Term: Ingram, Orrin Henry 1830 - 1918
lumberman, businessman, b. Westfield, Mass. He had gained considerable experience in the lumber business in the East and in Canada before coming to Wisconsin in 1857 when he settled in Eau Claire. With A. M. Dole and Donald Kennedy, he formed the lumber firm of Dole, Ingram and Kennedy there. The firm established lumberyards at Read's Landing, Minn., and Dubuque, Iowa, where a mill was also constructed. In 1862 Dole left the firm, and in 1864 it became Ingram, Kennedy and Co. In 1865 Ingram constructed the steamer "Silas Wright," which utilized a shallow draft device invented by Ingram in an attempt to overcome the navigational problem presented by the shifting water levels of the Chippewa. The boat was soon carrying a large portion of the freight between Eau Claire and Read's Landing, and the invention was later used effectively in the South and in Alaska. During the 1870's Ingram and many of the mill owners in the Chippewa valley engaged in a struggle with outside interests, headed by Frederick Weyerhaeuser (q.v.) and the Mississippi River Logging Co., for control of the Chippewa valley timber industry. In 1880 they worked out a compromise and Ingram, along with the other local lumbermen, joined the Weyerhaeuser "pool." In 1881 he organized the Empire Lumber Co., which absorbed the interests of Ingram, Kennedy and Co., the Charles Horton Lumber Co. of Winona, Minn., Ingram, Kennedy and Day of Dubuque, and Dulaney and McVeigh of Hannibal, Mo. In 1883 he organized the Rice Lake Lumber Co. One of the most prominent businessmen in the area, he served as an officer or director of numerous enterprises, including the Chippewa Logging Co., the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Co., the Eau Claire National Bank and the Union National Bank, the Chippewa River Dells Improvement Co., the Eau Claire Water Works Co., and several enterprises outside the state. He was active in philanthropic endeavors, and was especially interested in aiding the development of Ripon College, of which he was a director for many years. Madison Democrat, Oct. 17, 1918; Columbian Biog. Diet.... Wis. (Chicago, 1895); R. F. Fries, Empire in Pine (Madison, 1951); G. W. Hotchkiss, Hist. of the Lumber and Forest Industry of the Northwest (Chicago, 1898); WPA MS; O. H. Ingram Papers.
The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Orrin Henry Ingram Papers for details.
View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]