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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
(1880)

Judson, W. B.
Lumber manufacture,   pp. 185-191 PDF (3.4 MB)


Page 185


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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