Mobilizing For War – April 1917

     With America’s entry into World War I in April of 1917, the citizens of Schoolcraft County rallied to support the war effort and President Woodrow Wilson’s call for troops. By Sunday morning, May 6, 1917, the first large contingent of young men left Manistique for Camp Custer. They had enlisted in the 33rd Michigan Infantry, a National Guard unit which was later federalized and became part of Company M of the 125th United States Infantry.

     Carl Thorborg of Manistique reported on the send-off of the troops for the Sault Evening News. “A parade was formed at the corner of Cedar and Walnut Streets which was led by the Home Guard, followed by the W.O.W [Woodsmen of the World], Knights of Pythias, Elks, citizens and the volunteers under the command of Percy Patterson, who arrived for that purpose Saturday night.” Music was provided by the Woodsmen of the World band and the Manistique band.  American flags seemed to be waving everywhere.


Sheriff John McCanna – (1882-1885)

John McCanna, Sheriff of Schoolcraft County (1882-1885).
Photo Courtesy of Sue Cucchiarella.

        The early history of law enforcement in Schoolcraft County is closely tied to the McCanna family. The family patriarch, Henry McCanna was born in 1822 in county Donegal, Ireland. McCanna immigrated first to Canada before settling in the Vermont/New York area in the mid 1840s.  Henry married Nancy (Anna) O’Kane in 1845 in Sandy Hill, New York. Ten children were born to this union, eight of whom survived into adulthood.


Will Montgomery and the “Sunday Sun”

William F. Montgomery, Editor of the “Sunday Sun” Photo courtesy of Susan Cucchiarella

William F. Montgomery, Editor of the “Sunday Sun”
Photo courtesy of Susan Cucchiarella

           During the late 1880’s Will Momtgomery and the Sunday Sun, provided an alternative newspaper voice to that of the more established Semi-Weekly Pioneer. The spirited newspaper rivalry between the Sun and the Pioneer lasted just four years, but was one of the strangest ever recorded.

           Will Montgomery was born on August 31, 1857 in Kokomo, Indiana—the eldest of four children born to Seymour and Elizabeth Montgomery.  Montgomery’s father was a respected newspaper editor in Mishawaka, Indiana. By age 11, Will had joined his father’s business as a typesetter at the Mishawaka Enterprise.