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Whitbeck, R. H., 1871-1939 (Ray Hughes) / The geography and economic development of southeastern Wisconsin

Chapter VIII. The city and county of Kenosha,   pp. 179-211 PDF (8.2 MB)

Page 180

Kenosha County had 14 butter and cheese factories and 6 flour
and grist mills, nearly all of which have passed out of exist-
It hardly seems possible that the Fox River could ever have
been used for navigation, yet a small steamer, the Lady Cath-.
erine, was launched at Wilmot in 1854 and was used for tow-
ing purposes during the construction of a railroad in the val-
ley. Later, in the years between 1868 and 1878, a steamer 65
feet in length is reported to have navigated the river at times
of high water; considerable dredging was dine for the purpose
of deepening the channel.
Three important east-west roads traversed the- county in the
early days. One ran from Kenosha through Paris to Burling-
ton; another from Kenosha through Pleasant Prairie to Wil-
mot and on into Illinois; and a third-later planked as far as
Fox River-from Kenosha directly west to Lake Geneva. The
old mail road from Chicago northward crossed the eastern end
of the county. This was a U. S. Government road, substan-
tially built and extensively used. It was the chief north-south
highway of the time.
The first railroads completed in the county were the Chicago
and Milwaukee (1855) and the Kenosha and Fox River R. R.
(1857-59). Both of these lines are now parts of the Chicago
and NorthWestern system (Fig. 34).
In 1873 the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul line between
Milwaukee and Chicago was opened. In 1888 the Wisconsin
Central, now the Soo Line, was built through the western part
of the county. In 1906 the Chicago and North Western opened
its double track freight line through from Milwaukee to Chi-
cago. Thus, there are six tracks traversing the eastern end of
the county in addition to two electric lines.
The county is peculiar in that practically all of its' manufac-
turing is done in one place, the city of Kenosha. There are
only 2 creameries in the county, 1 condensary and 5 active
cheese factories (1920). In the southeastern part of the county
is a powder mill belonging to the DuPont Company, employing
1150 to .200 persons.

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