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The Iron Hunter

Chase S. Osborn With an Introduction by Robert M. Warner

Publication Year: 2002

A reprint of the autobiography of Michigan’s controversial govern from the Upper Peninsula.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Title Page

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pp. 3


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pp. 4


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pp. 5

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pp. 7-12

Chase S. Osborn was without doubt one of Michigan's all-time most interesting citizens. Colorful, outspoken, and unconventional, he enlivened the Michigan political scene for many of his ninety years...



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pp. 17-18

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pp. 19-20

Cellini states that all men of whatsoever quality they be, who have done anything of excellence, or which may properly resemble excellence, ought, if they are persons of truth and honesty...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 21-31

Those awful wolves!!!" My wife exclaimed, as a long, low, blood-freezing howl sifted to our ears with the pine-needle, wind rhythms. It came from a mile north on the course of a late fall gale. Our baby, a girlie a...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 32-37

The name Osborn, Osborne, Osburn, Osbern, Osbeorn, et cetera, has an interesting genesis, true of the origin of most family names, with source variations dependent upon what name system, Teutonic or other, is consulted...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 38-49

Osborn is the English corruption for polar bear or godbear in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian, whether spelled Isbjorn, Esbjerne or otherwise. Our family story, is that our ancestor was one of two jarls, who got into England at the invasion of 800...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 50-59

Early in 1868 something happened to our family fortunes. I do not know what it was more than that my father lost all of his money, every cent. It actually took the carpets off the floors to pay out, and there was no hesitation about permitting them to...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 60-69

My parents would teach us American history traditionally and they were both well informed. As my father loved or hated so did I come to do. He could not, without rage, think of Simon Girty, who, as an English agent in Canada, had aroused the...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 70-76

I started to walk to Chicago, along the Lake Erie and Western railroad tracks. The exact reason I started to walk was because the train crew pulled me out of a box car and bade me do so. Tramps were everywhere and had become such a menace...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 77-87

My first job in Milwaukee was driving a coal wagon for H. B. Pearson. He was an alderman and a prosperous coal dealer on West Water Street. In my memory he dwells as one of the best men in the world, just because he had a kind word and a...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 88-94

The best act of my life was performed in Milwaukee when I fell in love and married. I do not know how any one could be more deeply in love than I was, unless I am now, and I think I am. My sweetheart was seventeen and I was twenty. I was refused...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 95-98

My newspaper work and its involvements did not give me enough to do so I began a systematic study of iron ore exploration in all of its practical and scientific phases, an enjoyable life's work which I still keep up and which has attracted me to every...

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Chapter 10

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pp. 99-105

I sold out to advantage at Florence and moved back to Milwaukee and took a position as city editor of the Sentinel. Together with Harry Myrick, Mel Hoyt, Henry Legler, Sandy...

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Chapter 11

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pp. 106-114

The Sault country fascinated me as it had many another and always will continue to do. Mazy summers of life and pure joy. Winters of stimulating majesty by which men, women and...

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Chapter 12

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pp. 115-120

One day William Chandler, of the Sault, came into my office. He loved politics and no sooner had Joe Steere landed in the Sault to recover from an attack of Lenawee enteric, than he was placed on the circuit bench to succeed Judge Goodwin...

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Chapter 13

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pp. 121-125

The Hispano-American War broke. I was in Spain when the Maine was blown up. Proceeding almost directly to Egypt I found there John Hay and Dr. James B. Angell. I was not of their party...

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Chapter 14

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pp. 126-133

It was the age superlative of riding on people's necks. The strong rode the shoulders of the weak night and day, and the rich seemed only to regard the poor as beasts of burden. Nor did it...

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Chapter 15

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pp. 134-139

As the Pingree second term waned the question of a successor to him began to seize all concerned. The political pendulum had been pushed by Governor Pingree as far as it would go in the...

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Chapter 16

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pp. 140-146

For a period of years Indian after Indian brought me samples of ore: iron, copper, nickel, silver, gold. I paid no attention to any but iron. It is as staple as wheat. During the period of no...

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Chapter 17

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pp. 147-151

The origin of iron ore is a mystery just as all things are a mystery, unless one has faith enough to find the cosmic cause in God. Iron is present in some form in almost everything. Economic geologists...

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Chapter 18

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pp. 152-156

In general iron ore reconnoissances where much territory must be covered and frequent long marches made, little attention is paid to anything but outcropping rocks. In this way alone...

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Chapter 19

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pp. 157-163

There is not in the whole world a shore line more interesting than that of the north coast of Lake Superior. Black and brown and green and gray and red cliffs guard there with as much importance...

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Chapter 20

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pp. 164-171

One winter near the close of the last century, I found myself alone in Europe engaged in visiting iron ore fields. I started in the United Kingdom and then proceeded to Spain, where I...

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Chapter 21

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pp. 172-176

Crossing the Arctic Circle anywhere the route on north is a bleak one in the winter. Snow fields, bare, cold, gaunt, rocky ridges, almost no sign of vegetation or animal life, make a region...

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Chapter 22

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pp. 177-186

In the course of my years of summer explorations in Canada I heard repeatedly of an iron dam on the Vermillion River, north of Georgian Bay. Gradually I worked in that direction. A Mr...

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Chapter 23

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pp. 187-192

At one time I owned the entire Moose Mountain iron range with all of its immense values. Of course I could do nothing with it without financial help. I did not have much trouble arranging for this...

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Chapter 24

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pp. 193-196

All of us had moose meat throughout the year. The unwritten law of the unsurveyed country did not make a closed season. The only demand upon us was that nothing should be wasted...

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Chapter 25

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pp. 197-202

I enjoyed Dan Mann all the time. He was as open as a full moon and looked as honest. Our first night together in the big woods was spent like boys who had not seen each other for a long...

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Chapter 26

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pp. 203-210

There is no way of telling much about the beginning of the age of iron. Kitchen middens and heaps of flint chips tell the story of the service of bones and stones all over the world where...

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Chapter 27

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pp. 211-219

At some of the great open pit mines in the Mesaba district of Minnesota, sixty per cent. iron ore has been mined and loaded on the cars for less than five cents a ton, even charging to cost...

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Chapter 28

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pp. 220-223

The tale of how fortunes were made by many men in the Lake Superior iron ore ranges is a story of fortuitous happenings. An iron ore formation surrounds Lake Superior north and south...

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Chapter 29

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pp. 224-230

Very early in its development I visited the Mesaba range many times. At the commencement of every epoch of great importance, or rather while the parts are being marshalled for the making of...

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Chapter 30

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pp. 231-236

Public work came unexpectedly for me to do, just as it will come to all who will try to fit themselves and be willing. In 1908 I was tendered by Governor Warner an appointment upon the...

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Chapter 31

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pp. 237-239

I do not know when I began to learn that the only warrant for a public career is a desire born of a willingness to serve; to give back to society some of self in payment for the great benefits social order...

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Chapter 32

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pp. 240-245

There was much dissatisfaction with the state of public affairs in Michigan. Higher ideals of government began to be asserted in many places. A man, perhaps worthy enough, but who...

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Chapter 33

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pp. 246-249

After election in the autumn of 1910 I retired to Deerfoot Lodge where Justice Steere, the Honorable Roys J. Cram and I have kept open house during the deer season for nearly a quarter...

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Chapter 34

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pp. 250-257

The first of January, 1911, I was inaugurated as Governor of Michigan. In order to devote every energy to the program of accomplishment I had outlined, I had determined that I would...

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Chapter 35

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pp. 258-261

The second year of my service as Governor was a year of presidential campaign. A successor to Mr. Taft was to be selected. Early it became apparent that there was great dissatisfaction with President...

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Chapter 36

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pp. 262-265

My term of office as Governor was nearing a close. There had been a fight for some good cause every day and I had enjoyed every moment of it. It was touching to me to witness the evidence of regard...

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Chapter 37

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pp. 266-270

In Madagascar I was made an honorary member of the Academie Malgache. There are only half a dozen honorary members, including the President of France. The French authorities jealously...

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Chapter 38

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pp. 271-272

While following a Sakalava native trail in Madagascar, just like a Kaffir path in Africa, I came to a stretch where the dust of the path was red. Searching on either side I found bowlders of hematite iron ore. These I traced to a ridge of which...

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Chapter 39

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pp. 273-276

We had been in the almost unknown world for upwards of two years. Much of the time we were beyond reach of civilized communication. Some of the time I was where no white man...

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Chapter 40

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pp. 277-281

I had been widely mentioned for the presidency. The Chicago Evening Post and other prominent high-grade newspapers presented my name for consideration. There was more evidence of comforting confidence and encouraging...


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pp. 283-288

Great Lakes Books

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pp. 289-293

E-ISBN-13: 9780814335857
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814330395

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2002

Edition: 1
Volume Title: N/a

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Subject Headings

  • Politicians -- United States -- Biography.
  • Iron mines and mining -- Michigan -- History -- 20th century.
  • Iron mines and mining -- Michigan -- History -- 19th century.
  • Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), b. 1860.
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