Keweenaw County Michigan

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William J. Uren


WILLIAM J. UREN is assistant superintendent of the Trimountain Mining Company, and is located at the town of Ripley, in Houghton County, Michigan. He was born in Keweenaw County, Michigan, in 1863, and is a son of Capt. Richard and Jane (Nicholas) Uren.

Capt. Richard Uren was born in Cornwall, England, June 10, 1835, and was a son of William and Jane Uren. He came to America in 1851, reaching Houghton, Houghton County, Michigan, in September of that year, and worked as a miner from 1851 to 1855. He then formed a partnership with his brother in a lease of the Copper Falls mine, and at the expiration of the lease in 1859 engaged as mining captain of the same mine. In 1863 he formed a partnership with Dunston & Blight for the manufacture of safety fuse at Eagle River, the machinery for this work having been invented by Mr. Uren. He was afterward appointed agent of the Madison, Winthrop and Dana mines, and in 1864 became agent of the Pewabic and Franklin mines. Resigning in 1868, he went to California, where he established a safety fuse factory and continued with good success until 1872, in June of which year he returned to the Lake Superior region. He leased the Pewabic and Franklin mines and operated them until July, 1874. In 1877 he went to the Black Hills, where he was interested in gold mining, but in a short time returned to Michigan and purchased an interest in the Lake Superior Native Copper Works, of which he was secretary and treasurer at the time of his death, March 12, 1897. Mr. Uren married Jane Nicholas, who was born in Cornwall, England, August n, 1859, and was a daughter of William Nicholas of Cornwall. She died September 13, 1902.

William J. Uren received his primary education in the public schools of Houghton County, then finished his schooling in the Michigan College of Mines. Starting in business in 1880, he was identified with his father in copper smelting at the Lake Superior Native Copper Works for three years. He then became connected with the Wolverine mine, now operated by the Wolverine Copper Company. His father had opened and operated this mine with T. W. Edwards of Houghton, Michigan, and our subject remained with this company for three years. In 1885 he entered the Michigan College of Mines, completed his course of instruction there in 1888, and then, in the capacity of civil engineer, entered the employ of the Mineral Range Railroad Company, and the Hancock & Calumet Railroad Company, which is now known as the Mineral Range Railway, the latter now controlled by the former, and both operated by the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway Company. In 1895 he was connected with the United States government on the work of the canal in this section. In the fall of 1895 Mr. Uren became connected with the Lake Superior Iron Company, now known as the Hodge Iron Company, as draughtsman, and so continued until early in 1899. He then became assistant superintendent of the Trimountain Mining Company and the Elm River Mining Company, with which concerns he has since been identified.

On October 5, 1895, Mr. Uren was united in marriage with Emma Lucia Forbes, a daughter of William and Mary Forbes, her father coming to America from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in the early "thirties" and locating in the Southern Peninsula of Michigan. Her mother was also a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and came to America in 1850. Mrs. Forbes' father was an artist of great reputation in Scotland, and was a personal friend of General Gordon. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Uren: Richard Forbes, born July 19, 1897; Mary, born December 3, 1901; and an infant born March 25, 1903. Fraternally our subject is a Mason. F. W.