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Ingram, Orrin Henry, 1830-1918 / Autobiography, Orrin Henry Ingram : May, 1830--December, 1912
(1912)

Dam of general benefit,   pp. 69-70 PDF (418.2 KB)


Page 69


ORRIN HENRY INGRAM
              DAM OF GENERAL BENEFIT
   The building of the dam has been the making of the city of
Eau Claire. Had it not been built, it would have been impos-
sible for any of the mills that have been running here for many
years to have secured logs for manufacture here. They would
after the Mississippi River Logging Company began to drive
logs down river, have been obliged to move their mills to the
Mississippi, where they could obtain their own logs, driven
down the river. Many people in Eau Claire have felt that the
lumbermen were the only persons benefitted by the $95,000
issue of city water-works bonds towards the construction of the
dam, but they were and are mistaken, for every one doing
business in Eau Claire-merchants and manufacturers-has
had part in the benefits, as well as have the lumber manufac-
turers. In fact those people have had greater benefit, because
the lumbermen who had logs boomed in slack water paid 50c.
per thousand boomage-the full price fixed by the legislature
when the charter was granted. Other than the lumbermen
who were manufacturing here, none have paid for the benefits
they received by reason of the water power created by the dam,
except in the small per cent. of taxes as interest on the bonds.
Those who understand the conditions have ceased to find fault
or regret the expenditure by the city to aid in the construction
of the Dells dam. If the Dells Paper & Pulp Company does
what I think will be for its best interests, it will put in a con-
crete dam and raise its head to an extent that will afford all
the power t0a want3for Wlypaper and pulp mill, and also
power to sell.
   The lumbermen now operating here have ceased to drive
logs and are bringing them in 'by rail. Had the lumbermen
in the early days possessed such facilities for getting logs from
the head waters of the river, it would have 'been more profit-
able to them to have brought them in (by rail than to have float-
69


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