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Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899

Port Washington Star: Port Washington, Wisconsin April 8, 1899,   p. 24

Page 24

APRIL 8, 1899
The Rebuilding of the Chair Factory No Longer in Doubt.
A crisis was precipitated in the chair factory rebuilding matter at the council
meeting last Monday night by the refusal of Ald. Bolens and Schmidler to consider the
railroad side track appropriation and ordinance, until a proposition had been received
from the Wisconsin Chair Co. and either accepted or rejected. The result of this action
was a long and animated discussion, and an adjournment to Wednesday evening.
After numerous conferences a written proposition was finally submitted to the city
on Wednesday by the officers of the Wisconsin Chair Co., setting forth that they would
rebuild their plant and give steady employment to a stated number of hands, providing the
Northwestern Ry. could be induced by the city to build a spur from the main line to the
company's plant and a bonus equivalent to $25,000 in cash guaranteed.
At the Council meeting on Wednesday evening this proposition was unanimously
accepted, but it was thought advisable to get the sentiment of the voters and taxpayers on
this proposition, so a mass meeting was called for Thursday evening at the Opera House.
At this meeting a report was read setting forth all that had been accomplished and was
proposed to be done toward securing the right of way for the spur track, and the
proposition of the Wisconsin Chair Co. was fully explained. There were about 250
taxpayers present of the 300 on the tax roll and within half an hour the signature of every
one was secured to a petition asking the Council to enter into the contract as stated in the
proposition. The few missing names were secured yesterday, and to make the matter
more binding about thirty of our leading citizens have offered to personally guarantee the
carrying out of the proposed contract by the city.
Tonight final action in the matter will be taken by the Council by making and
entering into the contract in behalf of the city.
The proceedings have gone so far that neither the city nor the company can with
honor withdraw from carrying out the provisions of the contract.

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