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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
(1925)

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


Page 48

HISTORY OF DUNN COUNTY
chains S450. Blacksmith tools $45, Farm  and kitchen utensils $20."  Total
value S3,165.
No inventory appears of record in David Black's estate, and in the deeds of
Black and of his administrator to Mr. Knapp the personal property is mentioned
only in general terms, as including all that pertains to said upper mill. But it
appears that Mr. Knapp paid in all for the property 84,600, an increase over the
William Black inventory of $1,435. This sum includes of course in part the ac-
cumulations for such time as Mr. Knapp may have accounted for profits of the
business to the estate of Black.
By a rough inventory as of August 20, 1853 the property at the upper mill was
put at 870,000. By a more carefully taken inventory, taken in April, 1853, it is
shown to be $78, 317.21. To those who knew of the millions shown bv the later
inventories of this upper mill this inventory will be of interest in its details. For
this reason it is here given:
Farm, 82,000; mill, $30,000; 20 yoke oxen, $2,000; 10 horses, $800; 6 wagons,
$400; sleighs and harness, S250; 15 cows, 8350; young cattle, 8125; 1 corn mill,
$100; 2 boats, $250; farm implements, 8150; mdse. on hand, S6, 575" logs, 830,000;
lumber in yard, S5,317.21; total, S78, 317.21.
This last inventory was taken by the persons interested as the value of the
property as of the organization of the firm of Knapp, Stout & Co., on August 20,
1853.
The increase of property from 1846 to 1853 would indicate a prosperous condition
of the business in those and the intermediary years. The entries in the books of
Black and Knapp for the first three years show an immediate increase of business
under the management of Knapp and Wilson. By an entry Nov. 24, 1846, there-
appears to have been put into the Chippewa River 60,000 feet of logs and 21 M.
shingles. In July, 1847 is shown under designation of trip No. 2, receipts from raft
S1,555.52 and expenses paid in getting the raft to market of 8701.22. Aug. 24, 1847
trip No. 3 a credit of $1,708.95 and debit against same 8599.59. November, 1847
trip No. 4 81,220.52, debit 8887.79. Three trips were made in 1848 aggregating
credits of $5,087.34, debits $2,423.48 and in June of this year there is a credit from
sales at lumber yard and to individuals of $1,165.18. The output for 1849 must.
have increased greatly or the price of lumber must have been advanced for the
credits for trips during that year are from two and one-half to three times larger
than for 1847.
The number of accounts of workmen for 1846 and 1847 indicate a force of men
employed of 20 to 25, and the accounts of payments for logs, lumber and shingles
shows a large amount of these commodities to have been gotten out by jobbers.
The success of these men men (Knapp & Wilson) is in strong contrast with prior
failures. The records of Crawford County show that Green quit a bankrupt and
that the estates of both William and David Black were insolvent.
All hands, loggers and shingle makers, were, judged by the standards of a dry
town, hard drinkers. A liquor account here was for a few years kept in the form of
a score, a mark to each drink not paid for, it covers several pages and is kept
as threshers tally grain, in blocks, four upright marks crossed by a fifth. The scores
run, for each credit customer, from 20 to 150 drinks, each month. Some are entered-
as: "103 drinks and 114 pints, 861.82," and "81 drinks and 5 pints, $6.31."  Often
the transfer to the drinker's general account is humorously covered up, as "sun-
dries," or as "nourishment."
Much liquor appears in the book accounts. Alexander Hammal, a workman,
who appears also to have been a trader, is charged in July, 1846, with "Boating
whiskey from the lake, $2.00," and in March, 1847, he is credited, "by 40 gallons
whiskev, $20.00."  George Wilson was probably a workman and jobber. His
account shows that at one time he worked for Brown and Vance, he was here with
David Black before 1846. His account in 1847 is credited with thirty-eight gallons
of whiskey, delivered to Whitcomb. Brown and Vance as late as September 12,
1850, balanced their account by turning back "whiskey to balance, $34.10." C n
the debit side of its account onthe first page thereof it is charged with four barrels
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