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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter II: Early lumbering operations,   pp. 7-19

Page 17

Tainter was his partner there getting out shingles. Mr. Tainter sold to Lorenzo
Bullard, who became Hurd's partner. The United States survey of 1849 says of
this point on Irvine Creek: "Creek 25 links wide. Hurd's mill on this creek is a
small fixen one saw, and very little timber around."
An entry in the books of Black & Knapp under date of September 1, 1847,
shows a charge against Hurd & Tainter, "To repairing stirup for mill, S2.50."
In November same year, "To boating goods to mill, $36," and the account con-
tinues to June 16, 1849. These books show that on June 26, 1849, an account
was opened with Hurd & Bullard, the item on that day being, "To mending mill
stirrup, 81.00." It is a singular coincidence that these two accounts should be
opened with an item of the same nature, repairing for mill, and presumably the
Irvine Creek mill in both instances. This inference is strengthened by the fact
that a note of Bullard's was turned in by Tainter to Knapp & Tainter for 8311 on
Tainter's purchase of a partnership interest in the Wilson Creek mill from John H.
Knapp in 1850.
The Gilbert Creek mill, erected by James H. Lockwood in 1831 was sold in
1835 to Hiram S. Allen. In 1842, G. S. Branham became his partner. In 1846 they
sold to Samuel Gilbert, Sr., from whom the creek takes its name. From the fail
of 1846 to the summer of 1847, Andrew Tainter was associated with Mr. Gilbert
in getting out lath at the mill. In the minutes of the United States survey made
in 1849 is this legend," Came to corner of a house near which 5 others belonging to
Samuel Gilbert and son and occupied by their families and workmen. Breast of
mill dam, 15 feet high; fifty links south is a sawmill running one upright and two
circular saws."
A mill was built on the Eau Galle, the present site of Eau Galle village, in 1838-
39. It was erected by Captain George Wales with Thomas Savage as a partner. The
millwright was Captain Dix. Captain Wales was a brilliant young West Point
graduate, who appears to have acquired extravagant habits while in frontier army
posts. He was in charge of the Lockwood operations at Wilson and Gilbert Creeks
for a while, and upon leaving that employ, started for himself on the Eau Galle.
Captain Dix had also probably been employed at the Lockwood mills. The Eau
Galle mill was put in operation in 1839. In 1839, not long after the completion
of the mill, William Carson, a Canadian, and Henry Eaton, a down-east Yankee,
appeared. Claiming that the mill company had no exclusive rights in the forest, they
commenced getting out square timbers and shingles, the former by hewing and the
latter by riving and breasting, forming the timber into rafts upon which the shingles
were loaded for transportation. This proved annoying to the owners of the Eau
Galle mill, for it not only took much of the most convenient and valuable timber
but also obstructed the navigation of their little river for their cribs of lumber.
Dix and Savage, therefore, decided to sell an interest in the mill to the intruders,
and thus maintain the monopoly which they had established and prevent the mono-
poly which they feared. The partnership about this time and for some time
thereafter was known as William Carson & Co.
Not long after this, Sayvage and Dix withdrew and the partnership of Carson,
Eaton and Wales continued the business, Wales being the financial man of the
concern. Wisconsin was at this time a territory, and the Chippewa and Red Cedar
Valleys little more than unexplored wilderness. Mr. Carson was optomistic as to
the future which would bring great numbers of people to so heavily timbered a
region. The mill owned by Carson, Eaton and Wales was a large one for that time,
having a cutting capacity of 10,000 feet per day with two upright saws of the gate
variety, the onlv kind known to the times.
Captain Wales, as noted, was the financial and also the sales agent of the firm.
In his visits to St. Louis and other Mississippi points which this work involved, he
found his expenses more than his income, and in 1844 he sold out to his partners.
The partnership of Carson and Eaton was continued for some years. In 1852
an interest was sold to Eldridge D. Rand, a prominent lumberman of Burlington,
Iowa. Later Mr. Eaton retired and the firm became Carson and Rand. The
mill was destroyed by fire in 1860 but was immediately rebuilt.

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