Hon. Michael Carey, a member of the Idaho state senate (session of 1899), and one of the leading mine-owners of the commonwealth, now residing at Ketchum, Blaine County, is a native of the Emerald Isle. He was born December 12, 1844, a son of Michael and Mary (Tracy) Carey, both of whom were natives of Ireland, whence they crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1850, bringing with them their family of seven children. They settled in Keweenaw County, Michigan, where the parents spent their remaining days. The father was a man of intelligence and a surveyor by profession. Both he and his wife were members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Carey departed his life in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and his wife passed away in her fifty-sixth year, both being buried in northern Michigan.
Senator Carey is their youngest child, and was only six years of age when the family arrived in the United States. He acquired his education in the public schools of northern Michigan, and at the age of sixteen years began to earn his own livelihood by working as a miner in Houghton County, Michigan, where he remained until 1864, when he went to California by way of the Isthmus route and mined in Mariposa County for six years. On the expiration of that period he went to Silver City, Idaho, and accepted the position of manager of the mines there, serving in that capacity for eight years. In 1878 he accepted the management of the Virtue mine, at Baker City, Oregon, where he remained for two years, and in 1881 came on a prospecting tour to Hailey. Here he leased the Elkhorn mine, at Ketchum, and in six months took out thirty-one thousand dollars. After the term of his lease had expired the owners took out ore to the value of a million dollars. Mr. Carey subsequently leased the Erwin mine from the Philadelphia Company, operating it for two years, during which time he made a shipment of five hundred tons of ore to Denver, which yielded one hundred dollars to the ton and netted Mr. Carey thirty dollars per ton after paying the company’s royalties. Later he took charge of the Ontario- group of mines, of which he has since become the sole owner, and which he is now successfully operating. A sketch of these mines is given on another page of this volume. He has long been identified with the mining interests of the northwest, and his labors have been effective in developing the rich mineral resources of this state and thus adding to the general prosperity.
Senator Carey gave his political support to the Democracy from the time he attained his majority until the organization of the Populist party, since which time he has affiliated with the latter, and in 1898 he was elected on its ticket to represent Blaine County in the state senate. In the discharge of his duties he has been most prompt and loyal, laboring earnestly for the general good. He considers carefully every problem that comes up for solution, and after determining upon a course which he believes to be right nothing can turn him aside from following it. In business he has depended upon his own efforts from youth, and all that he has acquired is the deserved reward of his own labors.
April 3, 1899, Mr. Carey was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary Lowery, a native of Kingston, Canada, who came to Hailey in 1887.