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Biographical Papers Letter B

(2 Pages)

Joseph Bailly

(Joseph Aubert de Gaspe Bailly de Messein)


Born 1774 at Quebec (prominent French family)

Went to Mackinac "at an early age"

First wife - daughter of an Indian chief - children. Separated by mutual consent - date not clear.

Second wife - Marie LeFevre - born 1873 - Father French merchant, mother Ottawa. She had married Ottawa medicine man delaVagne - bought her freedom from him. Daughter Agatha married Edward Biddle in 1819.

By 1800 his trading operations were on Grand, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, & St. Joseph rivers.

In this area he was associated with John Kinzie ( In____ Massacre 1812)1 By 1805 extended to Kankakee River.

1810 - met second wife.

1812 - he was British Citizen until after the war.

1816 - law passed to trade with Indians, must be Am. citz.

1822 - moved to Calumet region, the only settlers in the region until 1833.

Made a translation of the entire New Testament in Potowatomi. Had library of 300 volumes - mostly French & English classics.

1835 - died

1866 - widow died at Calumet house.


Father Frederic Baraga


Born June 29, 1797

1830 - landed N.Y.

1831 - 1833 Arbre Croche2

1832 - first Mass on the Island.

May 11, 1832 - baptized 22 Indians on B.I.3 He was on the Island in 1859, for he baptized three

babies - Manus Bonner.

This is when he must have baptized the 3 children:

Frank McCauley, born '58

Ellen O'Donnell, born '58

Manus Bonner, born '59

1832 - published prayer book & catechism in Ottawa

1833 - 1835 - Grand River

1835 - 1843 - La Pointe

1843 - 1853 - L'Anse

1843-1855 - prepared dictionary (1852) of grammar of Chippewa à 1849

1853-1868 - Diocese of Marquette

Nov. 1, 1853 - consecrated Bishop in ___.4

Oct. 6, 1857 - "ordained Rev. Patrick Bernard Murray," p. 289 V

1857 - on Beaver; Father Murray stationed here (in letter dated Sept.).

1860 - Bishop Baraga established a permanent parish & assigned Rev. Patrick Murray

1863 - he wrote Leopoldine5 Soc. that I've had 15 priests "we suffer from the want of priests."

1866 - Father Murray left for Alpena. Father Peter Gallagher came.

Jan 19, 1868 - died in Marquette (age 71).

"Holy Cross Parish" says Bishop Baraga's last visit was in the summer of 1864 but Lawrence notes that Hannah Big Owen "sewed a button on his shirt on his last visit in 1866." She had come from Ireland to the Island that same year.

John Black Bonner brought Bishop Baraga on his last trip to the Island in the " Rutland." Pat does not give a date.

The census of 1850 shows, on Mackinac Is.- "Ignas Mrak 40 R C Priest, Austria;" he is living alone. Was he a Leopoldine?

Also - in s[e]parate homes, alone-"Francis Perez (?) R. C. Munster, Austria.


(Leopoldine Foundation: established by the Emperor Francis I & named for his dead daughter, who had been Empress of Brazil.)


Prayer Book in both Ottawa & Chippewa6

"Sermon Book" - abstracts from Old and New Testaments

"Life of Jesus Christ"

"Eternal Truths"

also- in German- "The History, Character, Life & Manner of the North American Indian" (translated into French)

His letters to the Leopoldine Society were widely published in a number of languages & attracted many to the mission field. From his native Slovenia alone came more than 20.

During night attack on his cabin at Grand River he vowed to abstain from alcoholic drink for the rest of his life.

July 29, 1853 - Upper Pen. Made Vicariate Apostolic. Upper part of Lower Pen. added Baraga consecrated its Bishop in the Metropolitan Church of Cincinnati of feast of All Saints 1853 - he went immediately to Europe to raise money & came back with some priests and clerics & reach Sault St. Marie (the seat of the vicariage) late in August 1854.

Jan. 9, 1857 Vicariate raised to a diocese - Baraga 1 st resident. "In his anxiety for the welfare of the diocese he ordained some who were not fully prepared" - from the "Apostle to the Chippewas," by Joseph Gregorick, p. 86.7

"He lamented "the past saddens me, the present torments me, the future haunts me,'" Ibid., p. 86 from Baraga's Journal

Oct. 27, 1866 - seat of diocese moved to Marquette; Baraga got there in May.

"Often he would say 'I am essentially an Indian Missionary.'" Ibid., p. 95.

Oct. 7, 1866 - Baltimore for Second Plenary Council. Oct. 10 th had a stroke. "Spoke with difficulty & only able to walk a few paces in his room. Ibid., p. 97

Jan. 19, 1868 (Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus) he died - Buried in the Cathedral at Marquette. "At his death, a well established diocese, more than 20 priests & a number of churches." Ibid., p. 100


1832 - 1 st visit May 11; baptized 22. Returned at the end of May - baptized 6 more. In the fall returned - baptized 15.

1833 - spring - baptized 3 (in May)

Finally gains consent of pagans to build church in woods away from village.

Summer - made last visit before leaving Arbre Croche; most Indians gone to Canada for gifts. Had not completed church because of hatred of pagans. Advised Christiana to move to Arbre Croche & in report of his missions-B.I.: 55 Christians.


Father Frederic Baraga

(card #2)

First parish 1824-1828, St. Martin

"The great zeal of Father B met with the disapproval of his colleagues." His "envious colleagues accused him to his Bishop who removed him from St. Martin and sent him to Medli____________"8


Medli________, 1828-1830

"One of his first cares was to procure a beautiful set of Stations of the Cross"

Leopoldine society formed 1829 - he told his Bishop of his desire to go to the Indians & applied to the society. On Nov. 4 1829 wrote his sister his application had been granted.

"The Parish priest had long entertained a great dislike to F. Baraga on account of the latter's great popularity." "Father Frederic" he said, "you have wanted to make yourself important by getting things for our churches. All are not yet paid for. Who is to pay for these when you are gone?" F. Baraga gave him his cloak to pay the debts. The priest hastily withdrew because the people were highly incensed. He did not take the cloak. The debts were paid by his sister & donations from pious people.

He was the first candidate of the Leo. Soc. for the Indian mission.

Baptized by Baraga in 1859: Nora McCauley (Dan's); Joe Burke; Manus Bonner.


In Baraga two parishes, St. Martin's & M______. He soon had trouble with his superiors. The official policy of the Bishop was tainted with Jansenism,9 a heresy, which B. combated among the parishioners with success. His admiring biographer claims this success aroused intense jealousy among the other local priests. He was removed from St. Martin in disgrace. In M______, the pattern was repeated. Then see his experience at Grand River.

Where he worked alone far from his superiors, as in the Indian mission field, he was loved, almost adored, by those to whom he ministered & who were in no position to question his authority. Again, as Bishop, when he was the superior & he was geographically far from higher authority, his success was great; but whenever he was in the position having to work with co-equals he got into controversy & trouble.

Note the fact that Lyman Beecher's tract A Plea for the West10 appeared in Cincinnati in 1835. See p. 22 in Am. to which they came .11

(decide where to put paragraphs pp5 22-24)

In his missionary works he placed emphasis on pictures & other church articles for the adornment of the churches founded (Sta. of the Cross for B.I.)

In Feb. 1835 Father Andrew Viszoszky replaced him at Grand River (he had run afoul of the Indian Agent & Baptist Missionary there). He spent the rest of the winter in a French mission near Detroit (white, not Indian).


La Pointe - arrived July 27 th 1835. Left Detroit 8 th of June. Went by steamer to Mack. Is. Went by trading vessel from the Soo12 to La Pointe (18 days, probably a sail boat - he called it a "Trading Vessel").


Thomas Bedford

Married (June 8 th, 1853) Joan (or Ruth Ann) Millar; she was in Charl13 by 1884 (see notes from newspaper)

Sister of Tip Millar14



Edwin - who was assistant keeper at the Head with Tip Millar - there in 1874 ("B.I Girls")

Harrison - married Minnie Cooper who was lost on the "Champlain"15

Was it Edwin or a brother that I knew as owner of the "Fountain City House"? It was Harrison.

Thomas is the one who shot Strang.16

In the land records:

Dec. 14, '64 by tax deed - Auditor General to Thomas Bedford, Lot 5 Sec 15 T37 R10.

June 2, '64 - this same lot Thomas Bedford to Joseph Evans. This is the Lake Genesareth,

Cable's Bay area.


He and David Brown were partners in a fishing business. Bedford & Mrs. Brown were caught in adultery by Brown who horse whipped him. He encouraged Mrs. Bedford to refuse to wear the prescribed [Mormon] dress. - K. of St. J., p. 167 & 68


1865 - a land transfer from Ruth Ann Bedford to Luke Lambert in S3, T38-R10

1864 - Thomas Bedford sold Lot #5 Sec 15 T37 R10 to Joseph D. Evans (on Cable Bay).

Feb. ? 1865 - Ruth Ann Bedford to Luke Lambert, NW 4NE 4 Sec 3-38-10. This was classified as

swampland in 1854. This is not the first record I have of it since so I don't know how Mrs. Bedford got it. It is where Salty's house is on the Kgs.17 Hwy.


1860 Census:

Thos. Bedford 45 farmer born England

Ruth A. Bedford 25 ---------- born Canada

Edwin 5 ---------- born Mich.

Julia 4 ------------ born Mich.

Harrison 2 ----------- born Mich.

Helen Dumphry

(Humphry?) 22 domestic born Ire18

John Boyle 23 laborer born Ire.

Nathan Spenser 37 laborer born N.Y.


Harrison [above, was] named for Ruth's brother Harrison Muller. Harrison married. His wife Minnie Cooper was lost in the "Champlain" disaster. He & she kept the Fountain City House.


Mrs. House:

Tom was wanted in Texas, probably for cattle rustling. One relative told Mrs. House that he did not want to know about this - "The more you dig into a manure pile, the more it stinks." Julia Ann was probably a second wife (note 20 yrs. difference in age & see card on Miller family). He is in the '60 census, but not in the '70 & '80, where Ruth Ann is the head of the house. In '80 she is still on B.I. & listed as a widow.


Family tradition says Tom deserted the family & went to Chicago, later returning to Michigan where he was with the Field family.

She had moved to Charlevoix by July, 1884 (see notes from Charlevoix newspaper).



_____ Belfy

Married Alice Johnson



Edna Mae (McCann)



Merrill W. Belfy Coast Guard Art. WW II


Wife and mother Alice,



Bennet [Family]

"A great effort was made to produce the impression that these Bennetts were substantial farmers, & respectable & liberal minded men. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were escaped felons from Ireland, who kept beyond the bounds of civilization to avoid the extradition laws. They had been some time in Mackinac, where they were noted for thieving propensities & the place becoming too warm for them, had taken up their abode at B.I. Thomas took an Indian wife, & lived with her until the expense of supporting the children was more than the value of her work, when he turned her off late in the fall, to provide for herself. On her way to her father's at the Traverse she was overtaken by a storm & perished with all her children.20

Ibid., p. 61, "there were upwards of 70 fishermen within 3/4 of a mile."


Thomas Bennett

Brother of Sam. This is the one who was killed. When they first came to B.I. they boarded with the Whitneys on Luneys Point. Then they built a house on Luney's Pt. They put in crops and fished. One Mormon map corroborates this.

Thomas was married. They moved to the gentile settlement at Cable's Bay. Shortly after that, Mrs. Thos. Bennett and their 3 children were lost on their way to Cross Village.

After Thomas was killed, the Mormons put the body in Bennett's own boat along with all the fish the brothers had and taking Sam with them, took them to the harbor where Dr. McCulloch dressed the wound in Sam's hand and performed an autopsy. The time was the spring of 1851. For an account of the killing see K. of St. James, p. 126, & Child of Sea, p. 93.21


See card on Sale of Land, for Strang's claim as to how they got their land.


Sam Bennett

Brother of Thomas who was killed. He was wounded in the hand at the same time. (See Thomas Bennett ['s card] for details.) He married a Miss Sullivan from Detroit.


Anthony Benyon(?)

In the 1860 census is a listing so illegible I couldn't make it out but it looked more like the above than anything else:

Anthony Benyon (?) 22 laborer born in France

Clamos (?) Benyon 21 (female) born in France

Chas. Benyon 17 born in France

Patrick Boyle 29 born in Ire.


Clarence B. Bissell

Clarence B. Bissell - [born] Connecticut; cook, laborer (second registration)

Cooked in lumber camps & on sailing vessels. Once stopped at B.I. in a storm; he liked the looks and sent for Rosie Stevens. Wrote and told the Bennetts about B.I. (Rosie was Geo. Stevens sister).


Married Rose Stevens - N.Y.


Vernon, Nov. 14, 1896 (birth record)

Charles Henry, Nov. 14, 1896

Vernon & Charles Henry - are they the same? Twins?


He liked the chance to fish and buy land cheap. "My Uncle Clarence and Aunt Rose ended up in Charlevoix in their '90s". (Albert Stevens)


In 1915 Mr. Bissell came to the apartment we were in at Paddy Mary Ellen's and tried to sell their place to Dad.


They were still at the Point when Viola & Johnny Quinlan were married, probably 1924 or '25.


William Black

1820 -

Wife, Anna, 1822 -


1860 census:

Wm. Black 40 farmer & fisherman born Scotland

Anna Black 38 born Scotland

Wm. Black 15 born Scotland

Jane Black 10 born Scotland

Henry Black 5 born Canada

Albert Black 3 born Canada

Bill Black 1 born Mich.


Capt. Boardman



"In 1847 Capt. Boardman, a thrifty farmer living near Napierville, Ill., purchased of the U.S. Gov. a small tract of land at the mouth of the river (Traverse City) & furnished means to his son, Horace Boardman, to build a saw mill. The latter, with 2 or 3 men in his employ, arrived at the river in the early part of June of that year, & immediately commenced the construction of a dwelling. . .

On the 20 th of June, a week or more after Mr. Boardman's arrival, the "Lady of the Lake," owned by him and sailed by Michael Gay, one of his employees, arrived at the mouth of the river with supplies."

The boat was old (therefore bought cheaply) & rotten & unsafe in a storm.

"It had been Mr. Boardman's intention to throw a dam across the Boardman River, at some point not far below the lake & build a saw mill on that stream . . . After a more thorough exploration however he modified his plan . . . He built on Mill Creek with the intention of building a larger & more permanent structure on the Boardman. The smaller mill would make planks & timbers for the larger. About the 1 st of October (1847) the mill was running. In 1851 Boardman sold the property to Hannah Lay22 & Co. - the sawmill, the other cheap buildings & about 200A23 of land (on which Traverse City grew) for $4,500.

(His.Grand Trav. Region,24 p. 55-56)


Daniel J. Bonner

Stone - Daniel J. Bonner 1872-1944

This is the right age to be the Dan listed as son of Black Bonner.


John Bonner /Boner


Born in Donegal May 3, 1817 (stone) - 1887. On the same stone is "Catherine, his beloved wife May 10, 1819 Dec 15, 1886. His wife's sister was married to Shamus Gallagher of the Black Hills. Shamus & Shawn were married to Gillespie sisters.


John Bonner - Boner- I have a note- he came thru Penn.?


Bridget Boyle

Dennis Bonner

"Big John"- first Pat told me he lived on the Sloptown Rd. across from Mooney's; but later he said it was the Darkytown Rd. Pat also said he spelled his name Boner - it is Boner on the stone. Maria gives his house as #83 which is on the Darkytown Rd.

Johnny Green gives "Bonner" as living at "French's Bay when there was a settlement at Green's Bay. Is this the one or is it Neil Bonner?

Maria said his wife's name was Hannah- everyone says Rose's sister Hannah was Hannah Veag- and that she was a sister of Rose, the wife of Condy Gallagher. She also said he lived on the Darkytown Rd. (Could there be 3 John Bonners?) Yes

  • Pat's father - wife Sophia
  • The one who lived on the Sloptown Rd. - wife Catherine
  • One who lived on the Darkytown Rd. - wife Hannah or Mary Gillespie

There were 3 of them. The Darkytown Rd. one was "Big John." What the Sloptown Rd. ones nickname was I don't know


Pat -

Boner, Big John lived across from the Mooney house on Darkytown Rd in a house that had first been occupied by Shamy Gallagher who later moved to the Black Hills.

Pat says his wife was Mary Gillespie but this must be wrong - the tombstone says Catherine, & Mary wasn't born until 1860. His wife being a sister of Shamus Gallagher's wife sounds reasonable because of living in the same house (at different times).


His heirs are listed in the land records of 1889 as Bridget Boyle & Dennis Bonner.

In May 1877 he bought SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 Sec 33 T 39 R 10 from Charles O'Donnell (Charlie


In 1889 his heirs sold it to Bernard McCafferty.



Catherine (Gillespie sister of Old John & the wives of Shamus & Shawn Gallagher?)


John Boner

May 3, 1817-1887


P. 51

Married Catherine, May 10, 1819-Dec. 5, 1886


Bridget, 1860, [born] Penn. - married Dan Boyle, 1853 ( Penn.)

Dennis Bonner, 1855 [born] Penn. - never married

Mary, [born] Penn. - married a John Reed

Harry Mills, 1866 (adopted), [born] Penn.

John - Married Cicely Gall.25 (?) - his wife later married Ostenburg

Anna - Red John daughter who married a Kane(?)

Catherine, born in Penn. & married Patrick Gall., son of Shamy


Bridget is in the 1880 census, married to Daniel Boyle & they are living with his people in Peaine Twp26 (see Hugh Boyles card).


"Big John" who lived on the Darkytown Rd. across from Mooney's in a house that is now gone but was first lived in by Shamy Gallagher before Shamy moved to the Black Hills. He bought the land SW 4SW 4 Sec 33-39-10 on May 10, 1877 from Charles O'Donnell. Apr. 29, 1889 his heirs, Bridget Boyle & Dennis Bonner, sold the Bernard McCafferty. For lot on Green's Bay filed for by a John Bonner, see card of John H..


Bonner Family

Big John Bonner, 1817-1887 - married Catherine Gillespie, 1817-188727

Son - Dennis, 1855 - never married

Dau[ghter] - Mary, born Penn. - married John Reed and had a son Peter in 1878

Dau[ghter] - Bridget, born Penn. - married Dan Boyle born 1853 in Penn.

Son - John, born Ire. - married Celia Gall, Ire. and had son Patric in 1867, daughter

Maggie in 1872 and daughter Annie in 1874. Celia is the daughter of Pat, born 1810 and Margaret, born 1816.

Dau[ghter] - Anna, born Ire. - married Michael Kane, born Ire., 1839-1907 and had a daughter

Mary, 1875 and a son Robert.28 Michael's parents are Thomas and Mary Kane. [See Kane family tree]

Dau[ghter] - Catherine, born Penn. - married Patrick Gallagher, son of Shamy


Captain John B. "Black" Bonner

(card #1)

Census 1815; on stone, 1821-1894

Married, Ap. 28, 1856, Sophia Harkins, 1838-1912; born Milltown.29


Manus, born '59

John W. - lost on boat in Chi. R.30 '61

Tom (baptized by Father Murray)

Pat (the baby)

James - went to Wisconsin

Dan, 1872-1944

Mary - married Lanty [McCafferty] & [later] Harry Hardwick

Maggie Ann - died 1883, age 15 (stone)

Peter - died 1883, age 9 (scarlet fever)


John B. Bonner. Born in Rutland [Island, County Donegal], Ireland, Aug. 15, 1821. Died at St. James, Sept. 26, 1894 (stone), age 73 years. He is mentioned 6 times in the Dormer Day Book.31 1833 (when he was 12) he ran away from home & became a sailor. When he was in N.Y. he heard about the great fishing on the Great Lakes. He went to Mackinac Island & from there he and John O'Donnell fished in the summer. In the winter they went to Savannah & fished. (There is still a "Bonner's Landing" there.)

1855 - in the fall he went back to N.Y. & married Sophia.

1856 - He was fishing on Gull Island ( Lawrence says it was Whiskey Is.) with his bride when an Indian came and in great excitement said "Big Man shot."32 He immediately came to Beaver Is. Harbor and stayed. He bought a house where the Parish Hall now stands and also the lots where the hotel is. This log house was later moved to the farm and used as an outbuilding - it is still there.

P. 28, 28A, 29, 30, 51, 52, 61-67, 87, 122, 130


1857 - He bought 80A where Pat now lives for $200.00 from James and Nancy Farrell - it was all forest (Pat). (He was a flayer, that is thresher, by trade.) (Was he a Mormon?)


June 9, 1857 - James Farrell to John Bonner N 1/2 of NE 1/4 (court house record).

Pat says he bought Sec 6 for the fishing rights for pound net fishing. This must be a mistake, the only sec 6 is inland between Millar's Marsh & Green's Lake. He must mean Sec 7.

The old house, still standing, was built from logs prepared by the Mormons and which they found lying on the ground up the road near town.


Farm - They raised wheat, oats, and rye, and one year even tried flax. The wheat they took either to Traverse City or to Elk Rapids to the mills where they exchanged 4 sacks of wheat for 1 sack of flour. They shipped out cattle, hogs, and a few horses as a money crop. These animals ran in the woods - there were no fences except around cultivated fields.


Boats (See under "Boats")

" Rutland" his first boat. He brought Bishop Baraga on his last trip to B.I. in 1864. "Sophia Bonner" built 1874.


Fishing - The attraction of B.I. was that when they fished out of Mackinac Is. they found the best fishing here. The Irish had been in and out of the Island before the Mormons but few permanent settlers.


Captain John B. "Black" Bonner

(card #2)

Northern Michigan, 1905

Son of Mannus Bonner of Rutland.

1847 came to America - landing in N.Y. City where he engaged in the fishing industry. Spent winters in Georgia - "Bonner's Landing".

Returned to Ireland as a sailor. Left ship & purchased a large amount of twine in Londonderry & manufactured nets. For nine seasons he fished off Savannah and visited the Great Lakes. Eventually changed his headquarters to Mackinac where he fished.


  • Married Sophia Harkins

1856 On Gull Island with his wife - joined expedition of about 20 men to drive Mormons


1856 Settled on the North part of French Bay. Aug. 10 th moved his wife to a double log cabin formerly owned by Mormons.

1856-1859- fished and handled tan bark & lumber which he shipped to Chicago and Milwaukee in the "Sophia Bonner" - a schooner built at this time under his direction. For 21 years he sailed the vessel, in the meantime building another vessel for the coastwise trade.

1857 - spring - secured the present Bonner farm & moved there in 1858.

1894 - died


Captain John B. "Black" Bonner

(card #3)

Lawrence says that Johnny "the Rat" & Black Bonner were here before the Mormons. (They fished together in the east too) & that Bonner was the first to come back for good, landing at Bonner's Bluff, hence the name. (This does not jibe with Pat who says he landed in the harbor). Lawrence insists they were not on Gull Island, but on Whiskey; that the fall fishing was good on Gull & the spring & summer on Whiskey & Squaw.


He bought the N 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Sec 8- T38 R10 in 1857 from Farrell. He neglected to pay taxes & in 1880 got it from the Aud. Gen. At this time he got S 1/2 from the Aud. Gen, giving him the whole quarter section. He also seems to have owned the NE 1/4 of NW 1/4 because in 1860 he sold it to Roy Peckham. (This later was got by Philip Connolly, his stepfather-in-law for taxes in 1868.)


Pat says he ran away from home to go to sea when he was 12 (1833 or '4). His mother was away from home at the time helping at the birth of one of the Roddy cousins (this could have been Andy Roddy for his birth date is 1834).


He knew Bowery in N.Y.

Death rec.:

Sept. 24, '94 John B. Bonner, married, age 73-1-12 in Peaine Twp, heart disease; farmer,

born Ire.

[See original manuscript] for possible family tree.


June 9, 1857 James Farrell to John Bonner N 2 NE 4 Sec 8-38-10

June 23, 1857 W. S. to John Bonner NE 4NW 4 Sec 8 38-10 40A $50

Oct. 4, 1858 W. S. to John Bonner Frl. Sec 6-38-10 1.6 A.

Nov. 8, 1860 he sold to Ray Peckham NE 4NW 4 Sec 8-38-10. (In 1868 his stepfather-in-law got

this by tax deed.)


When Black Bonner had to take an exam to be ship's capt., they asked him if he knew all the reefs in a certain area. "No," he said, "all I know is where the deep water is." (Pat)


Pat's mother was at a quilting bee, also attended by the two McNutt sisters (see "Child of the Sea") who were to have married Strang in the spring after he was killed. They lived near Barney's Lake. Someone asked them why they, two sisters, wanted to marry the same man. "We thought it would be nice because we didn't want to be separated."


1860 census:

John Bonner 45 fisherman born Ire.

Sophia Bonner 37 born Ire.

John Bonner 1 born Mich.

Patrick Conlon (Conley?) 21 laborer born Ire.

Could this be one of the other John Bonners? The dates are wrong & Manus was the oldest son. No, this is Black John. The date here 1815 checks much closer with Big John's date, 1817, but Big John's wife's name was Catherine.


Death records:

Sophia Bonner, widow, age 73-3-20 died Feb. 20, '12 in Peanie Twp. of paralysis. Born Ire.; parents Thomas Harkins & Maga Carr.

Daniel Joseph Bonner, single, age 71-11-3 died Apr. 1, '44 in Peanie Twp. of apoplexy. Born St. J.; farmer; parents John Bonner & Sophia Harkins.


" Northern Mich"

Donegal - Rutland - "ancestral seat of the subject antecedents for several generations." "After sailing nearly every water of the eastern continent & visiting many countries, came to America in 1847, landing in N.Y. City where he soon engaged in the fishing industry." "He joined the expedition made up of about 20 men for the purpose of driving the Mormons from B.I. . . . The captain selected for his place of residence a beautiful site on the northern part of French Bay. On Aug. 10, 1856 he moved his wife to the new home, a double log cabin which a family of Mormons had formerly occupied, and immediately thereafter resumed fishing, assisted by 2 hired men. . . In the spring of 1857 Mr. Bonner secured a tract of land 5 mi. SW of St. James where he built a dock & from this place the shipping business was chiefly conducted. While he was thus engaged his good wife managed the farm nearby. . .on which she has lived continuously since (evidently they lived at French Bay first. The farm was bought by Farrell Aug. 16, 1856 & by Bonner from him June 9, 1857. (They probably did not get the house until 1858) "while making Mackinac & Gull Island his headquarters, Mr. Bonner traveled quite extensively in the south & spent several winters in Savannah returning to the lake region in the spring for the purpose of engaging in fishing." "In the early days he held the office of town & county treasurer. In politics he was a Democrat & in religion a Roman Catholic & to him as much as to any one man is due the founding of the Holy Cross Church at St. James. He was also instrumental in inducing a number of substantial families to locate on the Island.


John H. Bonner


Bonner Rd.

Wife, Mary, 1835-1869 - would this be the one married to Mary Gillespie? (If so, it must be

Big John's sister.) Given by Pat Bon. Maria says his wife's name was Hannah - a sister of

Rose Condy, therefore a Rodgers.


This is the 3 rd John Bonner, the one who lived on the Slopt.33 Rd. In Nov. ? 1864 there is a land transfer in Sec 3, T28 R10 (this is on the Slopt. Rd) to John H. Bonner from Archibald Newton. In May 1871 he sold this land to Cornelius Gallagher W 1/2 of NW 1/4 S. 3.

In Sept. 1906 he was dead because of the Charl. records say "John Bonner deceased" made over the above land to Condy Gall. (son of Cornelius, evidently clearing the title). But in Nov. of that year, 1906, "Conely C. Gall. made it over to Thomas Bonner.


A "John Bonner" filed (pencil notations) land office for the Lot 1 Sec 36-38-11 on Nov. 19, 1860. This is the center of Green's Bay, probably where the road goes down. I don't know whether it was this John or Big John. This John, because he is in the 1860 census & Big John is not until the 1880 census.


1860 census:

John Boner 28 fisherman Born Ire.

Mary Boner 25 Born Ire.

This is the right age for this John Boner & Mary Gillespie is the right age to be Red John's sister). When her son Patrick was baptized her maiden name was O'Donnell

(chr rec.)34


John H. Bonner- ? 1832-1906; wife Mary, 1835-1869


John W. Bonner

1869 (or '70)

Son of Black Bonner


He and Dan Green were drowned in the Chicago River on the steamer "Caroline". His picture is in the museum. Maria says they fell off the boat - drunk. Was in business with Mannus (see Mannus card).


Manus Bonner

[Born] July 5, 1859

P. 87, 161

Baptized by Bishop Baraga in 1859.

Married Annie Kelly, daughter of Patrick & Mary McCarty. Son of John E. (Black) [Bonner] and Sophia Harkins. He Built the Beaver Hotel (now the King Strang). He married a daughter of Patrick Kilty. (The parish records show this as Patrick Kelty.) Was this the Kilty girl Ann, baptized April 6, 1863? (yes) Mannus & Annie married in Chicago.


North. Mich.:

Owner of the schooner "Rouse Simmons" (or "Shannon").

1879 at the age of twenty, succeeded his father as master of the schooner Sophia Bonner.

1893 he and his brother John W. purchased a larger boat which they sailed jointly for 5 years.

1898 desposed35 of his interest in the above and bought the " Peoria".

1901 " Peoria" wrecked in Bailey's Harbor with a total loss of the vessel & cargo.

1903 opened the "Beaver Hotel", July 1903, cost $10,000.

1904 Became associated with the B.I. Lumber Co. & in the same year purchased the "Rouse

Simmons" (or Shannon) which he rebuilt in Sturgis Bay & used in connection with the B.I.

Lumber Co. After several trips he turned it over to his Brother John W. as master.

After 1904 devoted his time to the hotel.


He was a prohibitionist.

Pat told Nonie that Mannus sold the "Sophia Bonner" & its cargo & didn't give the parents a cent but kept all the money. After that he stayed away from the Island 11 years, only coming back after his father died. He had been drinking heavily but went on the wagon & never took another drink. This was because Annie said she wouldn't marry him unless he stopped drinking.

He an Anna Kilty were married in Chicago. She was the daughter of Patrick Kilty & Mary McCarthy.36

Lawrence "Any woman who lived with Mannus Bonner all those years had the disposition of a saint."


Neil Bonner


P. 52


He lived at the Bluff, in the opening near Daniel's house (Pat). He is listed twice in the Dormer Day Book & the account was guaranteed by C. R. Wright & Son. In the Day Bk. it is spelled Boner.

Is it this Bonner that Johnny Green gave as living at French's Bay when there was a settlement at Green's Bay? No it was John H. (in land records).

Pat thinks it must have been Neil who lived at Green's Bay. He came from a different part of Ireland, but Pat doesn't know just where.


1870 Census:

Neil Bonar 30 Ire. laborer

Grace Bonar 30 Ire. h. keeper

Neil Bonar 6

The age of the child means he didn't leave Ireland until 1874or later.

In 1880 Neil is dead & Grace is married to Thomas Robillard with Neil living with them as a stepson. In 1870 census he is between Old Billy & Mike Mahal Rua.


Pat Bonner

From Ivan Walton - "Folksinging [on Beaver Island]."

"Unassuming, diminutive, sailor, farmer, Island fiddler, Pat Bonnar [sic] has not only supplied the music for Island dances for the last several decades on his "Stradivarius" violin - a faded label on the insides proves it - but he also composed and sang at least one song, "The Clifton's Crew." He is no doubt a better fiddler than poet, but he sang and dictated more than a dozen old songs."


Sophia Harkins Bonner

Born in Donegal to daughter of Thomas & Maga Harkins.

1847 - Came to America. Her father died soon after the arrival. Lived in N.Y. City until her marriage in the summer, Apr. 28 of 1856.


She was with Bonner of Gull Island when Strang was shot - Jun. 1856.


Pat - the Roddys & Bonners (both from Rutland) were cousins. (Just how this relationship worked I do don't know.)

The logs for the Bonner house were not found there but down the Fox Lake Rd. somewhere below the airport.

When Pat was 6 mo. old there was a Scarlet Fever epidemic on the Island. His sister, age 16, & his brother, age 9, died.

Maria- "People thought the Roddys & the Bonners were so much; if you were friends of theirs, it was something." Then she went on to tell what a drunkard Mrs. Bonner was. This explains the notation in Protar's diary - "May 4, 1893 - Mrs. B Liquor"; "Sept 30, Liquor";

1894, Feb. 20 - "Extra racket; Feb. 29 - "Will not do anything"; Mar. 2 - "Search all over"; Mar. 30 - "Thief"; Mar. 31 - "Mrs. Bonner arrested"; April 4 - "Trial Commenced"; Apr 7 - "Big thorough serch, all over."


Thomas Bonner


[Born] Mich.

Fisherman (so listed in birth records)

P. 125

Wife Ellen Gallagher, 1864-1952 - [born] Mich.; daughter of Cornelius

[assume daughter of Thomas and Ellen:]

Grace Elizabeth, Ap. 16, '01 (record)



Mother Ella, 1864-1952 Father Thomas, 1861-1936


This must be Grace's father & mother. He was at the lighthouse at the Head - Dominic's assistant.

Ellen Gallagher must have been a daughter of Cornelius Salty as "Grace Bonner & Manus Salty are cousins"

Myrtle was lived in this home after her grandparents died.


In 1906 he bought from Condy Gallagher W 1/2 of NW 1/4 S3 T38 R10.

In 1910 he bought from Manes Gallagher NE 1/4 of SE 1/4 of S2 T38 R10.


Death records:

Thomas Bonner, married, age 74-7-17 died in St. J. Twp on May 31, '36 of coronary thrombosis; born Mich., retired; parents John Bonner & Sophia Harkins, both born Ire.


Bower or Bowers

Praiseworthy Bower is on Fitzpatrick's list of Mormons (made '50, Jun.). However, Apr. 8, 1851 Strang in N. Islander, says he has offered to join a band to burn the houses of Mormons.


Nicholas Bower - The Traverse Region., p. 49, in 1854 Judge of Probate of Grand Traverse Co..


Census 1850:

Nicholas Bower age 40 born Canada occ. merchant

Relief Bower 34 born Canada

George A. 5 born Ill.

Martha R. H. 2 born Ill.37


It was on his boat that he & Mr. & Mrs. Whitney & others went back to the Island in June, 1857 to see how things were. It was this trip that made the Whitneys decide to move back. They sailed from Bower's Harbor near Traverse City.


On page 56, His of the Grand Traverse Region, the "Bowers" are mentioned as "living in the vicinity of Old Mission, a family of Mormons who it is understood had in some way incurred the displeasure of Strang & his associates, & had consequently been compelled to leave the Island." It was at their house Henrietta Baxter, a fugitive from the Mormons, was married.


1 Indecipherable, possibly Indian

2 From the French L'Arbre Croche (The Crooked Tree), an Ottawa settlement along the Lake Michigan shore.

3 Beaver Island, Michigan.

4 Indecipherable letters, likely Am as an abbreviation for America

5 The Leopoldine Society. Established at Vienna for the purpose of aiding Catholic missions in America.

6 The following are likely a list of Baraga's publications

7 Fr. Baraga was known as the "Apostle to the Ottawas and Chippewas."

8 Could be Medlilna or Medlika. Likely a reference to a Catholic Parish.

9 From theologian Cornelius Jansen. Free will is nonexistent and only some of mankind will be saved through the death of Jesus Christ.

10 An anti-Catholic tract, published by Truman & Smith in 1835. Beecher was one of the most prominent Protestant clergymen of the nineteenth century.

11 This is probably a reference to a source, but is not clearly capitalized.

12 A colloquialism for Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

13 Abbreviation for Charlevoix.

14 In other entries this name his spelled Miller, and sometimes Muller.

15 Information is crossed out in the original.

16 A reference to "King" James Jessie Strang who settled a colony of Mormons on the island in the late 1840s and crowned himself King. He was assassinated in June 1856 by disgruntled followers and most of the remaining Mormon settlers were driven from the Island soon after.


18 Abbreviation for Ireland.

19 Cemetery headstones.

20 A subsequent reference indicates this quotation is from a book possibly titled Strang in America and in Mackinac

21 A Child of the Sea and Life Among the Mormons, by Elizabeth Whitney Williams (1905).

22 Could also be Loy.

23 A is the abbreviation for acre.

24A History of the Grand Traverse Region, by Morgan Lewis Leach (1884).

25 In another entries this name is listed as Celia Gall.

26 One of the three original townships of Beaver Island; the other two were St. James and Gallilee. ( Gallilee Township is no longer in existence.) In later entries it is often abbreviated to Pea..

27 Birth & death dates are different than above.

28 A question mark follows this entry and at a later chart there is no name Robert entered.

29 The words census 1823 appear here, probably an alternate birth date.

30 From a reference in a later entry this is an abbreviation for Chicago River.

31 A ledger or account book kept by James Dormer, 1876-77 (see his entry).

32 This is in reference to the assassination of King James Jessie Strang (June 1856).

33 An abbreviation for Sloptown Road.

34 This may be abbreviation for church record.

35 Likely misspelling of disposed.

36 Spelled above as McCarty.

37 This 1850 census information has been crossed out with an x.



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