LETTER FROM SALT LAKE.
[CORRESPONDENCE OF THE UNION.]
SALT LAKE CITY, October 7th, 1873.
An Important Movement.
Some time ago I informed the UNION that measures were proposed and a company was talked of to develop the iron deposits in the southern portion of Utah, and there furnish the requisite iron for the Utah Southern and other railroad enterprises directly affecting southeastern Nevada, northern Arizona and southern Utah, and the connection with the Texas Pacific, or whatever railroad crosses the continent as a southern Pacific line. The par-ties who proposed moving in the matter were rather dilatory in taking active steps, but its importance was too patent to be disregarded by men of enterprise. Various Californians and Nevadans turned their attention towards it—even Colorado parties were calculating on the advantages to the Denver, South Park and Utah Railroad from their engaging in it, while prominent Mormons have seen for years the necessity of something being done in this direc- tion, but those most anxious for it have lacked the necessary capital. The story goes, of late, that John H. Ely, of Raymond & Ely fame, who is well known in the West as a successful mining operator, with some others, was about to inaugurate, practically, the needed measures to open up extensive iron mines, start foundries and enter upon the business of turning Utah into Pennsylvania, with probable loud clamors in the future for Congress to encourage, by ap-propriate protective enactments, stove casting and railroad iron manufacture in this region, But these prospective attempts have been fore-stalled by the formation of two companies, thoroughly Mormon, and headed by men who fully enjoy the confidence of their coreligion-ists, and, indeed of the community—one to mine and manufacture iron ; the other to build a railroad north to connect with the Utah Southern, and thus hasten the connection of Salt Lake with Star District, Beaver and Iron counties, southern Utah and the land of figs and oranges away in the warmer counties of California. The manufacture of
Iron in Utah
is no mere theory, but has been proved practic-able by sundry expensive experiments. More than twenty years ago an attempt was made to manufacture iron from the ores of Iron county. Extensive buildings were erected, much money was expended, but practically, in a paying point of view, the thing was a failure. A man may be an exceedingly earnest expounder of former or latter day revelations, and be a very poor metallurgist. There was much praying ever the matter; many fervent exhortations were offered; a good deal of money was invested, and considerable faith apparently wasted ; but the desired iron was not forthcom-ing. Yet iron was made, and of a quality which competent judges pronounced equal to the best Russian. It seemed, however, to have been an accidental production, for the requisite knowl-edge was wanting to blend the proper combina-tions of mineral for fluxing purposes, though "experts" say all the necessary flux for smelting the ores is on the ground. The ores are specu-lar, red hematite and magnetic; and centiguous to them are seemingly exhaustless deposits of coal, some of which contain sufficient carbon to meet the requirements of iron-smelters and foundrymen.
But the proposed manufacture was not en-tirely abandoned. Experimental smelting was attempted by different individuals in various parts of the Territory; and in 1859 one N. Y. Jones, a Mormon Bishop of Salt Lake, visited the principal iron districts of England, gath-ered what information be could, and returned to Utah determined to make a success of the manufacture. He smelted iron, and a superior quality of it, but a cold contracted in the can-yons induced pneumonia, which resulted in his death just when he had every prospect of en-listing capital to aid him. This was more than ten years ago, and his later experiments were made within less than twenty-five miles of this city. In 1868, Ebenezer Hanks, another Mor-mon bishop, Seth M. Blair, an old Texan, "half horse, half alligator," semi-lawyer, and some-time Mormon; Homer Duncan, a man of gen-eral enterprise, and some others, recommenced operations, founding Iron City, in iron county, and going to work on the vast deposits of iron ore there. The first tangible success is due to this company. They have made iron, turned out castings, and con-ducted the business of iron manufacturers, though on a limited scale, their results being bounded by the limited means at their com-mand. Some of these gentlemen are inter-ested in the later incorporation. The iron company has for its President one General Wm. B. Pace, with a local reputation for being a bard rider where there is Indian fighting to do and he is on the trail of the red-skins, and a character unblemished by mercenary acts. He is an old member of the Utah Legislature, hav-ing run through several sessions, and he pos-sesses a general character for probity, hard sense and enterprise, which cannot but be of benefit to the incorporation.
The railroad company is presided over by George A. Smith, Counselor to Brigham Young and Second President of the Mormon Church. Taking these men and those who are associated with them, and the enterprises have the brightest prospect, so far as influence goes, for early and ultimate success.
Utah has felt the effects of the financial col-lapse East more severely than the papers pub-lished here would indicate. In conversa-tion yesterday with one of our bank. ers, the subject for consideration being the accumulation of crude bullion at the different smelters', he declared that to handle the bullion of this region, and keep the leading mines working, on fifteen days ac-ceptances, would require a million dollars. This sum is more than the entire capital stock and deposits of all the banks in this city ; and as a consequence some mine and furnace owners are tolerably hard run. One mine in Black Jack Gulch, Bingham Canyon, which yields ore of high grade and commanding a ready sale, is shut down for lack of money. Others have reduced the number of their work-men, while both smelters and mines appear to be dependent upon the con-sideration or financial condition of parties other than the owners. This shows how hollow is much of the mining speculation and connect-ing operations in this region. Mines which should be making money to their owners, for they are yielding well, are in danger of being stopped on the first ten days' scarcity of money, with every indication that another ten days as stringent as the past would see half of them ut-terly powerless to do a thing; for even at some of the richest the workmen aver that if pay does not soon come they will not wait for work to stop, but will stop working. Here are valu-able deposits of ore, yielding largely and steadily, yet they are so ridden down and overloaded with managing directors, "captains," special "experts" sent to exam-ine them, blackmailers, general extravagance, and actual dishonesty, that almost every one of them is worked on the “from hand-to-mouth" principle, and dependent upon rapid and con-stant sales of ore and bullion for means to pay the actual working expenses. The farmers here are all right. They have breadstuff's, which are enhanced in value, if anything, by the "crash," and except the light taxes which they are called upon to pay, there is no actual de-mand for ready money from them at this season of the year. Hotel keepers, general dealers, impecunious curb-stone brokers, and dime spec-ulators, suffer, while the great mass, embracing the agricultural population, know little of mat-ters financial except as they see it in the news-papers.
The Territorial Fair
opened a few days after the closing of Hussey's bank, the First National of Salt Lake. I call it Hussey's because he was the great stockholder of the concern, and when Coolbaugh's Union National of Chicago closed its doors he was compelled to close his with $50,000 in United States bonds in his safe, but lacking the cur-rency he had ordered from Chicago, and with-out which he could net make prompt payments to depositors. The Territorial Fair has been open since Thursday last. In some things it is a fair exhibition, but taken as a whole it is a failure, simply because the Territory is not properly represented. In fruits, flowers, woolen manu-factures and improved breeds of stock the show-ing is satisfactory, but a large portion of the Fair is taken up with little efforts of ladies' workmanship, in the shape of patchwork quilts, “tidies," knitting and netting specimens, and the like, which are all very well in their place, vet do not show that material progress which has marked Utah for a few years past. There is a sort of apathy about these Fairs, mainly, I imagine, because they are managed year after year, by the same men, and the people imagine m advance about how it will be, and how the whole thing will be handled. Certainly the ex-hibition of this year, while it should in every department far excel, scarcely comes up to the one held four years ago, which Colfax visited and expressed his high opinion of.
The Mormon Conference
is also in progress as well as the Fair, and the combination throngs the streets with visitors. So far the conference has developed nothing more than the usual preaching, with the calling of some score of missionaries to go to the East-ern States, Europe and the Sandwich Islands, those going to Hawaii being young men. The preaching has been mainly of an exhorting character, "the faithful" being urged to be prayerful, diligent in paying their tithes and wide-awake to the judgments which are visiting : and will continue to visit the wicked for their sins, and which they—the saints—are likely to get a double dose unless they keep the weather-eye open and steer close in the wind's eye by the chart of truth. The building of temples was strongly urged, and as the zealous Mormon always associates some kind of persecution with building temples, it is possible they imagine now is a good time to startup a little business in that way. One thing is certain, that temples or no temples, the very element is here to wake up any requisite amount of persecution for the Mormons, with the most remote prospect of success, for Utah's missionary jurist does not feel that his mission is ended; and there are numbers of his faithful henchmen here who would delight in aiding him to accomplish all that he believes should be done for the final overthrow of Mormonism. As a result of this temple preaching there will doubtless be an increased effort made to push forward the construction of the one in this city, which has been rising with some rapidity during the last few months, and when erected and finished will justly take rank as one of the noblest buildings on the continent. It should be understood that in the Mormon theology temples are not in-tended as places of public worship. Taberna-cles are built for that purpose, and they are of the plainest puritanical style, as a general thing. But temples are to be elaborately fin-ished, inside and out, and will be used solely for the performance of those rites and cere-monies which the Mormon deems essential to his salvation—baptism, baptism for the dead, and marriage included.
The teachers of the Territory, organized as the "Deseret Teachers' Association," were in council the last three days of last week. As a representative body of men they augur well for the educational future of Utah, Generally they are well-cultured, earnest and of more than mediocre ability; and they are seeking de-votedly to elevate the standard of education in this region. Free schools and a thoroughly organized system now occupy attention, and in furtherance of the latter a committee of the teachers have drafted a new school law, with the view of presenting and, if possible, having it passed by the next session of the Territorial Legislative Assembly. The closer thinking men see that a free school system, at present, is an impossibility, for the reason that a major-ity of the counties have not sufficient money among the people to pay their present county and Territorial taxes, and consequently could not pay them were those taxes increased. If the amount assessed could betaken in potatoes, wheat, carrots, and similar articles of produce, it could be readily paid, for the people are not actually poor, but they are, in the greater num-ber of counties, very much without a medium of currency. The law as it stands allows two-thirds of the taxpayers of any school district to assess, by vote, a school tax which would be amply sufficient, to establish and sustain, in that district, a tree school, and I think a number of the school districts have availed themselves of it, while more have only acted under it suffi-ciently to furnish school houses, maps, books and school apparatus.
The Supreme Court of the Territory is in ses-sion. Nothing important has occurred, except the appointment by the court of two bailiffs, as its executive officers, one being the United States Marshal, the other the Territorial Mar-shal. This recognizes the official status of the latter, which has been a contested point since the Third District Court refused to accept him as its legal executive officer, and the Supreme Court of the United States virtually declared that he legally held his appointment.
There is considerable excitement at Beaver, caused by parties jumping land claims, the land having become more valuable than it was through the development of the mines in that region, the establishment of a military post there, and the rapid growth of the place. One man was killed last week, I think over this dif-ficulty; but the telegraph has tailed to furnish particulars, and there is not quite time for them to be received by mail.
To-day we have had the first snow of the sea-son. It has rained hard in the valley a part of the day, and the mountains east and west show snow a third of the way down from their sum-mits. The Territorial Fair will close to-morrow, and the Conference will probably adjourn at the same time, restoring us to our latest normal condition of moderate dullness. U.
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