Thomas married Bridget FARRELL, daughter of Patrick FARRELL and Margaret ENGLISH, on 23 Apr 1877 in Arthur, Peel Twsp, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada.1 2 (Bridget FARRELL was born on 8 Aug 1859 in Peel, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada and died before 1899 in poss. Schoolcraft County, Michigan.)
Thomas next married Mary Ann UNKNOWN in 1899 in Seney, Schoolcraft County, Michigan. (Mary Ann UNKNOWN was born in Feb 1879 in Michigan and died after 1930 in Michigan.)
Wellington County Marriages (Rootsweb: http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maryc/welg77.htm). Surety: 4. 11684-77 Thomas HARCOURT, 21, yeoman, Canada, Peel twp., s/o James & Ellen, married Bridget FARRELL, 18, Canada, Peel twp., d/o Patrick & Margaret, witn: Bartholomew FARRELL & Catherine HARCOURT, both of Peel twp., 23 April 1877 at not given [reg in Arthur village ].
Ontario Marriage Index, 1858-1899 (Wellington County, Ontario, Canada). Surety: 4. Name: Thomas Harcourt
Residence: Twp of Peel
Place of Birth: Canada
Marital Status: bachelor
Parents: James & Ellen Harcourt
Spouse Name: Bridget Farrell
Residence: Twp of Peel
Place of Birth: Canada
Marital Status: spinster
Parents: Patrick & Margaret Farrell
Witnesses: Bartholomew Farrell & Catherine Harcourt, Twp of Peel
Date of Marriage: April 23, 1877
Groom's Religion: Roman Catholic
Bride's Religion: Roman Catholic
Married By: Robt. C. Laussie [sp?]
License or Banns: banns
3 1900 US Census (District 167, Seney, Schoolcraft County, Michigan). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Thomas Harcourt (age 43, b. May 1857, Canada) and wife Hattie (age 21, b. Feb 1879, MI), living in Seney, Michigan. Thomas is listed as "Ng 001" [meaning unknown], and indicates that both his parents were born in Ireland. He also indicates that he came to the U.S. in 1880 and was naturalized. Hattie indicates that her father was born in Ireland and her mother in Scotland. The couple indicate they have been married one year. Living a few houses away is Thomas' brother, James Harcourt, and his family.
4 1920 US Census, District 297, Germfask, Schoolcraft County, Michigan. Surety: 4. Lists Thomas Harcourt (age 64, b. Canada) and second wife Mary Ann (age 59, b. MI), living in Germfask, Michigan. Thomas is listed as a "laborer" on a "farm," and indicates that his father was born in Canada and his mother in Ireland. Mary Ann indicates that her father was born in Canada and her mother in Scotland. Thomas indicates that he came to the U.S. in 1877 and was naturalized in 1881. Also in the household is "brother in law" Frank Labinen (age 30, b. MI), who indicates that his father was born in Canada and his mother in Scotland. Frank may be widowed as he is marked as a single man. The household also includes a large number of "boarders," all lumbermen, which indicates that Thomas owns a large lumber farm.
5 1910 US Census (District 243, Seney Twsp, Schoolcraft County, Michigan). Surety: 4. Lists Thomas Harcourt (age 54, b. Canada) and wife Catherine (age 30, b. MI), living in Seney, Michigan. Thomas is listed as a "laborer," and indicates that his father was born in Ireland and his mother in Canada. Catherine indicates that her father was born in Canada and her mother in Scotland. The couple indicate that they have been married for 12 years. Thomas indicates that he came to the U.S. in 1877 and was naturalized.
6 1930 US Census, District 11, Seney, Schoolcraft County, Michigan. Surety: 4. Lists Thomas F. Harcourt (age 74, b. Canada) and third wife, Minnie V. (age 51, b. MI), living in Seney, Michigan. Thomas indicates that he was first married at age 44, and Minnie at age 20. Thomas indicates that his father was born in Northern Ireland and his mother in Canada [English]. Minnie indicates that her father was from Canada [English] and her mother from Scotland. Thomas is listed as a "proprietor" of a "boarding house."
Barfknecht, Gary W., Murder in Michigan: 70 Fascinating and dramatic murders that have violently shaped the dark side of Michigan history (1983, 225 pages). Surety: 4. FATAL FEUD: Seney, June 25, 1891
In 1881, as thousands of brawling lumberjacks, railroad workers, gamblers and prostitutes flocked across the Mackinac Straits in a final assault in Michigan's war on virgin timber, the town of Seney was established at the end of an Upper Penninsula logging road. Seney rapidly grew, "like an ugly poisonous toadstool," until, by 1890, the town's wild lawless streets were lined with twenty-one saloons and two monstrous, competing whorehouses, one owned by Dan Dunn and the other by the six Harcourt brothers, Tom, Luke, Jim, Dick, Bill, and Steve.
Dunn and the Harcourts had fought from the time they opened rival saloons in Roscommon and had carried their feud to Seney. Dan Dunn and Tom Harcourt also battled for political control of Seney, and each routinely kept a variety of authorities and officials on their payroll. The feud finally boiled, and Dunn threatened to shoot any Harcourt on site.
Dunn usually carried out his threats as evidenced by two earlier "problems" he had disposed of. When an old drunk lumberjack whom Dunn had paid to burn his Roscommon saloon for the insurance money showed up in Seney and tried to blackmail him, Dunn took him to an island in the great swamp surrounding Seney and shot the old man in the back. A short time later, a Roscommon druggist demanded repayment of a loan he had made Dunn and ended up in a grave on the same island.
But twenty-year-old Steve Harcourt didn't fear Dan Dunn or his threat and, on June 25, 1891, sauntered casually into Dunn's bar and loudly ordered drinks for all the customers standing at the forty-foot-long polished bar. Dunn glared for a few seconds then coldly said he wouldn't serve "a goddamned Harcourt" a drink in his saloon. Young Harcourt laughed derisively, turned toward the men at the bar, and said, "I'm gonna tell you a few things about this no good bastard." As Harcourt began matter-of-factly listing all of Dunn's past crimes and misdemeanors, Dunn smashed a whiskey bottled over his head.
Steve staggered a few steps, and, as he fumbled for a gun which was wrapped in a red handkerchief in his pocket, Dunn reached under the bar, grabbed his own gun, and shot Harcourt in the mouth. As customers dived for cover, Steve pulled his gun and shot Dunn in the hand, and another shot ricocheted off the top of the bar past Dunn into a picture of John L. Sullivan that hung over an enormous beveled mirror. Gagging on his own blood, Harcourt then backed toward the door, and Dunn shot him again, this time in the stomach. Harcourt, with help, made it to his mother's home where he died three days later.
Dunn was arrested for manslaughter but the charges were dismissed a few days later at a preliminary hearing because, according to Harcourt sympathizers, Dunn had paid off the right county officials and witnesses.
THE LAST STRAW: Trout Lake, July 26, 1891
After Dan Dunn was set free, the five remaining Harcourts drew straws to see which brother would execute Steve Harcourt's killer. Jim Harcourt drew the short straw. Upon learning of the Harcourt's desire for revenge, Dunn convinced, or paid, a judge to swear out a peace warrant against the brothers. Dunn then fled to St. Ignace, and the Schoolcraft County Sheriff went to Seney to serve the warrant on the Harcourts.
Surprisingly, the Harcourts offered no resistance and three of the brothers accompanied the arresting officer to a hearing at Manistique. On Sunday, July 26, 1891, at Trout Lake, the sheriff and Harcourts headed for a saloon to spend a 45-minute wait while changing trains.
In an ironic twist of fate, Dan Dunn, also waiting to change trains while on his way from St. Ignace to Manistique as a witness against the Harcourts, stood at the end of the bar. Dunn glanced into the mirror, saw the brothers coming through the door, and spun toward them as he reached in his pocket for a gun. But Jim Harcourt saw the move, whipped out his .32 revolver, shot Dunn through the heart, and fired two more shots into Dunn's body before it hit the saloon's wooden floor. Harcourt then calmly straddled Dunn's body, fired two more shots at, but missed, Dunn's head, and handed his gun to the sheriff.
Jim Harcourt was tried, found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to seven and a half years at Marquette Prison. After serving three years of the sentence, he was pardoned and went on to become a township supervisor, deputy sheriff, a conservation officer, and well-respected citizen of Schoolcraft County.
In 1894, lumbering operations moved north to Grand Marais and Seney was all but abandoned.