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Memorial Reports MARQUETTE COUNTY 1902


Kaw-baw-gam 1902

Charles Kaw-baw-gam, aged 104 years. I came to Marquette on the 18th of May, 1849, and found him here. He was a noble specimen of his race, a full-blooded Chippewa, and stepson of the great chief Shan-wa-non, and would have been a chief but for the fact that his tribe were so widely dispersed that they needed none. Kaw-baw-gam was a good man, a good citizen, a good hunter and a good fisherman. He always took good care of his family, and was never idle or lazy. Did not drink, never was arrested, and never fought his own race or any other. He was generous and helpful to all about him. He walked so erect, and looked so vigorous and strong up to the time of his fatal illuess, only a few weeks before his death, that many people expressed doubts about his being a hundred years old. All the proof that I have to offer that he did reach this age is that on the 18th of May, 1849, the first time I ever saw him, I asked him how old he was. He replied in his own language, "Just fifty," and he explained just where he had lived in those fifty years. He looked to be fifty and I believed him implicitly, and since that day fifty-four long years have rolled around. I feel sure that he was 104 when he died. The citizens are just now making a contract for a bronze statue of heroic size of him, to be erected over his grave on Presque Isle, to be unveiled in July, 1904.

Historical collections By Michigan State Historical Society, Michigan Historical Commission Vol. XXXIII pub. 1904

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