The Paper Mill

 

tile factory about 1864

This picture, taken about 1864, shows the tile works on the west bank of the Fox river, below the bridge at Dayton. The paper mill was later constructed in the open area to the left of the existing buildings, about 500 feet south of the tile factory. As one of the major industries in Dayton, the paper mill received its fair share of mention in the Ottawa Free Trader.

 

July 12, 1879, p. 8, col. 1
The paper mill of Williams & Co., situated at the lower end of the manufacturing portion of the town, is one of the best in the state. Their products are so favorably known that running night and day the year round they are unable to supply the demand.

February 19, 1881, p. 8, col. 1
Williams & Co. shipped a car load of paper to Vermont a couple of weeks ago.

May 7, 1881, p. 8, col. 1
Mr. L. Eels, fireman at the paper mill, is lying dangerously ill with the erysipelas.

June 11, 1881, p. 8, col. 1
Mr. Brown, a paper mill hand, shipped his wife last Wednesday on account of her immorality.

March 8, 1884, p. 8, col. 1
The paper mill after being shut down for three months, will start up this week.

January 17, 1885, p. 5, cols. 1-2
The paper mill owned by H. B. Williams is closed for the winter, having at this time a large surplus stock on hand. It gives employment to 15 men.

January 9, 1886, p. 8, cols. 1-2
The tile works and paper mill have shut down for the winter, the latter mill putting in another machine. The tile works have had a very successful trade during the season and have sold off all their stock on hand.

February 20, 1886, p. 2, col. 4
We notice that Mr. Burks has invested in a new team and wagon. He will haul straw for the paper mill this summer.

May 8, 1886, p. 8, col. 3
The paper mill is to be started up this week, and has been rented by Mr. H. B. Williams to Messrs. David, Moore, and Hewitt. It has been overhauled, new water wheels put in, and will be in good shape for doing a good business.

July 10, 1886, p. 8, col. 4
The Paper Co. are turning out about six tons of straw wrapping paper per 24 hours.
H. B. Williams, Esq. has been painting and repairing his tenant houses in Dayton this spring, and greatly improved their appearances. The paper mill also received a coat of paint which makes it look quite respectable.

August 28, 1886, p. 8, col. 1
The paper company are putting in a new pulp engine and a new bleach tub.

September 18, 1886, p. 5, col. 3
The paper mill is receiving large quantities of straw every day. They are stocking up for winter.

November 13, 1886, p. 8, col. 1
H. B. Williams, Esq., has traded his interest in the paper mill here to F. D. Sweetzer for the latter’s interest in the agricultural store at Ottawa.

February 5, 1887, p. 8, col. 2
The paper mill has been shut down for a week or ten days to make some repairs.

February 12, 1887, p. 4, col. 6
Dayton, Ill., Feb. 11th, 1887. – The little Fox became the raging Ohio during the flood of last Tuesday. The paper mill lost six hundred dollars worth of straw, which is quite a loss to them, as it is difficult to replace it at this time of year, on account of the bad roads.
The paper mill has been fitted up with new calenders, and expected to start up this week, but cannot do so on account of high water.

February 11, 1888, p. 2, col. 4
The paper mill expects to get started this week or next. The state’s men have been busy during the past two weeks stopping a leak in the bank near the flume.

March 3, 1888, p. 8, col. 4
The paper mill men discovered another leak in their bank last week and put in a coffer dam so as to repair the damage. The holes in the bank were no doubt made by muskrats.

May 12, 1888, p. 8, col. 2
The paper mill was compelled to close down about ten days ago for want of straw. We understand they have now made arrangements for bailed straw to be shipped in and will soon be started up again. We hope they may find plenty of stock and not be obliged to stop their mill again during the year.

June 2, 1888, p. 8, cols. 2-3
The paper mill has started up again, and is getting a number of car loads of baled straw.

June 30, 1888, p. 8, col. 1
The Paper Co. are getting to plenty of baled straw and are running right along. The prospects at present are that there will be plenty of straw in the country for them after harvest.

25 Aug 1888, p1, col 4
Bart Ford, who hauls straw for the Dayton paper mill, was the victim of an unfortunate mishap on Monday evening. He was driving by the mill with a heavy load of straw, when the wagon wheels struck an obstruction and the load tipped over, throwing him to the opposite side of the wagon. He struck his face upon the tire of one of the wheels and was knocked senseless. He is terribly bruised and his nose is broken.

December 29, 1888, p. 5, col. 2
The Tile Works, Paper Mill and Collar Factory are running right along and doing a good business.

March 11, 1893, p. 7, col. 1
F. D. Sweetser has sold the Dayton paper mill to the Columbia Paper Company, a member of the trust, for $20,000. The mill was Dayton’s chief industry, and as the trust has closed it indefinitely, another nail has been driven in the coffin of village ambitions.

November 15, 1901, p. 12, col. 1
The young Indians were out in full force of Sunday morning, the event being the moving of the boiler from the old paper mill to the saw mill, at the organ and piano factory at Ottawa. It proved to be quite a task, but Bert Holmes and his little Eugene proved equal to the emergency. Mr. Lou Merrifield was in charge.

A Most Distressing Accident

Fred Green

Fred Green, who survived the accident

A most distressing accident occurred at the Williams paper mill at Dayton, on yesterday morning. The unfortunate victim was Fred Green, oldest son of Mr. Basil Green, aged 14 or 15 years. He was one of the employees of the mill, and while talking with some young men, was thoughtlessly handling a rope working a spindle. Suddenly his hand was caught in the machinery, his body was caught up and he was hurled through the air until two revolutions of the spindle had been made, when the hand was torn from the arm and he fell to the floor. His left hand was torn off; the same arm broken above the elbow so that it had to be amputated; two fingers on the other hand had to be amputated at the first joint, and both his legs were broken. Dr. Hard, happening to be in the village treating diphtheria patients, was called at once. He immediately telegraphed for Drs. Dyer and McArthur, who went to his assistance, and after several hours’ work left the unfortunate lad as comfortable as could be expected. His life is in great danger.1


  1. The [Ottawa, Illinois] Free Trader, May 29, 1880, p. 1, col. 3.