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Ingram, Orrin Henry, 1830-1918 / Autobiography, Orrin Henry Ingram : May, 1830--December, 1912

Paper-mill experience,   pp. 73-75 PDF (641.6 KB)

Page 74

was then in much the same fix as the fellow was who went into
a raffle and won an elephant, for I knew nothing about the pa-
per business, and had all I could attend to without it; but I
started the next day for Neenah and Menasha to see if I could
find some one to take it off my hands. I found some parties
that I knew and was advised to see the Davis brothers. They
had a small paper mill at Neenah and seemed to be the only
ones there situated to take hold of the plant here; but their
means were limited, so I arranged to let them have about one-
half of the property by carrying a large part of that half for
them. D. R. Davis came here with me and we organized the
Dells Paper & Pulp Company, made Mr. Davis president, my-
self vice-president, and C. A. Chamberlain secretary. The mill
had a 72-inch paper machine, made at Beloit, in pretty bad
order-so much so that we at once had it rebuilt. Mr. Davis
thought we ought to install a grinding machine for making
pulp from wood, and that we ought to have a larger paper
mill machine. Contracts were promptly made for both ma-
ehines, and for larger and more modern water wheels, all of
which called for a good deal of money. I had but little money
outside of our lumber business, so it was necessary to go to the
banks. The Dells Paper & Pulp Company could make notes,
but to get money at reasonable rates I was required to endorse
its notes. As soon as the new machinery was installed it seem-
ed necessary also to enlarge each department, which called for
still more money. I could not give much time to the business,
so after two or three years said to Mr. Davis I wished he would
find some one to take my stock. Paper was bringing paying
price and the mill was showing some profit. Mr. Davis found
a retired paped mill man at Appleton who had the money and
was willing to take the stock as collateral and lA6he money
to pay me for my stock. That was my opportunity to get out
of a business about which I knew nothing. But I had the sat-
isfaction, of seeing the indebtedness all paid off before selling

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