Palo Alto Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project
From "A Glimpse of Iowa in 1846; or ,
The Emigrant's Guide, and State Directory" by J.B. Newhall; Burlington, Iowa; 1846:
....Prospects for Mechanics and Laborers.
With respect to mechanical pursuits and trades, it will be obvious to the reader that the older States offer a wider scope for a greater variety of occupations than the new ones. But for all persons connected with mechanical pursuits, where utility is concerned, there is, generally, a certainty of employment and fair wages in most of the towns of any importance in Iowa. The following list will exhibit a pretty accurate statement of the average prices, (i.e.) journeyman's wages in the different towns. Of course, local and other incidental causes will frequently produce fluctuations in prices, and occasion variations from any fixed rule.
Stone Cutters, from $1.25 to $2 per day
Bricklayers and Plasterers, from $1.25 to $2 per day
Blacksmiths, a good trade in town or country. Wages, $1.25 per day and found.
Carriage Makers and Wheelwrights, $1.25 to $1.50
Shoemakers: Journeymen's wages good, in town or country
Tailors: considerable competition in the principal towns.
Hatters: too much competition from the merchants.
Saddle and Harness Makers, good in town or country.
Bakers, good in the towns.
Coopers: a good trade; materials plenty.
Millwrights: experienced workmen in demand
Tinners, good in the towns
Gunsmiths, good in town or country
Printers: prospects limited to the large towns.
Carpenters and Joiners, in town or country, $1.25 to $1.50 per day
Painters, good in the large towns
Tanners, who understand their business in all its branches, will succeed.
Day Laborers, in the towns, wages 75c to $1
Dairy Maids, who thoroughly understand making butter and cheese, and salting butter for a distant market
Respectable board and lodging will be obtained in any of the towns at from $1.50 to $2 per week
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