Hurley, Wisconsin

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Hurley is a city in and the county seat of Iron County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,818 at the 2000 census. It is directly across the Montreal River from Ironwood, Michigan.

Contents

History

Hurley is located on the Montreal River, the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was founded to serve the interest of both lumbermen and miners. Hurley and adjacent Gile were lumber towns, while nearby mining towns included Montreal, Ironwood, Michigan, Bessemer, Michigan and Wakefield, Michigan.

Hurley took its name from M. A. Hurley, a prominent attorney of Wausau who won a lawsuit for the Northern Chief Iron Company in 1884. The compensation for winning the suit was that he asked for no fee, but only requested that the town involved in the case be named after him. The full name "Glen Hurley" was used for one year, but in 1885, the first name was dropped and the community became known as Hurley.

Henry Meade was the first mayor of Hurley, Wisconsin. John Ankers opened Hurley’s first saloon, and served as Hurley’s first town clerk, first justice of the peace, and first fire chief.

The Gogebic Range Directory of 1888 states: "During the past summer, Hurley was twice visited by terrible fires. The first occurred of June 28 and the second on July 9. These destroyed almost the entire business portion of the city, and at first it was thought that they would prove a crushing blow to its prosperity, but later events have proven that they were blessings in disguise. The wonderful pluck and energy of its businessmen were fully demonstrated when they at once began the erection of fine brick buildings in the place of the wooden ones destroyed. The result has been that the burned portion has been rebuilt with brick and stone, making them nearly fireproof. And Silver Street is one that a much larger city could well be proud of."[citation needed]

Historic locations

The Iron Exchange Bank of Hurley, was the oldest bank of the Gogebic Range. It was organized November 26, 1885. Dr. J.C. Renolds, the bank’s first president, and his brother, W. S. Renolds, the bank’s first cashier, were the prime movers in the organization of the institution. Associated with them in the organization were John E. Burton, Alvin E. Tyler, Edward Ryan, Nathaniel J. Moore, James A. Wood, and Shepherd Homans, all men prominent in the mining industry in the area in the early days. By 1925, when it celebrated its 40th anniversary, it had withstood all financial depressions.

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