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The Minneapolis journal. (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, August 31, 1905, Commerical and Financial Publicity Section, Image 16

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1905-08-31/ed-1/seq-16/

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S19 bushels.
This large and important crop is not usually taken
into account in estimati ng the wealth of the northwest,
yet the three states it runs to bag figures, both in
itotal production and in money value. N crop pro
duced here shows so wide a variati on from ye ar to
year, in the statistical fundamentals. For instance the
Average yield of potatoes last year, in North Dakota,
was no less than 111 bushels per acre, which, taking
in to account the bad places as well as the good, is re
markably high. 'In the same season South Dakota av
eraged 102 bushels, and Minnesota 96, but, in the ye ar
before that, the Minnesota average fell to 64 bushels,
and 89 for South Dakota as the best shown that
The farm value also varies greatly, and as condi
tions outside the territo ry here covered are of main
Influence in shaping values, it follows that a large or
small crop in the three states does not necessarily
mean high or low prices. Indeed the factor of north
west production, relative to price, enters less into con
sideration in the potato crop than in any other.
On Aug. 1 the general condition of the crop was
10 per cent lower than in 1904, due principally to ex
cessive rainfall in some important producing districts,
but later in the season conditions improved.
The principal difference in the general situation
this ye ar is the lighter production in other states.
Last year there were exceptionally large yields in many
competing states. Iowa, Nebrask a, Kansas and Wis
consin produced freely, and some of these states, ordi
narily buyers of potatoes, had them to sell in larj
quantities. Hence the marked difference, and the de
cline in value of $2,121,783 in a crop larger by 6,058,-
This year conditions are more nearly normal, there
is a big crop and a farm value far below the extre me
After a year of comparative depres
sion, the.Minaeapolia miUing.industry
is aga in on an upward grade. The com
ing ye ar is full, of ^prqnise for the lo
cal mills, and there is. strong reason to
believe that the record for gross out
put will be equaled if not exceeded,
and that flour milling will return to
the same satisfactory basis it enjoyed
four or five years ago.
The principal difficulties in the past
year have been the scarcity of good
milling -wheat, and the diminution of
the export trade. During the "crop
year" since Sept. 1, 1904, the mills of
Minneapolis consumed 61,464,000 bush
els of wheat, and turned out 11,896,195
barrels of flour. I the previous crop
year the mills consumed 58,859,000
bushels of -wheat, -which made 13,079,
860 barrels of flour. I other words,
while grinding 2,605,000 bushels more
wheat than in the previous year, the
mills fell behind in production to the
Sxtent of 1,183,665 barrels of flour. The
prevalence of rust last year in a large
Jar of the spring wheat belt injured
the quality of the grain, much of it
t&e mg light weight and shrunken.
"Wheat of the best milling qualities was
so scarce tha^ became extremely
high in price, and the local mills were
not able to compete effectively in the
world markets, For years the condi
tio ns of the export trade had been" un
favorable to Minneapolis, due largely
to the discriminating railroad rat es in
favor of the wheat and again st flour.
Since 1900 the export trade has fallen
Ofi BOmewhat each yea r, and last year
the accumulated troubles of the mill
ers practically killed the. export busi
ness. I 1900, the high water mark,
^they exported 4,702,465 barrels out of
the 15,082,725 produced. I tbe cal
endar year of 1904 the export, business
dropped to 1,741,120, and the output
fell correspondingly to 13,652,735 bar
rels. During the crop year^of 1904-
1905, just closed, the exports were
only 1,552,959 barrels, and the total
output 11,896,195.
Outlook. I Rosy.
This is an unpleasant story, but the^
Minneapolis millers have put the past
behind them and are looking forward
with confidence to new trade conquest
under new conditions. There is no
doubt now about the size and general
quality of the spring-wheat crop for
1905. While the price may rule high,
it Will not be an abnormal price, due
to local scarcity, but will be in line
with the WOTICI markets. The Minne
apolis mills will have an abundant sup
ply of high-grade milling wheat, and
will be a position to go after the
foreign trade -with product and prices
right. The railroads, also, have been
led to see the injustice formerly done
the mills, and to a great extent have
corrected the discrimination formerly
made again st the manufactured article.
The mills of the northwest are nearqr
on an equal basis than they have been
for years, compared with those on the
seaboard and foreign countries There
is no perfect substitute for patent flour
ma de from the hard spring wheat, and
during the coming year it is expected
to in back a large Share of the lost
export trade. I is already beginning
to come, and from the character of re
ports from abroad the millers are con-
fident that larger things are to follow.
Small Beginnings.
The wa,ter ^power of St. Anthony
Falls made Minneapolis an inevitable
manufacturing centei. The vas,t wheat
fields ofy
the northwest, producing the
finest milling wheat \n the world, fur
nished the raw material, and this city
has grown in flour manufacturing with
the growth of agriculture in Minnesota
and the Dakotas. The first mills were
located here when wheat was raised in
flmall patches along the Mississippi
river, and it is tradition that some of
the first wheat ground was shipped up
the river by boat. The United States
government built a primitive mill at
J!_n .C.~. TT.4 Onallinn wo
the falls_ soon after. Fort Snellmg ao
made a military post, in 1821, in order
to grind flour for the soldiers' rations
in what was then a wilderness outpofat.
This mill was abandoned in a few years.
The first mill under private ownership
was built on the East Side in 1851 by
R. C. Rogers, but it was small and cut
little figure. I 1854 the fiist com
mercial mill was erected by John ROl
lras, John Eastman and I*. XJpton.
The mill was a small affair compared
with the monarchs of today, and its
outfitting would provoke a smile on the
face of a modern miller, but it was tho
real beginning of the industry here, and
bought wheat from the first farmers
roundabout, grinding it for the trade
and selling at wholesale. Several other
small mills -were started within the
next few years, but the indust ry did not
reach any great proportions before the
war. Minneapolis as too isolated from
the world to have any more than a
local market. There were no railroad
facilities, the wheat supply was small,
and in 1858,'it is said, it cost $2.25 to
transport a barrel of flour from Minne
apolis to Boston.
I 1856 the water pewer on the west
Minneapolis Flour Famous All Over the World for Its Purity
bank o*f the riyer pasaed..into the hands
of a new corporation, the Minneapolis
Mill company. I the following ye ar
William D. Washburn, a young lawyer,
moved to Minneapolis, and soon ac
cepted an offer to become agent for the
company. Under his management, di*
tmguished by energy and foresight, the
company prospered, and after the civil
war, when lailroad building began to
open commercial possibilities to the
city, the company took rapid strides
forward. Railroads opened fertile land 1|7_8
to settlement, splendid crops of wheat
were raised and transport ed to Minne
apolis, railroad outlets to the east"gave
it a market, and the milling industry
advanced rapidly in importance and
prosperity. I 1866 the beginnings of
the Washlyurn-Cre^fcy Milling company-
Were made by General C. C. Washburn
of Wisconsin, and in 1869 Charles A.
Pillsbury came to Minneapolis and took
a leading part in the business. The ori
ginal concern of Charles A. IPillsbury
& Co. became later the Pillsbury-Wash
burn Flour Mills company. During those
years other name appeared which later
became -well !krrown in the industry,
for instance, the names of Loriilg,
Christian, Crosby, Dunwoody and Bar
ber. I the ten years*after the war the
business of flour ^nillinff as revolu
tionized. For one thing? the invention
of improved farm machinery gave an
impetus to wheat raising} which becamb
the leading industry of the northwest.
The first primitive machines were fol
lowed by harvesters and self-binders
and improved threshing machines. The
cost of raising wheat was lessened, and
he mills fourfd available a swiftly in
creasing supply of grain avt
1900, "-when* tne temporary decline Bet
in, a decline which the trade believes
has been checked. I the ti me since
the creation of the export trade, the
production of the local mills has in
creased about fifteen fold. The follow
ing table shows graphically the progress
of the trade in twenty-seven years, the
.Minneapolis mill output and the export
shipments being given for each ye ar in
barrel s:
Year- Output.
040 7Sb
1880 2,051,840
1IS1 3 142 072
1882 J175,!10
1883 4 046 220
1884 5,317,672
1885 5 221,243
1887 1888 1880 180O lhl 1882 1803
1894 0.41)0 5
1895 10
18% 12,8T4,S')0
1897 13 625 205
prices that
eiSabled them to ertter th'e world mar
fets. A the same^time invention ma de
"rapid progress in tho line of milling ma
chinery, and Minneapolis kept in the
front' rank of fehis ^movement. Minne
apolis patent flcJuVofe&came more fa-nious
evereyyear, and-found a readier market.
3?he prQgies/i^e rote'n at 'the head of the
indus'tW- 'he'r,e did nolt ]vesijtat!e to t*eavr
out newiCm^c'hmery anjl renlace-' it wa't-h
a later^p&tt,ern .Wilia'ch- K,ouM i^fiO&lu.cje a
Ifiner gfljade oh |S^i|r. T'Wis s^i'Bi'.t re-
107 1^3
1 5"il 789
9,750,470 9 377,6",'5
1808 142)2 5"-5
1809 14 291 780
1000 15,082,725
1001 15 021,880
1802 16 260,10-.
190? 13,382,785
1904 13,652,735
Totals 4 230,838,429 67,097,454
I a Selling Center.
and to get in touch -wi th tte general
market, they have offices, or at least
representatives in Minneapolis. A con
siderable part of the product is as
sembled and shipped from here, and the
rail shipments from this city are nearly
always larger than the product of the
Minneapolis mills, altho this city itself
is a bigc consumer of the local mill out
put. The following table shows rail
shipments, both domestic and export,
by calendar years since 1876:
Tear Shipments.
187G 1 OOO 676
1877 933 544
1878 940 786
1879 1,551,789
1SSO 2,051,840
1881 3,142974
1882 3,175,010
1883 4,046,910
1884 5 317 672
1883 5,049.9 {1
1886 5 757.6S7
1.887 6 210 143
442 508
1,181,322 1,201,631
1 343,103
1,834 544
2,288 500
2, (.30 000
2 197,640
1,053 815
J. 107 12S
3,038,065 3,337,20" 2,877,277 2,370,738
3,080,935 3,717 265
3 942 630
3 994 395
4,009,135 4,702 4bo
3,879,903 .3,410 405
6,168 000
6,574 900
7 036 6S0
6,088 S63
fa BbS OiO
J.888 6,776,689
1889 6,071,171
1890 6,693.501
prices of the short year of 1903, yet well above the
low levels of the ye ar following.
The potato crop of Minnesota, North Dakota, and.
South Dakota, will bring' in $7,241,798 this year to the
farmers of the three states.
Acres per Total
Harvested. Acre. Bushels.
Minn... 140,051 64 8,960,960
N.Dak. 24,200 84 2,032,800
S Dak.. 32,437 8 9 2,886,893
N.Dak. 29,800
S.Dak.. 35,800
Minnesota 93,162 17.7 1,648,967 $0.64
1*. Dakota. 22,401 18.5 414,474 .60
S. Dakota. 33,843 16.5 558,410 .57
Year Shipments
1891 7 562 1S5
1892 8.368,784
3893 8 950.760
1894 9,026,640
1895 10,973,713
1896 12.757,135
1897 13 390.573
19 1900 1901
14.262.761 13.937.798 14,954,806 15 995.427
1 6 818 1-iO
16.227,299 14.129.785
1002 1903 1P04
Total 237,104,139
Big Three Great Advertisers.
Organization and advertising have
done much to make Minneapolis the
great flour city of the' world. Three
great corporations operate and own
mills producing nearly 9 5 per cent of
the total capacity of the twenty-two
mills now clustered about St. Anthony
Falls. Their great campaigns for pub
licity have kept them at the forefront
the country over, and a healthy rival
ry amo ng the three corporations has
only emphasized the pre-eminence of
Minneapolis. The five mills of the
Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills com
panhav a total daily, capacity. 6f
The importance of Minneapolis in the
gram trade is not limited i-v local
production. I Minnesota, the Dakotas
and Iowa, territory tributary to this
city and producing spring wheat, there
are many small mills, whose total pro
duction is more than half that of the
Minneapolis plants Most of these ^.^y
reach out for more than local .trade, 31,150 barrels. The five mills of the I
196,688 13,880,653 $8,000,853
Minn... 137,215 102 13,995,930 $0.29 $4,058,820
N.Dak. 24,926 111 2,766,786 .32 885,372
S.Dak.. 33,086 96 3,176,256 .30 952,877-
Minn. 155,000
9 5 14,725,000
Total Value
at Farm.
96 2,860,800
97 3,472,600
Rye, the least important of the grain crops of the
northwest, produces nevertheless a good revenue, and
this ye ar the crop represents a money value of $1,206,-
118. "Winter rye -was not up to expectations, or early
indications, this year, and this pulled down the total
by considerable. Summ er rye did better on the whole.
The rye area increased in all three states, and the
yields on the average were above last year. The money
val ue fails to show the gain that might be expected
to follow, as the markets are lower, and the farmers
unable to realize the figure of last year, except in
cases of the production of something exceptionally
Minneapolis is growing into importance as a rye
market, and it is believed this will operate to hold the
acreage as high as it appears this year, with probabil
ity of moderate increase from year to year.
Acres per
liar's esteu. Acre. Busheh
Mi nn 95,063 18.4 1,749,159
N.Dakota. 23,338 15.7 366,407
8. Dakota. 34,890 20.2 704,778
.36 .35
21,058,400 $7,241,798
pacity of-*37,913 for ,a day's run, and
the eight mills of the Northwestern
Consolidated Milling company have a
total daily capacity of 20,000 barrels.
The total capacity of the Minneapolis
mills is 82,765 barrels a day, and if it
were possible for the mills to run
steadily each working day of the year
they would record a total output of
nearly 26,000,000 barrels, or nearly ten
millions greater than the largest an
nual record up to date.
A list of mills now operated, witb.
the daily capacity of each, is as fol
in Brls.
Pillsbury "A" 15,000
Pil'sbury "B" 7,000
Anchor 3 500
Palisade 4,000
Lincoln 1,650
per Total Valua
at Farm.
153,291 2,820,344
$1,226,588 $1,055,339
Minnesota 95,100 18
N. Dakota. 26,980 19.3
S. Dakot a. 35,210 20.1
3 45
231,488 304,320
157,290 $1,206,118
3800 2.500
"C" 2.5O0
"I 2,700
"P." 2ooa
F" 8,800
"G" 1,700
"H" 1.000
Washburn "A" 10,337
Waehburn "B" 3.199
Washburn "C" 8,500
Washburn "D" 2.915
Waabburn "E" 2.JW4
Cataract, Barber Milling company 1.200
Phoenix, Phoenix Milling comiieny 600
Dakota, National Milling company 000
Christian, George C. Christian 2,000

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