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

Chapter VII: some economic aspects of 1846,   pp. 43-49

Page 47

of these three companies was that of Brown and Vance. Its accounts on the com-
pany book continue from 1846 to 1852. It had a camp at Lamb's Creek and was
an independent company. William and Samuel Whitcomb, William Wickham
and Lorenzo Bullard were employees of Knapp and Wilson. William Whitcomb
was a general laborer, Samuel was a millwright, Wickham was an expert shingle
maker and Lorenzo Bullard was at different times in charge of special departments
of the work here. The firm of Whitcomb and Wilson seems to have had a camp on
Hay River. Josiah Harris, one of its workmen, is credited with $30, "for measuring
logs on Hay River." This company appears to have bought shingles and to have
bought as well as cut logs. The aggregate amount of its account running over
two and one-half years is 87,000. On the ledger for 1847 are columns of the scale
of logs of this company filling two pages with one colmun over. The scale is un-
footed and at the bottom is the memorandum "measured at the mill."
The accoint of Wickham & Co. seems to have been but a name under I,(-hich
Knapp and Wilson carried on a logging and shingle business. At the end of this
account which for the most part consists of general entries without price carried
out is this statement: "1850, Oct. 4, settled all accounts on this book to this date,
Wickham & Co., and William Wickham, and balanced the book." No totals nor
balance given in figures.
At one time separate from the accounts of Wickham & Co., Wickham is credited
with 680,000 shingles, 81,360.00.  Shingle makers were usually charged with the
bolts turned over to them and credited with the price of the shingles made. In
the account of Wickham & Co. appear credits to thirteen different men for shingles
made, aggregating 701,500. No price stated.
It does not seem necessary to carry the examination further. We must be satis-
fied by the showing made that these logging companies named were to a large extent
fictitious. It is not fair to assume that they were conceived in fraud and carried on
to cheat, but rather that they were necessary business methods resorted to for the
purpose of keeping in operation this lumber enterprise until such time as the legal
entaglement consequent upon the death of Mr. Black could be in a legal way un-
tangled and the proprietory right to Black's one-half interest in the property be
acquired by some person who could be legally charged with losses as well as credited
with gains.
The number of men employed in the Red Cedar Valley in the early days is un-
Lockwood merely says that a force of carpenters, and laborers were sent here
at the building of tle first mill. Nothing stated from which the number could be
estimated or calculated. Fonda states precisely of the military expedition of
1829-30 that there were 74 persons. From an account'by Lockwood of his picking
up detachments of his returning crew of 1830 when thex- : bandolied the mill, in
July of that year, we can estimate the full force at from 20 to 25. As to how many
he brought in 1831 or then had here in all it is barely possible to make a random
guess. If we take the estimate of 20 to 25 for the first crew and suppose the crew
brought to replace them to be equally strong, then we can put the force of 1831 at
from 40 to 50 persons. Schoolcraft on August 11, 1831, in an account of his voyage
down the Red Cedar River, says, that a Mr. Wallace with ten men was at the upper
mill. Lockwood being then engaged in getting out timber for the dam and mill at
Gilbert Creek would naturally have a much larger force there. From Fonda's
account of 1837-39 we can learn nothing of the number of people here at any one
or at all of the mills.
We have no mention during the earlier period under consideration of the per-
sonal property at the middle and lower mills. The first mention of such property
at the upper mill is in the mortgage given by Green to Lockwood January 28, 1841,
for there is included "6 pair of oxen with yokes and chains, and 1 set of blacksmith
tools, and also all tools belonging to said mill (called the upper mill)."
The next mention of such property is in the estate of William Black who died in
1844. The inventory filed shows:
"Sawmill 82200, F~rame house 8250, Log house $200, 6 yoke of oxen, yokes and

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