Theodore Roosevelt’s Campaign Stop in Laurium
Stays Overnight in Thomas Hoatson’s Home
When President Teddy Roosevelt was campaigning in October of 1912 (he had started the Progressive Party or “Bull Moose” campaign due to dissatisfaction with Pres. Taft and a desire to re-enter politics again ), he stayed with Capt. and Mrs. Hoatson. He gave a speech in Houghton and had been persuaded by Mr. Fischer (Calumet & Arizona Mining Company’s secretary) to come up to Calumet at 10PM to give a speech at the Palestra in Laurium. A telegram was received the day of his arrival at 3PM letting the town of Calumet know he would be there at 10PM! Can you imagine being notified a few hours in advance of a former President coming to town? Hundreds of volunteers went to the Palestra to set up seating and a stage.
When Roosevelt arrived by train he was visibly exhausted while giving his speech. He kept wiping sweat from his brow and his voice was going hoarse. After the speech ended he was exhausted from being on-the-go for days. He went from the Palestra to the Hoatson residence where he slept in the guest room at the time, now the Laurium Suite #1. Roosevelt and Capt. Hoatson had many of the same friends and acquaintances including John Greenway. Greenway had fought alongside Roosevelt as a Roughrider in the Spanish-American War. Greenway was also General Manager of Hoatson’s Calumet & Arizona Mining Company.
Roosevelt left the Hoatson residence early the next morning because he had to continue on his campaign route, next stop was Superior followed by Chicago and then Milwaukee!
Only 4 days after his departure from Calumet, Roosevelt was shot in the chest while leaving from the Hotel Gilpatrick by a man named John Schrank. Roosevelt, having plenty of experience with guns, put his finger to his mouth to check for blood. He concluded he was fine and ordered his driver to continue to the auditorium to give his speech! Pale and weak he gave his speech but then left on the insistence of his friends to go to the hospital. The bullet had been slowed by the 50 page speech he had folded up in his breast pocket as well as his heavy army coat. The bullet would remain lodged in his rib for the remainder of his life.
For more info on the 630 square foot Laurium Suite #1 with the original Hoatson dark mahogany bed and private balcony see here: http://www.laurium.info/rooms–rates-9/#sect-80