History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
containing a full account of its early settlement; its
growth, development and resources.

Florence County Chapter

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This county was created by an act of the Legislature approved March 18, 1882, by subdividing a portion of the counties of Marinette and Oconto, to which the territory now included within its present limits was originally attached. It forms a part of the Tenth Judicial Circuit and the First Senatorial District. It has two organized townships, Florence and Commonwealth, and no incorporated villages. The county seat is located in the township of Florence. The county officers are: A. M. PINTO, Clerk; Edward K. KEYES, Treasurer; Omer HUFF, Sheriff; James T. ATKINSON, County Judge; C. E. MCINTOSH, District Attorney; George B. TUTTLE, Clerk Circuit Court; C. E. PATTERSON, Register of Deeds.

The Supervisors for Florence are named as follows: Alexander KEMPT, J. H. PARKS, J. V. NORTHAM; for Commonwealth, G. R. TUTTLE, John URQUHART.


The rapidity with which the northern part of this county has settled and developed is truly wonderful. Two years have hardly passed since this region was a wilderness, containing a vast quantity of natural resources, but comparatively an unknown land. Men with energy, capital and persevering industry have flocked into it until it is now dotted over with the clearings and houses of permanent settlers, and contains two thriving towns with an estimated population of fully 5,000. Of this number, Florence contains one-half, Commonwealth, one quarter, and the balance is distributed within a radius of three miles, made up of farmers, lumbermen and miners. Its resources consist of vast quantities of hardwood and pine timber bordering the Menominee River, several large iron mines, now fully developed, and numerous others remaining to be. In the immediate vicinity are located a large number of lumbermens camps, employing about two thousand men. This trade is in a measure tributary to the business of the county, and will remain so for some time.


Florence Mine.The location of the Florence Mine is on the north half of the southeast quarter and the northeast quarter of Section 20, Town 40 north, Range 18 east. The fee is the joint ownership of the Menominee Mining Company and H. D. FISHER. The former owns three-fourths of the property and holds the remaining one-fourth under a lease from Mr. FISHER, who receives a royalty of 10 cents per ton on all the ore mined. The company owns in the same relative connection with Mr. FISHER other valuable properties adjoining the mining location, including the site of the town of Florence.

This deposit of ore was discovered by Mr. FISHER in company with Nelson HALSEY in the month of October, 1873, while on an exploring tour over the range, and the land was entered at the land office in Menasha during the same month by K D. FISHER and Abel KEYES. Mr. FISHER conducted further explorations until his means were exhausted, and succeeded in bringing it to the favorable notice of outside parties in 1878. During this year, the Menominee Mining Company sent their mining engineer, Dr. N. P. HULST, to examine the property, who made such a favorable report that the above mentioned transfer was made; the company taking the original option in the fall of 1878. At this time the mine was known as the Eagle, a name accorded it by its discoverer in honor of Spread Eagle Lake.

The company commenced active mining operations during the season of 1878, and changed its name to Florence, in honor of the Christian name of Mrs. Dr. N. P. HULST.

The trend of the ore belt is from southeast to northwest and the dip slightly to the north.

The work of stripping was actively commenced in the winter of 1879-80, but the railroad was not completed to the mine until October, 1880, in the second week of which month the first shipments were made, the output during the remainder of the season footing up to 14,143 tons.

Work was commenced on the north side of the hill, the highest point at which the ore was uncovered being 100 feet above drainage. At first the ore was stripped on the highest point of the deposit, taking up a stope from the hanging-wall side, being depressed at that point to such an extent as to render the approach to the upper part of the ore bed an easy task. After the ore had been mined out at this point down to the level of the cut, work was continued by sinking into the ore and taking up stopes in the opposite direction. The mine is now being wrought on the underground plan in lifts of eighty feet, leaving a roof of twenty feet for the support of the walls, which gives stopes sixty feet in height, work now being done on the second level. The total length now open on the upper level, is 494 feet, and the greatest width between walls is ninety feet, with an average over the whole distance of sixty-six feet. Shafts No. 1 and 2 are down to the second level, while 118 feet from the west end of No. 3 Shaft has been sunk to the ore deposit. No. 4 Shaft is 650 feet northwest of. No. 3, and is down to the ore ledge. There is a vast amount of ore in sight, and the quality has developed sufficient to bring it up to the standard of first-class ore in every respect, save as to phosphorus. Some small "horses of rook" occur in the workings, but the ore body is in the main uniformly clean, and but little selection is necessary. The mine is a very large one, and for some time past the work of changing the plan of mining from open pit to underground mining and sinking and putting in skip-roads has retarded the output of ore. This change fully effected, the annual product will necessarily increase. The estimated output for 1882 is 150,000 tons. The mine gives employment to 350 men, of which number fifty are employed on the surface.

It is under the management of Alexander KEMPT, Superintendent, with Capt. BUDDLE in charge of the underground work.

Since the first shipment was made, less than two years ago, the output has been as follows: 1880, 14,143 gross tons; 1881, 100,501 gross tons; total, 114,644 gross tons.

The Lake Mary Mining Company was organized in August, 1882. The incorporators are Geo. M. WAKEFIELD, Gordon H. GILE and James TOBIN. The property on which they

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are now operating is situated on the northwest quarter of Section 5, Town 42, Range 31. The ore is a rich, soft hematite, and as far as ascertained is very extensive. The vein carries a uniform width at present of thirty feet. The wall is slate and the foot wall is micaceous schist. The length of the deposit has been determined for over 1,000 feet. The formation comes very near the surface, and two open shafts have been sunk in the ore for a distance of over forty feet. The ore is improving as depth is attained, and it also seems to be freer from foreign substances toward the east end of the mine. The property is held under lease. On the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 16, Town 42, Range 32, the same parties are now operating on property which they own in fee simple. They have found a very rich vein of brown hematite, which is at present only six feet wide, but as the depth increases seems to be expanding, and as they are only about thirty feet from the surface it in entirely presumable that in common with veins of a similar character it will widen out to respectable dimensions. The length at present is conjectural, but it is thought to be extensive. A recent analysis of the ore shows 62 per cent of metallic iron, with minimum traces of sulphur and phosphorus.


Among the growing cities of the Menominee Iron Range is the town of Florence, which is located near the Menominee River and its tributaries. It is beautifully situated on the banks of a picturesque lake on a comparatively level piece of ground, originally covered with a dense growth of small timber. This lake was formerly called Loon Lake, but since the settlement of the town the name has been changed to Keyes Lake.

Its settlement and development were the natural outgrowth springing from the discovery of the great Florence Mine.

This mine, which has since developed into one of the most promising and valuable on the Menominee Range, was accidentally discovered by H. D. FISHER in October, 1873. He, in company with Nelson HALSEY, both carrying heavy packs through the trails of the almost unbroken wilderness, left the old Indian trail near Spread Eagle Lake, and after passing through a cedar swamp came to the high hill situated in the location of the Florence Mine. Weary from his long tramp, Mr. FISHER sat down on the brow of the hill to rest and refresh himself. After lighting his pipe, he took his exploring pick, and while thus seated and meditating on the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, absent-mindedly struck it into the ground beside him. Upon removing it he was surprised to find the mark of hematite ore upon it, and it is recorded that his astonishment caused him to drop his pipe. He proceeded to explore the ground. and after stripping a spot hardly two feet square good ore was found.

His party spent the remainder of the afternoon in locating the "find," and the next morning Mr. FISHER started for the land office at Menasha to effect a purchase. He christened it the Eagle Mine, in honor of Spread Eagle Lake. The land was entered during the same month by H. D. FISHER and Abel KEYES. Mr. FISHER conducted the explorations as far as his limited means would permit, and succeeded in developing the mine sufficiently to attract the attention of outside parties. In June, 1878, the Menominee Mining Company sent their mining engineer, Dr. N. P. HULST, who reported so favorably upon the property that the company took an option, and during the fall of that year purchased a three-quarter interest, and leased the remaining fourth of Mr. FISHER, in February, 1879. About this time, they commenced active mining operations, and shortly after the name of the mine was changed to Florence, in honor of the Christian name of Dr. HULST's wife.

On the 12th of March, 1880, the Menominee Mining Company recorded a plat of the town, which covers the south half of Section 21, in Town 40, Range 18, and on the 16th day of the same month the company's agent, H. D. FISHER, Esq., settled on the site and commenced to sell lots. The sales for the first day amounted to over fifty, and ere three weeks had passed away every lot was sold on both sides of the main street, a distance of one-half miles. About this time, the NASICK Lumber Company erected and completed a saw-mill close to the town site, on the lake, and notwithstanding the mill was run to its utmost capacity, it was still insufficient to supply the demand as fast as was required. Buildings of all kinds sprang up as it by magic, parties in many instances only clearing off sufficient space on which to erect their stores and dwellings. For a few months it seemed as if the famous lamp of Aladdin had been slightly touched, and for a strict observer to note the progress of the time it was necessary to make a tour of the paths and streets every day. It is thought by the writer that the honor of commencing the first building belongs to Peter SHERIDAN, of Fort Howard, Wis., although the construction of several buildings was begun at the same time. Before this period, Mr. FISHER had erected a building on the bank of the lake, which was subsequently known as Jack Armstrong's Spread Eagle Hotel. Messrs. S. A. MCGRAW & Co. were the pioneer merchants, and had a temporary building erected some months before the first building-up of the town. The Menominee River Railroad was first completed to Quinnesec, which was the terminus for some time. Between this place and Florence wound one of the most atrocious roads to be found, and until the road was extended to Florence the traveling public experienced dire difficulty in reaching the latter town, particularly during the spring and early summer. Freights were, in consequence, enormous, and as a good team could haul only 800 pounds at a load, the tariff was placed at $1 per hundred weight. These disadvantages were gradually overcome, and did not check the development of the town, seeming to stimulate rather than discourage. Meanwhile the railroad company was pushing the track westward, and it was extended to Florence in the fall of 1880, the first train reaching here September 12. This gave the town a new impetus, and its growth from this time on was simply marvelous.

The post office was established May 12, 1880, with H. D. FISHER as Postmaster. At the close of 1880, the population of the town was estimated to be 800. It has now reached 2,000.

Florence is unsurpassed in advantages as a point for the manufacture of iron and steel. Close to it are two of the largest iron mines in the region and within twenty miles are a dozen more comprising all qualities and grades of ore. Dense forests of hardwood timber surround it in every direction. If an unlimited water-power is needed, it can be had on the Brule River, distant one and a half miles. One railroad is completedthe Chicago & North-Western  with a well-appointed lake port for shipment at Escanaba and anotherthe Wisconsin & Michiganis projected. One blast furnace is in successful operation, and the building of a second is contemplated.

In 1880, the settlement of Florence formed a part of Marinette County. According to the census enumeration of that year, the population of the settlement was 267.

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Florence Furnace Company. The Florence furnace was built during the summer of 1881, and went into blast in October, making the first iron October 15, 1881.

The stock is an iron shell, with one foot ten inch boshes, forty feet in height. The machinery consists of one Wyman blowing engine, with forty-eight inch cylinder and twenty-four inch stroke, one eighteen inch Wells pump and one Worthington pump, which supplies water for the stack.

The boiler is fed by a Wells pump. The machinery is operated by a 9x16 inch engine and the hoist by power transmitted over pulleys.

Charcoal is used, and the supply is furnished by thirty kilns, ten of which are located at Florence, and the balance at outside points. From twenty-one to twenty-three tons of iron ore are made daily; range ores are used exclusively.

President of the company, C. SPRONG; Superintendent, K W. JACKSON.

The first newspaper, the Florence Mining News, was established by James F. ATKINSON, and issued its first Number June 1, 1881. This journal holds a position in the front ranks of journalism, and through its medium the development of the town and surrounding country is largely due.

Fire Department.The fire department was organized in May, 1882, after the projection and laying of the present system of water works. A network of pipes with hydrants is distributed through the town and a constant pressure of water is maintained by a large Knowles' steam pump, operated by steam obtained from the boilers of the Florence Furnace Company. These works are valued at $7,000, and are most efficiently adapted for their particular labor, affording the best protection against fire. The fire company consists of thirty volunteer members, officered as follows: Daniel SPRONG, Chief of Department; W. W. NOYES, Foreman; K A. WOOD, First Assistant; J. A. W. MALOY, Second Assistant; F. R. WHITTLESEY, Secretary; A. K. GODSHALL, Treasurer.

The Catholic Church of Florence was founded through the effort of Father John N. BRADY in March, 1880, when the first services were held in the town. The site of the present church building was presented to the society by the Menominee Mining Company. The church was formally organized by Father George W. BRADY in September, 1881, and the following November the church building was commenced, and the funds for construction were raised by Father G. W. BRADY, who visited the lumbermen's camps and the mining camps on the range, gathering a little here and there, and also received liberal support from the non-Catholic population. Father BRADY attended the mission until April, 1882, and since this date it has been supplied by different Pastors. The church property is valued at $3,500, and the present membership of the society reaches 600.

Presbyterian Church.The organization of this church took place in November, 1880, through the efforts of Rev. John H. POLLOCK, who became the first Pastor, but remained at Florence for a short time only. The church secured its second pastor in December, 1881, in the person of Rev. H. P. CORY, who is still in charge.

The church building was erected during the winter of 1880-81, and was ready for occupancy May 1, 1881. It is valued at $3,500; present membership, thirty-five.

The Swedish Lutheran Evangelical Church of Florence was organized with seventy-five members in March, 1882, by Rev. C. OLANDER.

The church building was erected during the summer of 1882. It is supplied by visiting clergymen.


CAPT. GEORGE N. ARMSTRONG, lumberman, was born in Maysville, Me., January 1, 1831. He resided at Maysville until the age of sixteen, attending the public schools. Leaving school, he followed the sea for five years, and at the age of twenty-one entered the Brooklyn (New York) Academy, of which he was a member for three years. After finishing his studies at Brooklyn, Capt. ARMSTRONG took command of the ship Marcellus, sailing from San Francisco to Calcutta, thence to Boston via London, Eng. He next took command of the ship Syreen, and was engaged in the merchant marine service of Boston, New York, San Francisco, and the East India ports for a period of five years, and was also engaged in the South Sea and Pacific trade until 1868. At the commencement of the war of the rebellion, Capt. ARMSTRONG entered the United States naval service, and served until its close. In 1865, he entered the New York and San Francisco trade, carrying grain to London, and continued in it until 1878. During the year 1878, Capt. ARMSTRONG sailed from New York, accompanied by his wife, daughter and adopted child, in the new and splendid ship Templar with a full crew, consisting of forty-two men all told. After a tempestuous voyage of one hundred days; during which the ship was disabled and dismasted, the Templar drifted helplessly into Rio Janeiro, at which place the vessel lay forty days, and underwent a thorough overhauling and repairs, during which time twenty-eight men died of yellow fever in one week; shipped a new crew at Rio Janeiro, and sailed in February, 1878, for San Francisco. The third day the vessel was at sea, yellow fever made its appearance, and every person on board was taken down with the dread disease, except his adopted child and two Chinamen. Two days later, Mrs. ARMSTRONG, the chief officer and twelve of the crew died, and there were not well ones enough to bury the dead. The balance of the crew partially recovered, together with his daughter, who had been twice carried on deck preparatory for burial, but fortunately the crew discovered signs of life, and she was again carried back, and, after laying insensible for seven days, she rallied, and soon recovered. During this time, the ship drifted helplessly at the mercy of the wind and waves, the crew being prostrate and Capt. ARMSTRONG lying insensible. After her recovery, his daughter took command of the ship, and alone navigated it to San Francisco, around Cape Horn, where it came to anchor after being 361 days from Rio Janeiro. Alter arriving at San Francisco, the Board of Insurance Underwriters called a meeting, at which resolutions of a most praiseworthy character were passed, which were presented to her with a purse of $2,500 in gold for the accomplishment of a feat recorded of no other woman in the world, that of navigating a large ship over the perilous course of a voyage around Cape Horn with a disabled crew of seven men and the preservation of a number of human lives and a valuable ship and cargo. This was the last voyage made by Capt. ARMSTRONG. In 1879, he returned to the East, where he remained until 1880, when he came to Florence County, and has since been engaged in lumbering and farming interests, settling near the town of Florence, Wis. His business gives employment to 100 men in the woods and seven on the farm.

D. M BOND, M. D., was born in Clarksburg, Harrison Co., Va., March 22, 1828; raised on a farm, and attended school to the age of seventeen; then went to the Virginia University four years, graduating in the medical course; traveled a year, and then came to Rock County, Southern Wisconsin, in 1853; practiced medicine there until 1870; then went to Janesville four years; then to Quinnesec, Mich., eighteen months, and became interested in an iron mine at Crystal Falls. In 1880, came to Florence for headquarters, and took up the practice of medicine in Florence; having graduated from Chicago Medical College in 1863. He is a member of the National Medical Association; is also a member of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin.

L. BRADY, of the firm of Brady Bros., hotel-keepers, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1853; moved to Outagamie County, Wis., where he was raised and educated; moved to Florence in 1880, where he engaged in the hotel business, in which he is still engaged. Is a member of the fire department.

JAMES BRECKENRIDGE, hotel-keeper, was born in New Brunswick in 1847; came to Wisconsin in 1868, and located at Oconto, where he remained until 1879, when he came to Florence, and engaged in his present business. Was married to Miss Kittie MCCABE of Oconto, Wis. They have four children.

JUDGE GEORGE C. FOSTER, Justice of the Peace, was born at Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wis. in 1855; received a liberal education, and studied law in the office of his father. He was admitted to the bar of Wisconsin at Port Washington in 1877; practiced law at Port Washington until 1879, and at Appleton, Wis. until 1881, when he removed to Florence, and continued the practice of his profession. Was appointed a Justice of the Peace in April, 1882, and is the Circuit Court Commissioner of Florence County. Judge FOSTER was married to Miss Lilly L. HOGAN, of Appleton, Wis., November , 18 .

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D. A. GRAHAM, merchant, saddlery and harness, was born in Preble County, Ohio, February 17, 1849; received his education in Indiana, residing in that State until the age of thirty-one, when he went to Florence, Wis., and engaged at his present business. Mr. GRAHAM was married in 1872 to Miss Emily A. FRANCIS, of Indianapolis, Ind., who died in March, 1873. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, the orders of the K. of P., A. 0. U. W., T. of H. and Clerk of the School District, Florence Township.

DR. D. C. GRANT, dentist, was born in England in 1825, October 4; came to America in 1846, and stopped in Livingston County, N. Y., one year, then to Illinois three years; in Canada from 1852 to 1862, during which time he went into the study for and practice of dentistry; thence to Ohio, attending medical lectures at the Starling Medical College, and left there in 1889 for New York State one year; thence to Houghton, Mich., eight years; thence two years in Hancock, and from there to Florence, where he is now in the drug and dental business.

A. K. GODSHALL, merchant, was born in Ohio April 13, 1850; remained with his father on the farm and attended school until twenty-one years of age. He then taught in a commercial college for one year, and came to Michigan in 1880; went to Ishpeming and kept books six years for the Deer Lake Iron & Lumber Company, and then moved to Florence, Wis. He was married to Miss Marie E. BELMAN, in October, 1876. They have one child living and one dead. Mr. GODSHALL is now the leading hardware and furniture merchant here. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and is a full fledged Knight. He associated himself with Mr. George BELLMAN in his business March 1, 1882, where the firm now runs two houses.

HENRY HASTNGS was born in Massachusetts in 1818; was engaged in farming and going to school to age of twenty. He then began carpentering, hat dressing, merchandising, then sash and door business, and finally went West, sending family East; back to Oshkosh in 1857, and began butchers business. In 1861, went to Fond du Lac, into flour-mill business, then stove and tinware, then patent rights; then to Negaunee; then to Salt Lake in mining: then returned to Fond du Lac, in railroad shops; then manufacturing grain seeders four years; then making wooden horse collars; then two years prospecting; then bought meat at wholesale and shipped north; then came to Florence and started the butcher business, in which he is still engaged; was married to Miss Sarah C. POMEROY in 1840; wife died in 1848, and was married to Mrs. Esther A. DICKINSON in 1850.

ELISHA JUNEAU, liquor dealer, was born in Montreal, Canada, January 28, 1842; came to Marquette, Mich., at the age of thirteen; worked in mines and kept hotel at various times and places until 1879, when he came to Florence and built the Juneau Opera House; has done a large amount of exploring, and located large extent of mineral lands.

CHARLES LOUGHREY, merchant, was born at Louisville, N. Y., in 1830, at which place he resided until 1849, when he came to Mackinaw, Mich.; removed to Menominee in 1850, afterward to Quinnesec, and thence to Florence, where he is now engaged in general merchandise. Mr. LOUGHREY became associated in business with I. D. SMITH in 1867; the firm owns a large store at Marinette, Wis., and at Florence.

C. E. MCINTOSH, District Attorney, was born in Canada West April 13, 1836; came to Wisconsin in 1838; settled at Milwaukee; attended school until 1856, and then went to Notre Dame University, of South Bend, Ind., for three years; returned to Wisconsin, and taught school till 1861; was in United States Army four years, and then returned to Appleton, Wis., and settled there in the spring of 1866; remained in Appleton until January, 1881, when he came to Florence; practiced law; was admitted to the bar in 1874, and was admitted to Supreme Court of Wisconsin same year. Mr. MCINTOSH represented Outagamie County, Wis., in Legislature three years; now located at Florence, Wis., and term of office will expire January 1, 1883; was married to Miss Mary E. CONKLIN, of Neosho, Dodge Co., Wis., October 11, 1864; have six childrenMalcolm E., Montgomery E., Maggie E., Nathan, Charlotte and Donald.

ALEXANDER MCNAIR, grocer and provision dealer, was born in New Brunswick in 1848. At the age of twenty, he came to America, and located at Oconto, Wis., where he remained eleven years and then came to Florence, and engaged in his present business; is a member of the order of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias; was married September 22, 1881, to Miss Almeda MCCOSKEY, of Oconto, Wis. They have one child, Almeda Blanchard, born August 24, 1882.

L. A. MCNEIL, civil engineer, was born in Connecticut in 1848; attended the public schools of Hartford, Conn., and attended Bryant College afterward; commenced the study of civil engineering, serving three years on the West Hartford Water Works and also in the employ of the Connecticut Valley Railroad, Connecticut Western Railroad and B. H. & E. R. R. on construction; removed to Florence from Hartford, Conn., in 1881, and was engaged in the location and construction of the C. & N. W. R. R. branch to Crystal Falls and Iron River; is now engaged in engineering at Florence. Mr. MCNEIL was married to Miss Jennie E. COTTON, of West Hartford, Conn. They have three childrenGreta, Edwin A. and Florence F. McNeil. Mrs. MCNEIL died in March, 1880. Mr. MCNEIL was married to his present wife, Miss Alice E. COOPER, of Fond du Lac, Wis., in 1882.

NORRIS D. MIHILLS, general supply merchant, was born in St. Marys, Ohio, in 1857; came to Wisconsin in infancy, with his parents; was educated at Buffalo, N. Y.; in 1872, went to Fond du Lac, the lumber business, where he remained until 1879. In the meantime, he was burned out several times, with losses from $300,000. to $500,000. Came to Florence in 1880, where he engaged in the grocery and general supply business, and was again burned out in May, 1881; rebuilt, and was again in business in about two months; was married to Miss Mary E. COBURN, of Fond du Lac, in 1876.

MRS. HARRIET MARCOTT, hotel, was born in Keysville, N. Y., in 1838; went to Negaunee in 1868, where she remained until the fall of 1880, when she came to Florence, where she built the hotel in which she is now doing business. She was married in 1880 to Joseph MARCOTT, of Quebec, Canada. They have three daughtersMary Emma, Elizabeth Ella and Polly Ophella; have two sons Felix and Henry.

NORMAN WILSON NORTHAM, proprietor of Florence Hotel, was born in Morristown. N. Y., St. Lawrence County, September 18, 1842; at the age of twelve years, he came to Menasha, Wis.; enlisted in the ninety days service in 1861; enlisted for three years in 1862, and served during the war. He attended Eastmans Business College, in Chicago, and then went into a commission house, and was engaged in several other businesses up to 1871, when he was married to Mrs. Helen TOLLMADGE, of Calumet. Then spent four years on a farm; went to California for two and a half years in speculation; back to Calumet, Marinette, and to Florence April 17, 1881. He is a member of the Masonic order, and is now running the Florence Hotel in Florence, Wis.

J. V. NORTHAM was born August 18, 1848, in New York State, in De Kalb, St. Lawrence County; moved to Menasha, Wis., remaining until thirteen years of age, and then to Oshkosh a short time; then to Green Bay, steamboating, about eight years; was then in wholesale business five years; was then in Milwaukee, in the employ of E. H. Smith & Co., one and a half years; was then in Marinette one and a half years, and then to Florence, Wis. He was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth STID, of Green Bay. Wis., November 5, 1874. Mr. N. is now running a hotel in Florence, and is also engaged in the wholesale whisky business in Chicago, Ill.

WILLIAM W. NOYES, grocer, was born in Maine May 18, 1855; came to Wisconsin in 1876, and located at Shiocton, in the grocery business, where he remained four years; then he came to Florence in 1880, and engaged in his present business; was married to Miss Clara E. RYNDEN, of Stephensville, Wis. They have one child, Arthur H. Noyes. Mr. NOYES is foreman of Florence Fire Company No. 1.

C. C. OLIN, dealer in dry goods and notions, was born in Ohio in 1841, and remained there on a farm until fifteen years of age; he then taught school until twenty years of age, and married Miss Adelia A. TERRIE, of Ohio. He went to Kansas and worked at carpenter work for five years, and then came to Wisconsin, and settled in Dane County. He was engaged in teaching school for five years; from there he moved to Outagamie County, Wis., and was engaged in teaching, farming, dealing in grain, etc., for seven years. He then came to Florence, Wis., and engaged in the mercantile business, and now owns one of the best dry goods and clothing houses in the Upper Peninsula. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has taken all the degrees. He is also Treasurer of the town of Florence.

J. S. PENBERTHY, druggist, was born January 12, 1843, at Mineral Point, Wis.; spent his childhood to the age of fifteen at school, when he lost his father, and he was compelled to support the family, consisting of mother and four children to twenty years of age; then taught school three years; then spent a year in the mines of Colorado; returned to Wisconsin for three years; then to Northern Michigan for ten years in teaching school; then to Florence. Wis., in the drug business, in which he in still engaged. He was married, at the age of twenty-two, to Miss Mary EMERY in 1865. Had one son, and lost his wife in 1869, and was married again in 1872. Is a member of the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

A. POLDERMAN, proprietor of the Polderman House, Florence, Wis. The subject of this sketch was born at Middleburg, capital of Zealand, Holland, February 17, 1836; came to America at the age of eight with his parents, and settled at Sheboygan, Wis., at which place he resided until attaining the age of twenty-five, when he was married to Miss Eliza TENDOLA, and took up his residence in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Since 1862, Mr. POLDERMAN has been prominently identified as proprietor of a number of the leading hotels of Wisconsin and Michigan, and erected the Polderman House of Florence in 1882. He in a member of the A., F. & A. M. and Temple of Honor societies.

HENRY SCOTT, clerk for Travis & Webb, was born in England in 1842; came to Canada in 1868; come to Florence, Wis., in 1881. He was married to Miss Ann Jane MCCRANUS, of Canada, in

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1872. They have five childrenLizzie, Holton, Margaret, Matilde and Ernest.

GEORGE TRAVIS, furniture and hardware, was born in New Brunswick December 28, 1847; came to the United States at the age of twenty-two; went to Michigan and remained thirteen years, and then to Florence, Wis. Han made a general tour of the United States, and settled in Florence, Wis., In 1880. Was married to Miss Lizzie TAGERT, of Florence. Is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Is now running a furniture and hardware store in Florence, Wis.

WILLIAM H. WASHBURNE M. D., was born in Weyauwega, Wis., February 14, 1854; spent his boyhood at Oshkosh at school, after which he was a telegraph operator in Chicago for three years; then went to Rush Medical College, and graduated in 1877; then went to Ishpeming with Drs. BIGELOW and CARPENTER three years, and in June, 1880, came to Florence to practice medicine. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and also a member of the Temple of Honor. Is physician to the Florence Mine. He was married to Miss Esther WILSON, of Ishpeming, October 1, 1878.

W. A. WHITTLESEY, of the Merrick Lumber Company, was born at Danbury, Conn., February 1, 1849. At the age of fourteen, he entered the Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, finishing his studies in 1889. He was engaged in business with a wholesale woolen house of Detroit for three years, and in charge of a large printing house in New Lebanon, N. Y., for four years, run by Messrs. Tilden & Co. In 1876, returned to Detroit, Mich., and was engaged in business for himself for three years. From close attention to business, Mr. WHITTLESEY lost his health, and by advice of friends came to Wisconsin in 1880, and associated himself with Messrs. M. F. MERRICK and James TOBIN, under the firm name of the Merrick Lumber Company, assuming the management and the duties of Secretary and Treasurer. He was married to Miss Cora B. TILDEN, daughter of H. A. TILDEN, of Lebanon, N. Y. Mr. WHITTLESEY is a member of the Presbyterian Church, a Prelate of the Order of Knights of Pythia, and County Superintendent of Public Schools, receiving his appointment from the Governor of Wisconsin.


The town which bears this name was laid out in March, 1880, by the Commonwealth Mining Company, on the northeast quarter Section 28, Town 40, Range 18, in the wilderness, as it were. But previous to this, Capt. James TOBIN, Superintendent of the mine, had his residence a short distance from the present town site. Close by the pioneer merchants C. H. SLOAN & Co. had a temporary store in the vicinity. John TOBIN had opened a farm on which he resided. The unprecedented size of the deposit of ore and the fine hardwood timbered land in the vicinity soon became widely spoken of, and the company decided to lay out a town site, which was accordingly done at the time mentioned above. It is located in a fine tract of hardwood forest, north and below the great Commonwealth Mine. The proprietors have been at great expense in clearing out and grading the street. The ground is undulating, with a gradual slope in the direction of Fisher Lake.

The town is the natural outgrowth of the mining interests located here. The land on which the great hematite deposit is located was entered in the land office in 1863 by the late, H. B. TUTTLE, of Cleveland, Ohio. Previous to this, Col. WHITTLESEY, one of the United States Surveyors, while running the lines of the original survey, thought he discovered traces of iron, and as the ground was covered with a fine growth of hardwood timber, he induced Mr. TUTTLE with others to purchase a large tract of land in Sections 32, 33 and 34, in Town 40, Range 18, as he thought that if a marketable quality of iron was discovered on the tract the hardwood would be valuable for a charcoal furnace. In 1876, Horace A. TUTTLE, a son of the former, engaged H. D. FISHER to explore the ground, which he did with with a small force. He made the first discovery of the present bed the same year, on northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 34

The site of the town is most favorably located; numerous cozy and substantial dwellings sprinkle the hillside, and all the branches of business are well represented.

It is so near Florence that the time may arrive in the not far distant future when both places may be blended in one fair-sized city.

Crystal Falls is a bright little town hardly one year old, and possessed of a population of about nine hundred inhabitants. It was laid out as a town by the Crystal Falls Iron Company during the summer of 1882 at the terminus of the Crystal Falls Branch of the Chicago & North-Western Railway.

The site of the village is on a sufficient elevation to afford a natural drainage and give it a prominent and desirable appearance. It is in the heart of the mining region familiarly called the Crystal Falls District, adjacent to a number of the more extensive mining properties recently developed.

All branches of business are successfully represented, and at this writing the town is growing rapidly in population, a large influx of people flocking to the new town, whose coming is urged by the favorable outlook for future prosperity that the newly discovered mines promise to bestow.

The Commonwealth Mine is the property of the Commonwealth Iron Company, the workings of which are on the southwest quarter of Section 34, Town 40 north. Range 18 east, though the company owns a compact estate of 3,000 acres in the immediate vicinity. The officers of the company are: President, Alex NIMICK, Pittsburgh; Vice President, W. U. MASTERS, Cleveland; Secretary and Treasurer, W. H. HARVEY, Cleveland; General Manager, H. A. TUTTLE, Cleveland; Superintendent, William E. DICKINSON; Sales Agents, Tuttle, Masters & Co., Cleveland.

Iron ore was first discovered on the land now owned by the company by Col. Charles WHITTLESEY, of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1859, from whose minutes they were entered by H. B. TUTTLE, Esq., in 1867. In 1875, Prof. Charles E. WRIGHT, while engaged in making a geological survey, found some loose ore under the upturned root of a fallen tree on Section 34, which fact he mentioned to K D. FISHER, Esq., who in the following year sunk some test pits near the locality indicated, and found the solid ledge. When Mr. FISHER reported his discovery, very few people were willing to credit his statement as to the apparent great extent of the deposit, but the work that has since been done on the property proves that he did not in the least exaggerate the simple truth, either in regard to the extent or quality of the ore. For some time after the value of the property had been demonstrated beyond all question through the exploration pits and trenches dug by Mr. FISHER, no further work was done, at least not until after the speedy extension of the Menominee River Railway west of the river became a reasonable certainty. Active mine work was not commenced till the spring of 1880, the first shipment from the mine being made about the middle of the October following, the total output up to the close of navigation being 9,643 tons.

The trend of the ore belt is east and west, with a slight dip to the south. The present workings are on the summit of a high ridge, along the north base of which, at no great distance, is the branch railroad track. A tramway connects the mine with this branch track, there being the usual high trestle work and accompanying docks and pockets for loading the ore directly into the railway cars, and for stocking the winter's product. The ore of the red specular variety, though not so hard as those of the Marquette Range, and average about 65 per cent of metallic iron; it is, however, too high in phosphorus for Bessemer steel. It is

pg. 506

noticable, too, that the ore grows harder as grater depth is attained.

The workings now consist of four open pits, the main one of which, the Taylor, was the only one wrought during last year. Some important improvements have also been made during the past year; new buildings have been erected and new machinery put in, in so everything now gives evidence of the mine's becoming one of the more important on the range. It gives employment to 400 men, and the average monthly product for the season was about ten thousand.

The shipments of the past are as follows: 1880, 9,643 gross tons; 1881, 97,410 gross tons; total 107,053 gross tons.

H. A. TUTTLE, of Cleveland, Ohio, retains the position of General Manager, and Capt W. E. DICKINSON is Superintendent.


MICHAEL BUSH, Deputy Sheriff was born in Canada in 1834, northwest of the city of Ottawa. He was brought up in Canada, and engaged in the lumber business in the village of Buckingham, county of Ottawa, P.Q., and came to the United States in 1876 and located in Escanaha, Mich. Came to Commonwealth in 1880; was appointed Deputy Sheriff in April, 1882. Is Coroner of Florence County; Constable of the town of Commonwealth; agent for the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of Newark, N. J.; also agent for the Monarch Line of Steamers between New York and London.

WELLINGTON F. CARR, of Justice of the Peace, was born in the town of Granby, Oswego County, N. Y., June 16, 1833. Came to Wisconsin in 1888 with his parents, then went to Illinois; came to Michigan in 1853, remained till 1856, and went to Portage Lake. Was there until August, 1868, when be enlisted in the army, and served during the war. In 1865, he went to Copper Harbor, Mich., to Hancock; then to Negaunee, until the winter of 1879; then to Oshkosh for one year, and then to Commonwealth. Was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1882. Was married to Miss Charlotte GRISWOLD, Negaunee, Mich.

ROBERT ODELL, physician of the Commonwealth Mine, was born in Erie, Penn., in 1843; entered the service of the United States as Hospital Steward in June, 1861, and continued to September, 1864; then entered the Medical Department of Ann Arbor, Mich., as student of medicine, where he remained until March, 1866, at which time he graduated. In the fall of 1866, he went to Hancock, Mich., as assistant physician to Franklin and Pewabice Copper Mines for nearly one year. In 1867, he entered the service of the medica1 department of the United States Army; served as Post Surgeon at Fort Wilkins until August, 1870. Was with theUunited States troops in Kentucky from March, 1870, until December, 1871. Went west to Little Rock (Ark.) Barracks, as assistant to Post Surgeon December, 1871, where he remained until the spring at 1872, when he went to Fort Bridger, W. T. From Fort Bridger, he went to Fort Fetterman as Post Surgeon, where he remained about eighteen months; and then went to Camp Stambaugh, W. T., as assistant to Post Surgeon, where he remained until August of that year. Then went to the Black Hills with the United States troops in the field, until the middle of September of that year; then returned to Detroit, Mich., on account of sickness in his family, and retired temporarily from practice. In January, 1880, he had temporary charge of Saginaw, Goodrich, New England, Mitchell and National Iron Mines, which are located near Ishpeming, Mich. Remained there until 1881, when he came to Commonwealth Iron Mine as attending physician, where he is still in charge.

HORACE A. TUTTLE, general manager of the Commonwealth Iron Company, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 17, 1851; obtained a liberal education, and, at the age of seventeen, entered the banking house of E. J. Farmer & Co., of Cleveland; remained in the bank one year, and then entered the employ of H. B. TUTTLE & Co., of the same city, commission dealers in iron ore and pig iron; remained as a clerk for three years, at the end of which time was admitted as a general partner January 1, 1873, at the age of twenty-two. This co-partnership continued until the death of his father April 9, 1878. The business was carried on by the surviving partners, George H. ELY, F. L. TUTTLE and H. A. TUTTLE, until the fall of 1879, when F. L TUTTLE and H. A. TUTTLE dissolved with Mr. ELY and succeeded to the business of the old firm, under the firm name of TUTTLE & Co. The firm was in existence until January 1, 1880, when W. U. MASTERS was admitted to the firm, and the name changed to Tuttle, Masters & Co., which firm is now carrying on a general commission business in Iron ore, pig iron, rail, copper, tin, lead, spelter and babbit metal. This firm is now doing one of the largest commission businesses in the city of Cleveland, handling property each year to the amount of between three and four million dollars; besides this immense business, the company have other intersts of various kinds, prominent among which is the interest in the Commonwealth Iron Company, above mentioned. The land for the company was originally purchased by H. B. TUTTLE, on the minutes furnished by Col. Charles WHITTLESEY of Cleveland, Ohio, who at that time was making a geological survey of this county. H. B. TUTTLE associated with himself with Col. WHITTLESEY and Mr. HARVEY, of Cleveland, their interests finally passing to the sons. In 1878, Horace conceived the idea of exploring the lands, which, being agreed to by the other owners, the work was started, and, in June of that year, he came up here in company with H. D. FISHER, who was employed by them to take charge of explorations on company lands. While carrying on this work, the ore was found on the site of the present workings. This work was carried on at an unusual cost, sad to great disadvantage, and they were obliged at that time to travel or team their supplies from Menominee, Mich., ninety miles, through the woods. They were compelled to break and cut several miles of the road in order to reach the property. After the development of ore in the winter of 187677, this was put into a stock company of the above name, and H. A. TUTTLE was chosen President of the company, and, in 1877, made a business of developing the mine. In the fall of 1877, after an expenditure of about $10,000 in developments, induced the Chicago & North-Western Railway to join them in the expense of making a preliminary survey, with a view to the extension of the Menominee River Branch, which was that year being constructed to Quinnesec. This survey was made during the winter of 187778, and the extension to this sectson of the county was begun, and finished in 1880, in the fall of which year the company shipped the first ore, which, after a trial, was found to be a very acceptable ore to the trade. In 1881, the company operations were on a large scale, and, in that year, shipped to the market $98,000 tons of ore, and up to September 1, 1882, have mined and shipped 95,000 tons; the mine is now fully equipped with machinery and buildings, and enjoys the advantage of being well situated for handling its material cheaply; it is located in the midst of a very fine farming and hard-wood country, and enjoys the reputation of being one of the largest and best managed mines of the Upper Peninsula. The company owns 3,700 acres in fee simple; the company is capitalized for $500,000, the stock of which sells at the rate of a million. The controlling interests in it are owned by P. L. TUTTLE, A. H. TUTTLE and H. A. TUTTLE, principally by F. L. and H. A. The officers of the company are as follows; President, Alexander NIMICK, of Pittsburgh, Penn.; Vice President, F. L. TUTTLE, of Cleveland, Ohio; Secretary, William H. HARVEY, of Cleveland, Ohio; Treasurer, F. L. TUTTLE, of Cleveland, Ohio; General Manager, H. A. TUTTLE, of Cleveland, Ohio. The work at the mine is under the direction of W. E. DICKINSON, who enjoys the reputation of being one of the most competent mine superintendents on the Upper Peninsula, and, for many years, was connected with the New York Mine of Ishpeming. The company is just opening up a new mine, which, at the present state of development, promises to be one of the largest bodies of ore ever found in this region. The management has this year developed another course of ore two miles west of its present workings, which is of such grade as to admit it for use in the manufacture of iron for steel purposes. This vein is from fifteen to twenty feet wide, and is developed 350 feet in length on the surface. The company are now endeavoring to get an extension to this part of the property, so as to ship this ore the coming season.

GEORGE R. TUTTLE, manager of Commonwealth Mine store, was born in New York State in 1839; went to Ohio in 1842; was brought up at Cleveland, and graduated at public high school; took eclectic scientific course at Oberlin College; learned the drug business, and began to read medicine. At the breaking-out of the war, had charge of the Transportation Department in the State Quartermaster General's office; was after transferred to the field under Capt. Hortt, United States Quartermaster; served as Brigade Forage Master under Gen. Robert C. Schenck, in Fremont's Division; was called home by the death of a younger brother; was offered a lucrative business position which he accepted; followed this for several years; was actively engaged in the Lake Superior iron and ore trade as junior partner of H. B. TUTTLE & Son. In 1888, went into business for himself, engaging in the same line, but adding to it mining and shipping coal, owned by him in Ohio. During his connection with H. B. TUTTLE & Son, he gave great attention to the transportation of ore and its cost, which resulted in the evolution of the plan now almost universally practiced, and known as the steam barge consort system of hand1ing freight. In 1868, in company with B. L. Pennington, a prominent ship owner, the new plan was demonstrated by the building of the steam barge, H. B. Tuttle, and her consort, the schooner George H. Ely. Although this was not the first pair, it was the first pair planned and constructed for the iron ore trade, and was the direct outcome of the original idea. He continued in business, and amassed a comfortable fortune until 1874, when, because at Jay Cooke's failure in 1873, he was compelled to give

pg. 507

up business, since which time he has been engaged more or less with ore and iron; came to Corinth, Wis., in 1881, and engaged in his present business. Took part in the agitation for a new county, and assisted in its organization. Is Clerk of the Circuit Court of Florence County, Wis. Was married in 1862, to Miss Catherine THAYER, of Cleveland, Ohio.

GEO. A. WALTER, accountant of Commonwealth Iron Company was born in 1887, at Great Bend, on the Susquehanna River; removed to Hillsdale County, Mich., remaining there until the age of eighteen, then went to Detroit three years; thence to Chicago five years in the book and news business. In 1861, he enlisted in the army for two years; then in Michigan one year; then in Detroit two years; then to Cleveland twelve years in the wholesale millinery; then to Marquette as accountant for stove firm seven years; then in Custom House one year; came to Commonwealth October, 1881, to take charge of the office. Is Treasurer of the town by appointment. Was married to Miss J. KING of Springfield, Ill., January 21, 1868.


BURLEIGH PERKINS was born in Aroostook, Me., May 28, 1887. At the age of nineteen, went to Escanaba, Mich., in the lumber business, where he remained until 1854. In May, 1857, he came to Marinette, where he has lived to the present time. He has worked at numerous occupations, and in various places. Has located many thousand acres of pine land, and has done all kinds of river work. On May 4, 1858, he was married to Miss Sarah Jane PONTERFIELD, of Cold Stream, Providence Co., New Brunswick.

Transcribed by Angie Wesch, Dec 1999

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