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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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KNAPP-TAINTER LUMBER COMPANY. Predecessor of the KNAPP, STOUT AND COMPANY. While journeying up the MISSISSIPPI RIVER, William M. Wilson, a resident of Fort Madison, Iowa discovered vast acres of timber and a small mill operated by the firm of Black and Green. Finding that the latter wished to sell out, Wilson returned to Fort Madison. He convinced John H. Knapp, a young college student, with money to join him. On May 19, 1846 Knapp and Wilson established a co-partnership and bought Green's share for $2,000. The company consisted of a single sash saw mill that produced 5,000 feet of lumber daily. The total capital of the company was $2,000. (1)

In June 1846 the mill began operating under the firm of Black and Knapp. Black died that fall, and Wilson and Knapp negotiated with his estate to purchase his half interest for $2,400. Andrew Tainter joined the business in 1850 and acquired a one-quarter interest in it.

In 1851 the firm hired a new salesman, Henry L. STOUT, who proved so successful that he was offered a quarter-interest his second year. By 1854 the company was renamed Knapp-Stout Company. When it was incorporated in 1878 the company's name became KNAPP, STOUT AND COMPANY. (1)



1. Kerker, Renae. "The Sage of the Sawdust: The Life of Henry L. Stout," Unpublished thesis, December 1, 1979, p. 2

Holand, H. R. "The Knapp-Stout & Co. Lumber Company." The Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 3, No. 4, Jun., 1920. Online: www.jstor.org/stable/4630265

Hudson, David; Bergman, Marvin; Horton, Loren. The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. Iowa City: The University of Iowa Press, 2008.