1880. The present pastor, Rev. W. E. Bigelow, received his appointment in 1881, and is now serving his second year. The society has a membership of 175, and its property is valued at $10,000. At this writing, it also has a mission church, located on the property of the National Mining Company, the class being organized in September, 1881, by Rev. Mr. Bigelow. At this point a neat frame building has been erected, at a cost of $1,800, and was dedicated August 27, 1882. This society has a membership of thirty-four, and has commenced its work under the most favorable auspices.

St. John's Church, of Ishpeming, was founded by Father Bourillon in 1869. Father Bonrillon was stationed at Negaunee, and established a mission church at this point, which he attended for two years. The membership increased to such an extent that it was deemed necessary to place the church in charge of a resident priest, and accordingly, the Bishop of the diocese sent Father John Burns, who became the first pastor in 1872. Father Burns presided over the parish until the early part of 1876, and his successor, Father Theodore Frottenburg, until the month of May, 1879. After the termination of Father Frottenburg's pastorate, Father John Brown became the parish priest. remaining in charge until May, 1881, at which date Father J. Rousseau, the present pastor of the church, commenced his labors. The church building was erected by Father Bourillon in 1869 and 1870, and the parochial residence of Father Rousseau in 1881. The value of the entire church property is placed at $20,000. The parish has a church population of about 4,000 people, out of which number 2,500 are regular attendants.

The Swedish Lutheran Evangelical Bethana Church Society was incorporated in August, 1872, with the following Board of Trustees: J. F. Twedland, Gustaf Erickson, Erick Erickson, Carl Gustayson, J. O. Astemas, L. M. Hammerstrom. The organization of the society was perfected in 1870 through the efforts of Mr. Wohlman, who, in company with other influential members, succeeded in erecting the present church building the following year. The cost of the edifice was provided in part by the Norwegian Lutheran Church Society, and it was owned in common by the two societies until the present time, the Swedish society purchasing the interest of their Norwegian brethren. Messrs. John Wohlman and J. O. Astemas were chosen the first Deacons, and Rev. Thomas N. Winquist was called as the first pastor in 1872, presiding over the church until July, 1874. From this date until September 11, 1875, the society depended upon the services of visiting clergymen for an occasional sermon, when upon the date last mentioned, Rev. A. Edgren was duly installed as pastor, continuing his labors until March, 1879. The pulpit was again vacant for a period of one year, during which time a supply was sent at regular intervals, and the society was not entirely without preaching. In the month of March, 1880, Rev. J. F. Borg, the present pastor, assumed the work of his pastorate, but was obliged to abandon it temporarily, on account of ill health, during the present year. The society is one of the largest conducted by the Swedish people in the Marquette Mining District, having a total membership of 500. In 1881, an addition to the church was built, and an educational school, under the direction of the church and society, established. Its object is to educate the children in Swedish and English studios, particularly the languages, and lay the foundation for the religious teachings of the church. There is also in connection with the church a large Sabbath school, with an attendance of 200 children, and a benevolent club, organized in 1876, for the purpose of affording relief to the sick and needy of the parish. The church property is valued at $5,000.

The Norwegian Lutheran Evangelical Church of Ishpeming, was organized by Rev. H. Roerwaes November 17, 1871. The society united with the Swedish Lutheran Church Society in building a house of worship, occupying the same until 1881, at which date the present church building was completed, the service of dedication taking place August 28. Rev. H. Roerwaes became the first pastor of the church, immediately after the organization of the church had been perfected, his labors covering a period of nearly six years' duration. His successor was the Rev. T. H. Dahl, installed as pastor in the early part of the year 1877, remaining in charge until the advent of the present pastor, Rev. G. Gjertson, in the fall of 1881. In connection with and under the direction of the church, is a parochial school, established in April, 1881, with accommodations for seventy pupils. The aim of teachers is to furnish instruction to those under their charge, in the studies of the Norwegian language, and provide for early religious training. The church is not adverse to the common school system, and requires an attendance at the parochial school only until the child reaches the age of eight years. There is also connected with the church and school, a parochial library, containing 500 volumes of Norwegian literature, maintained for the use and benefit of the people of the parish. The present membership of the church is 400, made up of the Norwegian and Danish population. Church property valued at $3,500.

Swedish Methodist Church.—The organization of the Swedish Methodist Church was effected in the spring of 1873 by Rev. August Waldgreen, who became the first pastor after it was perfected. The services took place in the old schoolhouse, situated on the property of the New York Mine, which was used as a house of worship for three years. Rev. P. A. Linguist succeeded Mr. Waldgreen, as pastor, in 1875, at the beginning of the conference year, and during his pastorate took active measures toward erecting the present church building, which was completed ere the year closed. In September, 1876, Rev. A. G. Stiod was assigned to the charge of the church, remaining until the close of the conference year of 1878. In the month of October, the conference sent Rev. G. R. Andrews as the successor of Mr. Stiod, who also remained for a period of two years, closing his labors in September, 1880. The present pastor, Rev. Martin Hess, came to Ishpeming in October, 1880, and is now serving his second year.

The church building is a neat frame structure, erected at a cost of $1,500, and the entire property is valued at $3,000. The present membership of the society is sixty-five. It is enjoying a rapid and healthy growth, and maintains a large Sabbath school.

Grace Mission Protestant Episcopal Church was organized December 26, 1878, at which date the church was completed and used for the first time. The services were conducted by Rev. E. R. Bishop, assisted by Rev. Edward Seymour. Messrs. George St. Clair and George Gentry were appointed a standing committee of the mission. S. F. Peck was elected Secretary, and Eugene St. Clair, Treasurer.

Presbyterian Church.—The first steps taken toward the organization of this church and society were made in the month of January, 1874. At this time, Rev. D. Stewart Banks, of Marquette, visited Ishpeming and held the first regular services in the interest of the churches. The following month of April, Rev. J. B. Andrews, at this date a licentiate and student, came to Ishpeming and held the first series of services, under the direction of the Presbytery, closing his labors in September to resume his studies at the Northwestern Theological Seminary of Chicago, preaching his farewell sermon August 16. In the early part of June, during the period of Rev. Mr. Andrews' labors, the Presbytery appointed a Committee of Organization to establish the church, consisting of Rev. D. Stewart Banks, and Elders G. P. Cummings and A. R. Harlow, all of Marquette.

Under the administration of these gentlemen, the organization was effected June 26, 1874. Messrs. B. N. Wright, Charles L. Sheldon and Duncan Gilchrist were elected and ordained Ruling Elders, and the following gentlemen were chosen as a Board of Trustees: G. D. Johnson, E. R. Hall, C. H. Wingate, B. N. Wright, B. Mitchell, Lester Curtis, Dr. W. T. Carpenter, Julius Ropes, D. M. Collwell.

Twenty-four persons united with the church at its organization, including the following; Duncan Gilchrist, Mrs. M. Bigger, Lester Curtis, Mrs. L. Curtis, Mrs. A. Collwell, Mrs. M. Benson, Mrs. L. F. Wright, George Sheldon, Mrs. F. J. Newman, Mrs. E. R. Sheldon, Mrs. J. H. Campbell, Mrs. A. Christian, Charles L. Sheldon, B. W. Wright, C. H. Wingate, E. R. Hall, S. McSachlin, Miss M. J. Ropes, Mrs. E. Droward, Mrs. C. Gilchrist, Arthur D. Moore, Mrs. A. P. Wingate, John H. Campbell, Miss Anna Christian.

From August, 1874, until June, 1875, the church was without a pastor. Occasionally the pulpit was filled by visiting clergymen, and services were often held at which a sermon was read by one of the Ruling Elders. On the 5th of June, 1874, Rev. James A. Mitchell was appointed a stated supply for the church, officiating until July 6, 1875, at which date Rev. E. W. Garner was installed as pastor, continuing his pastorate until August 11, 1879, resigning after accomplishing four years of faithful, earnest work for his church and society.

While the society was under the trust of Mr. Garner, the present church building was erected, the ground being broken in September, 1875. The basement was completed January 16, 1876, and was used as a place of worship until the main building of the church was finished, in November, 1877. The building was dedicated November 25, 1877, Rev. D. Stewart Banks, of Marquette, delivering the dedication sermon, assisted in the sermon by the pastor and Rev. E. W. Wilkerson, pastor of, the Methodist Episcopal Church of Ishpeming.

After the resignation of Mr. Garner, the church was without a pastor until March, 1880, and also without regular preaching, depending upon such supply as could be procured. Rev. A. F. Ashley, the present pastor, commenced his labors March 18, 1880, acted as stated supply until July 28, 1880, at which date he was installed as regular pastor of the church. The church building is a handsome gothic structure, costing originally $8,000, which sum was raised through the efforts and influence of the ladies of the society. The construction of the building was necessarily slow, the work being prosecuted during the hard times of 1875-76. The present membership of the church reaches sixty-nine members, and the society is in a flourishing condition. A large Sabbath school is maintained, together with other local societies of a charitable and benevolent nature.

The first Baptist Church for the mutual benefit of the Swede and American population was organized in 1871, and the church completed in 1873. In. 1874, the society possessed a membership of seventy-five, and was under the joint pastorship of R. J. Wheder and Rev. Mr. Segerblum. This organization, for some cause, did not meet with the usual success and support commended to church interests, and, after a short time, nearly lost its life. It is still in existence, but holds no regular services, the members meeting with sister churches in worship.

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