Business Dull at Gypsum Mills

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 15, 1904

Business Dull at Gypsum Mills

Four Out of Nine Shut Down – Others Running on Half Time.

Stagnation Reigns Supreme

Prospects for Fall Business Nevertheless Good – All Depends on the Crops – Closing Down Imposes No Hardships upon Employes (sic).

Stagnation reigns supreme at the gypsum mills. There are only four out of the nine mills running, and two of these are only operating part of the time. The United States Gypsum company is running out, but two of its six are working men on half time.

Little Building the Cause.

The present desuetude can be attributed to but one cause. As soon as building ceases there is absolutely no demand for stucco. This has been the worst season experienced for many years, but the same trouble occurred during the hard times of several years ago when practically none of the mills were running.

Outlook Not Bad.

Despite the present stagnation the outlook for business next year and this fall is not discouraging.

“If the crop prespocts (sic – should be prospects), which we now have, hold out, business will soon commence to pick up,” said a local manager. “One thing is apparent; the stucco business is now at its lowest possible ebb. Hence the present volume of business cannot be reduced. There is as little business now being done as people can possibly get along with.”

Closing Not Severe on Men.

The shutting down of the mills has not been a great hardship on the men employed. Most of the men have either found work at the nearby coal mines or on the neighboring farms where hands are now in great demand.

Fort Dodge has not suffered as much from the slack gypsum business as many other places where mills are located. The United States company have several places been compelled to shut down its mills entirely.


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