News Index Old Newspaper Articles Home
A page in the Family Website for the following Family Names and their Descendents and Friends:
Garon - Kaner/Karon/Canner - Horwitz - Lieberman/Kremen –
Hertz - Fritchell - Tatkin - Pasternack/Poster
Duluth Daily News
MILLIONS OF TONS OF BESSEMER ORE
The Rich Discoveries of High Grade Iron Made Upon the Mesaba or the Giant Range Within About Fifty Miles of the City of Duluth.
CAN BE MINED CHEAPER THAN ELSEWHERE.
The Largest Uninterrupted Stretch of Iron Ore Formation Ever Found on Any Range--- Forty Million Tons Already in Sight and Indications of Millions More.
The Mesaba and Vermilion iron fields cover a larger extent of territory than the three great ranges of Michigan and Wisconsin, the Gogebic, Marquette and Menominee, put together, as they occupy an extent of territory equal to 1,700,000 acres. The Vermilion ore deposits were discovered as early as 1865, but it was not until 1875 that George C. Stone succeeded in interesting Charlemange Tower, Sr., in these great iron fields and thus secured the construction of the Duluth & Iron Range railroad and the development of the splendid properties in the neighborhood of Tower and Ely. How great has been the development since that time is shown by the fact that in 1889 the total capital invested in these mines in the way of land, buildings and machinery was nearly $8,500,000 and the total number of laborers employed directly in mining was 1,755 while the total amount paid to the employes in wages was $53,184. Minnesota, which did not appear among the iron producing states in the census of 1880, had jumped to fifth place in 1890. Being the purest ore mined in the world, it has commanded the highest price, the average value of a ton being $2.87. The average cost of mining a ton is high, however, owing to the ore being as hard as flint, it costing about $1.80 to mine each ton. Despite this fact, Minnesota by the last census ranked second in the number of tons of ore produced to each employe. Since that time the developments on the Vermilion range have steadily gone ahead, but still much of this range, having a length of over 100 miles from the ore outcropping on townships 60-22 to 64-5 has not been fully developed. The range covers thirty six townships, and some idea may be gained from that fact of the great wealth that still remains untouched by the pick of the miner.
The Giant Range.
But great as has been the development of the Vermilion range within so abort a time, and splendid as has been its record in bringing Minnesota to the front among iron ore producing states of the Union, it bids fair to be greatly surpassed by the more recently developed Mesaba range, which is now attracting the attention of iron men and capitalists in all portions of the country. The stories of the wonderful discoveries on this range seem so extravagant in their very nature that some people may well be pardoned for refusing to credit them, but they are all solid facts, based upon impregnable truth, and widely improbable as some of them may appear, the half has not been told. Men may well be excused for indulging in grand diloquent boasting of the great wealth of iron ore this giant mountain of iron contains, because one has only to visit some of the places where development has proceeded but a short time to be convinced that here is the greatest and most valuable iron deposit in the world. Language cannot at this time do full justice to the extent of this great deposit because its extent is apparently boundless and it is well nigh impossible to accurately estimate its size and value. The early discoveries and explorations on the Mesaba date back as far as 1863 when Professor A. H. Chester of New York, it is recalled by the Vermilion Iron Journal, devoted months to searching for the fabulous “mountain of iron” said to exist in its eastern portions. It was not until less than a year ago that attention was drawn to that portion of the range which is now being vigorously explored and developed. The upturned roots of a fallen tree were the cause of this great discovery.
It was during the summer of 1891 that” Jack” McCaskill, an explorer in the employ of James T. Hale of this city, while passing through township 58-16, observed the red dirt on the roots of a fallen tree in section 3, and being somewhat familiar with geology took occasion to give his discovery that attention that has since resulted in the greatest activity that has ever been known on “the giant range.” Discoveries and explorations had before been made on the eastern and western ends of the Mesaba, but never had the showings been as remarkable and the activity so great as it has been since the location of the immense ore bodies in 58-16 and 58-17, the central portion of the range. Those who have watched the developments of iron mining in Minnesota know of the discovery of the Mountain Iron property in the western portion and the Mallman and other properties in the eastern. And now in the location of ore bodies nearly midway between these two localities, traversed as it has been hundreds of times by explorers and experts,-ore bodies that are more extensive, the formations better defined, and the product easier mined and more marketable, the result is at least to surprise and excites the curiosity of many. The Mesaba range has the largest uninterrupted stretch of ore formation of any iron range yet discovered there being forty-one townships in which the ore formation appears. It extends, so far as explored, from a point near Grand Rapids, on the Mississippi river, clear through to the northern boundary of Minnesota, south of Saganaga and Gull lakes, a distant of 150 miles, besides a prolongation into Canada, the extent of which is not known. It is distant about forty miles from Lake Superior, twenty five miles south of Vermilion range and parallel with both, and is 1,100 feet above Lake Superior. Twelve miles west of Mesaba station on the Duluth & Iron Range railroad begins that portion of the range that is now proving itself to be one of the richest iron districts in the world, and is included principally within townships 56-16, 58-17 and 58-18, the first mentioned being at present the most thoroughly explored.
Can Lead the World.
It is the opinion of Professor Horace V. Winchell, assistant state geologist, after a careful survey of the astonishing developments on this range that in iron the Duluth district can lead the world. It is only within the past four or five months, he says, that beds, having a dip of 12 to 14 degrees with the horizon. The dip is toward the south, and the formation is known to extend all the way from the Mississippi river to the Canadian boundary line, a distance of about 140 miles. Over this entire distance there are outcrops of the Huronian formation containing beds of iron ore. East of the Duluth & Iron range railroad, however, the ore beds are covered by strata of black slate or of an eruptive rock called gabbro, which was poured out like volcanic lava on top of the iron ore. The search for ore in this section of the range must necessarily be carried on by drilling and not by shafting and test pitting, as is does west of the railroad. For this reason it will be much more difficult to discover and mine the ore east than in the other direction.
West of the Duluth & Iron Range railroad, twelve miles, there have been uncovered during the last four months, deposits of ore which for area of territory covered, ease and therefore economy of mining and freedom from impurities, taken altogether, have rarely if ever been equaled. There is a covering on but a few feet, of clay and gravel on the ore which is found lying in sheets, with a thickness of from 40 to 80 feet, and so soft that it can be scooped out with a steam shovel. But little water is found to interfere with the operations of prospecting or mining and the work of exploration is carried on at a minimum cost. These test pits have covered an area of nearly 40 acres on some of the properties now under development, and ore is found in nearly all. Assuming the ore found in all the pits on any one location to be all part of one deposit, as seems to be the case, and taking only half the thickness of ore found in the deepest pits, there seems to be good reason for claiming millions of tons of soft ore in sight. Professor Winchell says: “The quality of ore on this range is not going to equal that on the Vermilion range, which is the purest ore mined in the world, but the operation of mining may be carried on so cheaply that the difference in value will be more than counterbalanced. As stated above, the average cost of mining a ton of ore on the Vermilion range is $1.80, and I am informed that the responsible parties having visited the Mesaba range stand ready to make contracts and give bonds for their execution to mine and place on the cars all the ore on some of the largest properties on the range for 50 cents a ton. Such a performance as that will revolutionize the iron mining industry.”
The Mines Developed.
The recent trip of a party of capitalists and newspaper men to the new mines on this range made enthusiasts of every person who was on the excursion and saw the millions of tons of ore already in sight. The remark of Captain Joseph Sellwood, one of the most conservative mining men in this region that “the showing of ore on the Mesaba range, which we have seen today, is simply wonderful,” but mildly expressed the sentiments of the excursionists. The ore is soft, with occasional hard streaks of a few feet in thickness. It is a mixture of hematite and limonite and contains about 60 per cent of metallic iron. Most of the analyses so far made indicate that it is low in phosphorus and will make Bessemer steel. Some analyses show a small percentage of manganese, which is a desirable ingredient. One of the best known and richest hematite ranges in the country is the Gogebic property in Wisconsin, but according to some of the best mining experts in the country the Mesaba mines will be more productive and richer than the former. A prominent mining man, who has had an interest in the Wisconsin mines, in comparing the two said that at the same stage of development the Mesaba mines gave the better results. The quality of the ore is practically the same, with the exception that there is a little more water in the Gobegic, and this is accounted for by the fact that the dip in the latter is a little steeper and the mining is practically underground. The deeper the mine the greater per cent of water the ore contains. This however, he thought, should not cut much of a figure in the comparison for while the discolored iron on the Mesaba was apparently a surface formation, and could be mined by stripping the ore off the clay and gravel, the beds would undoubtedly run much deeper the further south they extend and that would increase the per cent of water found in the ore. From the uniform dip of the Mesaba mines he concludes that in no sense was the ore of a blanket formation, although the first discoveries would indicate this. The cost of mining on the Gogebic has averaged from $1.25 to $1.75, which is due to the depth of the mines, but the cost on the Mesaba he believed would be from 50 cents to $1, averaging 75 cents. The yield of the Gogebic last year was about 2,000,000 tons and the year before 2,500,000 tons. Its development was rapid, but not greater than that which will be witnessed on the Mesaba range, and while he believed that there would be little mining on the latter this summer he expected to see fully 2,000,000 tons marketed in 1893.
Fifty Million Tons.
It is the opinion of a prominent dealer in iron lands whose opinions are considered conservative, that the mines at present discovered on the Mesaba range will turn out 50,000,000 tons of iron and at a cost of 50 cents a ton. The owners of the Biwabik mines alone claim 20,000,000 of this. From the work done at present the measurements show 9,000,000 tons of ore. One bed has been disclosed about 1,500 feet in length and ranging in thickness from 20 to 80 feet. On the claim of the Biwabik company twenty pits have been sunk all have given most satisfactory results. At present the best disclosures have been made on the above property, but there is no reason to doubt that as rich fields will be found in other parts. All this ore is a red hematite Bessemer, running from 60 to 65 per cent metallic iron. The Cincinnati company has eight “forties” a little to the east of Biwabik property and with the present developments 3,000,000 tons are in sight and possessing a large territory; it is believed that its beds are as rich as those of the Biwabik. The ore discovered is of a high grade and in clear beds from 30 to 50 feet in thickness. One vein has been disclosed 1,200 feet long and 600 feet wide, of a good depth. The Minnesota Iron company claims to have 5,000,000 tons practically insight, and the Mountain Iron company at least 2,000,000 tons. President Merritt, of the Bewabik, is credited with saying that he expects to see 2,500,000 tons mined annually on this range and it is claimed that the ore can be delivered in Duluth for about $2 per ton. The principal portion of this range that has been so most thoroughly explored is in townships 58-17 and 58-16 which are show3n in the accompanying map, for the use of which the News is indebted to Judge Hale. On this map are indicated a number of the mines now being developed, as well as the town of Merritt and the proposed line of the Duluth, Mesaba & Northern railroad, and the projected extension of the Duluth & Iron Range road. In this connection it may be stated that the Duluth & Iron Range has decided to build from Mesaba to the Canton mine, which is the property of the Minnesota Iron company, and it has been predicted that the Canton ore will be shipped over that road to Two Harbors by July 1, next. Duluth, however, is more deeply interested in the construction of the Duluth, Mesaba & Northern road, which is in charge of Donald Grant of Fairbault, the well known railroad contractor, and which is to be pushed as fast as men and money will perform the work. In an interview the other day, Mr. Grant said: “The contract for the construction of the entire road has been let in sections of five miles each and the crews are now camping on the line getting ready to begin work at the earliest possible date. I think some of them have already begun. We expect to have the road completed and in operation by the 1st of August, and the work may be completed at an earlier date.” Contracts have been signed and arrangements perfected for building the big ore docks of this road in Duluth. The West Duluth council has given the road the right to use Fond du Lac avenue from the St. Paul & Duluth road to the dock front, and a site 900 feet wide and 1,000 feet long in the city itself has been offered for $50,000. On one of these the ore docks and terminals will be placed. The docks will be the highest in the world, the floor being fifty-four feet above water, or two and one-half feet higher than the docks of the Duluth & Iron Range, which are now the highest known. The new docks will consume about 3,500,000 feet of timber, will have a shipping capacity of 1,000,000 tons a year and will cost $200,000. It is expected that next year the docks will have to be doubled.
Some of the Properties.
Probably no better account of the present condition of the developments can be given than by repeating what the excursionists last week discovered by personal examination on the McKinley, Canton, Chicago, Bewabik, Cincinnati, Hale and Kanawha properties. The first visit was to the McKinley property, where the developments were a surprise to most of the party, who had not kept close watch of the work in the last few weeks. Three pits are sunk in a quality of ore equal to any on the range. One was 50 feet in clean ore, bottomed in ore and 70 feet deep in depth. Another pit nearer the green schist was 20 feet in clean ore and bottomed in ore, being about 40 feet deep altogether. Another pit was in clean ore, and a new pit had just reached the ore vein. The high quality of the grade of ore was a matter of remark by many.
The Canton property has a series of test pits sunk so as to show up a ledge of soft ore about 1,200 feet wide, of a soft yellow variety which is said to go at least 62 per cent metallic iron and to be very low in phosphorus and other vitiating substances. All pits are bottomed in clean ore and are perfectly dry, thus eliminating the cost of pumping water, the most expensive item of prospecting.
Between the McKinley and the Canton lies the Chicago, on which but little test pitting has yet been done except enough to show that a body of ore exists of high per cent of iron and standing well within the Bessemer limit. There are seventeen forties in the property, all of which be south of the green schist and well within the ore formation. Captain Huffman will begin work test pitting on this property next Monday with a large crew of men.
East of the Canton comes the Bewabik, the oldest development of this portion of the range on which the showings of the extent of ore by test pitting is something to wonder at. The body is about a third of a mile wide and has been shown by test pitting to be at least one sixth of a mile long. How much longer it may be no one can say absolutely. There is at least 10,000,000 tons of ore in sight. The quality of ore is excellent.
East of the Bewabik is located the Cincinnati with eight forties of land. The extent of the ore body is shown by eight pits bottomed in clean ore running down through from 20 to 50 feet of clean iron as fully as great as that of the Bewabik. The quality of ore is well within the Bessemer limit and fully equal to any yet discovered in quantity on the Mesaba range. Every pit put down increased the known extent of the ore bed. This property seemed the favorite with the visitors on account of the excellence of the quality of ore and its freedom from water, which so seriously interferes with mining operations and adds to the cost.
In the Kanawha property the ore bed approaches within 2 ˝ feet of the surface on the edge of a ravine and shows no deeper than twelve feet below the surface in any of the three pits now sunk. It was asserted by one of the mining men that ore can be mined out of this property for a time at 20 cents a ton owing to the cheapness of stripping the slight covering. The ore is similar in appearance to the found in the Canton test pits.
The last property visited was the Hale, which shows the ore bed near the surface similar to the Kanawha. There are nine pits sunk on this property of which exposes a large body of ore of high grade. There is some moisture present, but not enough to hinder work. Practically, it may be said that along the northern line of township 58-16 there is a tier of forties three miles in length lying on a solid ore bed. The formation then bears off to the southwest to the western township line. The whole ore body is remarkable free from water and has numerous streaks of hard ore in places interspersed with the soft ore. “This portion of the range,” said Mining Captain Florida, “has only been developed during the past four months, and for the work done I have never seen the equal of the results obtained here.” The ore body has a dip to the south averaging about 12 degrees, often going as high as 15 degrees. All this in the opinion of mining experts is in its favor and allows the mining of the ore much cheaper.
The Mountain Mine.
Another valuable property, which was not visited, is the Mountain mine, which lies in section 3, township 58, range 18, the first large body of ore on the western Mesaba, found nearly a year ago. This is twelve miles west of the Biwabik and Cincinnati, and is controlled by the Merritts and their associates. The quantity of ore found there was sufficient to interest capitalists in the construction of the Duluth, Mesaba & Northern railroad from Duluth to the mine. Capt. Morcom, an old iron miner and expert, has estimated 1,000,000 tons of ore in sight on this property and says that double that amount could be shown up with a little more work. He estimates the average thickness of ore there at 40 feet.
Three promising locations covering altogether 240 acres are controlled by the Ohio Mining company, recently incorporated at $1,000,000 and having for its president James E. Campbell, ex-governor of Ohio. Others incorporators are E. D. Sawyer, W. J. Hilands, S. R. Ainshe, M. R. Baldwin, T. H. Pressnell, J. K. Persons and Fred Barret. This company’s explorations are at present confined to lands in section 9 and 19, 58-17. Four pits each 100 feet apart are bottomed in excellent ore and it is now only a question of determining how much of it they have. The prospects at 9 are also encouraging. E. W. Mee is in charge of the work.
The Sheridan property includes the northwest quarter of section 1, 58-16, which adjoins the Cincinnati on the east, and has three pits in ore. Work has been discontinued here, but now that the title has been perfected explorations will be resumed. It has always been regarded as one of the best local tracts on the Mesaba.
The Shaw Iron company owns the fee of twenty five forties scattered about the central Mesaba range. Work has just been commenced under the superintendence of
Capt. J. A. Nichols on the northeast of the southeast of 7, 58-16, just west of the McKinley. Sinking is in progress at three pits and the indications are excellent. Additional camps are also being built to provide for a larger crew.
The Security Exploration company controls 3,480 acres on the Mesaba in sections 27, 33, and 34, 58-17, work on a part of which is soon to be commenced.
The Biwabik company also exploring in 17, 58-19, the work being in charge of Wilbur Merritt, who had charge of the first developments at the Mountain Iron and later at the Biwabik.
The Hale people are also exploring in section 24, 58-17; the work being in charge of Capt. John Catskill.
A. L. Warner, of Coffin & Warner, was on the range last week looking after exploring on the northwest of the southwest of 3, 58-18, just south of the Canton. Indications are excellent.
The Camden Iron company is exploring in the northeast quarter of 4, 58-16. Lying as it does between the Canton and the Chicago, there is every reason to believe this property will make a showing.
What will likely become the Pike River company, with C. P. Maginnis, Harry and E. W. Mee and W. W. Potter as incorporators is doing some work on lots 1, 2 and 3, section 6, 58-16, and the outlook is promising.
Capt. Edgar Brown is conducting explorations on lot 5, section 1, 58016, for which he holds an option from R. H. Palmer.
Frank Hibbing last week commenced explorations on land in 59-16, north of the Mountain Iron. He has an option for 4,000 acres.
The Pittsburg Iron company owns 2,200 acres in 58-17, on which work will soon be commenced.
The Cleveland Iron company has 760 acres in 58-17. These two companies are incorporated and controlled by Southern gentlemen interested by A. E. Humphreys, who has recently become largely instrumental in developing the Mesba.
New explorations on the range are not confined to the central portion. Capt. T. E. Ross is at present conducting exploratory work about a mile west of Mesaba station on lands recently acquired by A. J. Trimble, and developments have been in progress for several days in section 8, 59-14, just south of Mesaba.
The Detroit Iron company has the following officers: J. T. Hale, president; J. M. Root, vice president; F. E. Kennedy, secretary and treasurer. The property is located in 33 58 17 and includes eight forties located on the Green Stone and south of it. The railroad will go within a short distance of it. It is on the same ledge with the Cincinnati, McKinley and other mines. A large force of men will go to work this week and parties interested consider it one of the best on the range.
The Horton Mining company, has property in 3663 12. Its officers are Geo. W. Horton, president; W. D. Edson, vice president; H B. Moore, secretary; R. H. Harris, treasurer and general manager. The property is surrounded by the Chandler, Zenith, Eaton Merritt properties, and within a quarter of a mile of the famous Hyde forty. It is said to be one of the best properties on the range. The developments have just begun. The company was organized about two weeks ago.
The Sheridan Mining company has the following officers: R. H. Harris, president; W. C. McComber, vice president and general manager; C. E. Shannon, secretary and treasurer. The mine has been worked on for a year. A road will be built in from the Iron Range at Tower to the mine, and it is the intention to ship ore during the present year. Connected with the mine are some of leading capitalists of Cleveland. The ore will be shipped in the boats of the company and they also own the smelter in which the ore is to smelted. The mine is now sixty feet in specular ore, in a vein forty tow feet wide.
Following is the list of the companies now organized as complete as can be obtained at present, with the capital stock: Cincinnati, $3,000,000; Biwabik Mountain, $3,000,000; Chicago, $5,000,000; Kanawba $3,000,000; Biwabik Mountain, $3,000,000; Detroit, $3,000,000; Charleston #4,000,000; Mountain Iron, $2,000,000; Shaw $3,000,000; Great Northern, $3,000,000; Mesaba Mountain, $3,000,000; Mesaba Central, $100,000; Kakina, $1,000,000; McKinley $5,000,000; Ohio, $3,000,000; St. Paul, $2,000,000; Mallman, $600,000; Myrna $200,000; Stowell, $1,000,000. This makes a total of twenty one companies, with capital stock aggregating $45,200,000. In addition to these there are the Canton mine and the Ballard mine which are not capitalized. So far it is believed that none of the companies organized come under the head of “fake” corporations, but it will be well for intending investors in stock to look out for them. A mining exchange is now being organized and if run in proper style it can do much to stamp out all "fake” corporations. It is fortunate that the greater portion of the range is in the hands of good men who will not enter into deals of that character.