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    SEYMOUR iNDUSTRIAL REVIEW FROM 1900Industrial Review
    In 1900 the city fathers of Seymour, WI decided to have a 39 page booklet printed to promote immigration, business and industrial development. At this time the young city, incorporated in 1879, had a population of 1,100 people. The timber resources that stabilized the economy of the city were depleted and the city was transitioning to an agriculture based economy. Fertile farmland was a steady draw to immigrants and the booklet praised current businesses and elaborated on the need for more. Following is the introduction to the "Industrial Review" from 120 years ago.

    The growth and development of that portion of the United States, geographically termed the Northwest, has been of such phenomenal character as to arouse astonishment in every civilized community of the world, and each bit of new information concerning its wonderful progress is absorbed with the keenest relish by the public at large, thereby serving to augment the interest and call forth renewed inquires for further knowledge upon the subject. No particular section of the Northwest has created more intense interest abroad, in the past few years than the State of Wisconsin.

    Its' enterprising spirit and advances from a state of primitiveness, but a few years ago to the front rank of nineteenth century progression, is a source for enduring pride, not alone among those who constitute its population, but to the entire country, and is a theme for delightful discussion at thousands of trans-Atlantic firesides. The position attained by the state is due to the combined thrift and energy centered upon its broad domain, though it is none the less true that some particular localities have, through the possession of some special advantages, been enabled to contribute more generously to the general fund of prosperity and fame than others.

    The city of Seymour belongs to the class endowed with strength and ability for reflecting the true greatness of the state. The chief characteristics of the city lie in the superior advantages for the prosecution of the industrial branches of business, which, as a natural consequence, tends greatly to the advancement of commercial pursuits and the development of a higher order of prosperity in the community living directly or indirectly within the radius of such influence.

    To disseminate a more thorough knowledge among the public abroad of these advantages possessed by Seymour and the opportunity it presents especially to the manufacturers, we have undertaken this work, trusting that in the outcome it will prove beneficial in no small measure to the general public and also largely promote the material interest of the city. Of course, in the space we have confined ourselves, we have not attempted to discuss each interest in extensor. We have only attempted to present a skiagram, so to speak, of the city, upon which the intelligence of the reader will enable him to form fairly accurate picture.

    We have every reason to think and believe that the work will not prove valueless to the thrifty city. It will be found by a careful perusal, that Seymour has interest of much greater importance than a casual observer or even her own residents would believe possible. The mercantile circles are made up of good solid business houses, of such a character and extent that she need not blush in claiming herself one of the greatest business cities in the state of its size. Of her farming lands tributary she has reason to boast, and as a part and parcel of the prosperity of Seymour, we will first consider the farm sources.

    AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES. Man is said to be an epitome of the universe and as his intellectual, moral, and spiritual life with the wide range of diversity are dependent for their unity of action upon the material structure of the physical body, so are all cities with their edifices of worship, structures of learning, business blocks and manufacturing industries. In order for man to perpetuate commercial prosperity in a city, he must have some foundation upon which to base operations, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, or something else. When a city is surrounded and abundantly provided with all the elements necessary to endow it with a vigorous growth and enduring constitution so much the better.

    This section ranks among the finest agricultural counties in the entire state, and all the cereal products known to this climate flourish in abundance, and what is more important, there is never a total failure of crops. Almost all the land here is under high state of cultivation and productive of good return to the owners. The farmers are about all out of debt and possess well furnished homes, substantial and well filled barns, and many of them have money at interest. This class of independent farmers is constantly and rapidly increasing.

    The topography of the county well adapts it to almost anything the famer might wish to turn his hand. It is alternating hills and valleys which abound in springs, brooks, creeks and streams of living waters. While not what we term a timber country, yet well distributed over the county are beautiful groves of valuable and useful nature. Lime, sand and building stone abound here. Dairying of late years has afforded a prolific field of operation for farmers, and the county today ranks high in the state in dairy products. During the season a carload of cheese is shipped from here each week. This is of a superior quality and in good demand. The raising of livestock also proves very remunerative to the farming community, which has made this one of the largest markets in the state. Over 200 cars of stock are shipped each year. Vegetables grow in abundance. This is one of the great centers for growing potatoes. Peas and beans are also prolific. This would be an excellent location for a canning factory, and would be one of the safest and surest investments we could suggest.

    MANUFACTURING RESOURCES. This resume of the city will, we think, convince a careful reader that Seymour possesses many advantages as a point for commerce and trade, and the question naturally arises. “What are her facilities for manufacturing?” A city may attain a highly exalted and dignified position in the world solely through its merits as a center for trade, commerce and manufacturing, or even because of some superior adaptation to the arts or science, yet it must be admitted that the more qualifications a city possesses for insuring success in all pursuits of life, the more promising its chances for greatness.

    If a city commands a superior location and facilities for creating demand and supply, and the ability to control both, it must attract in the course of time capital and labor. The advantages the city possesses as a manufacturing point are excellent. The city is in close proximity to raw materials. Of the raw stuff, wood and iron may justly be called the principal features, closely allied to which are lead, copper and other mineral products, wool, hides and the several articles of farm produce. The forest resources are known the world over. From Wisconsin comes the main supply of cut lumber of every description of hard and soft woods, principally used in manufacturing staves, headings, shingles laths, round and hewn posts and lumber of every kind and size, also tan barks. In fact, every species of material which enters into composition of manufacture is within easy reach.

    The state mines iron, zinc, copper, lead and various other minerals in abundance. Labor is at all times available in the city at wages moderate and which the margin on any investment will justify the capitalist in paying. The manufacturer must consider that there is not only a large market for goods in all lines at the present time, but that the field of demand is increasing in direct proportion to the wonderful development of the Northwest. The chief merit of selection does not exist in securing an unoccupied field, with a certainty of fair immediate returns, but is due to the opportunity to develop capacity and production in the line operated, in proportion as the country tributary to the city becomes populous. The empire of the Northwest, aggregating the most fertile agricultural lands, great cattle ranges, the mineral region and the most valuable and extensive forest of the entire country, is equal in area to more than one quarter of the United States, and it is developing more rapidly at this time than any other region on this continent has developed in the past. The manufacture who locates here is not dependent upon present trade conditions, favorable as they may seem, but is merely starting a plant that cannot but expand year by year, as the country tributary grows in wealth, populations and requirements.

    Seymour is a prosperous agricultural city of about 1,100 inhabitants. It is on the G.B.&W.R.R. which gives a direct east and west route. The city was settled in 1871 and incorporated in 1879. It is an example of a town which has changed from purely lumbering to agriculture for its support. It occupies a unique reputation in one particular. The street fairs, which are held every month, are the largest in the state. Such, in brief, is Seymour.

    PLACE OF RESIDENCE. Every intelligent reader will readily admit that in point of grandeur as exhibited in proudly massive public, and regal, palatial private buildings, adorned by nature’s own beautiful surroundings made still more enchanting by man’s cunning artifice, the style of ancient times have never been surpassed by those of modern ages. There are many things to be taken into consideration as essential in forming the basis upon which to erect the sub-structure of sound fabric ambitions to be chronicled in history for its inherent good qualities and well deserved merit. Schools, churches, the moral and social influence and much else go toward formulating one’s idea of desirable residence. Viewed from this standpoint, there are but few small cities possessing more desirable advantages than Seymour.

    The city’s make up is most attractive and wisely arranged. The streets are wide and the blocks are all laid out with regularity. The residences are a majority neat in design and finish and are furnished in accordance with modern taste and comfort. The business blocks are about all good, substantial structures and fully in keeping with the progressive character of the city.

    The health of the city is also worthy of favorable mention. It is considered one of the most healthy cities in the state and its death rate which of course furnishes the basis for calculation, places it below most cities of equal size in the state, in number per year. This happy state of affairs must be mainly due to the pure air and water.

    The population is of a mixed character, with the German blood predominating. They as a nation now furnish the best examples of good citizenship to the public. They are devoted supporters of the law and its demands, and all cities largely inhabited by them will always be found prosperous, safe and sound. The people as a whole are generous and hospitable, and never fail to extend the right hand of good fellowship to anyone deserving it.

    The ratio of house owners to the population is very high. The prices are such that opportunities have been afforded to the thrifty to acquire homes and become identified with the city and interested in her welfare. People, as a rule, own their own homes and are interested in the preservation of order and property rights. Persons so situated are seldom lead away by theories which deny the right of ownership and are not prone to precipitate unnecessary disturbances.

    The advantages offered for education is a source of pride to our citizens. They have never allowed the practical results of the refined influence of education to escape their vigilant eyes. The school buildings will compare favorably with any of those in the cities of this size, in point of internal adornment and personal comfort. The public schools are open to all from the most humble to the fastidious scions of the most select families. Experience has led the citizens, without sectarian or class distinction, to send their children to the public schools of the city, and perhaps this commingling of the various elements that form the community has done much to produce that fellowship which binds the different classes with each other. When a boy has passed through the various established grades, the primary department and the high school, he has received a thorough and comprehensive education, which fully equips him to begin the battle of life.

    The school system embraces one building, a directory of three citizens, and a staff of six teachers. The school is on the accredited list. There is also one parochial school of the Lutheran denomination.
    CHURCHES The churches are the visible monuments of reverence for God and belief in an afterlife. They have kept back many of the tides of vice; they have been moral defenders of incalculable benefit; they have been schools of enlightenment to young and old, and resorts of highest culture and enjoyment. They have been the meeting place for the Maker and His creatures. The number and character of the churches indicate the highest and best part of nature has kept pace with the secular thrift that has been so marked.

    Though the city is not exempt from the nameless evils incident to all localities where human beings dwell together immorality does not rear its brazen front with impunity. Nor does the law by its inaction encourage vice or embolden it votaries. The people are eminently church-going. There are five churches divided among the different denominations, as follows: Catholic, Lutheran, Evangelical, Methodist and Congregational.

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