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Dicke, Robert J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XLIV (1955)

Ihde, Aaron J.; Conners, James W.
Chemical industry in early Wisconsin,   pp. 5-20 PDF (5.8 MB)


Page 15

FIGURE 1. Shot Tower Buildings at Helena (facsimile of sketch by John Wilson,
made July, 1836). 
 1955] Ihcie & Conners—Chemical Industry in Wisconsin 15 
 Lead. The galena deposits in the region where the present boundaries of
Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa join were exploited for their lead ever since
the seventeenth century when the French explorers and traders taught the
Indians to smelt the ore.'7 The soft metal with its low melting point quickly
assumed importance among the Indians as a source of bullets for the hunting
of fur-bearing animals and as an item of trade. Mining operations by white
men were carried out only sporadically up 
to the third decade of the nineteenth century at which time a vigorous mining
boom occurred. In 1828 production of the metal was 12,000,000 pounds. Troubles
with the Indians caused some fluctuation in mining activities but these troubles
were ended in 1832 with the termination of the Black Hawk War. Cornish miners
began to enter the region in large numbers from 1835.18 The metal moved out
of the region by water, south on the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers to
St. Louis, north on the Wiscon 
 ~ Kellogg, L. P., "The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Early Northwest",
State Hist. Soc., Madison, 1925, p. 359—63. 
 ' ~ Schafer, J., "The Wisconsin Lead Region", State Hist. Soc., Madison
1932, p. 21 if. R. G. Thwaites, "Notes on Early Lead Mining in the Fever
River Region", Wis. Hist. Coils., 13, 271—92 (1895). W. F. Raney, "Wisconsin,
A Story oE Progress", Prentice—Hall, New York, 1940, p. 89-91. 


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