Documentary History of American Water-works

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Northwestern States
Minnesota Stillwater

Stillwater, Minnesota

Stillwater was incorporated as a city in 1854.

Local resident Henry W. Cannon bought the McKusic water power in February, 1880, which included rights to McKusic's Lake.  His intention was to use this asset to promote development of a local water works system.  He worked with a group of St. Louis parties represented by Carroll E. Gray to design a system and form the Stillwater Water Company, which received a thirty-year franchise from the city on April 15, 1880.  The company built a system that began service in December 1880.

Voter approved $145,000 in bonds to buy the water system on May 10, 1910 and the city took over the system on July 1, 1910.

Water is supplied by the city of Stillwater, which has a history page.| also here |

1880 "H. W. Cannon last week purchased the McKusick water power," Stillwater Messenger, February 28, 1880, Page 4.

1880 Engineering News 7:134 (April 10, 1880)
Some time since the McKusic water-power was purchased by H. W. Cannon, who has since been negotiating with"Carroll E. Gray and others, of St. Louis, to form a company for the establishment of a system of water-works for Stillwater, Minn. A system, planned by W. H. Sears. C. E., has been adopted, which includes seven miles of mains, numerous reservoirs, and other appurtenances. They have elevations for reservoirs 150 and 250 feet above the level of the principal street, which will give ample head to throw water over any building in the city. Mr. Gray is now at Stillwater, prepared to put the necessary fund« into the enterprise, and commence work at once, provided the city will pass an ordinance giving a company, composed of prominent citizens and St. Louis parties, represented by Mr. Gray, the same and ordinary privileges accorded to waterworks companies. He is at present putting a system in the City of Eau Claire, Wis. He has established waterworks m various cities in the West, and in every instance has been eminently successful.

1880 An ordinance to provide for the Establishment of Water Works in the City of Stillwater, Minnesota, April 15, 1880.

1880 Stillwater Messenger, April 17, 1880, Page 4.
A special meeting of the council was held on Thursday evening, at which the water works ordinance was adopted. The ordinance as passed provides among other things that the city shall have twenty-five hydrants on Main street before the close of the present year: that when eighty-five hydrants shall have been accepted the city shall pay to the company $7000 annually for water therefrom and at a proportionate rate for every twenty hydrants completed before said number is reached that water shall be furnished free for at least four public drinking fountains and watering troughs; that for every twenty hydrants in addition to one hundred the charge shall be at the rate of $65 per hydrant per year.

1880 "Articles of Incorporation of the Stillwater Water Company," The Saint Paul Globe, May 18, 1880, Page 4.

1881 Stillwater, Engineering News, 8:413 (October 15, 1881)

1881 History of Washington County and the St. Croix Valley
Pages 526-527:  The Hathaway Water Supply.
Charles Hathaway procured a lot on Third street, between Myrtle and Chesnut, for the purpose of building a shop and home. At one end of the lot water flowed from the bank in large quantities. Cutting into the bank until he reached the clay, he built a reservoir of about three hundred barrels capacity and laid a pipe to the street below with conveniences for loading. The reservoir has an elevation of fifty feet above the street. This water is used by Hathaway in his shop and is also used for street sprinkling purposes. The cost of putting in pipe, etc., was $000. The supply amounts to seven hundred barrels per day and shows no signs of exhaustion.
Stillwater Water Company.
This company was organized April 15th, 1880, with a capital stock of $100,000. Board of directors: D. M. Sabin, Isaac Staples, E. W. Durant, R. F. Hersey, H. W. Cannon, C. E. Gray, and W. H. Swift. E. W. Durant, president; R. F. Hersey, vice-president; H. W. Cannon, secretary and treasurer. This organization was effected in compliance with acitv ordinance, for the establishment of water works, which provides that the city shall rent eighty-five hydrants and that the rates charged private consumers shall notbe greater than the average rates in St. Paul, Dubuqne and Clinton. The reservoir at McKusick’s lake covers upwards of thirty acres, with an average depth of ten feet, the lake being fed by springs. At the foot of the lake is established a filtering well and sub-reservoir for purifying the water. The pumping and engine houses are located near the lake and contain two Blake pumps with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons every twenty-four hours, at a low rate of speed or in case of an emergency 2,000,000 gallons. In addition to the pumping system 2,000,000 gallons more may be supplied in twenty-four hours to the lower portions of the city by natural gravity, owing to the elevated position of the lake. The principal main from the lake is sixteen inches in diameter and from that the water is forced through eight miles of pipe, for distribution through the city. The lake is one-quarter of a mile from the city and elevated one hundred and fifty feet above Main street. These works were put in by the Messrs. Fruin and Company of St. Louis, and are probably the finest in the state.

1882 Stillwater from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1884 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. May 1884

1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. October 1888

1888 Fifty Years in the Northwest, by William Henry Carman Folsom
Page 402:  Stillwater Water Company.
The site of the city abounds in beautiful springs. Charles Hathaway, while excavating on his lot near Third street, struck a large vein capable of supplying 1,000 barrels per day. He constructed a reservoir with an elevation of about fifty feet above the street, and from this source supplies the city with water for sprinkling streets and other purposes.
The Stillwater Water Company was organized April 15, 1880, with a capital stock of $100,000, and commenced at once the work of improvement. This company has never yet declared a dividend, having applied all its surplus earnings upon improvements. They have now 82 miles of water mains, 88 hydrants and about 260 taps.. The water supply is obtained from Lake McKusick, which is supplied from Brown's creek. The lake is 155 feet above the business portion of the city and is about a mile distant from the same. The water is pumped into a reservoir on the highest spot of ground in the city, which is 110 feet above the lake. The system is similar to that of St. Paul, the city being supplied in part by gravitation, and in part by direct pressure. The elevation of the reservoir results in a saving to the city in the matter of fire engines, etc. Any fire in the business part of the city can be extinguished with the use of hose alone. Que fire engine answers the purposes of the city. The first board of officers were: President, Edward Durant; vice president, R. F. Hersey; secretary and treasurer, H. W. Cannon.

1888 "Stillwater," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Stillwater," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. August 1891

1891 "Stillwater," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Stillwater," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1898 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. November 1898

1904 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. June 1904

1909 Henry C. Farmer v. Stillwater Water Co, et al., 108 Minn.41, May 14, 1909, Supreme Court of Minnesota | Records and Briefs |

1909 History of the Saint Croix Valley, Volume 1
Pages 115-116:  1880.   In April H. W. Cannon purchased the McKusick water power and commenced the establishing of a system of water works in the city. "Carroll E. Gray and W. H. Swift, of St. Louis, are to have charge of the construction of the water works in this city. They are to furnish hydrants, gates, valves, etc., to the extent of six miles of mains and pipes. There will be eighty-five hydrants." High water in June, 1880, sixteen and a half feet above low gauge.
"About fifty men are at work digging trenches and laying pipes. More than 500 tons of pipe have arrived. Yesterday Richard Fruin, one of the foremen, fell into the trench and was injured. H. H. Harrison has charge of a portion of the work."
The water works were completed and turned over to the company by the contractors, Fruin & Co., December 16, 1880, everything being completed and in perfect running order. The officers of the Stillwater Water Company are: President, E. W. Durant; secretary and treasurer, H. W. Cannon; vice-president, R. F. Hersey; directors, H. W. Swift, D. M. Sabin, Isaac Staples. Of course a full, complete test, or many tests, were made before the company formally accepted the job.

1910 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota. February 1910

1910 The Minneapolis Morning Tribune, July 2, 1910, Page 9.
Stillwater, Minn., July 2.- The waterworks of the Stillwater Water company were informally turned over to the city for municipal ownership yesterday and the details will be completed today with a deed of transfer for an an exchange of $145,000 in bonds.

1915 "The Stillwater Water Works," Fire and Water Engineering 58(10):181 (September 8, 1915)

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