Richard J Harney.

History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest online

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ments. Next comes the lathe in the machine
shop, where the repairing is done to disabled
machinery. Then the circular saws that cut
the timber into the proper dimemsions — the



170



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1879.



match-splint macliines, of which there are
eight, with a capacity of making 115,400
match-sphnts per minute. In the racking
room are five racking machines, which
place the matches in proper fixtures for dip-
ping. In another room are six cutting
machines which cut the splints, which are
made double-length, in two. Another depart-
ment contains the heating furnace and
dipping machines. But the most ingenious
machinery, working with the precision of an
intelligent being, is that of the paper-box
machines. There are four of these, which
cost $10,000, and which turn out 4,200 paper
boxes per hour. No description can do jus-
tice to these wonderful, ingenious, and beauti-
ful contrivances. There are other machines
in the same room, which cut at each move-
ment about 100 pieces of paper into the proper
shape for making the boxes. These are
placed, several hundred at a time, in the box
machine, which rapidly manipulates them into
the finished box. There are ten separate
machines in this department. There are,
including engines, saws, racking and splint
machines, box machines, etc, over forty
separate machines in the various departments;
so it will be seen, that to make so small a
thing as a match, with profitable facility, avast
amount of complicated machinery is necessary,
involving multifarious details, requiring the
nicest accuracy in their practical management.

This busy hive of human industry works
like some vast machine, performing the details
of its complicated movements with the pre-
cision of clock-work. Its management
requires the greatest practical skill and a clear
headed comprehension of all its various move-
ments, and there are but comparatively few
persons competent to perform the task.

The history ofthese works shows at least one
instance in which the highest success is not-
accidental. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Clark
perfected a match-splint machine. He was
previously engaged in filing the saws in Mc-
Millen'smill. At that time Daniel Ruggleswas
engaged in the manufacture of splints, and at
a cost of about $500 procured a round-splint
machine, which worked so imperfectly that
he sold the same to Mr. Clark for $30. The
latter finding this machine impracticable, con-
structed a new one which worked so success-
fully that he engaged exclusively in the manu-
facture of splints. At that time his capital
was less than a hundred dollars. At first
he took the splints to his house for
the purpose of sorting them, and employed
only one hand for the work. In time, every
room in the lower part of the house was used



by occupants sorting splints. The business
had increased to such an extent that Mr.
Clark determined to start a factory, and conse-
quently erected a building, now a pa:rt of the
works, in 1864. In 1868 he commenced the
manufacture of matches, on a small scale.
From these small beginnings the business so
rapidly increased, that in seven years the
product of the factory reached the amount of
$374,000 in one year.

In the building up of this very successful
business, Mr. Clark was very ably seconded
by his wife, who evinced great executive
ability in the management of its details and
especially in organizing the help, and Mr.
Clark attributes much of his success to the
very valuable assistance of Mrs. Clark. The
management is now so systematically organ-
ized that the various departments work
like some vast machine, each of which is
dependent on the other.

The superiority ofthese matches has secured
for them a widely extended popularity, and at
the rate in which the product of the works is
increasing it will soon reach a million of dol-
lars per annum, giving employment to six or
seven hundred hands.

The benefit of this factory to the city cannot
be over-estimated. It has never received or
asked for one cent of bonus, or any municipal
favors, being self-sustaining from the first,
and is the result of dilligence, well directed
enterprise, good business management and
honest dealing.

The work is all done by the piece. By this
system each hand gets all that he earns, and it
seems to give the fullest satisfaction to em-
ployer and employed; as the hands all seem
cheerful and interested in their work and
habits of industry and good morals are incul-
cated by the admirable management.

This institution has graduated a new man-
ager in the person of Mr. Clark's son, Herbert
M. Clark, who is said to be fully competent
to the post he now occupies, that of general
superintendent.

The book-keeper, cashier and general corres-
pondent, is Mr. Arthur W. Jones, and this
department is in the hands of a faithful and
competent manager.

FOSTER .\; JONKS,
Sash, Door and Fttind Manufactureis.

Among the illustrations in this work will be
found that of the sash and door factory, and
planing mill of Foster & Jones. This is one
of the heaviest manufacturing concerns in this
city, and its proprietors stand in the fronl
ranksof its business men. The firm was estab-




Star Match Works,Oshkosh,Wis.-Jas. L.Clark Prop.



I879-]



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



171



lished in 1865, and has since that time been
enlarging its facilities.

Their business is conducted with that
vigor and enterprise for which Oshkosh men
have long been distinguished.

This factory contains all the best improved
machinery and every facility for the manufac-
ture of their products at the lowest possible
cost, enabling them to successfully meet any
competition in the market. They employ
from seventy to eighty hands and have a
capacity for manufacturing yearly 80,000 doors,
200,000 windows, and 40,000 pairs of blinds,
besides wood-mouldings and dressed lumber.

The actual manufactures fall but little short
of the capacity of the works. They manufac-
ture wood-mouldings to the value of $25,000
per annum, which they ship by the car-load.
They dress over 5,000,000 feet of lumber on
an average each year. Their yearly products
aggregate a value of $150,000.

The members of this firm have always been
foremost in aiding every public enterprise for
the benefit of this place, and both have received
from their townsmen the compliment of the
highest ofiicial position within the gift of the
city. Hon. Carlton Foster, who is a skillful mill-
wright, moved from Essex County, New York,
his native place, to Oshkosh in 1855; in 1859
he purchased a saw-mill in this place and
engaged in the manufacture of lumber, which
business he conducted very successfully. In
1865 he formed a partnership with Hon. Jas.
V. Jones in the manufacture of sash, blinds,
doors and mouldings. Mr. Foster rapidly
grew in the esteem of the people of this city
and was elected mayor for two terms and
chosen to serve two terms in. the State Legis-
lature, acquitting himself in both positions to
the fullest satisfaction of his constituency. He
is conservative in politics and of rather anti-
partisan tendencies, and is a man of sound
judgment and of the strictest integrity. His
handsome residence is situated just outside of
the city limits in the Town of Algoma on a
handsome tract of eighty acres. A view of
the same is given in this work.

Hon. James V. Jones moved from his birth-
place, Oswego, New York, to Oshkosh in 1855,
and though poor in pocket vigorously com-
menced that business career in which he has
been so successful. First, as a building con-
tractor, which he followed for some years, and
next as a partner of Carlton Foster. Mr. Jones,
in his new business, soon gave evidence of that
executive force, business vim and spiritof enter-
prise for which he has since become dis-
tinguished, being one of those men who act
with great vigor and force in whatever they



undertake. He is a strong partisan and has
taken an active part in political strife, and has
the aggressive qualities of a leader. He has
received from his townsmen the highest marks
of their favor and esteem, having been three
times elected mayor, and once chosen to rep-
resent his district in the Legislature. In both
capacities he served with much distinction.
He is a man of much public spirit and a will-
ing leader in all public enterprises, ready to do
all in his power to promote the interests of the
city. As a business man he possesses fine
qualifications, and his dealings are character-
ized by the strictest integrity.

COOK, BROWN & CO.
Brick, Lime and Drain Tile Works.

The members of this firm are Ossian Cook,
R. C. Brown, F. E. Waite and B. F. Carter.
They manufacture, on a large scale, drain tile,
brick and lime; and employ eighty hands, and
have a large steamer and a sail vessel of their
own, which are kept engaged in transporting
material. They also employ two other sail
vessels in freighting brick, stone and wood.

Their two large brick-yards are on the
east shore of the lake, where a fine quality of
brick-clay exists in inexhaustible quantities,
and from which they manufacture superior
cream-colored brick and drain tile. Their
stone quarries are also located on the east
shore, from whence they ship the stone which
is here manufactured into lime. They have
two patent kilns, situated near their shipping
dock, which is always a scene of great business
activity. The greater part of the handsome
buildings on Main Street have been built of
brick of their manufacture. Among these
are the Beckwith, Fraker Opera Hall, Masonic
Temple, Wolcott and other business blocks.

Their lime and drain tile are of such super-
ior quality that there is a large demand for
shipment to other States; and they ship large
quantities to Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska and
Minnesota.

Their average j'early manufactures are
3,000,000 of brick, 30,000 barrels of lime and
200,000 drain tile. They also do a large busi-
ness in cement, stucco, land-plaster, sewer
pipe, fire-brick and hardwood; of the latter,
about 5,000 cords pass through their hands
yearly.

One of the firm, Hon. B. F. Carter, resides
on the east shore, and represents that district
in the State Legislature. The others are
regarded as among the most enterprising and
thorough-going business men of this city, who
contribute largely to its prosperity. On an-



172



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1879.



other page will be found a fine view of their
lime works and shipping docks.

ROBERT MCMILLEN & CO.,
Manufacturers of Lumber, Sash, Doors and Blinds.

Attention is called to the fine view of
this mammoth concern; one of the largest in
this city. It consists of a saw-mill, shingle
mill and sash, door and blind factory. The
capacity of the saw-mill is 50,000 feet per day.
The sash and door factory turns out on an
average, 200 doors, 400 windows and lOO pairs
of blinds per day. One hundred odd hands
are employed. The members of the firm are
Robert McMillen and C. W. Davis.

Their present saw-mill was built in 1868, and
in 1873 they constructed their mammoth sash,
door and blind factory, which has been en-
larged from time to time to meet the increas-
ing demands of their business. This is one of
the establishments that gives Oshkosh her
reputation abroad, as the greatest sash and
door manufacturing point in the West. They
have the facilities in the best of machinery for
promptly filling the largest orders, and turn
out work which, for quality, is not excelled.
The cars are continually at their shipping
house, in the process of loading with their
wares, which arc shipped by the car-load in
various directions. This firm enjoys a high
business reputation and conduct their aftairs
on the principles of the strictest integrity.

Mr. McMillen came from Warren County,
New York, to Oshkosh in 1854, and by dili-
gence and business sagacity has successfully
pushed his fortunes. He is one of the direc-
tors of the First National Bank, and is regard-
ed as a man of first-class business ability, and
kind and generous in his relations with all.
A view of his beautiful residence and grounds
on Algoma Street, is given in this work. It
was formerly the residence of Governor
Bashford, and is one of the handsomest places
in the city.

Mr. Charles W. Davis moved to this place
in i860, and was for some years in the foundry
and machine-shop business. He superintends
the manufacturing department, and it is in
energetichands. Mr. Davisis highly esteemed
as a useful business man and good citizen.
In 1868 he was elected mayor of this city, and
filled the position satisfactorily to the public.

SCHMIT BROS.
The Eagle Trunk Factory

A view of this establishment will be found
on another page. It gives employment to
some 60 hands, and contributes largely to this
city's business and prosperity. The enter-



prising proprietors have enlarged their works
from time to time so as to increase the facili-
ties, for meeting the general demand for their
trunks, which theyship by the carload. Their
facilities enable them to enter the market
successfully against all competitors in price
and quality. The value of such a factory as
this to Oshkosh cannot be over estimated, as
it gives employment to so large a number of
hands throughout the year, and is the means
of putting in circulation a large amount of
money. The Schmit Brothers exhibit that
push and energy in the management of their
affairs which is so essential to success, and
have proved a valuable accession to the manu-
facturing interests of this city.

WILLIAMSON, LIBBEY & CO.,
Planing Mill, Sash, Door and Blind Manufacturers.

This is another of the leading manufactories
of this city, and is the oldest sash and door
factory in Oshkosh, having been established
in i860. The members of the firm are Geo.
M. William.son, D. L. Libbey, J. R. Jones
and J.J. Cameron.

They are all men of life-long practical exper
ience in their business, having graduated in
the Oshkosh School of Lumber Industries.

The factory of this firm was destroyed in
the great fire of i860, but, with undaunted
courage, they immediately rebuilt on a larger
scale. Their main building is 125 feet by 75,
and in addition to this are dry-houses and
ware-houses of large capacity. Their factory
is supplied with all the best machinery, for the
manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, and
wood-mouldings, and for the dressing of lum-
ber, which is an important branch of the
business — the planing mill dressing not less
than 6,000,000 feet per annum.

They employ sixty hands, and manufacture,
per week, on an average, l,000 doors, 3,000
windows and 400 pair of blinds.

They have the best of shipping facilities,
and, like the other factories, ship by the car
load. Their work has a high reputation in
the market, and is well known from Wisconsin
to Texas. See view of factory on another
page. Geo. Williamson is the business man-
ager, a gentleman of good business capacity,
and well-known integrity. J. R. Jones and
J.J. Cameron superintend the manufacturing
departments; as both are practical mechanics
and of large experience in their line, their
work has a high reputation in a widely extended
market.



H.



CO.



GUSTAVUS
Flouring Mills.

The members of this firm are H.



C. Gus-



^l



l"^\,^




I879-]



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



173



tavus and Casper Smith. They have lately
remodeled their mill machinery, and the mill
now contains seven run of stone and a patent
middlings purifier. Their grades of flour
rank high in the market, and especially their
" straight " and patent flour, which is unex-
celled. These gentlemen are determined to
build up a successful business, by straight
dealing and by furnishing their customers with
a superior article. The capacity of the mills
is lOO barrels a day; and about one third of
the product is shipped to the East. The
members of this firm are stirring, enterprising
men, who keep pace with the progress of the
age. They purchased their mill, known as
the South Side Flouring Mills, in 1875, since
which time they have put in the modern
improvements, and brought the mill up to a
high rank. A view of it is given in this work.

MARTIN T. BATTIS,
Proprietor Union Steam Boiler Works.

Attention is called to a fine view of these
works, which will be found among the illus-
trations in this book. Oshkosh is justly
proud of her manufacturing institutions, and
this is among the most useful. The large
amount of steam machinery in Oshkosh, and in
Northern Wisconsin, and the number of
steamboats plying its water-courses, creates a
large demand for steam boilers. When we
consider the important function they perform,
and the danger to life and property involved
in defective boilers, it will be seen how neces-
sary it is that mechanical skill, thorough
experience and a sense of great responsibility
should be the qualifications of those who
superintend their manufacture.

Martin Battis through the uniform superiority
of the boilers he has manufactured in his long
years of experience has given the fullest
evidence of these qualifications; for during the
twenty odd years he has been engaged here in
the manufacture of boilers, not an accident
has occurred with a boiler of his own make.
Mr. Battis has followed this business from
boyhood, and is a mechanic of acknowledged
skill. He is regarded as one of the most en-
terprising business men of this city, and ever
ready to do all in his power to advance its
interests. Suffering, with many otlicrs, in the
heavy losses and interruptions of business by
the great fire, he nevertheless entered with
much vigor into the rebuilding of Oshkosh,
and immediately erected his well-apoointed
boiler works, and two elegant brick stores.
He is one of the men who have the fullest faith
in Oshkosh, and who help to give life and
vigor to its enterprises.



WILLIAM HILL & CO.,
Dry Goods Store.

This magnificent store is forty feet wide and
one hundred and ten in depth. The lower
story front is plate-glass and iron. The inside
is of rich finish and design, with lofty ceilings,
handsomely frescoed. It is divided into dif-
ferent departments of the trade, and makes a
most imposing display of rich goods. In the
second story is the carpet wareroom, with an
immense stock of various qualities and design.

The individual members of the firm are,
William Hill, J. M. S. Mayand A. F. Baehr,
names of the highest business standing in this
community. They are all gentlemen of life-
long experience in the dry goods trade, and
the senior partner has been engaged in the
business in this city for twenty-four years.

Attention is called to the view of this fine
store which is one of the largest dry goods
establishments in the State.

HON. SAMUEL M. HAV.

The beautiful residence of Hon. Samuel M.
Hay, a view of which appears among the illus-
trations in this book, is one of the finest in this
city. Mr. Hay is one of the pioneer business
men of Oshkosh, having established his pres-
ent house in 1848. His is, in fact, the only
surviving business house of that day. He
commenced with the very beginning of the
growth of Oshkosh, has kept pace with her
progress and been identified with her interests
from the start. On his advent here the place
was but a little hamlet of twenty or thirty
houses scattered through the stumps and
ti-ees. Mr. Hay, then a very young man,
opened a stove, tinware and hardware store,
in partnership with a Mr. Hall. They did a
most successful business. After a time, Mr.
Clark took the place of Mr. Hall in the firm;
and on the death of Mr. Clark he wss suc-
ceeded by Mr. Hay's brother, the firm now
being S. M. Hay & Brother.

The large amount of mill machinery running
in Oshkosh and the "Up-River" country
created a great demand for mill-furnishing
goods, belting, etc., and the firm entered
largely into this branch, in addition to iron, tin-
ware, stoves and hardware. This opened up
an immense business, involving a large outlay
of capital; but this firm had the pecuniary
forces to handle it, and prosecuted it with the
greatest vigor and success until the house
became one of the heaviest firms of the kind
in the State Mr. Hay's fine business quali-
fications and integrity have given given him a
very high standing, and he is widely an pop-



174



HISTORY OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WISCONSIN.



[1879.



ularly known as one of the representative men
of the city.

His brother, Wm. Hay, now has the chief
management of the business of the firm; as
much of Mr. S. M. Hay's time is largely occu-
pied in the affairs of the First National Bank of
Oshkosh, of which institution he is president.
He is also one of the Regents of the State Nor-
mal School, and has held many high public
positions, among others that of mayor of the
city for two terms, State Senator and repre-
sentative in the Legislature from this Assembly
district. Mr. Hay's career, since he came to
Oshkosh in 1848, has been one long, continued
success, and furnishes an instance of one
who, by faithful attention to business and a
sagacious use of opportunity, has earned a sub-
stantial reward.

D. L. LIBBEY.

Among the fine illustrations in this work is
that of the handsome residence and grounds of
D. L. Libbey. This gentleman is one of the
most enterprising of our citizens, and one of
our heaviest manufacturers, being associated
in three different firms. Mr. Libbey has for a
long scries of years been one of the largest
manufacturers of lumber, and is now one of the
partners in the sash and door factory of Wil-
liamson & Co. He is also the owner of much
real estate in the city, among which is the
property occupied by the carriage works, and
which he is now enlarging. In addition to his
other branches of business he is President of
the Union National Bank.

Mr. Libbey is a man of great business
capacity, quiet and unostentatious, but ener-
getic and thoroughgoing, and is recognized as
one of the leaders in public enterprise, and as
one who is deeply interested in the prosperity
of this city. His business career has been
highly successful, and he stands high in the
esteem of the community as a good and useful
citizen.

OSSIAN COOK.

One of the finest residences in this city, as
will be seen from a view of the same in this
work, is thatof Ossian Cook, onChurch Street.

Mr. Cook moved to this city from Chicago
in 1855, and engaged in his present business
in 1859, and is now the senior member of the
firm of Cook, Brown & Co., a description and
view of whose works and shipping dock is
given on another page. Mr. Cook is regarded
as one of the most prominent leaders here in
all enterprises having for their object the
advancement of the city. He has been par-
ticularly zealous and active in his efforts to
obtain a new railroad route to the north, and



was one of the leading advocates of the road
now being built from this city to Hortonville.
He is one of the stirring and enterprising busi-
ness men who have given Oshkosh the name
and fame she now enjoys, and who are deter-
mined to push her fortunes to the farthest
limits of success.

FERDINAND HERMANN.

The handsome block of F. Hermann, cor-
ner of Main and Waugoo, is among the fine
illustrations here presented. This building was
erected immediately after the great fire, and is
one of the finest business blocks in the city.

Mr. Hermann emigrated in 1850, from Sax-
ony to Milwaukee, where he resided until 1853,
when he came to Oshkosh and engaged in the
business of building contractor, which he fol-
lowed until the year 1862, at which time he
went into the grocery business on the site of
his present block; and from small beginnings
has built up a large and constantly increasing
business. His house now ranks among the
leading ones of the city and he is recognized
as one of its best business men. Mr. Hermann
has every element of a popular dealer, and is
a man of unquestioned integrity.

H. C. GUSTAVUS.
Mr. Gustavus is an old resident, and widely
and popularly known, having resided in this
city from 1851 to 1867. At the latter date he
went to Neenah and had several years practi-
cal experience in the milling business, after
which he moved back to Oshkosh and in part-
nership with Mr. Caspar Smith purchased the
South Side Flouring Mill. Shortly after his
return to this city he built his elegant residence
on Oregon street, one of the handsomest in
the Third Ward, and is now one of the estab-
lished leading business men of the city. A



Online LibraryRichard J HarneyHistory of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest → online text (page 36 of 71)