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Newton County Resource 1858-1861
Posted by: Bob Banks (ID *****1886) Date: July 25, 2006 at 03:39:18
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The St. Louis firm Blow & Kennett acquired mining properties in Newton County in June, 1857, and began shipping lead to St. Louis in January, 1858. One of their biggest challenges was transporting the lead from Granby to central Missouri where it could be shipped to St. Louis on the Missouri River or Pacific Railroad. To accomplish this, they hired hundreds of local farmers to act as teamsters.

The Blow & Kennett account book for April 1858 to January 1861 lists all of the teamsters hired. For 1858 it gives the date, the name of the teamster, the number of pigs of lead to be transported and the destination. For later years it usually also gives the freight rate per 100 pounds, the amount of any cash advance and the delivery date. The book has survived and been microfilmed by the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri at Rolla. There is also an online index of the names in the book. A Google search "WHMC Rolla Kennett" (without the quotation marks) will bring up the information sheet. Here is the link: http://web.umr.edu/~whmcinfo/shelf15/r369/info.html

Pages 1-26 cover 1858; 26-68 1859; 68-115 and 158-161 1860; and 161-164 January 1861. Pages 29-30 and 93-94 have recapitulations of undelivered or late arriving shipments, so listing there does not necessarily indicate a separate shipment. Pages 116-157 have information about the transhipment of the lead and its sale in St. Louis.

There is a January, 1858, letter at the Missouri Historical Soceity in St. Louis (Kennett Collection) which says a Granby pig of lead weighed 84 pounds.

Be advised that the printed destination column heads (Jefferson City, Linn Creek and Boonville) became obsolete in 1858 as new shippping points developed and the Pacific Railroad opened new stations in central Missouri (California, Tipton, Syracuse). From time to time, there are handwritten notes on which destinations are in which columns, but these are not repeated on every page. So, if you just have Rolla copy your pages, you may not be able tell the destination to which your teamster traveled. In fact, the destination columns can be hard to follow even if you have the microfilm in front of you.


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