GALENA  The city of Galena, capital of Jo Daviess county, is situated on Galena river, about 8 miles from the Mississippi, 450 miles north from St. Louis and 191 W.N.W. from Chicago.  Thompson's Letters describe it thus: "The river on whose rocky shelf this city is built, is more properly an arm of the Mississippi river, setting up between lofty bluffs, around whose base it winds with picturesque effect. The streets rise one above another, and communicate with each other by flights of steps, so that the houses on the higher streets, are perched like an eagle's eyrie over-looking the rest and commanding an extensive prospect. Pleasant churches meet the eye, on the first ledge or terrace above the levee, and private residences, wearing an aspect of neatness and comfort, adorn each successive height."
The wealth and importance of Galena, is due mainly to the immense rich mines of lead which exist in and about the city in every direction. The number of men employed in the mining business, is about 3,000. A number of furnaces are in almost constant operation, two of which (Hughlets') turn out 15,000 pounds daily. Not only does the lead of her own city find shipment here, but for miles around, this is made the central market. The amount shipped in 1857, was 20,000,000 pounds. As a commercial point, this city is every year gaining in importance, it being the terminus of lines of boats which ply regularly between here and the various points on the upper Mississippi; the business of these lines is immense.
The tonnage of Galena is 4,962 tons. Number of cargoes arrived during 1857, 590. Amount of exports during the same year, 20,000,000 pounds pig lead, 226,000 bushels wheat, 300,000 bushels potatoes, 20,000 barrels flour, 34,700 barrels of salt provisions, besides large quantities of other articles.
The Illinois Central railroad also runs through this city, by means of which, and the Galena and Chicago Union road, she is put in direct connection with the latter city. Another line of road designed to connect Galena with various business points in southern Wisconsin, is being built, giving an eastern route through that state.
The city is surrounded by numerous streams of water, affording power to some twelve or fifteen mills, the products of which are brought to Galena for shipment. There are also in the city, three saw mills, and a large steam mill. The public and private buildings are built almost entirely of brick, and are uniformly neat in their appearance. The church edifices are all neat, not gaudy, and bespeak an air of quiet not often met with in cities of this size. There are twelve, viz,: One Episcopal, three Presbyterian, two Methodist Episcopal, two Baptist, one colored Methodist, one German Lutheran, and two Roman Catholic. The educational facilities of the city are as yet confined to the public schools. A new seminary is being built, in which will be a higher order of instruction, and where superior advantages will be presented. The number of pupils at present in attendance at the public schools is 1,004. A new U. S. Hospital is being built tit an expense of $30,000, and the foundations of a Custom House and Post Office have been laid; this building will cost about $70,000. Among the many new buildings erected during the past year, is a new passenger house, by the Illinois Central railroad company, which is an ornament to the city, and does away with a want which has long been felt by the citizens. The principal hotels are the De Soto House, Tyler House and City Hotel. Stages leave these latter for all parts of Wisconsin.
There are two newspaper offices here, the Advertiser, and Courier, both having weekly issues; one chartered bank, and several private banking institutions. There are in the city, seven ale breweries, three large leather finishing establishments, three soap and candle factories, two carriage factories, a large plow and agricultural implement factory, two iron foundries, two machineshops, five wagon manufactories, two furniture factories, a large pottery for the manufacture of earthen ware, six lumber yards and numerous brick and lime kilns. Population, 14,000.  B. B. Howard, Postmaster.  (Hawes' Illinois State Gazetteer...,1859)

Total Population 1840
Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
City or Town
Jo Daviess