History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Houghton County 

Source: History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: containing a full account of its early settlement, its growth, development, and resources, an extended description of its iron and copper mines : also, accurate sketches of its counties, cities, towns, and villages ... biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers. Publication Info: Chicago : Western Historical Co., 1883. Pages 299-3??.


Though Calumet is but a civil township, composed of Congressional Townships 33 and 56 and Sections 1 to 12 inclusive, in Township 56 north, of Range 32 west, and was organized, as elsewhere noted, in 1866, yet through its mining industry, quite a village has grown up about the mines of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, composed mainly, however, of the officers and employees thereof. The history of the mines is fully given under their appropriate head elsewhere.

The first officers of the township, of which there is any record, were chosen in the spring of 1867, as follows: Supervisor, John Hulbert; Clerk, James Ryan; Treasurer, S. Kennedy; Highway Commissioners, C. Robson, J. Day, Thomas Osmond; Justices of the Peace, Henry Fisher, Hugh Lang.

Because of trouble at this election, some of the offices thus chosen were declared vacant, and the list was made up by the Township Board as follows: Supervisor, W. Ames; Clerk, J. Day; Treasurer, W. R. Martin; Highway Commissioner, A. L. Davis; School Inspector, G. L. Brumeiler; Justices of the Peace, Henry Fisher, Hugh Lang.

The following are the officers of the township for the present year—1881-82: Supervisor, John Duncan; Clerk, Fred McKenzie; Treasurer, Frank Koplhaar; Highway Commissioner, James Grierson; School Inspectors, R. H. Osborn, Stephen Paull; Justices of the Peace, Daniel T. Macdonald, T. F. Powers, W. A. Shields, John Vivian; Constables, W. J. Tonkin, P. O'Brien, J. H. Trimody, Frank Schoeder.

Of the above, John Duncan has held the office of Supervisor ever since 1871; Mr. McKenzie has held the office of Clerk ever since 1870, and Mr. Macdonald has held the office of Justice of the Peace ever since the year 1872. The vote of this township, cast in the spring of 1875, was 717; in 1876, 1,050; in 1877, 1,038; in 1878, 822; in 1879, 803; in 1880, 621 in spring, and 1,246 at the fall election; 1882, 389.

The assessed valuation of the township for the year 1869 was $286,729, upon which a levy of $14,563.23 was made and divided into a State, county, school, highway and township tax. In 1873, the assessment amounted to $1,325,182, upon which a levy of $35,588.78 was made and apportioned to the several funds, as before noted. In 1876, the assessment was $1,423,871, upon which a levy of $47,456.22 was made. In 1881, the assessment was $4,613,270, upon which a levy of $44,230.93 was made. Of the various taxes into which the total tax is divided, the school tax is much the largest.

The two largest copper mines in the township—the Calumet and Hecla and Osceola—were assessed, the former, for 1880, $1,278,840, upon which they paid a total tax of $27,265.78, and for 1881, $3,983,840, upon which they paid a total tax of $57,584.69. The latter, for 1880, was assessed $83,400, upon which they paid a tax of $1,756.52, and, for 1881, $267,625, upon which was paid a tax of $3,853.79.

The Calumet and Hecla Copper Mines constitute the main productive interest of this township and hamlet about them, which are extensive—immense in themselves. Had it not been for the existence and discovery of this rich mine, there would have been no Calumet today. A history of this interest will be found elsewhere.

Calumet and Hecla Hospital.—The hospital of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company was founded in the spring of 1870. Its situation is high, grounds extensive and pleasantly located. The building was originally built for a dwelling, but is of good size and affords ample accommodation for general use. There are two ward rooms, 19x15 feet each, and other rooms that can be used if needed, so that from sixteen to twenty patients can be provided for at any time. A full supply of medical stores is constantly on hand. Dr. R. H. Osborn, medical director of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, is the Superintendent, while Mr. A. F. Isler acts as Steward. The hospital is supported by the mining company and the employees, the latter contributing 50 cents each per month, which amount is deducted from their pay and credited to hospital "Aid Fund." This entitles the employees to medical attendance and medicines without further charge. This system was inaugurated by the company in 1877. Those who are members of the "Employees' Aid Fund" are entitled to $25 per month as a benefit when disabled by sickness or accident for a period not exceeding eight consecutive months. In case of death from accident, the family or heirs of the deceased are entitled to $500, and, in case of permanent disability, from accident, the injured member is entitled to $300. In addition to the gross sum thus paid into this fund by the employees, the mining company also pay in an equal amount, thus doubling the fund. The close of the last fiscal year, May 1, 1882, shows $1,836.08 cash on hand. This fund accumulated beyond its needs, and was loaned out at interest; so that including the amount loaned and the cash on hand, the actual fund on hand, May 1, 1882, was $43,048.58.

The hospital is well managed under the above humane plan. Its general financial management is under the control of an executive committee of the mining company.

Calumet, Hecla, and Red Jacket

Calumet Schools.—The education of the children of those whose connection with the great mining industry of this locality, and who were suddenly drawn here, in a section new and without this important advantage, was given early and generous attention by its intelligent and far-seeing management. A moderate frame school building, two stories high, ample at the time, was constructed in 1867, which still stands near the present larger structure. That year, Sections 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 were set off to form District No. 1, with J. J. Ryan, W. Ames and J. Day chosen as its first Directors. In 1869, the graded system was introduced. In 1881, the township was divided into three districts—No. 1, embracing Sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25; No. 2, embracing Sections 26, 27, 28 29, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, and No. 3 embracing Sections 1, 2, 10, 11 and 12, in Township 56 north, of Range 33 west, and Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, in Township 56 north, of Range 32 west. District No. 1 included the Calumet and Hecla Mines and the village of Red Jacket. District No. 2 includes the Osceola Mine, and District No. 3 includes the Centennial and Wolverine Mines.

In 1875, the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company found their first school building too small, and that year erected the present large and commodious building.

The school is in charge of Mr. E. T. Curtis as its Superintendent and Principal, assisted by twenty-one teachers—four male and seventeen female. Dr. Osborn, Charles Briggs, John Duncan, P. Ruppe, Jr., Thomas Hoatson and J. N. Wright form the present Board of Trustees. The number of pupils enrolled has increased from 1,745, in 1875, to 2,563, in 1881.

The financial report of the schools of the township, for 1881-82, shows a healthy condition of that branch of school affairs. The board had $10,156.86 cash on hand from last year; received from taxes and primary school fund of the State, $22,426.29, making a total of $52,583.15. Amount paid out for school expenses during the year, $17,092.62, leaving a balance of $15,400.53 on hand. Expenses of schools for 1882-83, $10,500, appropriated by board.

The following more elaborate details were furnished by Superintendent Curtis: "School District No. 1, was organized September 2, 1867, under the general school laws of the State, and reorganized as a graded school district September 6, 1869, at which time seven teachers were employed. The rapid growth of the place led, in 1875, to the construction of the present school building, one of the very largest in the country, fitted with every modern convenience. This building, centrally situated, is 196 feet in length by 100 in width, three stories high. It has a public hall, an office and library, museum, laboratory, a music-room, five recitation rooms, eighteen schoolrooms, two large playrooms and four cloak-rooms. The museum is devoted to exhibits of native minerals, birds, etc., classified for study, and contains a collection of corals, shells, etc., scientifically arranged, presented by Prof. Alex. Agassiz, and many East Indian curiosities, products and utensils from Capt. Valentine Joy, of New Bedford, Mass., and others; the laboratory is well supplied with chemical and philosophical apparatus. The whole building is heated by steam, and due attention is paid to ventilation and proper lighting. It accommodates 1,200 students."

"This ample and well-built structure, which makes so conspicuous a part of the town, was designed, constructed and furnished by the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, and rented by them to the district, and stands as a witness of the liberality and good will of the officers and stockholders of that corporation toward their employees. The wisdom of this is shown by the fact that a better class of workmen gather here, and the tendency to make permanent homes where such advantages can be freely enjoyed. Although the building is owned by the company, the school is conducted and supported by the usual methods in accordance with the school laws of Michigan. The amount of expenditure is not far from $18,000, which is about $11 per capita for the actual enrollment in school for the entire year. This enrollment for the year closing June, 1882, was 1,663 pupils, between the ages of five and twenty years. The census of August, 1882, shows 2,316 persons of school age resident in the district. The entire number of teachers employed is twenty-two, the Superintendent receiving $2,150 per annum; the Principal of the High School, $900; Grammar School teachers, $650, and Primary teachers an average of $480. Owing to the fact that many of the pupils leave school before the age of fifteen years, especial attention is paid to the studies that are most needed to fit them for business. In all departments, above the third year, instruction is given in composition, accounts and drawing, as well as in the ordinary branches. Physiology, physics, botany, civil government and mineralogy are taught orally to such pupils as can undertake their study. All grades are instructed in vocal music, a special teacher being employed for this purpose. Aside from these features, the regular course of study is much the same as that of other graded public schools, including the higher branches."

Churches.—There are two church societies and edifices in Calumet, outside of the village of Red Jacket—the Congregational and Methodist Episcopal. The former was organized in 1873, with a membership of twenty-five. The first Trustees were J. N. Wright, James Wright, D. T. MacDonald, Thomas Hoatson and John Duncan; Clerk, E. T. Curtis; Treasurer, Thomas Hoatson. The present membership is 132. The same officers named above constitute the present officials, except H. K. Cole fills the place of D. T. MacDonald. The pastors, from the organization until the present year, 1882, have been: Revs. W. W. Curtis, three years, now a missionary in Japan; C. P. Curtis, Richard Miller, W. A. Campbell and R. M. Higgins, the present incumbent from 1880.

The church edifice was built in 1874; is frame, Gothic in style, 40x60 feat in size, and seats 400. It was built by the society and is paid for. Will be enlarged to a seating capacity of 500 this year. It will have cost, when enlarged, $13,000.

The Methodist Episcopal Church society was organized in 1867, with a membership of about thirty-four. Its first officers were: Trustees, J. A. Danielson, William Hamply, S. B. Harris, J. Vivian, F. G. White, Thomas Buzzo, Joshua James. John Allen, Thomas Richardson, James Pasco, Charles Palmer and Richard Noel met at the house of Mr. Allen, in the winter of 1866, and formed the first class.

The present officers are: Trustees, Charles Briggs, W. C. Kinsman, Richard King, Thomas Phillips, William Bloy, E. R. Ostrander, William Champion, James Knight and Joseph Paull; Recording Steward, E. R. Ostrander; Treasurer, Charles Briggs. Until the first church edifice was built, in 1869, the society held services in the old Calumet Schoolhouse. The first sermon preached was in the winter of 1866, by Rev. J. M. Gordon, at the house of Joseph Phillips. The church edifice cost $6,000, of which the Calumet and Hecla Company contributed $500. Rev. John Wilde, of Canada, preached the dedicatory sermon, assisted by Rev. B. S. Taylor, August, 1869.

In 1872, the first church building was moved to its present location in the upper part of the place, and remodeled, at a cost of $6,300, in addition to its first cost. In 1879, two wings were added. It is a frame structure, 35x 100 feet deep, with two wings, 20x40 feet each, and has a seating capacity of nearly 800. The first pastor was Rev. S. W. Ladu, followed by Revs. E. W. Frazer, F. E. York, Fred Porter and W. E. Dawe, J. Horton, George W. Lowe and John Hamilton, the present incumbent. The society has a present membership of about 100. A Sunday school was organized the same year of the society, with an attendance of about 150, with Mr. Whitwam as the first Superintendent. Mrs. Alexander Agassiz gave this school much personal attention during her residence here with her husband, then agent of the mine, and contributed largely to its prosperity. Mr. Charles Briggs is the present Superintendent. The society owes nothing.

Calumet Fire Department.—At the mining hamlet of Calumet two fire companies exist, and are maintained by the mining company. They each have excellent portable steam engines, together with an ample engine-house, hose and other like equipments equal to the emergency of a destructive fire. Both companies are well manned and officered by the mining employees.

Besides these, the company have a complete system of water works, operated by two stationary pump-engines, and a stand-pipe or tower eighty feet high, the chambers of which will contain about 8,000 gallons of water. The water works are located at the Calumet Pond, made by the damming of the Calumet Creek, a quarter of a mile northwest from the mining "plant." The building is of brick, forty-four feet square, containing a compound pumping-engine of 3,500,000 gallons' capacity in twenty-four hours. Connected is also a boiler-house, 29x54 feet. From these works, a main pipe leads to the "stand-pipe" or tower; thence through the hamlet, leading to residences, offices, etc., and also along these pipes hydrants are fixed to be used in case of fire. There are about two miles of water pipe thus extending.

Calumet Hotel.—This is an imposing frame structure, three stories high, and 40x75 feet on the ground, with two large two-story "L's," one of which contains a large billiard-room. The house has rooms for fifty guests. This house, first built about 1867, was two stories only, of moderate dimensions, and first kept by Mr. Newton for several years, when he was succeeded by S. M. Streeter. In 1876, the first structure was moved away, and the present building erected upon the same ground, standing on the main thoroughfare of the hamlet. The house is pleasantly situated, with ample grounds, making it a pleasant stopping-place for guests. S. M. Streeter also continued to keep the new house, from its opening until June, 1882, when he was succeeded by the present proprietor, W. E. Mann, recently of New York City. It is first-class in its appointments, and is now admirably kept. It is well patronized by pleasure-seekers and summer tourists. It is owned by the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.

Military and Musical.—The mining element of the Calumet hamlet are patriotically, as well as musically, inclined. The Calumet Light Guards, Company B, Second Battalion, Michigan State troops, was organized in October, 1880, and mustered in August, 1881. Henry Wilkins, Captain; John B. Curtis, First Lieutenant; F. B. Lyon, Second Lieutenant. The company musters seventy-six men, and is armed with Sharp's breech-loading rifles. They are the only company of State troops in the Upper Peninsula west of Marquette. At the general review, at Brighton, Mich., in August, 1882, this was the largest company and composed of the largest and finest-looking men on the grounds, and was the only company admitted from the Upper Peninsula.

The Calumet Cornet Band was organized in 1872, with William Morgan as leader, and is composed of fourteen members and pieces. The members are all employees of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, and is made up of English, Swedes, Italians and one American. They claim to speak thirteen different languages among them. The band is in excellent practice and plays at sight the current music of the day.

The Calumet and Hecla Mining Company have an assay office, located at their general office, which is in charge of Preston C. F. West, the civil and mining engineer. Mr. Edward Grierson, a practical assayist, is his assistant, and makes tests of their copper productions before sending it forward for smelting. This is for their own satisfaction and protection.

Post Office.—This important Government institution is located near the general office of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, and is called "Calumet." It was established in the spring of 1866, with Edward F. Krellwitz as its first Postmaster. Since his retirement, H. B. Rogers, Artemus Doolittle and A. T. Streeter, the present incumbent, have in their respective order held the office of Postmaster.

The receipts of the first quarter of its existence could not be ascertained, but the receipts of the quarter ending June 30, 1882, were $1,350, and the salary of the Postmaster for the same period was $525, it now being a salaried office and a Presidential appointment.

Calumet hamlet also has a banking institution—the Merchants' and Miners' Bank, established under the State law of Michigan in July, 1873, with a capital of $50,000. It does a general banking business; is not a bank of issue. It now has a surplus of profits of $14,000. Its stockholders are mainly of the mining company. The officers are: President, Charles Briggs; Vice President, Dr. R. H. Osborn; Cashier, H. S. Colton. It occupies a snug wooden building constructed for its use, nearly opposite the general office of the mining company.

The hamlet also has two stores, carrying large stocks of general merchandise, and are generally patronized by the mining element of the population. One is located on the Calumet side and carried on by North, Klockner & Gardner, proprietors. It was established in 1876, and does a large business in general merchandise, carrying an average stock of $50,000, and employing nine persons. It was originally started in 1867 by Smith, Harns & Co. This firm was succeeded by North, Menage & Co., who sold out to the present firm, composed of George North, Daniel Klockner and J. L. Gardner. It is the oldest stand in Calumet.

The other store is that of Briggs & Cole—Charles Briggs and H. K. Cole—located on the Hecla side of the hamlet, also dealers in general merchandise. It was established in 1866 by Leopold & Austrian, who, in 1868, disposed of it to North & Briggs, and, in 1876, the firm became Briggs & Cole, the present proprietors. They carry a stock of from $50,000 to $90,000, and do a large business.

In addition to these stores, there is a stove store and a large meat market, the latter under the management of E. R. Ostrander.

The mining company have just erected two electric lights upon poles over a hundred feet high, placed at convenient and conspicuous points on their premises, which are designed to illuminate the entire "mining plant" outside during the night time, by means of which work can be performed to a better and safer advantage. All their buildings and offices in which night work is carried on will also be lighted by the same element.

Includable Page Index History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Houghton County
 Pages 250 - 256 | Pages 256 - 264 | Pages 264 - 272 | Pages 272 - 276 | Pages 276 - 279 | Pages 279 - 283 | Pages 283 - 286
Pages 286 - 291 | Pages 291 - 299 | Pages 299 - 302 | Pages 302 - 305 | Pages 305 - 311 | Pages 311 - 316 | Pages 316 - 320
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