Mason County History Companion
Old Places Familiar Faces
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Naw-gone-ko-ung (Leading Thunder) better known as Good John (1788-1892)
An Indian who was a friend of both Indian and white man was Naw-gone-ko-ung, known to his friends as Good John. He lived a long life, his birth date is not known but it was near 1800. He died in 1882. Little was known of the life of Good John before the white men came to the area.
George Griswold wrote in an article about Good John in 1960. Griswold, as a young boy, was a good friend of the Indian. Good John was born just west of the forks of the Pere Marquette River in Custer Township. This six foot two inch tall Indian married the daughter of George Clukey and they lived on the south branch of the Pere Marquette river, east of the Resseguie School. Later he moved to an 80 acre farm a half mile north of the school. His only child, a five year old boy, died and was buried near the house but was later moved to the Custer Township Cemetery. Mr. Griswold tells of the time he and his father met Good John on the road carrying young Jack Allison astraddle his neck. In response to the statement, "I see you have a boy", Good John answered "Yeah, me borrow him, two hours."
One account of Good John's life tells that he was converted to Christianity, joined the Methodist church, then preached among the Indians.
In his old age, Good John lived in a small house built for him by the Timothy Resseguie family just east of the school yard. He lived there until his death in 1882. He was buried in the Custer Township cemetery beside his wife and son. A board-marker was placed on his grave. After it was destroyed, his neighbor, Ned Allison, placed a granite field stone from the near-by Allison farm on the grave after carving dates and name on the stone with a hammer and chisel.
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Historic White Pine Village general information
Extracted from "Historic Mason County, Michigan - 1980", published by the Mason County Historical Society in 1980. For information on purchasing this book, contact the Society at:
Mason Co. Historical Society
1687 S. Lakeshore Dr.
Ludington, MI 49431
Copyright 1998-2014 All Rights Reserved
Note to researchers, I do not maintain information on families outside of my own at this time, Your best chance to contact other family researchers and find information is going to be in posting some of your family information on the Mason County Boards. Volunteers and lookup materials can be found in the "lookups" category. -I routinely check the postings if I have information or can steer you in another direction I will contact you. I do not provide research services. Historic White Pine Village can help you in that area.
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