Dayton Had Plenty of Water Power

January 27, 1855, 166 years ago today, the following notice appeared on page 4 of the Ottawa Free Trader.

Water Power To Lease

            The undersigned offer great inducements to capitalists and manufacturers, as they have decidedly the best water power in the state, having over 25 feet head and fall, and situated in Dayton, 4 miles above Ottawa, and drawn from the Fox river Feeder, which is kept in repair by the state, without any cost to the undersigned. They have water to lease for a term of years sufficient to drive 20 run of 4 ½ feet burrs, and will lease on very liberal terms to any good, responsible company.

            This is a rare chance for men of capital who may wish to go into the manufacturing business. The location is very healthy and admirably situated; as it is on a navigable feeder, within 4 miles of the contemplated Rock Island railroad, and the head of steamboat navigation. For further information, address Dayton Jny 31.

                                                                                                            John Green & Sons

When John Green bought the west side of the Fox river at the rapids, he became the owner of one half of the water power the river provided. (The other half belonged to the owner of the east bank of the river.) Green deeded one fourth of the power he owned to William Stadden. Green and Stadden then deeded one half of their water right to the Canal Commissioners for the Illinois-Michigan canal. Therefore, John Green’s share was 1/2 of 3/4 of 1/2 or 3/16 of the power of the river. He then deeded to Jesse and David Green one half of the power owned by him or 3/32 of the whole river. A government survey of the river in 1869 calculated the volume of the river was 40,000 cubic feet per minute at or near the mouth of Indian Creek. 3/32 of 40,000 equals 3750 cubic feet per minute and this is equal to 142 horse power. The use of the best wheels and machinery at the Green mills would equal 114 horse power, so John Green & Sons had excess power to lease.

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