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PORK AND BEEF PACKING.
During the past year, the first Cattle Market ever opened in the city, was started by Messrs. Layton & Plankinton. It was commenced in August, and they sold, to the close of the year, about $60,000.
The beef packing amounted to about the same as 1855, or about 10,000 bbls. About 100 men are employed in this business, at $1.50 per day, for the season.
BOOTS AND SHOES.
There has been a large increase in the manufacture of boots and shoes. The amount for the past year was $350,000, against $185,000 for the year before. There are 500 men employed, at average wages of $7 per week.
The manufacture of clothing, for the year 1856, nearly doubled that of 1855, and now amounts to $600,000. The number of hands employed by the wholesale houses is over 450, at average wages of $7.50 per week.
During the first months of 1856, the amount of tonnage launched was 1600 — one propeller and five schooners.
There are many branches of industry that could be spoken of with interest, but the limits of this work forbid. It is satisfactory to notice that the manufacturers of Milwaukee are so prosperous and successful. The advancement has been beyond all expectation, and bids fair to outrival the past history of this industrious city.
The total amount of the various manufactures in Milwaukee, for the year 1856, were....
$8,057,000 The total for the year 1855, were..........
The merchants of Milwaukee are energetic and enterprising; its Board of Trade active, efficient, and attentive to its commercial and industrial interests. A report of the business of the city is annually published by its Secretary, and widely circulated. Much of its prosperity may be traced to the efforts of this Board, in addition to its ably. conducted newspaper press.
From these returns it will be seen what a splendid future awaits Milwaukee. In a few years its population will have reached one hundred thousand. Every new development of trade, the railroads opened throughout the vast extent of country tributary to it, the commerce of the lakes - all add to its wealth, population, and importance. It is entering upon a career that will certainly place it on a level with the large commercial cities of the Eastern States. Should it not be the ambition of every citizen to make it worthy of its high destiny?
Before closing this sketch of Milwaukee, it may be well to give a short account of her "early days,” with a word or two in regard to Solomon Juneau, one of the “first settlers."
Thirty-nine years ago this enterprising pioneer immigrated from Canada, and built for himself a log cabin on the future site of this great city. For seventeen long years the “ children of the forest” were his only neighbors. He kept a few goods suitable for their wants, and was not only the merchant of the place, but the only "white settler."
It is very rare that, in these hurrying days, men live to
see their anticipations realized-whether they strive to win a farm from the wilderness, or to found a city. But Solomon Juneau, the first white settler of Milwaukee, is a rare and an honored exception. He “still lives” — and as he treads alone the banks of that beautiful river, upon which he made his lodgment in the wilderness, with what feelings must he revert to the scenes of his early life? The Indians with whom he traded — where are they? Alas! the story of the “red men” has become an “oft-told tale ;' it excites little interest at the present day. They are gone! The hardy pioneers who gradually clustered around the site of his cabin, and whom a life of mutual hardships and privations converted into friends and neighbors, have also disappeared. They, too, have passed to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns." No mark remains of the cabin of the “first settler." In its stead has sprung up, as if by some magic influence, a great and populous city. His early home is obliterated by the homes of thousands, and the clearing, in which his axe only was heard, now resounds with the busy hum of men, toiling together to realize their anticipations of fortune and happiness, upon the spot where, less than forty years ago, he felled the first tree, to frame the home of the “pioneer.”
Truly he has cause for wonder, and as the reminiscences of the past crowd upon his memory, and bring the lights of other days around him, he may well feel that he “treads alone” those now crowded scenes, the solitary witness of the city's birth. He, too, approaches the termination of a varied and useful life ; let us hope that the end of the "pioneer" may be peaceful and happy."
1 At the first charter election in the new city, Solomon Juneau was elected Mayor, which was a well-merited compliment to the “old pioneer.” Subsequently he left Milwaukee and settled in Dodge
“In the spring of 1835,' a Land Office being established at Green Bay, the land was brought into market, and Mr. Juneau purchased a small tract, consisting of about 160 acres, lying on the east side of the river, directly north of Wisconsin street. Previous to this time, G. H. Walker, Esq., had come and made a claim to what is now called Walker's Point, to which he subsequently obtained a title. Byron Kilbourn, Esq., 'about that time purchased a tract on the west side of the river, which has, from that time, been known by the name of ‘Kilbourntown.' Daniel Wells, Jr., W. W. Gilmore, Geo. D. Douseman, E. W. Edginton, T. C. Douseman, Geo. 0. Tiffany, D. H. Richards, Wm. Brown, Jr., Milo Jones, Enoch Darling, and others, immigrated about the same time, and made large purchases of lands. In the course of the summer a number of good buildings were erected, and a great many Eastern speculators came and bought lands at high prices. Mr. Junean, about this time, sold an undivided interest in his lands to Morgan T. Martin. He built a fine dwellinghouse, on the lot where Mitchel's Banking House now stands; also a large store and warehouse, on what is now known as 'Ludington's Corner.' In 1836 he was doing a large business, both in selling goods and lots. During that season, $300,000 worth of goods had been transported there to sell. Ground-rents were nearly as high as at present. A merchant with a stock of goods would arrive one day, and by the next day noon he would have a store completed to open.
Business was done on the Cali. fornia principle. Stores were usually built of rough boards, retaining the grass floor,' and, in several instances, a
' a blanket was hung up for a partition, and one half of the county, where he still resides. He has now a large family, and we learn that by hard labor he obtains a comfortable living. 1 First Annual Report of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
tenement rented to another for a dollar a day. The town was flooded with speculators, and all made money until the present residents left, and navigation closed, when a sudden change came 'o'er the spirit of their dreams.' The town was left with a large stock of goods, and but few inhabitants. Merchants and other business men enjoyed the winter in the best possible manner During the fall quite a large number of settlers had arrived, of the right stamp, whom space will not allow us to mention. All had been engaged in the land business, and had plenty of money left to winter on.
The spring of 1837 disappointed all our anticipations. A general stagnation in business prevailed in all directions. Our currency was mostly of the Michigan 'wild cat' stamp (no longer a legal tender). There was no sale of real estate. The second payments were becoming due on purchases of real estate, and all who supposed themselves rich in lands were not only destitute of money, but the means of raising it. Some, who were able to hold on, kept their property until they could get a handsome advance, while the majority were compelled to sell for what they could get, and bankruptcy was the inevitable result.
“At this time there were but a few settlements in the interior; but the hard times, which continued through the years 1837–8, induced many to leave Milwaukee and locate a 'claim.' The lands between the Milwaukee and Rock rivers were then surveyed, but were not brought into market until the fall of 1839. During this time they had become thickly settled, and many of them quite valuable. The hard times at the East had led numbers of persons to seek a home in the West; and in the fall of 1839, when those lands came into market, many of them had been so improved that they were worth from $10 to $100 an acre, while the occupants had not the first ‘red cent' to buy