The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Judson, W. B.
Lumber manufacture, pp. 185-191 PDF (3.4 MB)
LUMBER MANUFACTURE. interested inthe enterprise, procure the aid of counties and municipalities, and then allure the farmers, with the prospect of joint ownership in railroads, to subscribe for stock andmortgage their farms to secure the payment of their subscriptions. Then the whole line was bonded and a mortgage executed. The bonds and mortgages thus obtained, were taken to the money centers of New York, London, Amsterdam and other places, and sold, or hypothecated to obtain the money with which to prosecute the work. The bonds and mortgages were made to draw a high rate of interest, and the earnings of these new roads, through unsettled localities, were insufficient to pay more than running and incidental expenses, and frequently fell short of that. Default occurring in the payment of interest, the mortgages were foreclosed and the property passed into the hands and under the control of foreign capitalists. Such has been the history of most of the railroads of our state. The total number of farm mortgages given has been 3,785, amounting to $4,079,433; town, county and municipal bonds, amounting to $6,9IO,652. The total cost of all the railroads in the state, as given by the railroad commissioner in his report for 1876, has been $98,343,453.67. This vast sum is, no doubt, greatly in excess of what the cost should have been, but the roads have proved of immense benefit in the adevelop- ment of the material resources of the state. Other lines are needed through sections not yet traversed by the iron steed, and present lines should be extended by branch roads. The questions upon which great issues were raised between the railway corporations and the people, are now happily settled by-securing to the latter their rights; and the former, under the wise and conciliatory policy pursued by their managers, are assured of the safety of their investments. An era of good feeling has succeeded one of distrust and antagonism. The people must use the railroads, and the railroads depend upon.the people for sustenance and protection. This mutuality of interest, when fully recognized on both sides, will result in giving to capital a fair return and to labor its just reward. LUMBER MANUFACTURE. By W. B. JUDSON. Foremost among the industries of Wisconsin is that of manufacturing lumber. Very much of the importance to which the state has attained is due to the development of its forest wealth, In America, agriculture always has been, and always will be, the primary and most important interest; but no nation can subsist upon agriculture alone. While the broad prairies of Illinois and Iowa are rich with a fertile and productive soil, the hills and valleys of northern Wisconsin are clothed with a wealth of timber that has given birth to a great manufacturing interest, which employs millions of capital and thousands of men, and has peopled the northern wilds with energetic, prosperous communities, built up enterprising cities, and crossed the state with a net- work of railways which furnish outlets for its productions and inlets for the new populations which are ever seeking for homes and employment nearer to the setting sun. If a line be drawn upon the state map, from Green Bay westward through Stevens Point, to where it would naturally strike the Mississippi river, it will be below the southern boundary of the pine timber regions, with the single exception of the district drained by the Yellow river, a tributary of the Wisconsin, drawing its timber chiefly from Wood and Juneau counties. The territory north of this imaginary line covers an area a little greater than one half of the state, The pine timbered land is found in belts or ridges, interspersed with prairie openings, patches of hardwood and hemlock, and drained by numerous water-courses. No less than seven large 185,
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