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James Ermatinger was a prominent fur trader in Northern Wisconsin for many years. He was born in Michilimackinac, Michigan on October 3, 1808. His parents were George Ermatinger and Catherine McKee. James was familiar with the fur trade industry as his father was a fur trader for many years in Sault Ste. Marie. His father traded for the American Fur Trading Co., for which James would later work. James married Charlotte Cadotte, the daughter of Michel Cadotte and Marie Madeleine Equawasay Waubojeeg. (widow of Truman A. Warren) on August 1, 1829 in Chippewa, Michigan. They had six children together. Charlotte’s family were prominent traders and post leaders for the AFT Co. Their children were: • • • • • • Alice, b. 1837 Elijah, b. 1838. Isaac, b. 1839. Elisha, b. 1840 Charles, b. 1842. Frederick, b. 1847.
James and Charlotte eventually moved to Vermillion Falls (or Rapids) where he established a trading post. James was very involved with the village’s affairs, even acting as Justice of the Peace for Chippewa County in 1855. Due to his contributions to the town, Vermillion Falls was eventually renamed James Falls (and then later Jim Falls) in honor of James Ermatinger. Apparently fur trading is not all that Mr. Ermatinger was interested in. Several sources mentioned that his father was involved in the army for the British War of 1812 and James himself was Capitan of the cavalry during the Rebellion of 1837. James eventually died in 1866 at Jim Falls.
Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute