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Biographical Papers Letter D

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John Day

Maria's version - He came here with money and staked the fishermen. He built the big house between Lawrence Malloy's and the Sendenburgs that burned one winter. He had a small store on the Lake front there. He died in the old wooden chair that was for so long in the Butcher Shop. This was because he had dropsy & the Days (thought they had fine furniture) had no chair large enough for him so Anthony Malloy loaned them that chair. After his death, he is buried at the Point near Henry Clifton; his wife and two children (a boy and a girl) left the island.


Johnny Green's version - Day came here form Green Bay, Wisc., where he had been mayor of the town. He outfitted the fisherman and lost money - "went broke." The grave at the Point is that of his son who was drowned. His wife and daughter took him back to Green Bay for burial.


He first appears in the Dormer Day Book on Monday, April 23, 1877 and from there on he is a heavy customer for fishermen's supplies, appearing 80 times.


I have a note that in 1876 he rented the Dormer property but this can't be right as the Dormer Day Book is for 1876 and 1877 & Dormer was still the owner with Henry Clifton as manager. Mrs. Williams says "about the 1876" Dormer sold out.


They were Protestants.


Notes p. 13




The store of the N. W. Trading Co. was kept by a man named Dickson. He married a school teacher brought by the Mormons. He co-operated with the Mormons. Could he be the John S. Dixon in " Kingdom of St. J." mentioned p. 149-49 & p. 159 as having been in controversy with Mormons? He located at Pine River.


Robert Dickson "of the Indian Dept." was sent in Oct. of 1813, along with 26 members of the Michigan Fencibles, 1 to take presents to the Indians at La Bage ( Green Bay) from the post on Mackinac Island. They spent a harsh winter in the area. Food was scarce . . . and Dickson had to authorize the seizure of the necessary supplies from civilians who would not sell to his majesty's soldiers, and he also found it necessary to discourage desertion by ordering that parties of Indians be sent to bring back any deserters 'dead or alive.'" Brian Lee Dunnigan, "The Michigan Fencibles," Michigan History, winter '73, pp. 284-285.


William Divers


On Aug. 22, 1856 he came in and bought land on the Trail Rd. on Kgs. Hwy. north of the lights, all with MBLWs. He made a quick turnover & sold it all out the same month to Charles Turrill.


Patrick Donahue


(estate settled 1884)

Married Bridget Kilty, 1840 -

Children (heirs):

Margaret, 1862 - ; [born] B.I.





July 16, 1863 he homesteaded W1/2 of NE1/4 of NE1/4 of Sec 11, T37 R10, 200A $10. F.C. Pat. Nov. 1, 1869. In 1884 it was made over by his heirs to Bridget Hyer (a daughter?). This land is right back of Tuney's.


Nov. 1, 1869 U.S. to Patrick Donohue; Pat. Hd. SW1/4 Sec 2-T37-R10 (this is N. of above land & just back of James Martin's Beach property[)]. The 1 st Dept. Int. Rec. shows this going to Boardman & Sweet in 1873. But Jan. 4, 1889, Maggie, Mary, & Sarah Donohue made it over to Sarah Hyer.


1860 census lists:

Patrick Donohue 28 fisherman born Ire.

Bridget Donohue 20 born Ire.

Catherine Donohue 1 born Mich


James & Allen Dormer

P. 147

James and Allen Dormer of Buffalo bought out the business of C. R. Wright and Son at the Point. They built a large store and warehouse and improved the dock at the point. I do not have the date of purchase.


The Dormer Day Book begins Oct. 29, 1876 and runs to Jan. 12, 1877. Then there is a gap. It begins again April 23, 1877 and runs to Aug. 12, 1877, when Henry Clifton died.


Maria's and Nonie's version - They were a rich family and owned all the land at the Point. When a girl was married, Dormer gave her a lot to build a house on. They left the Island and went back to Buffalo. When Dormer retired he rented his business to Day. James McCann worked in the store.


According to the daughter, he bought his business from Cable.


1883 he got possession, through Harrison Muller, sheriff, of SW1/4 of NE1/4 & Lot 3, Sec 1 T37 R11. Dan Boyle had owned this & I presume that Dormer foreclosed a mortgage.


"Child of the Sea" - Mrs. Williams gives "about 1876" as when he rented to Day. It must have been a little later as the Dormer Day Book is into 1877.


He is first recorded in the census of 1880 as living as a boarder in the house in St. James of Joseph Left. He gives his occupation as "wholesale fish" and is 46 years old, born in Canada. His father born in Ire., his mother in England. Dormer born 1834 in Canada (father Irish, mother English). Lived in Buffalo, N.Y..


Bought form Cable in 1862-this is from the letter; records show the date was '66. Rented to Day around 1877 when he retired.


McCann bought from Dormer, let property go for taxes & Dormer bought it back. (Was this 1900 when he moved to present location?) Dormer then sold to Booth Fisheries.

Notes p. 13, 14.


From letter sent Mr. Roy by Dormer's daughter:

Mr. Dorhmer 2 bought property in 1862 from Cable who had large holdings on the Island and also on Mackinac. Owned ? in fishing business.

? dock for

cooperage place & packing house

Had large store & commissary.

? school in ? house that burned. Brought teacher from Buffalo & held school in summer had friend from Chicago and brought family on____3 Dormer.

They had boat races and picnics. There were many cottage[s]. People used cottages after Mr. Dorhmer died. John McCann bought property form Dohrmer? go for taxes and Mr. Dorhmer bought it back.

Gallagher & Martins McCauley

Dr. Protar was not such a saint. ? (sailor, color, child?) ?(held or helped) by Roddy and another Capt.

Barney (Bowery) Gallagher, father of James & Willie John collected rents to keep from squatters, sometimes just a quarter a month. Brought Gallagher to Island. Mr. Dorhmer roomed with Mrs. Williams. Mr. Dorhmer used to doctor his people. Bye medicine for the poeple who worked for him.


Mr. Dorhmer died in 1909. Sold to Booth Fisheries.


The above is a transcription of a letter written by Dormer's daughter for the Roys. The parts with a ? I couldn't make out. Also from the same source, "Dormer bought from Cable between 60 & 62. Dormer dock 200 feet. His the largest cooperage station on the Great Lakes. Also a loading post(?) for his old Dormer store building.


William Duclon

He succeeded Tip Millar as keeper of the Head Light. After 8 years he transferred to Eagle Bluff lighthouse.


Daniel Dunlevy


Emigrated 1851, [to] U.S. 1852, [to] B.I.1859, according to James in 1900 census.


Capt. Daniel Donlevy, born in Ireland, 1805-1899? (death record 1809)

Married Hannah O'Donnell, 1805-1875, 1815 census says


Mary, 1838 - ; born Ire. - married John Gillespie

James, 1846 (census says 1842) - ; born Ire. - married Sarah O'Malley

Francis, 1845 - ; born Ire. - married Biddy Dominic

John, 1834, ? (Mrs. Cafferty)


Land office:

Pencil -

Sept. 15, 1859 - Samuel (Daniel) Dunlevy filed for E 2NE 4 Sec 9-38-10. Hd. in 1863

by Mr. John Dunlevy


Death record:

Daniel Dunlevy, widower, age 90, died in Pea. Twp., of old age on Nov. 10, '99. Born Ire.;

shoemaker; parents James Dunlevy & Mary Gall.


I don't know where I got the date 1851 for coming to U.S. or 1846 for Jim's birth date (probably " Northern Mich). Yes.


According to Rachel, Daniel was keeper of the light in Donegal Bay in Ireland. This must mean that when the N. Mich says James was "born in Donegal" it means the town of Donegal. Rachel says he was not "Capt.", but the N. Mich. definitely says he owned and operated a vessel. Rachel says when he came across (on the same boat as Mooney) Jim "was in dresses" & Francis (Sam) a baby. This would hook up with "'51 or possibly '52", as they kept boys "in dresses" until 5 or there abouts. Rachel may have the wrong information about " Donegal Bay" & he probably was keeper of the light at Rutland or wherever the light was there for she definitely said he was from Aranmore. Rachel says his trip across took 6 weeks & that he went first to Toronto. There was a boat on Aranmore.



1860 Census:

Dan Dunlevy 45 shoemaker born Ire.

Hannah 45 born Ire.

John 22 born Ire.

Mary 20 born Ire.

James 18 born Ire.

Frank 15 born Ire.

Another entry:

John Dunlevy 23 shoemaker born Ire.

James 18 shoemaker born Ire.


Grandma Aranmore

John - born town of Donegal



Notes p.12, 73, 86


Francis (Sam) Dunlevy


[Born] "Europe" - Ireland [per] Am. His Soc.


Married Bridget ("Biddy"), 1855-1931 - [born] Europe

Children (a large family):

Rachel, 1894-96

Francis T., May 3, 1899 (birth record); Francis T.'s birth record gives " Europe" as

parents' birthplace.

Hannah, 1876-1937 - married Frank Left

Helen - married Francis McCafferty, son of widow McCafferty


"Kilty Gall. (the '03[-year-old] one) was at her granddaughters, the Biddie Sams") - whose child was Biddie? Dominic's.4




mother Bridget, 1924; father Francis 1931; no birth dates


On the same lot is a stone:

John Dunley, 1888-1962 (this must be a son of above)

Mil[waukee] J[ournal]., Jan. 10, 1932:

". . . Francis (Sam Dunlevy is 96 & the 1 st of the old settlers. He came to the Beavers in 1859 shortly after things quieted down following Strang's reign.)


In 1883 he bought SW1/4 of NW1/4 Sec 10 T38 R10 from William Gallagher.


James "Yankee Jim" Dunlevy

1846-1931 or '32

Born in Donegal

1852 emigrated [to] U.S. according to James in 1900 census

[To] B.I., 1859


Married Sarah ("Big Sal") O'Malley, 1849-1917 (born on Mackinac Is.)

There is a stone for Big Sal but none for Jim: Mother Sarah, 1849-1917


This is the storekeeper I knew. He was the brother of John Dunlevy. He was called "Yankee Jim" because he was such a fancy dresser. "Tip" Millar had a couplet about him: "Want to see a man, dressed up all nice and trim? Just come to Beaver Island and look at Yankee Jim."


He is mentioned 2 times in the Dormer Book. Also there are 35 entries for "Boyle and Dunlevy who leased a dock and who had a quarrel with C. R. Wright and son about the dock.5


He and John were cobblers & had the only shop in St. James. In 1871 they dissolved partnership. James then went in to general merchandising in competition with C. R. Wright & Sons & John Day. He continued for 7 years - until 1878 - with Hugh Boyle as a partner. In 1877 the ships began to burn coal - Dunlevy & Boyle had 10,000 cords on hand - almost a total loss. (This must be when they had the quarrel over the docks). He then went to work for Day when they dissolved the partnership in 1879. In 1888 he went to Chicago for fourteen years. In 1900 he returned to B.I. & set up the store I remember.


" Northern Michigan"-

Born in Ireland, Co. Donegal 1846. Father Capt. Daniel Donley; born in Ire. - owned &

sailed a lake schooner.

Came to America in 18516

Met Black John in Cleveland who told him of B.I.

1859 moved to B.I. where Daniel took a piece of farm land where he lived until he died at 94.

James & John in partnership as cobblers until 1871 when the partnership dissolved. James

went into "general merchandising" with Hugh Boyle as partner (only store at that time C.R. Wright & Son & John Day.)

During panic of 1873, Dunlevy & Boyle lost $15,000 but survived & continued business until


Also, they dealt in fish and that market was "demoralized. They dissolved the partnership and

Donlevy continued some time with Day.

In 1888 moved to Chicago and engaged in operation of a large grocery store. "Fairly

successful" but health failed and secured position in a city office.

In 1900 returned to B.I. & started store; soon built store on harbor front owned jointly with

his brother John. Stock at present (1905) $5,000, cash business, no credit.

When his brother John was County Clerk of Manitou County, he was County Treasurer for 10

years & Probate Judge 7 years.

Married Sarah O'Malley in Chicago (while he still lived on B.I.).


Big Sall and Paddy Rua danced the Highland Fling together (see Dance card.)


Mrs. Williams mentions Sarah O'Malley as an Island school teacher, p. 201


Big Sal "always lead the Polka" (Rachel).


According to Rachel, Yankee Jim and Bedford who killed Strang both courted Big Sal & Dunlevy won out. This can't be so, it must have been another Bedford, probably his son because Thomas Bedford was married when Strang was killed in '56 at which time Sal was 7 years old. Could it have been Edwin Bedford who was at the Head Light as an assistant to his uncle Lightkeeper "Tip" Miller?


Big Sal as the daughter of William O'Mally & Maria Dirkin. (Rachel).


The 1900 census shows James, Sarah, & Rachel boarders in the home of Julia Gibson.


John Dunlevy


[To B.I.] 1859

House #59

Married Ann Rogers, 1848-1930


Jack - married Eva Gibson


He was a cobbler and he had a shop beside his brother's store, the present Beachcomber. He is mentioned 3 times in the Dormer Book. (See James Dunlevy for quarrel with C. R.Wright & son.)


Aug. 18, 1862, John Dunlevy & Bridget appear as witnesses at the wedding of James O'Donnel 22, & Bridget O'Donnell, 25. Again in 1866 they appear at the marriage of Francis Gallagher, 48, and Grace Rogers, 45. He was in partnership as a cobbler with James until 1871. Then he continued on alone until 1897 when he moved to Chicago.


Land office:

In 1869 he patented the E1/2 of the NE1/4 of the E1/2 of the SE1/4 of Sec 9, T38 R10 from the U.S.. This was Hd. July 8, 1863 with F.C. Sept. 24, 1868. It is the Dunlevy farm on Slopt. Rd..


He was mentioned a cobbler in "B.I. Girls", 1874.


Rachel says he was the treasurer of the county for many years when it was Manitou Co. She also says he drank like a fish. " Northern Mich" says he was county clerk 24 years (not treasurer).


His obituary says:

Born in Ireland "78 years ago" (no date on the obituary), came to Toronto an emigrant as a young man & lived there until 1858 when he came to B.I. Well educate[d]. He continually filled the offices of county clerk and register of deeds for 24 years when Manitou was the Beavers, Fox, & Manitou Island. A shoemaker by trade. "The writer well remembers the primitive 'office' of Mr. Dunlevy. In one corner was his shoemaker's bench, where the proprietor was usually found diligently at work. Opposite was a counter, from which Jack issued official documents, & on the hill beyond was the court house, a log house, where the clerk sat at the right of Judge Ramsdell during circuit court sessions. The ancient records of the defunct county show that the county clerk was "onto his job."


Mr. & Mrs. Dunlevy were the parents of 5 sons & 4 daughters (one deceased). All the children went to Chicago "where all by sheer merit worked themselves into good position, two of the daughters being trained as nurses. About seventeen years ago Mr. & Mrs. Dunlevy followed their children to Chicago. (1898?)


June 15, '71 he was living at B.I. Harbor as recorded in the birth of son James Henry. He was here for the 1860 census.


Protar, July 16, 1912 - "Jack Dunlevy, Chicago" died. (If 78, see above, he was born 1834.) His grandson recalls a family conversation that John was from the town of Donegal (this fits in with Rachel that Daniel was a lightkeeper at Donegal and she was "from the island" {Aranmore}).


1 Michigan Fencibles was a military unit formed at Fort Mackinac in the summer of 1813.

2 Note the two spellings of the name: Dormer, Dohrmer.

3 Indecipherable letters.

4 An arrow connects this sentence to Bridget ("Biddie") Dunlevy, above.

5 There are no closed quotation marks in this entry

6 In other places the date is noted as 1852



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