IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
Saturday Evening Post
E. H. Thomas
Use of Illinois Canals
Cargoes of Salt from Illinois to Iowa
Illinois and Michigan Canal Still Navigable--Joy Morton’s Fleet of
I regard the proposed use of the two Illinois canals as a matter
of great importance, to the shippers and the people of the upper
Mississippi river towns, and they should encourage the present movement
in every way possible. Joy
Morton, President of the big salt company, has demonstrated that
this all water route between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi river is
the thing needed to reduce freight rates.
The city of Chicago is now taking an active interest in this
project, and the Mississippi river cities should do likewise.
As I have often said, the way to navigate, is to navigate.
This is what Morton is doing, and doing successfully.
He has leased Capt. Wallace’s entire fleet, three
steamers and seven barges, and is operating them, transporting salt from
Chicago to the west bank of the Mississippi River making a large savings
in freight charges. He has
aroused such an interest in this project that meetings are being held in
Chicago and other cities over there.
Below I give you the proceedings of one of these meetings, which
explains the situation. The
following is copied from the Chicago Record Herald:
federal authorities will aid the project for widening and
otherwise improving the old Illinois and Michigan canal from Lockport to
La Salle to make that abandoned water way a factor in the transportation
of freight from Chicago and the great lakes to Mississippi River points.
Information to this effect was given at a meeting and luncheon of
the water ways committee of the Chicago Association of Commerce at the
Union League Club yesterday afternoon.
Joy Morton, who was one of the first in many years to test the
practicality of transporting freight by the canal, gave a report on
voyages by several boats laden with salt through the canal, and urged
the co-operation of the Association of commerce and all Chicago in
obtaining an appropriation to carry out the improvement.
To Be Asked
A bill will be
introduced in the next legislation asking that $1,000,000 be
appropriated for the improving of the water way.
The canal while it was in use poured into the coffers of the
state a profit above expenses and interest of the cost of construction
of more than $500,000, which has been diverted by the state into other
channels. The proposed
improvement is in no way opposed to the deep water way project.
William A. Meese, an attorney of Moline, who is interested
in the project, addressed the meeting yesterday afternoon and stated
that the federal government had plans under consideration for the
reopening of the canal if the project was once started.
The steamer Aeolius and a barge will carry the
commissioners of the canal and guests through the old water way from
Joliet to La Salle tomorrow, leaving Joliet at 8 o’clock.
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