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Friends of Point
Betsie Lighthouse
P.O. Box 601
Frankfort, MI
49635-0601
231-352-7644
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231-352-7666

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Web Site © Copyright
2002-2012 by The
Friends of Point
Betsie Lighthouse

and
ATI Consulting

All rights reserved.

The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse

• Key Point Betsie Personnel •


KEY PERSONEL of the POINT BETSIE LIGHT STATION
and
U.S. LIFE-SAVING SERVICE AND U.S. COAST GUARD STATIONS

The following two lists of honor include the names of Point Betsie’s lightkeepers and their assistants throughout the 125 years when the station was operated by resident crews, as well as keepers or officers-in-charge of rescue stations of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard which shared the lighthouse’s property between 1877 and 1937. Desiring to make this roll and our organization’s personnel records as complete as possible, we encourage readers to advise the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, Inc. of anyone else who served at Point Betsie, as well as their dates of service, if known.

Point Betsie Lighthouse Personnel, 1858-1983:

David Flury, lightkeeper 1859
Abel Barnes, lightkeeper 1859-1860
P.D. Barnes, lightkeeper 1860-1861
Alonzo J. Slyfield, lightkeeper 1861-1882
Edwin R. Slyfield, lightkeeper 1882-1888
Peter Dues, lightkeeper 1888-1893 (late in his tenure an assistant position was authorized for the station)

Charles W. Butler, assistant lightkeeper 1892
George Chamberlin, assistant lightkeeper 1892-1893

Soren Christenson, lightkeeper 1893-1895

Thomas Hart, assistant lightkeeper 1893-1894
Medad Spencer, assistant lightkeeper 1894-1904

Philip Sheridan, lightkeeper 1895-1919 (early in his tenure a second assistant position was authorized)

Frank H. Glover, assistant lightkeeper 1898-1900
James P. Burdick, assistant lightkeeper 1900-1901
John S. Kerchill, assistant lightkeeper 1901-1902
Charles Stibitz, assistant lightkeeper 1902-1907
Roy Oliver, assistant lightkeeper 1904
Albert F. Straubel, assistant lightkeeper 1904-1906
Edward L. Gray, assistant lightkeeper 1906-1910
Knut A. Nelson, assistant lightkeeper 1907-1909
Raymond J. Grant, assistant lightkeeper 1909-1917
Frederick W. Ferguson, assistant lightkeeper 1909-1910
Howard A. Kimball, assistant lightkeeper 1910-1916
Frederick Bennett, assistant lightkeeper 1911(approx.) -1916
David Howard, assistant lightkeeper 1916
Elmer L. Grenzer, assistant lightkeeper 1917-1928 (approx.)

Severin Danielsen, lightkeeper 1919-1928
Charles E. Tesnow, lightkeeper, 1928-1933

Henry J. LaFreniere, assistant lightkeeper 1928-1945
Robert McKillop, assistant lightkeeper 1928
Nels A. Nelson, assistant lightkeeper 1931-1946

Edward M. Wheaton, lightkeeper, USCG 1933-1946 (lighthouses transferred to U.S. Coast Guard in 1939)

Jerry Conley, assistant lightkeeper, USCG 1942

John Quinlan, USCG (late 1940s)
Elbert McKinney, USCG 1950
Louis Bauchan, USCG 1947-1952
William O. Mathews, USCG (early 1950s)
John P. Campbell, USCG 1958-1963
Hubert C. Jackson, USCG
Robert Hansard, USCG
Wilbur G. McVay, USCG
Glynn Butler, USCG
David H. Marphree, USCG
Keith Norden, USCG
Kenneth P. Rachford, USCG
Edward R. Zane III, USCG
George D. Milligan, USCG
Marc Phillips, USCG
Tom Wilson, USCG
Steve Sherman, USCG
Neil Martinek USCG

Scott Sandy, USCG (Point Betsie Light’s last official residential keeper, who served until the light’s automation in 1983). Coast Guardsmen and their families who thereafter lived in the lighthouse until 1996-1997 while stationed at the nearby Frankfort facility monitored the light.

Captains of Point Betsie Stations of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard, 1877-1937

Thomas E. Matthews, 1876-1887 USLS keeper

Harrison Miller, 1887-1908 USLS keeper

Edwin E. Bedford, 1908-1918 USLS/USCG keeper (USLS became U.S. Coast Guard in 1915)

Ludwig Hendricksen, 1918-1919 USCG interim keeper

Sigval B. Johnson, 1919-1920 USCG keeper (post’s official title changed in 1920 to Boatswain (L) to designate a land-based rather than sea-based assignment).

Abram Wessel, 1920-1929 USCG Boatswain (L)

Fred D. Straubel, 1929-1931 USCG Chief Boatswain’s Mate (L)

William Dipert, 1931-1937 USCG Chief Boatswain’s Mate (L), who was ordered to shutter the station, which the U.S. Government sold to a private owner shortly after the end of World War II.