HE people of to-day who ride over Wisconsin's broad acres, who visit its thriving cities and villages, its teeming marts of trade, and understand the scope of its vast industries, can hardly realize what it was as far back as 1634. It was in that year that Jean Nicolet, an agent of Champlain, Governor of Canada (or New France, as it was then known), landed upon the shore of the Fox river on one of his numerous voyages, and thus had the honor of being the first European to set foot upon the soil of what is now known as Wisconsin. It was deemed advisable to enter this new and mysterious Northwest, to treat with the savages, Christianize them, if possible, and last, but by no means least, to get a thorough knowledge of the fur trade. It was upon this daring mission that Nicolet was sent, and with a crew of seven Indians of the Huron tribe the stout-hearted man set forth.
Erroneously expecting to find the China Sea located in the vicinity of Green Bay, he took great pains to robe himself in gorgeous raiment before disembarking, in order that he might be presentable when he should be accorded an audience with the Chinese and Japanese Mandarins. Imagine, then, his surprise and disgust when, instead of being received and welcomed by a semi-civilized race of people, he was immediately surrounded by hordes of howling, naked savages who took little interest in his gaudy habiliments and much less interest in the fact that he was a Christian missionary. However, the proverbial pipe of peace was smoked, an exchange of presents made, and before pushing on toward Lake Winnebago he had succeeded in making the Indians, for whom that beautiful body of water is named, promise to forever keep peace with the Frenchmen. Upon reaching Lake Winnebago he made a short stop upon the spot where the city of Oshkosh now stands. He camped again in the vicinity of the palisaded town of the Mascoutins, where now stands the city of Berlin. Ever making himself valuable to the interests of the French government, he journeyed southward over the prairies and subsequently reached Quebec, via Michigan, in the following year.
Radisson and Groseilliers made a successful voyage up the Ottawa river in 1658, going with the Jesuits to the Onondaga mission. Seven years later they offered their services to King Charles II, as explorers in the interest of the fur trade, cutting their path all through the Northwestern country, and touching at the same places that had been visited by Nicolet years before.
In 1661, Radisson and Groseilliers, in company with a small body of daring French fur traders and a Jesuit father, Rene Menard by name, journeyed back to the Upper country where, for the first time, they were awed by the sight of the Pictured Rocks on the south shore of Lake Superior, and which have since become famous all over the known world. Through the Indians of the region, they discovered the copper mines at Keweenaw Bay. At Oak Point, Ashland county, a portage was made, Chequamegon Bay was entered, and a halt made in the vicinity of where now stands the city of Ashland. The winters of 1661-62 were spent in the neighborhood of the head waters of the Chippewa river, and then, much worn by privation and hardship, such as is known only to the explorer, they returned to Three Rivers. During this time the missionary work of Father Menard did not meet with very flattering success, and in the end he met a miserable death, either at the hands of the savages whom he was attempting to Christianize, or from hardship. The death of Father Menard left the Ottawa mission on Lake Superior without a head for a time, but in 1665 another Jesuit priest, Claude Allouez, was placed in charge of this work, and shortly after La Pointe merged into history as the name of the center of the missionary field. Like Father Menard, Father Allouez, too, found his efforts far from being crowned with success, and in 1669 Pere Marquette was sent from Sault Ste. Marie to take his place. Father Allouez, upon leaving La Pointe, set out for Green Bay and established the mission of St. Francis Xavier, where at present the city of De Pere stands. In the course of time, Father Allouez became more of a power among the untutored and restless savages, administering to their wants in time of sickness and distress till they began to have faith in him, and finally in 1672, on Assumption Day, he boldly planted a cross at the Mascoutin village and delivered a sermon to five different tribes of Indians.
Traders began to visit this new territory, and among them was Nicholas Perrot. So fortunate had he been in his explorations that upon his return to Quebec he was chosen to pilot Sieur Saint Lusson, deputy of Intendant Talon, to Sault Ste. Marie and act as interpreter. As a result of their untiring efforts, a treaty of friendship was made on the 14th of June, 1671, with some twelve or more tribes of Indians, and possession taken of the Northwest by Saint Lusson in the name of Louis XIV, King of France.
When Saint Lusson and his party returned to Quebec they were accompanied by Joliet, and in the latter, Frontenac, the Governor of New France, at once recognized a man of unusual ability and endurance. So impressed was Frontenac that he bade Joliet to immediately retrace his steps and prepare to make further explorations. He was joined by Pere Marquette at the Straits of Mackinaw, and on the 17th of May, 1673, they departed from St. Ignace upon an extended voyage of discovery and missionary work. Success attended their daring efforts on this memorable trip, for on the 17th of June the swift current of the Father of Waters embraced the keels of their canoes and the Mississippi was known to the white man.
The first sailing craft to put in an appearance on the lakes above Niagara was a small boat called the "Griffin," which, with La Salle, a fur trader, at the helm, put in at Green Bay. In the wake of La Salle followed Daniel Grayson, Du Lhut, La Sueur and Nicholas Perrot. Evidently Perrot's good work was greatly appreciated, for De la Barre, Governor of New France, had appointed him "Commandant of the West," allowed him an army of twenty men and expected him to hold the vast territory against all comers. A short distance from where the town of Trempealeau stands to-day Perrot erected a stockade at the foot of a bluff. He remained in the vicinity of this stockade until 1699, occasionally building new forts. The fur traders who came down the Mississippi often had occasion to take advantage of the protection offered by these strongholds. During the years that followed, up to 1760, many conflicts of greater or lesser severity took place, and finally in that year the French banner gave way to the Union Jack.
On the 12th day of October, 1761, the fort at Green Bay was taken possession of by two officers of British and American regiments, who christened it Fort Edward Augustus. Lieut. Gorrell, with a sergeant and fifteen privates at his command, held this fort in the name of King George until the massacre at Ft. Mackinaw, in 1763, at which time they went to the relief of that post, remaining throughout the Pontiac war.
Time rolled on apace, the war of the Revolution broke out, and then it was that the State of Wisconsin was used by the British as a recruiting ground to obtain their Indian allies. In 1778, however, Gen. George Rogers Clark, backed by a small army of Kentuckians, took possession of the territory, and having seized all important points, held it in the name of the United States until the war ended.
Milwaukee first made its debut into history in 1777, when a Frenchman named Gautier, while traveling through Wisconsin upon a recruiting expedition, chronicled the fact that he had "made overtures" to a French trader at "Milwaki." Capt. Robertson found a fur trader settled at this point in 1779 by the name of Morong, but no regular fur-trading post was located there until 1795, in which year Jacques Vieau established one in the interest of the Northwest Company. In 1818, Solomon Juneau, the recognized founder of Milwaukee, settled at this point, and to-day there are old pioneers living in the city who remember him well as a born leader of men, and one who richly deserved to have his name honored by the people.
Wisconsin figured slightly in the war of 1812, in that the British captured the fort at Prairie du Chien and held it till the treaty of peace between England and the United States was signed at Ghent, in 1814. Wisconsin became American soil on the 24th day of May, 1815.
A fort was constructed at Prairie du Chien in June, 1816, by Major Morgan, who named the stronghold Fort Crawford, after William H. Crawford, who was then Secretary of the Treasury. A month later several boats touched at Green Bay, each loaded with soldiers, who took possession of the settlement, and in a short time the walls of Fort Howard were erected, the fort taking its name from General Benjamin Howard. With the unfurling of the stars and stripes peace reigned supreme.
In 1834, the rich lead mines in the vicinity of Galena began to attract attention and soon became the leading industry, relegating the fur trade which, up to that time, had taken the lead as a commercial interest, to second place. In 1804, this lead region was purchased from the Sacs and Foxes by the United States, but until 1834 little had been done toward the development of the mines. They were taken charge of by the general government in 1822, when leases were granted to operators, and the lands were put on the market for sale in 1847. This naturally had a tendency to bring many prospectors to the region bent upon the development of new mines, and as a result Galena was soon a thriving settlement with many thousands of inhabitants. Owing to a misunderstanding between the Indians and the whites over the sale of a mining region, certain tribes claiming that they had not been consulted in the matter; more or less trouble arose between the whites and the savages, until 1832, when Black Hawk declared war against the white settlers. The fact that he was not present when negotiations for the sale of the lead mines were in progress made the transaction illegal, in his opinion, and the bloody Black Hawk war was the result.
On the 4th day of July, 1836, Wisconsin became a territory and on the 30th day of April, the same year, President Andrew Jackson appointed Henry Dodge as Governor, the latter taking his oath of office at Mineral Point, which was at that time the largest settlement in this immense territory of 54,000 square miles.
In 1841 and 1843 Dodge was in Congress, and figured as United States Senator in 1848 and 1851. The town of Belmont had the honor of having the first legislative session held within its limits, with twenty-six members in the House of Representatives and thirteen members in the Council. Peter H. Engle, of Dubuque, was elected Speaker of the House, and Henry S. Baird, of Green Bay, was elected President of the Council. The principal business of this session was the location of the capital city. Judge Doty was in favor of Madison, owing to its great natural beauty. There was a bitter fight over the matter, but in the end Judge Doty won, and in November the bill passed which caused the capitol to be located at Madison.
The Territorial Governors were Dodge, Doty and Tallmadge.
In 1839, George Smith and Daniel Wells, with Alexander Mitchell acting in the capacity of manager and secretary, established the first bank in the State. Under the name of Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Company, this institution thrived, and in 1852 Mitchell added the word "Bank." The Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Company's Bank was the first legitimate bank to operate in Wisconsin, and was started at Milwaukee. Wisconsin's pioneer railroad was only twenty miles in length, and ran between Milwaukee and Waukesha. It was built in 1851, under the name of the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad; and five years later its tracks reached the banks of the Mississippi. To-day it is known as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, and is one of the largest and most complete railway systems in the world. Wisconsin to-day has something over 5,475 miles of railroad track within her limits.
At Green Bay, October 4, 1824, Judge James D. Doty presided at the first term of the United States Circuit Court. This historical town also had the honor of presenting the first newspaper on the 11th day of December, 1833. It was called the Green Bay Intelligencer, was edited by John V. Suydam, and copies of the first edition are now occasionally to be found treasured in the homes of some of our pioneer families. The waters of Lake Michigan first yielded to the keel of a steam craft in 1826, but it was not until the 17th day of June, 1835, that one put in at the port of Milwaukee. June, 1840, is the date of the first brew of beer in Milwaukee, that amber-hued concoction that has since made the city famous throughout the length and breadth of the land.
In those uncertain, exciting territorial days, by the wise and untiring efforts of conscientious and painstaking men, the foundation of a great State was laid, and among those whose memory will always be honored, are Henry Dodge, James Duane Doty, Nathaniel Tallmadge, John S. Horner, Samuel W. Beall, Nelson Dewey, Henry S. Baird, Daniel Whitney, Byron Kilbourn, Morgan L. Martin, Solomon Juneau, and others whose names already figure conspicuously in the more complete histories of the State of Wisconsin.
With that stirring word for a motto, the Union admitted Wisconsin as a State on the 29th day of May, 1848, the latter having to her credit a population of 210,546. As a result of the first State election, Nelson Dewey became Governor, Isaac P. Walker went to the United States Senate and William P. Lynde went to the House of Representatives.
With a steady increase of population, a continual growth in her commercial industries, and nothing to mar the happiness of her people, Wisconsin continued to prosper. Then came the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion and the call for volunteers. Alexander F. Randall, who was Governor at that time, realized what was coming some time before war was declared, and knowing well the people who had honored him with the highest office in the State, said in his message to the two Houses on the 10th of January, 1861: "Wisconsin is true, and her people steadfast; she will not destroy the Union, nor consent that it shall be done. Devised by great and wise and good men in days of sore trial, it must stand." How well the citizens supported the Governor is plainly shown by the glorious records that were subsequently made. Too much cannot be said in praise of those brave men who left their homes to follow the old flag, but what can pen portray that will convey as clear an idea of the hell they went through as the following figures? 96,118 citizen soldiers answered that call from Washington, and of that number 12,307 never returned. The War of the Rebellion cost the State of Wisconsin $11,704,932.55.
And now, though the business interests of the young State were sadly crippled, owing to the drain upon her resources that invariably is one of the results of war; her people, with that enterprise and energy that has ever marked their every move, again set their shoulders to the wheel and once more prosperity smiled graciously upon the commonwealth. Immigration steadily increased, people coming from Scandinavia, Poland, England, France, Holland, Bohemia, Ireland, Germany, and in fact all quarters of the globe, as though some powerful magnet were influencing their course, and indeed, there was a magnet. What better magnet does the home-seeker want than broad acres of rich soil upon which any kind of farm produce can be raised? Wisconsin had this--has it still--together with hundreds of miles of valuable timber, while her rich mines of iron, copper, lead and zinc have done much toward bringing the stranger within her borders.
Wisconsin derived its name from the Indian name "Ousconsin," that beautiful stream known as the Wisconsin river having been thus christened by the Indians. With 53,942 square miles of beautiful hills, dales, lakes and prairie lands, a breadth of some 260 miles, a length from north to south of 300 miles, more than 500 miles of shore line and a population of 1,850,000, it can be truly claimed that Wisconsin is a great State.
For years tourists have come from afar to view the natural beauties of our capital city, and well they may, for a more charming spot would be difficult to find. On the summit of a gently sloping hill, overlooking a broad lake, is a cluster of handsome buildings which belong to the State University. This grand institution of learning is the pride of every citizen of our State, and the famous men and women who owe their start in life to the splendid education obtained within its halls can be counted by the score.
Of the many industries that claim the attention of Wisconsin's people, it can be safely said that agriculture takes the lead, there being over a third of a million of people who thus obtain a livelihood. In 1891, the yield of farm products was unparalleled in its enormity, and it was with great difficulty that the husbandman could get his immense crop under cover before the bleak days of winter set in. The pine forests of Wisconsin have always been a great source of revenue, and to-day the mere mention that a man is an owner of pine land is sufficient to give him the highest rating in commercial circles. To give an idea of the yearly output of pine lumber, it will only be necessary to state that in 1890-91 the cut measured in the neighborhood of 3,000,000,000 feet. Aside from the immense tracts of pine lands in the northern portion of the State, there is also a large quantity of native hard woods of all descriptions, and as these are in great demand for the interior decoration of fine residences, this commodity meets with a ready sale.
Two "booms" have stimulated the industry of iron mining in the State: in 1886-87, when people invested their all in Gogebic stock, and again in 1892, when the Superior region was invaded by hundreds of capitalists from the East. These "booms" died a natural death, as is always the result when that species of insanity lays hold of the people; in the end the mining industries settled down to a healthy, paying basis. In 1892 the total iron ore shipments from the docks at Ashland were 2,227,407 tons. The copper, lead and zinc mines have been profitably worked for years and are a great source of revenue.
The brewing industry throughout the State has attained immense proportions, and especially is this the case in the city of Milwaukee, where millions of barrels of beer are annually shipped to all quarters of the world.
Our fishing industries and tobacco and cranberry culture would in themselves require a small volume to convey an idea of their magnitude, while the thousands of manufacturing enterprises throughout our State would require a large one to set forth their merits in a becoming manner.
The dairy products of this State are second to none in the Union, are increasing every year, and what is not consumed within her borders finds a ready market in the East and even in distant Europe.
During the past few years the "Wisconsin pearl" has attracted attention far and wide. Little did the conservative citizen of Wisconsin imagine that that unassuming bivalve, the common native fresh-water clam, was, in many cases, carrying gems concealed about his person that would, in brilliancy and size, cause the famous pearls of the Orient to pale into insignificance. Such, however, was the case and, as usual, the discovery was made by accident. Soon the beds of all the streams that harbored these mollusks were being raked by the pearl fisher, and while the Sugar, Albany and Packatonika rivers yielded more of these valuable gems than the others, still all contributed more or less richly. Eastern dealers purchased $81,000 worth of these pearls within three years, and those who have been fortunate enough to see the display at the Columbian Exposition will readily agree that nothing of that nature in the Orient can surpass them in beauty.
Starting with Milwaukee, Wisconsin's principal city, which, between 1836 and 1893, has increased its population from 275 to something over 270,000, the following report recently compiled by Robert N. Odell, a local statistician, will suffice to give the reader a comprehensive idea of the wonderful strides that have been made in that time in a commercial way:
One of the chief reasons for Milwaukee's rapid and continuous growth and increasing prosperity is found in the great industrial army employed in its manufactories. Reliable statistics prove that there are more persons employed in the manufactories of Milwaukee alone than in the similar institutions in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Omaha and Denver combined. Marvelous as was the growth of manufacturing in Milwaukee in 1891, the record then established and its percentage of increase was well maintained in 1892. A compilation of the result of the year's business, prepared with the greatest possible care, with accuracy as the chief aim, and investigation almost without limit, obtaining the figures from the manufacturers in person to a much greater extent than it has been possible to do heretofore, shows that the manufactured product of Milwaukee's industries for the year 1892 exceeded $145,000,000 in value. The increase in value over the product of 1891 is $16,000,000, in wages $5,795,400, and in capital invested in the various lines of business $13,893,000. The number of productive concerns of all kinds, large and small, is 300 more than one year ago. To produce the $145,000,000 in values. $30,500,000 has been paid to wage-earners, while the capital invested in business foots up to more than $94,000,000.
The packing industry is the only great one which has suffered a decrease in the volume of its output, and that is occasioned wholly by the scarcity of hogs in the country. A much less number of hogs were slaughtered in Milwaukee's packing establishments from October 1 to December 31 than were slaughtered and packed in the single month of October, 1891. On this account the meat products of the city are $1,000,000 less than in 1891, and fully $2,000,000 less than they would have been had the supply been sufficient to have kept the packing houses running to their usual extent during the three best months of the year.
And yet, on second thought, though lacking space and being pressed for time, the very magnitude of these figures tells the editor that, in justice to this wonderful city, the above statement is not sufficient. Those of the readers of this book who have been fortunate enough to gaze over the Bay of Naples did not behold a grander or more beautiful scene than they would, had they peered into the offing of the Bay of Milwaukee, which is skirted by high, picturesque bluffs. Stretching north, south and west we find a great and prosperous city whose fame as a business center and summer resort has long since extended beyond the confines of this continent. As a health resort Milwaukee has few equals, and it is a well established fact that when the stifling heat of summer makes life unbearable for the residents and sojourners in inland towns, relief can always be found in this city, where cool and invigorating breezes from the broad bosom of Lake Michigan continually fan its immense shade trees. Milwaukee, aside from being a great business center, is a home city, whose citizens take a just pride in the many beautiful residences that line her park-like streets, and the fame of the city's charming, close-cropped and flower-strewn lawns is world-wide. Lake Michigan is fed by springs, and in consequence the water, even in midsummer, is cold and sparkling. It is this water, pumped into an immense reservoir from a distance of 8,000 feet out in the lake, that is served to the citizens, so that it is little wonder that the statistics of health show Milwaukee as standing in the first rank. Milwaukee also leads in educational matters, having won the gold medal for efficiency at the Centennial Exposition in 1876, and a steady improvement has been maintained ever since. Her art gallery is one of the finest in the United States, is free to the people, and the crowds that throng its rooms, together with those of the Public Library and Public Museum, show that the citizens have attained an altitude of refinement and culture far above the average.
With fourteen railway systems either terminating or passing through Milwaukee, five lines of steamboats connecting with railway lines on Lake Erie, and three lines crossing Lake Michigan, where they connect with the East, it can be safely said that her transportation facilities are unrivaled. The city has one of the finest harbors to be found in the world and, extending inland from this, there are twenty-five miles of river dockage where the largest vessels that float can ride with full cargoes. Milwaukee has over 3,000 manufacturing establishments which employ some 60,000 persons, and these people receive annually in wages over $25,000,000, while these institutions produce yearly $145,000,000 worth of manufactured articles. Over one hundred miles of electric railway are so well distributed over the city that any desired locality can be reached in a very reasonable length of time. Over two hundred miles of paved and one hundred and ninety-two miles of graded and graveled streets make riding a luxury, and that the citizens are not slow to take advantage of this fact is shown by the thousands of pleasure vehicles that throng the beautifully shaded streets on any pleasant afternoon. The drainage of the city is excellent, its sewerage system embracing two hundred and ten miles of pipes, while two hundred and four miles of water mains carry the water to all parts.
Eighty-five miles north of Milwaukee we find the thriving little town of TWO RIVERS, beautifully situated on a peninsula, with a population of 3,000 inhabitants. With the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad on one side and Lake Michigan on the other, her transportation facilities are of the best. A beautiful harbor allows the largest lake craft to safely touch at her docks in all kinds of weather, and this fact has done much for the success of the town. Although the immense forests that once surrounded her on three sides have, to a large extent, been cut away, yet the hum of wood-working machinery is heard on every hand, and if that pleasant sound is followed to its source, a surprise lies in-store for the inquisitive one. It will lead him to factories where pails and tubs are made, and also where wood-type is manufactured, and he will be truthfully informed that these factories are the largest of the kind in the world. During the past year over 10,000,000 feet of lumber were run through these mills, and the output of their wares is constantly on the increase. An extension of the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western Railroad will soon be laid to Two Rivers and this will do a great deal toward increasing the output of these factories, as it will place them in direct communication with the Western country.
ASHLAND, a booming city of something over 16,000 inhabitants, nestles on the shore of Chequamegon or Ashland bay, an inlet of Lake Superior, about 344 miles from Milwaukee. Practically, this city is the railroad center of Northern Wisconsin, for the Northern Pacific line, the Wisconsin Central, Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western, and the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways converge here, while the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad will shortly terminate at that point. Ashland has to-day three of the largest ore-docks in the world, costing upward of $1,500,000. The following tables will show the marvelous development of the ore-shipping interests within the eight years passed:
|Years.||Tons Shipped.||Years.||Tons Shipped.|
The amount of lumber, brown stone, lath, shingles and pig iron shipped from Ashland during 1891-2 is as follows:
|Lumber (water and rail)||285,500,000||feet B.M.||269,000,000||feet.|
|Brown stone (water and rail)||1,880,000||cubic feet.||1,645,000||cubic feet.|
|Pig iron||about 20,000||tons.|
The Ashland mills will find plenty of work to do for many years to come, as there are miles of standing pine yet untouched by the woodman's ax.
SHEBOYGAN, the "Evergreen City" of Wisconsin, is a growing town of nearly 20,000 inhabitants, and situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan, sixty-two miles from Milwaukee, presents one of the safest and best harbors to be found on the great lakes. The beautiful river is docked for several miles up from its mouth, and these docks are constantly visited by our largest lake craft, shipping and unshipping immense cargoes of freight. The chairs that are manufactured at Sheboygan find a ready market all over the world, and the demand for them is increasing at a wonderful rate. In the manufacture of chairs and cheese, it is safe to say that Sheboygan takes the lead in the United States. Another commodity that has made the city famous is its mineral water, which flows from a well 1,500 feet in depth. An immense bottling plant puts this water in shape for shipping, and it is sent to customers all over the country.
One of the most remarkable of the young and flourishing cities of the Northwest, and one which can be truly called a manufacturing city, is FOND DU LAC, the population of which is upward of 15,000. It is situated at the southern extremity of Lake Winnebago, about 65 miles from Milwaukee, and being crossed by three different lines of railroad, can easily ship its many commodities to all parts of the United States. Among its many industries are foundries, wagon shops, machine shops, plow works, sash, door and blind factories, lumber mills, yeast factories, flour-mills, woolen mills, agricultural implement works, tile and chemical works.
One hundred miles northwest of Milwaukee, situated on the Grand Chute of the Lower Fox river, is found the city of APPLETON with a population of 13,500. Its immense paper and pulp mills are the wonder of all beholders, and it is not strange that it has been nick-named the "Paper City." Owing to the magnificent system of dams that have been constructed on the Grand Chute, and the close proximity of the material of which the different grades of paper are made to-day, the city is particularly well adapted to plants of this description. The banks are lined with these mills, and among them are some of the largest in the United States. The capital represented is about $2,500,000, and in the neighborhood of 250,000 pounds of paper, valued at about $7,500, is turned out every twenty-four hours. In addition to this immense output, other mills turn out about 130 tons of wood pulp each day. The different mills use annually about 120,000 cords of spruce and poplar wood. But while Appleton is making more paper than any city in the United States, she is not, by any means, turning her whole attention to that industry. She is the proud possessor of many manufactories too numerous to recapitulate, and gear by gear is growing in wealth and prosperity.
MANITOWOC is a fair sample of Wisconsin's thriving towns, and though a mere wilderness a few short years ago, can to-day count her population at nearly 9,000. Situated on the west shore of Lake Michigan, covering each bank of the Manitowoc river at its mouth, and with piers extending into the lake a distance of 2,470 feet, she affords a welcome harbor to distressed lake vessels. These piers were built by the United States Government at an expense of $375,000. Manitowoc's chief industry is ship-building, and some of the largest craft on the lakes to-day were constructed at her yards. The busy hum of manufactories of all sorts acquaints the stranger immediately with the fact that he has entered a manufacturing city of no mean proportions, and among the many industries that will be brought to his attention will be cheese factories, cigar factories, iron works, wagon factories, a factory for the manufacture of edge tools, flour mills, tanneries, and an establishment for the manufacture of church, school and office furniture. Here, too, will be found a novelty in the shape of a large factory where pearl buttons are made, with the immense daily output of 10,000. The country in the immediate vicinity of Manitowoc is rich in farm lands, where all kinds of grains and grasses are raised in profusion. Especially is the soil conducive to the propagation of peas, and their prolific growth has caused the largest pea cannery in the State to be erected there.
One of the most beautiful and enterprising cities in the State of Wisconsin is LA CROSSE, which, situated at the confluence of the La Crosse and Black rivers with the Mississippi, all of which are in touch with the northern forests, is of necessity a lumber city. Nature has done much for this town of 30,000 inhabitants, and with the broad, hurrying Mississippi lapping her western boundary, and gigantic, picturesque bluffs on every hand as far as the eye can reach, the visitor is immediately struck with the fact that he is gazing upon a living picture. The Black river is one of the largest pine timber rivers in the country, the entire product of which stops at La Crosse, and eleven large mills, with a capacity of over 1,000,000 feet per day, are afforded steady employment. Its transportation facilities are unsurpassed, since aside from the Mississippi river it has eight railroads reaching in every direction. Apart from its immense lumber interests the city has thriving manufactories of plows, agricultural implements, boilers and heavy machinery, extensive carriage works, cracker and knitting factories, glass works, etc., three large flour mills, woolen mills, a large tannery, five large breweries, affording a market for 150,000 bushels of barley and 100,000 pounds of hops per annum; extensive cigar manufactories, and various other industries. During 1892 there were manufactured in La Crosse 241,700,000 feet of lumber, 45,558,000 pieces of lath, 128,406,000 shingles, 278,475 barrels of flour, 131,780 barrels of beer, and 4,810,000 cigars.
EAU CLAIRE, a city of about 25,000 inhabitants, is charmingly located on both sides of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, and is a credit to the great State within whose boundary lines she is situated. Three of the largest railroads in the United States enter the city. It has seven miles of electric railway; an electric light circuit forty-one miles long; a complete water-works system, that draws its supply from natural springs situated five miles from the center of the city; nine miles of sewers; five miles of paved streets; a large linen mill; a woolen mill; three wagon and carriage factories; large pearl button industry; three roller mills; large paper and pulp mill; refrigerator factory; trunk factory; furniture factory; brass foundry; seven planing mills; eleven saw mills; three sash, door and blind factories; three large iron foundries; barrel and stave factory; electric light machinery manufactory; two large breweries; elevators; car shops, brick yards, and many other paying industries that go to make a manufacturing city. The Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers are two of the largest logging streams in the world, and with the city's numerous mills turning out 22,000,000 feet of lumber annually, she ranks with the foremost lumber producing cities of the United States.
JANESVILLE, with some 15,000 inhabitants, is one of the many thriving manufacturing towns in which the citizens of Wisconsin take a just pride. It is beautifully located on both banks of the Rock river, in the center of Rock county, and it was a happy thought that christened it the "Bower City," since the visitor is instantly struck with its park-like appearance. A magnificent water power is derived from the Rock river, and its powerful current keeps the ponderous machinery of many establishments running day and night. Among Janesville's many manufacturing industries, the most noted are its two cotton factories, which give employment to over four hundred hands and manufacture over 8,000,000 yards of cloth annually; a concern which turns out over $350,000 worth of agricultural implements each year; an immense woolen mill, the product of which, in the way of knit underwear, has become famous all over the United States, and done much to make the whereabouts of Janesville known. It has three large shoe factories, four breweries, furniture factories, planing mills, foundries, machine shops, cigar-box factories, and many other important industries. The town also contains over twenty immense tobacco warehouses, and these, it is said, hold almost one-half of Wisconsin's crop of 1891. There are six concerns at Janesville that annually import hundreds of British draft horses, and the town is famous far and wide among breeders and buyers as being the largest market for draft horses on the continent.
The city of OSHKOSH has a population of 30,000 contented and enterprising people, who point with pride to their beautiful little city with its stately buildings. Oshkosh is situated on the west shore of Lake Winnebago, a grand body of water thirty-two miles in length and from eight to fifteen miles wide, and to the close proximity of this lake, with its heavily wooded shores and islands, is due the fact that she is one of the most popular summer resorts in the State and the yachting center of the Northwest. Her educational facilities are of the best, her people refined and hospitable, and, like all of Wisconsin's cities, has a great future before her, The manufacturing industries of Oshkosh represent an annual product of about $12,000,000 in value. The following is a table of about five hundred manufacturing establishments, interests or firms:
|Number of Establishments||Capital Invested||No. of Employees||Wages Paid.||Value of Materials Used.||Value of Product.|
|12||Lumber and shingle mills||2,708,268||824||255,930||954,750||1,716,182|
|8||Planing mills and sash, doors, blinds||2,058,818||1450||478,500||1,589,800||2,590,075|
|23||Painters and decorators||25,500||108||52,350||29,685||97,600|
|23||Boot and shoe manufacturers||24,800||27||11,500||7,500||25,650|
|21||Blacksmith, wagon and carriage manufacturers||399,000||282||132,500||202,500||420,900|
|6||Boat and ship-builders||20,000||35||19,373||26,450||71,250|
|12||Tin and sheet iron works||32,250||28||17,200||24,450||56,920|
|14||Photographers and artists||17,000||33||19,630||7,200||35,250|
|8||Printers and publishers||61,275||142||43,375||15,900||87,275|
WAUSAU, with a population of 10,000 people, is located in the center of Marathon county, on both banks of the Wisconsin river and near the geographical center of the State. The great wealth of the city lies in the enormous pine forests with which the greater portion of the county is filled, it having been estimated that within the limits of Marathon county there are still standing one and one-half billions of feet of choice pine timber, all of it, owing to the many streams that ramify in every direction, easily accessible to water. It contains thirteen large saw mills, and aside from this there are over fifty immediately adjacent to the city, while immense sash, door and blind factories, flouring mills, foundries, machine shops, tanneries, planing mills, box factories, breweries, and all sorts of manufacturing establishments, go to make Wausau the thriving and bustling little city that she is.
MARINETTE is a city of over 13,000 inhabitants, situated at the mouth of the Menominee river on the shore of Green Bay, opposite the Sturgeon Bay canal; is backed by forests of pine, hard wood and other timber, has rich beds of iron ore, and possesses an excellent harbor. Marinette justly claims pre-eminence as a site for manufacturing all articles made of iron or wood. Its location is unsurpassed, its water power inexhaustible, and its transportation facilities are of the best. A territory of 10,000 square miles, heavily timbered with pine, hemlock, bass wood, cedar, spruce and poplar, is drained by the Menominee river, and this provides plenty of work for the nineteen mammoth saw mills which annually convert into lumber 500,000,000 feet of pine logs. The capital stock of the incorporated companies of Marinette foots up to the immense sum of $5,961,000, and the future that this thriving little city has before her is one that the citizens may well look forward to with pleasure.
The city of RACINE, which is situated upon the shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Root river, has been wisely called the "Belle City of the Lakes," since she is a belle in every sense of the word. Her beauties in summer are wont to attract the tourist, while her fame as a manufacturing city has a tendency to attract the capitalist. The population of the city is crowding close on to the 28,000 notch, and includes many thousands of laboring men and women, as well as the highest class of skilled laborers. The many manufacturing industries of Racine are particularly fortunate in having ample transportation facilities right at their doors, in the shape of those two mighty railway systems, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, and the Chicago & North-Western. The Root, or Racine, river is docked well up from its mouth, allowing the large freight boats to enter, and thus another excellent method of transportation is afforded the manufacturer. The manufacturing institutions of Racine are most varied, and of great magnitude, and a reliable estimate has placed the total exports of manufactured goods at $15,000,000 per annum. These manufactories consist of the largest threshing machine factory in the world; one of the largest spring wagon factories; two extensive farm wagon factories; a manufactory of school furniture and of pleasure boats (both row and steam boats); three extensive trunk factories; a large rubber clothing factory; a factory for the manufacture of infants' food; an extensive woolen mill and knitting factory; one of the largest boot and shoe factories in the West, and a multitude of other thriving concerns that go to make Racine one of the richest manufacturing cities of not alone Wisconsin, but the whole Northwest.
CHIPPEWA FALLS is one of the prosperous and beautiful cities of Wisconsin. It is situated on the Chippewa river, and is connected with the outer world by the Wisconsin Central; Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha; and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads. It is the center for vast lumbering operations, and contains the largest saw mill in the Northwest. The city is lighted by electricity and gas, has an excellent system of water works, paved streets and sewers, electric fire-alarm system, a well equipped fire department, telephone exchange, and telegraph and express offices. The population is between 10,000 and 11,000. The city is rapidly becoming famous for its pure spring water, and a tank line has been established between the Chippewa spring and Chicago. This is kept in constant operation, tanks being filled there every night and arriving in Chicago the next morning, where the water is placed in a plate glass receiving well and then distributed about the city. The press is represented by one daily paper, The Independent, and three weekly newspapers, Herald, Times and Catholic Sentinel. The people of this city are public spirited, generous and patriotic, always taking an interest in public affairs. The city also contains many beautiful church buildings, two large hospitals, court house and city building, five large public school buildings, three large Catholic school buildings, numerous stores and mercantile houses, and two first-class hotels.
SUPERIOR is the wonder of the Northwest, and her commercial and manufacturing prosperity has attracted world-wide attention. From a population in 1885 of 2,704, she has forged ahead until to-day there are in the neighborhood of 50,000 people living within her limits. Superior has twelve banks with a capitalization of $1,600,000, a board of trade, public schools, seventeen newspapers (four of which are dailies), electric light and power, electric cars, water works, a well equipped fire and police department, a public library, and six elegant and costly hotels. Among the many important enterprises might be mentioned the barge works, where 1,300 men are employed. It is here that the celebrated whaleback is manufactured, one of which, in the form of a passenger steamer, is at present being used at the World's Fair. It is to the generous and enterprising citizens of this wonderful city that the people of Wisconsin are indebted for the beautiful stained glass window which is daily admired by thousands of visitors at the State Building at Jackson Park.
Wisconsin is probably better known to-day among tourists than any State in the great Northwest, on account of her many health resorts and watering places of all descriptions. Abounding in lakes, great and small, a beautiful changing country, and mineral springs, tourists for years have sought her healthful, invigorating climate, and the number that live in distant States, but who spend each summer in Wisconsin, can be counted by hundreds. Madison, the capital city, has a population of about 14,000, and is surrounded by four lakes, two of which--Mendota and Monona--lay on opposite sides of the town like two immense mirrors, and as they are constantly dotted with pleasure boats of all sorts the effect is at once interesting and delightful. Madison makes little pretentions in a manufacturing way, but is a home city in which culture and refinement reign supreme. The capitol and the university buildings are the most noteworthy structures, and when the stranger enters the town and sees these stately buildings standing out in a background of green foliage, with the silvery glitter of water showing through on every hand, he is wont to experience a restful feeling and a desire to remain forever in this delightful spot. Indeed, so beautiful is Madison that years ago Longfellow immortalized her in verse, while Sir Edwin Arnold did not hesitate to pronounce it the most beautiful city in America.
WAUKESHA, known far and wide as the "Saratoga of the West," has a population of about 8,000. The town, though well supplied with hotels, still finds difficulty in accommodating the thousands of people who each summer flock in from all points of the compass, and many private houses are thrown open to the visitors. Years ago it was discovered that the waters that bubble forth from the various springs in and about Waukesha contained many curative qualities, and little by little the town developed into the great watering place which we find it to-day.
OCONOMOWOC, a charming town of about 3,000 inhabitants, is situated in about the center of the lake region of Waukesha county, on the shores of Lac La Belle and Fowler Lake. It has ample hotel accommodations, while its streets are lined with magnificent summer homes. It is noted for its exciting regattas, Lac La Belle being well adapted for sailing, and the annual regatta at Oconomowoc is ever eagerly looked forward to by lovers of the sport.
AMONG the many lakes in Waukesha county where the tourist can find accommodations, and where the boating and fishing are unsurpassed, are: Pewaukee Oconomowoc, Nagowicka, the Nemahbins, the Nashotahs, North, Pine, Okauchee, Silver and Beaver.
The writer could go on in this way, giving each of the principal towns of the State a brief description, but to do so would require a large volume, and time and space are lacking. There are between forty and fifty towns that are not mentioned in this book, the population of which ranges from 2,000 to 15,000, each of which is deserving of a goodly notice, while scattered in all directions are hundreds of smaller hamlets, surrounded by rich farm lands, and everywhere is a happy and contented people.
The citizens of Wisconsin, always anxious to see their grand State well represented in any sort of capacity, cannot but take a pardonable pride in their cosey building at Jackson Park. It is not as gaudy as some, nor as large as others, but there is a modest beauty and substantiality about it that at once gives it a marked individuality of its own. Its informal, homelike appearance has a welcoming influence over all who cross its threshold, and every visitor from the Badger State, upon entering the doors, feels instinctively that he or she owns an interest in the structure.
That the building is a success in every sense of the word and satisfactory to the most exacting, is proven by the words of praise on every hand, but this book would not be complete if it failed to give the names of the enterprising Badgerites who helped the State in the construction of this building, and, at the same time, thanking them in behalf of the people.
Two beautiful statues in plaster, "The Genius of Wisconsin" and "Forward," are among the furnishings. The former is the work of Miss Nellie Mears, of Oshkosh, Wis., and stands at the north end of the main lobby. It is symbolized by a female figure standing upon a rock, indicative of a firm foundation. Her left arm encircles the neck of the eagle, "Old Abe," which stands upon the point of the rock, and her head rests with love and confidence against his breast, while his right wing stretches protectingly over her. The folds of the American flag which form her drapery are gathered in her right hand.
"Forward," which stands at the south end of the main lobby, is the work of Miss Jean Miner, of Madison, Wis., and represents a female figure standing upon the prow of a boat, the figure-head of which is "Old Abe." The boat is surging through the water, and the figure, poised gracefully but firmly upon the prow, stretches forth the right hand, while the left clasps the American flag to its bosom. Both of these beautiful statues are to be reproduced in marble and presented to the State Historical Society at Madison.
The Segelke & Kohlhaus Manufacturing Co., La Crosse, Wis., made donation as follows: One door, curly maple one side and cherry maple other side; this door leads from ladies' parlor into ladies' lavatory. One door, white oak one side and red oak other side; this door separates the main lobby and gentlemens' lavatory. One door, red oak two sides; this door leads from intelligence office to postoffice. One door, curly maple one side, white oak other side, with plate glass panel, being door from ladies' parlor leading to south circular veranda. One door, red oak one side, white oak other side, with plate glass panel; this door leads from intelligence office to north circular veranda.
The donation of the Daniel Shaw Lumber Co., Eau Claire, Wis., was as follows:
|1,070||feet Wisconsin Ash||1||inch||2,827||feet Red Birch||1||inch|
|210||feet Wisconsin Ash||1 1/4||inch||430||feet Red Birch||1 1/4||inch|
|103||feet Wisconsin Ash||1 1/2||inch||379||feet Red Birch||1 1/2||inch|
Knapp, Stout & Co., Menomonie, Wis., made the following donations:
|96 pieces||2 x||14--28||8 pieces||8 x||10--32|
|77 pieces||2 x||14--22||10 pieces||8 x||10--26|
|72 pieces||2 x||6--24||All sized.|
The Rush Owen Lumber Co., Eau Claire, Wis., donated as follows:
|400 pieces||2 x 6--14||87 pieces||2 x 10--12|
|152 pieces||2 x 6--12||122 pieces||2 x 10--14|
|380 pieces||2 x 6--10||All sized.|
The contributions of the citizens of Rock county to the State Building consist of a flag-staff and silk flag, a beautiful jardinier, manufactured of Rock county clay, containing a Wisconsin tobacco plant, and a bust of President Cleveland on a pedestal, also manufactured from this celebrated clay, by the Art Clay Works at Edgerton.
The four beautiful granite pillars that go so far toward giving the building its substantial appearance, were donated by the Amberg Granite Co., of Amberg, Marinette county, Wis. The Amberg stone long ago became famous, and the office at 119-121 La Salle street, Chicago, is only one of their several branches.
Few people, perhaps, who have admired the brown stone trimmings and foundation of the building have realized that this was a Wisconsin product, but such is the case, however. It is the famous Prentice brown stone, and the Prentice Brown Stone Co., of Ashland, Wis., donated 1,800 cubic feet of the same.
On the southwest wall of the main lobby hangs the largest piece of engrossing in the world, and is the work of Mr. John F. Tyrrell, of Milwaukee. With the frame it measures 6 1/2x11 feet and contains a complete history of the State. When one looks at this wonderfully artistic piece of work, so perfect in every detail, it is hard to realize that it was executed by hand with an ordinary pen.
Donation from the Madison Street Manufacturing Co., Eau Claire, Wis., two doors, as follows: One door, ash two sides, leading from south office, second story, to lavatory. One door, white oak one side, cherry other side, leading from hall into gentlemens' reading room. The Barronett Lumber Co., Barronett, Wis., made the following donation:
|2,000||feet quarter-sawed Red Oak||1||inch|
|500||feet quarter-sawed Red Oak||1 1/4||inch|
|500||feet quarter-sawed Red Oak||1 1/2||inch|
|500||feet quarter-sawed Red Oak||2||inch|
From the Novelty Wood Works, La Crosse, Wis., came two sets of double vestibule doors, white oak two sides, with beveled plate glass panels. These doors are either side of the main stairway leading from lobby into rear vestibule.
The Werheim Manufacturing Co., Wausau, Wis., donated two doors, white oak one side, birch other side. These are in the second story, leading from hall into north and south wings of State Historical rooms.
The beautiful terra cotta panels in the front and rear gables of the building were made by Miss Ruth Winterbotham; of Eau Claire, Wis., and presented to the State.
Curtis Brothers & Co., Wausau, Wis., donated one double inside door, white oak one side, birch other side, leading from lobby, second floor, into State Historical room.
The Charles Baumbach Co., 486-490 Market street, Milwaukee, Wis., donated all of the glass for the building, with the exception of one stained glass window.
The citizens of Superior, Douglass county, Wis., donated the immense stained glass window at the head of the main staircase on the east side of the building.
The massive granite fireplace in the Gentlemens' Reading Room was donated by the Cohn & Robertson Granite Manufacturing Co., Wausau, Wis.
The Wright Lumber Co., Merrill, Wis., donated three sets of double front doors; red oak two sides, with bevel plate glass panels. The plumbing and gas fixtures were donated by the Bundle & Spence Manufacturing Co., 63-67 Second street, Milwaukee, Wis.
The Phoenix Manufacturing Co., of Eau Claire, Wis., donated the fretwork and friese for one of the arches in the main lobby.
The Wisconsin Venetian Blind Co., 281 Lake street, Milwaukee, Wis., fitted the building throughout with Venetian blinds.
The Chippewa Falls Lumber Co., Chippewa Falls, Wis., donated 20,000 feet No. 2 common boards, surface one side.
The Northwestern Lumber Co., Chippewa Falls, Wis., donated 20,000 feet No. 2 common boards, surface one side.
The Racine Hardware Co., Racine, Wis., donated the beautiful parquette flooring on the second floor of the building.
The Wisconsin Fireplace Co., 421 Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis., donated the beautiful fireplace in the main lobby.
The French Lumber Co., Chippewa Falls, Wis., donated 3,000 feet No. 2 common boards, surface one side.
The Upham Manufacturing Co., Marshfield, Wis., donated 2,000 feet of quarter-sawed red oak, 1 inch.
The Davis & Starr Lumber Co., Eau Claire, Wis., donated 6,000 feet No. 1 birch flooring, 7/8 X 3 inch.
J. E. Patton & Co., Milwaukee, Wis., donated the paint and shingle stain for all exterior work.
The Morgan Co., Oshkosh, Wis., donated the grand staircase that opens into the main lobby.
Warren Flint, of Estella, Wis., donated the hard woods that were put in the ladies' parlor.
Duncan McKay, Chippewa Falls, Wis., donated 2,000 feet of birch and 2,000 feet of ash.
The Menomonie Pressed Brick Co., of Menomonie, Wis., donated 12,000 pressed brick.
The Rice Lake Lumber Co., Rice Lake, Wis., donated 125,000 XAX shingles.
The Wisconsin Iron Co., Wildwood, Wis., donated 2,000 feet of red oak.
STATE HORTICULTURAL EXHIBIT--East Side of aisle which extends through the west half of building, and near the center thereof, also on Midway Plaisance near the east entrance.
MINES AND MINING BUILDING.
STATE MINING EXHIBIT--East Side of main aisle and south of the center thereof.
1. STATE CROPS EXHIBIT--Sec. D, Col. G. S. South side of main aisle and west of the center thereof.
2. STATE TOBACCO EXHIBIT--Sec. I, Col. E. S. In the gallery extending over crops exhibit.
3. STATE WOOL EXHIBIT--Sec. F. 1, Col. G. In the center of north gallery.
4. STATE HONEY EXHIBIT--Sec. H, Col. M 6. In the center of east gallery.
1. STATE BUTTER EXHIBIT--In the northeast corner of the ground floor and extending west seven sections on the first two aisles thereof.
2. STATE CHEESE EXHIBIT-In the northeast corner of the gallery.
STATE FORESTRY AND LUMBER EXHIBIT--Sec. B, Cols. 6, 7, 8 and 9. East side of the main floor.
MANUFACTURES AND LIBERAL ARTS BUILDING.
STATE EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT--Gallery A, Col, 7 D. Southwest corner of the building.
STATE FISH EXHIBIT--In the west angling annex to the main building.
NOTE.--Numerous valuable and interesting exhibits, by individual citizens of Wisconsin, can also be found on the Midway Plaisance, and in each of the following buildings, to-wit: Woman's, Transportation, Mines and Mining, Machinery, Electricity, Agriculture, Shoe and Leather, Manufactures and Liberal Arts. Wisconsin is also represented in the Federal Building. To locate individual exhibits catalogues should be procured, which will be found on sale in the several buildings. For further information relative to Wisconsin's exhibit, inquire of the several superintendents in charge of the same, in the different departments; also at Bureau of Information in the State Building.
|A. LEDYARD SMITH, President,||Appleton|
|HUGH H. PRICE, Vice President,||Black River Falls|
|CHAS. W. GRAVES, Secretary,||Viroqua|
|JOHN H. SAVAGE, Treasurer,||Shullsburg|
|PHILLIP ALLEN, JR.,||Mineral Point|
|MRS. JOHN WINANS,||Janesville|
|HARRY B. SANDERSON,||Milwaukee|
|MRS. GEO. C. GINTY,||Chippewa Falls|
|MRS. WILLIAM PITT LYNDE,||Milwaukee|
|JOHN M. COBURN,||West Salem|
|ROBERT B. KIRKLAND, Executive Commissioner,||Jefferson|