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

Value of water powers,   pp. 70-71 PDF (431.5 KB)

Page 70

ed them down the river, and the dam or water power would
not have been of any use except for power for driving ma-
chinery other than saw mill machinery. The offal when man-
ufacturing logs into lumber would have furnished sufficient
fuel for all the power needed; in fact, the saw dust and bark
now furnish fuel enough for the saw mills, so that a large per
cent. of the offal from a mill is sold for fuel. The water power
was of no special benefit to the lumbermen except to create
slack water above the dam for storing and sorting logs, when
bringing them down by river.
   Water power has come to be one of the most valuable assets,
I think, in this country, and should be utilized at every pos-
sible point, in that way encouraging manufacturing. No place
obliged to use fuel for power can compete with villages or
cities that have water powers. Of late, water power is used
very generally to generate electricity for driving street rail-
ways, and interurban lines, and for lighting cities and running
motors for all kinds of manufacturing. Eau Claire is especial-
ly well situated on account of the many places on the Eau
Claire and Chippewa and Red Cedar rivers for storing water
for power. There should be more dams for reservoirs on these
rivers, to check the floods caused by melting snows and the ex-
traordinary rains, so that the power-plants may have use of the
stored water in the summer, when needed, and in the
winter, when the streams are frozen by the severe weather we
have. Reservoirs would supply the necessary water to main-
tain the power required for any and all kinds of manufactur-
ing, and to a great extent prevent the low lands during flood-
times from being submerged, and many times doing great dam-
age. The benefits from improvements of our water power will
be better appreciated in years to come. I am strongly of the
opinion that Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie will
become large manufacturing centers because of the cheap pow-

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