Bio: Hurley, Michael Angel (1840 19??)





Surnames: Hurley, Ryan, Jones, Silver, Waring, Silverthorn, Leonard


---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.


Hurley, Michael Angel (22 October 1840 19??)


MICHAEL ANGEL HURLEY, who for thirty-nine years was a member of the Marathon County bar in active practice but now retired, was universally recognized as a leader of the same, being an able advocate and unusually gifted in oratory. He was born in the village of Bytown, in Ontario, Dominion of Canada, October 22, 1840, a son of William and Mary Hurley. His maternal grandfather was an officer in the Scotch Grays, a noted regiment in the British army which participated in the battle of Waterloo, where he lost his life. William Hurley was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and in early manhood came to Canada and there became a railroad man. About 1841 he moved to Ogdensburg, N. Y., and there his death occurred in 1850.  


Michael Angel Hurley was but ten years old when his father died and as his mother was an invalid he was practically, at that early age, thrown entirely upon his own resources. During his father's lifetime he had been carefully instructed and no doubt the father so impressed the child with a love of learning that aroused an ambition which the son cherished through many hardships until he secured the educational training that opened up the life career in which success crowned his efforts. After a comparatively short period in the public schools necessity made him seek some way of earning money, finding work as a sailor on the great lakes the first to come to hand, and with the money so earned he laid the foundation of his educational fund. In the fall of 1856 he secured employment in a sawmill at Schofield, Wisconsin, and remained until he had earned $400 and then secured a position at Stevens Point where he could work for his board and lodging and still have time for study. He was methodical and practical in his arrangements, engaging a local clergyman to direct his Latin studies, having learned his first verbs under his father, and another local scholar to teach him Greek, while, under the principal of the Stevens Point High School, he pursued a course in mathematics and in other higher branches. This plan he followed for several years, during this time occasionally teaching school as well as studying. In 1861 he secured a situation as a hotel clerk in Chicago, and while there took private lessons with the instructors in the old Chicago University.  


From Chicago Mr. Hurley went to Berlin, Wisconsin, where he entered upon the study of law under the direction of Thomas Curran Ryan, and in 1869, at Dartford, Green Lake County, Wis. was admitted to the bar, and after his admission to the bar he formed a partnership with O. S. Silver, and later he formed a partnership with G. D. Waring and subsequently he was elected district attorney both of the city of Berlin, Green Lake County, and served one year in that office, when he resigned in October, 1873, came to Wausau, in the following month forming a law partnership with Willis C. Silverthorn, the latter of whom subsequently was elected judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit. The firm of Silverthorn & Hurley became one of great legal prominence and gained reputation throughout this entire section during much successful litigation that passed through its hands. Notable was the case of the Gogebic Iron lands, in 1881, the owners of which engaged this firm to recover the titles which had been lost through tax titles. The consequent litigation was carried on through great and masterly skill by this firm and brought success to their clients and a one-fourth interest to the firm. Having reason to be grateful for the work accomplished by Mr. Hurley in this case, these clients did him the honor of naming the present city of Hurley, Wisconsin, to perpetuate his name. In 1883 Mr. Ryan became a partner in the firm and in 1886 G. D Jones was admitted. In 1889 Mr. Hurley organized the Hurley Gold Mining Company, in California, and moved there to take charge of his interests and for two years engaged in the practice of law at San Francisco. In the fall of 1897 he returned to Wausau and re-entered his old firm, and in 1898, when Mr. Silverthorn was elected to the bench, the firm was reorganized as Ryan, Hurley & Jones, and since the retirement of Mr. Ryan, has continued as Hurley & Jones, although, for the past five years, Mr. Hurley has only looked after his individual interests. Perhaps the state has no lawyer who has a superior knowledge of fundamental law than has Mr. Hurley and his address before the Wisconsin State Bar Association is held as a classic by the bench and bar of this state.


On June 16, 1874, Mr. Hurley was married to Miss Clara H. Leonard, a lady well known in social and philanthropic circles here. For several years she has served as president of the Ladies' Auxiliary Society and Advancement Association of Wausau. Mr. and Mrs. Hurley have had two sons, Fred and Judd, the former of whom died while the family resided in California. They are members of the Presbyterian Church. In years past Mr. Hurley has responded to calls from the Republican Party for active campaign work, yet he has never sought nor desired political preferment, his profession claiming his entire time and interest. He has served as a member of the board of law examiners, appointed by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, and is president of the Wisconsin State Bar Association. He is treasurer of the Northern Chief Iron Company. In times of public calamity or when private charity has been necessary, no one has been more ready or willing than has Mr. Hurley to assume responsibility. He has long been a member and liberal supporter of the Wausau City and the Wausau Country Clubs.  




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