While some early communities existed five years or so earlier, the County of Iron was not severed from Marquette County until 1885. Location of communities was almost
always determined by mine operation. Logging settlements did not last, largely
because of the charge in the type of timber produced. Seven townships were
ultimately formed and early on, supervisors of each became members of the County
Board. Interesting is that most boards were composed not only of community leaders,
but also of management personnel in the mines.
Mines were owned or leased by companies outside the county and
so some modicum of control was maintained by investors. However, a labor movement began to develop
in the early decades, and emerged with vigor in the late 1930's and early 1940's
and developed political strengths on the state level when local representatives
were able to promote and obtain legislation for mine safety and fair labor policies.