Augustus B. Wolvin

A. B. Wolvin. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

Augustus B. Wolvin is one of the energetic, public spirited and progressive business men of Duluth, Minn. He is a man of high ideals and has attained success by conscientiously and persistently following a fixed purpose to make the most and best of his abilities and opportunities.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he was born October 16, 1857, and is a son of Capt. Benjamin S. and Finetta (Harrington) Wolvin. He had meager educational advantages in early life, as he became a cabin boy on the great lakes when but ten years old and his school training was restricted to a few months in the winter, while lake navigation was suspended. But he made good use of such privileges as he had and applied himself diligently and faithfully to his duties, and on attaining his majority in 1878 was made master of a vessel under Messrs. Winslow Brothers, vessel owners of Buffalo, N. Y., and filled that position until he was twenty-six years of age. In 1884 he gave up his position and going to Pecatonica, Ill., engaged in the produce business till 1888, when he settled in Duluth as a member of the firm of La Salle & Wolvin, in the general vessel commission business.

Mr. Wolvin was a leading spirit in the firm and soon began organizing lake transportation companies and in 1895 organized and incorporated the Zenith Transit Company, which soon thereafter built five of the largest transportation ships on the lakes.

When the Pittsburgh Steamship Company was organized in 1901 by the merger of the principal transportation fleets of the lakes, comprising 112 vessels, he was made vice-president and general manager of the organization and filled those offices until January, 1904, when he organized and was made president of the Zenith Furnace Company, of which he is now, 1909, the head.

Mr. Wolvin is pre-eminently a man of affairs and is interested in whatever relates to the civic or social betterment of his city and community. The Wolvin building, which bears his name, ranks among the finest buildings in Duluth. He is identified with the Kitchi Gammi Club, Duluth, the Chicago Club of Chicago, the Minnesota of St. Paul, and the Union Club of Cleveland.

In January, 1880, Mr. Wolvin married Miss Carrie L. Kilgore, of Pecatonica, Ill.


  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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