LEWIS YOUNG WHITEHEAD
FATHER OF THE MENOMINEE RANGE
MID-PENINSULA LIBRARY FEDERATION
IRON MOUNTAIN, MICHIGAN 49801
We are indebted to Mrs. Henry Miller of Spread Eagle, Wisconsin for providing a copy of her grandfather's diary and other papers for publication. Mrs. Miller also furnished a "family tree" and additional notes on her mother, Nella Phoebe Whitehead Myers, who died in 1954.
Thanks also to photographer Lowell Wright of Pentoga for his excellent reproductions of early photographs of Mr. & Mrs. Whitehead.
News Articles ................................................................
Family Tree ....................................................................
In 1872 when Lewis Young Whitehead walked into the area that was to become Vulcan, Michigan he was twenty-nine years old and leading an exploration party in search of iron ore. A year before, Mrs. O'Leary's cow had kicked over the lantern and started the fire that burned down the city of Chicago. Ulysses S. Grant was President of the thirty-seven United States and the devastating financial Panic of 1873 was only months away in the future.
Before the Panic however, Mr. Whitehead and his crew had located ore, constructed a camp complete with bunk house, dining room, smith shop, and office, and the Menominee Iron Range was a producing reality. Very soon after, Mrs. Whitehead arrived with daughter Nella and a home was established. Nella, who had the distinction of being the first white child living on the Range, lived all her life in Vulcan. She died in 1954. Her daughter Nona, the present Mrs. Nona Myers Miller, lives in Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. She is seventy-nine years old.
Lewis Young Whitehead was a man of many and diverse
talents. Besides discovering "the first body of good ore, large enough to make a mine of in the Menominee Iron Range," he built and operated the first hotel on the Menominee Range, brought the first
mail to Vulcan, where he later served as Postmaster, and for a time was involved with farming and local government. From the age of sixteen, when he became a canal boat captain in New Jersey, his life was a record of achievement.
Only a small part of the "Diary of Lewis Young Whitehead" comprises a daily record. The rest is made up of family and American history, reminiscences, news accounts, letters, and obituaries. This engaging record of an important area pioneer and his family is delightfully told with all the inconsistencies of colloquial spelling and punctuation. It is an important contribution to the written history of the Upper Peninsula.
Ralph W. Secord
Dickinson County Library
Mid-Peninsula Library Federation
Iron Mountain, Michigan
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Lewis Whitehead, proprietor of the first hotel on the Menominee range, at Vulcan was born in Hurd Town, Morris county, New Jersey, April 6, 1833. His father, Silas Whitehead, was a native of the same county and was a farmer and contractor of wood and charcoal.
Lewis Whitehead attended the public schools until twelve years old. At the death of his father he engaged in mining winters and boating summers, became captain of a canal-boat on the Morris canal at the age of sixteen, and foreman in the Hurd Town mine at nineteen years of age. In 1853 he emigrated to Chicago and spent some time in grading the Illinois Central Railway; 1853 and '54 was spent in lumbering at Traverse Bay, —Hannah, Lay & Company's mills; 1855 and a portion of 1856 were spent in southern Illinois farming and peddling. On May 15, 1856, he came to Menominee, Michigan, and entered the employ of the
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New York Lumber Company, spending the summers as a circular sawyer and winters logging up the Menominee. From 1860 to 1862 he engaged in the charcoal business in Marquette county, Michigan, and in the latter year was employed by the St. Mary's Canal and Mineral Land Company as explorer for iron and copper, also in the examination of timber on subdivision of lands, at times taking charge of work about the copper mines, --Houghton, Michigan, being headquarters; Capt. Henry Y. T. Delany, agent. In 1865 he engaged with Iron Cliffs Company of Negaunee, Michigan, as their chief explorer, and did much work on the topographical and geological map of Marquette Iron range, under Major T. B. Brooks. In 1868 he took charge of building a furnace in Lawton, lower Michigan, as assistant superintendent and manager of charcoal and out side work of the furnace up to 1871. In 1872 he took charge as chief explorer on the Menominee Range, in the employe of the Milwaukee Exploring Company. In 1875-6 he ran a set of charcoal kilns for the Iron Cliffs Company, Negaunee. In 1877 he opened the Breen mine, West Vulcan, and acted as superintendent of other openings on the Menominee range.
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In 1879 he opened the first hotel on the Menominee range, which is kept as a boarding-house (1895) by Mr. Whitehead. At the same time in the past ten years he has worked a homestead farm and attended to some township office work.
In 1868 Mr. Whitehead was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Rice, a native of Michigan. They have had nine children, four now deceased. In his social relations, Mr. Whitehead is a Master Mason.
From the "Memorial Record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. " Lewis Publishing Company, 1895.
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Lewis Young Whitehead
1833 - 1908
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DIARY OF LEWIS YOUNG WHITEHEAD
Lewis Young Whitehead was the son of Silas Whitehead and Susan Little Whitehead. Silas Whitehead being the son of John Whitehead and Phebe Turner Whitehead. Lewis was born April 6, 1833 at Hurdstown, Morris co., New Jersey. He died in Vulcan, Michigan, August 9, 1908.
Jan. 1, 1876. Today I set out to write a story and one I never expect to end, but someone of my Posterity may write the Sequel. The Story was Intended Expresly to interest my children the most, and few others is expected to read it. It is not to be of a Great Man or Greate Deeds, but simply the Path of simple and Real life, and incidents as they have occurred from childhood onward. We all love to hear the Aged Grandpa tell yarns of the Past when he was young and we oftain think our Task in life
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is harder than our Friends, when if we knew just the lives our Father's have led and the hardships they bore, we might endure ours better, and with the advantages we enjoy over theirs mite try to do better and Mark Higher in the scale of life.
I hope you children will Try at least.
I shall first tel you of what I know of my Grandfather or rather what I have herd of him, as it is the custom to speak abought men. First, his name, was John Whitehead, I doe not know his birthplace, but he married in Morris Co. N.J. To a Woman by the Name Phebe Turner, They were Poor laboring People as long as they lived.
They had Seven children, Four Boys and Three girls, John, Nathan, William, Silas, then the girls were Sarah, Phebe, Marion.
And they were all born in Morris Co. N. J., and grew up to be Men and Women, and all married except Nathan and John.
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Their ocupation was Princably chopping
Wood and making charcoal.
Grandfather Died abought the year 1820 and Grandmother died abought 1846, aged about seventy five years. I can recollect this Grandmother.
Charateristichs of the family,
First to live well, Food before clothing if not boath, Each day its own support, or from hand to mouth. I know of but tew, William and Silas that owned any Real Estate and theirs fell in the hands of mortagers in the end or at their Death.
They always owned Stock and had the Name of takeing greate care of the Dumb Animals. They would card and curry their Oxen more than some People would their horses. Least homes were generly ocupied by them.
The Men were well Built and Stood from five feet nine to six feet in height., Weight from 158 to 175 lbs. Stright with good bearing and rather Noble looking. All dark hair but Silas who had auburn curls and all had gray and bleu eyes.
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They were Sosial and verey Tender Harted, could not bear to see
others in want or pain and none loved to Butcher.
Were very loud Talkers and all Partook more or les of the bowl, but none flied Drunkards. They were now days what we would call Poor Whites living among Slaves for at that time new Jersey was a slave state and it was common for Whites and Blacks to gather the harvest together.
The Slave Holder was a Land Owner and Rulers bouth in Private and Government affairs.
Schools was established by geting signers, the Parents to sign for as many children as they would send or thought they could pay for.
Free schools were not known then, and there was but Few of the Family that could read or write, only one that could write. Sarah could read poorly in her bible Maron could write letters.
Occupation of the Whoman
Household Work being but little compared with now days. - The Whoman worked comsiderable in the Field Planting and
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Howing Corn, Potatoes and othar roots as well as they would help to gather the grain, rack and bind with the hand rake, pick the apples for winter use.
Almost every township had a cider mill where apples were taken on shares and ground and pressed into cider. Each depositer receiving such a number of barrels of cider or applejack whisky.
Those were abought the good old days of Harrison, (1889—1893) sweet cider almost a constant beverage, whisky the pure juice of the apple, in which most of the teachers of the gospel thought no harm in partaking of a Sabbath morning before lectureing their little flock.
Evening parties and socials were served with apples and sweet cider.
The fall of the year was happy days for the young people. Corn huskings, and apple parings, lads and lassies, all come to frolic, the labor or the evening wether in doors would be passed in glee and mereyment finishing up with fiddle and dancing.
The indoor employment after the usual household deuties was to spin flax into thread for common sewing. Grandmaw was
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good at this, even after her eyesight became dul. She could spin a thread very fine and smooth. The whele was run by a tredal and in sitting position. It was termed the little whele.
Another ocupation was to card and spin wool. It might be interesting to give in detail the working or preparation of the wool, as the labour mostly belonged to the woman.
The sheep in the springtime were driven to the nearest lake or stream to be thuraly washed, after drying a few days they were shorn of the wool. The wool must now be picked by hand verey fine all tags and matted locks cut off. Then comes the hand cards whitch makes it into roles abought 18 inch long by 3/4 inch thick.
The roles is carried to the large whele, wich stands on three legs, The large whele mite be abought five feet in circumference in witch a band passes over and drives a spindle perhaps 500 revolutions per minute. The roles are run out and twisted into thread from this spindle, one hand forming the thread, and the other keeping the whele in motion.
The spindle being fild the yarn would be wound on a real in scanes or nots, for the
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hand loom to be woven into cloth Linsey Wolcy.
These Aunts were not wevers, but could cut and make coat, Vest, and pants, and did it for the family.
I have said that this family have all grown to be Man and Womenhood and went out in the world at Man and Womanhood with the best of Health and good name but poor.
Phebe Died at the Birth of her first child about the year 1835. The child was placed in the same tomb;
William died of Dropcy, about the year 1840 leving one Daughter, and two Sones, Jane, William and Charles; Jane and Charles Died about the years 1855, one 1856. Before marage, William, Jr. was liveing in 1865 in New Jersey and supposed to be married.
Maryann died of Child Birth abought the Year 1850 and was bureyed with the Child. Her Husband William McCinald come by his death a short time before by Drowning, Leaving three Orphans. William, Jr, Phebe, and Caroline, Whoes Reccard I have lost.
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Sarah married a Mose Hurd, who died shortly after marage and left Sarah a widow with one Sone John Hurd. John Hurd married and became a Father, and his Mother may still live as well as Nathan and John, her Brothers, 23 years has passed since I herd or new of the Three Uncles and Ants, but I think they have gone to their Resting Places long ago, and if so, the whole Family, Father, Mother and Seven Children are lade side by side with their Husbands and Children in the Hurdtown Bureying yard with not a Toombe Stone to Mark the Spot of a Family That has almost gone out of Existance, or Extinct.
The above was written the Year 1875.
I shall now tell you what I know of the family of my Mother, Grandfather Elias Little. I have reason to believe was born in New Jersey, was married to Hannah Yong. Chopt and cleared a small farm in Susex County of the same state, ware they raised eight children to man and womanhood.
Ephron, Abraham, Elias, Phebe, Abby, Susan, Nancy, Hannah, were all married in turn. Grandfather Little died abought the year 1823, leveing a small
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homestead with some other property clear from debt, witch was divided equil among the airs when of age. Grandmother Little died abought the year 1836 of consumption and was entard beside her husband in the Hurdtown bureying yard.
The eight sons and daughters married in Susex or Morris counties, N. J. Phebe married a Leiphur Burrel and both died abouth the year 1830 after the birth of four children, William, Cathorine, Sarah and James. The Burrel children all emigrated to Ohio in after years.
Ephrom and Elias Little ocupiede the common branches of labour wile raising families, I do not know the number and died abought the year 1873 in N. J.
Abraham Little emigrated to Ohio with family of five girls and died in Ohio.
Abby Little married a man Joseph Thompson, moved to Ohio with a large family of children. The above emagration was to or near Collumbus, Ohio.
Nancy Little married a Rinehart Davis, had four children, three girls and one boy, when she died abouth the year 1847.
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Hannah Little married a Samuel B. Duland or Daland, raised a large family, two boys and four or five girls, William, Charles, Caroline, Phebe. The others I do not know. All of N. J. in 1877.
I might say here in reviewing the past, persons and ocupations that Abby Little was a wever, that is with the handloom useing thread of flax and wool and making dress for boath male and phemale either of wool or linen goods, also carpets for the flower calico and ghimham being on extry dress and cost 25 cents per yard.
The spinning Jenny was not known in those days, and but few of the cotton and wollen facteries ware in use those days, however thoes Fathers and Mothers could live and dress with the help of each other in the same nighnabourhood without rail roads or steam boats, telagrams, Harpers Weekly of fashion or even the sewing or nitting machine.
They could have short cake providing they had weet flower witch was extry and was baked in a shillet before the fier. Cook stoves were not known, the first one I ever saw was abought the year 1847 called the Franklin and had a roterey movement, that is the whole top turned by a cranck, kettle on or off.
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The dwellings all had one or more
fireplace in them according to the grade of dwelling, the kitchen was of more note and account than the rest of the rooms, the fireplace with iron crane to swing off or on the fire careying perhaps from three to five kettals was joined to one corner of the room and extending two-thirds along one side ware the bake oven came in and finished up the whole side of the kitchen of perhaps twenty feet, the oven had some of the appearance of a dark window or dore abought one and one-fourth feet square, witch looked into a hole flat on bottom and arched over and abought with brick or stone wich was the case of fire place and all, even the flower for eight feet was of brick or stone.
The oven would hold often six loves of bread, six pies, one dish or pork and beens, rice pudding a custard and even more to last a week. I have cene three logs at a time burning eight feet long and one foot in circumferance besides some cull wood stuffed in for an evening fire,
The scillet was of later date, then came the tin oven. The scillet would bake one loaf or one pudding by keeping coals over and under the dish. The tin oven could be set before the fler with too
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or more loves to bake and could be lifted to and from as the heet grew strong.
And it was a nice little job to light a match in those days, steel, flint and tinder was the match box. Tinder was made by burning a rag not quite to ashes, the remains gathered in a small box, the box and flint held in the left hand and the steel in the right hand, one stroke or more by the steel across the flint would drive a spark of fire in the tinder box. When blown with the mouth it would ignite verey dry wood. I have been sent many a time when a boy one mile after fire on a shovel to cook the breakfast.
Emigration was roleing west abought 1855, and the strong tide carried with it the most of, the desendants of the Whitehead and Little families with it west of the Rocky Mountains.
I should be happy if I could trace back to the old world our desendants but as it is thare will be some comfort in the knowing what we are of the ways and works of theirs lives,
I shall now pass on to my own. Date of wrighting January 25th, 1877. Hurd, Town, Jefferson Township, Morris County,
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New Jersey. April 6th, 1833. The above was my birthday. The village perhaps contained 70 souls, Post Office, Store and Forge for making Bloom Iron consisted of the business, except the farming interest witch was quite an item. The whole town and cuntry for miles abought was owned by a Mr. Hurd who had been an extensive slave holder untill a few years before, when New Jersey declared all negrous free in the state.
This quiet village at this time not onely occupiede by my father and mother but nearly all my fathers relatives witch was called to order with the mid-wife of the place early in the morning of the above date to enjoy a warm short cake, a cup of dollar tea, and as much hot punch as they wish to take after bringing to this world a half scalped baby but this April was a month of wonder, the Grate Metoric Showers, or in common called the falling Stars occurd, and I saw light. I consider I was born under rather unfavorable sircumstances, mainly because my Father was the Flower of his family before marage and their main support witch now was hard to be broken loos from, his parental love and love of the evening fireside with his Mother, Sisters, and Brothers, soon be came a torture to my Mother who brought
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to reside under the same roof, but in rooms sufficent large for her comfert and had Father been more Sosal with her then with his Sisters who still took from him support.
This contention grew until Mother and her Babe felt quite deserted, Father still holding the right to care for his Mother and Sisters.
One year followed and Mother was happy to find herself and child moved two miles away in a neet but small (log) leoge house situated on a Hill side from witch the eye could take in miles around. Father had bought forty acres here and built the house, pade some on the property, and the remainder was never pade, he had to many to care for, witch brought him to an early grave.
Father Silas Whitehead was a fine well built man, stood abought 5 feet 9 1/2 inches. Weight from 150 to 175 lbs. would have been one of the best of husbands and would have lived long probably and gathered welth, had it not been for his cleaving to his Mother and Sisters rather than his wife.
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Father was a very hard working industerous man, oftain working the morning, summer or winter presisely at four oclock A. M. I cannot recolect a day that he did not visit the house of his mother and sisters.
The trobble between Mother and him above spoken of and over labour brought him to the grave abought August 20th, 1845, age about 37 years. Disease brain fever and heart desese. I have herd his heart beat as plane as day months before his death.
Mother Susan Little was married in the year 1832. I do not know in witch month. She was about 20 years of age, and was thought by many to be the hansomest of her family. She had been inployed a nomber of years in the cotten mile at Patterson, N. J. concequenely had cene something of the world at least a city witch was rare around the inhabitance of this county. Still she could not right and read poorly, best in the bible.
Father could not read or write. Mothers weight was about 155 lbs. when in good health was tall and of noble bearing and walk, brown hair and blue eyes, rather nervis, quick in temper perhaps harsh
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to punish offence but soon to forgive, was keen as to right and wrong, and I think would stick to the right untille death rather then give up when she had fairly settled upon it. Therefore her family trouble with father.
I am now writing from a boys judgment of father and mother, two of the most sacret things on earth to man, and to witch memory reaches back to with such pleasant memories or pain.
Honor Thy Father and Mother is written in the sacret Book of God, and thare is but few and of the most reched souls, that do not think and speak in the most reevrent prais of their departed friends. And for me to illustrate the good and bad deeds of my lost deares and best friends on earth not onely brings me back as a child with them but makes me feel as if they were present with me now and sensative to my description. Perhaps my parents were so much alike was the true reason for their not agreying on the One Point and that one point I have always considered a grate drawback to myself as a man.
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They were both very sympathiseing
tender hearted witch has run down even to my own children to day and I have oftain felt ashamed of my tears and soft heartedness. To know ourselves as others know us, mite be a greate help to us through life.
Though I was tendard with a number of recomends in business, through life, I accepted but few, as I was to sensitive to push my way by what I thought looked like beging, the merrit I bore always secured a location without paper.
Left Hurd town August 1, 1853. Arrived in Illinois August 6, 1853. Left Grand Traverse Bay Sept. 29, voyage across Lake Michigan on board a vessel. Arrived Chicago Oct. 5, 1853. Took leave of Grand Traverse Bay Oct. 25th, 1854 for Chicago. Encountered a heavy storm on the lake and arrived with much sickness Oct. 30th, 1854. Took a trip to Aurora, Ill. same day. On Dec. 9, 1854 took leave of Aurora for St. Louis, Mo, by rail. Arrived there Dec. 17th and left Dec. 19th for Alton, Ill. Saw elegant steam boats and crossed the Father of Waters, the Mississippi Dec. 20th, trampt on for Jackson, Ill. but took up winter quarters at Waverly, Ill, on Dec 29th.
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Waverly, Morgan County, Ill. Left March
15th for Aurora, arrived March 21st and stayed one year. On May 15th, 1856 took leave for Green Bay, passage on a sailing vessel, the F. B. Gardner.
Followed down the south shore of lower Michigan, passed through the door of death into Green Bay and Landed at Pensuukee, May 23d, 1856, On June 16th, 1856 started work for the New York Lumber Co, at $30 per month in a lath mill sawing on the circular, 14 shillings per day, I left Pensaukee for the Menomonle Range 30 miles distant and had arrived on June 10th.
Nov. 27, 1856, Took leve of Manomonee for Aurora, Ill. on saleing craft, Landed at place of destination Dec. 6th Past the winter in Aurora.
May 4, 1857. Took leave of Aurora for Green Bay. Took passage on steam boat and called in all ports on west shore of the lake, Milwaukee, Racine, Manitowoc, Two Rivers and other places. Arrived at Green Bay May 7th. Floating ice in the bay at that time. May 8th, 1857 took leave of G. B. for Pensauke on a small
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sale boat, landed thare May 9. May 13 left Pensaukee for Sturgeon bay, a distance of 30 miles, arrived same date. Crost the bay on a tug.
July 11, 1857. Took leave of Sturgeon Bay for Oconto, distance of 33 miles, landed thare same date, Took a steam boat for Menomonie on the 12th landed thare same day.
June 6, 1859, Took leave of Menomonie for Chicago to Aurora, Ill. June the 12th landed at Aurora and had a pleasant trip.
Nov. 2d, 1859 took leave of Aurora for Green Bay, landed at Oconto Nov. 5th Having a good time in the saleing line, and took steam boat for Menomonie and arrived thare same date.
Nov. 20th, 1859 left Menomonie for Suamico River, same state, distance 23 miles. Reached the place Nov. 23d.
June 5th, 1860. Took leave of Suamico for Green Bay City and from thence to
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Lake Superior, Michigan, distance 220 miles and walked half the way. June 14th arrived at Marquette, Lake Superior. Hard Tramp.
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Pedigree of Louis Young Whitehead
Louis Young Whitehead was the son of Silas Whitehead and Susan Little Whitehead. Silas Whitehead being the son of John Whitehead and Phebe Turner Whitehead.
John Whitehead served as a private in Capt. James Stouts Company, 3d Regiment Hunterdon County, New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War.
Simon Little served as a private in the 1st Battalion, 2d Establishment, New Jersey Continental Line, also a private in the First Regiment during the Revolutionary War.
Authority for the foregoing statements from "Officers and Men of the Revolution," pages 284; 818.
This Information also certified to by Adj. Gen'l. Wm. Stryker, under the Great Seal of New Jersey.
Jennie Rice Whitehead
1843 - 1918
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Letter from Lewis Whitehead to Jennie,
Feb 20th 69
My Dear Jen,
Yours of the 14th is at Hand this Evening. Mait gave it to me when I came in, but I have received one before this Week from you. Your letters come all right to Deer Lake, I have received a number thare in care of Mr. Ward. I am so glad you are well agane, and I am happy to know you love your home, and your Baby, and me. I do want to see you both very much. I can immagen how pritty he looks with his chair and shoes and red dress. Does he say that he loves his Paw any. I am glad you have got him in my place to comfert you in my absence. You ask when my Birth Day comes. I suppose you wish to make me a Presant, well my Dear do not send anything up here, for I do not need much untill I come Home. But the 6th of April is the Day I first saw sight
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and a Trobelsome World, but I hope our
Boy was under a more smileing star.
I love the Boy and my Jenny, and I know I am loved by them, therefore I am blest and happy, but it seems hard that we should live apart so long, but it must be for the best. Now Jen you can keep your chickens as long as you like or any thing elce you may have, also you may get your Wood now or wait untill I come Home, but I would advise you to sell your Pork to some one up town all at once when you think you can get a good price and the cash. I think you may sell to some of the merchants for cash down. It will be better then to drib it out by littles, and Pork is selling well now. Keep your hams and shoulders and Marcle will come and get them to smoke. Also your cabage and cucumbers. Sell all you do not need as soon as you can and get the money, but we cannot supply Green or any one elce for nothing. If you can sell your Pork put the money in to pigs and feed for them and see what you can make. We will have the cow this Spring as soon as you can run out and get her inshured. I will build a yard for her, and we will shut the calf in it and slop her every night so she will
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soon lern to come home and you will have plent of milk and butter and you can raise pigs tip top. Pleas let me know when you get the 25 Dollars I sent you. Keep all you can get and get what you can, but when you can see a chance to speculate any way, pitch in. I want to have my gardain all fenced this spring and raise a nice large gardain if I stay home.
Sunday againe, I did not finish last evening. I have been trying all day to sell my land, but those that would by it have not the money, and it looks like a hard show. A number offers to lend me the money but I do not want to borrow for if I borrow the money I will have to stay untill I earn it to pay back, however it will not kill Ford to wait a spell for it, and he can not hurt me much.
Now Jen this is a beautiful day. Sleighing is good. Snow 2 1/2 feet Deept in the Woods. Mait is sick a bed with a cold and nervis head ache, He has been sick some days. Mait has a delicate constitution and can not stand much. You think Nell loves him, but I think she had better go slow. Mait is a first class young man but he has several correspondence and
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Nell should not rely too much on small
things, and I hope that you and Nell will not write and tell Mait all that I have said again as you did about his getting married or being engaged. I wish you would talk with Mr. Prince or someone and find out if he can get posts and fencing to fence our
lotts that he plowed up last fall, also to run a fence through between Robinson and us clear back. You may talk it up for it will be late for me to do all after I come Home. It may be that Prince will take a contract to furnish stuff and put it up. Cant you be a man Jen untill I get home. Then you can be Jen agane, but I suppose you think you have Babys enuf now and I do not blame you either, for I do not want any more.
I think you will be verey pritty with your teres and red cheaks when I see you agane, but I think I can sleep up stares dont you. Good Day, Black Eyes.
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Letter from Lewis Whitehead to Jennie, his wife.
Sept. 19th, 1869
I wrote and mailed a letter to you last Evening, and I received one from you, at the same time witch this is an answer to, I feal sorey you have so much trobble, I wish I could help it. I think your Nabours are verey bad (some of them) thay seem to delight in injureing you by theft and other modes. I think Mr. Vandusen must know somethink about them men that tore up the Pump, but you should have went to the Justis immediately and got a Warrent, for the men, you could have made them Sweat, or Mr. Vandusen, if he was instrumental in the affar, It would be well to take them up yet if you can get their names no doubt thay had some new Patant or plan, thay wish to get in, and thought if thay could get it all down before you came, thay would make you pay for it, but if you can get their Names you can compell them to put your Pump in repar, and Pay you damage of the Pump laying idle now Jen dont never let such a thing slip agane the more you permit People to run over you, the more you may, thay
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want your money, and would take your health and life for it — I felt mad enuf last night to one half Kild some one and if Vandusen is to blame, I will settle with him yet, I shall slap some of them right smart, if I cant get recompence no other way, you must get Robinson to fix the Pump if it is not fixt, and I will pay him when I come, you can not carey Watter from the Nabours to doo your work with - I can hardly wait for the time to come home, the nearer it comes, the more Home Sick I get. I know I ought to be home, and still it is not long to wait, I know you are comfertable, or can be, if the People let you alone, or doo right by you, you have plenty to Eat, and a good Home, and should be quite happy, with your Lewey Boy to play with you. I feel that I am just saving a little money, to help us with this winter, and I put of comeing as late as I can, for I cant see how I earn much this winter, however I mean to have a good time at Home with you and Baby, and I want you to enjoy the winter with me, we have put in so hard this past year to get all squar with the world, and now we are rid of the load, and can afford to rest easy a little while, I want to live alone, and visit all winter. If I do not work I can help you, and make your work light at home - Jen you spoke
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of a Rail Road crossing near us, going to St. Joe it seems to good to be true, for a Junction at Lawton of that kind would inhance the value of Property verey much, and our lotts would be in a good situation, it would be so good for me to get a little start, some other way, then to work as hard as I have all my life for the lettle we have, I always dug it out by hard nockes, and all my speculations was a failure, such as the stock in the Furnace thare, but Jen as long as you will be pleased with me, and think me all right, I know I can get along, but you must never go back on me, you must stick by like a little Woman witch you are, and have ben, since you helpt me carry the Basket up the Hill - you say you took to me, and tell me all your trobble, I want you to, for I know thare is none that can have more sympathy for you then I, but I do not want you to speak as if you were a burthen to me, for it is not so, you are my help and my all in this world (our baby excepted). I am so glad you got the $25, but should not forget to let me know as soon as you can always — this is a beautiful day, verey warm, but tomorrow it may snow here — such is life, our naturs are such that we cannot enjoy much. If Baby plagues you much, give him a good spank for me.
Book Page 34
Letter supporting Lewis Whitehead' s application for Postmaster, Vulcan, Michigan.
Hon. C. D. Sheldon
Please consider me as enthusiastically endorsing the candidacy of Mr. Lewis Whitehead - "The Father of the Republican Party of Menominee Range," for the position of Post Master at Vulcan, Dickinson County.
Mr. Whitehead is in every way qualified for the position and his appointment would please nine tenths of the Republicans of the Range. His Republicanism is of stalwart brand and his service has always been at the command of his party. I wish all candidates were so deserving. I shall esteem it a personal favor if you will kindly endorse this application. Assuring you of continued support I am
Sam A. Hanna
Sec. Republican Coin.
Book Page 35
Letter supporting Lewis Whitehead's application for Postmaster, Vulcan, Michigan.
Hon. C. D. Sheldon
Houghton Mich 1/4/1897
Mr. Lewis Whitehead who is seeking the appointment as Postmaster at Vulcan, would in my opinion perform the duties of that office faithfully and acceptable to the people.
Mr. Whitehead was pioneer in development of the mineral resources of this Range and is widely known and popular.
I trust that an extension of the Civil Service Rules may be made early in McKinley's administration taking fourth class post offices out of politics.
Ed. L. Parmenter.
Book Page 36
Letter from Lewis Whitehead to daughter Jeffle at the University of Wisconsin in
Oct 25, 1899
Are you thare. No crying I hope. Theare is many bright days for some one yet, and we all must try to catch on.
Raining here all day, but it finds us all well except your Father who has the Grip and is very nervous. Cant make a strate mark, but your mother says I must write to you, now what shall it be. Well I think it will be conserning my Religion.
You see I was sitting by the kitchen stove nurcing the Grip and your mother asked me how it came to pass that I had changed so much since we were married. She said that I use to dress Sundays and take Lewey & May by the hand and go to some church. Yes I remember it well.
Book Page 37
I was brought up that way, I always respected a Church of some kind but now am an Infidel. My mother was a member of the Methodist Church when I was verey young. My Father was not a church man, but no other reading on Sundays except the Bible was allowed until my Fathers Death. I was then 12 years of age, but I had been in regular attendance to Morning Service & Sabbath School. After Father's Death, all the children when Home should kneel while Mother prayed & sometimes exortet us on Religion. In our Public School the New Testament was always red by class mornings. Sabbath School and Testament Clas was always theare. I think I have red the New Testament through three times, lernd hundreds of verses by ear witch I use to get Prizes for in the way of Books. I was once a teacher in the Sabbath School.
Mother died when I was twenty & I carried the above Religion with me to Chicago in abought 1854. In the west, I became associated with the great Bible readers, Mormons, Seckant Advent, Universalist, Baptist & others. I became somewhat disaranged & had always been told that hell was down & Heven up.
Book Page 38
I had thought the middle of the Earth was Hel & spirrets flew up & down the chimny holes of crators, but I had never decided on the location of Heaven. So one day I bought Smiths "Illustrated Estronomy" & looked it up to find Heaven. I did not find Heaven yet, but from 1854 to this day any Church that was at hand did me. I still beleived in after life until abought 1882. I fel off attending Church so much becaus my wife never cared to go to Church with me, or alone. She never seam to have time, but my children all, up to the day they became owners of their Time was advised to attend Church &, Sabbath School once Sundays by their Father.
A Tree dies & sprouts arise from the roots to fail agane, but a Man dies and ware is he, Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes, & ware is man. Hope is all we have. A long sleep we are quite sure of. Live each Day to Die tomorrow.
Try to injoy each moment as it flyes. The better we are here on this Earth, the better it is for us.
Book Page 39
Letter from Jennie Whitehead to daughter Jeffie at the University of Wisconsin in
Nov 19th, 1899
My Dear Girl
Your letter came this morning and on reding it I resolved come what would I would write to you and send you some stamp. Have been intending all the week to send you a pair of mitts but Nell did not get time to go to the store so I will send you the money. I will send you every week a dollar so you can save what you don't need for your mid-term if I do not get (my money) which I expect. How you will get along. But it's time yet to make provisions for that. Gussie has gone up to Norway to supper with Mr. Poorman & Simon. I feel ashamed of her to go off a foot. I would eat supper at home all my days before I would in that way, but such is life. A man usually likes a girl best that is hard to get. Nell has not been over today and it seems strange.
Book Page 40
But I think she must have a book on hand. Nona grows more cute and smart each day. Roy I think does fine. He put in over ninety dollars in the bank last month but of course he will have to draw on that to pay his Christmas goods. If he had some ambition but he seems so lazy. He has only scrubbed twice since you went. Then Nell done it once and Virginia the other time. I am not going to indulge in many Christmas presents. What I send you will be money. Mrs. Gregines is coming up this week. I have to buy me a hat of some kind. I have the broiler makers here now. This morning I was up at five and had their breakfast. I should think Alice could get along if she hires her washing done. I think Alice will become a very smart woman. She has it in her from the start. And so have you my dear if you have the opportunity and I hope you can. The Principal from Norway is a lady of this kind can handle her school without a one to find fault. Your father keeps the two boys yet. This is what keeps me back, but I think now he will soon let one go as soon as the wood is up. I think I shall have to stop now. Gertie has been for a ride. She thinks to go to Evanston to school but I think she will be home this year. She comes to see me quite often
Book Page 41
but never to stay. Nell has a fur for her neck. It would make you laugh to see It.
Here she comes babies and all. With loves and kisses
Book Page 42
Letter from Lewis Whitehead to daughter
Jeffie at the University of Wisconsin in
Dec 6th, 1899
My Dear Daughter,
Vulcan sleeps in winter, the Earth has a light covering of snow but on the 30th day of Nov 1 picked a blew bell in our pine grove. The Buds were swelling & the birds were seaming to mate, witch was very odd to our climate. The Lake closed its eyes on Dec. 4th. Mama is quite well. Roy had an axident, a fork run through his leg but is doing his work. Nels children has been sick slightly with colds. Gussie wants to elope. Mrs. Johnson cant hardly speak of horseness. Others so far as I know is all right.
Your letter was well appreciated. The Chicago visit, the ups & downs, theaters & ball, Plays, Freinds on all sides. It makes us happy to know you was happy.
Book Page 43
If all turnes well you will be with us Christmas. We have made Roy Treasurer. I put in $2.00 first. I wanted to see you $2.00 worth. Now I understand thare are Special Rates for Schools on vacation. I wish you would find out what it will cost you to come and return. When you do let us know. We may not rais over $1000. I cant tell that but I here Roy would put in $300 --------- I did not see Sight or Sound of Jamy J. I think he has gone to Philipeen Islands. Well your Father was in Chicago as often as 2. The first time was abought 1853. Theare was no Depot yet. We carreyed our truncks or hired a teem to get up in Town. I cam over the Mich Central R. R. & spent one night in the Town at a Dollar House. Next day in working cloths went on locomotive out to the Banks of the Calumet, ware theare was a R. R. Camp of abought 60 men constructing the Illinois Central R. R.
I was dead broke, out of money - no relation, no freinds, only as I made them. I worked here some 10 days & such life not pleasant to me, with 2 other young Greenhorns went up to Chicago. Walked, looking for our pay but not having our time could not get any. Tired and night coming and needed something to eat —
Book Page 44
what shall we do, no money. I found 10 cents & said Boys what can we get the most for 10 cents. They said Buns, a sorte of Biscuit. 13 Buns for 10 cents. We got them at a Baker Shop & went over on the Lake Shore, sat down & ate them. Now for the night, what will we do. One said I am to tired to walk further & will hunt a place & sleep on the Frieght Cars. I said no I will walk on down the Illinois track. All right to Camp agane. We all walked a ways & slept in a barn.
My seckant visit in Chicago was at the First Nomination of General Grant. I put up at the Palmer House ware many of the Delagates were & I could pay $15. 00 per day while stopping & have lots of money left. I saw Grant nominated the first time. The first time I had never thought of having a child visit Chicago.
Good Day. Hope you are well & wish you well.
Book Page 45
Letter from Jennie Whitehead to daughter Jeffie at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, 1900,
Feb 24th, 1900
My Darling Girly
I will write you to day hoping it will answer for Gussie you wanted. I have nothing new to tell you like the girls have but I have had quite a week of my own with telephone men to cook for. I am glad you are feeling better and be sure and take the medicine and keep at it till you are all right. I will send you tomorrow $30 so you will get Tuesday. You can pay your tuition and you will have five dollars left and I will send you some more at payday. Roy can't get your dress made right off. Your pink cost $15.50 for making. You see Miss Linneman charges like everything. You can see what you can get for a skirt and waist. Maybe you can get you one, we can see. Roy had to pay Harry so now he only owes him $35 more to be square. I shall be
Book Page 46
glad to get it off his hands. Bert's folks have got a baby girl. I had a letter from Bert this morning. It weighed 9 lbs. I must go up soon to see them. Why do you go to the Free Kindergarten. It seems it's to far. I am glad you go with a boy you don't care for. Then you will come home all right. I am going to skip up to Mrs. Johnson to see how she gets on today. With love and kisses for you and Gertie,
Ever Your Mother
Book Page 47
Letter from Lewis Grant Whitehead to his sister Nella.
May 19, 1927
Ellen tells me you must be in a hurry for me to write, otherwise I wouldn't know it as you don't say when Pageant is put on.
As to Dickinson County History - perhaps Roy has that book in which it told of Father's life. I often heard him say but am not sure - think Mary Rice was first white child born. Old Tom Rice ran New York Farm.
Mother was first white woman & May & I first white children on Range. Came up from Menominee by ox team the year of Pestigo fire (1872?). The oxen ran away with us in sleigh. Lived in cabin on site of Dr. Jones' office. Deer, Indians, etc. thick. Dick Underwood was
Book Page 48
with this first crew of explorers. Ore was discovered at Waucedah & West Vulcan. The drift from old spring driven at this time.
The panic took us out to return in 76 or 77. Jule LaViolette was one of the first & can tell you how his team nearly drowned fording the Menominee below the falls. Em Horvist - Mrs. Johnson - was 1st teacher on Range. Charlie Knowlton, who lived across Lake Hanberry, next. The first school house was near New York Farm just across creek from Lake Hans berry. The Fishers - later in Florence — lived in Vulcan then. The next school was log cabin near present depot.
Although Breen Mine at Waucedah was opening up - the 1st ore was shipped from West Vulcan. It was an open pit - hand drills - black powder. Horses & carts took ore to cars. Your cousin Frank Harris of California drove one of these horse and carts. Mrs. Kelly has cube of first ore shipped from 1st car.
Yes, the first church was the Catholic Church at Quinnesec. Buell's brick was first Opera house. Soon after railroad got
Book Page 49
to Quinnesec — over 50 men were arrested in Quinnesec on one Sunday for fighting.
The first party on Range was a sleigh ride surprise on Jack Armstrong at his camp just this side of Norway Swamp near present Argon shaft-house. Vina Beardsley was first girl married to Fisk, who was first storekeeper at Vulcan. She was a beautiful girl. The first winter at Vulcan the ice on Lake Hansberry was glare - like a mirror. Could see fish & everything below. Fine forests all around. We came on Range this time in box cars & our cows were 1st known. Ask Jule. He can tell you much.
When I see Ford's car I'll know, Am told the 8 is by Edsel not Henry.
Can tell you more but this should hold you.
Joe Benton was trapper & hunter settled here. Herds of deer like present herds of cows.
Book Page 50
From the Norway Current, Jan. 4th, 1904
The old postmaster, Lewis Whitehead at Vulcan has a word to say. First, to congratulate Harry K. Myers, (soninlaw) the new postmaster., 2d to thank all who assisted me in first securing the office and especially my bondsmen who are now released. Lew Whitehead voted for John C. Fremont and has been a staunch Republican since. He inagurated the first free mail delivery in Upper Michigan from Menominee to Vulcan in 1872 and continued it until 1877, delivering mail weekly and still has in his possession the old mail bag then carried.
Book Page 51
From the Lawton Leader, Thursday
Aug. 6, 1908.
It is reported in the Norway Current that Mr. Lewis Whitehead, a former resident of Lawton, is seriously ill. Mr. Whitehead came here from Negaunee, Mich. in the winter of 1866—67 as one of the officers of the Michigan Central Iron Co., that for several years was engaged in making charcoal pig iron here from Lake Superior ores. He was married here, the bride being a teacher in our Public School conducted in the Baptist Church, before the present building was completed. They lived for a while in the house now owned and occupied by George Gibson and family and later built the house which they still own on Union Street, across the road from Matt Murphy's. Mr. Whitehead is an old timer on Lake Superior. He is the pioneer of Vulcan, having gone there when the whole Menomonie Range now so important and prosperous was an entire wilderness. He opened the Vulcan Mines for the Canal Co., the earliest successful mining undertaking on the Menomonie Range, and he has ever since continued to reside in Vulcan where he and his wife have conducted the Vulcan House, a hostelry well and favorably known to the local public and to the people who
Book Page 52
have occasion to visit the place, for the excellence of the meals and the entertainment which Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead provide. Mr. Whitehead is also somewhat of a granger having early entered a homestead close to Vulcan on which he had conducted general farming. One or two children were born to them here in Lawson and several were afterwards added to the flock. The oldest son, Lewis Jr. graduated at the University and one or more of the daughters have been engaged in teaching in the rural schools.
Book Page 53
Lewis Whitehead made arrangements for
his own Funeral and Epitaph as follows:
I wish H. M. Pelham to act for me after my death in closing up all of my businesses and to act as my administrator. After closing my Estate I wish him to continue to act for my wife as her Advisor.
Conduct Funeral from porch - Corpse - Opened on Porch and Spectators shall pass from south gate to north gate and out (Rain or Shine). In case Masonic Lodge looks after Funeral, would like Brother Copeland to read short biography of my life. Would like singing.
Lewis Y. Whitehead
75 years — Apr 6 - 1833 born
Explorer of Menominee Range.
Book Page 54
From the Norway Current, Aug. 15, 1908
Lew Y. Whitehead, Vulcan's pioneer resident died Sunday. age 75 years, and the remains were buried at Quinnessec, Tuesday afternoon with Masonic honors. Mr. Whitehead was born at Hurdstown, N. J., April 6th, 1833. He went to Marquette County, Michigan, in the early 60's and in 1866 went to Lawton, Mich., as one of the officers of the Michigan Central Iron Co., operating there. He married there Miss Jennie Rice of Battle Creek in 1866. She was a teacher there. In 1868 they went to Negaunee, Marquette Co. where Mr. Whitehead came to the present Menominee Range to do exploratory work for iron ore and in 1875 settled in Vulcan and built the first hotel on the range. For some time he was Captain of the West Vulcan Mine. During the late years he has devoted his time to his hotel and to his farm south of Vulcan. He was a man of pronounced traits of character, but had the faculty of making many friends and but few enemes, and many will regret his demise. He left a widow, two sons, Louis Grant of Duluth, Minnesota and Roy of Amasa, Michigan; and two daugh-
Book Page 55
ters, Mrs. H. K. Myers of Vulcan and Mrs. George A. Goodrich of Milwaukee. The funeral services were under the auspices of Quinnessec Lodge No. 362, of which he was a member and Franklin Copeland of this village, conducted the ceremony, as desired by Mr. Whitehead before his death.
Book Page 56
The Norway Current May 25, 1918. Range Pioneer Dead.
After an illness covering many months,
Mrs. Jennie Mary Whitehead, relict of
Lewis Whitehead, died at her home at Vulcan, Thursday. (May 18, 1918)
Mrs. Whitehead was the pioneer woman of the Menomonie Range, having come to Vulcan in 1872, leaving it after a short time and returning in 1876, since which time she has been a continous resident. She was born Rice, on July 31, 1843 at Tecumseh, Michigan and during her young womanhood she was a school teacher. She was married Sept. 26th, 1867, at Lawton, Michigan to Lewis Whitehead and after two years residence they moved to Iron Cliff, Michigan, in Marquette Co., moving later to Negaunee in the same county. In 1872 they moved to the newly discovered iron district. "The Menomonie Range" but after a short sojourn, because of of a money panic, they returned to Negaunee. In 1876 they came back to Vulcan, where as before noted, the family has resided continuously since.
Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead, of whom five, May, Cloe, Gussie, Fae and Glen are deceased. The
Book Page 57
survivors are Lewis G. of Duluth, Minn., Mrs. H. K. Myers of Vulcan, Michigan, Roy of Alpha, Michigan and Mrs. G. A. Goodrich of Iron Mountain, Michigan.
Mrs. Whitehead was of Dutch-English descent, coming down from the Van Dykes of the settlement of that name in New York. She had two brothers, Uriah and Curley Rice.
Deceased had been a long time member of the Eastern Star, having been affiliated with a chapter in Lawton, Michigan and in 1868 was a charter member of Norway Chapter No. 251 of this city, the members of which will attend the funeral in a body.
She was a woman possessed of the qualities which endear one to family and friends and in the early days the Whitehead Hotel, of which she was the moving spirit, was the mecca for many weary pioneer cruisers and explorers. Her life has been one of unremitting ministrations to the happiness of those around her.
The funeral will occur this (Saturday afternoon) the services being conducted at the Bethany Episcopal Church of Vulcan, Rev. William Poyseor of Crystal Falls,
Book Page 58
officiating and internment will be in the family lot at Quinnessec. The services at the graveside will be in charge of the Eastern Star, Norway, Chapter.
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The following was contributed by Mrs. Henry R. Miller of Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. Mrs. Miller Is the daughter of Nella Phoebe Whitehead.
Lewis Young Whitehead
1833 - 1908
Jennie Rice Whitehead 1843 - 1918
Lewis Grant Whitehead
Born in Lawton, Michigan
Came to U. P. in 1870
Went to Ann Arbor High School 1889
Graduated University of Michigan in 1893
Post graduate course 1894
Scholarship University of Chicago 1895
Professor of Psychology at State Normal
Studied Law in Montana, Plattville.
Lived and practiced there.
In 1894 he became Superintendent of Schools in Vulcan.
1896. Officer Oliver Mining Company of Duluth
Died in 1928
Book Page 60
May Whitehead 1870 - 1876
Nella Phoebe Whitehead 1872 -1954
Born in Negaunee
Finished High School in Iron Mountain.
Taught school in Daggett, Michigan
Married Harry Kissinger Myers 4/10/1896
Was Postmistress for several years.
Lived in Vulcan all her life.
She had two daughters:
Nona Gladys 1897-
(Mrs. Henry R. Miller)
Ruth Harriet 1898 - 1952
(Mrs. Charles Klemmer)
Betsey Whitehead 1874 - 1876
Gussie Whitehead 1876 - 1901
Taught Primary grades in Vulcan.
Died of ruptured appendix.
Book Page 61
Roy Gurley Whitehead
Born at Vulcan.
Worked for Verona Mining Company, 1901.
1905 worked for Pickands-Mather Company of Amasa.
1913 was Captain of the Balkan Mine.
1936 James Mine, Iron River.
1907 married Lydia Horder
She had 5 children:
Barbara Whitehead - Ivens
Irene Whitehead - Cuppler
Dorcas Whitehead - Orphan
Grant G. Whitehead
Lewis G. Whitehead
He died In Alpha after living there most of his married life.
Jeffie Jane Whitehead 1881-1959
Taught Primary classes in Vulcan.
Married George W. Goodrich.
Lived in Milwaukee for several years and then in Iron Mountain.
She had 3 children:
Allen B. Goodrich
Frank Stickney Goodrich
Anna Meade Goodrich
Book Page 62
Fay Whitehead 1885 - 1885
1887 - 1889
There were no school classes in Vulcan until Lewis Whitehead imported Miss Emma Harwick from Paw Paw, Michigan to live with them and teach. She later married Tony Johnson.
Nona Gladys Myers Miller
Spread Eagle, Wisconsin
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