The Negaunee Historical Society
303 East Main Street (P.O. Box 221)
Negaunee, MI 49866 (906-475-4614)
December 2017 NEWSLETTER
Editor: Roland Koski (

FROM THE PRESIDENT, Virginia Paulson

“Our museum recently had the opportunity to have a new roof put on the building, an exterior paint job, new floor coverings and a new back porch. This large of a project could not have been accomplished if it wasn’t for the generosity of our members. At this time, the board of trustees would like to pay tribute to William Pentinmaki of Pennsylvania and a former Negaunee resident and to Barbara Lehtonen, Negaunee and Clinton Township, who recently passed away. Other projects have been done to improve the building and the services of those people have been donated and also much appreciated. We are thankful for the community support of our local museum”. (Note: Copied from Virginia’s editorial page letter in the Marquette Mining Journal)

Two more names that should be added to the School Superintendents from the last newsletter are Thomas Lequia (1955 – St. Paul) and Michael Loy (1973) Mid Peninsula Schools

In 1917, the United States declared war on Germany; Finland gained its independence; Alice Paul began a 7-month jail sentence for protesting women’s rights; Buffalo Bill Cody died; Ernest Borgnine, the actor, was born. He played roles in “Marty” and “Dirty Dozen”; Telephone Company advertised for Army operators and received 7,000 applicants; Chicago White Sox beat the NY Giants 4 games to 2 in the 14th World Series; and a Lifetime Member of our Historical Society was born – LUCILLE METHOD. Lucille turned 100 years old on October 29, 1917 and her family honored her with a fine celebration.

“Happy Birthday Lucille from the Historical Society”


(Since our June newsletter)

Betty Lukkarinen – monetary gift
Negaunee Lady Elks – monetary gift
Sarah Maitland Bosken – monetary gift
Negaunee Elks PER Club – monetary gift
Alice “Cookie” Johnson – 2 military uniforms
Jacob Figgins– slag samples they found hiking
Preston Koski- mowing the museum lawn this year
Darin Rinehart– keeping our Website up-to-date this year
Joseph Method – monetary gift in memory of Suzanne Morris
All members – for their time and dedication preserving history
Ron Anderson family of Salt Lake City, Utah – letter and monetary gift
Virginia Paulson – monetary gift in honor of Lucille Method’s 100th birthday
Don Palomaki – mule collar and several antique items and his Korean War military uniform

(Note: If your name was omitted from this list, please notify the museum so we can acknowledge your kindness)


The Historical Society held its 33rd annual meeting on Tuesday, December 5th in the Fellowship Hall at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. Donna Bjork, Dave Dompierre Sr, Virginia Paulson and Jeanne Sandstrom were re-elected to three-year terms as trustees. After the annual meeting, the governing board elected its Board of Directors for 2018 and the following members accepted the following appointments:
Virginia Paulson……........……President
Art Gischia………….……. Vice-President
Donna Gravedoni-Bjork…...…Secretary
Roland Koski……………………. Treasurer

(Deaths reported to the Society since our December 2016 newsletter)

Betty Lukkarinen – monetary gift
Edna Thomas Butner – 13DEC2016
Clarence R Thomas – 19JAN2017
Joan Ericson – 21JAN2017
Suzanne Morris – 22JAN2017
Marjorie Staples – 6FEB2017
Jean Nelson – 25APR2017
Ron Isaacson – 11JUN2017


On January 2, 1948, Tom and John Pellow purchased the “Negaunee Iron Herald” from Mary Dougherty and Thomas Flynn. The weekly paper was published for 17 more years with the last issue printed on August 15, 1968. The first copy of the paper was printed on November 15, 1873. (Note: CD’s of the Iron Herald are available at the museum)

Excerpts from the “Negaunee Iron Herald” December 1967

Bank robbers are supposedly seen in action in the movies but not in this real robbery attempt in Negaunee just before Christmas 1967. It happened at the US-41 Drive-in Bank (now the Range Bank) and the three men (from Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin) were captured in Niagara, WI 36 hours later. Two men entered the back entrance with a shotgun and wearing masks. The lone bank teller, Susan Dowrick, was told to fill the bag, which amounted to an estimated $7,000.00, and to lie on the floor for 15 minutes. She got up immediately after they left the bank but she couldn’t see anyone outside because of darkness. She locked up the bank, drove to the police station, and described her ordeal of the robbery. Roadblocks were set up until late that night but the robbers had temporarily escaped capture.

However, things got a little interesting. The Tresedder brothers, William (19) and Edward (14), were snowmobile riding in the area at the time. They experienced steering troubles on their machine and had to walk to their home at 605 Croix Street to get a jeep and trailer to haul the snowmobile. On their way back, the boys were stopped by city police because of a burnt out tail light. They were then questioned if they had seen any vehicles in the area. The boys reported that they saw a pick-up truck parked on Sunset Drive and gave the police a description and color.

Another missing piece to this bungled robbery came into play. Warren Luoma, who was the operator of Wayside Motors in south Ishpeming, heard the news report on radio. The description of the truck resembled the vehicle of three suspects who stopped in his business to purchase a snowmobile but had no money. The suspects also were fitted for winter clothing. When told that the bank would close shortly, one of the robbers replied “I can get a late withdrawal”. One of the robbers gave Luoma his Niagara, WI address for a warranty certificate.

Finally, the puzzle was completed and the bank robbers were apprehended in Niagara, WI. The Negaunee City police found the jackets worn by the robbers, the shotgun and the stocking masks in an empty ore car parked on a railroad siding in back of the bank building. None of the robbers could pay their $15,000 bond and were held in the Brown County jail in Wisconsin awaiting Federal charges.

“SPIRIT OF 1917”

The Class of 1919 presented a bronze memorial in honor of those graduates of the Negaunee High School who served in the World War. The memorial is 61 ½ x 46 ½ inches in size. It was designed to commemorate the call to arms of the American people in 1917, “that government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the earth”. In the tablet can be seen a Red Cross nurse, a boy in khaki and a boy marching to war headed by the Spirit of Liberty. One side has a blacksmith representing the people who stayed home to work. This memorial can be seen at the Historical Museum.

Excerpts from the “Negaunee Iron Herald” April 1902

Fortune followed by sadness occurred to the family of John P. Mitchell from a land sale worth $1,500,000.00 on property purchased by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in April 1902. Elation of the good fortunes soon grew to sadness as the wife of Mr. Mitchell passed away in Detroit during this sale. John P. Mitchell was a large property owner in Negaunee but the land was not developed when he died in 1885. He had always believed that one day his property would be valuable and so it was proven with the estate owning one-third of the mine. His wife and daughter would become large benefactors with five others also getting equal shares. However, the sudden death of John’s second wife (Lucy) on April 7th in Detroit marred the celebration of the Mitchell fortunes.

Excerpts from the “Negaunee Iron Herald” July 1902

Fortune also came about for the Maas family in 1902. In almost the identical situation as the Mitchell family riches, the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company received a 50-year lease on mining land from Mrs. John B. Maas for $1,500,000.00 also. The benefactors of this largest bonus ever known in the history of the Lake Superior district were Angeline (Zeien) Maas and her nephew, George Lonstorf. They held all except 1/27th of the land in this deal. The two shared the distinction of reaping great wealth from the land of which cost her husband and Lonstorf’s father $15,000.00 in 1880. This lease insured to the heirs an income of $90,000 a year in addition to the bonus until 1952.


We have a picture from 1952 at the museum taken from Teal Lake Bluff that shows East Arch Street and Mitchell Avenue with LaCombe Field in the background. Al Baynton and his son Ian became Historical Society members this past year and were interested in looking at the history of Negaunee. Al mentioned that his brother takes pictures with a drone. He was so kind to have his brother use his drone to capture a picture that shows LaCombe Field today. We now have an updated picture from approximately the same angle. Thank you for the video, Al.

“Excerpts taken from a 1980’s article written by Joseph’s brother, Emory”

Joseph Sedlak was born April 9, 1885 Hungary and immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. One of the intriguing aspects of his trip was the fact that he entered the U.S. on a false passport, one that was issued to another young man who changed his mind about coming to America. In 1905, he moved to Negaunee and began learning government and the English language. It was a proud day for him when he became a U.S. citizen, and at this time he legally changed his name to Sedlock. A short time after his arrival, he married Mary Eiseman born in Negaunee. They resided at 311 E. Peck Street in a home that had been built by Mary's grandfather and which was one of the first houses built on that street. The Sedlock's raised and educated a family of eight children.

Joe worked at various jobs in the area mines and became proficient in the operation of the steam engine. Typical of that era, mining jobs were seasonal, and being interested in steady work, he accepted a janitorial
position with the Negaunee Public Schools in 1916, a job that he held until retirement in 1950. During the next 35 years, he became acquainted with almost every student who attended Negaunee's schools. He was highly recognized by the teaching staff and school officials for his exceptional janitorial and maintenance skills and also for his commitment to good education. He had a personal interest in both students and teachers.

Joe was an accomplished self-taught musician. One of his fondest dreams was realized in 1914, when he received a Diploma in Harmony from a conservatory of music in Chicago, IL. It was a course that he pursued by correspondence for over two years and he graduated with straight A's. The school was so impressed by his talents that they offered him a scholarship to come to Chicago for further studies. He declined after deciding not to give up his family and job at that point in time. In 1924, Joe and Charles Steele received a government patent for inventing a "hangar" for saxophones to eliminate the harmful condensation that caused deterioration to the instruments.

Joe was a charter member of the Negaunee City Band and played with the organization for 60 years before his retirement in 1966. During the latter years of his membership, he was the recognized historian of the organization and compiled a history of the band. Besides his work with the city band, Joe also played with several local dance bands, including the "Jake" Anderson Orchestra, a popular band at the time. It was common for Joe to come home from work, eat his supper, clean up, and start off with his instruments, saxophone and clarinet, for an evening engagement. He also gave music lessons, attracting students as far away as Munising. Joe was an avid gardener, self-taught landscape artist and nature lover. Evidence of his work still exists at Negaunee High School, Lakeview School and the athletic field. Many home owners consulted Joe about their landscape problems and kept him busy in his spare time explaining the "how-to's" of planting and tree-trimming. He was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church and active in choir activities for many years. Joseph Sedlock Sr. died on December 18, 1980 at the age of 95.


Doing a little bit of reading and researching the “Negaunee Iron Herald”, I’ve discovered that Negaunee had an original City Hall that was moved across town to become a large home. Evidently, this was the first move toward the prosperity of the city. As Negaunee became a village in the fall of 1865, a town hall with jail was supposedly built at a cost of $10,000. In 1890, a second City Hall was built and the original one was sold and moved to Clark Street. Adam Zeien bought the building and then sold it to Joseph Ikkela in 1909. The Ikkela home was located next door to the Elliott home on 116 W. Clark Street but the building has since been razed. Dates regarding the 1890 relocation are listed in Bob Dobson’s “Iron Herald Notes” and shown here.



When old-timers were not really old-timers – how times have changed in life!!! Reading the article included with the above picture, the Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament had a separate division for the old-timers – ages 35 and older. My memories of this also pertained to softball when the old-timers team also was for those 35 and older. I still remember the “Dewey Hanson Tournament” with the old-timers always putting a team together. Were they old?

Ron “Jethro” Collins and Duane “Bula” Stille organized the old-timers softball fast pitch team in Negaunee in 1998 and guess what age you have to be to play? “62”. Now, we have players reaching 80 plus and are participating. Marquette and Gwinn also have teams and we try to play home-and-home with each of them. We might not be able to run, nor throw, nor catch, but we know how to have fun. Are we old???

The ONLY old-timers in the picture above might have been “Booner” Price, “Boosta” Stanaway and Dave Stromquist (I have your name correct, Dave). The rest of the players still looked like “hotshots”. What will happen ten to twenty years from now? Will you have to be at least 70 to meet the qualifications to participate? Are we going to be playing when we are nearing 90? Will we ever get old??

(Quote from Ed Holmgren – WJPD Sports broadcaster after each game)


Kneeling: Edna Pynnonen - (Mrs. Ted Kirkpatrick, Sr)
Sitting: Alice Jennings - (Mrs. Ralph Warner),
Mary Lafkas - (Mrs. P William Berg)
Martha Prusi - (Mrs. Charles Alto)
Standing: Annabelle Rule - (Mrs. Bill Richards)
Elaine Hill - (Mrs. Peter Juidici)
Beverly Johnson - (Mrs. Bill Jennings)

Thanks to Mary Zavitz of Battle Creek, MI for this picture of the Class of 1947 girls capturing the Negaunee High School student basketball championship



2017 MEMBERSHIPS - 111

Did you forget to renew your membership this year?

You can still renew for 2017 and also continue being a member for 2018 at the regular one-year price shown below. The museum displays are being continually updated and improved for our visitors. Thank you for all the past memberships, donations, gifts, grants and to all of our volunteers. Ask a family member or friend to become a member.