History: Neillsville - Tannery (11 March 1884)

Contact:  Crystal Wendt
Email: crystal@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: O’Neill

----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 11 March 1884


Among all the varied industries for which Neillsville’s natural advantages are adapted, none is more favorable than that of the tanning business. In the surrounding country there is a good supply of oak bark, and when railroad communication is opened up next summer, there will be untold quantities of hemlock bark within easy reach and which can be delivered here much cheaper than either in Milwaukee of La Crosse. There is also considerable hemlock in the northern part of the county that might perhaps be brought to this place on sleighs. Then, again, in the country around Neillsville sufficient quantities of hides can be procured to run a small tannery. And in and near Clark County can be found a market for nearly the entire leather product.

Considering these facts, Mr. James O’Neill in behalf of the board of trade has opened a correspondence with some tanners and from one he received the following reply:


J. O’Neill: Yours in regard to location for tannery received. I want to make inquiries as to your facilities. First, have you hemlock or oak bark, and in what quanties and what is it worth per cord? Second, how far from a railroad or water transit would a tannery have to be built to be near the bark supply?

We have nearly all the bark tanned out in this section and have to use extract or imported bark from Michigan. I have laid up my tannery and shall turn the building into tanning machinery, consisting of boiler, engine, steam pump, bark mills, hide mills, &c., and all machinery and tools used in a tannery. This machinery and these figures are all for sale at a being and in good order, being no much worn, as the tannery has always been run under my **Rest Cut off***



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