1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Galena (Illinois)

GALENA, a city and the county-seat of Jo Daviess county, Illinois, U.S.A., in the N.W. part of the state, on the Galena (formerly the Fever) river, near its junction with the Mississippi, about 165 m. W.N.W. of Chicago. Pop. (1900) 5005, of whom 918 were foreign-born; (1910) 4835. It is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago & North-Western and the Illinois Central railways; the Galena river has been made navigable by government locks at the mouth of the river, but the river traffic is unimportant. The city is built on rocky limestone bluffs, which rise rather abruptly on each side of the river, and a number of the parallel streets, of different levels, are connected by flights of steps. In Grant Park there is a statue of General U. S. Grant, who was a resident of Galena at the outbreak of the Civil War. In the vicinity there are the most important deposits of zinc and lead in the state, and the city derives its name from the deposits of sulphide of lead (galena), which were the first worked about here; below the galena is a zone of zinc carbonate (or smithsonite) ores, which was the main zone worked between 1860 and 1890; still lower is a zone of blende, or zinc sulphide, now the principal source of the mineral wealth of the region. The production of zinc is increasing, but that of lead is unimportant. The principal manufactures are mining pumps and machinery, flour, woollen goods, lumber and furniture. Water power is afforded by the river. Galena was originally a trading post, called by the French “La Pointe” and by the English “Fever River,” the river having been named after le Fevre, a French trader who settled near its mouth. In 1826 Galena was laid out as a town and received its present name; it was incorporated in 1835 and was reincorporated in 1882. In 1838 a theatre was opened, one of whose proprietors was Joseph Jefferson, the father of the celebrated actor of that name.