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The History of EMMET COUNTY, 1884

Page 157-160

"The people were happy, industrious and were not divided into cliques or factions; everybody was friendly with everybody, and depending upon each other for amusement and entertainment, and no one felt above or better than their neighbors. Those are things that are left to older and larger villages when they begin to assume metropolitan proportions."

Dr. B. B. Sudworth came here from Kalamazoo and put up a building in which he opened a drug store which he carried on in connection with his practice. Other early physicians were Drs. Carroll, Bilker, Bisby and Hoad. The oldest physician in the village in 1884 is Dr. H. T. Calkins. There was a time at an early day when it was thought a good opening existed here for another physician. Mrs. J. A. C. Rowan was at that time correspondent for a Grand Rapids paper and in one of her letters stated that a good physician was needed in Petoskey. The ink upon the paper was scarcely dry before a medical immigration set in and continued until the village had the appearance of being the scene of a medical convention. A short time however sufficed to reduce the number to what the demands of the locality required. William M. Everett sold his business to John Shier, and started the first livery barn in the village. G. W. Bump came from Maple Hill and put up a building in which he opened a grocery store. W. T. Latham started a clothing store. C. B. Heninka started the first furniture store in the place. J. S. Coffman put up a frame building 16 x 3O feet in size and opened the first jewelry store in the place. E. Kinney opened a boot and shoe shop. I. L. Austin opened a flour and feed store. Gemmil & Kilbourn purchased the old government gristmill site and put up a saw and grist-mill. E. Foglesonger also built a saw and grist-mill; J. G. Hill came this year and was the third attorney in the place. Other business places were J. Watson & Son, groceries; H. G. Wait, hardware; A. Bunnell, groceries; A. S. Lee, real estate; A. 0. Hutchins, dining hall; L. McKinnon, restaurant; T. B. Hamilton, meat market; John McNeil, meat market; Bond & Ingalls, general store; J. M. Quick, blacksmith; J. K. Brown, eclectic phyician; Burt J. Hall, painter; G. S. Richmond, land looker; William Abbott, gunsmith; J. Counant, restaurant; A. N. McCarty, billiard room; William Allen, bakery; G. C. Ferris, blacksmith; Mr. Fix, blacksmith; W. H. Kelley, barber; Loveless Blayney, lumber dealer; N. J. Tracy and Co., real estate dealers.

During the summer Shaw & McMillan purchased a tract of land bordering on Bear Creek, and built a dam. Mr. Blayney also built a dam across the creek and built a planing-mill and factory. That building is the one now owned by Blood Bros., on the bay shore. E. Foglesonger built a saw-mill on the site of the old Ingalls mill.

The first quarterly meeting of the M. E. Church was held June 11, 1875. Services were held in Mr. Blayney's mill, and conducted by Rev. J. W. Miller, presiding elder. Mrs. J. A. Rowan furnished the organ, which was taken to the mill on a hand cart belonging to Mr. Bump. Mrs. Rowan was the first music teacher in the village.

In August, 1875, the progress of the place was summarized as follows: 118 houses, three hotels, ten stores, six saloons, one bakery, blacksmith shop, two physicians, two lawyers, two churches, three lime kilns, and one manufactory nearly ready for operation. There were three dams across the river.

The first white child born in the village was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Carter.

The first sewing society in the village was organized in the summer of 1875, with Mrs. J. B. Hutchins president.

The new school building on Howard Street was built during the fall, at a cost of about $2,000, and the first graded schools were in charge of Charles S. Hampton, now editor of the Independent at Harbor Springs. The schools were not regularly graded under the state law until some years later.

Early in 1876 the Methodist camp meeting association located at Bay View, and gave an additional impetus to the prosperity of the village.

In connection with an account of the Centennial celebration, July 4, 1876, the Democrat also contained mention of the village as follows:
“Since the railroad was finished the town has been built and now consists of more than two hundred dwelling-houses and stores, and contains a population of about seven hundred. Of the business places there are seven dealers in dry goods and groceries, two milliners, one in hardware one in drugs, one in furniture and two in meat. Of the trades, we have one tinner, one gunsmith, two jewelers, several carpenters, shoemakers and painters, and four blacksmiths. Professionals, four physicians and three lawyers. Dealers in real estate, three. In addition to this are the lime works of H. 0. Rose, three saw-mills and one planing establisbiuent. The town also contains six hotels and several saloons. We have one church and one school edifice and another church will be built next season. The place is connected with Traverse City and all intermediate points, by the steamer A. C. Van Raalte; with Little Traverse, by the steamer M. W. Wright; with Mackinaw, by the steamer Music, and the propellers of the Northern Transit Company afford direct communication with Chicago, Buffalo and all points on the lakes.

"The Methodist society last winter located the state camp meeting grounds near this place, and purchased about three hundred acres of land for their use about one mile north of town, which they have already commenced to improve. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company have extended their road to the camp grounds and the society will hold its first meeting this season."

Religious, educational and social interests received a liberal measure of attention, and we find an unusual degree of activity in promoting the welfare of each. The church was one of the first institutions planted in the new community.


THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of Petoskey has a history extending back to the Bear Creek mission, established in 1852. Soon after that the Presbyterian society was duly organized, and that society reorganized is now the First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey. In June, 1882, Rev. W. S. Potter, pastor of this church, preached a historical sermon, from which and other authorities we give the following sketch of this society.

Rev. George W. Hutchins, formerly pastor of a Congregational Church in southern Michigan, became one of the early residents of Petoskey, and preached most of the time until the fall of 1875. The first services were occasional and held at various places in the little hamlet.

In May, 1875, articles of association were adopted, and arrangements made to proceed at once to build a house of worship. May llth, the committee met and elected D. R. Joslin, chairman, H. 0. Rose, treasurer, and W. H. Kaye, secretary. It was voted that the trustees should proceed to erect a church on Lot 1, Block 3, of Shaw & McMillan's addition, which lots those gentlemen had offered to donate the society. Rev. John Redpath, who had been located at Cadillac, had come to Petoskey at the request of the proper presbyterial authorities with a view of assuming charge of the interests here. He came regularly commissioned by the Presbyterian Board of Rome Missions and directed his energies to the building of a church. He labored with tireless zeal collecting funds and directing the important enterprise of church building. During this time Rev. G. W. Hutchins acted as pastor of the society. Mr. Redpath also preached. While the church was in process of construction the congregation worshiped in various hills and other accessible places in the village. Particular mention is made of a temporary, rough board building, situated on Howard Street, immediately in the rear of the building formerly owned by Mrs. Campbell, and now occupied by Mr. Byram, as a clothing store. This rude structure has perhaps the honor of being the first Protestant Church erected in Petoskey. Worship was also held in Loveless Blayney's planing mill, in McMillan's Hall and in the depot.

The foundation of the building was begun about the lst of July, 1875. A generous interest was manifested in the enterprise by all the citizens, and money, labor and material were liberally contributed. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies August l9th.

In the fall of this year, 1875, all effort, led by Rev. G. W. Hutchins, was made to organize a Congregational Church in Petoskey. A Ministerial council was held October 28, at where it was decided that such a project was not expedient. Mr. Hutchins was commended to the sympathy of the people to the extent that they should compensate him for services already rendered.

From Rev. Mr. Potter's sketch we now quote as follows:

"Early in the winter of 1875 and 1876 the church was sufficiently advanced to admit of services being held in it. By the summer of 1876 the church was completed, with the exception of some small details, which have since been attended to.

" Wednesday, the 23d of August, 1876, was a memorable day in the calendar of our church. The presbytery of Grand Rapids met according to an appointment in the newly finished edifice, and dedicated it to the service of Almighty God.

" It seemed well, and truly a matter of thankfulness that amid the early struggles and privations of the pioneer town the cause of God had not been forgotten. It was most appropriate and blessed that the church spire should rise amid the busy surroundings of the embryo city, pointing men to the heavenly and eternal city.

" Very truly did some Petoskey correspondent of the Grand Rapids Eagle, over the initials W. A. F., say of the services of that occasion:

The solemn and appropriate dedication of their beautiful sanctuary to the true God, on the morning of Wednesday, 23d inst., together with the accompaning services of the evening, was an epoch in the history of Presbyterianism in Petoskey that will prove a greater blessing to them and their children than they can now perhaps realize.' This was a truly prophetic utterance.

The date of the dedication was also the date of the definite reorganization of the church, although practically the Bear River church had been insensibly merged into the First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey the year before. At this time the Bear River or Mission Church contained only twelve members, six whites and six Indians.

On the evening of the day of dedication, the following, persons were received into the church by letter: John Parsons, Dr. J. J. Hood, Mrs. Annie Little and Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Gale, making the whole -number seventeen.

" From this it will be seen that our present Presbyterian Church is not a now organization, but a continuation of the former Bear River Mission Church, with a change of name.

The period between the dedication of the church and the departure of Mr. Redpath in the fall of 1877 was not marked by any very important event. The church found the possession of a pleasant edifice of great advantage. It began to assume a more settled and organized condition. Its progress was assured. The ministrations of the pastor were arduous and faithful, and not without substantial results. It gives me pleasure to be able to speak with great appreciation of the work accomplished by Mr. Redpath for this church and this village. His work was of such a nature as to make itself more and more appreciated as the years go on. I may also say that to him is chiefly due the erection of no less than five church edifices in northern Michigan, at the following, places, viz.: Cadillac, Boyne Falls, Crofton, Boyne City and Petoskey.

“The importance of this branch of church work in a new country cannot be over-estimated.

“ In the autumn of 1877 Mr. Redpath felt it to be his duty to accept an offer to preach to the Presbyterian Church at Big Rapids. He now exercises efficient pastoral charge over the churches of Boyne Falls, Boyne City and Westwood.

“ In view of the departure of their pastor, the church now invited Rev. John J. Cook, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Little Traverse, and now of the Presbyterian Church of Crooked Lake, to serve them as temporary supply. Though zealous and faithful, the duties of his own field and the distance between the two churches he was serving, rendered Mr. Cook's labors very arduous and difficult. From a letter which I received before coming to Michigan, I learned that he longed for the coming of a pastor to the Petoskey church, who should relieve him of a part of his responsibilities. Mr. Cook supplied the pulpit about nine months, closing his labors here on the arrival of the present pastor, June 14, 1878."

The list of members who united prior to June, 1878, is as following: Mrs. Elizabeth Mennonaqot, Mrs. Annie E. Little (now Mrs. Thomas Kirkland), Thomas Hastings, Mrs. Thomas Hastings, James Finety, Mrs. James Finety, Robert Taylor, Mrs. Robert Taylor, Mrs. Anita E. Smith, David Hastings, Mrs. David Hastings, Miss Allie Cushman, Mrs. Alexander M. Ross, Alexander M. Ross.

On the evening of June 20, 1882, the present pastor of the church having preached to this congregation as stated supply for four years, was, in pursuance of a called extended to and accepted by him a short time previous, regularly installed as pastor of the church in accordance with the form of government of the Presbyterian Church, a committee of presbytery had made arrangements for the occasion.

The Rev. J. M. Cross, of Grand Haven, the moderator of the presbytery, presided, and presented the constitutional questions.

The Rev. Herrick Johnson, D.D., L.L.D., of Chicago, preached the sermon from II Timothy, ii, 15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly divining the word of truth."

The Rev. George Ransom, of Muir, Mich., gave the charge to the pastor, which contained much sound and appropriate advice.

The Rev. Aug. Marsh, of Cadillac, delivered the charge to the people, which was received with great favor.

The Rev. Theo. D. Marsh, synodical missionary, offered the installing prayer.

Other ministers were present, most of whom took part in the services. Among these may be mentioned Rev. John Redpath, of Boyne Falls, Rev. J. J. Cook, of Hinman, Rev. Henry Johnson, of Grand Haven, Rev. D. &. Jewell, of Ionia, and nearly all the pastors of the local churches.

REV. W. S. POTTER, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey, was born in Oneida County, N. Y., Dec. 30, 1850. His education was begun in the district school and continued at a select school, a hiah school at Verona, a seminary at Whitestown, and a four years' course at Hamilton College, graduating from the latter in 1875, at twenty-four years of age. As a student, he attained a high rank of scholarship and was valedictorian of his class both at Whitetown and Hamilton. In 1878 he graduated from the Auburn Theological Seminary, and during the course supplied theries at Knoxborough, Norwich Comers, and Throopsville. June, 1878, he came to Petoskey at the request of Dr. Henry Kendall, secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Horne Missions. June 20, 1882, he was regularly installed as pastor, having previously accepted a call extended to him. July 21, 1875, at Verona, N. Y., he married Celia E. Case, of that place. They have two children. Mr. Potter's ministry has been blessed with very gratifying results, and he has a strong hold upon the affections of the community.

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL Church also dates back to missionary efforts among the Indians. A historical sketch of the society by Charles L. Fraser is as follows:

"During the winter of 1874-'75, Rev. George W. Cole, of the Charlevoix charge of the M. E. Church, came here once in four weeks to preach to the Indians, who had a little log church, just west of our village, with a class of about a dozen Persons. On one of these occasions he preached the first sermon ever preached in Petoskey, in the old log house belonging to Lewis Petoskey, and standing where now his present residence is located.

"The following Summer Rev. J. A. Wood visited the place at intervals, preaching to, and collecting together the few scattered brethren who had left other church homes, but had as yet found none here. He organized the first class of some seven or eight members, with Benjamin Tatem (now on a homestead near Odin), for a leader. In the spring of the same year, 1875, Rev. George W. Hutchins was sent here in the interests of the Presbyterian Church and organized a Union Sabbath-school, which met in the only public house in town, a small, rouch, board shanty school-house standing just at the rear of Messrs. Shirks' new block, and in the summer following, by the request and with the assistance of certain young ladies, of whom were notably Miss Carrie Latham, now Mrs. Hibbard Ingalls, Miss Jessie Wescott, Dow Mrs. C. J. Pailthorp, Miss Lydia Ingalls, now Mrs. Thomas, Miss Cora Wight, now Mrs. 0. Watson, W. W. Bowen, now of Harbor Springs, organized a Methodist Episcopal Sabbath-scbool, which for a time met in the aforesaid school-house, and which was ever, from the beginning, full of life and growth, and formed an effective adjunct of the church. In the fall of 1875, Rev. William L. Tilden, pastor at Charlevoix, arranged to come and preach to us once in three weeks until the spring following, and then, till the end of the conference year, once in two weeks. In the fall following, 1876, Rev. Robert Bird, of the Detroit Conference, was sent here in the double capacity of pastor of the church and superintendent of the grounds of the Bay View Society then just organized.

"He erected the hotel at Bay View, and saw the foundation of this church laid during his year with us. The people at Bay View were invited here at the laying of the corner-stone, and came with the understanding that there was to be no collection taken on the ground. But when they found that the expense---$16---of bringing them here bad been met by this society, they raised the amount by collection and refunded it. At this time the church membership consisted of thirty-six members, including three probationers, most of them poor, and none even approximately wealthy. A board of stewards was organized, consisting of C. L. Fraser, Martin Kirwan, W. W. Williams, Lucy Bump, and Sarah E. Fraser, to which, not long afterward, there were added George Vanness and William Batt. Mrs. Sarah E. Fraser was made recording steward, and Mrs. Ellen Kirwan treasurer. And the first board of trustees elected was composed as follows: Christopher Couch, Charles L. Fraser, and Martin Kirwan, of the members, and George W. Bump and Charles J. Pailthorp, who were not members. The site for our church was a gift obtained largely through the instrumentality of the presiding elder, Rev. J. P. Moores, and Rev. William L. Tilden, from Messrs. John L. Shaw and Archibald McMillan.

"The foundation of the church was built six feet wider and ten feet longer than the present structure, and it had been intended by Rev. Bird to have a fine center spire at the south end; but Rev. Tilden, who followed Rev. Bird thought it impracticable to erect an edifice of so large dimensions, and had it contracted to its present dimensions and finished with a corner spire. In order to cornplete the house, it was found necessary, in addition to a gift of $100 by the Church Extension Society of our church, to borrow $200 more of that society. This debt has been paid, but another contracted at about the same time to make previously contemplated repairs, so that we may be said never to have been out of debt. We have received varied annual sums from the Mission Fund of our church, with which we have for the most part met our current expenses, though on church building and repairs, we have kept about $200 in debt, a matter it is hoped, by another year, we shall be able to blot out. After two years' service as our reaular pastor, Rev. Tilden was succeeded by Rev. W. S. Sly, who after three years' pastorship over us, was, by itinerant economy of our church, taken to another field of labor, and Rev. 0. B. Whitmore, our present pastor, sent to us."

The Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic societies occupied the ground until about 1879. Early this year the Evangelical Association and United Brethren organized and held services in the schoolhouse. W. F. Sanders was pastor of the former and D. P. Dorrance of the latter. The German Methodists organized and built a church in 1881. The Evangelical Association also built a church.

An Episcopal Society was formed in 1880 and named the St. Barnabas Mission.

The First Baptist Church was started in May, 1881, and its full organization completed the folLowing August, with nine members. Meetings are held in Mitchell Hall, no house of worship having yet been built. The pastors have been Rev.T. S. Parmalee and L. J. Trumbull. There are now about twenty-six members.

The Roman Catholic Church of Bear Creek was an early missionary station and is mentioned in the early history. The weatherbeaten house which was their original place of worship is still standing on the south shore of the bay. The small enclosure attached is their burial place, and the paper flowers and gay streamers that adorn the rude crosses, attest the softening influences of Christianity. The present church building was erected in 1880, and eolise crated on Christmas Day by Rev. Father Zorn, of Harbor Springs. In July, 1881, a congregation was established with Rev. Graf as resident priest. There are about one hundred and fifty families in the congregation. In January, 1882, a school was opened that is in charge of Philip Schmitt.


In the early days of the village a sign-board was erected over the old trail running through the railroad park, and where the Arlington Hotel now stands. Upon the board was an inscription as follows: "Marquette Avenue. Originally a trail between Detroit, Grand Traverse and Mackinac, traveled by hundreds of Indians, and over 200 years ago by Father Marquette, the famous missionary and explorer." The trail was distinctly visible for some distance, and there are numerous persons through this section of the country who have traveled the trail, and in many places its course is marked by a narrow, deep depression caused by the passage of hundreds and thousands of feet it is hardly probable, however, that the feet of Marquette ever pressed this trail. The romantic interest of tradition is heightened by supposing that such was the case, at the same time such an admission would conflict with more reliable History. Many of these traditions, like relies from the Holy Land, have to be continually manufactured to supply the demand. If Marquette had traveled all the devious ways that tradition has led him, and been buried in the numberless graves over which admiring posterity has wept, be would have needed to possess the quality of ubiquity both in life and death.


July 4, 1876, the national anniversary was observed for the first time by a general celebration Petoskey. An elaborate programme was prepared and successfully carried through to its end. H. 0. Rose was president of the day. Rozelle Rose read the Declaration of Independence, and addresses were delivered by C. J. Pailthorp, D. R. Joslin, and John G. Hill. Toasts were responded to by Thomas Butler, R. P. Thurber, and Rev. Mr. Brockway, of Albion, and C. L. Fraser gave a history of Emmet County. The village of Petoskey, at that time, was only a hamlet, and Emmet County had but just entered upon its career of progress and development. The full programme of exercises for the occasion published at the time was as follows:

In commemoration of the 100th birthday of our glorious nation, and to do honor to the memory of those who struck for liberty and right, and founded this great republic, and to those who hazarded their lives and fortunes to maintain it, with one impulse of national pride and feeling we will come together to celebrate the day that gave us birth and placed us in the rank of national greatness.

Officers of the Day: H. 0. Rose, president; A. McMillan, vice-president; C. B. Henika, marshal; D. R. Sherman and L. J. Ingalls, aids; Rev. John Redpath, chaplain.

Committee on Arrangements: H. G. Wait, R. Rose, C. L. Fraser, Dr. B. B. Sudworth, A. S. Lee.

Committee on Toasts: D. R. Joslin, J. G. Hill, Thomas Quinlan.


Firing salute at sunrise.

Raising of liberty pole at 8 A. M.

Procession formed at 10 A. M. under the direction of the marshal-soldiers and sailors of the late war at the head of the prccession-and mareli to the grave at the foot of Lake Street.

Called to order by the president.

Prayer by the chaplain.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence by B. Rose.

National air by the choir.

Oration by C. J. Pailthorp.

Music by the band.

Basket picnic.

Toasts and responses by D. R. Joslin and others.


Reading of the history of the county by C. L. Fraser.

Music and salutes.

Address to the soldiers and sailors of the late war by J. G. Hill.

Centennial dance on the green.


April 30, 1875, the first number of the Emmet County Democrat was issued by Rozelle Rose, the pioneer editor and publisher in the county. Some of the difficulties attending the work of publishing a newspaper at that time were mentioned by Mr. Rose in his columns at the expiration of the first six months, as follows: " Few know the difficulties we were obliged to undergo in order to get established two months prior to July. When we first came to Petoskey with our outfit, we were unable to procure a room suitable for our business, but through the courtesy of Mr. A. U. Dickerson, who kindly allowed us to go into his store, which was neither lathed nor plastered and without a front; in order to fix that we boarded it as far as we could without making it too dark, and went at work with a determination to succeed. When our fingers got so cold we could stand it no longer, we would slap them together and start the blood in circulation again." The paper was a six-column folio when started but at the end of six months was increased to a seven-column folio. The Democrat was published a few months in the Dickerson store and then the office was removed to a little building 16 x l8 feet in size, which stood just south of Mr. Rose's present residence, at the corner of Mitchell and Petoskey Streets. The same building is now performing the humble duties of a wood-house, at the rear of Mr. Rose's house. He occupied that building for some time, and then removed to the main street.

MR. ROSE was born in the town of Pike, Wyoming County, N. Y., in the year 1817. After beginning active life for himself he engaged in farming. In 1869 he was obliged to seek a chance of occupation and climate, on account of his health, and for that purpose removed to Michigan, and settled in Plainwell, Allegan County. At that place he was engaged in the drug and insurance business, and afterward was connected with the newspaper at that place. In 1875 he removed to Petoskey and started the first newspaper published in the county, as already stated.

The first money he received in his business here was from the late Dr. Little, and the first job of printing was a quantity of envelopes for James M. Burbeck, of Harbor Springs.

The Democrat has been, as its name indicates, Democratic in politics, and has been diligent in promoting the interests of the village and county in which it is published.

The Petoskey City Record owes its origin mainly to James Buckley, now a hardware merchant in the village of Petoskey. In the summer of 1878, Mr. Brickley associated with him George A. Mosher, a practical printer, and June 20th issued the first number of the Petoskey City Record a seven-column folio paper, bearing the practical motto, " For your good and our profit. " 'The paper from its start presented a neat appearanace, and was highly creditable as a journalistic enterprise. The first, of Jauary 1879, Mr. Brickley withdrew to engage in other business, and Mosher & Gibson became proprietors, in the summer of 1879 the paper was enlarged to an eight-column folio. Mr. Gibson remained in the business but a short time, and was succeeded by Frank M. Pray. In December, 1880, Mr. Pray withdrew and Mr. Mosher continued the business alone a few weeks. In January, 1881, C. E. McManus purchased all interest and the firm became Mosher & McManus.

In September, 1881, F. S. Freeman succeeded Mr. McManus. Mr. Mosher remained until November, 1882, when he withdrew from the paper. Mr. Freeman published the paper until April, 1883, when he sold the office to Capt. J. C. Bontecon, the present editor and proprietor. The Record is now a seven-column quarto, and has dropped the word " City " from its head line. It is a Republican newspaper, and is conducted with marked ability and enterprise.

Capt. J. C. Bontecon was born at Bristol, Rhode Island, in the year 1838. In April, 1801, he enlisted as private in Company G, Second Kentucky Infantry. Was promoted to second lieutenant, then first lieutenant, and in the fall of 1862 was commissioned captain of the Second Ohio Regiment. About that time he was captured and remained prisoner about eight months. In the fall of 1863 he resigned, but soon afterward re-enlisted in the Tenth Ohio Independent Battery, and remained in the service until August, 1865. In 1870 he came to Michigan and from 1877 to 1883 was actively engaged in temperance work, first in Iowa and Illinois, and afterward in Michigan, as chairman of the State Red Ribbon Committee, and agent of the State Temperance Alliance. In April, 1883, he became editor and proprietor of the Petoskey Record, as already stated.

To be continued.....

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