A Talk With Blanchard.

Sunday, November 13, 1887

Interesting Information on the Salt Question.


Mr. Ben Blanchard returned from New York last night. During his absence he has visited many of the important salt mines and works in the United States. He visited those in Michigan and in New York. He was met by a NEWS reporter last evening and after a cordial greeting replied as follows to an inquiry as to his success: "The trip has been one of the most successful and also the most pleasant one of my life. I met many promising men in the salt business and among the numerous ones with whome I conversed, I did not find one who had not heard of the wonderful discovery in South Hutchinson. They are watching developments closely and critically.

"I may speak of one man in particular. His name is Ketchum and his home is in Milwaukee. He is one of ten men who opened the Saginaw salt mines of New York, and is also one of the oldest and best posted men in the salt business in the United States. He has watched the analyses made of our salt, and said that it would shut out their trade in the west and was bound to rule the Kansas City market. Mr. Ketchum said that within ninety days after they had commenced operations in the Saginaw district one million dollars was put in there to develop the salt product."

While absent Mr. B. visited the Piffard mines of rock salt, situated in Livingstone county, N.Y., about three miles and a half from the town of Pifford. This is a mine of rock salt, similar to ours, only not so pure. It is located in a desolate looking place, but the company erected large works, handsome buildings and numerous houses for their employes. It is also one of the largest mines of rock salt in the United States. Their output is twenty to forty cars of salt per day. He also visited the Genesco and Livingstone salt works which are located in the same county, both manufacture the salt by different processes.

Mr. Blanchard on his way east stopped at Kansas City and visited the packing houses. From them he learned that they consumed annually 60,000 tons of salt for which they paid $10.00 per ton. This they purchased from the Pifford Co's mines of New York, and also bought of a New Orleans firm.

This will give our readers an idea of the field that is open to us. Kansas City packing institutions pay out annually $600,000 for their salt. The same salt at Chicago can be bought for $8.00 per ton. Hutchinson is only 254 miles from Kansas City, and at this distance we can supply the Kansas City market with salt at prices that defy competition.

Mr. Blanchard informed the reporter that the Pennsylvania company that had visited us had let the contract for sinking a shaft. The company that secured the contract guarantee to sink a shaft through three hundred feet of quick sand if necessary. We have no strata of quick sand of this thickness, and nothing is to be feared on this score.

As to an inquiry as to the organization of this salt company Mr. B. said: "I am not at liberty at this time to give the name of the company that was organized during my absence. I would like to give you the names of the members of the organization to-night, but am under obligations to withhold them until after the charter is filed, which will be this week. The company will be organized with a capital of $1,000,000 and work will be commenced in the South Hutchinson well as soon as the machinery arrives, which will be in a short time. I have no interest in the company, but will reserve a royalty on the salt mined."