Wilbert H. Treloar was a writer and public figure whose dedication to the Marquette and Northern Michigan community spanned a lifetime. Born and raised in Marquette, Treloar graduated from Northern State Normal (1) in 1921.
As a student he was elected class president during his senior year, and contributed heavily to the arts on campus as a member of Ygdrasil (2) and the Sons of Thor (3), whose play during the 1921 school year “lives on in the minds of the students”, according to a 1921 edition of the Northern Normal News, of which Treloar was a student editor.
Treloar pursued journalism after graduation, beginning his career as a reporter for The Mining Journal. He worked his way through the ranks, serving as a sports editor, wire editor, news editor, advertising representative and business manager before being appointed general manager in 1956.
At the time of receiving his award, Treloar was the President of the NMU Foundation and in 1964 was awarded the Citizenship of the Year Award by the Marquette Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to education.
Treloar is best-known for his 1977 biographical novel Cohodas: The Story of a Family. Published by the Northern Michigan University Press, the novel investigates the Jewish lineage and history of the Cohodas family dating back to the events of the Book of Exodus and Sam Cohodas’s rise to prominence through the Cohodas Bros. Company.
From the preface of Cohodas: The Story of a Family
Wilbert H. Treloar of Marquette has been a friend and confidant of Sam Cohodas for over forty years, and he has been a business associate and acquaintance of many in the family for decades. His biography of the family and the central figure of Sam Cohodas reflects the sympathetic pen of a friend. Yet, Mr. Treloar tells the story of this outstanding family fully, objectively, and in a highly readable style.
JOHN X. JAMRICH, President
Northern Michigan University
- Secret society similar to a fraternity, formed in 1914.