University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

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

Beginning in lumber,   pp. 8-10 PDF (615.4 KB)


Page 8


AUTOBIOGRAPHY
the saw mill. When I went to work for him, Mrs. Bronson was
at her father's with her twin babies, Erskine and Gertrude,
about a year old. Mrs. Bronson was about ready to go back to
Lake Pharaoh, and I was to report there to Mr. Bronson. It
was arranged that I should accompany Mrs. Bronson and the
twins. It was a long day's drive in a double-wagon, with
heavy springs under the box and the seats arranged with the
trunks behind them to rest our backs against. The twins were
so small they had to be held. I held one of them most of the
time, and their mother the other. We drove to a place called
Garfield Hotel, on the shore of the lake, reaching there in time
for dinner. It was eleven miles from there to the mill, but
there was a road from the head of the lake to its outlet, where
the mill and the headquarters and the boarding house were,
and where the families of the mill men lived. They usually had
a boat at the head of the lake in which to go down to the mill,
but when we reached there we found someone had taken it,
and it was necessary (it was almost dark), for us to drive two
miles and a half through the woods, over a rough road, and
Mrs. Bronson, with one child on her lap, and myself, with the
other, as you can imagine, were pretty well shaken up, and
very tired when we got there. Mr. Bronson sought to learn
who had taken the boat, but I don't remember whether or not
he found out.
                BEGINNING IN LUMBER
   The first work I did in the mill was on the edger, edging
lumber. The edger then used had a narrow carriage, 12 or 14
feet long and 14 to 16 inches wide, and on which we placed a
board and pushed it through by a saw which took offoneedging,
and when brought back we turned the board over and pushed
it through again, taking off another edging. That would be
a strange method to men in our modern mills, with modern
edgers. Wages were $13 a month, and board, during the sum-
8


Go up to Top of Page