Tuesday, September 6, 2016

John Small Looking for Partners

One of our new exhibits at the museum is about the early mills in Lawrence County.  There is also a chapter about the mills in the newest publication---Water, Water, Everywhere.  This advertisement recently surfaced that was written by John Small in 1817 desiring to find a partner for his mill at Smallsburg.  Near the end of the ad, Small also states that he  desires to sell his 'plantation' in Indiana, presumably to move to Smallsburg. 

Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette August 18, 1817 
John Small Seeking Partner for New Mill at Smallsburg on Embarras River

Wherein a partner is wanted, to improve and occupy one of the most eligible and advantageous Mill- seats in the Western world. It is situated in the Illinois territory, within 6 miles of Vincennes, on the great road leading to St. Louis and Kaskaskia, on the river Embarras, which is a stream sufficiently large to afford water to carry on any works that may be thought necessary, at all times – one of the banks of the stream is permanent rock rather of the saponaceous kind impervious to water and easily cut or fashioned, as may be required – the bottom of the stream, opposite the mill is all sheeted with the same. The seat lies within one and a half miles of the Wabash River, enjoys all the advantages of the navigation of the same – the circum- country is equal to any section in the Western country for agriculture, and especially for that staple commodity, wheat, as its situation is high and undulating, and of course healthy – the soil of a black loam mixed with sand – the face of the country interspersed with prairies of the most agreeable texture, and in fertility second to none, and for the most part surrounded by luxurious wood lands, and as we may say, it is yet almost in a state of nature, and affords a most advantageous range for cattle, hogs, etc. A number of families have lately settled in the vicinity, and shortly we look for a flourishing settlement there. Nature has been exuberant at the seat, as there is scarcely any advantage that the enterprising parties might almost wish or expect that is not to be found there. Take into view the manufacturing of flour largely for foreign markets – a complete seat for a boat and shipyard also, for a brewery, distillery, and tanyard, and a well- equipped tavern is much wanted at present to accommodate the road, and for which it is an excellent stand – there are many other advantages that will appear by taking a view of the premises. There is an excellent sawmill now going, on the spot.

My primary object is to have erected and equipped a merchant mill with not less than three pair of stones. I will furnish the seat upon equitable terms.

It is hoped none will offer that are not of good standing in society, men of enterprise, and possessed of such funds as will enable them to carry on largely. A trio partnership would be preferred, as there is a great field for enterprise.

I also wish to sell the plantation I now live on, it contains 400 acres, 80 of which is under high cultivation, the fertility of which is second to none, has on it an excellent never failing spring, well calculated for a brewery or distillery as it has a great fall, situated within 3 miles of Vincennes. The subscriber who lives on the premises will think himself honored by any gentleman’s calling who might have an eye to either of the objects and would take pleasure in showing the same. 

John Small August 12, 1817

Back to Back programs

Dennis Stroughmatt  invites audiences to visit the history of early-20th-century Illinois and even sing along to the music of the age at the Lawrence County Historical Society’s program on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. September 11.  The program will be held at the Lawrenceville High School Auditorium, 2200 James Street.  Admission is free.   

Paul Umfleet, local woodcarver and 'lover of all things Audubon', will educate the public with his program, Audubon on the Water Ways, 7 pm  Monday evening, September 12 at the Lawrenceville Public Library (12th Street). Admission is Free.  Come find out Audubon's connection with Lawrence County.