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ceased, as one of the honored
pioneers of the Upper Peninsula,
was inseparably connected with the
history of this section of the State, and was
a prominent factor in its development and
advancement, taking an active part in all
that pertains to the welfare of the commu-
nity. He was born in Shrewsbury, Massa-
chusetts, April 23, 1815, and was a lineal
descendant of Captain William Harlow, who
came to the Plymouth Colony in the year
1642. It is related in Thatcher's history of
Plymouth that at the close of King Philip's
war, when the fort built by the Pilgrims at
Plymouth was no longer needed as a defense
against the Indians, it was taken down and
its timbers sold to William Harlow, who
used the same in the construction of his
house. The old house is still standing, and
during the summer of 1887 was identified
as the one built and occupied by William
Harlow more than 200 years ago, the fact
being established by cne of his descendants,
William T. Harlow, of Worcester, Massa-
chusetts, and Hon. William T. Davis, ex-
member of Congress, and the author of the
Landmarks of Plymouth. An interesting
letter, giving an account of the discovery
and identification of the house, was pub-

lished in the New England Home Journal at
Worcester, and copied into the Marquette
Mining Journal of August 22, 1887.

Many of Mr. Harlow's ancestors on both
sides lived in the towns of Duxbury and
Marshfield in the old colony. His parents,
Abner and Persis (Rogers) Harlow, were
born in Plymouth county, and removed to
Shrewsbury in 1813. Here Mr. Harlow
received a common-school education, and in
1830, at the age of fifteen, went to Wor-
cester, Massachusetts, to learn the trade of
machinist, the terms of his apprenticeship
being that he should serve until he was
twenty-one years of age, and should receive,
in addition to his board, six weeks' school-
ing and $40 in money per year. The fail-
ure of his employer in 1834 released him
from the unexpired part of his engagement;
but, having been a diligent and apt appren-
tice and withal pleased with his occupation,
he had made such rapid progress that in 1835
he was qualified to engage in the manufac-
ture of woolen machinery on his own ac-
count, which occupation he followed suc-
cessfully until June, 1849.

In the meantime, Mr. Harlow was mar-
ried. On the 23d of April, 1839, he
wedded Elizabeth M. Barber of Worcester,
who died at that place, January 29, 1840,


leaving an infant son, George Prentice Har-
low. On the 28th of September, 1843, Mr.
Harlow married Olive Lavira Bacon, who
still survives him, a most estimable lady,
and who was his companion for nearly half
a century, sharing with him the privations
and hardships incident to the settlement of
a new country. She is now seventy-two
years of age, but is still bright and active,
both in mind and body.

When the discovery of iron ore on Lake
Superior became widely known, companies
were formed for the purpose of developing
ing and utilizing the ore. The first com-
pany of the kind to operate in this region
was the Jackson Iron Mining Company,
organized in 1846, in which year it took
possession of the Jackson mines, twelve
miles west of Marquette. Mr. Harlow and
others at Worcester had in contemplation
the organization of a company to operate in
the section known as Moody's location.
They deemed it advisable to move with cau-
tion. Mr. Harlow went to Boston to consult
with Professor Whitney, who with Professor
Foster had conducted the geological survey
of the Upper Peninsula, but whose valuable
report had not been published. On the 5th
of March, 1849, Mr. Harlow organized the
Marquette Iron Company, consisting of
himself, W. A. Fisher and Edward Clark, of
\Y< >rcester, Massachusetts, and Robert J.
Graveraet, of Mackinac, Michigan. While
the company was making preparation for
the shipment of its supplies and equip-
ments, Mr. Graveraet, with nine others
from Mackinac, went forward to secure
possession of the mines and to begin
operations, arriving at Moody's location
early in May. Among this party were
Hon. Peter White, then a lad of eight-
een years, Dr. E. C. Kn^rr-i, a brother of

Randolph Rogers, the sculptor, James
Chapman and others. Samuel Moody, pro-
prietor of the location, and John H. Mann,
had been there during the previous summer
and winter. Mr. Harlow and his party
from Worcester, consisting of his wife,
daughter, mother-in-law, Mrs. Martha W.
Bacon, Mr. Edward Clark, and a number of
mechanics and employes, arrived at Sault
de Ste. Marie, July 2, 1849, by steamers
from Buffalo and Detroit. It was the chol-
era season and excessively hot on the lower
lakes. The disease broke out on board
the steamer which brought them to the
West, and the captain died on that trip.
Mr. Harlow's party, however, had changed
boats at Detroit, but cholera also broke out
on this trip and one of the passengers died be-
fore reaching Mackinac. Mr. Harlow made
arrangements to leave his family at Sault
de Ste. Marie in care of the Baptist mission,
and came on with the rest of the party with
such provisions as they could take on board
the little schooner, Fur Trader, arriving at
Carp River, now Marquette, July 6, 1849.
Casting anchor ten miles out in the lake
in a dead calm, they fired the little swivel
on board as a signal, and were met and
rowed to shore in the Mackinac boat by
some of their men who had preceded them,
Lorenzo W'heelock, Major Clark, and a
carpenter named Jacobs. There were on
board at this arrival Amos R. Harlow and
Edward Clark, of the company; Charles
John, of the Jackson Forge; Samuel Mood)',
one of the proprietors of Moody's location;
James Kelley, a carpenter; Pierson Cowee;
and a man named Gates, a machinist. At
the Jackson Forge, twelve miles west, were
Philo M. Everett, superintendent of the
works, A. N. Barney and family, Edward
Kidney and family, Joshua Hodgkins and


family, James Peters, James McKerchie,
and Nahum Keyes. Charley Kobogum, the
Indian landlord, kept the only place of en-
tertainment at the landing, the Cedar
House referred to in Mr. White's reminis-
cences. Both Mr. White and Mr. Harlow
testified to the good fare of fish, duck, fresh
venison and vegetables from the Indian gar-
den near the lake shore, with which they
were regaled after their surfeit of salt pork
and stale bread on board the boat. Charley
Kobogum was very famous as a landlord,
and Mr. Harlow boarded in the Indian
shanty with him until he had erected a small
house of his own. Peter White, who went
to Moody's location in May, thus refers to
the arrival of Mr. Harlow:

" On the loth of July we came away
from the montains bag and baggage, arriv-
ing at the ' lake shore,' as we then termed
it, before noon. Mr. Harlow had arrived
with quite a number of mechanics, some goods
and lots of money, and what was better than
all we got a glimpse of some female faces.
We were all much excited and buoyant with
the hope of bright and dazzling prospects
before us. At one o'clock that day we com-
menced clearing the site of the present city
of Marquette. We began by chopping off
the trees and brush at the point of rocks
near the blacksmith shop just south of the
shore end of the Cleveland ore docks."

On the i 3th of July, Mr. Harlow started
on his return trip to Massachusetts? and Mr.
Graveraet and Mr. Clark went by way of
Lake Michigan to Milwaukee to hire labor-
ers. The former returned in due time with
a large number of employees, mostly Ger-
man and French, but Mr. Clark was taken
with cholera and died on his way back to
Sault Ste. Marie. At least his disease is sup-
posed to have been cholera, although it may-

have been the malignant ship fever, which
made a hospital of the little settlement upon
the arrival of the emigrants from Milwaukee,
and so frightened the Indians that most of
them fled precipitately up the lake in their
canoes. In the latter part of August, Mr.
Harlow returned. His family had preceded
him by a few days, having met with an op-
portunity to come from the Sault Ste. Marie,
for the chances to reach here at that time
were very uncertain, as there were but few
boats on the lake and none made regular
trips to this point. Most of the Lake Sup-
erior boats went to Ontonagon, and if any of
them turned aside to convey either freight
or passengers here, it was because extra in-
ducements were offered them. The small
propellers, Napoleon and Independence,
were the only ones then plying on Lake
Superior, and the little schooner, Fur
Trader, was about the only resource of the
settlers at Iron Bay.

Mr. Harlow brought on from Worcester
a thirty-five-horse-power engine and boilers,
sets of machinists' tools, the necessary
machinery and appliances for a forge, circu-
lar-saw mill, etc. After some delay, they ar-
rived here on the Fur Trader, commanded
by Captain Calvin Ripley. There was then
no dock or land for vessels, and the rock in
the harbor, afterward known as Ripley's
Rock, was used as a dock for the time
being. The schooner, being of light draft,
was brought up alongside of the rock and the
heavy machinery unloaded thereon, and a
slide or track constructed thence to the
shore. In this manner the engine was
landed, and the boilers were plugged at both
ends and floated or rolled to the shore. Not
merely in getting their first plant established,
but in the progress of their work, many dif-
ficulties arose which it was impossible for


men inexperienced in mining and making
in in to anticipate, and then the distance was
too great to get anything that was needed.
Mr. Harlow was a good machinist and per-
fectly at home in a well ordered machine
shop; but here were conditions which his
experience had not encountered. To all of
them the business was new, to be prose-
cuted under new circumstances, and many
necessary appliances had to be improvised;
yet "Yankee genius,'' as on thousands of
other occasions, was equal to the emergency.

In October, 1849, Mr. Harlow put in
operation a steam sawmill the first in Mar-
quette and the night following sawed the
shingles and shingled the first house in the
place by moonlight. Those who have wit-
nessed an Indian summer moonlight upon
the soft autumn landscape near the bay may
well imagine the beauty of the scene, but it
is probable that Mr. Harlow was so anxious
to secure shelter for his wife and family that
the thought of utility, more than of beauty,
was with him. It is ever thus. We think
of things and experiences in the light of
whatever most absorbs us at the time. In
order to appreciate the beauties of nature
we must have leisure from the pressing de-
mands made upon us by daily labor. Pre-
vious to this Mr. Harlow's family had occu-
pied the little cedar hut upon the bank.
The Indians here at that time were kind and
hospitable, and friendly relations existed
between them and the settlers.

On the 3Oth of November, 1849, the
first postoffice was established, under the
name of Worcester, in honor of Mr. Har-
low's Eastern home, and Mr. Harlow was
appointed Postmaster. The first settlers
seem not to have been aware that the name
of Marquette had been given to the county
and township, which now bear the memorial

name of the famous Jesuit father, as early
as 1843, but such was the fact, although it
was not known by whom the name was pro-
posed in the legislature. The act estab-
lishing the county was passed March 9,
1843, and that establishing the township
March 16, 1847. Marquette county was at
first attached to Houghton for justicial pur-
poses and was not organized as a separate
county until September 4, 1851. The
township of Marquette was not organized
until July 15, 1850. The first election was
held at the house of Mr. Harlow, in accord-
ance with a notice signed by Robert J.
Graveraet, Samuel Moody, Lorenzo Hard-
ing, H. B. Ely and Amos R. Harlow, at the
date last mentioned. Mr. Harlow was
chosen Supervisor, Highway Commissioner
and Justice of the Peace. Soon after the
organization of the township the name of
the postoffice was changed to Marquette.
The mails at first were received monthly,
being carried by packers in winter on snow-
shoes and deposited in a tree at Lake Michi-
gamme at the junction of the Carp river and
Menominee trails to L'Anse.

Supplies for Marquette at this early
time were mostly procured at great risk
in stormy weather from Sault. Ste Marie.
In November, 1849, Mr. Harlow dispatched
thither a Mackinac sailing boat for some
necessary articles. The boat was wrecked
near White Fish Point and all on board
perished. Of the five bodies three were
found, two on the boat and one the next
spring on the beach where it had been cast
by the waves.

Hon. S. P. Ely, in his historical address,
dates the founding of Marquette from the
arrival of Mr. Harlow and his party in July,
1849. Our subject, therefore, is justly
regarded as the founder of the city. Of



those who came with him or were sent by
his company none remain save Hon. Peter
White, who was his contemporary and
active coadjutor in building up the city
from its foundation. The Marquette forge,
at which Mr. Harlow produced the first iron
bloom, was located near the lake shore,
just south of Superior street, and was put
in operation by him July 6, 1850, the anni-
versary of his arrival. It continued in
operation somewhat irregularly until the
spring of 1853, when the Marquette Iron
Company was consolidated with the Cleve-
land Iron Company. The latter continued
to operate the forge until it was destroyed
by fire in the winter of 1858.

About the same time that he started the
forge he laid out the first plat of the village
of Marquette. This plat, somewhat modi-
fied and changed as to its streets, was
recorded by the Cleveland Iron Company
September 8, 1854, and was known as the
Cleveland Plat. In August, 1852, Mr.
Harlow purchased of the Government the
land and interest known as the New York
mine. It is situated at Ishpeming, and is
still the property of the Harlow estate.
After the consolidation of the Marquette
and Cleveland companies he turned his
attention to lumbering, and the manage-
ment of his large estate in the city and his
farms in the vicinity. He made six ad-
ditions to the city.

The diary kept by Mr. Harlow during
the first six years of his residence here
furnishes excellent data respecting the
pioneer days of the city. The first religious
service held in Marquette was by Professor
Williams, of Allegheny College, who came
to the peninsula for his health, and in
August, 1849, by invitation of Mrs. Harlow,
preached in her home. The Indians brought

in logs and placed them round the room for
seats, covering them with cedar boughs for
cushions. There was but one corner of the
room floored, and that was a sort of plat-
form for the stove; on a part of this the
preacher stood. In 1850 the Marquette
Company sent hither Dr. Morse, a regular
Congregational minister, and also a phy-
sician, holding a diploma from the Vermont
Medical College. He preached here one
year and returned to New Hampshire. In
1857 Mr. Harlow and his family aided in
organizing the first Presbyterian Church of
Marquette, and have since been exemplary
members. Mr. Harlow was an official in
the church and one of its most liberal sup-
porters. In politics, in early life he was a
Whig, but was a supporter of the Repub-
lican party from its organization. He
never sought or held office except such as
was conferred upon him without his seeking,
he having then acted as Justice of the
Peace, Supervisor, County Clerk, Alder-
man, Notary Public, etc. His honor and
integrity were above question and his influ-
ence on the side of morality and religion
were strongly felt.

As a business man, Mr. Harlow was suc-
cessful. Unlike many who have devoted
their energies to pioneer industries under
the hard and exhausting conditions of a new
country, he was able to save out of his vari-
ous enterprises a comfortable competence.
It is true indeed that he did not continue
wholly in the mining interests, and it is per-
haps due to the secret of his success that his
versatile mind enabled him to manage a
variety of interests and to turn to account
whatever seemed most promising. Thus,
while others clung to their dead mining
stock and sank with it, he turned to the liv-
interests of lumbering, farming and real es-



tate. He was the owner of large real-estate
interests in this city, including some of the
best business blocks, and the ample and
most beautiful private park, in which stands
his residence. This is called Crescent Park
from the form of the main terrace or em-
bankment which circles nearly around it.
On the top of this is the principal drive.
The central portion is in the general form of
a basin, diversified with slopes, terraces and
mounds. The highest mound is called Lily
Hill, and is crowned with a large granite
bowlder. Near the center of the basin is a
trout pond, formed by a living spring which
flows out from among ferns and mosses.
The Park, which is about seven acres in
extent, is covered with every variety of
native tree, shrub, plant and flower. Mr.
Harlow had the ground laid out as a sur-
prise to his wife upon her return from one
of her visits to the East, his design being to
furnish her with a beautiful and healthy
open-air retreat, in which she might drive
her own horse and carriage at her leisure.
Although the natural situation favored his
design, it was made with considerable ex-
pense and has served as the family botanical
garden. It is now occupied by Mrs. Harlow
and her son-in-law, Hon. F. O. Clark, a dis-
tinguished member of the Marquette bar.
Mr. Harlow died October 3, 1890. His son
by his first mariage, George P. Harlow, re-
sides in Omaha, Nebraska. His daughter,
Ellen J., is the wife of Hon. F. O. Clark.
This narrative would be incomplete
without a word in regard to Mrs. Harlow's
mother, Mrs. Martha W. Boem, who came
with Mr. Harlow and family to this north-
ern shore in 1 849. She was one of the
noblest of the pioneer women oi our county.
Through all the hardships of the early settle-
ment she afforded a constant example of

cheerfulness, courage and business energy.
She lived to see the prosperity of the place
which she had no small share in founding, and
passed to her rest full of years and honors.

BURTisoneof the most
prominent citizens of Marquette
county and has done much for its
upbuilding and advancement. In
the work of development he has borne an
active part, has been inseparably connected
with the history of its business interests, and
is a worthy representative of that type of
American character, that progressive spirit,
which advances the public good while pro-
moting individual prosperity. He is now
secretary and treasurer of the Burt Free-
stone Quarry Company, and is extensively
engaged in real-estate dealing.

Mr. Burt was born in Mount Vernon,
Macomb county, Michigan, October 31,
1825, and is a son of William A. and Phoebe
(Cole) Burt, the former a native of Wor-
cester county, Massachusetts, and the latter
of Connecticut. Judge Burt, the father,
was prominently connected with the history
of Michigan from an early day. He was an
inventor of much note, and in 1829 made
the first typewriter ever manufactured in
this country. He was also the inventor of
the solar compass, which is now a great
favorite and used extensively in making Gov-
ernment land surveys. He gave to the
world the equatorial sextant for directing the
course of ships, and was teaching captains
the use of this instrument when he was
taken with an illness that terminated his
life, in August, 1858. In the political his-
tory of this State, his name occupies a con-
spicuous place. He was a Judge and a
member of the Territorial and State Legis-


1 1

latures, also a Commissioner of Internal Im-
provements and District and County Sur-
veyor. Other members of the family were
noted for their inventive genius, and John
Burt was the inventor and patentee of canal
locks which were used at Sault de Ste.
Marie. He was also the originator of a
number of other useful devices, among them
different processes of manufacturing iron.
The burial ground of this family, situated in
Detroit, is said to be one of the most beau-
tiful in the country, a fitting place of rest
for those who have done so much for the
State. In connection with his other work
the Judge and his assistants were the first to
discover iron ore on the Upper Peninsula,
as positive documents have proven.

William Burt, whose name begins this
record, was reared in his native county and
acquired his education in a log schoolhouse
situated in the neighborhood. He spent his
boyhood on a farm and continued to follow
agricultural pursuits and land surveying as a
means of livelihood until he had attained
the age of forty years. He learned the busi-
ness with his father and older brothers, ex-
perts in that line, and at the age of twenty
began the work for himself. He aided in
surveying a greater part of the Upper Penin-
sula, coming to this region with his father
and brothers in 1846. On the 23d of March,
1847, he was appointed United States
' Deputy Surveyor, and in 1856 was sent to
survey the north shore, lying along Lake
Superior, surveying the present site of Du-
luth, and fixing the meridians, the base lines
and township boundaries and shore lines.
He was employed along the north shore for
two years, when his health gave way owing
to exposure to all kinds of weather in his
arduous task. The citizens of that locality
petitioned the Government that he might

continue his work, but he was firm in his
refusal and returned to his home and his
farming interests.

It was not long after this that Mr. Burt's
connection with Marquette county began.
He has been an important factor in its de-
velopment since its pioneer days, when its
lands were wild, its cities still an unsettled
region, the work of civilization and progress
having scarcely begun. He with others was
the first to open a slate quarry at Huron
Bay and built to it a railroad. He was also
interested in iron-mining and iron blast fur-
naces, and is numbered among the pioneers
in iron-mining. He was associated with
John A. Bailey, of Detroit, in the manufac-
ture of mathematical instruments, which he
carried on for a number of years. He took
up his residence in Detroit, in May, 1865,
and made that city his home until June,
1866, when he made a location in Marquette
on the site of his present home. Here he
has passed the succeeding years, and the city
soon recognized him as one of its most
valued citizens, a man to whom she could
look for aid for her works of public improve-
ment, a man deeply interested in all that
pertained to her welfare and promotion.

For a time Mr. Burt engaged in survey-
ing and locating land, but after a time
abandoned that work, his time being fully
taken up with other business interests. He
became a director and general manager of
the Marquette & Pacific Rolling Mill Com-
pany, and was also a director and stock-
holder in many other enterprises. For four
years he was connected with the rolling-
mill company, and for almost a quarter of a
century he has been interested in the Burt
Freestone Company, of which, for a num-
ber of years, he was general manager, and
is now secretary and treasurer. This com-



pany was organized in 1872 by John Burt,
William Burt, Hiram A. Burt, Alvin C.
Burt, A. Judson Burt and William Burt,
and its first officers were John Burt, presi-
dent; William Burt, treasurer, and William

A. Burt, secretary. The present officers
are Hiram A. Burt, president; Stanley A.
Burt, vice-president; William Burt, secre-
tary and treasurer, and these constitute the
board of directors, in connection with Sarah

B. and Caroline Burt. The quarry is located
in Marquette and has been leased on royalty

Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyMemorial record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan → online text (page 1 of 80)