Ernest Ronn papers

Summary Information

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives
Ronn, Ernest
Ernest Ronn papers
Date [inclusive]
1.3 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], in the Ernest Ronn papers, MSS-029, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, Northern Michigan University.

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Biographical Note

Ernest "Ernie" Ronn was born on Anne Street in Negaunee, Michigan, in 1925. He started work as an underground miner after high school in 1943. Ronn entered service in the United States Army in 1944 and returned to mine work following his discharge in 1946. In 1970, Ronn was appointed sub-district director, District 33, of the United Steelworkers of America and remained in this position until his retirement in 1996. Ronn held numerous appointed political positions, including member of the United States Interior Department's Advisory Committee on Federal Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety (1971-1975) and served as the committee's chairman (1974-1975). In 1997, Ronn was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame. For a complete history of Ronn's life and work, see his published memoir entitled "52 Steps Underground." Ronn died on December 18, 2004.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents Ernest "Ernie" Ronn's activity as a union organizer and labor leader for the United Steel Workers headquartered in Negaunee, Michigan. The collection includes photographs, personal memorabilia, books on labor history, manuscripts of his memoirs, and correspondence. The collection also includes an oral history interview conducted by Dr. Russell M. Magnaghi on December 15, 1998. A new accession to the original collection includes memorabilia, photographs, awards, plaques, and an original, handwritten, manuscript of Ronn's memoirs. The photographs largely document his activities as a labor leader, particularly meetings with national labor leaders and politicians. The collection materials cover the period between 1946 and 1999.

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Arrangement note

The materials of this collection are arranged into two series: I. Photographs and II. Correspondence and Manuscript Material.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette, Michigan, 49855

Revision Description


Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions. Open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Gift of Ernest "Ernie" Ronn in 1997.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials note

Historical photographs of iron mines and work sites were separated from the collection. Please see the Archives staff for help accessing these photographs.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United Steelworkers of America. District 33.

Personal Name(s)

  • Ronn, Ernest


  • Iron Miners' Strike, Marquette County, Mich., 1946.
  • Iron miners--Michigan--Negaunee--Biography--Sources.
  • Iron mines and mining--Michigan--Negaunee--History--Sources.
  • Labor leaders--Michigan--Biography--Sources.
  • Labor movement--Michigan--Upper Peninsula.
  • Labor unions--Michigan--Upper Peninsula.
  • Strikes and lockouts--Iron industry--Michigan--Upper Peninsula.

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Collection Inventory


 MSS-029 Photographs 1946 - 1987   1.0 box

35-03-11 LRC

Separation Record 

AFL-CIO Convention--Lansing, MI; Legislative Conference--Washington, D.C.; Steelworkers Legislative Conference undated; undated; 1966 

Burning Negaunee Mortgage circa 1987 

Contributions to Bell Memorial Hospital 

Empire Mine 

Federal Advisory Committee 

Federal Mine Safety Board; Advisory Committee on Mine Safety and Health 1975; undated 

Negaunee Centennial 1965 

Mather Mine--Picketing--Strike 1946 

Meetings--Michigan C.I.O. Legislative Conference; Legislative Meeting, Marquette; AFL-CIO State Federation, undated; Lobbying State Legislature, Lansing; Labor Convention, Atlantic City, NJ 1957; undated; undated; circa 1950 

Miscellaneous Photographs 

Miscellaneous--Labor Education; "Voice of the Miner" Program; U.S.W.A. (United Steel Workers of America) International Offices; Hubert Humphrey Presidential Campaign; Walter Mondale Presidential Campaign; Miscellaneous Groups Apr. 1946; undated;1968; 1984; undated 

U.S.W.A. (United Steel Workers of America) Conventions 

U.S.W.A. Conventions--Atlantic City, NJ, undated 

Family Photographs 

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 MSS-029 Correspondence and Manuscript Material 1967-1997   1.0 box

Controlled Access Headings


  • Iron Miners' Strike, Marquette County, Mich., 1946.
  • Labor leaders.
  • Labor movement.
  • Labor unions.
  • Strikes and lockouts.

Ernie Ronn Oral History Interview transcript 12/15/98 (includes bio) 

Correspondence 1967-1997 

Correspondence concerning nephew, Todd 1988-90 

Correspondence resignation from Bell Memorial 1990-91 

Reproductions of book photographs 

Manuscript - No Title 

Manuscript - Out of School, Into The Mine 

Manuscript - Toothpicks and Pasty 

Manuscript - Negaunee - A Mining Town 

Manuscript - Born Out Of Heaven 

Manuscript - Back Into the Negaunee Mine 

Manuscript - Lunch Time at the Athens 

Manuscript - Santa Wore Mining Boots 

Manuscript - Christmas Eve 1943 

Manuscript - Confidence Like Heaven Before 

Manuscript - Conditions Worsen 

Manuscript - Now Only One 

Manuscript - The Mighty Mather B 

Manuscript - It didn't Last Long 

Manuscript - The Best Thing that Ever Happened 

Manuscript - The Union's role in the Community 

Manuscript - Grievance and Arbitration 

Manuscript - A New Era, A New Field 

Manuscript - Never Too Old or Too Smart to Learn 

Manuscript - CCI: Independent or Captive 

Manuscript - Never One, But Many 

Manuscript - Safety in the Mines 

Manuscript - A Reluctant Partnership 

Manuscript - As Others Watched 

Manuscript - Misguided Confidence and a mismatch 

Manuscript - Why Me? 

Manuscript - Negotiations 

Manuscript - The Last Cage 

Manuscript - Our Changing Priorities 

Manuscript - It Just Didn't Sound Right 

Manuscript - The World Few Have Seen 

Manuscript - The Final Judge 

Manuscript - Those Darker Days 

Manuscript - Moments Remembered 

Manuscript - What it Took in Men and Material 

Manuscript - A Shameful Legacy 

Manuscript - Many Seeking a Common Goal - Survival 

Manuscript - Ishpeming - Jasper Street 

Manuscript - As the Trains Went By 

Manuscript - Noblese Oblige 

Manuscript - After the First Shift 

Manuscript - Untitled 

Manuscript - The End of an Era 

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