1904 History of Cherokee County Kansas


CHAPTER X part 2


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THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINERAL RESOURCES AND THE WATER POWER OF THE COUNTY

THE COAL MINES OF THE COUNTY -- THE FIRST COAL SHAFT -- THE CENTRAL COAL & COKE COMPANY -- STATISTICS OF COAL PRODUCTION -- GAS AND OIL -- THE LEAD AND ZINC MINES OF THE COUNTY -- BIG REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS -- THE MINING OF LEAD AND ZINC -- THE DISCOVERY OF LEAD AND ZINC -- STATISTICS OF LEAD AND ZINC PRODUCTION -- THE OPERATION OF MINES -- THE FEATURE OF UNCERTAINTY PRESENT -- THE WATER POWER OF THE COUNTY -- THE SPRING RIVER POWER COMPANY.

THE MINING OF LEAD AND ZINC.

Considering the area over which the operations have been extended, the mining of lead and zinc since the year 1882, has been the most profitable industry in Cherokee County. The location of these mines is in the southeastern part of the county, along Spring River, chiefly on the east side of the stream, extending to the east line of the State. The city of Galena, so named on account of the mineral which is so abundant there, is in the midst of the great mining region. Empire City lies just north of Galena. For many years next following the discovery of mineral there, a brisk rivalry was maintained between the two towns, each endeavoring by every possible means to lead the other for the honor of designating the mining district. Galena early gained the ascendency[sic], and it has constantly held it. In the reports showing the output of ores the region has come to be known as the "Galena District," and it is probable that it will so continue to be designated.

THE DISCOVERY OF LEAD AND ZINC.

As is stated elsewhere, in the chapters devoted to the history of Galena and of Empire City, lead and zinc were discovered in that locality in the spring of 1877. Up to that time no uncovering of the rich deposits had been made. As far as human habitation was concerned, the region, in almost every respect, lay in an untouched condition; and as for agricultural purposes Nature never designed it to be at all attractive. But from the year 1877, on down to the present, it has been one of the busiest regions in the world, in the activity constantly kept up in the operations necessary to bring to the surface of the earth the rich metal ores which are lying beneath.

STATISTICS OF LEAD AND ZINC PRODUCTION.

The annual output of ore has not constantly increased, each year greater than the preceding one, either in quantity or in value; for the activity has been intense or slack, proprtionate[sic] to the demnad[sic] for the product of the mines. However, in a general way, taking any particular series of years, there has been an advance, and a great one, too, since the first few years of the industry. The quantity and the value have not changed proportionately; for in 1896 the mines yielded 62,232 tons of zinc, worth $1,401,307.83, while in 1897 the yield was 59,451 tons of zinc, worth $1,492,663.04. In the latter year the yield was 2,781 tons less, but the value was $91,355.21 more, the increase in value being due to the higher market price. I have before me a table showing the annual output of lead and zinc, in the Galena district, from 1886 to 19O1, inclusive. The table is taken from the "Annual Bulletin on the Mineral Resources of Kansas," for 1900 and 1901, prepared by Erasmus Haworth, of the department of physical geology and mineralogy in the University of Kansas. It had been my aim to get information on the two years following 1901, but this is lacking.

SHOWING OUTPUT OF ZINC AND LEAD ORES, GALENA DISTRICT, KANSAS
From January 1, 1886, to December 31, 1901, inclusive. Data since 1895 from the Engineering and Mining Journal; others from Russell Elliott, Galena.

================================================================================================
      |            ZINC ORE.              ||            LEAD ORE.               |
      |-----------------------------------||------------------------------------| 
YEAR. |           |Average |              ||           | Average |              | Total value
      |    Tons   | price  |   Value.     ||    Tons   |  price  |    Value.    |  of output.
      | (2000 lbs)|per ton.|              || (2000 lbs)| per ton.|              |
------|-----------|--------|--------------||-----------|---------|--------------|--------------
1886..|  31,768.00| $18 50 |   $587,708 00||   2,962.14|  $59 00 |   $174,766 38|   $762,474 38
1887..|  32,795.00|  19 00 |    623,105 00||   3,073.19|   52 50 |    161,499 98|    784,604 98
1888..|  33,391.00|  21 00 |    701,211 00||   2,624.00|   31 00 |     81,344 00|    782,555 00
1889..|  32,950.00|  24 00 |    790,800 00||   3,992.50|   46 00 |    183,655 00|    974,455 00
1890..|  21,675.00|  23 00 |    498,525 00||   4,173.96|   42 28 |    176,176 28|    674,701 28
1891..|  20,641.00|  21 51 |    454,102 00||   3,602.21|   50 32 |    182,271 83|    636,373 83
1892..|  23,811.00|  20 00 |    476,237 78||   7,188.17|   42 00 |    301,903 14|    778,140 92
1893..|  25,028.00|  18 85 |    471,789 00||   5,139.59|   38 00 |    195,314 42|    667,103 42
1894..|  28,670.00|  17 10 |    490,257 00||   5,817.49|   33 64 |    195,794 66|    686,051 66
1895..|  41,232.00|  19 68 |    812,792 00||  12,537.64|   38 56 |    482,548 75|  1,295,340 75
1896..|  62,232.00|  22 51 |  1,401,307 83||  14,061.58|   32 04 |    450,529 90|  1,851,837 73
1897..|  59,451.00|  25 17 |  1,492,663 04||  15,184.68|   50 20 |    762,469 96|  2,255,133 00
1898..|  74,852.00|  26 64 |  1,994,230 55||   7,918.28|   42 04 |    352,798 45|  2,347,029 00
1899..|  64,708.48|  38 54 |  2,313,831 00||   6,723.40|   52 62 |    354,311 00|  2,668,142 00
1900..|  46,501.35|  30 28 |  1,238,237 13||   4,938.44|   48 80 |    240,995 87|  1,479,233 00
1901..|  33,977.80|  27 95 |    797,844 37||   5,238.19|   46 94 |    245,880 63|  1,043,725 00
------|-----------|--------|--------------||-----------|---------|--------------|--------------
totals|           |        |              ||           |         |              |              
 for  | 633,683.63|$373 73 |$15,144,640 70|| 105,178.46| $705 94 | $4,542,260 25|$19,686,900 95
16 yrs|           |        |              ||           |         |              |              
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The table shows that the quantity of zinc mined is much larger than the quantity of lead. But it also shows that the price of lead is higher than that of zinc. For the 16 years covered by the table, the quantity of zinc taken out and sold was more than six times as much as that of lead; but the value of the zinc was less than four times as much as that of the lead. For this series of years the greatest output of zinc was in the year 1898, when 74,852 tons were sold; but the greatest output of lead was in the year 1897, when 15,184.68 tons were sold, for $762,469.96 The largest amount realized for zinc, within the time covered by the table, was for the output of 1899, which amounted to $2,313,831.00. For the 16 years the mines yielded the enormous quantity of 633,683.63 tons of zinc ore, which was sold for $15,144,640.70, and 105,178.46 tons of lead, which was sold for $4,542,260.25, making, in all, $19,686,900.95. It must not be thought that this is all profit; for, as a matter of fact, a very small part of it is clear profit, to any individual or company. The expenses of mining are always very great. While the output, when sold on a good market, brings in a vast amount of money, it has to be distributed among a large number of men, of various classes, which diffuses the benefits of the operations. Foundrymen, machinery builders, engineers, laborers, helpers, teamsters, shaft bosses, time keepers, clerks, bookkeepers; all these come in for their wages, salaries and accounts, and they must be paid. Then, if the mine is on leased ground, as many of them are, the owner of the land comes in for his royalty, which is the easiest money made in all the undertaking. He has nothing to do but to accept his check and go to the bank and have it added to his account.

The product of zinc ore, when the ore has been passed through the furnace and has been brought out in the metallic form, is called spelter. The furnace is called a smelter, and the operation of reducing the ore to metal is called smelting. The lead and zinc ores mined in Cherokee County, Kansas, are nearly all shipped to other places to be reduced. Formerly there were some smelters at Weir City, where coal is abundant; but they were discontinued. A much larger number were at Pittsburg, but many of them were moved to Iola, Kansas, on account of the abundance of natural gas. Recently, since the gas pressure has become weaker and insufficient to meet the demands as fully as desired, the smelters are being brought back into the coal fields, where the supply of fuel is ample and will remain so, anyhow for the next fifty years.

In Mr. Haworth's bulletin, referred to in this chapter, he says that during the years of 1900 and 1901 the zinc smelters of Kansas yielded the largest amount of spelter ever produced in a like time. They produced 57,856 tons of metal in 1900, and 81,542.3 tons in 1901. the average price of spelter in New York, for the year 1900, was $87.80 a ton, and for the year 1901 it was $81.50 a ton, a decline of $6.30 a ton; but the quantity put upon the market during the latter year was so much greater than the quantity for the former year that the value was greater by $1,516,864.65, the value for the first year being $5,028,832.80, while the value for the second year was $6,645,697.45.

In the year 1900 the total amount of spelter produced in the United States was about 123,000 tons. Kansas produced nearly one-half of this amount. It is claimed by some that much of the ore smelted in Kansas is brought into the State from other places; that the Joplin district sends a large amount of ore to Kansas, to Iola, LaHarpe and Cherryvale, all of which are situate in the gas regions. This may be true; but it may be stated as true, also, that as much Kansas ore is shipped out of the State, to smelters in Missouri, Illinois and other States, as that which comes into the State from the Joplin district. Anyhow, it is within the bounds of truth to say that, of the lead and zinc ores smelted in Kansas, nearly the entire amount is taken out of the earth in the Galena district, which includes all the mining operations for zinc and lead in the State of Kansas.

The following table will show the amount and value of the zinc produced in the State of Kansas, annually, from 1882 to 1901, inclusive, the table covering the product of 20 years:

============================================================
               | Amount in   |             |                
   YEAR        | short tons  |Price per ton|   Total Value  
               |(2000 pounds)| in New York |                
---------------|-------------|-------------|----------------
1882...........|    7,360    |  $110.60    | $   814.679.00 
1883...........|    9,010    |    90.60    |     816.306.00 
1884...........|    7,859    |    89.60    |     704,466.40 
1885...........|    8,502    |    86.80    |     837,973.60 
1886...........|    8,932    |    87.90    |     785,122.80 
1887...........|   11,955    |    92.80    |   1,109,424.00 
1888...........|   10,432    |    98.34    |   1,025,902.88 
1889...........|   13,658    |   100.20    |   1,368,531.60 
1890...........|   15,199    |   108.75    |   1,652,891.25 
1891...........|   22,747    |   108.82    |   2,475,336.90 
1892...........|   24,715    |    89.78    |   2,218,912.70 
1893...........|   22,815    |    80.375   |   1,733,755.63 
1894...........|   25,588    |    70.43    |   1,902,162.84 
1895...........|   25,775    |    71.04    |   1,831,056.00 
1896...........|   20,759    |    79.70    |   1,653,592.30 
1897...........|   33,443    |    82.40    |   2,755,703.20 
1898...........|   38,543    |    91.40    |   3,508,524.27 
1899...........|   52,664    |   115.00    |   6,056,360.00 
1900...........|   57,876    |    87.80    |   5,028,832.80 
1901...........|   81,542.3  |    81.50    |   6,645,697.45 
---------------|-------------|-------------|----------------
   Total.......|  499,380.3  |   $91.19    | $44,824,932.23 
------------------------------------------------------------

The table does not cover the product of the mines of the Galena district, from the time of the discovery of lead and zinc ores there, in 1877, up to the year 1882. By those who are best qualified to judge, it is estimated that the spelter produced in these five years was of the value of about $3,000,000, which added to the figures given in the table is seen to make up the aggregate value of $47,824,932.23, or an annual average of $2,391,246.61.

The world's production of zinc metal has constantly increased, and very rapidly within recent years, due to the increased uses to which it is put. It enters into the composition of brass and other yellow compositions, into the cyanide processes, into the manufacture of sheet metals and very largely for electrical purposes. Fifty per centum of it is used for galvanizing purposes, twenty per centum for sheet metals, fifteen per centum for brass and other yellow compositions and fifteen percentum for sundry other purposes. It is indispensable in the manufacture of brass, and nothing else has been found that will take its place in electrical appliances. It is said that in America the greatest demand is for galvanizing purposes, in the manufacture of wire for fencing and other uses, and of galvanized iron for construction purposes.

Belgium and the Rhine district taken together, produce more zinc metal than any other district in the world. Silesia came next, in former times, with America third, Great Britain fourth, France and Spain fifth, Austria and Poland seventh; but more recently, America has gone ahead of Silesia, and is now second in the zinc-producing countries of the world, and it is not far behind Belgium and the Rhine district. The following table will show the world's output of zinc metal, for the years from 1884 to 1900, inclusive. In the last year the Belgium and Rhine district produced 189,994 tons; Silesia produced 102,316 tons and America 122,885 tons. The next year, for which the output of other countries is not given, America produced 155,206 tons:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Rhine  |   
     |        |        |       |       |         |        |         | 
    |district|        | Great  | France |       |       |  Total  |        |  Grand  |Per cent.
Year|  and   |Silesia |Britain |  and   |Austria|Poland | foreign |America |  Total  |American
    |Belgium |        |        | Spain  |       |       |         |        |         | 
----|--------|--------|--------|--------|-------|-------|---------|--------|---------|-------
1884|127,240 | 76,116 | 29,259 | 15,341 | 6,170 | 4,164 | 260,290 | 34,414 | 294,704 |  8.56
1885|129,654 | 79,623 | 24,299 | 14,847 | 5,610 | 5,019 | 259,152 | 36,329 | 292,659 |  8.05
1886|129,020 | 81,630 | 21,230 | 15,305 | 5,000 | 4,145 | 256,330 | 38,072 | 294,402 | 12.93
1887|130,995 | 81,375 | 19,839 | 16,028 | 5,388 | 3,580 | 257,155 | 44,946 | 302,101 | 14.87
1888|133,245 | 83,375 | 26,783 | 16,140 | 4,977 | 3,785 | 268,305 | 49,913 | 318,218 | 15.68
1889|134,648 | 85,665 | 30,806 | 16,785 | 6,330 | 3,026 | 277,248 | 52,553 | 329,801 | 16.23
1890|137,630 | 87,475 | 29,145 | 18,240 | 7,135 | 3,620 | 283,245 | 57,860 | 341,105 | 16.96
1891|139,695 | 87,080 | 29,410 | 18,360 | 6,440 | 3,760 | 284,745 | 72,208 | 356,953 | 20.22
1892|143,305 | 87,760 | 30,310 | 18,662 | 5,020 | 4,270 | 289,327 | 77,910 | 367,237 | 21.21
1893|149,750 | 90,310 | 28,375 | 20,585 | 7,560 | 4,530 | 301,110 | 70,385 | 371,495 | 18.93
1894|152,420 | 91,145 | 32,065 | 21,245 | 8,580 | 5,015 | 310,470 | 67,257 | 377,727 | 17.80
1895|172,135 | 93,620 | 29,495 | 22,895 | 8,355 | 4,960 | 331,469 | 80,077 | 411,537 | 19.45
1896|179,730 | 95,875 | 25,880 | 28,450 | 9,255 | 6,165 | 345,355 | 72,767 | 418,122 | 17.43
1897|184,455 | 94,045 | 23,430 | 32,120 | 8,185 | 5,760 | 347,995 | 89,268 | 437,263 | 20.41
1898|191,836 | 99,233 | 27,635 | 32,649 | 7,229 | 5,664 | 364,246 |103,515 | 467,761 | 22.10
1899|192,994 |100,160 | 32,223 | 33,482 | 7,305 | 6,325 | 372,496 |123,194 | 495,690 | 26.87
1900|189,994 |102,316 | 30,307 | 44,200 | 6,836 | 5,969 | 288,525 |122,885 | 411,375 | 29.86
1901|........|........|........|........|.......|.......|.........|155,206 |.........|.......
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It would take more time and space than can here be given to name all the individuals and firms that have been engaged and are now engaged in the mining of lead and zinc in the Galena district. During the 27 years, since the discovery of these ores in that district, many have come and gone, and only a few of the companies which were among the first are still operating. From the Galena Times of July 28, 1904 some information is taken as to a number of the operators. Those mentioned are The South Side Mining & Manufacturing Company, The Pittsburg Lead & Zinc Company, The New Century Zinc & Lead Mining Company, Murphy, Freil & Company, The Merger Mining Company, The Clara Louise Mining & Milling Company, The Galena Smelting & Manufacturing Company, and The McNeal Mining & Milling Company.

The following table shows the output of The Southside Mining & Manufacturing Company, from 1877, the beginning of mining operations at Galena, to and including the year 1903, and also a supplemental showing of the output for the first five months of the present year (1904):

OUTPUT OF SOUTH SIDE MINING & MANUFACTURING COMPANY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               YEAR               |  LEAD ORE   |    SOLD FOR   ||   ZINC ORE  |   SOLD FOR
----------------------------------|-------------|---------------||-------------|---------------- 
1877..............................|     112,455 |   $  2,372.52 ||.............|..............
1878..............................|   3,570,003 |     63,911.82 ||.............|..............
1879..............................|  10,291,291 |    233,320.84 ||     271,130 |  $  2,169.09
1880..............................|   9,553,204 |    215,939.59 ||......
.......|..............
1881..............................|   7,703,234 |    220,518.49 ||   2,283,480 |     18,267.84
1882..............................|   5,007,410 |    115,591.66 ||   4,650,250 |     37,202.04
1883..............................|   2,368,808 |     69,092.66 ||   3,525,690 |     28,205.55
1884..............................|   1,351,847 |     97,066.03 ||   3,054,320 |     24,434.55
1885..............................|   1,282,661 |     31,169.07 ||   8,227,690 |     65,821.50
1886..............................|   1,671,813 |     49,659.20 ||  14,475,180 |    115,801.47
1887..............................|   1,803,775 |     47,458.46 ||  10,101,690 |     80,813.52
1888..............................|   1,329,277 |     20,604.51 ||  14,579,770 |    116,638.16
1889..............................|   1,904,083 |     43,810.29 ||  13,378,070 |    107,024.56
1890..............................|   1,070,360 |     25,146.28 ||   3,977,890 |     38,823.12
1891..............................|   1,016,003 |     25,781.09 ||   8,458,400 |     67,667.20
1892..............................|   1,018,229 |     21,815.44 ||   7,615,110 |     60,920.88
1893..............................|   1,569,380 |     29,728.03 ||   2,582,760 |     18,079.32
1894..............................|   1,272,090 |     21,185.80 ||   3,249,450 |     16,728.86
1895..............................|     538,200 |      9,307.76 ||   2,821,450 |     14,633.45
1896..............................|   1,036,136 |     15,640.92 ||   2,363,490 |     14,327.21
1897..............................|   1,613,260 |     32,273.06 ||  10,431,080 |     43,707.27
1898..............................|   1,121,470 |     24,926.40 ||  14,399,240 |     78,269.55
1899..............................|   1,081,648 |     28,537.25 ||  14,124,860 |    174,426.64
1900..............................|   1,712,031 |     41,705.55 ||  12,503,980 |    132,593.23
1901..............................|   2,262,830 |     51,551.75 ||   9,477,370 |     93,060.60
1902..............................|     732,070 |     16,758.54 ||   6,886,700 |     91,925.95
1903..............................|     660,770 |     16,693.31 ||   7,203,316 |     93,304.83
----------------------------------|-------------|---------------||-------------|-------------- 
       TOTALS.....................|  64,654,338 | $1,571,567.32 || 180,642,366 | $1,532,846.39
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUTPUT FOR FIRST FIVE MONTHS 1904
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              MONTH               |  LEAD ORE   |    SOLD FOR   ||   ZINC ORE  |   SOLD FOR
----------------------------------|-------------|---------------||-------------|---------------- 
January...........................|     102,780 |     $2,098.51 ||     575,786 |    $ 5,290.59
February..........................|     197,050 |      4,199.43 ||     633,826 |      8,558.83
March.............................|     231,720 |      6,391.88 ||     886,986 |     12,243.91
April.............................|     159,580 |      4,397.49 ||     937,845 |      9,773.95
May...............................|     222,030 |      5,605.00 ||     636,636 |      7,307.70
----------------------------------|-------------|---------------||-------------|-------------- 
       TOTALS.....................|     913,160 |    $22,692.31 ||   3,671,079 |    $43,174.98
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The figures of quantity in the table indicate pounds instead of tons. It may be presumed that the Southside Mining & Manufacturing Company's output is an average among principal mining companies operating in the district. If so, it indicates the wonderful activity which has been kept up since the discovery of the rich ore deposits in the lead and zinc area of Kansas, and which has brought so much wealth to the people engage d in the mining operations.


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