Keweenaw County Michigan

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Copper Falls, Central, Phoenix, Allouez and Ahmuk (Ahmeek)

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.

Statistical | Mines & Miners
Copper Harbor | Eagle Harbor  | Eagle River | Delaware | Copper Falls | Central | Phoenix | Allouez | Ahmeek (Ahmuk)


Copper Falls is about three miles southwest of Eagle Harbor, and adjoins the Ash Bed (Petherick), which together form the settlement. There are about sixty houses, two boarding houses and one store at the location.

Death of Seven Miners. -The only serious drawback to mining is the unstable character of much of the hanging walls. A great deal of timbering is required to sustain them, and even then very many of them fall, sometimes in great bodies, crushing the timbers and all beneath them. One wonders that the workmen do not get killed working beneath these ponderous rocks that seem liable to fall at any moment, but they do not. When working beneath a roof that gives indications of falling it is carefully watched. The men insert wedges in the seams or cracks, and observe the progress of loosening which takes place. Besides, when about to fall, there is generally a preliminary movement and slight noise, which men working in danger are quick to observe and thus to make their escape. The most lamentable instance of a fall of this kind in any of the copper mines, occurred at the Copper Falls in 1874, when seven men were crushed beneath an extensive fall of the roof, and before their bodies could be recovered from the ruins, they were so badly eaten by the rats as to be almost unrecognizable. Rats infest the copper mines, and they are of great value, acting as scavengers-removing all the refuse and filth which, otherwise accumulating, would be unendurable.


CAPT. OTMAR BAUR, surface captain of the Copper Falls Mine since 1868, and an employe of the company seventeen years, was born in Germany in 1847; came to America in 1851, with his parents, who located at Adrian, Mich., where he passed his boyhood and received his education. In 1864, he went West; spent some time in Iowa; crossed the plains to Fort Laramie; he returned to Lake Su­perior the following year, and engaged with the Copper Falls Min­ing Company, and, in 1868, was made surface captain, and has retained that position to this date, 1882.

B. F. EMERSON, agent of the Copper Falls Mine, was born in Middleton, Essex County, Mass., December 22, 1838; he was educated in the East, and, in 1868, came to Lake Superior; he spent two years at Houghton; was away two years, and, in 1872, entered the service of the Copper Falls Mine; he was appointed agent of this mine in 1873, and has held that position to this date. Mr. Emerson is a thorough student, and even in the wilds of Lake Superior has supplied himself with a library of very liberal proportions, having a keen appreciation of everything bearing on the early history of this region; he has procured the best and most interesting information on this subject. The publishers of this work are under obliga­tions to him for the use of his valuable collection.

GEORGE FISHER, Superintendent of the Copper Falls Stamp Mills, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, December 13, 1847; came with his parents to the Sault Ste. Marie in 1849, and from there to the North American Mine, Lake Superior. In1867, he began work at the Calumet & Hecla Mine machine shops, and continued with that company till 1880, when he changed to the Copper Falls Mine, where he was employed one year; he then made a trip to Leadville, Colo.; spent a few months in that region, and returned to Lake Superior; he accepted his present position in October, 1881.

CAPT. WILLIAM JACKA, first captain of the Copper Falls Mine, was born in Cornwall, Eng., January 30, 1832; was brought up at mining work. In 1852, he went to South America for a London mining company; spent two years in that country, and returned to England. In 1859, he came to the United States, and direct to Lake Superior, where he engaged with the Minnesota Mining Com­pany; he returned to England again in 1861, and, in the fall of the following year, came back to Lake Superior; he then engaged with the Amygdaloid Mining Company; he continued with the company until 1867; during three years of this time, he served as mining captain. From 1867 to 1870, he was assistant mining captain of the Calumet & Hecla Mine; in the spring of 1870, he went to Wisconsin, and from there to New York; he was engaged in min­ing in the latter State until 1875, when he returned to Lake Supe­rior and accepted the position of mining captain at the Minong Mine on Isle Royale, which position he held five years and three months; he was next employed as mining captain at the Allouez Mine one year, and in August, 1881, accepted his present position.

CHRISTOPHER J. WOOLWAY, M. D., C. M., physician and surgeon at the Copper Falls and Ashbed Mines, was born in St. Mary's, Canada, October 28, 1854; was educated at the Collegiate Institute of St. Mary's, from which he graduated as prize man in 1869. He then began the study of medicine, and entered the medical department of McGill University in the city of Montreal, in the session of 1869-70, and graduated with honors in the spring of 1875. He began the practice of his profession at Grand Rapids, Mich., in May, 1875, and came to Lake Superior in the spring of 1879, as phy­sician and surgeon to the Copper Falls and Delaware Mines. His practice extends to Eagle Harbor. Since 1880, he has been physician of the Poor House of Keweenaw County, and one of the County Superintendents of the poor.


Central is located south of Copper Falls on adjoining property. There are 130 houses on the location and a population of about 1,200.

In 1868, a Methodist Church was built, mostly by the company, and has never been transferred to the Methodist Episcopal Society. It has a membership of about sixty. Rev. R. Nichols is the pastor in charge of the district.

The Central Schoolhouse was built by the Central Com­pany in 1878, at a cost of about $7, 500. It is forty by seventy feet, and three stories high, including the Mansard roof. It stands upon a commanding position, well up the greenstone bluff, which rises to a height of 700 feet at this place. The two lower floors are divided into four rooms for the graded school, and the upper is used for a hall. Three teachers are employed at a salary of $191.61 per month. There are 359 children drawing school funds, with an average daily attendance of 138 pupils.

The store has been owned by the Central Company since 1868, and has been in charge of Perkins Burnham since 1872. Average stock, $30,000.

The Philanthropic Society of Sherman, a secret society, local to the mining districts, has a lodge here--Conquering Hero, No. 4-chartered April 6, 1872, numbering about seventy members. They have $550 in the treasury. Thomas Morgan is W. G. M., and John T. Holman, W. S.

The Good Templars are represented by Keweenaw Lodge, I. 0. G. T. , No. 23, which was chartered by the Grand Lodge of the Upper Peninsula, May 6, 1882. It has thirty-two members in good standing. Miss Jennie Bennett is W. C. T., and Emil T. W. Damue, W. S.


CAPT. SAMUEL BENNETTS, First Mining Captain of the Central Mine ; was born in Cornwall, Eng., September, 1830. He was brought up a miner, and came to America in 1854, and direct to the Cliff Mine on Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior. He worked as a miner and was made Mining Captain in 1861. He continued with that company till 1872, when he went to the iron district, and served as Captain at the Pittsburgh & Lake Superior Mine one and a half years. He next engaged at the Allouez Copper Mine, on Keweenaw Point, and served as Captain of that mine six and a half years. In February, 1879, he accepted his present position with the Central Mine, one of the most prosperous and successful mines in this region.

CAPT. JAMES DUNSTAN, agent of the Central Mining Company, was born in Cornwall, England, December 5, 1827. He began working in the mines in early life, and followed that business in his native country until 1853, when he emigrated to America, coming direct to Lake Superior. He engaged as a miner at the Ohio Trap Rock Mine, Ontonagon County, and was subsequently Captain of the same mine. In the spring of 1860, he accepted the agency of the Carp Lake Mine, which he surrendered in the fall of the same year to accept the position of Captain at the Amygdaloid Mine. He operated the underground work at that mine until June, 1866, when he changed to the Central Mine, where he served as Mining Captain until January 1, 1879; he was then appointed agent of the mine, and is still holding that position. Under his management the mine is being worked successfully. This mine produced, in 1880, mineral to the value of $372,950.20. For later statistics, see history of the mine.

CHARLES KINGSTON, contractor of the Central Mine, has been connected with this company for more than twenty years. He was born in Hampshire, England, May 22, 1824; was brought up a farmer, and emigrated to America in 1851. He came direct to Lake Superior; landed at Eagle Harbor, and engaged in wood chopping. He was next a miner three years. About 1862, he located at the Central Mine, and engaged in contract work for this company, getting out wood and timber and doing their teaming. He also has had charge of the road work for the township of Sherman, as Road Commissioner, some seventeen years. In 1874, he made a visit to his native country, spending about four months abroad. Mr. Kingston is one of the old pioneers of this region, and is widely and favorably known.

CHARLES PAULL, foreman copper dresser of the Central Mine, was born in Dodgeville, Iowa Co., Wis., September 5. 1856. In 1863, he came to Lake Superior and made his home at Copper Falls. In 1869, he began work with the Schoolcraft Mining Com­pany, as copper washer. He spent three years in the mills of that company. He was next employed nearly a year as copper dresser at the Phoenix Stamp Mills. From there he went to the Franklin Mills, where he spent five years as copper dresser. From there he came to the Central Mine, and has been foreman copper dresser at these works since July 1, 1880.

JOHN F. ROBERT, clerk of the Central Mining Company since October, 1875, was born in the State of New York July 15, 1848. He attended the Oak Hill Military School, of Yonkers, and received a thorough education, and for several years was cashier of a mercantile house. In 1871, he went to sea as captain's secretary, on the United States ship of war, Narragansett; made the Pacific cruise, and returned to New York. He then spent one and a half years as bookkeeper in a bank, and in 1875 came to Lake Superior to accept the position he now holds. The company is to be con­gratulated on possessing one of the most competent, diligent and courteous clerks in this region.

THOMAS SATTERLEY, Second Mining Captain of the Cen­tral Mine, is one of the oldest employee of this mine; has been in the employ of this company nineteen consecutive years. He was born in Devonshire, England, in January, 1838. He was brought up a miner, and came to America in 1856, and came direct to Lake Superior. He began work with the Caledonia Mining Company, working with that company one year. Next in the Minesota Mine one winter, with the Rockland two years, and a short time with the Northwest Mine. In 1863, he engaged with the Central Mining Company, and has continued with that company continuously since. He has served as Mining Captain since June, 1879.

CAPT. WILLIAM TRETHEWAY, of the Central Mining Company, was born in Corn wall, England. He was brought up a miner, and came to the United States in 1873. After spending a few months in this country, he returned to England. In 1874, he came to the States again. Spent one year in the State of New York, and then came to Lake Superior, arriving in this region in July of that year. He began work with the Central Mining Company as a miner, and in February, 1880, was appointed Captain, under Capt. Samuel Bennetts, First Mining Captain.

ALLEN YOELL, master mechanic of the Central Mine, was born in St. Louis, Mo., July 24, 1837. He served a regular apprenticeship to the machinist's trade in St. Louis, and followed the Mis­issippi River eight years as a steamboat engineer. In 1866, he went to St. Paul, Minn., and spent two years erecting machinery. From there he came to Lake Superior, and was engaged three years at Superior City in the same business. He then went to Houghton, Portage Lake, and was employed in running tugs for Capt. Bendry two years. He was next employed two years in charge of the machinery of the Copper Falls Mine. In 1878, he came to the Del aware and was employed as machinist; also had charge of the machinery of the Amygdaloid Mine. In October, 1879, he was appointed to his present position.


This place is located about two miles south from Eagle River, on lands which belonged to the lease taken out in 1843 by the old Lake Superior Copper Company. The mine gives employment to about 125 men. These and their families, with a few others, constitute the settlement.

The company have built a schoolhouse and a Methodist Church at this place. The post office is kept at the store of G. Kloeckner & Co., who succeeded M. Frend in 1873 in the mercantile business at this place. They carry an average stock of $45,000.


RICHARD BAWDEN, First Captain of the Phoenix Mine, was born in Cornwall, England, in April, 1836. He was brought up a miner, and emigrated to America in 1860. He came direct to Lake Superior and engaged as a miner at the National Mine, Ontonagon. Remained at this mine only one year, and then engaged with the Minesota Mining Company. Continued at that mine five years, and then changed to the Franklin in 1869, and in 1870 went to Rhode Island, where he was engaged in coal mining till 1874. He then returned to Lake Superior and accepted his present position.

D. D. BROCKWAY, agent of the Cliff Mine and resident agent and principal owner of the Atlas Mine; was one of the earliest pioneers of the Lake Superior country, he having located at L'Anse in August, 1843 as Government blacksmith to the Indians. He was born in Franklin County, Vt., May 2, 1815. He moved to Franklin County, N. -Y., with his parents in childhood, and from there to Washtenaw County, Mich., in 1831. He was married, in Kalamazoo County, in 1836, to Miss Lucena, daughter of Dr. James Harris a well known pioneer of that region. After his marriage, Mr. Brockway returned to Franklin County, N. Y., where he spent three years. While there, he was appointed blacksmith and mechanic to the Indian Department of Lake Superior, with headquarters at L'Anse, under Robert Stewart, Indian Agent. Taking his family and accompanied by his brother, A. W, Brockway, who was assist­ant blacksmith, and at present Cashier of the Savings Bank at Brownsville, Tenn., he proceeded on his journey to the then almost unknown wilderness of Lake Superior. Arrived at the Sault Portage June 19, 1843, and were obliged to wait there six weeks and three days for a vessel to take them to L'Anse. They got off August 4 on the old brig John Jacob Astor. They were accompanied by Dr. Douglass Houghton, State Geologist, and party, as far as Grand Island. They reached L'Anse Mission August 8. The next three years were devoted to the peculiar duties of his office. Hoping to improve his prospects, Mr. Brockway determined to remove to Cop­per Harbor, which was then attracting considerable attention from the accounts of rich copper discoveries in its neighborhood. So setting out May 1, 1846, in a small boat with his wife and three small children, their crew consisting of two Indians, they coasted L'Anse Bay and around Keweenaw Point, being out two nights. They reached Copper Harbor May 3. The few inhabitants of Copper Harbor were living in tents. Mr. Brockway had come to stay, so he built a substantial house, the first in the place, and opened it as a hotel. Mr. B. was a potent factor in the development and im­provement of the country. In 1849, he was employed at the Northwest mine as agent, and continued with that company two years. Mr. B. discovered the Cape Mine, and was instrumental in organiz­ing that company, and was agent there one year. In 1861 he re­moved to Eagle River, where he kept hotel until 1863. He then returned to Copper Harbor and engaged in the mercantile business with G. W. Perry, a son-in-law, under the firm name of Brockway & Perry. Continued that business three years. In 1869, he went to the Lower Peninsula and engaged in farming on the old home­stead, where he married his wife, he then being the owner of said farm. Returning to Lake Superior in 1872, he opened a store at the Cliff Mine with his son, Albert A., under the firm name of D. D. Brockway & Son, dealers in general merchandise. They continued the business to this date. His son, Albert A., is the present County Treasurer of Keweenaw County. Mrs. Sarah L. Scott is the oldest white person now living that was born in the mining district of Lake Superior. A daughter of C. T. Carrier, who was Government farmer at L'Anse, was the first white child born at that place. It died at the age of only a year or two, in the State of New York, to which place its parents moved in 1845. In 1879, Mr. B. spent seven months in the Black Hills country in search of gold. Returning in the month of December, while crossing the plains, was overtaken by a fearful storm, and with seven other passengers narrowly escaped death by freezing. The stage having been tipped over in the storm, had to remain on the open plain for about fifteen hours, with the wind blowing a perfect gale and mercury at 42, below zero. For the past year, Mr. B. has been the superintendent of the Cliff Mine, and has been very active in the discharge of the duties of his position. He is now in the sixty-eighth year of his age, but is still hale and hearty, and always found in the harness. His motto is wear out rather than rust out. He is still active as most men at forty-five, and we would count him good for twenty years to come.

OTIS B. BRYANT, chief clerk of the Phoenix and St. Clair Mines, was born in Hingham, Mass.,June 4, 1860; was educated at Fair Haven, and came to Lake Superior in the spring of 1880, to accept his present position at the Phoenix Mine. He entered upon the discharge of his duties April 14 of that year.

P. T. BROWNELL, bookkeeper at the general store of G. Kloeckner & Company, was born in Fair Haven, Mass., March 5, 1855 ; was brought up in Massachusetts, and received a business education, coming to Lake Superior in 1876 to accept his present po­sition.

M. A. DELANO, agent of the Phoenix and St. Clair Mines, was born in Fair Haven, Mass., October 30, 1848 , came to Lake Superior in 1868, and engaged with the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company as clerk. In 1872, he left the Calumet & Hecla, to accept the position of clerk at the Phoenix Mine, and in 1874 was appointed agent. Appointed agent of the St. Clair Mine, lying adjacent, in 1880.

G. KLOECKNER, merchant, of the firm of G. Kloeckner & Co., succeeded M. Frend & Son in 1873; average stock $45,000; is also interested with Charles Briggs, of Calumet, in the same line (gene- ral merchandise). He was born in Prussia November 30, 1848, and came to Lake Superior with his parents in 1853; he spent his boyhood at the Minesota Mine, Ontonagon County; he began as clerk with S. D. North and Charles Briggs in their general store at the Minesota Mine; was with them nine y ears at that point, and in their branch store at Calumet six years. In 1873, he entered upon his present business at the Phoenix Mine. Since his location here he has held the appointment of Postmaster.

ALBERT LAWBAUGH, M. D., physician and surgeon of the Phoenix and St. Clair Mines, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in September, 1814; he was educated at the high school of Tren­ton, Ohio, and took his medical degree at the Long Island Hospital, graduated at the medical college, and practiced fourteen months as house physician and surgeon. In 1871, he came to Lake Superior and accepted the position of assistant physician and surgeon under Dr. Alexander, deceased, of the Phoenix Mine, and one year later, 1872, he was appointed to his present position. Dr. Lawbaugh is justly classed among the best skilled in his profession on the Upper Peninsula.

WILLIAM NICHOLS, foreman copper dresser of the Phoenix Mine, was born in Wales August 9, 1851; he came to America with his parents in 1856; lived in Grant County, Wis., till 1861; he then came to Lake Superior and engaged as copper washer at the stamp mills of the Quincy Mine. He was employed at those mills three years; next at the Hancock, and subsequently two years at the Calumet under Capt. Richards; he has also worked at copper dressing with the Schoolcraft, St. Clair, Aetna and Amygdaloid Mines. At these latter mills he was foreman copper dresser. In 1874, he engaged with the Phoenix Company in his present position.

JAMES C. TREUBATH, clerk of the Cliff Mining Company since 1876; was born in Cornwall, England, September 26, 1849; was educated in England, and came to America in 1862, arriving in the Lake Superior country September 29, of that year; he located at the Cliff Mine where he was employed in the stamp mills of that company for some time; he subsequently engaged as teacher of the Cliff School, and continued in that vocation six years. In 1876, he was appointed to his present position.


Allouez, named after the missionary priest of that name, is now a thriving mining town, having new life infused into it by the operations of the Allouez Mining Company, who, since the expiration of the tribute lease, have taken hold in good earnest to improve and develop the property. They employ 310 men on the mine, with an additional force of 100 choppers and teamsters.

A new Methodist Episcopal Church has just been built. There are at the mine two wood school buildings and a total of 175 pupils.

When the mine started, a Miners' Accident Club was organized, to which each miner was obliged to contribute 50 cents a month, subject to further assessment if required. This, in case of accident, secures to each $30 a month during continuance of the disability. Three hundred dollars are paid to the heirs in case of the death of a member from accident.


WILLIAM KLINE, proprietor of Allouez boarding-house, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, March 18, 1832. He came to America at the time of the Revolution in 1848, and direct to Lake Superior; he made his home at the Minesota Mine; worked as a miner there two years and seven months; he then came to Eagle Harbor, and worked as a miner in the Connecticut and Copper Falls Mines. In 1868, worked at the Allouez Mine; he kept the boarding house at the Copper Falls Mine in 1860 and at the Allouez Mine the past nine years, commencing April, 1874.

CAPT. NED B. ROSCORLA, first Captain of the Allouez Mine, was born in Cornwall, England, January 14, 1850; he was brought up a miner, and was made a Mining Captain. In 1870, he emigrated to America; spent one year in New Jersey and came to Lake Superior in August, 1871; he commenced work at the Phoenix Mine as a miner one year, when he left and came to the Allouez Mine; he was second Captain here three years with Watson & Walls Tribute Company; when the company resumed work, he was ap- pointed first Captain.

FREDRICK SMITH, agent of the Allouez Mine, was born in Germany March 5, 1835; he was educated in his native country, and emigrated to America in 1855, and came direct to Lake Superior, and has resided in this region since, excepting a period of six months. He was first employed at the old Northwest Mine, and subsequently at the Minesota Mine; he was also bookkeeper at the store of the Huron Mine; he was also bookkeeper in the store of Smith & Harris, at Houghton, three years; he next clerked three years at the Cop­per Falls Mine. In 1877, he was appointed agent of the Allouez Mine, which position he now holds. The Allouez is one of the important mines in the copper region, and under Mr. Smith's manage­ment is working very successfully. The product of mineral for the first half of 1882 has been 571 tons.

W. H. SOLIS, M. D. physician and surgeon of the Allouez, Wolverine, Ahmuk and Centennial Mines, was born in Ohio July 1852; he was educated at Detroit and Pontiac, Mich.; took a regular course at the medical department of the State University of Michigan and graduated in 1873; he commenced the practice of his profession at Pontiac, and eight months later came to Lake Superior; he practiced at the Quincy Mine as assistant a little more than a year; he was next employed as physician to the Copper Falls and Delaware Mines, and practiced also at Eagle Harbor. September 1875, he went to Isle Royale as physician and surgeon to the Minong Mining Company; he was on the island one year and eight months; he then returned to the south shore and practiced at Hancock eight months. In January, 1878, he accepted his present po­sition.

WATSON & WALLS, merchants. This firm is composed of Isaiah C. Watson and William Walls, and was established in the fall of 1873. They now carry an average stock of $50,000. In the years 1877-78-79, they worked the Allouez Mine on tribute, and pro­duced an average of 1,000 tons of copper per year. Isaiah C. Wat­son, senior partner of the firm of Watson & Walls, was born in Canada November 15, 1843; came to Lake Superior in 1859, and came direct to Hancock; was employed at the Franklin Mine twelve years as assistant clerk; went to Iowa and spent two years; he then returned to Lake Superior and formed the present partnership.

WILLIAM WALLS, of the firm of Watson & Walls, merchants, was born in Cornwall, England, May 12, 1846; he came to America in 1849 with his parents, and passed his boyhood days in Pennsylvania, and in May, 1863, came to Lake Superior; he located at the Copper Falls Mine and engaged in mining, and worked at mining eleven years in the copper region; he was a merchant clerk for four years. In September, 1873, he formed the present partnership with Mr. Watson. (See business history of Watson Walls.)


AGATE HARBOR, six miles east of Eagle Harbor, is virtually abandoned as a town site. The harbor is used only by coasters who know the channel, it not being kept in a condition for the entrance of large vessels.



CAPT. JOHN M. RICHARDS, of the Ahmuk Mine, P. O. Clifton, was born in Cornwall, England, November 30, 1829; he was brought up a miner from early boyhood; he came to America in 1853, and direct to Keweenaw Point; worked as a miner at the South Cliff, Central, Isle Royal and Portage Lake Mines. While at the Cliff, he served five years as Mining Captain. In 1879, he went to Colorado and Idaho Springs; he returned to Lake Superior the fol­lowing year, and June 16, 1881, was appointed to his present position of Captain and Manager of the Ahmuk Mine, Keweenaw County.

Statistical | Mines & Miners
Copper Harbor | Eagle Harbor  | Eagle River | Delaware | Copper Falls | Central | Phoenix | Allouez | Ahmeek (Ahmuk)