Biography of Edward J. Mildren
Indiana County, PA Biographies

EDWARD J. MILDREN. The fact that most of the great resources of Indiana county are being developed with home capital, and by citizens of the county, is a matter of gratification to Indianians. One of the leading and most important industries, of Indiana county and Pennsylvania today is the manufacture of fire brick, and a representative manufacturer in that line of business is Edward J. Mildren, the proprietor of the Black Lick Manufacturing company. He was born in Sheffield, Cornwall county, England, in March, 1837, and is a son of Jacob and Jane (Jennings) Mildren. Jacob Mildren was born March 2, 1808, in Cornwall county, England, where, on November 29, 1834, he married Jane Jennings, daughter of Edward Jennings, and in 1818 came to Armstrong county and purchased his present farm near Brady's Bend. He has always followed farming and met with good success in that line of business. He is now in the eighty second year of his age, while his wife has seen her seventy ninth birthday, and both are in good health. He is a son of Richard Mildren (born September 9, 1750), who married Mary Lory, and whose father (Richard) was a son of Richard Mildren, Sr., whose father (James) was a son of Richard Mildren, who was a very wealthy and influential man in Cornwall county about 1650.

Edward J. Mildren was reared on a farm and received his education in the public schools of England and the common schools of Pennsylvania. At twenty two years of age he was manager for one year of an iron and blast furnace owned by the Tennessee Iron and Coal company. He then returned to Pennsylvania and went to Cambria county, where he took a contract for hauling ore out of one of the large coal mines of that county. He worked from forty to one hundred mules, and held this contract for fourteen years, when he resigned it, in 1873, to succeed the firm of Kinter, Hadlaije & Guthrie, in the proprietorship of the Black Lick Manufacturing company. The works are one and one fourth miles east of Black Lick station, with which they are connected by a tram railway. They were erected in 1869 for the purpose of manufacturing fire brick and tile. After Mr. Mildren came in possession he enlarged the yard to twice its original size and increased the capacity of the works. In 1874 he added another clay mill and a twenty five horse power engine. The next year he erected two crown kilns, and since then has been continually enlarging and improving his works. A large machine shop and a thoroughly equipped foundry have been attached to the works, which are used exclusively for the manufacture of fire brick. Mr. Mildren employs from one hundred to one hundred and seventy five hands, and does over $100,000 worth of business per year. These works are fully equipped with all the latest machinery and apparatus necessary for the prosecution of the business, which is conducted in all of its branches by experienced and skilled workmen. The fire brick of the Black Lick Manufacturing company are of the finest quality. They are used for building purposes and in blast furnaces, glass houses, coke ovens and iron and steel works all over this county, and are shipped to Mexico, where they are in great demand for their durability and excellence. The capacity of the works at the present time is forty thousand bricks per week. Mr. Mildren brings to his aid, in conducting this enterprise, years of business experience, as well as an intimate knowledge of the wants of his numerous patrons. He is favorably located to secure low freights and to make prompt shipments to every part of the country. The reasonable inducements which he offers to the public have secured him the present extensive patronage which be enjoys in his line of business. In 1873 he opened his present mercantile establishment, in which he always carries a stock of from five to eight thousand dollars' worth of goods.

In 1859 he married Mary Davis, daughter of Richard Davis, formerly of Brady's Bend, Armstrong county. They have one adopted daughter, Edna, who is the wife of L. H. Shannon. Mrs. Mildren is a member of the Presbyterian church, while Mr. Mildren was reared in the episcopalian faith.

Edward J. Mildren is a republican in politics. In Masonry he has passed through lodge and chapter, and is a Knight Templar. He possesses a high sense of honor and a marked individual independence, and has always been true to himself and his engagements. He is distinguished for promptness and fearlessness in the discharge of every duty devolving upon him.

Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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