Colfax Township Industries

The first saw-mill in the township was put up by Andrew Bauchman and David Crall, on section twenty-three. The mill had a forty-eight inch circular saw and was run by eight horses and had a cutting capacity of about 2,000 feet of lumber per day. There have been three or four saw-mills at work in the township at once, but at this writing there is only one, operated by J. R. Dunning and located on section thirteen. It is a portable steam-mill.

There is a coal strata or formation in the northeast corner of the township, some two miles east of Winston. Some has been taken out, tried and found to burn well and of a good quality of coal, and was discovered on the farm of John S. Hughes. Several specimens were taken out in December, 1871, and an effort was made to organize a company to find out the extent of the vein, but it proved a failure. There is undoubtedly a paying vein of coal in Daviess county, but so long as wood can be purchased at from two to three dollars per cord, it will be many years before capital will embark in a coal-mining enterprise.

The progress of the township of Colfax was slow until the advent of the railroad. In 1871, the Chicago & Southwestern road was built, entering the township two miles east on its northern border and running diagonally, bearing to the west, through the township, giving it six miles of railroad and making an important station, Winston, between Gallatin and Cameron, an equal distance from each. The station is nearly in the center of the north part of the township. On its southern border nearly touching and running clear across from east to west is the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, and reaching its southeastern corner is the enterprising town of Kidder, in Caldwell county. The town line and county line being the same, it has, therefore, splendid shipping facilities, no farm within the township being over three or four miles from a shipping point. This makes the land valuable, yet there are plenty of good and cheap lands which should invite the attention of the immigrant. For good land, schools, churches, and transportation facilities, there are few better opportunities for investment than in Colfax township.

The Silver Spike

The Chicago & Southwestern Railroad, which was completed through Daviess county in 1871, was built from both ends of the line; from Leavenworth northeast to Cameron until they met the working force coming from the northeast and working to the southwest. These threads met in Colfax township, a few miles southwest of Winston. Quite a celebration was held and the last spike, a silver one, was driven in the presence of a large delegation of the officers and friends of the road and the surrounding farmers. One of the incidents of the occasion transpired at the close of the main speech. The speaker was rather slow and pompous, and at last finished, and with a grandiloquent gesture said: ” And now let the last spike be driven that unites the destinies of two cities,” and an old farmer yelled out, “that spike was driv an hour ago, mister.” The crowd felt the inspiration, but in mercy to the speaker we drop the curtain.

Cheese Factory

The “Banner Cheese Factory of Winston” was instituted in the spring of 1881, and commenced making cheese on the 7th of July following. The proprietors are A. G. Bradley & Son. They run ten presses and two large vats, and have a capacity of working five thousand pounds of milk per day. The farmers consider this one of the best institutions of the country, as they find ready sale for their milk at all seasons of the year.

Back to: Daviess County

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top