Marquette’s Historic Pendill Homes – One for Sale

Marquette’s pioneer family left behind it a legacy that included owning one of Marquette’s earliest drugstores, family member Olive Pendill being the first historian of the Marquette Historical Society, and two beautiful historic homes, one of which is now for sale. Both houses and the information included here is taken from my book My Marquette, available at

The Pendill Home at 322 E. Ridge St. in Marquette.

The Pendill Home at 322 E. Ridge St. in Marquette.

The first generation of Pendills in Marquette, James and his wife Flavia, lived in this beautiful home at 322 E. Ridge Street. James Pendill was born in New York in 1812, and after living in Niles, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, he came to Marquette in 1855. He was the representative for Marquette County in 1863-1864 and after moving to Negaunee in 1867, he became its mayor from 1872-1873. He is credited with being the father of Negaunee because he was responsible for laying out a plan for the city. He then moved back to Marquette where he was mayor from 1879-1882. He also was city supervisor for many years and a school board trustee. Mr. Pendill opened the Pendill and McComber mines, and he was also in the mercantile business and built many storefronts and homes and also operated a sawmill. Mr. Pendill died in 1885.

The second generation Pendill home has a fascinating history as well. This house, built in 1878 and located at 401 N. Front Street, was home to James and Flavia’s son, Frank. Frank owned Pendill drugstore in Marquette, which operated for many, many years. His brother Louis also lived here and was involved in the drugstore. Later, their sister Olive lived here after her parents had passed away. Olive was a registered nurse who served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. She later became the first superintendent of nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital, and she was the first historian of the Marquette County Historical Society when it was founded in 1918. She died in 1957 at the age of eighty-nine.

Several visitors and owners of the house in more recent years have claimed to see the ghost of a woman in white inside the home, although it is unclear who the woman is. I recently spoke to one former owner who told me the ghost liked to move about items associated with St. Paul’s Episcopalian Church. In any case, the ghost is reputably harmless.

If you’re looking to buy a historic home in Marquette, even if a haunted one, 401 N. Front Street is now for sale through Gina Feltner Bouws of RE/MAX. The house is listed at $209,900 and interior photos of it and further information can be found at RE/MAX’s website: You can’t beat the location, being within walking distance of the library, downtown, many churches, Third Street and Kaufman Auditorium. I wish you your chance to own a piece of Marquette’s history.

The Historic Pendill Home at 401 N. Front St. in the late 1800s. (Photo courtesy of the Marquette Regional History Center)

The Historic Pendill Home at 401 N. Front St. in the late 1800s. (Photo courtesy of the Marquette Regional History Center)

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9 Comments on “Marquette’s Historic Pendill Homes – One for Sale”

  1. Jenn Says:

    I was wondering if you had any further information on the 401 N. Front Pendill property. Such as who built the house and if there is a description of home shortly after the building was completed.

  2. Judy Haessly Says:

    hello, is this the house that was deeded in 1865 to a Tim Hurley? I am doing genealogy research and I believe this is the family I am researching. I did not see an email to contact you. I would love to find out more information. Thank you

    • Hi Judy,
      I doubt it was deeded in 1865 to Tim Hurley. I don’t know what year this house was built, but I don’t believe any houses north of Ridge Street were built until after 1867 when Peter White built his house on Ridge Street. This house is a couple of blocks farther north on the corner of Michigan and Front. I’m not sure where the Hurley family lived, but of course, a lot of Marquette burnt down in the 1868 fire so it’s rare to find a house dating before that. Probably your best bet is to see whether the Marquette Regional History Center has a file on Tim Hurley. There is on the 1886 map of Marquette a Mrs. Hurley’s house at the corner of Rock and Fourth Street, which would be south of Ridge and Washington – perhaps that’s the house you’re thinking of.

      • Judy Haessly Says:


        I was going off a a previous blog you wrote about Early Marquette Boarding Houses
        October 18, 2011

        You wrote In 1865, Joseph Bignall deeded the boarding house to Tim Hurley, and the family moved to Minnesota.


  3. Oh, I see. No, that was the Bignall boarding house. This is the Pendill house. The Bignall boarding house is no longer standing. I believe it burned down in the 1868 fire and there are many other buildings that have stood there since.

    • Judy Haessly Says:

      Thanks, the family I’m researching has a widow of a Timothy Hurley living with a few children and there are several boarders but that was in the 1880 census.

      I’ll keep checking.

  4. kathy curtis Says:

    I am looking for information on the Kaufman’s who built the big house on Arch Street in Marquette. I’m looking for the home’s blue prints and I’m also searching for photos of the home inside and outside. PLEASE let me know if you have anything you can share. You can email me at Thank you.

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