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March 25, 1864


St. Joseph Lead Company (St. Joe) is incorporated in New York with J. Wyman Jones as president. Purchasing 946 acres of land in and around Bonne Terre, Mo., the company plans to advance lead mining, which had taken place in the form of “open cuts or surface shallow shafts” since the early French and Spanish exploration.

J. Wyman Jones

J. Wyman Jones >>

First Furnace

St. Joe builds a reverberatory furnace with plans to build another the following year. The furnaces were stone ovens, sloping to the front and fueled by wood. Mineral concentrates were fed and stirred for several hours to produce metallic lead, which ran down the hearth to an iron pot. A single furnace manned by six men produced 32 pigs of 72 pounds each (a total of 2,304 pounds) in 24 hours.

2 Reverberatory Furnance

Early reverberatory furnace >>

Diamond Drill

President Wyman Jones and Treasurer H. N. Camp personally finance bringing a diamond drill to the region for further exploration purposes, leading to the eventual discovery of underground ore bodies in the area.

Diamond Drill

Diamond Drill >>
1874Production of lead metal reaches 3,400 pigs of 81 pounds each, or approximately 140 tons, per month.

5 drawing of  Bonne Terre circa 1880 scanned from1964-Herky 100th Booklet P4

Bonne Terre circa 1880 >>

Bonne Terre Mill Rebuilt

The mill at Bonne Terre is destroyed by fire. A new mill is built in just four months at a cost of $222,000 with a compact, and more efficient design, and a capacity of 900 tons of ore per day.

4 New Mill in Bonne Terre 1883

New Mill >>
1886Wyman Jones, with other Trustees, forms a separate company, The Doe Run Lead Company, which becomes a subsidiary of St. Joe in 1914.

Mississippi River and Bonne Terre Railroad

St. Joe completes construction of its Mississippi River and Bonne Terre Railroad from Bonne Terre to Riverside, Mo., reducing freight costs and providing revenue. St. Joe also acquires 540-acres along the Mississippi River at the old town site of Herculaneum, Mo., marked by only a few houses and remnants of shot towers along the river’s cliffs. The Company acquires the land with plans to build a lead smelter at the site.

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Bonne Terre Farming and Cattle Company

St. Joe forms Bonne Terre Farming and Cattle Company.

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Lead Smelter Opens

St. Joe opens its lead smelter in Herculaneum with the operation of calcine furnaces, two blast furnaces, a lead refinery, and a power house for steam and electricity generation.

Herculaneum Smelter Opens >>
1904 At the end of Wyman Jones era, the community of Bonne Terre, which began with two dozen log cabins and a frame house, had grown to a town of 5,000 with homes, schools, churches, a company store, a bathhouse with pool, streets, and water supply.


Bonne Terre, Mo., circa 1880 >>

The 1907 Panic

A banking crisis referred to as “The 1907 Panic” sets events in motion that create financial and borrowing challenges for the industrial community. During the next four years, St. Joe runs up significant short-term debts that threaten its existence, but is able to pay off the debt within eight years.

Electricity comes to Bonne Terre Mill and the end of mule trains at Leadwood mine.

The Bonne Terre Mill is equipped with electricity, replacing steam engines. The addition of air locomotives begins to replace mules on the main haulage line at Leadwood, MO.

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Baghouse Construction

Construction begins on the Herculaneum smelter’s baghouse. It is completed in 1916, and helped collect dust from furnace gases.

13 Herc first baghouse 1912 -1915 scanned from 1964-Herky 100th Booklet P13

Herculaneum baghouse >>

Flotation Introduced at Mills

Two years after Clinton Crane takes over as president of the company, St. Joe establishes its own sales department, selling a portion of its products directly to customers. The Company also introduces the flotation technique at its mills, which increases mineral recoveries and cost savings.

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St. Joe Shovel

The St. Joe Shovel is introduced. The rugged and durable electric scooping and loading piece of equipment, designed by Company engineers and built by the Thew Shovel Company replaces hand-shoveling of ore.


St. Joe Shovel >>

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St. Joe purchases the Federal Mills, which included the largest concentrating mill in the district.

Roof Bolts

St. Joe introduces the rock or “roof” bolt. Developed to hold the “back,” or roof, of the mine safely in place, the bolt had an anchor that locked it into solid rock, and a cover plate to secure the rock around the bolt. This was a major safety innovation in underground mining.

17  Roof Bolting-C1935

Roof Bolting >>

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Great Depression

St. Joe, like many other companies, was impacted by the depression. Rather than close operations, as many others did, St. Joe restricts operations to one week per month, thereby providing some income for employees. Additionally, the company provides employees with garden spots so they can raise food for their families, and permits employees to cut wood from company lands for heating and cooking purposes. The Company borrows $10 million and stockpiles thousands of tons of lead concentrates to provide employees with some money for family needs. By the end of 1936, operations resume to a five-day work week.

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1940s & 1950’sDepletion of the ore reserves in the Old Lead Belt in the 1940s drives St. Joe to search for new reserves. In 1945, St. Joe exceeds 3,000 employees.

Indian Creek Mine

Indian Creek Mine is discovered in Washington County, Mo. The site serves as the first major lead ore body to be discovered by St. Joe outside of the Old Lead Belt. The mine and mill begin operations in 1953

20 Indian Creek Mine Washington  Co., Mo.

Indian Creek Mine and Mill >>

Viburnum Trend

Exploration efforts identify ore deposits north of Viburnum, Mo., and by the late 1960s, the mines known by numbers as #27, #28 and #29 are established in what is now known as the Viburnum Trend. This area would one day be known as one of the largest lead deposits in the world and continues to play a role in the global lead market.

29 mine headframe

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Operational innovations and improvements include making the Indian Creek Mine the Company’s first mine without an underground railroad, by equipping it with rubber-tired, load-haul-dump equipment and transloaders. Early jumbo drills, which drilled four times faster than jackleg drills, were designed by St. Joe employees.

22 Transloader

Innovations in Mining >>
1966A $10 million modernization and expansion at the Herculaneum smelter is completed to accommodate increased production at the mines.

Increased Production

The Herculaneum smelter doubles capacity to produce 200,000 tons of refined lead per year. The Fletcher Mill, designed by St. Joe engineers, begins operations and is the largest individual producer of lead concentrates in the U.S.


Doe Run Lead pigs >>
1970 St. Joe changes its name to St. Joe Minerals Corporation.

Sentinels of Safety

The first of many Sentinels of Safety Awards presented to mines that today are owned by the Company, is presented to what is now known as Sweetwater Mine. The award recognizes the safest large and small mine in the U.S. each year. View all the Company’s Sentinels of Safety awards here.


Sentinels of Safety >>
Production ceases in the Old Lead Belt and all mining and milling operations are shifted to Viburnum Trend.

Brushy Creek Mill

The Brushy Creek Mill opens. It’s one of four mills built in the area during the era.


Brushy Creek Mine and Mill >>

Relocation to Viburnum

St. Joe relocates its southeast Missouri offices from Bonne Terre to Viburnum, developing roads, infrastructure, subdivision plots and services to support employees moving to the area.

29 New Village of Viburnum

New Village of Viburnum >>

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St. Joe Park

St. Joe presents the deed for 8,341 acres in Park Hills, Mo., to the state of Missouri for a park. Popular for ATV riding, camping, hiking, fishing and more, studies show that St. Joe Park operations, visitor spending, and multiplier impacts of that spending, results in additional $2.6 million dollars in tax revenue annually for the state of Missouri.


Beach at St. Joe State Park >>

Mine Rescue Contest

The Missouri Mine Rescue Association holds the first annual University of Missouri – Rolla/Missouri mine rescue contest. The St. Joe team took home 5th place in the Team Mine Rescue and 1st place in the individual Benchmen’s contest.

Casteel Mine Opens

#35 Mine, today known as Casteel, goes into production and steadily increases productivity. The Viburnum Mill is expanded, increasing its milling capacity from 8,000 to 12,000 tons per day.

32 Casteel Mine headframe

Casteel Mine >>

Pillar Recovery

The price of lead metal reaches one of its all-time lows, 19 cents per pound. While other mining companies close, the Company focuses

33 Pillar and drill

Pillar Recovery >>

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1986A partnership of companies, which includes St. Joe Minerals, is formed and named The Doe Run Company.

Lead Recycling Added

The Doe Run Company purchases and transforms a primary lead smelter in Boss, Mo., into a lead recycling facility, or secondary smelter. This is the first time a primary smelter in the U.S. is converted to a secondary smelter. The plant’s capacity is nearly triple the production capacity of existing secondary smelters at the time.


Buick Resource Recycling Facility >>

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Present-day Doe Run Formed

The Doe Run Company partnership dissolves. Under new ownership, the name of St. Joe Minerals Corporation is changed to The Doe Run Resources Corporation and the company is registered to do business in Missouri as The Doe Run Company (Doe Run).

Seafab Metals Purchase

Doe Run acquires Seafab Metals and creates Fabricated Products Inc., (FPI) a wholly owned subsidiary based in Arizona and Washington. FPI produces lead oxide for the manufacturing of lead-acid batteries and fabricated products used for roofing materials, medical and nuclear lead shielding, and bullet materials.


Seafab Metals Purchase >>
1998Doe Run acquires a primary lead smelter in Glover, Mo. By 2003, the smelter produces more than 130,000 tons of primary lead annually. The company also acquires the Sweetwater and West Fork mines and mills.

38 Glover circa 2003 4D7U2486

Glover Primary Smelter >>

Recycling Capacity Triples

The secondary smelter operation, Resource Recycling, in Boss, Mo., triples its initial capacity. Eventually, it becomes one of the world’s largest single-site lead recycling facilities.


Resource Recycling Production >>

Record Recycling

Doe Run’s Resource Recycling facility marks its second consecutive year of record recycling efforts, recycling more than 13 million lead-acid batteries. The previous year, it began processing parts of a decommissioned submarine, a first for the recycling division.
2009 Doe Run and the city of Herculaneum break ground on the construction of the Mississippi River and Bonne Terre Railway Bridge over Joachim Creek, on land donated by Doe Run. The bridge provides direct access to the Mississippi River for shipping, as well as quicker access for community emergency vehicles to the south side of Herculaneum. The bridge opened in 2012.

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First sustainability report published

Doe Run publishes its first annual sustainability report utilizing internationally recognized reporting standards to share progress related to the Company’s social, economic and environmental responsibilities. Visit to view our sustainability reports.


2009 Sustainability Report >>

Revolutionary Breakthrough

Doe Run unveils a breakthrough lead metal production technology proven to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emission and air-lead emissions.


Lead Electrowinning Process >>

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Mining Hall of Fame

Former Doe Run President and CEO, Jeff Zelms, is inducted into the Mining Hall of Fame.


Zelms inducted into the Mining Hall of Fame >>

Port Feasibility Study

Doe Run and the Jefferson Country Port Authority commission a port feasibility study that reveals repurposing the Herculaneum smelter property into a Mississippi River port could provide an estimated 2,000 jobs.

Planning for the Future

Riverview Commerce Park LLC enters into a letter of intent with Doe Run to develop nearly 500 acres along the Mississippi River, including Doe Run’s Herculaneum site. In 2013, Mississippi Sand is the first to ship products via a new port on the site.

46 Port Facility Approved

Herculaneum Port Facility >>

Herculaneum Smelter Closure

Doe Run closes its Herculaneum lead smelter, the last primary lead smelter in the U.S., in compliance with the 2010 agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Operations continue at the site’s refinery and strip mill.

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3 Million Safe Hours, Sentinels of Safety and Safety Milestones

The Company’s Seafab fabrication facility in Casa Grande surpasses 14 years without a lost-time accident. Meanwhile, the mining division reaches 3 million safe work hours with no lost time, and also wins two Sentinels of Safety awards in the same year – a first for the company, bringing its total to 27 since 1971.

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To learn more about The Doe Run Company, visit