Archive for the ‘Gypsum mining’ Category


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.


Plymouth Gypsum Company Organized

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 2, 1903

Plymouth Gypsum Company Organized

New $200,000 Corporation Will Build Large Mill and Enter the Market for Business.

Capacity 400 Tons 24 Hours.

L.E. Armstrong, J.T. Cheney, and M.D. O’Connell Are Incorporators of New Company Which Will Be Ready for Business February 1.

Every important step is completed in the organization of a new gypsum mill company in Fort Dodge.

The Plymouth Gypsum company is the title of the new company and it is due to the business sagacity and untiring zeal of L.E. Armstrong, founder of the Plymouth Clothing House of Fort Dodge that this important new industry is a substantial fact. Mr. Armstrong has been studying and planning for two years to do this, and  as a result of this mature though his associates in the new company feel encouraged to believe that they will meet with success.

Mr. Armstrong will be the president of the Plymouth Gypsum company and John T. Cheney treasurer.  The capital required is already subscribed. Teh capital stock of the corporation will be $200,000 ($4,789,896 today), divided into 2,000 shares of $100 ($2,395) each. The organization was completed on a basis of $50 a share ($1,197), so there is $100,000 ($2,394,948) capital fully paid in.

Mention of this new company was made in The Messenger early in the spring, when Mr. Armstrong secured the 30-acre tract of land immediately south of Oleson Park, adjoining and lying south of the Illinois Central tracks. That will be the site of the mill and careful underground examination shows that there is a splendid gypsum deposit which will be extracted by the modern mining methods. Thirty acres of the land is on the north side of the Illinois Central tracks, and forty acres on the south side.

The mill will be a four kettle plant with two dryers. The capacity will be four hundred tons per twenty-four hours. Artices (sic) of incorporation will be filed at once and operations on the mine will be begun at once. They plan to have the mill complete, and ready to fun, February 1, 1904. Mr. Armstrong will undertake the management of the business, and that means there will be plenty of energy and ability shown.

The surface value of the tract of land owned by the Plymouth Gypsum company is very valuable, being within one-half mile of the street car line and within one-quarter of a mile of the city limits.


Mine is Lighted by Electricity

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 1, 1903

Mine is Lighted by Electricity

United States Gypsum Company Inaugrates (sic) Improvement at Mineral City Mill.

Is Running Day and Night.

Both Mill and Mine are Thoroughly Lighted – Drilling is Also Done by Electricity – Improvements at Blanden Mill.

Improvements have just been completed in the Mineral City mill and mine of the United States Gypsum company, which the officials of the company in this city claim,  make it the most modern and best equipped mill in the country.

Both mill and mine have been fitted up with electric lights thruout, and the work is now carried on there day and night without intermission. The drilling is also done by electricity. These improvements have only just been completed, and the mill is now running under them.

The Blanden mill has also been greatly improved by the addition of new machinery.

One of the mills and mines of the company has been closed down and the men transferred to the Mineral City mill, but Manager Duncombe stated this morning that this was merely temporary and quite in accordance with the usual policy of the company when it was necessary to close the mill for repairs. The company had some trouble with water in the mines during the heavy rains, but this is now entirely over, and the damage done is less than was expected.


L.E. Armstrong Begins Drilling for Gypsum

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 18, 1903

L.E. Armstrong Begins Drilling for Gypsum

Is Prospecting Land With View to Determining Location of New Mill.

Drilling for gypsum has begun on the land southeast of the city, which was recently purchased by L.E. Armstrong with the intention of establishing a new gypsum mill. Mr. Armstrong has not as yet prospected about thirty acres of the land purchased by him, and the work is now being carried on with the intention of finding the thickness and location of the veins of gypsum rock.

It is expected that the result of the prospecting which is now being carried on, will be to determine the location of the mill. The drilling is being done by Tom Irvin.