The Ice Harvest - 1902 

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; January 8, 1902
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Clinton Dealers at Work Filling Their Ice Houses.

An Early and Abundant Harvest is Expected – Ice Has Attained a Thickness of Sixteen Inches – Scarcity of Teams a Slight Drawback in the Work.

The ice in the Mississippi river at this point has now attained a thickness of sixteen inches, and the ice harvest is on. A glance up and down the river presents a busy scene. Patches of ice hundreds of feet in area have been staked off by the Clinton dealers, and on these men and teams are busily at work, hauling the crystal product to the shore, and thence to the big ice houses which were almost completely emptied of their contents as a result of the severity of the summer season.

Emig & Jenks have a broad tract of ice staked out in the channel of the river out from the foot of Sixth avenue and have a dozen teams at work there every day. C. Boock, the North Clinton dealer, who will fill the house near the court house this winter, has a “claim” at the foot of Oak street, and employs a good force of men and teams to perform the work. The work of filling the immense ice houses of the Northwestern has commenced, and all the other dealers have either started the season’s ice cut, or are making preparations to begin as soon as possible.

The Clinton ice dealers have found it extremely difficult to procure a sufficient number of teams for the work this year. This difficulty, one of them remarked today to a Herald reporter, is getting more noticeable as the years go by. There was a time when the mills were all running, that teams were abundant, and any number could be picked up without trouble. But of recent years this condition of affairs has been reversed, and although unemployed men can be found without much difficulty, the teams are hard to procure.

The old-time method of putting up ice with horse power is generally employed in Clinton. This year, however, Gabriel Bros., of the north side, introduced an innovation, and have erected north of their big house near the Lyons water works an engine house, in which powerful machinery has been installed for hoisting the ice from the channels up the long chutes built for this purpose. The new machinery saves a great deal of labor and time, thus giving increased facilities for securing a good harvest in case of early thaws. However, the minds of the ice dealers are perfectly easy in that respect, as no doubt there will be plenty of cold weather and ample time for all to reap an abundant harvest.

Fulton Ice Men at Work.
Fulton Journal: The ice harvest in Fulton is now on, having opened this morning, when S. J. Akker with a force of twenty-six men and six teams commenced the work of filling his ice house on the corner of Union and River streets with a splendid quality of crystal tubes. The cakes are about ten inches thick and free from all dirt and slush.
There are two large ice houses in Fulton an d to fill these houses will give employment to a large number of men for three weeks. In addition to these two large houses are several private ice houses to be filled, and the farmers for several miles around draw their supply principally from the river at this place.

Ice Elevator


Harvesting Ice

Cutting Ice


Hauling ice