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H. S. Tanner

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Several to Henry S. Tanner's maps of the United States show an "Economy" at the location of present-day Saukville, Wisconsin.  Given that this was never (so far as I have been able to determine) a name that was being considered for Saukville, I have been trying, without success, to find out why Tanner put this on some of his maps.  (See this for the research that I've done on this matter:  http://www.portwashi...n the trail.pdf )  If anyone can solve this mystery for me, I would appreciate it (A.Thompson@Astronautics.com).


Let me add a point of clarification:  I would like to become aware of proof that Tanner had obtained "information" for the existence (or anticipated existence) of this "Economy," and then placed it on several of his maps; and proof that Tanner later learned either that he had been given misinformation, or that the "Economy" in question would not be created, so that he therefore removed it from subsequent maps.

Edited by ACT I, 06 June 2013 - 02:22 PM.

Michael Schmeling

Michael Schmeling

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Hi. I may be on a completely wrong path, but reading your interesting paper it occurred to me that 'economy' means 'Wirtschaft' in German, but 'Wirtschaft' can also mean an 'inn' in English.




So, could it be that 'Economy' originally simply denoted the place of an inn, and was wrongly translated?

Michael Schmeling
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Arid Ocean Map Illustrations
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Dennis McClendon

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The 19th Century West was full of "paper towns," platted but never built—and many utopian settlements as well.  Economy sounds unusual to our ears, but may well have connoted thrift, success, and prosperity to 19th century Americans.  Less likely in the Old Northwest, but also possible, is that it was the site of "The Economy trading post."  


Have the Ozaukee County land records been checked for an early plat?  That's not dispositive, because the idea may well have been discussed in the newspapers of the time, but the plat was never actually drawn or filed.  A mere description of a "town site laid out at the forks of such and such, to be called Economy," if seen by Tanner or one of his predecessors, would have been enough for him to put it on the map in an attempt to make his map more accurate and complete than competitors.  


Mapmakers of the era were always trying to be up-to-date (even anticipatory) in showing proposed improvements, and history often proved them wrong.  Maps of Chicago from the 1860s show a turning basin at the forks of the river, and respected cartographers have accepted that as a source when drawing maps for Chicago history books.  But when working on the Encyclopedia of Chicago maps, I became dubious, since nothing showed up in the real estate records showing how or when it was filled in.  I went with my best judgment, and three years later discovered a panoramic photo taken in 1871 that proved my hunch to be right.

Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics

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