Feb. 4, 1890, Oregonian p5
BIG WASHOUT AT OSWEGO.—The extraordinary and sudden rise in the Tualatin river has caused great damage at Oswego. The Tualatin river is led through a canal into Sucker lake, and thence into the Willamette, supplying the Iron works with a head of water. One of the dams confining the accumulated waters broke Monday morning, and washed out about 1000 feet of 14-inch pipe, beside several heavy railroad embankments. A levee containing the lake at another point was out by order of the iron company in order to prevent further washouts at the furnace. The superintendent of the works ordered dynamite from Portland, with the intention of blowing up the big dam if necessary. The furnace will probably not be able to run for some time. The full extent of the damages caused by the break in the dam cannot be estimated at present.
Feb. 5, 1890, Oregonian p2
STATE OF AFFAIRS AT OSWEGO — River Booming—Immense Quantities of Driftwood, Etc., Lodged There
A tremendous amount of logs and driftwood floated down and had lodged against the trestle on the narrow gauge road at Oswego. Throughout yesterday afternoon a large force of men were engaged in an attempt to clear away the debris by blasting, with some slight success. Fully one hundred feet of track has been washed out, and T. R. Rands, who passed Oswego at 5 o’clock, stated to The Oregonian representative that the trestle might go out at any hour.
The bridge over Succor [sic] creek on the Oregon City road, has been turned from east to west, instead of from north to south as it formerly stood, but remains almost intact, little damage having been done to it. All travel across the creek is done now by skiff.
Feb. 6, 1890, The Enterprise (Oregon City) p2
WILD WAVES WARFARE — Oswego Swept by Angry Waves.—A Sea of Billows Sweep Property to Destruction
Just before noon on Monday the editor of THE ENTERRPISE was an eye-witness of a grand exciting and at the same time destructive scene at the thriving town of Oswego. For hours Sucker lake had been rising until Sunday fears were entertained that the dam would burst. Steps were taken to prevent this but without avail. First the dam, southwest of the old town gave way and shortly before noon the dams between the old and new town broke and hurled a vast mass of waters down through the galley upon the railroad tracks below. In the twinkling [of] an eye almost all was changed and in place of a comparatively small stream there appeared a mighty torrent much like the Falls of the Willamette in Summer. Men who were working below had just time to rush away from the path of the torrent when it burst over the spot were they had stood a few seconds before carrying out a large section of tye [sic] track, tossing the rails like chips before it and ending trees over and over, while huge sections of dirt 10 feet or more each way crumbled before the waters till in an incredible short space of time a gulch 35 feet deep and as many wide was made for the waters. When the waterpipe leading to the furnace was reached this torrent ripped it apart like a plaything and hurled it before it and finally swept the pieces away and scattered them on the flat below.
This torrent flooded the 42 charcoal pits in a moment to the height of 7 feet, and tore up the railroad tracks in half a dozen places in lengths from 20 to 200 feet. The torrent which rolled between the old and the new town, together with the breaks in the new railroad tracks, made it impossible to get from one town to another except on a very high trestle.
When the dam broke and the torrent came rushing down a lot of cars stood just to one side of the spot when it [spent] its greatest fury, and when the track was damaged. Fortunately an engine was at hand and it was speedily brought to the rescue of the threatened cars and they will soon [be] removed to a place of safety.
The main branch of Sucker creek was dammed with a very high dam which broke near the left bank cutting out a section 150 feet in length. This did not relieve the great pressure of water and two other breaks were made in the dam. These breaks relieved the pressure somewhat above but threw two very strong currents almost against the upper Sucker creek bridge, which was immediately threatened with complete destruction, but it was yet standing when the writer left. Though the waters were beating against it with great force.
In conversation with Mr. Fuller the assistant superintendent who was as busy as he could be trying to save property, he said that their damage would be great but he could not at that time begin to make a rough estimate. Indeed he had not at that time to even collect his thoughts to think of what had already occurred so busy was he looking for and trying to prevent the many dangers constantly threatening.
It was altogether as wild a scene as one would care to witness, besides which the loss in dollars and cents is very great.
Feb 8, 1890, Dalles Times-Mountaineer p2
THE RAGING WATERS — Great Damage Done in the Willamette Valley
The Oregonian of Wednesday is almost entirely devoted to the unprecedented high water in the Willamette river. Great damage has resulted everywhere, and houses, mills and logs have been washed down by the turbulent flood….
STATE OF AFFAIRS AT OSWEGO
A tremendous amount of logs and driftwood floated down and had lodged against the trestle on the narrow gauge road at Oswego. Throughout yesterday afternoon a large force of men were engaged in an attempt to clear away the debris by blasting, with some slight success. Fully one hundred feet of track has been washed out, and R. R. Rands, who passed Oswego at 5 o’clock, stated to The Oregonian representative that the trestle might go out at any hour.
The bridge over Succer [sic] creek on the Oregon City road, has been turned from east to west, instead of from north to south as it formerly stood, but remains almost intact, little damage having been done to it. All travel across the creek is done now by skiff.
March 6, 1890, Oregonian p5
FURNACE TO BE LIGHTED.—The furnace of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company at Oswego, which was blown out some three months since in order that it might be relined, will be lighted to-day. During this time some extensive improvements have been made at the works, and when they are in operation again about 250 men will be employed there.
May 31, 1890, Oregonian p4
A serious accident occurred the other day at the Oswego Iron Works. Peter Pallet, who was working about the furnace, fell in some way, it is said, about thirty feet, and striking upon his head and face, cut a great gash extending clear across the forehead. The lower part of the cut loosened from the skull and fell down over his eyes. He will recover.
May 31, 1890, Oregonian p4
From Oregon City to Oswego the road is passable but still rough, and the bridge across Sucker creek has not been replaced. Clackamas county commissioners are a long time repairing the damages done by last winter’s flood.
Aug. 4, 1890, Oregonian p7
CAR SHOPS AT ALBINA — The Fine Plant Will Be Utilized to Its Full Capacity.
Since the car shops at Albina were turned over by the Terminal Company to the Union Pacific Company, on July 1, it is evident that the company is putting things in trim preparatory to utilizing to its full extent the extensive and magnificent plant, which owing to disagreement among the factors of the Terminal Company, was so long allowed to lie idle…. There are only about 300 men employed in the shops at present, but there is every indication that more will be employed in the near future, and it is more than likely that the manufacture of box and flat cars will soon be begun on a large scale…. The company has leased the foundry to Messrs. Parker & Topping, foundrymen of Brainard, Minn., and has contracted with them to supply all the castings needed by the company for five years. This firm has made all the castings for the Northern Pacific for the past twenty years, and has at Brainard the largest foundry in Minnesota, which, however, is not so large as the one they will have at Albina…. The foundry will use a great deal of Oswego iron, and Mr. Topping has already contracted for a lot.
Aug. 28, 1890, The Oregon Scout (Union, Oregon) [Excerpt]
OREGON EDITORS — Meeting of the Press Association in Portland — A Brief Record of the Work — A Royal Welcome Extended by the Citizens of that City
The meeting of the Oregon Press Association at Portland on the 14th, 15th and 16th of this month, was attended by about one hundred editors…. Returning to Portland the association went aboard the elegant steamer, Undine and were soon on their way for a visit to Oregon City and the falls of the Willamette. A stop was made at the Oswego Iron Foundry where was witnessed a sight that was new to all. It was the run of thirty-five tons of molten iron through the sand trenches and into the sand receptacles where it was to remain until cool. This foundry is one of the more important of the enterprises of Portland. …
Aug. 28, 1890, Oregon City Enterprise
PRESS COMMENTS — Flattering Tributes to Oregon City — The Press Association Well Pleased With Their Visit.
[Excerpt from the Hillsboro Independent] On our return we took a steamer from Albina to Oswego where we viewed the great iron works and saw a cast made. The red molten iron ran like water into the moulds prepared in the sand, making the surrounding air hot like a veritable Hades.
[Excerpt from the Washington Democrat] At Oswego the visitors were shown through the iron works, the only pipe works on the Pacific Coast. It is a great industry, and one of which the state may well be proud. A good deal of its money is paid to residents of this county for cordwood to be burned to charcoal, of which it consumes a vast amount.
[Excerpt from the Silverton Appeal] On the third day an excursion on the same steamer, the “Undine” to Oregon City and the Oswego Iron Works gave all a still further opportunity to note the growth of the state and her towns and cities in manufacturing plants.
Sept. 18, 1890, Daily Morning Astorian
Members of Seaside Lodge, No. 12 A. O. U. W., will be interested in learning that two new lodges of the order have recently been instituted in this jurisdiction, one at Hoquaim, Wash., on Monday night with 35 charter members, and one at Oswego, known as Pig Iron Lodge, No. 135, with 28 charter members, also on Monday night.
Oct. 28, 1890, The Daily Astorian
A Boy Killed by a Fall
Portland, Oct. 27.—Burt Lund, aged 17 years, fell down a shaft at the Oswego Iron Works yesterday and was killed. The coroner’s jury returned a verdict that he met his death by his own carelessness.
Oct. 30, 1890, Evening Capital Journal (Salem)
It is whispered that Mrs. Russell will sue the Oswego Iron Company for damages for the death of her husband, who was killed by falling from a platform on the works a short time ago, as the coroner’s jury gave her a foundation to do so when they censured the company for Russell’s death in their verdict. Just previous to Russell’s demise, Mrs. Russell sued for a divorce and the case was pending at the time of the accident. She now discovers that the poor unfortunate man was very dear to her. –Portland Examiner.
Oct. 31, 1890, San Francisco Call
Albert Lund, aged 17 years, was found dead last Sunday afternoon at the bottom of an elevator shaft of the Oswego Iron Works, Portland, Oregon. He was cleaning the machinery and jumped from the cage.
Nov. 28, 1890, The Lebanon Express (Lebanon, Or.)
The furnace of the Oregon Iron and Steel Company of Oswego, turned out last month 1424 tons of iron. Just think of it, only one furnace in the State of Oregon! A State like our own with mountains of ore, dependent upon the East for our supply of this ore, which ranks perhaps above gold in point of utility. We would not be surprised to see some of our enterprising citizens importing fuel and railroad ties instead of drawing from our own forests: it seems to be fashionable nowadays to use nothing but imported goods.
Dec. 18, 1890, The Enterprise (Oregon City) p3
G. Good has taken a sample of the slag from the Oswego Iron Works to Portland to have it assayed. It is the intention of Mr. Good and others, if the slag contains a sufficient per cent of iron, to make further arrangements for working it into mineral paint. In the east this has been found to be a lucrative industry, and in all probabilities if it is undertaken here it will meet with success.
Dec. 23, 1890, Dalles Daily Chronicle p3
One hundred and six tons of cast iron pipe for the new water works arrived this morning. The pipe consists of 408 pieces six inch, fifty-one pieces eight inch, twenty-four pieces twelve inch, and six pieces four inch, and was purchased from the Oregon Iron and Steel company, of Oswego. The work of digging the trenches laying the pipe and building the reservoir will be commenced at once unless the weather prevents it.
Jan 1, 1891, Daily Alta California, (San Francisco)
THE FOUNDRYMEN — The Outlook for the Coming Year Considered Auspicious–A Limited Market Handicaps Local Manufacturers — Statistics Which Show the Importance of the Iron Trade Industry to San Francisco and the Coast.
When one takes into consideration the many disadvantages which seriously handicap manufacturing industries on this coast the wonder is not that so much is done in that line, but that there is a manufacturing plant of commercial importance anywhere on the coast. The cost of the raw material laid down here is so out of proportion to what the Eastern or foreign manufacturer has to pay that the local manufacturer is practically prohibited from competing. Iron and coal must be brought here from long distances, subject to heavy tax for transportation and duty, and added to this is the additional fact that the manufacturer must look to a market restricted somewhat by geographical position and more so by tariff regulation, in which to dispose of his wares. The cost of labor is higher here, too, than in the East.
But aside from the fact that there are no deposits of iron or coal near San Francisco, the chief reason for a not more extensive development of her manufacturing enterprise is the handicap of a market of limited area. It would seem that the entire Pacific Coast, from Alaska to Patagonia and from the Rockies and Andes to the sea, ought to be largely tributary to this city, but go among our manufacturers and they will tell you such is by no means the case.
It is true, however, that a trade is being built up with Central America, South America, the islands of the Pacific and even with the Orient. But the process is a slow one and the commerce, so far as it affects iron manufactures, is of tedious growth. There are possibilities in this trade which our manufacturers are cognizant of, but of which they are not yet in position to take profitable advantage. Large shipments of machinery are sent to these countries, but nothing like what would be the case were the legislation affecting such industry of a more fostering nature — designed to extend not constrict the market. China has just begun to develop, according to modern methods, its valuable mines, and has already drawn upon this coast for supplies in the line of machinery, lumber and the like. The Sandwich Islands do a very heavy business with San Francisco foundries. These are signs of the times which inspire a hope of a vastly increased volume of business in years to come for all who engage in manufacturing pursuits on this coast, especially in the product of forge and mill.
In spite of the objections named, San Francisco may feel that a good beginning has been made in manufacturing enterprise. This is especially true of the iron trade. It is doubtful if any one thing has given California more permanent advantage in the matter of worldwide advertising than the successful construction of the two great cruisers for the United States Navy, the Charleston and San Francisco, already in commission, and the award of contracts for the building of other vessels of war here. When Irving M. Scott, on behalf of the Union Iron Works, made his bid for building the Charleston, the Eastern shipbuilders, who has enjoyed from the founding of the nation a monopoly of building war vessels for the Government, were skeptical and disposed to ridicule his pretensions. They have since learned to fear this coast as a business rival, and the maritime world has been convinced that California’s shipyards can turn out as fine craft as can be done anywhere.
The history of the foundry business on this Coast is a brief one, but by no means lacking in interest. In 1840 the late Peter Donahue built a little machine shop on the corner of First and Mission streets, and his business prospered steadily, until now the Union Iron Works, the successor to that pioneer machine shop, has found place in the ranks of the great shipbuilding plants of the world. Truly a mighty monument. The site of that shop is now covered by one of the most valuable business blocks in the city — the property of the Donahue heirs.
There are evidences that the Union Iron Works must look well to its laurels if it would remain the sole builder of war vessels on the Pacific Coast. The Risdon Iron Works, a powerful corporation, desires a government contract, and though unsuccessful at the last competition, gives notice that it will bid on all calls for building men-of-war.
The first furnace on this Coast was at Oswego, Oregon. In 1882, 3000 tons of pig iron were brought here from Oregon. In 1887, 300 tons. In 1888 50 tons, and importations from that source are now showing an improvement. The Puget Sound Iron Company has a large plant at Irondale, near Port Townsend, but labors under the disadvantage of being obliged to import from British Columbia its magnetic ore.
In 1881 the California Iron and Steel Company was organized, with large capital, to operate in the manufacture of pig-iron in Placer county. Considerable land was acquired, and there was a heavy outlay for plant, but the affairs of the corporation never prospered, and its property has long been advertised for sale.
Most of the pig-iron used here is brought from Europe in ships which intend taking back a wheat cargo. This, naturally, does not operate always very favorably in the matter of prices. The supply of pig-iron is, of course, subject to fluctuation governed by the wheat market of the world. The same holds true to great extent as affecting coal, all of which militates against the local foundryman.
The past year was, on the whole, a fair season for the local foundries. Some of them were harassed more or less by an ill-advised contention, brought about by a trade organization, and which resulted in a complete victory for the manufacturers. The rains which have already fallen give promise of an abundant harvest and general prosperity, of which the foundrymen expect an abundant share.
As the city has entered on a new era in building operations, resorting more and more to the use of iron, brick and stone, the foundries experience an immediate benefit by the largely increased amount of iron architects are insisting shall be used in the construction of business buildings.
Shipbuilding is flourishing, the steam schooner driving out the old-time “windjammers” which long enjoyed in undisputed sway the lumber-carrying trade of the Coast. During the boom in “Southern California the demand for lumber for immediate consumption led to a prodigious activity in the Construction of steam schooners, “so that it is doubtful if any very unusual attention will be paid to that industry for several seasons.
In mining machinery competition by Eastern houses reduces profits to such insignificant figures that the field is not alluring for the local manufacturer.
The greater portion of the work done by the local foundries is for the home marker, as already stated, and the demand by its steady increase indicates unmistakably the growth and development of the State.
The importance of the iron trade here may be inferred from the following statistics — taken from the Assessor’s report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890— of the foundries, machine shops, boiler and iron works in this city: Foundries, machine shops, boiler and iron works, 40; men and boys employed, 4000; pig-iron consumed annually, tons, 13,200; bar-iron consumed annually, tons, 14,800 rivets used annually, tons, 450; horsepower of engines, 2600; aggregate value of product, $5,500,000. To this must be added the brass foundries, which industry really goes hand-in-hand with the iron trade: Brass foundries, 8: men and boys employed, 300; value of manufactures, $450,000. To this must also be added the following: Rolling mills, 1; men employed, 825; horse-power of engines, 700; scrap-iron used annually, tons, 22,000; coal consumed annually, tons, 27,000; value of product, $1,325,000. Safe and vault works, 2; men employed 20; bar and plate-iron used annually, tons, 40; steel used annually, tons, 65; value of manufactures, $40,000. Carriage and locomotive car spring factory, 1; men and boys employed. 22; springs made annually, tons, 125; value of manufactures, $37,500. Without going further into statistics, here are figures showing annual employment given to 5167 person b, and. an output of goods valued at $7,352,500.
Two steamers, each of 3500 tons displacement, are to be built here for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and they are to be constructed with all modern appliances. This work will afford employment to a large force of men for nearly two years.
The Rolling Mills are in the course of reconstruction and fully half a million dollars will be spent in the work. When completed the mills will be exceeded in size by only one other mill in the United States — the Homestead Mill at Pittsburg, Penn.
February 17, 1891, Oregonian p5
AT THE IRON WORKS. – In accordance with a resolution adopted by the board of directors of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, the furnace at Oswego was “banked” yesterday, and smelting operations will be suspended for thirty days, in order that some repairs may be made. The furnace has been running continuously at its full capacity for a long time, and some repairs have become necessary. There are about 160 men employed in connection with the furnace. The company’s pipe foundry, which has been shut down for about a month on account of it being the dull season, will be started up again today. There are about 40 men employed in the pipe foundry, who will no doubt be pleased to get to work again after a month’s rest. The company employed in all between 500 and 600 men in mining, smelting, casting pipe, cutting wood, burning charcoal, etc.
Feb. 20, 1891, Evening Capital Journal (Salem)
Courier: The furnace at Oswego was banked on Monday, and smelting operations will be suspended for 30 days in order that some repairs may be made. The furnace has been running continuously at its full capacity for a long time, and repairs have become necessary. There are about 160 men employed in connection with the furnace. The company’s pipe foundry, which has been shut down for about a month on account of it being the dull season, started up again Tuesday.
April 24, 1891, Oregon City Enterprise
The furnace resumed work last Monday. To those who have been out of work for two months, the sound of the old whistle was a welcome sound. Work at the iron mines will commence in a few days.
May 29, 1891, Oregon City Enterprise p4
Oswego. The steamer O. I. and S. Co. made her first trip up the lake and back last week. Captain Haines thinks she will do the work, but not the quickest in the world.
Mr. Jackson Monk has fixed the dam O.K., and the O. I & S. Co. feel good over his success.
The furnace and pipe works are running full blast.
Oct. 3, 1891, The Record-Union (Sacramento)
Two Men Asphyxiated.
Portland, Oct. 2.—At the Oswego Iron and Steel Works, five miles from this city, to-day F. Ventuynbrock [sic] and Peter Rauch were asphyxiated by gas in a blast stove.
Oct. 3, 1891, The Morning Call (San Francisco)
ASPHYXIATED — Two Furnacemen Smothered to Death by Gas
Portland, Oct. 2.—At the Oswego Iron and Steel Works, five miles from this city, to-day, F. Van Tuynbrock and Peter Rauch were asphyxiated by gas in a blast-stove. The men came out of the stove about 10 o’clock to get a drink of water, and at the same time requested the other workmen to call them at noon. When the call was given no response was received, and it was found that the men were dead. They were working at a height of sixty feet in the interior of the stove. It is supposed that the gas swept over from the main furnace into the stove and suffocated the men. Rauch leaves a family.
October 12, 1891, Oregonian p6
IMPROVEMENT AT OSWEGO — The Oregon Iron and Steel Company To Extend Its Plant
While Oswego was not included in the city limits by the consolidation act, it is near the post office than some portions of the city on the East Side. This may be news to many, but a view of the map of consolidated Portland will show that the statement is true. At the present time there is much activity, the causes being various. In the first place, the pipe works are to be at once enlarged, which will give employment to quite an additional number of men. Again, it is rumored that other manufacturing enterprises are about to be started, utilizing the water power of the Tualatin lake, which runs along the south side of the town, and with its eighty-foot fall, furnishes over 2000 horse power. This lake is three miles long by three-quarters of a mile in width, and is the most beautiful lake near Portland.
The Oregon Iron and Steel Company is now giving employment to over 600 men. Saturday was pay day, and over $25,000 was disbursed. Every cent of this money was paid out at Oswego.
L. Gill, late of the Olympia daily Tribune, and a newspaper man of large experience has recently taken up his residence at Oswego, and on the 17th will issue the first number of a weekly newspaper, to be called the Oswego Iron Worker.
Quite a number of new buildings are nearly completed, and several others will be started during the month.
It is reported that Father O’Reilly will shortly have a school started for the benefit of the children of his parishioners.
The pipe works, which, by the way, are the only ones on the coast, have just made a large shipment of pipe to the San Francisco Gaslight company.
Oct. 23, 1891, Oregon City Enterprise
Oswego, Or., Oct. 13.—Oswego has been visited by the angel of death four times the past week. Two men died from the effects of gas at the furnace, Peter Rouse and Frank Vanden Broek. Mr. Rouse was buried at the Oswego cemetery under the auspices of the A. O. U. W., and Vanden Broek at East Portland. The other deaths were two gentlemen at the McFarland hotel, names unlearned.
Nov. 14, 1891, The Dalles Daily Chronicle
The last of the water pipes ordered from the Oswego Iron Works, by the Dalles water commissioners have arrived and Dalles city saves exactly $62 through being able to ship them by the Regulator. Every little helps. Every dollar paid to the Regulator stays in the country. Every dollar paid the U. P. goes to Gould and eastern capitalists. At any rate it leaves the country and when it is gone the country is that much poorer. This is a species of “protection” that comes right home to all of us and which democrat, republican and all the rest can support without drawing party lines.
Nov. 21, 1891, The Eugene City Guard
The assessed gross value of the Oswego Iron and Steel Company is $155,680, but it claims an indebtedness within the state of $228,518, or $73,938 in excess of the value of its property. It is a pauper. –Oregon city Courier.
Dec. 22, 1891, Oregonian p12
ACCIDENTALLY KILLED — An Employe of the Oswego Iron Company Is Run Over by Coke-Cars.
About 8 o’clock yesterday morning a laborer name Owens, employed at the pipe foundry of the Oregon Iron and Steel Company at Oswego, was accidentally killed. In company with several of his fellow-workmen, Owen had gone over to the company’s blast furnace to get some coke cars, and instead of walking back, jumped on the front end of the yard locomotive to ride to the pipe foundry. One of the cars had just been uncoupled from the engine, when Owens fell or jumped from the engine and the coke cars passed over him, cutting one of his legs almost off and otherwise injuring him, so that he died in about an hour. The men have been repeatedly warned not to ride on the engine, and through disobeying these warnings Owens lost his life. He was a sober, industrious young man, a native of Wales, where his parents reside. His body will be sent to friends in Oregon City for burial today.
Dec. 25, 1891, Oregon City Enterprise p5
CRUSHED BY THE CARS: A Young Man Meets His Death at Oswego Monday Morning
Owen P. Owens, a young man in the employ of the Oregon Iron & Steel company at Oswego, while working about a train in the yard Monday morning fell between the locomotive and a car and was so crushed that he died in a few minutes, the wheels passing over the middle of his body and nearly cutting him in two. It appears that he was performing the work of a brakeman and was riding on the rear end of the locomotive while some switching was being done. In backing down to couple on other cars the train struck with so much force that Owens lost his footing and fell across the track where the locomotive crushed him before it could be stopped. After the accident he directed that R. D. Price, of this city, should be notified of the occurrence and then he became delirious, called for his mother and died.
Owen P. Owens was twenty-three years of age, of Welch [sic] nativity and a young man of exemplary habits. His mother is living in Wales. His home for years was with Mr. Price’s family. He had been in the city between two and three years. Some time ago he went to California and had returned and been at work at Oswego about two months. The remains were interred in Mountain View cemetery Tuesday afternoon. The deceased was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church.
Dec. 28, 1891, Oregonian p8
THE OSWEGO IRON WORKS. — Mr. Evans, of Michigan, Arrives to Take Charge of Them.
A. Evans, jr., has arrived here from Detroit, Mich., to take charge of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company’s furnace at Oswego. He is an expert furnace man, having lately been in charge of two furnaces near Detroit owned by Senator McMillan, of Michigan. Mr. Evans has had a large experience in the iron manufacturing business, and has superintended the construction and working of a number of furnaces in different places. He is just such a man as the Oregon Iron & Steel Company has been wanting ever since it completed its new furnace at Oswego. It is probable that the company will now begin importing ore to mix with the Oswego ore. It has a whole mountain of magnetic iron ore on an island over near Victoria and may bring ore from there, or perhaps from some more convenient point if an ore suitable can be found. There is plenty of ore to be had in many places. The principal thing in smelting iron is the fuel. Ore can be carried to where fuel is, but it will not pay to carry fuel to the ore. The Oregon Iron & Steel Company has an almost unlimited supply of fuel in the vicinity of its works, and thus has a great advantage over many other iron manufacturing companies. It is only a question of time when rolling mills and [illegible] furnaces will be added to the plant and the company will be able to furnish all kinds of bar and plate iron and steel, as it is to its interest to keep its works ahead of any on the coast, and it has command of unlimited capital.
Feb. 5, 1892, Corvallis Gazette p1
OSWEGO–THE FUTURE MANUFACTURING SUBURB OF PORTLAND—ALREADY A PAY ROLL OF $40,000 PER MONTH
It is a well known fact that a manufactory, employing labor, no matter where situated, is the nucleus of a city. The greater the number of employes, the greater the prospective city. The Krupp gun works of Germany support a city of 95,000; the Pullman Palace Car Co., of Pullman, Ill., a city of 12,000. Oswego is in its infancy. To-day the Oregon Iron & Steel Works, and other industries, make a pay roll of $42,000 a month. With an increase in the manufacturing output, the city increases in population. Population increases values of real estate; therefore, Oswego offers to-day, to the careful investor, the very best field for investment. Oswego is only two miles outside of the limits of Consolidated Portland. It has cheap train service of 8 ½ cents a trip and eight trains a day; also six steamboats each way on the Willamette. Oswego is a beautiful site for a town. Oswego has a splendid 2,400 water power, which is offered to manufacturers for a term of years free, and land with it. Oswego has pure spring water in pipes over the town. Oswego has a beautiful lake where the pleasure-lovers of Portland will soon establish a summer resort. Property values in Oswego will advance rapidly and permanently, as founded on the development of the favorable location for manufacturing. Lots in Oswego invite the home-seeker. Lots sold on easy installments of $10 down and $5 a month. Ask the publisher of this paper to show you a plat of Oswego, or address a postal card to BORTHWICK, BATTY & Co., 71 Alder Street, Portland, Oregon.
February 6, 1892, Oregonian p8
THE OSWEGO MINES — OVER A MILE OF TUNNELING DONE — Trip Through the Bowels of the Earth — The Smelter Temporarily Shut Down–To Start Up Soon With an Increased Capacity.
Although Oswego almost touches the outskirts of the city of Portland, there are perhaps few, even among the older residents of this city, who have any conception of the extent of the mining operations carried on there. That an iron mine with a smelting plant almost as large as any in the world lies only a few miles south of the city is a fact that few realize when commenting upon the resources of the metropolis to strangers. By invitation a reporter yesterday accompanied a small party to the mines.
RIDE TO THE MINES.
Reaching the city of Oswego, which is seven miles above Portland on the Willamette River, the party were placed on a small “binky” engine, and under the chaperonage of J. H. Pomeroy, the affable superintendent of the mines, they were soon whizzing along the pine-fringed shores of lake Tualitin towards the scene of mining operations. The mine is three miles from the city and the ride along the sloping hill sides and through rocky gorges is a beautiful one.
THROUGH THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH.
At the mines Superintendent Pomeroy fitted the party out with torches, and then began a gradual though awe-inspiring descent into the bowels of the earth. The walk is somewhat muddy and slippery, and were it not for the ties of the small track on which the ore cars run, but little footing would be afforded the underground explorer. The continual dropping of water from the roof of the tunnel reminded one that there is a world above, although no rays of light penetrated the caverns that now are illumined only by the dim light of a few flickering torches. As the mines are temporarily shut down pending the completion of alterations and repairs to the smelter, the party had an excellent opportunity to see everything there is to be seen. About a mile and a quarter of tunneling was explored, the greatest lateral depth of any one being 1420 feet.
A TREE 300 FEET DOWN.
In one of the tunnels, the ceiling of which is 300 feet below the surface of the earth, the spreading roots of a large tree expanded over the heads of the party. The wood is yet sound, but the bark and outside is carbonized, showing that at some early day the tree was suddenly entombed by the lava of a volcano. The veins of ore vary in thickness from five to seven feet. A steel cable, 1500 feet in length, and three twisting engines bring the ore to the surface. There are also four steam pumps used for pumping the seepage out of the tunnels. The tunnels are supported by pillars two feet square, and although they are placed from two to three feet apart the strain on them from the weight of the earth above is so great that some are splintered as if they had been struck by lightning and new ones have to be put in all the time.
UNLIMITED SUPPLY OF ORE
Superintendent Pomeroy explained that when the furnace is run in full blast his mining force, consisting of fifty-two to sixty men, take out from 150 to 175 and often 200 tons of ore a day. “This is a little more,” said he, “than we were taking out when I started in, fifteen years ago. When the smelter started up the ore was hauled to the furnace in wagons, and from five to ten tons a day was considered a good day’s work. A little later we took out from eighteen to twenty tons of ore a day, but with the new furnace which the company now has this would scarcely be a drop in the bucket.”
Mr. Pomeroy, who is an experienced mining man, has full charge of the mines and gets out the ore as fast as the furnace can use it. The miners work by the carload, but if the tunneling is bad, and they are not able to make $3.50 a day, they are allowed wages. There is about thirty-five or forty acres of ground that contains ore, and according to the amount now being taken out, an acre will yield about 30,000 tons. This gives some idea of the extent of the ore beds.
Having examined the mines to their hearts’ content, the party were taken back to the city of Oswego and shown though the smelter, engine-houses and pipe foundry.
THE OLD SMELTER IN RUINS.
The old smelter that was built years ago is in ruins, and the new plant stands about a quarter of a mile further down the river. The furnace is not in operation at present, having been closed down for general repairs on the 16th of last month. During the time the furnace is closed down the company is taking the opportunity to rebuild the shell, by changing it so that it will conform with the lines of the new brickwork.
THE NEW FURNACE UNDERGOING REPAIRS.
Superintendent A. Evans, jr., the new superintendent of the furnace, stated that he expects to start up again about the middle of March. “The furnace cannot be rebuilt much earlier,” said he, “as we have to get our firebrick from Ohio. The furnace proper employs from 120 to 140 men, and although it is closed down now, all the men are kept at work on repairs. The capacity of the furnace is sixty tons of iron in twenty-four hours, most of which is used in the manufacture of iron pipes. The pipe works now employ about 100 men and cast thirty tons of pipe a day, but the intention is to soon enlarge the capacity to forty tons more a day.
THE CHARCOAL PLANT.
“The charcoal plant consists of fifty-four to fifty-cord kilns, that can turn out about 300,000 bushels of charcoal a month. All of the charcoal is used for the furnace, and in order to meet the demands of the remodeled furnace, the company contemplates increasing the charcoal production about 25 per cent. The charcoal kilns employ about thirty men at present.
“This furnace, when the present work of reconstruction is completed, will be one of the largest and most thoroughly equipped charcoal furnaces in the world, and with the changes the management propose making in the mixture of ores, it will be able to furnish the demands of the manufacturers of this coast with iron suitable for all kinds of mill, foundry or steel work. When completed, with the improvements and additions to the present plant, the smelter in all its departments will give steady and constant employment to from 1200 to 1500 men. The ore now turned out is made into pipe and shipped in the shape of pig iron bars to the different foundries along the coast. The company soon intends to build a steamboat landing opposite the foundry and connect this by a wagon-road with the city.”
AN EXPERIENCED SMELTING EXPERT.
Superintendent Evans, who recently came to the city to take charge of the Oswego smelter, is one of the best known smelting experts in the United States. He has done expert work on nearly all furnaces in the country. Before coming to Portland he had charge of the Detroit and Newbury furnace in Michigan, each with a daily capacity of about seventy-five tons. He also built the first and only furnace in South America. This is on the plains of Bogota, about 1200 miles in the interior and has a capacity of about fifty tons a day. It was built for the purpose of getting out railroad iron for constructing a railroad across the plains, and is owned by the Colombian government. Mr. Evans is very favorably impressed with the Oswego smelter, and says the people of Portland hardly realize what it means for the future of Portland.
NATURAL SITE FOR A PARK.
Among the members of the party who visited the mines and smelter was Park-Keeper Myers. He was very much taken up with the idea that Lake Tualatin furnished a most admirable location for a natural park. He says that such a lovely sheet of water so near to Portland and possessing the advantage of ample surroundings, should be utilized for park purposes.
Feb. 18, 1892, Oregonian
WILL LOCATE PERMANENTLY.—A. Evans, jr., the new superintendent of the Oswego iron works, has removed his family to this city and is building a $2000 residence at Oswego, where he will locate permanently. Mr. Evans is still busily engaged superintending the remodeling of the blast furnace.
March 4, 1892, Oregon City Enterprise
MORE NEWS FROM THE IRON TOWN — New Buildings Being Erected—It is Proposed to Incorporate
Oswego, March 1.—The new villa of superintendent Evans is rapidly nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy in about ten days
Superintendent Evans is pushing the work of rebuilding the new blast furnace and he expects to “blow in” about March 20th….
A brother of Mrs. I. Marks, a boiler maker, recently arrived from Pennsylvania and secured employment at his trade in rebuilding the stack of the blast furnace.
March 4, 1892, Oregon City Enterprise
In Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 lying north of Oswego between the starting point of the new road so much desired by certain Oswegoans and the Multnomah county line, there is property having a taxable valuation of a little more than $26,000 this year. The county pays taxes on nearly $4,000,000. The Oregon Iron & Steel company, which is so greatly interested in getting improvements for that section of the county, owns nearly half the land in the county on the west side of the Willamette and north of a line drawn west from the mouth of the Tualatin river. But it returned this year indebtedness exceeding its assessed valuation by $73,000, so it does not pay one dollar of tax. When that section pays its just proportion of the expense of running the county there will be more grace and justice in its demands for expensive improvements.
June 3, 1892, The Dalles Weekly Chronicle
Enterprise. The large number of samples of ore from the new mine in Clackamas county have been assayed by the chemists at the Oswego Iron works, and the average is 56 per cent of metallic iron. The Oswego mines do not exceed an average of 33 per cent iron. Next week a large quantity will be taken to the Oswego furnace, and the result of practical reduction will be observed. There is no question that the ore is very high grade.
June 21, 1892, Los Angeles Herald
Redondo — Shipping matters-News Notes-Hotel Arrivals
The Birtie Minor, Captain Raven, with lumber and sixty-two tons of water pipe from the Oswego Iron works, Portland, and the Pioneer, will be alongside the dock this morning.
June 30, 1892, Seattle Post-Intelligencer p2
Frank Van Tynbroeck, of Portland, Or., who fell down one of the big chimneys of the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, being overcome by hot air and gases while cleaning it, has sued for $5,000 damages.
Aug. 8, 1892, Oregonian p8
A DAY WITH THE FURNACES — Description of the Way Iron Is made at Oswego
A small private picnic party visited the Iron Works at Oswego on Saturday, and had a very pleasant time. They took the East Side Company’s electric line to Milwaukie, which is a pleasant ride, the line passing through City View Park, the town of Sellwood, and terminating at the southern boundary of Leuelling’s orchard….
It is lonesome on the city front at Milwaukie, and the party hastened to take the ferry-boat and cross over to the Riverside house, where a good lunch and all the potables desired were obtained. Then the train came along and Oswego was reached in a few minutes. Close by the station is a handsome new brick bank building, containing several stores and offices. Mr. A. Wheeler has charge of the bank, and Mr. Batty, of Borthwick & Batty, has an office in the building. He introduced the party to Mr. A. Evans, jr., the superintendent of the iron works, under whose care they were shown through the works. Mr. Evans makes a first-class guide on such a trip, being a blast furnace expert of large and varied experience, and having every detail of making iron at his fingers’ ends, as it were, and the gift of imparting information with facility. He has superintended the construction and blowing-in of iron furnaces in every state of the Union where there are blast furnaces, except the state of Washington, and also in Mexico and Canada, and superintended the erection of the only blast furnace in South America. In all he has blown-in  iron furnaces, and it is not likely that any other man has blown-in half so many.
The furnace has been reconstructed under the supervision of Mr. Evans, and the results have been much more satisfactory to the company since. The party first examined the charcoal furnaces, which form quite a village of dome-shaped brick ovens, resembling the houses of Kaffirs, only larger and cleaner, being well coated with whitewash. In these about 1000 bushels of charcoal is made daily.
The monster engine which runs the blast for the furnace was next inspected, and the party were shown how the gases and flames from the furnaces were used to make the steam for running these engines. The chamber beneath the boilers contained no fuel, but was hot enough to roast Shadrach and his brethren and all their tribe. The next thing witnessed was drawing off the slag or refuse material from the mass of molten iron in the furnace. The molten stone, at a white heat, poured out in a torrent, and ran into a succession of shallow pits made to receive it, and from which when cold, it is carried off on cars to fill a low place. The sight of the flowing “lava” was a beautiful one, and it wound up with an exhibition of fireworks which would have been a credit to any Fourth of July celebration.
The party next examined the stock-house and the bunkers where the ore and limestone are stored and broken in a rock crusher, and then took the elevator for the top of the furnace, which is surrounded by a platform of iron. On this the cars loaded with ore, limestone and charcoal are wheeled from the elevator and dumped into the hopper, and when this is filled a bell-shaped casting which closes the top of the furnace is lowered and the material slides down into the furnace. Here it was explained how the flames and gases from the furnace, instead of being allowed to pour out into the air, are driven down a huge pipe, half taken to generate steam and the other half to heat the “stoves”—tall iron cylinders lined with fire brick, through which the flames pass till the brick is heated to a white heat, when the flames are turned into another stove and the air for the blast is then passed through the stove and finds its way into the furnace almost hot enough to melt iron, thus greatly expediting the process of smelting.
From the top of the furnace a fine view of the town in obtained, also the pipe foundry, where our water pipe is made. This establishment is now being overhauled, preparatory to starting work on a contract to supply San Francisco with 100 tons of pipe. It is not improbable that the pipe to bring in Bull Run water may be cast at this foundry, which is the only pipe foundry on the coast.
Having taken in all there is to be seen from the top of the furnace, the party descended in time to see the iron drawn off from the furnace into the long ranges of molds prepared on the earth floor to receive it. The sight was a wonderful one to those who had not seen it before, and formed a grand wind-up to the day’s entertainment. Then a short walk to the station and home in time for dinner, with amusement and information enough for one day.
Oct. 8, 1892, Evening Capital Journal (Salem) p3
The Oregon Iron and Steel Co. of Clackamas county, this year pay taxes on $46,000, instead of covering it valuation with indebtedness as heretofore, which speaks well for the company’s business.
Oct. 14, 1892, Oregon City Enterprise p2
NEWS NOTES FROM TUALATIN — What the People of that Locality are Doing—Industrial and Other Items.
The Oswego Iron company’s little steamboat finds plenty of work towing cord wood down the Tualatan river to the old canal where it is taken through to the lake and thence to Oswego. The company claims this to be a much less expensive way of handling wood than by railway.
Nov. 3, 1892, Oregonian p6
BOUGHT AN IRON MINE. The Oregon Iron and Steel Company Make a Purchase in California.
For some time the Oregon Iron & Steel Company have been negotiating for the purchase of an iron mine in Lower California, the ore from which is of a very excellent quality, and being altogether free from phosphorus is suitable for the manufacture of steel by the Bessemer or kindred processes. The negotiations being carried on probably gave rise to the report telegraphed from San Francisco a week or two since to the effect that the Oregon Iron & Steel Company were about to establish a large plant there for the manufacture of steel, a scheme never for a moment contemplated by the company. A dispatch received from San Diego, Cal., yesterday, announces that Mr. J. Frank Watson, manager of the Oregon Iron and Steel Co., who left her a short time since to visit the mine and decide whether the purchase should be consummated or not, had returned to that city from the Tepastete [sic] iron mountain at San Ysidaro landing, Lower California, and admitted that his company had purchased the mine. They have formed the Tepastete [sic] Iron Company. General W. E. Webb, of San Diego, who sold the mine, being one of the company. He further stated that a wharf will be built at San Ysidaro as soon as lumber can be sent down from here, and that a force of men will be put at work building a railroad from there to the mine, about a mile distant. It is the intention of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company to put in a steel manufacturing plant at Oswego as soon as considered desirable. One object in buying the mine near San Diego is to secure cheap transportation. Many ships bring coal to San Diego from the Southern Pacific Company, and then come her in ballast for wheat. These vessels would be glad to go down to San Ysidaro and bring iron ore here at a low figure and save the expense of taking in and discharging ballast. The river will soon be improved from her to Oswego so that ordinary sea-going vessels can go up there.
Nov. 3, 1892, Sacramento Daily Union
TEPUSTETE IRON COMPANY — Its Property Sold to an Oregon Company
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 2—General Manager Watson, of the Oregon Iron and Steel Company of Portland, is just back from an examination of the Tepustete iron mountain at San Ysidero landing, Lower California, and admits that the rumored purchase by his company is true. They have formed the Tepustete Iron Company, of which General W. E. Webb of this city, who sold the mine, is the new member. Work is to begin at San Ysidero as soon as the lumber for the wharf can come down, and some hundred men are to be employed in that and the building of a mile of railroad to the mine. San Diego is to be the base of supplies, but Portland will be headquarters.
Nov. 18, 1892, Oregon City Enterprise p2
Oswego Notes. Oswego, Nov. 17.—The furnace will start the first of next month. Superintendent [illegible] is in Victoria, B. C. looking after the iron ore.
The family of W. Evans is expected from the east soon. They will reside permanently in Oswego.
John Davis, who had his foot severely burned by hot iron at the pipe foundry, is improving slowly.
Nov. 18, 1892, Oregon City Enterprise p2
Bought a Mine.
The Oregonian of Monday reports the buying of a mine in Lower California by the Oregon Iron and Steel company and says: The company has been searching for two years for a mine, and has at last secured just what it wanted. It is situated about 150 miles south of San Diego, on the coast of Lower California, in Mexico. The mine is a short distance from the beach and about 300 feet above the water. The ore, which is equal to any in the world, yields 65 per cent of magnetic iron, is free of phosphorus and admirably suited for the manufacture of Bessemer steel. The vein is about 10 feet thick and crops out for a distance of 1200 feet. The purchase covers 52 acres. The deeds were made in Spanish, according to the code Napoleon, and are ornamented with revenue stamps to the amount of $488. The Tepustete Iron Company, which was organized here a few days since, with a capital of $600,000, will construct a wharf and railroad about a mile long to the property, with large ore bunkers near the shaft. There will be no need for much mining for a while, as there are 100,000 tons of ore on the dump.
The ore is equal to any found in the Lake Superior region, Spain, Cuba or anywhere, and it is convenient for shipment, and cheap transportation by water is assured. The ore used in making Bessemer steel in Pennsylvania is brought by rail from the Lake Superior region at heavy expense on account of cheap fuel in Pennsylvania. The company has an unlimited supply of the best and cheapest fuel, charcoal, at Oswego, and can get ore shipped by water much cheaper than by land.
The securing of this mine will give a great impetus to the iron works at Oswego, as they can now make any grade of iron desired, and will no doubt before long put in a plant for the manufacture of steel. The furnace at Oswego is the only active one on the coast; the pipe foundry is the only one on this coast, and probably before long there will be there the only steel works on the coast.
Jan. 2, 1893, Oregonian p10
THE TOWN OF OSWEGO — Iron Deposits of Great Value — The Future of the Mines.
On the Willamette river, about seven miles south of Portland, is located the town of Oswego, one of the oldest-settled communities of the coast. This has long been the scene of an iron industry of considerable magnitude and the place promises to develop in time into a manufacturing center of some prominence.
Near Oswego are located some of the largest and most easily accessible deposits of iron ore in the United States. Mining this iron was an industry at Oswego when Portland was town of very modest pretensions, and for several years past large blast furnaces, handling the product of these mines, have been operated at Oswego by a very strong company. These furnaces now have a daily capacity of 50 tons of pig-iron. The ore is hauled to the furnaces from the mines about two miles distant by cars. An addition to these furnaces is a pipe foundry which is now run to its full capacity and supplies water pipe and sash weights to all parts of the coast.
The location of the furnaces and pipe works is on the east [actually the west] bank of the Willamette river, navigable between Portland and Oswego at all seasons of the year. The tracks of the narrow gauge railroad, connecting Portland with the valley towns, run past these works. The industry of mining this ore, found in such inexhaustible quantities near Oswego, is already thoroughly organized, and it promises to become in time one of the most important of the kind in the West. The company operating the large plant at Oswego already have about $250,000 invested in their mines at this point. It is the intention of the company to establish at Oswego at some future time large steel works in connection with their present plant, which will add largely to their importance as a great industry of the state.
Oswego has made considerable advancement during the past year. The waters of the Tualatin river were turned some time since into Lake Oswego, thus making available a great water power at the town of the same name, which is second in importance to the great power afforded by the falls of the Willamette at Oregon City. The town itself is building up rapidly and promises to long maintain the prestige it has already earned of being the seat of one of the most important manufacturing industries of the state.
Jan. 6, 1893, Dalles Daily Chronicle p3
DEATH OF W. S. LADD–The Celebrated Pioneer Banker of Oregon at Rest. Special to The Chronicle.
PORTLAND, Jan. 6.—Mr. William S. Ladd, the pioneer banker of Oregon, died at his residence in this city at 9:10 a. m., today after a very brief illness. Mr. Ladd has been one of the most popular men on the whole Pacific coast, and it is rare indeed to find a man of such wide influence in the financial world so highly esteemed as he has been by all his acquaintances, rich and poor alike, for all of whom he had good counsel and cheering words. He never oppressed anybody, is the common expression today; on the other hand his action has liberally sustained many a weak and faltering enterprise.
Mr. Ladd was born in Holland, Vt., Oct. 10th, 1826. His ancestors came to America in 1628. He came to Oregon via the Isthmus in 1851. In 1854 he married Miss Caroline A. Elliott of New Hampshire. In 1859, in company with C. E. Tilton he established the bank of Ladd & Tilton in Portland. The partnership was dissolved in 1880 with bills receivable amounting to $2,500,000. He had large interests in the Oregon Iron and Steel Co., O. R. and N. Co., and other enterprises of which Oregon is proud. His family is W. M. Ladd, a member of the bank firm; Chas. Elliott Ladd, Mrs. Henry J. Corbett, and Mrs. Charles Pratt of Brooklyn, N. Y. Mr. Ladd endowed the chair of practical theology in the Presbyterian Theological seminary in San Francisco with $50,000. The Library Association of Portland, was also founded and fostered by his benevolent hand.
Jan. 7, 1893, Seattle Post-Intelligencer p1 [Excerpt]
W. S. LADD DEAD — Undoubtedly the Richest Man in The Pacific Northwest — PORTLAND’S PIONEER BANKER
PORTLAND, Jan. 6.—William S. Ladd, the pioneer banker of this city, died here today. His death was due to heart failure….
He was identified with the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, having a great plant at Oswego, and was at one time a controlling stockholder in the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company….
His wife and five children survive him. His eldest son, William M. Ladd, is a partner in the bank. He has his father’s tastes, and will look after the vast estate as carefully as George Gould preserves his father’s fortune. The second son, Charles F. Ladd, is at the head of the great Ladd flouring business. The third son, Wesley, is barely of age. The eldest daughter is the wife of Henry J. Corbett, son of ex-Senator Corbett. The second daughter is the wife of Charles Pratt, of Brooklyn, the Standard Oil magnate.
Jan 8, 1893, Los Angeles Herald
MINES AND MINING — THE LOWER CALIFORNIA TEPUSTETE IRON MINES — A Railroad and Wharf to Be Built for Their Development—Notes from Perris—A Peninsula Copper Mine Found
Gen. W. E. Webb of the Tepustete Iron company stated yesterday, says the San Diego Union, that the contract had been let for the construction of a wharf and bunkers at San Isidro to Contractor Campbell of Oregon, who has his own steamers and lumber supply in the north, and can therefore complete the work in a very short time. The wharf will be 1600 feet long, with bunkers of 2000 tons capacity at the shore and for storing iron ore. A railroad 1 ¼ miles in length will run to the end of the wharf, where vessels of 3000 tons capacity may safely lie at low tide, there being 38 feet of water. Mr. Campbell will cut piles and necessary lumber in his Oregon mills and send them down at once. After the completion of the wharf, quarters will be built to accommodate 150 men.
Iron will be ready to load on the vessels within 90 days, and 700 tons per day will be mined. The first consignment will be sent to the foundries of the Oregon Iron and Steel company at Portland, which has contracted to take 50,000 tons.
Jan. 11, 1893, Oregonian p10
William Terrant’s Damage Suit.
The trial of William Terrant’s damage suit against the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, which was recently transferred from the circuit court for the fifth judicial district to that of Multnomah county, was begun before Judge Shattuck yesterday morning. Terrant owns a tract of land in Clackamus county, adjoining an iron mine at Oswego, owned and operated by the defendant. There is a natural deposit of iron on his property, and he claims that between April 1, 1891, and February 1, 1892, the defendant removed from his land 4635 tons of iron ore, valued at $2 per ton, and of the total value at $9270. This ore, so the complaint alleges, was transported to Oswego and reduced to 1545 tons of pig-iron. The market value of this article as $30 per ton, making $36,560. As a second cause of action the complaint alleged that the defendant had tunneled into his land and left it in such a condition that it is liable to fall at any moment, and damaging it to the extent of $2500, making the total amount asked for $39,050.
The defense virtually admits that the ore had been taken, but denied that the value of it in its natural state exceeded 25 cents a ton. It is claimed that the cost of reducing the ore to pig-iron is $50 per ton, and that the market value of pig-iron is $21 per ton; also that the company had a contract with J. H. Pomeroy to furnish the ore, and if he took it from other than their property they could not be held responsible; and that for eight years a boundary line had been recognized by the plaintiff and defendant; and that a recent survey gave Terrant 60 feet of what was though to be the company’s land, and from which the ore had been removed.
Some time was consumed in impaneling a jury. Mr. Ditwiler, who made the survey for Terrant, was the first witness. He testified regarding the value of the ore and the amount removed. Asked if he was a mining expert, he replied in the negative, and said he based his calculation on the number of cubic feet of land left vacant by the removal of the ore. Several other witnesses were called, but their testimony was not important. The case will be resumed this morning.
Jan 12, 1893, The Dalles Daily Chronicle
Wm. Tarrant of Astoria, has sued the Oswego iron company for $40,000. William claims that the company have digged down into the bowels of the earth and tapped an iron mine which he assumes is his. He undoubtedly owns the surface, which is not considered very rich soil, but if he wins his suit will make a good sale of the ranch after all.
Jan. 13, 1893, Oregonian p10
DONE IN THE COURTS — TERRANT WINS HIS DAMAGE SUIT — But the Jury Awards Him Only About A Fortieth of the Total Amount Sued For.
After an hour’s deliberation, yesterday afternoon, the jury, in the suit of William Terrant vs. the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, awarded the plaintiff damages in the sum of $1057. He sued to recover $30,050. Judge Shattuck instructed the jury to find for the plaintiff, and three hours’ seclusion was spent in determining the amount of damage.
The case occupied Judge Shattuck’s court three days. It was shown by the testimony that Terrant owns a tract of land adjoining an iron mine at Oswego, owned and operated by the defendant, and that the latter removed from this land iron ore, which was manufactured into $36,560 worth of pig-iron; also that the excavation for the ore damages plaintiff’s land to the extent of $2500. The defense admitted that the ore had been taken as alleged, but claimed that its value was much less than represented by plaintiff and that it had been removed under contract by one J. H. Pomeroy, for whose actions the defendant should not be held responsible. The land from which the ore was tunneled had been given to Terrant by a recent survey, prior to the making of which it had been owned by defendant.
It was an interesting case from start till finish.
Jan. 13, 1893, Oregon City Enterprise
Stafford Items. The Stafford duplex Literary society meets next Friday at 7 o’clock p.m. A lively debate is expected, the question being, “Resolved, that iron and steel are of more use to the human race than gold and silver.”
Feb. 26, 1893, Daily Morning Astorian p4
On Monday, says the Oregon City Enterprise, Mr. Tarrant, of Portland, but who owns 200 acres of land adjoining Oswego, was in the city interviewing the court desiring to have his assessment reduced. His 200 acres was assessed at $18,000, or $90 per acre. As he recently sued the Oregon Iron and Steel company for $20,000 damages for encroaching upon his property a few feet with a mine, this would not seem an unreasonable assessment. If a drift from a mine run in a few feet damages land $20,000, the whole 200 acres, which is held as mineral land, ought to be worth $18,000. What will Mr. Tarrant take for his 200 acres might be a proper question for the court to ask.
March 10, 1893, Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, NE.) p7
Portland’s Water Works
The city council of Portland has let contracts for the construction of a steel pipe line to carry water from Bull Run to Portland, a distance of thirty miles.
The contract for supplying 11,442,000 pounds of steel plates was let to the Risdon Iron works of San Francisco for $340,971.60. The contract for cast iron pipes was awarded to the Oregon Iron and Steel company for $32 per ton. The construction of headworks and bridges and manufacturing and laying of steel pipe were let to local bidders, the whole amounting to $1,000,000. Contracts for two large reservoirs will be let shortly.
March 12, 1893, Los Angeles Herald
The Tepustete Iron Mines
The news that large operations will soon begin in the development of the Tepustete iron mines at San Isidor, on the peninsula, is confirmed by the Oswego, Ore., Iron Worker of February 18, which says:
“Superintendent J. F. Watson returned last week from Mexico, where he was in the interests of the Oregon Iron and Steel company. Now that everything relative to the Tepustete mine has been settled the company will at once proceed to build a wharf, railway, bunkers, etc., at the mine in Lower California. While south, Superintendent Watson inspected several iron furnaces owned by an Englishman, which are using the same kind of or found in the Tepustete mine, and carefully examined the product. He says it is the finest he ever saw, and nothing outside the Norway can equal it. The pigs are cast with notches in them in order to facilitate breaking them, for so tough is the iron that it is impossible to break an ordinary pig with a sledge hammer. The owner of these furnaces has a contract for supplying the City of Mexico at $140 per ton. The pigs are cast direct from the furnace, which saves the cost of smelting the iron. This could not be done if the iron were not of great purity and excellent quality.”
March 31, 1893, Oregon City Enterprise p2
OSWEGO DOINGS: Items of Interest from the Iron City—New Pit Building
Oswego, March 28.—The new ore from British Columbia is expected soon. Mr. Graves has gone to the mines for a short stay to help in superintending the work.
Work on the new pit has begun at the foundry. It will make the bull run water pipe.
May 11, 1893, Oregonian p4
This week the furnace of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, at Oswego, will start up for a long, steady run. The foundry is rushed with orders, not including the Bull Run order. Three large structures—the $1800 M. E. church, the [illegible] schoolhouse and the Kellogg block—are about to be erected in Oswego, and quite a number contemplate the construction of residence buildings.
June 3, 1893, Evening Capital Journal (Salem)
San Diego, Cal., June 3.—Leo A. Scowden has succeeded in obtaining the approval by the Mexican congress of the concession for the Tepustete Iron company of Oregon, to operate Iron mines in Lower California and for the building of a railroad and wharf for the use of the company. Scowden is now on his way to Portland from the City of Mexico, where he has been endeavoring for some time to effect this object.
This is an enterprise of the Oregon Iron and Steel Co. which has the big Iron manufacturing plant at Oswego, near Portland.
July 28, 1893, Oregon City Enterprise
OSWEGO FURNACE FIRED – The Iron Worker of last week says: The furnace started up again after being shut down for some weeks. A barge arrived last week from Puget Sound loaded with lime rock. The same tug some time since brought around the barge Ludlow with nine hundred tons of iron ore from Redondo Island in the gulf of Georgia, north of Nanaimo. With iron arriving periodically from the new mines in British Columbia and a prospect of a still higher grade of ore from Lower California, it is said the prospects are good for the continuous working of the furnace and pipe works of Oswego.
Aug 21, 1893, Oregonian p4
A LOCAL OBJECT LESSON — The Menace of Free Trade, and Its Effect Upon Oregon’s Industry — Oswego Iron Worker
It will be remembered that when the returns were coming in at the last presidential election, there was considerable enthusiasm in the Oswego telegraph office among those who were supporters of Mr. Cleveland and the platform upon which he was elected. Possibly some of these enthusiastic gentlemen were iron workers, and probably none of them in their exuberance at the democratic victory supposed for a moment that hard times were coming. Yet what are the facts in the case? The iron industry of the country, fostered and built up by the protective tariff of the republican party until it has become one of the greatest industries in the Union, is totally paralyzed and prostrated, and great furnaces in the East, never before known to have closed down, are cold and silent. Why? Because of the victory of last November. The platform of the winning party proclaims the protective tariff unconstitutional, and this menace to the iron interests of the country, by the party in power, has brought about the shutting down of the furnaces throughout the land. In view of prospective changes in the tariff, none of the furnaces can afford to continue work and lay up a stock of pig iron for the future. It comes home with terrific force to the Oswego iron furnace, the only one on the Pacific coast. It has no competitors on the coast, and yet it cannot afford to continue in operation with disaster staring its owners in the face through the prospective abolishment of the protective tariff on pig iron. Within the last 20 years we have been slowly but surely slipping away from the grasp of English iron-masters, and just when the iron trade was in the height of its prosperity, comes the blighting democratic victory, throwing 500 men out of work at our very doors. This is a local object lesson of the change which was decreed by the people last November. How do the iron-workers of Oswego like it?
Sept. 1, 1893, Oregon Courier (Oregon City) p3
Business is almost at a standstill in Oswego and there are poor families which are barely able to obtain the absolute necessaries of life. There is no work for idle hands.
Dec. 3, 1893, The Herald (Los Angeles)
ABOUT HOLES IN THE GROUND.
The Lower Californian states that W. A. Evans, president of the Oswego Iron and Steel company, and W. D. Hofius and W. M. Pigott, partners in the rolling mills in Colorado, have visited the Tempustete iron mines at San Isidro, 50 miles below Ensenada, and that the work of extracting ore is to begin at once. Mr. Evans announced that the company would put up a landing stage and a gravity steel cable with automatic dumping buckets, with a capacity of handling 100 tons per day. That amount of ore will be mined, he stated by January 1st. Messrs. Hofins and Pigott have contracted with Mr. Evans’ company to take ore from Tempustete.
Dec. 20, 1893, Oregonian p6
EXPLOSION IN A MINE — Gus Bernhardt and Gust Shuholm Injured at Oswego
At 11 o’clock yesterday morning, a box of dynamite caps exploded in the iron mine at Oswego, severely injuring two of the miners. Gus Bernhardt had his right hand partly torn off, necessitating its amputation just above the wrist, and Gust Shuholm was injured by a portion of a dynamite cap striking his thigh. The men were working in the mine. Shuholm had gone to the top with the car, while Bernhardt was arranging a fuse in the caps, preparatory to blasting ore from the roof of the mine. He returned just as a spark fell from the wick of the lamp which Bernhardt carried on his head into the box of dynamite caps, as he stooped over it. Shuholm shouted to Bernhardt and started to run himself, but was struck by a piece of a cap and fell, after taking a few steps. Bernhardt also started to run, but his right hand was struck by a cap and badly mangled. Both men were brought to this city and taken to Good Samaritan hospital, where Dr. Sullivan, of Oswego, attended the. Shuholm’s injuries are not serious, and Bernhardt, while the flesh is torn from different parts of his body, sustained no serious injury other than to his right hand. He is a German, about 38 years of age and unmarried. He has been employed in the mine at Oswego about three years. Shuholm is 22 years old. He has been at Oswego only a few weeks. Prior to that he worked in Portland as a plasterer, since coming from Sweden two years ago.
Feb. 2, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
It is stated that the Oswego iron works are about to shut down for an indefinite period on account of the dullness of the times which has stopped all demand for iron. This will be a severe blow to Oswego, which to a large degree, depends upon the mines and furnace for occupation.
Feb. 5, 1894, Oregonian p8
COLD FURNACE AT OSWEGO — Its Rekindling is Somewhat Dependent on the Wilson Bill.
The Oregon Iron & Steel Company having the contract for casting and laying the pipes of the Bull Run line from the reservoir at Mount Tabor to the high service reservoir in the City Park, with the exception of the submerged pipe, will begin to ship 200 tons of pipe down to this city in a few days and hauling it along the line to Mount Tabor to have it in readiness for laying about March 1.
The company has blown out its furnace at Oswego, and when it will be blown in again is what a whole lot of workmen would like to know. The officials of the company are somewhat inclined to be reticent in regard to their business. Others say the furnace is closed down on account of the Wilson bill, which, if it should become a law, will admit pigiron and iron ore free, or practically so, and consequently the company can buy foreign pigiron to make pipe from cheaper than they can make the pigiron themselves. It is also claimed that a lot of pigiron has already been ordered from abroad. In opposition to these views, some who are interested say that the placing of iron ore on the free list would be a good thing from the company, as it has to go abroad for its ore, and owns a mine in British Columbia, and another in Mexico; also, that if ore could be imported free of duty from these places the furnace could be operated to better advantage than ever. It is hinted that Eastern parties are likely to lease the furnace and carry on the business of making iron on a large scale, but probably, like many other enterprises, this depends upon the fate of the Wilson bill. While this measure remains undecided no movement can be made.
Feb. 16, 1894, Oregon Courier (Oregon City)
Since the Oswego Iron & Steel company has ore beds in Mexico and British Columbia, and recently imported 400 tons of Scotch pig iron on which it paid a duty of $6.72 per ton, it is evident that the manufacture of pig from the Oswego ore is not a paying industry even with a protective duty nearly as high as the entire cost of a ton of pig iron at Birmingham, Ala.
March 9, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
Pres. Theo. B. Wilcox of the Oregon Iron and Steel Co. has gone east to arrange the lease of the furnace plant.
March 14, 1894, Oregonian p8
DOWN THE INCLINE — ACCIDENT AT THE PIPE WORKS — A Heavily-Laden Car Crashes Through and Sinks a Scow Moored at Oswego
Heavily laden with iron pipes, a car shot down the incline at the Oswego pipe works yesterday afternoon, plunged through the air 15 feet and crashed through a scow at its moorings. The scow, which was loaded with pipes weighing 80 tons, sank within two minutes, and now lies, with its cargo in 20 feet of water.
The incline at the pipe works is a rather long one, and leads from the works to a platform near the river’s brink. The pipe for the Bull Run pipe line, when manufactured, is placed on a car at the works and let slowly down to the platform by means of a cable wound around a “drum.” At the platform it is unloaded and transferred to barges moored 15 feet distant from and about 10 feet below the platform.
The car which started down the incline yesterday afternoon bore two sections of pipe, each weighing five tons. When it had got fairly started, the men at the “drum” were unable to control it by means of the cable, and it thundered down the track on the incline with terrific speed. So rapid was its transit the men declare that the track smoked and was so heated that the hand of one of the men who ventured to touch it was burned. Striking the platform, the car bounded into the air, plunged forward, landed on the scow and crashed through the timbers. There were several men on the scow who, thinking that the car would clear the deck, remained aboard. When it landed on the scow, they grasped the hawsers and endeavored to pull the scow in shallow water. They succeeded in moving it about five feet, when it began to sink rapidly, and they were compelled to flee for safety. The scow sank about 1 ½ minutes after the car struck it.
Mr. W. S. Chapman, who is connected with the pipe works, was at once notified, and went to Oswego and inspected the scow. He found that it lay in 20 feet of water and was considerably damaged. The pipe was not injured. Divers will be employed to raise the scow. Mr. Chapman does not think that the damage, with divers’ expenses, will exceed $500.
March 23, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
The vacant houses in our neighborhood have all been taken by parties from Oswego. Since the works closed down there, many families are looking for homes in the country.
March 23, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
It is reported that the Oswego Iron plant has been leased to the Colorado company and that soon the furnace will be fired.
April 11, 1894, Oregonian p5
CITY NEWS IN BRIEF
A BIG WOOD CONTRACT.—The contract for supplying wood and charcoal to the Oregon iron and steel works, under the new management, had been awarded to Mr. P. L. Pollock of Oswego, who held a similar contract under the old management. He is to supply 4500 cords of wood per month at the works, the same to be cut on the lands of the company. To cut and convey this amount of wood monthly will furnish employment for probably over 200 men, and a large number of teams. The company owns 15,000 acres of land on which there is a vast quantity of wood, enough to keep the furnaces going for many years. Some of the wood will be delivered at the works by rail, but the greater part will be rafted down the Tualatin river, through the canal into Sucker lake and by a flume direct to platforms among the charcoal kilns, where most of the wood will be made into charcoal. The fact that only charcoal is used in smelting at the works of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, to some extent accounts for the superior quality of the iron produced there.
April 27, 1894, Oregon Courier (Oregon City)
About two weeks hence, 500 men will be at work in and about Oswego for the lessees of the iron company’s works. Meanwhile, the furnace will be relined with firebrick. About the middle of June, a cargo of ore will arrive from the mines in northern Mexico.
May 11, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
J. F. Watson of the O. I. & S. Co. of Oswego, was up from the iron town on Monday paying $6,386 into the county treasury for taxes. He says that there is nothing doing at the works as the lessees are waiting for times to pick up and to see what will be done with the tariff.
The water commissioners have just closed the contract for a lot of new cast iron pipe with the O. I. & S. Co., to be used in extending and improving the water system. The price paid is $28.25 per ton which is seven dollars less than the city of Portland pays for that used in their line. There will be about half a mile of eight-inch pipe which will be used in laying the main from the pump, and three-quarters of a mile of six-inch which will be used in extending the line toward Ely. The new pump is working to the entire satisfaction of the commission, who contemplate putting in a small reservoir on the Darling addition.
May 25, 1894, Oregon Courier (Oregon City)
The Oswego iron works will not resume until about the middle of July. Until that time no wood chopping or any other labor requiring a number of hands will be done.
June 20, 1894, Oregonian
DIRECTORS.—At a meeting of the stockholders of the Oswego Iron and Steel Company yesterday morning the following directors were elected for the ensuing year: William M. Ladd, Martin Winch, C. S. Smith, Joseph Simon and J. Frank Watson. The board of directors will meet in a few days and choose officers of the company, presumably the same gentlemen now filling the various positions.
June 20, 1894, Oregonian p10
IRON WORKS TO START — PARTIAL RESUMPTION AT OSWEGO–JULY 1.–Hoped That Fires May Be Lighted in Furnace Before a Great While.
As evidence of the approach of better times in Oregon, it is announced that the Oregon iron and steel works will soon resume operations, and a partial resumption of work at Oswego will be inaugurated within a few days. The company has an extensive plant at Oswego, which has lain idle for months past, from the simple fact that it became involved in the general depression, and there was nothing left for it to do. Of late the company has been in receipt of a sufficient number of orders to justify at least a partial resumption of work, and on July 1 the foundry will be started on the manufacture of piping and castings, which will furnish employment to at least 50 men. Should business continue in its present trend, it will be only a short time before the furnaces will also be started up, which means the employment of fully 200 more men necessary to carry on the work. Not only have orders been received from Portland to furnish piping, but other localities, under the inspiration of better times, have also placed contracts with the company, that ensure a profitable run.
The Oregon iron and steel works owns a valuable iron mine in Lower California 100 miles south of San Diego, and whenever business warrants, a full supply of ore can be furnished from that source. The ore from this mine carries fully 66 per cent of iron and silica, which is unusually high grade, and under transportation arrangements made it can be delivered direct to the wharf of the company at Oswego by steamer. If there is a business recuperation sufficient to have the furnaces at the plant “blown in,” it will require at least 5000 tons of ore per month from California mine to carry on operations, and present indications are that the revival of business will make such demands. The company is well equipped to fill any kind of an order in its line, and its product is superior to the work turned out at Birmingham, Ala., which of late years, has had a monopoly of the business.
The Oregon iron and steel works is really a Portland institution, and its effort to hold a place in the producing world should meet with the hearty co-operation of every one identified with the progress and success of home institutions.
[In spite of this hopeful report, there is no evidence that smelting in the furnace ever resumed.]
June 22, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
DIRECTORS.—At a meeting of the stockholders of the Oswego Iron and Steel Company Tuesday morning the following directors were elected for the ensuing year: William M. Ladd, Martin Winch, C. S. Smith, Joseph Simon and J. Frank Watson. The board of directors will meet in a few days and choose officers of the company, presumably the same gentlemen now filling the various positions.
Aug. 18, 1894, Oregonian p8
NEW TARIFF’S EFFECT — BUSINESS MEN AND DEALERS ON THE SITUATION. — Difficult to Say Just Where the Country Stands—Certain Industries Hurt
With a view of ascertaining the probable effect of the new tariff bill, now awaiting the president’s signature and destined to become law, upon the business of Portland and the Northwest, the opinions of business men interested in various special branches of industry were yesterday sought by The Oregonian….
LITTLE EFFECT ON IRON — So Thinks Mr. Lotan—Mr. Watson’s Opposite Opinion
James Lotan, of the Willamette iron works, did not think that the bill awaiting the presidential signature affects the iron business on this coast to any important extent. “Our manufactured iron comes from Alabama,” he explained, “where it is made as cheaply as it could be imported under the proposed tariff law. The Alabama manufacturers lay bar and pig iron down here for about $15 per ton, and we could not secure the imported article any cheaper than that. As for iron ores, I believe they are now delivered to the American furnaces as cheaply as they could be shipped from Europe. The tariff bill in its present shape is far inferior to the McKinley law in all that tends to promote American prosperity, but it is as good a measure as we could expect under existing circumstances. It would not be so good as it is if the personal interests of the administration and the upper house of congress had not clashed—if the president were not mixed up with coal and the senate with sugar.”
Mr. J. Frank Watson, manager and superintendent of the Oswego iron works, is not entirely pleased with the new tariff bills. He says:
“It will reduce the tariff on pig iron $2.72 per ton, and that is sufficient to prevent any further manufacture of the article on this coast. Under the law just passed, the same quality of pig iron can be shipped from foreign ports at prices that Oregon cannot compete with. Under the McKinley act, first-grade pig iron was imported and sold here at $20 per ton, and the further reduction of $2.72 will close down our furnaces.
“So far as the reduction of duty on iron ore is concerned, it amounts to about 35 cents on the gross ton, and will not cut much of a figure. It will make a difference, perhaps, of about 60 cents per ton on such ores as we can afford to import from our mines in Mexico, but this will leave us really $3.50 behind on the manufactured article.
“What is more important at the present time, far more than the new tariff, is the cut-throat policy of the railroads. As it now stands the Alabama factories can afford to send their products to Oregon, under existing rates, at figures that completely shut out competition, so far as local manufacturers are concerned. The railroads have done more to throttle Oregon industries than all else combined. They have made a rate on manufactured goods which is to us the same as if levied on raw material. At the best, the pig iron market is small with us, and yet Birmingham is allowed to dump goods, under prevailing rates, at prices we cannot meet. What applies to the manufacture of pipes is of equal effect in other branches, and the outlook for the continuation of work in our lives is not at all favorable.
Aug. 19, 1894, Oregonian p5
Cause and Effect. Oswego Iron-Worker.
In the tariff bill passed this week there is a 46.67 reduction on iron ore from the McKinley law, and 40.47 iron in pigs reduction. It is thought by some of Oswego that as the furnace does not run any way, it makes no material difference to this iron town what reduction in the tariff has been made. President Ladd, of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, recently informed the writer that it was the fear of what had just been accomplished by congress that has shut down the Oswego furnace and placed obstacles in the way of its being leased.
Aug. 23, 1894, The Argus (Hillsboro) p3
REMOVE THE DAM
Two years ago the Oswego Iron and Steel Company, constructed a dam 4 ½ feet high, across the Tualatin river at a point known at “Moor’s mill,” and a year later they raised 95 feet of the center of this dam to eight feet high, adding 135 feet of wings ten feet high and 175 feet 12 feet high. Little or no inconvenience was felt until the early fall rains, when the river rose and flooded the bottoms much earlier than common. The gap for letting out the water was so narrow that the water was much longer than usual in going down and every hard rain thereafter during the winter, would bring the river out of its banks. Hundreds of bushels of onions raised on the bottom lands were lost in consequence, and when spring opened, many of the people owning bottom lands were prevented from planting until the season had passed, on account of the continued high water. After much discussion, Judge Humphrey called a meeting for Tuesday, Aug. 21, at which the following proceedings were had:
Judge R. Crandall was elected chairman and R. H. Mitchell secretary. After an extensive discussion of damages, by Messrs Humphrey, Rowell, Gault and Wilkes, took a recess until 1 o’clock. At the time stated, the meeting was called to order and the following motion was agreed upon; motion made that a committee of five be appointed to solicit subscriptions to remove the obstruction from the Tualatin river and lowering or removing the dam to 4 ½ feet. Said committee to report at an adjourned meeting three weeks from to-day. The following were appointed on the committee: T. D. Humphrey, A. J. Hess, L. A. Rood and L. Galbreath. Moved that when the meeting adjourns it adjourns to 11 a.m. Saturday, September 15. Committee was instructed to see the managers of the Iron and Steel works at Oswego, and inform them as to the intentions of the meeting and to receive any proposition that they may make. Owing to the busy season, there was not as large a turn out as was hoped, but from the interest manifested by those present, we opine that the dam will have to be removed altogether unless a compromise is effected before litigation is commenced.
Sept. 7, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise p8
The Tualatin River Dam.
The farmers of Washington county residing along the Tualatin river are up in arms against the Oregon Iron & Steel Co., over the dam across the Tualatin river four miles above this place and have held a meeting to take steps to have the dam removed. Some years ago the Oregon Iron & Steel Co. obtained contracts from property owners along the river permitting that corporation to put in a 4 ½ foot dam in the lower course of the river, so that a part of the river might be turned through a lake and into the Willamette river at Oswego so as to raise the water in Tualatin lake to enable the company to boat wood easily to their furnace. The natural outlet of the Tualatin is into the Willamette above the falls at Oregon City. In exchange for this right of damming the river the Iron & Steel people agreed to clear the river of drifts and maintain a steamboat line for freight traffic. They put in the dam, but did not clean the river or put in the boat. Worse, they built the dam more than 4 ½ feet, so that the farmers’ drainage ditches are ruined and the value of their agricultural lands much impaired. The loss of crops last fall by backwater and the hindrance this spring to early planting is estimated at $100,000.
The first dam on the Tualatin river was built many years ago under the direction of Capt. Joseph Kellogg, one of the pioneer steamboatmen of the state, and now residing in Portland, for the purpose of giving sufficient depth of water to run a steamboat up the river. After operating it a few years the railroad was built and the boat withdrawn. The river soon filled up with drift and remained so until the Iron & Steel Co built their dam and cleared out a part of the river to drive down wood for the iron works.
Sept. 20, 1894, Oregonian p5
Mr. A. Evans of the Oswego iron works, has gone East on an extended business trip. He may visit Europe in the interest of his company before his return. Mrs. Evans will remain at the Perkins during her husband’s absence.
Sept. 21, 1894, Hillsboro Independent p3
OBSTRUCTIONS IN TUALATIN.
The adjourned meeting of the free-holders on Tualatin river bottom was held in the court house last Saturday, commencing at 10 o’clock a.m. Superintendent Watson, of the Steel and Iron Co., was also present. He exhibited plans of the work proposed by his company, looking to the lowering of the dam. The plans were discussed at length and while the results will not be equal to an unobstructed river, they were so favorably considered that the meeting unanimously adopted this resolution on the motion of Judge Thos. D. Humphreys, seconded by Loui Rood.
RESOLVED, That it is the expression of this meeting that, although any obstruction in the Tualatin river by erecting a dam at or near the present dam built by the Oregon Iron and Steel Company is a damage to the farmers of said river, we would make no objection to the proposition, and plan exhibited, offered by Mr. Watson, the general superintendent of said company, to wit: That the present dam shall be lowered to a level 2 feet below the present crest in the center for a distance of 175 feet, and may extend on south side one foot higher for a distance of 24 ½, and then one foot higher for a distance of six feet and one foot higher for seven feet, and to be permitted to raise the water in the river by means of slush boards 205 feet in length and of width not to exceed 3 feet from the 15th of June to the 15th of September, but no later unless necessary to keep the water in the river at the present stage.
No further business presenting, the meeting adjourned till Saturday, September 14, 1895, one year hence.
Oct. 13, 1894, Oregonian p8
SUIT FOR BIG MONEY — RESULT OF DAMAGE DONE BY OREGON IRON & STEEL CO.’S DAM — Three Farmers Ask for $22,500—
Three suits, aggregating $22,500, were filed in the state circuit court yesterday against the Oregon Iron & Steel Company by Attorneys Idleman, Johnson and Moody, representing Andrew Bracisco, Pietro Bagolan and David Reghitto, all of whom allege to have been damaged by a dam built across the Tualatin river by the defendant some years ago. The plaintiffs in these suits have been lessees of small tracts of land in Washington county along the Tualatin, Bagolan having 5 ¼ acres under cultivation, and each of the other 19 ½ acres. They allege that the defendant came in about six years ago and erected a dam 12 feet in height, in the river, causing an overflow which not only destroyed growing crops, but prevented the planting of new ones. Plaintiff Bracisco estimates that he was damaged to the extent of $3000, Bagolan’s estimated loss is $7500. And Reghitto places his losses at $12,000. In the itemized account furnished by the last-named plaintiff, the damage by loss of eight acres of onions, ready for harvest, is estimated at $8,000.
The dam in question was built by the Oregon Iron & Steel Company for the purpose of gaining a water supply for the foundry at Oswego. The water supply for the foundry originally came from “Sucker” lake, but as that body of water had no streams to feed it, it gradually dried up. To renew the supply the company constructed the dam in the Tualatin, and cut a canal from the dam to “Sucker” lake.
Oct. 16, 1894, Oregonian p2
A TUALATIN FARMER — He is Suing the Oregon Iron & Steel Company for Damages.
OREGON CITY, Oct. 15.—Fredric Fredrici, a Tualatin farmer, today began suit against the Oregon Iron & Steel Company for damages amounting to $9450, alleged to have been sustained by reason of the dam built about six years ago by defendant to turn a large portion of the water of the Tualatin river into Sucker lake. That water has been used to float wood to the Oswego iron works, and it has served as quite an important adjunct of that establishment. Mr. Fredrici claims that the dam caused backwater to overflow his land, destroying crops, making the soil untillable at certain seasons and rendering the locality unhealthy.
Oct. 19, 1894, Oregon Courier (Oregon City) p3
A DAM SUIT.—Three suits, aggregating $22,500, have been filed in the state circuit court against the Oregon Iron & Steel Company by attorneys Idelman, Johnson and Moody, representing Andrew Bracisco, Pietro Bagolan and David Reghitto, all of whom allege to have been damaged by a dam built across the Tualatin river by the defendant some years ago, causing an overflow which not only destroyed growing crops, but prevented the planting of new ones. Plaintiff Bracisco estimates that he was damaged to the extent of $3000; Bagolan’s estimated loss is $7500, and Reghitto places his losses at $12,000. In the itemized account furnished by the last-named plaintiff, the damage by loss of eight acres of onions, ready for harvest, is estimated at $8000. The dam in question was built by the company for the purpose of gaining a water supply for the foundry at Oswego. The water supply for the foundry originally came from “Sucker” lake, but as that body of water had no streams to feed it, it gradually dried up. Frederick Fredrici, another Tualatin farmer, has also begun suit in the circuit court here against the company for $9450.
Oct. 19, 1894, Oregon City Enterprise
Oswego News. Oswego, Oct. 16,–The Bull run water pipe order will be filled in about two weeks. The foundry will probably close for the winter.
C. Webb will move his family to Ogden, Utah, where he and Captain Evans have an interest in the iron works.
From Another Correspondent. Oswego, Oct. 17.—C. Webb has returned from Utah. He will remove with his family to Ogden the latter part of the week. Mr. Webb left Captain Evans at Ogden. The captain has contracted to build a blast furnace and pipe foundry at Ogden. Mr. Webb has the contract for furnishing the charcoal for the furnace.
Jas. Hedrick met with a painful accident in the pipe foundry Wednesday morning. He was turning the crank on one of the small cranes when by some means his hold slipped and the crank struck him on the arm, bruising it very badly. Fortunately no bones were broken.
Nov. 23, 1894, Oregon Courier (Oregon City)
Capt. A. Evans, jr., formerly superintendent of the Oswego iron works, who left for Ogden several weeks ago, has established a blast furnace, pipe foundry and machine shops in that city. Mrs. Evans, who has been staying in Portland since her husband’s departure, left this week for Ogden to join him there. The new company which Captain Evans has organized is known as the Utah Furnace & Manufacturing Company.
Nov. 27, 1894, Oregonian p8
What Were His Onions Worth?
An effort to ascertain the value of a crop of onions was commenced yesterday in Judge Hurley’s court. David Reghitto has a suit pending against the Oswego Iron & Steel Company for $12,000 damages for injury to a piece of ground of eight acres, by reason of the overflow of a dam. Reghitto, among other things, sets out in his complaint that he was at a loss of $8000 for a crop of onions he had planted, including labor and seed. Counsel for the Oswego Iron & Steel Company filed a motion yesterday asking that Reghitto be required to be more definite, and to state in his complaint what amount of onions there was in said land and the exact cost of labor and seed. The court ruled that this be done.
Dec. 1, 1894, Oregonian p3
In the case of Sharon vs. the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, a motion for a non-suit was overruled. This is the case brought to obtain the removal of the dam in the Tualatin river.
Feb. 9, 1895, Salt Lake Herald p7
[When the Oswego Furnace shut down, the company’s superintendent, Abner Evans, accepted a new position in Utah and took with him the company’s chemist, engineer, and bookkeeper.]
The following letter from Captain Evans to a member of the Furnace company, indicates that the captain is not neglecting his business:
Yours of Jan. 29 just received. I have been very busy since my arrival in the city in placing orders for the furnace foundry and other departments of our plant. I have the ground pretty well covered now and expect to commence shipments by the latter part of this week, providing the freight men give the rates that I demand. I have a fairly good idea of what rates I can obtain and shall not load a ton of material until I receive what I believe to be the very best rate they will offer. The furnace I have purchased is a dandy, and a better plant than I originally intended to erect. I have not decided, at this time, which of the two rolling mills that are offered me I will take, but you can rest assured that what I do ship will fill the bill of our requirements there. Everything is going smoothly and if the weather will admit in Utah, I expect to be making pipe not later than July, and probably during the latter part of June this year. I have engaged Mr. William M. Given, now at the Buena Vista mines, Virginia, to take charge of my mining interests there; Mr. Thomas Neilson, my old chemist in Oregon; Mr. Thomas McMillan, my old chief engineer, and Mr. George Pettinger, late chief bookkeeper of the Oregon Iron and Steel company, all to fill like positions in Utah and to be on hand as near March 1 as possible. I hope to be with you not later than the 20th of this month, and it may be a few days earlier; all depends on my ability to hurry up freight agents and machinery manufacturers to the finishing of their work. Very truly yours. A. EVANS JR.
June 28, 1895, Oregon City Enterprise p2
The much talked of starting up of the pipe foundry has materialized. A force of men went to work Monday morning making preparations. Pipe will be made in a few days. It is hoped that the furnace will soon follow suit.
July 7, 1895, Oregonian p5
IRON WORKS START UP — Partial Resumption at Oswego, With Employment for Fifty.
Oswego is highly elated over the partial resumption of work in the iron works in that village. The pipe foundry started up with the opening of the present month. A fair line of orders has been received—enough to keep the foundry in operation for some time to come, and there is promise of enough work to keep the present force of workmen engaged for months. At the present time about 50 men are employed, but should the revival of business continue and prices advance, there will be work for several hundred more. The recent advance in the price of pig iron is gratifying to local manufacturers, the price per ton now being nearly $3 over quotations ruling but a few weeks ago. Even with this rise in value, Oregon manufactures are still as a disadvantage. Owing to cheap labor and easy mining, pig iron can still be shipped from Alabama to Portland cheaper than the cost of production here. Should the advance continue until a further increase of [35?] per ton is noted, then the works at Oswego can hum. The furnaces will be blown and fully 400 men given employment at wages far in excess of the labor employed in the Birmingham and other iron camps of Alabama.
The iron and steel market in the East is exceedingly active, with a strong tendency to higher prices, and, while there is no present indication of an advance sufficient to meet the requirements of local profit, the higher prices have stimulated the hopes of many that a figure may be reached to justify their expectation.
Labor of the kind required in the iron works here is secured in Eastern manufacturing centers at a far less cost, and this is the main reason why Birmingham today can send pig iron to Portland at a price which compels the furnaces at Oswego to lie dormant.
Nov. 9, 1895, The Record-Union (Sacramento, CA.)
SIMEON G. REED — A Well-Known Oregon Millionaire Dies at Pasadena, Cal.
PASADENA, Nov. 8.—Simeon G. Reed, the well-known Oregon millionaire, died at his residence in this city yesterday afternoon from the effects of a stoke of paralysis. Mr. Reed had been in poor health for some time, but it was not until Saturday that his illness took a serious turn.
He was a native of East Abington, Mass., going to Oregon in 1852. By rare business acumen, earnest purpose and inflexible honesty, he amassed a fortune estimated at several millions. At the time of his retirement four years ago, Mr. Reed was Vice-President of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, Oregon Steel and Iron Company and the Conover Creek Mining and Milling Company, besides controlling other vast interests throughout the state. His ranch holding near Pasadena is among the largest and best stocked in California. His wife (formerly Miss Amanda Wood of Quincy, Mass.), survives him.
Nov. 9, 1895, Salt Lake Herald p3
CALLED HOME — Simeon G. Reed
PASADENA, Cal., Nov. 8.—Simeon G. Reed, the well-known horseman, died, at his residence in this city yesterday. Mr. Reed has not been in good health for some years and Saturday he was stricken with paralysis, which terminated in his death today.
Mr. Reed was born in East Abington, Mass., in 1830. In 1853 he came to the Pacific coast and settled in Oregon. In 1858 he became a member of the Oregon Steam Navigation company and a year later was made its vice-president.
He organized the Oregon Iron and Steel company and held the presidency of the Conver Creek Mining and Milling company. In the development of the great Willamette Valley he was a prominent figure and was perhaps about as widely known for business enterprise as any man in the west. He came to Pasadena four years ago. He purchased also the Oneonta Stock farm, stocking it with some of the finest horse in the country. He leaves a large fortune.
Feb. 7, 1896, Oregonian p8
In Judge Shattuck’s court yesterday a suit of Peter Bagolan vs. the Oregon Iron & Steel Company was dismissed by stipulation of the parties, and that the defendant recover costs.
In Judge McGinn’s court, a suit of Andrew Brasesco vs. the Oregon Iron & Steel Company, and an action of D. Reghitto vs. the same, were dismissed in a like manner. These plaintiffs own lands at Oswego, which they claim were damaged, and their crops of onions rendered worthless by the overflow of a dam of the defendants connected with the Tualatin river, in 1893. Bagolan sued to recover $6907 50. Reghitto wanted $8000, and Brasesco a large sum. The stipulation filed does not show what caused a dismissal of the cases.
Sept. 25, 1896, Oregon City Enterprise
Is In Politics.—J. H. Pomeroy, superintendent of the Oswego iron mine, was a caller at the literature bureau of the republican state central committee in Portland last Friday. Says the Oregonian, he states that he has lived in Oswego for 20 years, and never had anything to do with politics; but this year it is a question of bread and butter, and he is going in for all it is worth. He is assisting in the organization of a McKinley and Hobart club at Oswego, which will do good work among the populists of Clackamas county. The iron works at Oswego have been shut down since the Wilson tariff went into effect, and the 500 men who were thrown out of employment at that will do all they can to elect a man who will support a tariff that will give them employment.
Dec. 19, 1896, Oregonian p5
THE TUALATIN RIVER–IT FLOWS INTO THE WILLAMETTE BUT HAS NO NAVIGABLE OUTLET–Drains a Large Area, Including One of the Richest Agricultural Districts in Oregon
The Tualatin river a tributary of the Willamette and has a commerce of its own, but there is no navigable connection between the two rivers. The rapids at the mouth of the Tualatin are impassable for steamers, and any project contemplating the improvement of the river must include the construction of a canal and locks if a navigable connection is to be made between the rivers. The commerce of the valley is computed at 6060 tons of produce annually, and a return commerce from Portland of about 3000 tons. On account of the large expenditure required to improve the river, the canal and locks being the largest item, and the small amount of commerce to be benefited, it is not likely that the general government will do anything.
The Tualatin rises in the Coast range and flowing in a southeasterly direction, empties into the Willamette 14 miles above Portland. It drains an area of about [340?] square miles, which includes the Tualatin Plains, one of the best-known agricultural districts in Oregon. The river is subject to freshets in the early spring, and the water sometimes rises [35?] feet at Hillsboro, flooding a large portion of the surrounding country.
The government examination of the river, which was made last year, began at Gaston, the junction of the river with what was formerly a shallow lake of considerable area and known as Wapato lake. Half a mile below the lake a canal 1 ½ miles long has been opened for agricultural purposes by the property-owners of the vicinity. It straightens the river and [illegible] the bed of the lake. The river flows a tortuous channel throughout its length from the canal to Hillsboro, a distance of [illegible] miles, varies in with from 20 to 60 feet. From Hillsboro to the mouth, an additional distance of about 40 miles, the width increases to 200 feet.
The channel is obstructed by snags and log jams, which were found in many places, two private dams and rapids, which extend from the second of the dams to the mouth of the river, a distance of 1 ¼ miles. The first of the dams, 11 feet in height, is located at Dilley, tow miles below the canal, and was built by a flouring company for milling purposes. The second dam, four feet in height, was built by the Oregon Iron & Steel Company. Between Hillsboro and this dam, 38 miles, the channel is nowhere less than three feet in depth at low water, and in this portion of the river three small steamers, the largest being 60 feet long and 15 feet wide with a draft of 2 feet, are operated by the [?] company, and used for towing logs, carrying freight, etc. In higher stages of water and when the river has been cleared of log jams, the steamers have extended their trips to Cornelius, eight miles above Hillsboro. Below the second dam the fall of the river at the rapids is about 30 feet to the Willamette river. The river is further obstructed by 14 bridges, which cross at various points with single spans at widths varying from 19 to 30 feet above the water.
Feb. 27, 1897, Los Angeles Herald
SANTA BARBARA — Bids for Furnishing Water Pipe
SANTA BARBARA, Feb. 26.—The common council held a special meeting today for the purpose of considering the question of water supply. The reports of the engineers indicate that the city water tunnel will yield an abundant and permanent flow. In response to the council’s call for bids to furnish pipe for the purpose of distributing water through the city, the following bids were submitted:
Dunham, Carrigan & Hayden company, 6-inch pipe, 42 cents a foot; 7-inch pipe, 57 cents a foot; 8-inch pipe, 64 cents a foot. Oregon Iron and Steel company, $28.55 a ton for pipe 4, 6 and 8 inches; .0265 a pound for special castings. Martin Pipe and Founding company, $29.90 a ton and $32.85 a ton for a superior grade. J. D. Hooker & Co., $32.50 a ton for 4-inch pipe, $32 for 6 and 8-inch. Estimates on construction accompanied each of the bids. The different propositions were referred to the following committee appointed by the mayor: Councilmen W. S. Day and N. D. Smith.
Oct. 24, 1897, The Herald (Los Angeles) p10
SANTA BARBARA, Oct. 23.—(Regular Correspondence.) The city council met today for the purpose of receiving the report of the special committee appointed yesterday to examine the bids submitted for material in connection with the construction of a municipal water supply. Contracts were awarded as follows: Wrought iron pipe, Dunham, Carrigan, Hayden & Co.; cast iron piping, Oregon Iron and Steel Pipe company; gates, valves and jointings, Roeder & Ott; construction of unfinished portions of the city reservoir, A. F. Pendola. The two first named bidders are San Francisco firms while the two latter are Santa Barbara business men.
Nov. 12, 1897, Oregon City Courier p1
August Krause Saturday filed a suit against the Oregon Iron & Steel Co. He alleges that he has a farm of bottom land on Rock creek, a small stream that flows into the Tualatin, and that since the defendant built a dam across the latter stream, in 1888, Rock creek has failed to drain his land as formerly, which has caused him damage to the amount of $1000, which he seeks to recover, and he also wants an injunction to prevent the defendant from maintaining the dam.
March 11, 1898, Salt Lake Herald p5
PERMISSION TO FILE — Action Involving the Lands of the Northern Pacific
Milwaukee, Wis., March 10.—Judge Jenkins signed an order today giving the Oregon Iron and Steel company permission to file objections to the alleged preferred claims of the Northern Pacific Railroad company and S. H. Salomon on all of the lands of the railroad company east of the Missouri river.
The petition sets forth that the lands described and claimed to be subject to the preferred claims of the Northern Pacific Railroad company and S. H. Salomon, constitute practically all of the assets for the payment of the debts, so that if the preferred claims of the company, amounting to about $100,000,000, and of S. H. Salomon, the holder of 400 shares of preferred stock were allowed, there would be no money to pay the general creditors.
It was discovered that the claims of M. S. Paton and other Seattle bondholders of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad company had been quietly bought up by the Northern Pacific Railroad company that caused the filing of the petition today.
The petition says that it relied upon the presentation of the objections of M. S. Paton, to the preferred claims, to strengthen its own claim, and when it learned that these claims would probably not be allowed, to the irreparable loss of the general unsecured creditors, it asks for time in which to make investigations and to file objections, virtually in behalf of all the unsecured creditors.
April 24, 1898, Wichita Daily Eagle p7
Important Railroad Decision
Milwaukee, Wis., April 23.—The Oregon Iron and Steel company will not be allowed to contest the claims of the Northern Pacific Railway company and Sydney H. Solomon that the preferred stock constitutes a first lien upon all of the lands east of the Missouri river. Judge Jenkins has decided to allow the master in chancery to proceed with his report, being satisfied that the case was fairly presented before the Northern Pacific bought the claim of Messrs. Paton, Armour and others.
June 18, 1898, Saint Paul Globe p8
To Clear Up an Old Claim
Milwaukee, Wis., June 17.—Negotiations are pending between the Northern Pacific Railway company and the Oregon Iron & Steel company for the purchase of the latter’s claim against the old Northern Pacific company. If the deal is consummated it will remove the last vestige of opposition to the company in the fight to secure priority for the preferred stock of the old corporation as a first lien upon the lands east of the Missouri river to the exclusion of the general creditors. The claim of the Oregon Iron & Steel company in full amounts to about $85,000.
April 5, 1899, Oregonian p9
The trial of William Hall, on a charge of larceny of five bronze tuyeres from the Oregon Iron and Steel works, will take place today in the criminal court.
Grand Jury Report. Not true bills were reported in the following cases:
J. S. Cheatem, larceny from the Oregon Iron and Steel Company
J. K. Worthington, larceny from the Oregon Iron & Steel Company.