Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month Will Breakey

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The Veteran of the Month of March, 2018, is William Orton Breakey. Born in Port Huron, Michigan, April 7, 1892 to parents John and Helen Carson Breakey.


He attended Port Huron Schools, and as a young man, was employed as a Milk Wagon Driver, and also as a breakman on the railroad.

While working on the railroad, he broke his leg while jumping off a moving train.

After recovering from the injury, he then moved to Pontiac, and joined the Pontiac Fire Department as an Engineer, serving until his enlistment in 1917 into the United States Army.

He received training at San Antonio, Texas as a Balloon Observer, and was assigned to the 56th Balloon Company, 5th Balloon Corps.

After training,and having attained the rank of Sargent, his unit was to be shipped to France in 1918.

While in Newport News, Virginia, port of embarkation awaiting shipment, the Influenza epidemic struck his unit hard.

By the time they had recovered, the war was over. Breakey always held remorse for not being able to fight in the war.

Returning home to Pontiac,on September 6, 1918, he married Mildred Campbell Breakey.

They moved for a short time to Grand Rapids, only to move yet again to East Jordan where they purchased a home next to Mildred’s mother.

While in East Jordan, Breakey worked at the Iron Smelting Plant, commonly called the Chemical Works, and for the East Jordan Iron Works, now EJ.

He operated a Jitney service between East Jordan and Boyne City, and was a night policeman in East Jordan.

In January, 1927, he moved back to Pontiac, Michigan, rejoined the Pontiac Fire Department where he remained for 35 years of service.

The last 9 years as the Fire Chiefs Driver. On September 16, 1955, William Orton Breakey answered the final call and is being honored by his extended family.

To honor a deceased Honorably Discharged U.S. military veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067. The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Michigan at 6:15 p.m. followed by a potluck supper.

For more information call the phone number listed above and request a Veteran Of The Month Program be sent to you that will explain what the program consists of and what information is used to write the Veterans biography.