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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

Giles, H. H.
Commerce and manufactures,   pp. [198]-209 PDF (5.4 MB)

Page 209

as he is accustomed to make; the capitalist, concerning all matters that
pertain to resources,
advantages, and the opportunities for investing his money.  Our own people-want
all the infor-
mation that can be gained by the collection of all obtainable facts. The
sources of such infor-
mation are now various, and the knowledge they impart fragmentary in its
     Provision should be made by law, for the collection and publication
of reliable statistics
 relating to our farming, manufacturing, mining, lumbering, commercial and
educational interests.
 Several of the states of the Union have established a "Bureau of Statistics,"
and no more valua-
 ble reports emanate from any of their state departments than those that
exhibit a condensed
 view of the material results accomplished each year. Most of the European
states foster these
 agencies with as much solicitude as any department of their government.
 Indeed, they have
 become a social as well as a material necessity, for social science extends
its inquiries to the
 physical laws of man as a social being; to the resources of the country;
its productions; the
 growth of society, and to all those facts or conditions which may increase
or diminish the strength,
 growth or happiness of a people. Statistics are the foundation and corner-stone
of social science,
 which is the highest and noblest of all the sciences.
     A writer has said that, " If God had designed Wisconsin to be chiefly
a manufacturing state,
instead of agricultural, which she claims to be, and is, it is difficult
to see more than one partic-
ular in which He could have endowed her more richly for that purpose."
 She has all the mate-
rial for the construction of articles of use and luxury, the means of motive
power to propel the
machinery, to turn and fashion, weave, forge, and grind the natural elements
that abound in such
rich profusion. She has also the men whose enterprise and skill have accomplished
most sur-
prising results, in not only building up a name for themselves, but in placing
the state in a proud
position of independence.
     It is impossible to predict what will be the future growth and development
of Wisconsin.
From its commercial and manufacturing advantages, we may reasonably anticipate
that she will
in a few years lead in the front rank of the states of the Union in all that
constitutes real great-
ness. Her educational system is one of the best. With her richly endowed
State University, her
colleges and high schools, and the people's colleges, the common schools,
she has laid a broad
and deep foundation for a great and noble commonwealth.   'It was early seen
what were the
capabilities of this their newly explored domain. The northwestern explorer,
Jonathan Carver,
in 1766, one hundred and thirteen years ago, after traversing Wisconsin and
viewing its lakes of
crystal purity, its rivers of matchless utility, its forests of exhaustless
wealth, its prairies of won-
derful fertility, its mines of buried treasure, recorded this remarkable
prediction of which we see
the fulfillment:"-To what power or authority this new world will become
dependent after it has
arisen from its present uncultivated state, time alone can discover. But
as the seat of empire from
time immemorial has been gradually progressive toward the west, there is
no doubt but that at
some future period mighty kingdoms will emerge from these wildernesses, and
stately palaces
and solemn temples with gilded spires reaching to the skies supplant the
Indian huts, whose
only decorations are the barbarous trophies of'their vanquished enemies."
                          "Westward the course of empire takes its way;
                              The four first acts already passed,
                          A fifth shall close the drama with the day;
                              Time's noblest offspring is the last."

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