Mines and Manufactures in the Mississippi Valley.
A trip through some of the leading mining States of the west for the purpose chiefly of recording developments already made, but secondarily of pointing out new fields of promise, has led us at the termination of our travels to combine in one article a review of mining statistics, and from their connection with and almost absolute control of another branch of industry to point out and urge both the facilities and necessities for manufactures in the Mississippi Valley. If we succeed in showing where the chief workable minerals are, how they may be mined and what the profits shall be, what the natural elements of successful manufacturing are, how widely they exist, and what markets they may control, we shall have accomplished our object. The chief mining States of the Mississippi Valley are Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.
Missouri has a total area of 67,380 square miles, making her nine times as large as Massachusetts and one-third larger than New York. This vast area is divided into 114 organized counties, in 80 of which valuable minerals have already been found for the most part in workable and often in inexhaustible quantities. In the absence of any regular scientific survey we are left in doubt whether there is not even better mining territory in the enormous area yet unexployed. Thirty-one valuable minerals have been found. The enumeration is as follows beginning with the most important and extensive; iron, coal, lead, zinc, copper, platina, kaoline, hydraulic cement, nickel, cobalt, metallic paints, emery, plumbago, silver, gold, salt, sulphur, petroleum, silica, granite, marble, fireclay, fire rock, chalcedony, agate, jasper, alabaster, pipe-clay, saltpetre, maganese and tin.
The iron ore deposits of Missouri comprise the famous Iron Mountain which with a hight of 228 feet and an area at its base of 500 acres it is thought will give for every foot from summit to base an average of 3,000,000 tons of ore; Pilot Knob whose hight is 1,118 feet is known to be solid iron to 440 feet below the surface where the base has an area of over 200 miles; and Shepherd Mountain, 660 feet high, a mass of the purest magnetic and specular iron ore. Iron ore has also been found in 36 counties, comprising Butler, Camden, Carter, Christian, Cooper, Crawford Dade, Dent, Franklin, Greene, Henry, Hickory, Iron, Jasper, Knox, Lafayette, Madison, Maries, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Osage, Perry, Pettis, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Clair, St. Francois, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone and Webster. It has been chiefly worked in Iron, St. Francois and Reynolds counties where the deposits are the largest and among the purest in the world. These three counties are computed to contain enough iron to afford for 200 years an annual supply of 1,000,000 tons. The ore is mostly specular, yields 56 per cent, of pure iron the product of which is strong, tough and fibrous.
The coal measures in Missouri have been discovered in upwards of 40 counties, lying chiefly along the Missouri and Osage rivers. The most extensive and valuable deposits are in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt, Platte, Charlton, Linn, Livingston and Macon counties, which contain about 3,500 square miles of coal lands which average it is said a mean thickness of 11 feet. Prof. Swallow's computation makes out 38,000,000,000 tons of coal in these nine counties. St. Louis county contains 16tÅ¥ square miles of coal territory. The coal strata in Boone and Cooper counties are very rich and extensive. A prominent writer argues that there is enough coal in the State of Missouri to last 3,000 years of 300 working days each if an average of 100,000 tons were rained per day.
The area of lead bearing rocks in Missouri is said to be over 6,000 square miles. They hare been found in 38 counties and in more than 500 different localities. The chief deposits are found in Washington, Madison, Jefferson, St. Francois, Franklin, Crawford, Newton and Jasper counties. It is estimated that the mines in Washington, Madison and Jefferson counties alone have since 1810, yielded 100,000,000 pounds. The mines are generally shallow, varying from 10 to 75 feet. The ore is mostly sulphuret and contains from 60 to 85 per cent, of pure lead. Some specimens from Mine la Motte contained 84.50 per cent pure lead and 13.50 per cent, sulphur, a very fine yield considering that perfectly pure galena contains but 86.66 per cent, of lead and 13.34 of sulphur. A lead mining company in Washington county, operating 100 drills and keeping 10 furnaces in blast were rewarded with a net profit of $369,252 from their last years work.
Copper has been found in 18 counties in Missouri. The best deposits lie along the Meramec Valley in Franklin and Crawford counties, and in Greene County on the unfinished Southwest branch of the Pacific Railroad. The deposits generally lie near the surface, are several feel thick, are in quality sulphuret or carbonate, and yield from 42 to 50 percent of pure copper. The Stanton mines in Franklin County have produced ore that by analysis contained 48.41 per cent, of pure copper. A very Promising copper region has been traced along the headwaters of current Black and St. Francois rivers, chiefly in Shannon, Wayne and Madison counties. The Copper Hill mine has yielded 100,000 pounds.
The specimens of zinc discovered and analyzed in Jackson, Madison and Washington counties, of kaoline in Bollinger and Iron counties; of petroleum in Carroll, Cass, Ray and St. Charles; of nickel in Iron and Madison; of alabaster in Washington and Franklin; of fire-clay in Marion and Bollinger; of saltpetre in Pulaski and Gasconade; of silver and gold in Washington, Madison and Iron; of platina in Iron; cobalt in Washington; pipeclay in Marion, and emery in Iron counties, warrant the assertion that many if not all of these minerals exist in great purity if not in paying quantities.
Illinois has an area of 55,409 square miles, nearly as large as all New England. She is the richest agricultural State in the Union, and yet one-fifth of her entire area is mineral territory. Coal, lead, gypsum, silver, gold, petroleum, iron, salt, copper, zinc, freestone, lime and silver have been found. We have in a former communication spoken at length of the location, extent and quality of these minerals. It will be sufficient for the purposes of this communication to present a few statistics. The Illinois coal field is estimated by Prof. H. D. Rogers to contain 1,277,500,000,000 tons. The Pennsylvania coal field contains 316,400,000,000 tons. All the coal fields of North America, 4,000,000,000,000 tons. The coal fields of Great Britain contain 190,000,000,000 tons. The Illinois coal measures, then, contain four times as much coal as those of Pennsylvania, nearly one-third as much as all those of North America, and over six times as much as all the coal fields of Great Britain. It will take 100,000 years to exhaust them. The prominent seams are the Belleville and La Salle, occupying the southern and middle parts of the State. Mining is now chiefly carried on in St. Clair, Madison, Randolph and La Salle counties. The present annual product of the entire State is about 1,500,000 tons. St. Louis, Chicago, the markets of the Upper Mississippi, and the home consumption are supplied mainly or in part by Illinois coal. Last year Southern Illinois sent 10,000,000 bushels of coal to St. Louis markets, of which the St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute carried 6,000,000, and the Ohio and Mississippi road 4,000,000 bushels.
There are three staples in which Illinois is singularly "strong." We mean wheat, coal and lead. If she is not first in the former, she certainly is in the latter For 20 years the entire lead product of the country has come from the famous Galena mines in Jo Davies' County, which, with judicious and regular working, would have been not only amply sufficient to shut off any foreign demand, but even to create a foreign market. A few mines circling Galena have supplied and smelted 15,000,000 pounds a year, The great Galena lead district occupies a portion of three States, expending East and West 87 miles, and North to South 54 miles. This belt includes 62 townships in northwestern Wisconsin, 8 in eastern Iowa, and 10 in northern Illinois. The portion included in Wisconsin, and Illinois as directly accessible to Galena, and is called the "Galena Mines." This district has an area of 1,000,000 acres. The ore has been struck in every direction all over this great field. The lead is found in horizontal veins, varying from half an inch to ten inches in thickness. It is sometimes found in solid masses of great weight. The average of pure lead in the ore is about 70 per cent.
Iron has not been extensively worked in Illinois, though it exists in workable quantities. It abounds in tie northern part of the State. In
252Hardin County, on the Ohio, large deposits have been found. Several furnaces are in operation. In Monroe and Randolph there are said to be extensive deposits of iron ore. About four miles north of Jonesboro in Union County, and two and a half miles west of the Illinois Central Railroad, there is a ridge rising abruptly to the height of 200 feet, called Iron Mountain. The base of the hill, for 50 feet or more, consists of fassile shale intermixed with masses of hematite iron ore.
The best qualities of silex for glass manufacture are found in Alexander and Pulaski counties; salt in Hardin, Saline, Effingham and Pope counties; petroleum in Clark, Livingston and La Salle; copper in Monroe Fulton, Rock Island and Jo Daviess; crystalized gypsum in St. Clair; quartz crystal in Gallatin; gold in Jo Daviess and Fulton; and Silver in Stevenson county.
Iowa has a total area of 55,045 square miles, nearly the size of Illinois. Her area has not been ascertained. The State has not seen fit to order a geological survey. But from what appears on the surface of the county merely, is sufficient evidence of very great mineral wealth. Lead, coal, copper, hydraulic limestone, and iron have been found. Her coal field is very extensive throughout the valley of the Des Moines. Lead is abundant in the North east; copper along the river opposite Jo Daviess county, Illinois; and hydraulic limestone in several of the central counties in the valley of the Des Moines.
We wish in the light of facts now presented, to argue the advantages that these rich mineral areas afford for manufactures. Were coal a prime necessity for all classes of manufactures it could not have been more lavishly supplied than in the great coal fields of Southern Illinois which with rail and water facilities the very best, can easily and cheaply supply the upper and lower Mississippi and their tributaries reaching to points central in all the states of the valley. The English processes of coking already being used in this country will make the Illinois coal excellent for all kinds of iron manufacture, and its nearness to the great Iron region of Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa render it easily available, so that no places possible could be better adapted for extensive and economical manufactures than the very mines where these rich metals are found. Is there any reason why capitalists should not swarm to the Iron Mountain regions of Missouri and make every acre a net work of forges, furnaces, rolling mills and rail factories. There is the best iron that manufactures have yet found, except perhaps the Lake Superior, and further developments may bring out still richer deposits. There is your Belleville coal seam, exhaustless, only a few miles away, with railroads stretching from mine to mine. There are the lead, copper and zinc ore very valuable deposits of which are found singularly enough right within the circuit of the Missouri coal measures. Is there not a market for manufactured commodities? The great Mississippi Valley from source to mouth, the valley of the Missouri, the new mining States of the far West and the whole Pacific coast is urging such an enterprise. The great expense of all classes of manufactured goods in the West is caused by the long and difficult transportation from the East. There is no reasons why Missouri should not become as essentially a manufacturing State as Pennsylvania. We mean not merely in the important field of iron, steel, and hardware manufacture, but her valleys abound with streams for water power and