An Immigrant Story - Joseph Hammes

An excerpt from the 1870 U.S. Census for Calumet Township with Joseph and Grace Hammes names on it.
The Joseph and Grace Hammes family enumerated in 1870, two years after their marriage in their new Calumet Township home.

1870 Federal Census Record Courtesy NARA

Joseph Hammes was born in 1847 in the Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia. Industry and commerce were the economic lifeblood of the Rhine, where Joseph and his family lived in the most densely populated part of the country (now a portion of Germany).

Around 1861, Joseph, his parents, and siblings made their way west to Wisconsin. As an adult, Joseph sought his own future in Michigan's Copper Country where, in Rockland, he married fellow German-speaking immigrant Grace Wittman in 1868.

Two women with aprons stand in front of a house with trees.
Joseph & Grace's son Peter once lived in a duplex on Kearsarge St. in Laurium with his family.

NPS Keweenaw NHP Archives Hammes--Box 2--Folder 1-8*10-#022 ca. 1905

Joseph and Grace's eight children were born in Ontonagon and Houghton counties as the couple followed available work. That work led them to the Calumet area about the time the Calumet Mining Company began to pay dividends in 1869. For a time, they lived at 420 Osceola St. in Calumet Township. Joseph, Grace, and their second son, Joseph Jr., were buried in the nearby Hecla Cemetery. Many descendants survive today of this immigrant story.

Last updated: January 19, 2018

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