Posted tagged ‘Bishop family’

No Book is Written Alone – Thank You to Everyone Who Helped with My Marquette

December 6, 2010

I am so very pleased and a bit overwhelmed by the positive responses My Marquette has been receiving, most recently through fabulous sales at the TV 6 Christmas Show and my appearance on the Doug Garrison show which you can view on YouTube. So it seems appropriate that I again thank the many people who helped to make the book possible. Following is the Acknowledgments from My Marquette, but with links to websites included.

Writing a book like this one is far from a solitary experience and more difficult in its own way than a novel that does not require all the additional layout, photographs,and even research. I have many people to thank for their words of encouragement and support who said, “I’d like to read that book” when I discussed my ideas with them. They are too numerous to thank individually, but I appreciate all their ideas.

The many past writers and historians of Marquette, most notably, Fred Rydholm, whose Superior Heartland kept me up late at night reading with fascination as I researched my novels, and Sonny Longtine, not only the co-author of the marvelous Marquette Then & Now but also my neighbor who generously shared his photographs, many of which are included in this book and on the cover, as well as his suggestions with me.

  Larry Alexander, the designer and layout person for this book. We have been friends since graduate school at Northern Michigan University. Not only has he put up with me all this time, but he has designed my websites and come to my aid in computer crises. I appreciate his patience as I continually asked to change where a picture was located or the way a page looked. If you need a book laid out or a website designed, he’s the one to talk to. Visit him at www.StorytellersFriend.com 

Jack Deo of Superior View also provided me with numerous photographs of Marquette, past and present, as well as the cover photos for most of my previous novels. 

Debbie Glade, author of The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly, for reading drafts of different sections of this book and offering encouraging words.
My second cousin, Nanette Rushton, who provided her memories of life on RidgeS treet and of the Rankin family and read early drafts of the residential section.

Lynn and Lon Emerick, fellow writers who have become like family over the years. I so appreciate their sharing their memories of Dorothy Maywood Bird with me, and all their advice over the years on publishing books.

Fred Stonehouse, the expert on all things maritime, who helped me sort out the Frink family’s roles as lighthouse keepers along Lake Superior.

 

Holly Barra and Jim Mansfield, descendants of Marquette architect Hampson Gregory, for sharing information about their ancestor.
Emily Bettinis, for sharing information about the Reverend Bates Burt family.

Many thanks to everyone over the years who has made me more aware of my family’s history, including my late cousins, Jerry McCombie, Jean Martel, and Robert Bishop. Thank you to my great-aunt, Sadie White Johnson Merchant, who was always willing to share family stories, and saved the day by having a photo of the Bavarian Inn when no others could be found. A special thanks to my late grandfather, Lester White, whose stories of his childhood first made me interested in Marquette’s past. Thank you to my cousin, Lynn Hiti, who has sent me numerous files and documents and shared genealogy discoveries with me for many, many years, especially about the Bishop family, and to my cousins, Shirley Herbert and her son Paul who provided me with our Civil War ancestors’ military records. Thank you to cousins Ben and Pat Hassenger for their information on our Zryd ancestors. Also to my distant cousin Kori Carothers, who sent me information about her ancestor Francis Marion Bishop. And thank you, especially, to my mother who allowed me to raid the family photograph albums for memorable moments captured on film. I have been in touch with so many relatives over the years who have given me information that if I forget any of their names here, know that your contributions have been greatly appreciated.Finally, thank you to all of my readers who have been integral to my fulfilling my dream since childhood to write books people would love to read and which would help make their lives happier.

Anne Outhwaite Maurer and James Pickands Cass for their information about their Outhwaite and Pickands ancestors.

John Frederickson, great-grandson of Carroll Watson Rankin, for his memories of the family.

Pat Ryan O’Day, publisher of Marquette Monthly, for her many stories of Marquette’s past and for putting me in touch with people who would have information I needed.

Babette Welch and her husband Gregg Seiple, who own the Swineford Home at 424 Cedar Street, for allowing me to see the inside of that Marquette landmark.

Dennis McCowen, owner of the Merritt Home, for giving me a tour inside, including allowing me to go up in its tower on a blizzardy spring day.

Lorana Jinkerson for sharing information on her underground home.

Rachel Goldsmith for information and a photo of her father, David Goldsmith.

Ann Gonyea for the cover photography and getting the right angle for a picture.

Joyce L. Mayer, director of the Moss Mansion in Montana, for sharing the history of that Lake Superior Sandstone home.

John and Nancy Grossman at Back Channel Press have managed the printing and layout of all my previous books, and they were more than understanding and willing to answer my many questions as I embarked on writing a new kind of book.

Victor Volkman (owner of Loving Healing Press) did a superb job in designing the cover for me and offering additional advice on layout to make the pages more easily readable.

Rosemary Michelin, librarian of the John M. Longyear Research Library at the Marquette County History Museum, not only tirelessly pulled files for me but led me to some new directions I would not otherwise have considered. Thanks also to assistance from Meridith Ruppert and Jennifer Lammi at the Museum. Thank you to Jim Koski for information about South Marquette during an informative walking tour. The Marquette County History Museum is also thanked for its permission to use many of the photographs in this book.In addition, thank you to everyone now who has purchased a copy of My Marquette and for all your compliments upon it.

Thank you especially to TV6 News, Christopher Diem of The Mining Journal, and The Doug Garrison Show for the interviews and helping to spread the word about My Marquette.

This book truly is about Our Marquette!

I equally thank all the readers of my previous novels whose constant questions about the true stories behind my novels made me think such a book would be enjoyable.

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Why I Write About Marquette

September 26, 2010

The following essay is the preface to My Marquette, to be released this week.

My Marquette - released Oct 1, 2010

WHY I WRITE ABOUT MARQUETTE

 

            Where do you come up with your ideas? What made you decide to write about Marquette? Ever since Iron Pioneers was first published, my readers continually ask me these questions.

            My answer is that having been born and raised in Marquette, and being so enculturated into the city’s history and its people, as an author I simply cannot not write about it. The best advice a writer is given is “Write what you know” and if I know any place, it is my hometown, where I and generations of my ancestors have lived. I am unable to remember the first time I saw St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Old Savings Bank, or Presque Isle Park. They have always been there, always been a part of my conscious world—always actively influenced my imagination.

            My earliest memories include my grandfather telling me about Marquette’s past, stories I never forgot that made me wonder what it was like to grow up in this town in the early twentieth century, when automobiles were still a novelty, long before television, in days when my grandpa would get a quarter to scrub the kitchen floor, and he would use that quarter to treat himself and a friend to a silent movie at the Delft Theatre and still have change left over for snacks.

            Since I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to write stories, and growing up in a town where my family had lived so long, hearing story after story about the past, I wanted to write down those stories and make the past come alive for people. While in college, I became interested in family history. I learned then that the earliest branch of my family came to Marquette in 1849, the year the village was founded, and my family has lived in Marquette ever since. As I learned more about my ancestors and Marquette’s history, I could not help but imagine what it would have been like for a person to come by schooner across Lake Superior in 1849, to see only a wilderness where a village was to be built, and what it was like after two decades of struggling to build that town, to see it destroyed by fire in 1868, only to spring up again, grander than before. And what of the winters? Feet and feet of snow, and no snowblowers or modern snowplows. What an amazing courage and determination the pioneers had to carry on each day in the nineteenth century. In my novels, I tried to recreate the early settlers’ experiences so readers would understand and appreciate their courage and draw their own strength from the examples of those mighty pioneers.

            The scene in Iron Pioneers that I feel best demonstrates The Marquette Trilogy’s themes of courage and survival is when Molly and Patrick talk about why they left Ireland to come to America. Their discussion reflects the tales of many immigrants who came to Marquette—some like Patrick to escape religious or political oppression—some like Molly, to avoid poverty and suffering. Molly’s daughter, Kathy, after overhearing her mother relate how her ancestors had starved during the Irish potato famine, and knowing that others around the world are far from as fortunate as her, asks her future husband what the past and her ancestors should mean to her.

            “How can we live in America, knowing that others are suffering?” Kathy asked.

            “By appreciating our good fortune and being happy.”

            “Happy?” she asked, feeling it impossible after years of living under her stepfather’s oppression, after the suffering her mother had known. She feared to be happy from fear it would not last.

            “Yes, happy,” said Patrick. “All those people who suffered would want us to be happy, to live and marry and have children who will not know such pain. We are the extensions of our parents and grandparents and all those brave people; we’re a continuation of their spirits, and our happiness helps to validate their struggles, to give meaning to their lives.”

            He only understood this truth as he spoke it, as he suddenly believed the world could be a wonderful place; that everything could work out for the best. He felt like an old Celtic bard who foresaw a hopeful future capable of washing away past grief. 

 

            I wrote my trilogy as a tribute to those pioneers who built Marquette, and those like them in every community who built this nation despite the difficulties they faced. Whether a person has ever visited Marquette should not determine whether they find enjoyment or inspiration from the history of this fine city. The story of Marquette is the story of the American Dream, of dreams for a better future and the struggles to achieve that dream, the hopes and fears of countless American generations of immigrants seeking a better world, and how some achieved it, some failed, and some persevered without giving up. Based on the pioneers’ examples, my novels have hopefully inspired readers with the courage to endure their own trials and overcome them. To give people that courage, and to hear how much my novels have resonated with them, has made the many lonely hours of writing all worthwhile.

            In writing about Marquette, I knew I wanted to capture the magic of one particular place and allow readers to travel there and come to know it as well as I did. I have lived in Marquette all my life except six years when I foolishly thought I would find a better life elsewhere, only to feel exiled. While I was away, Marquette celebrated its sesquicentennial in 1999, and that same year, I, homesick, decided to write about its history.

            I had written other novels, but never satisfied with them, I had left them unpublished. When I began writing Iron Pioneers and its sequels, although I knew the task would be monumental, I finally felt I had found my voice, the books I was actually born to write.

            I wrote about the outdoors—the wild, thick forests, the temperate, green-leaved splendid summers of blueberry picking and daring to enter Lake Superior’s cool waters, the roar of the winter wind, the blizzards that leave behind snowbanks that must be shoveled, and ultimately, the sense of peace one feels among so much natural beauty. I wrote about Marquette’s history, for I could not imagine a more inspiring story than the American Dream played out in a quest to build an industrial empire along Lake Superior, of an iron discovery that produced more wealth than the California Gold Rush, of a mined product that helped to win major wars and change the world. And I wrote about the change and decline of that iron industry, how it affected the people who lived in Marquette, sometimes fulfilling, often destroying their dreams.

            Mostly, however, I wrote about life in a small town, of the relationships between people in a community. Many people think small towns are quiet and dull because they lack the fast-paced lifestyle of metropolitan areas. But small towns have a greater and more personal drama. Willa Cather, author of O Pioneers and one of my greatest influences—my title Iron Pioneers is partly a tribute to her—best described the relationships in small towns in a passage I used as the front quote for Narrow Lives:

 In little towns, lives roll along so close to one another; loves and hates beat about, their wings almost touching. On the sidewalks along which everybody comes and goes, you must, if you walk abroad at all, at some time pass within a few inches of the man who cheated and betrayed you, or the woman you desire more than anything else in the world. Her skirt brushes against you. You say good-morning and go on. It is a close shave. Out in the world the escapes are not so narrow. — Lucy Gayheart

 Relationships are complex in small towns, the layers of social networks dizzying; in the intertwining family trees and the friendships of my characters, I tried to capture this reality. A love affair or a conflict between friends can be of mammoth proportions in the history of a small town—as important to its inhabitants as a world war is on a national or international scale. It was that personal connection to each person and place that one feels living in a small town that I wanted to capture in my fiction.

            I have felt lonely in large cities, walking down streets where not a face is familiar, where no one notices you. In Marquette, although it has grown to where I can go into a store without seeing a familiar face, I know if I stop to speak to any stranger for a minute and name a few friends or acquaintances, the stranger and I will know someone in common. We are only separated by a degree or two in our little city of twenty thousand people.

            Living your entire life in the same place breeds familiarity. Even if I see no one I know when I walk about Marquette, the city is rich with memories and history for me. It is an indescribable comfort to enter the downtown post office and recall that my grandfather helped to build it during the Great Depression. I can walk down Washington Street and see the stone in the sidewalk marking where the Marquette Opera House once stood, where my grandfather proposed to my grandmother before it burned down in the great fire and blizzard of 1938. The First Methodist Church has a stained glass memorial window to honor my ancestral aunt and uncle, Delivan and Pamelia Bishop, who were among its founders in the 1850s. I look out onto Iron Bay and imagine what my ancestors must have felt when they first arrived on its shore. My readers tell me, because of my novels, they now walk about Marquette, equally imagining what life was like here for the generations before them—to me, that is the ultimate compliment to my work—that it has made my readers imaginative and interested in history and especially their own family stories.

            A timelessness settles over a person who grows older while living in the same place. You talk about Cliffs Ridge, the ski hill whose name was changed to Marquette Mountain twenty years ago, yet your old friends know exactly where you mean and do not correct you—it is still Cliffs Ridge in their memories too. As you drive into South Marquette on County Road 553, you turn your head out of habit to look at the old red brick house of the Brookridge Estate, which you have always admired, only to realize it is 2010 now, not 1982, and the house was torn down nearly twenty years ago to build the new assisted living facility, Brookridge Heights.

Moments of joy from your past keep you connected to people. Thirty years ago, the Marquette Mall had a fountain with colored lights—so many people have told me they had forgotten about it, and they were glad when I reminded them of its beauty in Superior Heritage. Every place I step, I remember a dozen moments from my own past—I stop to get gas at a station where once stood the Bavarian Inn where I had breakfast dozens of time. I go to the remodeled Delft Theatre and can still remember the first movie I saw there when I was three years old—memories layer themselves on top of each other. The past never dies—we can travel back to it in our minds, and reading a book is the opportunity to enter another world or an author’s mind and experience another person’s experiences.

Tyler R. Tichelaar

            I imagine such nostalgia and family connections are why people enjoy my books, why some of my readers stay in Marquette despite the possibility of better lives elsewhere, or why many of my readers, exiled from Upper Michigan, find comfort for their homesickness by revisiting Marquette through my words. Books and memories allow you to go home again.

            This deep abiding connection, this sense of place, of belonging, of knowing I am home and knowing how much that is to be valued—that is why I write about Marquette.

My Family’s Iron Pioneers – The Bishop, Remington, and White Families

July 20, 2010

People frequently ask me about my own family. I have several different branches of ancestors who came to Marquette. Below is a discussion of one branch, an excerpt from my upcoming book My Marquette, to be published this Christmas.  

The Remington, Bishop, and White Families

Marquette, or rather, the settlement of Worcester which would later have its name changed to Marquette, was established in 1849. The first census taken was in 1850. On that census are listed Edmond and Jemima Remington and their children, including their oldest daughter Adda, who was born in 1845. Edmond and Jemima are my great-great-great grandparents, six generations back. They came to Marquette from Vermont according to the census. Edmond was born about 1821 and Jemima about 1820. Although best guesses exist about Edmond and Jemima’s ancestors which include revolutionary war soldiers for grandfathers and Mayflower Pilgrim ancestors, we know few details about their lives before they came to Marquette. They were the first of my ancestors to arrive on Lake Superior’s shores.

My next ancestors to arrive in Marquette were my four greats-grandparents, Basil and Eliza Bishop. From one of Basil’s letters, we know he arrived on May 1, 1850. The 1850 census was taken on July 22, 1850, so Basil and Eliza should have appeared on it. Instead, the only Bishop listed has the first name of Beelzebub and he is thirty-five years old. Since no other record exists of a Beelzebub in Marquette history, it is fair to guess Basil was joking with the census taker, providing one of the Devil’s biblical names; the census taker apparently failed to get the joke. Basil also lied about his age—he would have been sixty-one at the time. However, Beelzebub is listed as a bloomer from New York, a job description and former residence that matches Basil Bishop’s true background.

Basil and Eliza Bishop - my 4-greats-grandparents

           Basil Bishop was born in Vermont in 1789. His Bishop family ancestors were Puritans who first settled in Connecticut in the seventeenth century—other branches of the family include colonial governors of Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay. Basil was the son and grandson of American Revolutionary War soldiers, and during the War of 1812, he served at the Battle of Plattsburg. In 1812, he also built a famous forge at Split Rock Falls in New York. His family prospered along with his business; his wife Elizabeth “Betsey” Brittell would bear him eighteen children. Then as the prosperous couple entered their golden years, they decided to move to the new settlement of Marquette, founded in 1849 by Amos Harlow.

The journey was arduous; the Bishops travelled through Ohio, where they contracted the ague, from which they would suffer the rest of their lives. Far from disappointed by the journey, Basil wrote to a friend of his arrival in Marquette (note, his original spelling, far from standard, has been retained):

“I heard of the iron Mountains on Lake Superior & that a Forge was going & I was wholly bent to Sea it & in April I Started & Reached hear the 1 day of May 1850 the next day I was on the Iron Mountains & Sea to Sea Millions upon Millions of the Richest ore I ever Saw piled up 200ft above the Laurel Maple timber land below it was the most delightfull Seane I ever experienced.”

Basil believed the iron ore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was the finest he had ever seen in forty years of working with iron. Although his original intention was to build his own forge, he ended up instead working in the one owned by Amos Harlow, the village’s founder.

The early years of Marquette were difficult ones of near starvation in winter, and little contact with the outside world due to no railroads and the short shipping season. Nevertheless, Basil continually wrote letters to praise Marquette. He convinced four of his adult children, Delivan, Lucia, Omelia, and Rosalia and his wife’s nephew, Daniel Brittell, to move to the new settlement. He proudly watched the little village grow, and in 1852, he wrote to a friend, “it is but 2 years last july that the first blow was Struck hear & now it is quite a viledge 15 large uprite houses 95 numerous log & Small ones a forge 130 ft long a machine Shop Shingle Mill Lath Mill & grist mill all under one Roof.” Today’s Marquette residents who grumble about short growing seasons will marvel when Basil declares the area has the best growing soil ever, and that visitors to Marquette find it a “great wonder” to see Basil’s “Beets Carrots Cabbage Cucumbers onions corn pumpkin squash sugar cane 9 ft hy and beans…narrow fat peas 2 roes 6 rods long that were 9 feet hy & loaded down with pods.” His visitors “expressed much astonishment to sea such crops heare where all thought this was a frozen reagion as I once did.” The visitors indeed would have been astonished were all this true—certainly, the sugarcane was an exaggeration.

Basil wrote of how rich everyone in Marquette was growing, and he was pleased to see his children prospering beyond their dreams. Writing to his other children back East, he remarks:

“I suppose you thought I was a visionary & too much taken up with this contry but experience now shows I was right in all my prodictions as far more has come to pass than I ever named in so short a time & now there is every indication of there being double of the business done hear next season than was done hear before in one year.”

Basil foresaw a great industrial metropolis arising in Marquette, and his letters speak of early Upper Peninsula dreams of statehood. In a letter of December 1858, Basil notes, “a voat was passed in the legislature of this state last winter to let all of the Upper Peninsula for a new state & the first voat gave us a new state lacking but one & all believe we shall soon be set of & heare will be the capitol.” Perhaps Basil was too visionary in this respect, but his letters speak to the optimism and determination of Marquette’s first settlers, a spirit of survival that continues with today’s residents. When he passed away in 1865, Basil could feel proud of his contributions to the new community.

In 2001, a plaque was placed at Basil Bishop’s grave in Park Cemetery to commemorate him as a War of 1812 veteran. His letters are available at the Marquette County Historical Society. He was indeed, a great iron pioneer, perhaps not remembered in the history books, but one who intimately knew the early Marquette residents and their experiences.

While iron ore attracted the Bishops to Marquette, religious reasons inspired them once they arrived. Delivan, Basil’s son, was a founder of Marquette’s First Methodist Church and many of the family would be involved in church activities including the Methodists two primary social causes: temperance and the abolition of slavery.

Two members of the third generation of the Bishop family would serve in the Civil War. One of them would be Delivan and Pamelia Bishop’s son, Francis Marion Bishop. Francis was my great-great grandfather’s first cousin, and important to my family history because more than fifty of his letters he wrote home during the Civil War have survived. The letters allow the modern reader to understand what it was like to be twenty, brave, homesick, and frightened. His parents’ return letters have not survived, but his responses to them give insight into Marquette’s early years. He comments in 1863, after hearing of the burning down of the nearby village of Chocolay that he had warned people the fire would happen, and next time maybe they will be more careful. He constantly names relatives, friends, and church members, asking to be remembered to them. He asks his grandfather to write if he can, and he tells his father to thank Mr. Everett, presumably businessman Philo M. Everett, for the loan of thirty dollars.

Francis continually comments on the war, the marches, army food, and his fellow soldiers. The dramatic climax of the letters occurs when an army chaplain writes to Francis’ parents: “your son Marion still lives. He is in Washington, badly wounded, but will recover, so says his surgeon. The ball lodged in his shoulder blade has been extracted and he is doing nicely.” A few weeks later, Francis describes in near-epic prose how he fell at the Battle of Fredericksburg:

“At the time I received my wound we were advancing on the enemies works in double-quick time at charge bayonet. When within about 20 paces of our line I saw my Company were somewhat scattered by getting over a fence we had to pass and turning for a moment to my men I waved my sword over my head shouted “Come on Boys” Mind you I was not behind them but no sooner had I turned again to face the foe than I felt a stinging sensation pass through my left breast near the heart and I fell powerless to the Earth, turning as I fell striking on my back. I uttered a low groan and offered a prayer to God. [I fell] with sword unsheathed for the protection of our glorious starry Banner, whose gallent folds waved o’er my head as I fell, for you must know mine was a post of honor, as commander of the 1st Company I stood beside the good old flag of freedom [and I now have] an honorable scar and one received in the best cause for which ever man fought and died.”

Despite his wounds, Francis wanted to continue his service so he was transferred to be Adjutant at Rock Island, Illinois, a prison for Confederate soldiers in the Mississippi River. Here his duties were less rigorous, although he does mention a breakout when the prisoners dug a tunnel. Six rebels escaped and one drowned trying to get across the river, while an officer of the guard was also killed.

 When the war ended, Francis remained in Illinois to study zoology at Wesleyan University. His interest in Marquette continued, and prior to an 1866 visit he remarks, “I expect I will scarcely know Marquette when I see it. It has grown so much if I am to judge from the [Lake Superior] Journal.”

In May 1871, Francis joined Major Powell’s second expedition down the Colorado and Green Rivers and through the Grand Canyon; today, the expedition is considered the last great exploration of the American West. Powell’s first voyage had been a disaster that included shipwreck and the murder of crew members by the Shivwits Indians. Francis, known by his fellow travellers as “Cap” for achieving the rank of captain during the Civil War, was ready for adventure and fame as the expedition’s zoologist and cartographer.

The journey was the adventure of a lifetime, marked by difficult work, rough rapids, and placid moments of floating down river while Major Powell read aloud from the Bible or Tennyson’s poetry. While the first expedition had been a travel into the unknown, this journey would be more scientific, as surveys were conducted and specimens gathered. Moments of excitement included Francis being attacked by a deer he had to wrestle by grabbing its antlers. The Fourth of July was celebrated by a simple shooting off of guns. At times, the men had to carry their gear overland when the river was too wild to be navigated. Most of the travelers kept diaries, including Francis, and hundreds of photographs were taken. Francis’ maps of the river and canyons would become the first official government surveys of the area. However, in the spring of the expedition’s second year, Francis’ war wounds became too painful for him to continue the journey; reluctantly, he left the party before the final stretch through the Grand Canyon. His companions sadly parted from him, and they named Bishop Creek in the Uintas Mountains in his honor.

Francis then settled in Utah, befriending the local Mormons. He converted to the new religion and married the daughter of Orson Pratt, one of the original twelve apostles of the Mormon Church; one wonders what his staunch Methodist parents thought of his religious conversion and marriage. If only their letters to him had survived! Francis became Chair of the Natural Science Department at Deseret University, today’s University of Utah, where the originals of his letters currently reside. In later years, his companions from the expedition visited him and presented him with Major Powell’s special chair from the expedition. Francis would long remember his famous journey, and in his later years, he published an article on Major Powell’s life and his own journal from the expedition. He died in Utah in 1933, at the age of ninety.

Francis Marion Bishop is today one of Marquette’s famous, although forgotten sons, a pioneer of national importance.

Francis’ cousin, Jerome, also fought in the Civil War, but he was content later to return to Marquette to raise a family. Jerome Nehemiah White, my great-great-grandfather, came to Marquette in 1853 as a child of twelve. He was the son of Basil Bishop’s daughter, Rosalia, and her husband Cyrus Beardsley White. Jerome was one of several Marquette men to join the Michigan 27th. By the end of the war, his company had marched across the South, from Mississippi and Kentucky to Tennessee and Virginia. They fought at such significant battles as Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the Battle of the Wilderness. The strenuous marching and Southern climate caused Jerome to suffer from sunstroke. At Petersburg, he was wounded by a ball entering his left and exiting through his right side. He was sent to a hospital in Washington where he recovered, although he would suffer partial paralysis the remainder of his life. He was released from the hospital as the war was ending, and family tradition states he was in the Ford Theatre the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, a possibility since he was in Washington D.C. at the time.

After the war, Jerome returned to Marquette and raised a family. He continued his Methodist association by serving as the Superintendent of the Chocolay branch of the Sunday School. He also farmed in Cherry Creek, where his house still stands today. In 1900, he died of wounds received from a runaway carriage accident at the Carp River Bridge.

Edmond Remington, his daughter Adda, and her husband Jerome White

Jerome’s wife was Adda, the daughter of Edmond and Jemima Remington. Jerome and Adda married in 1861, before he went away to the war. He was nineteen and a half, she a few months shy of sixteen at the time of the marriage. Adda’s mother, Jemima, had died two months before at the young age of forty. Her father, Edmond, remarried in less than four months to Hannah, an Irish immigrant. Edmond then joined the Michigan 27th with his son-in-law Jerome. Like Jerome, Edmond was wounded in battle and survived. After the war, he and his new wife and children left Marquette and moved to South Dakota. In 1882, Edmond would commit suicide by drinking strychnine, apparently because he could no longer tolerate the pain from his war wounds. His daughter, Adda, would remain in Marquette with her husband, Jerome; she would die in 1891 at the young age of forty-six. Jerome and Adda would have twelve children, the tenth of whom, Jay Earle White, would be my great-grandfather.

Readers of my novels will find that in the history of my Bishop, Remington, and White ancestors are sources for some of the characters in Iron Pioneers. The Bishop family influenced the Brookfields and the Whites influenced creation of the Whitmans. Lucius Brookfield is largely based on Basil Bishop from the information I have about Basil from his letters. Lucius’ wife, Rebecca, the staunch old Methodist, however, is completely based in my imagination. Nothing has been left to tell me anything about Elizabeth Bishop’s character other than Basil’s words of praise for her after her death. Rosalia Bishop was a source for both of Lucius’ daughters, Sophia and Cordelia. Like Cordelia, Rosalia owned a boarding house, and like Sophia, Rosalia was said not always to be a pleasant woman. She does not look terribly pleasant in the one photograph surviving of her. But that statement is based on what her grandson, Jay Earle White, told his children about her and it may or may not be true. Everything about Sophia’s social-climbing aspirations is completely my imagination. The Hennings in my novels are also completely made up. I knew so little about the Remington family that other than Edmond Remington remarrying and moving away from the area, nothing is based in fact there—the Remingtons certainly were far from being as wealthy as the Hennings. In Iron Pioneers, Gerald Henning marries Sophia after his first wife Clara dies. I have had many complaints from my readers about Clara’s early death, but please note Jemima Remington died at forty, a fairly young death as well. Jacob Whitman is loosely based on Jerome White, but I borrowed from Francis Marion Bishop’s Civil War letters to create the letters in Iron Pioneers that Jerome writes home to his family.

My Marquette - Coming Christmas 2010!