Wilmington, past, present and future : embracing historical sketches of its growth and progress from its establishment to the present time, together with outline of North Carolina history
Wilmington, past, present and future : embracing historical sketches of its growth and progress from its establishment to the present time, together with outline of North Carolina history
Reilly, J. S.
Wilmington N. C.
FACTS & FIGURES,
J. S. REILLY, PUBLISHER.
Via Nashville and Evansville.
To Chicago and all Points North
4 TRAINS BETWEN EVANSVILLE AND TERRE HAUTE. 2 TRAINS BETWEEN EVANSVILLE AND CHICAGO. 2 TRAINS BETWEEN EVANSVILLE AND CINCINNATI AND INDIANAPOLIS.
Between Indianapolis and Evansville, Daily.
Between Chicago and Evansville, Daily.
TAKE THE SHORT LINE WHEN GOING NORTH!
G. J. GRAMMER, Gen. Pas. Agt. E. & T. H. R. R., Evansville. WM. HILL, Gen. Pas. Agt. C. & E. I. R. R., Chicago.
Past, Present & Future,EMBRACING
HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF ITS GROWTH AND PROGRESS FROM ITS ESTABLISHMENT TO THE
PRESENT TIME, TOGETHER WITH OUTLINE OF
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY
ALSO A REVIEW OF ITS MANUFACTURING, MERCANTILE, NAVAL, AND GENERAL BUSINESS
ADVANTAGES, TOGETHER WITH STATISTICS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF OPERATIONS
IN THE DIFFERENT TIMES AND INDUCEMENTS
OFFERED TO ALL CAPITALISTS.
TO WHICH IS ADDED SKETCHES OF THE PRINCIPAL BUSINESS
HOUSES AND MANUFACTURING CONCERNS OF THE
METROPOLIS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
J. S. REILLY.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH.
| ||PAGE |
|Aaron & Rheinstein, Dry Goods, Notions, Hats and Shoes ||87 |
|Adrian & Vollers, Wholesale Groceries and Liquors ||112 |
|Atkinson & Maning, Insurance Agents ||101 |
|Bank of New Hanover ||91 |
|Bear, Sol., Dry Goods, Clothing, Boots, Shoes, &c. ||105 |
|Behrends & Monroe, Dealers in Furniture, Carpets, &c. ||129 |
|Bladen Steamboat Company ||92 |
|Boney, G. I., Pearl Hominy and Grist Mill ||100 |
|Bridgers, P. L. & Co., Groceries, &c. ||86 |
|Brown & Roddick, Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods and Notions ||127 |
|Brunhild, H. & Bro., Wholesale Liquors and Tobacco ||120 |
|Cape Fear and People's Steamboat Company ||90 |
|Carolina Rice Mills ||81 |
|Chamber of Commerce ||60 |
|Chadbourn, J. H. & Co., Clarendon Saw and Planing Mills ||77 |
|Champion Compress and Warehouse Company ||107 |
|Churches ||32 |
|City Government ||23 |
|City of Wilmington, N. C. ||12 |
|Commercial Hotel ||120 |
|Cotton ||63 |
|County Government ||27 |
|Cowan Saw and Planing Mill ||113 |
|Craft, Thomas C., Furniture, Mattresses, &c. ||107 |
|Crapon, Geo. M., Retail Grocer ||109 |
|Cronly & Morris, Auctioneers and Real Estate Brokers ||79 |
|Croom, J. L., Wholesale and Retail Grocer and Liquor Dealer ||116 |
|David, A., Wholesale and Retail Clothing and Merchant Tailor ||117 |
|DeRosset & Co., Shipping and Commission Merchants ||117 |
|Dyer, John & Son, Tailors and Haberdashers ||99 |
|Educational Matters, &c. ||29 |
|Evans & Von Glahn, Boots, Shoes and Leather Dealers ||118 |
|Express Steamboat Company ||97 |
|Financial, &c. ||59 |
|First National Bank of Wilmington ||122 |
|Fore, James A., Proprietor Harrison Planing Mills ||82 |
|French, George R. & Sons, Boota, Shoes, &c. ||93 |
|Gilbert, H. D., Bakery, &c. ||85 |
|Giles & Murchison, Hardware, Queensware, &c. ||119 |
|Goodman, Wm., Dry Goods, Gents’ Furnishing Goods, &c. ||99 |
|Gore, D. L., Wholesale Grocer and Commission Merchant ||111 |
|Gore, W. I & Son, Commission Merchants ||113 |
|Green, W. H., Wholesale and Retail Drugs ||122 |
|Hansen L. & Co., Ship Chandlers and Grocers ||112 |
|Harbor and River Improvements ||44 |
|Harriss, Geo. & Co., General Commission Merchants and Ship Brokers ||125 |
|Harriss, Dr. W. W., Cotton and Naval Stores Broker ||114 |
|Hayden, P. H., Carriages, Harness, &c. ||86 |
|Heide & Co., Ship Brokers, &c. ||100 |
|Heinsberger, P., Live Book and Music Store ||111 |
|Heyer, Matt. J., Wholesale Grocer Liquor Dealer and Commission Merchant ||115 |
|Hicks R. W., Grocer and Commission Merchant ||89 |
|Hollingsworth & Co., Livery and Sales Stable ||95 |
|Holmes & Watters, Grocers, &c. ||81 |
|Huggins, J. B. & Co., Family Groceries, &c. ||110 |
|Jacobi, N., Hardware, Paints, Oils, &c. ||109 |
|Jones, J. H., Livery, Feed and Sales Stable ||121 |
|Katz, M. M., Staple and Fancy Dry Goods ||114 |
|Kenan & Forshee, Merchandise Brokers ||109 |
|Kerchuer & Calder Bros., Wholesale Grocers and Commission Merchants ||79 |
|King, F. M. & Co., Tinware, Stoves, &c. ||98 |
|Linder, G. W., Grocer and Liquor Dealer ||89 |
|Love, C. S. & Co., Commisiion Merchants ||92 |
|Lumber and Shingles ||71 |
|Mallard, J. H., Harness, Saddlery, Collars, &c. ||129 |
|Manufacturing Advantages, &c. ||62 |
|Martin, Alfred, Commission Merchant and Manufacturer of Turpentine and Rosin ||102 |
|McDougall & Bowden, Dealers and Manufacturers of Carriages and Harness ||130 |
|McIlhenny, J. K., Wholesale and Retail Drug Store ||102 |
|Mebane, Chas. P., Ship Broker, Commission Merchant, &c. ||94 |
|Metts, James J., Merchandise and Produce Broker ||127 |
|Miscellaneous Manufacturing and Mercantile Interests ||72 |
|Mitchell, B. F., & Son, Commission Merchants, Millers and Grain Dealers ||124 |
|Munds Bros. & DeRossett, Druggists, &c. ||119 |
|Munds, James C., Druggist ||85 |
|Munson's Clothing and Merchant Tailoring Rooms ||117 |
|Naval Stores and Turpentine Products ||65 |
|New York and Wilmington Steamship Company ||94 |
|Northrop & Cuming, Lumber, Shingles, &c. ||103 |
|Ocean Carrying Trade and Shipping Interests ||51 |
|Oldham & Co., Corn Mill, Meal and Feed ||105 |
|Otterbourg, L. J., Wholesale and Retail Clothier ||110 |
|Parker & Taylor, Stoves, Tinware and House Furnishing Goods ||83 |
|Parsley & Wiggins, Saw and Planing Mill, Sash, Doors and Blinds ||116 |
|Patterson, Downing & Co., (Roger Moore, Manager), Exporters of Naval Stores, &c. ||129 |
|Peck, Geo. A., Hardware, Sash, Doors, Blinds, &c. ||89 |
|Penny, W. J. & B. F., Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods, Notions, Clothing, &c. ||123 |
|Peschau, E. & Westermann, Ship Brokers and Commission Merchants ||128 |
|Powers, E. J., Guano Company ||95 |
|Press (The), Its History, &c. ||34 |
|Preston Cuming & Co., Corn Mill, and Dealers in Grain, Feed and Peanuts ||126 |
|Produce Exchange ||60 |
|Public Institutions, &c. ||37 |
|River Navigation ||59 |
|Robert Portner Brewing Company ||80 |
|Shotler, S. P. & Co., Naval Stores ||108 |
|Shrier, I., Wholesale and Retail Clothing and Gents’ Furnishing Goods ||124 |
|Smith, D. A., Dealer in Furniture, &c. ||104 |
|Southerland, T. J., Livery Stable ||101 |
|Springer, J. A., Dealer in Coal, Wood and Cypress Shingles ||128 |
|Springer, W. E. & Co., Wholesale Hardware and Dealers in Agricultural Implements ||115 |
|Sprunt, Alexander, & Son, Naval Stores and Cotton Brokers ||125 |
|State of North Carolina ||10 |
|Stevenson, J. C., Groceries, Provisions, &c. ||86 |
|Tabular Statement of Destination of Exports ||76 |
|Taylor, J. W., Saw Mill, &c. ||82 |
|The Achme Manufacturing Company, and Manufacturers of Cotton Seed Oil, Fertilizers, &c. ||83 |
|The Navassa Guano Company, Fertilizers, Sulphuric and Muriatic Acids ||91 |
|The Purcell House ||97 |
|The Wilmington Cotton Mills ||88 |
|Thomas, Orin T., Art Studio ||118 |
|To the People of Wilmington ||77 |
|Transportation Facilities ||48 |
|Turrentine, John R., General Merchandise and Produce Broker ||121 |
|West & Co., Wholesale and Retail Grocers ||104 |
|Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing Company ||105 |
|Willard, A. A., Salt and Cotton Buyer ||98 |
|Willard, M. S., Insurance Agent ||98 |
|Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company ||96 |
|Wilmington in 1884 ||22 |
|Wilmington Iron and Copper Works ||108 |
|Woody & Currie, Commission Merchants ||96 |
|Worth & Worth, Naval Stores, Cotton, Molasses, Groceries, &c. ||90 |
|Wright, C. B., Flour, Pearl Hominy and Meal ||111 |
|Yates, C. W., Books and Stationery, Pianos, Organs, Photograph Gallery, &c. ||126 |
TILESTON NORMAL SCHOOL, MISS AMY M. BRADLEY, PRINCIPAL.
It has been said, that the value of anything may be determined by the attitudes and positions you can place it in, and in how many different aspects it may be regarded. Judging by these rules we may certainly flatter ourselves that this publication is a very important and useful one. It is important and useful as giving, in concise yet comprehensive form, an exhibit of the trade and commerce of the city, together with sketches of her leading business interests. It will be found interesting to the general reader, in that it contains as complete a record of the historical events connected with the early settlement and progress of this section as can be gathered together at this day. It will be of service also with respect to the material advancement and development of the resources and advantages of this community, presenting, as it does, some idea of the great possibilities held out to future enterprise.
But we prefer that the work should speak for itself. The facts that are stated in the following pages may be implicitly relied on, for we are not residents of Wilmington, and our review is an entirely impartial one. In a work of this character there is nothing left to the imagination, and facts and figures have been carefully gathered with the utmost care and without regard to expense.
Our work, then, is presented to the public with the belief that it is as nearly accurate as such a work could possibly be made.
Before concluding, we take occasion to return our thanks to the liberal and enterprising citizens of Wilmington for many kindnesses and hospitalities received at their hands, and for the generous patronage bestowed upon our efforts.
We are especially under obligations to Hon. A. H. VanBokkelen, President of the Chamber of Commerce; Roger Moore, Esq., President of the Produce Exchange; Col. John L. Cantwell, Secretary of the same; C. P. Mebane, Esq., and the city press.
|THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.|
It would be impossible for our work to be complete did we fail to make some allusion to the great State upon whose broad bosom the City of Wilmington has grown, and from whose resources she has drawn the vitalizing elements of prosperity.
The State of North Carolina, by the enormous extent of her relations, agricultural, industrial, commercial and social, has long been recognized as a leading commonwealth in the sisterhood of States. Placed under a kindly sky, in a temperate climate, in the center of a great civilization, midway between New York and the Gulf of Mexico, she proudly takes her place on equal terms with her sister States, and is dependent alone upon her own boundless resources and the energy and enterprise of her people. North Carolina is bounded on the north by Virginia, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by South Carolina and on the west by Tennessee, and is the most northerly of all the South Atlantic States. It is often called the “Old North State.” It is situated between parallels 34° and 36½° north latitude, and between the meridians 75° 27‵ and 84°20½′ west from Greenwich. In point of size North Carolina is the sixteenth state in the Union, and is almost exactly the size of England. The extreme length of the State from east to west is 503¼ miles, its average breadth is 100 miles; its extreme breadth is 187½ miles. Its area embraces 52,286 square miles, of which 48,666 is land, and 3,620 is water.
Its topography may be best conceived by picturing to the mind's eye the surface of the State as a vast declivity, sloping down from the summits of the Smoky Mountains, an altitude of 7,000 feet to the level of the Atlantic Ocean. The Smoky Mountains constitute a part of the great Appolachian Chain, which here attains its greatest height; the greatest, indeed, in the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains.
This slope is made up of three wide extended terraces—if the expression may be allowed; the first is a high mountain plateau—distinguished as the Western or Mountain Section; the second, a sub-montane plateau, distinguished as the Middle Section, of which the western half is still further distinguished as the Piedmont Section; the third, the Atlantic Plain, distinguished as the Low Country or Eastern Section, and that part from the head of the tides downward, as the Tide-water Section. From the first to the second section there is a sharp descent through a few miles only of not less than fifteen hundred feet; from the middle to the low country a descent of about two hundred feet; through the two latter, however, there is a constant downward grade.
The State is traversed by two ranges of mountains. The first is the Blue Ridge, a grand and lofty chain, which conforming to the trend of the Smoky Montains and that of the coast line, runs in a direction northeast and southwest entirely across the State. The Brushy and the South Mountains are bold offshoots of this chain. The second, the Occoneeche and Uwarrie Mountains, a range of much inferior elevation, whose rounded summits and sloping outlines present themselves in forms alike graceful and pleasing, crossing the State in a parallel direction near its centre.
The State is watered by numerous rivers, many of which have their rise on the flanks of the Blue Ridge. Those which flow west empty into the Mississippi, breaking their way through the Smoky Mountains, plunging headlong for miles through chasms from three to four thousand feet in depth, the walls of which are perpendicular to the height of one thousand feet. Some of these gloomy passages have never been explored; no boat could live in such a current, and no foothold can be found along the sides. Of those which rise on the eastern flank, only one, the Roanoke, reaches the sea within the borders of the State. The rest following the line of the softest rock, meander first towards the northeast, then sweeping round with bold curves, flow to the sea through South Carolina. The principal rivers which reach the sea within the State limits take their rise in the northern part of the Middle Section, and on the eastern flank of the Occoneeche range, near its northern termination, and of these, only one, the Cape
|Fear, flows directly into the ocean. The eastern rivers are navigable from fifty to one hundred and fifty miles.|
By reference to the mean parallels of latitude in the United States, it will be seen that North Carolina is situated nearly midway of the Union, and, inasmuch as those States lie entirely within the temperate zone, it follows that North Carolina is situated upon the central belt of that zone. This position gives to the State a climate not excelled by any in the world. She is exempt from the extreme cold which prevails in the Northern States, and to a considerable extent from the early frosts which visit the States immediately north of her, on the one hand, and from the torrid heat and malarial influences which prevail in the States south of her on the other. Other causes apart from position concur to produce this result, but we have not space to mention them. From the incoming of October to the latter part of December there is an almost uninterrupted succession of bright sunny days, during which the air is dry, crisp and pure—a season equally favorable to the ingathering of crops and to active exertion of every kind. The reign of winter, as respects cold and wet, is short, and field labor is carried on throughout that entire season, with the exception of two or three days at a time. The average rainfall throughout the State is fifty-three inches, which is, as a general rule, uniformly distributed throughout the year.
Dr. Kerr, in his Geological Report, classes the climate of the different sections of the State, with reference to their isothermal ranges, as follows:
“Middle and Eastern North Carolina correspond to Middle and Southern France, and Western North Carolina to Northern France and Belgium; and all the climates of Italy from Palermo to Milan and Venice are represented.”
The population of the State in 1880 was 1,399,750. There were 867,242 white persons, 531,277 colored and a few Indians.
North Carolina was the first State to declare herself independent of Great Britain, which was done at Charlotte on the 20th day of May, 1775, at which time the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed; and the first geological survey made by public authority in America was made by the State of North Carolina in 1823.
Another fact worthy of note is, that North Carolina is the only State in the Union that fills every agricultural blank sent out by the Department at Washington.
The following were the farm products of North Carolina in 1880:
Cotton, 389,598 bales; Tobacco, 26,986,213 pounds; Corn, 28,019,839 bushels; Wheat, 3,397,393 bushels; Oats, 3,838,068 bushels; Rye, 285,160 bushels; Barley, 2,421 bushels; Buckwheat, 44,668 bushels; Irish Potatoes, 722,773 bushels; Sweet Potatoes, 4,576,148 bushels; Hay, 93,711 tons; Rice, 5,609,191 pounds; Wool, 917,756 pounds; Butter, 7,212,507 pounds; Horses, 133,686; Mules, 81,871; Milch Cows, 232,133; Cattle, 425,293; Sheep, 461,638; Hogs, 1,453,541
The total number of farms in the State in 1880 was 157,609.
The following figures give the manufactures of North Carolina for 1880:
| ||Value of Products. ||No. of Hands Employed. |
|Naval Stores ||$1,758,488 ||1,798 |
|Lumber ||2,672,796 ||3,029 |
|Tobacco ||2,215,154 ||3,583 |
|Flour and Mill Products ||6,462,806 ||1,844 |
|Cotton Goods ||2,554,482 ||3,232 |
|Woolen Goods ||303,160 ||185 |
|Paper, Printing and Publishing ||145,000 ||105 |
|Carriages and Wagons ||334,900 ||380 |
|Agricultural Implements ||178,449 ||257 |
|Leather, tanned ||367,920 ||220 |
|Fertilizers ||300,000 ||125 |
No section of the country presents more favorable inducements to enterprise and industry than the State of North Carolina. In fertility and variety of soil, unlimited mineral resources and healthfulness of climate, her advantages are unsurpassed, and offer to capital and labor a vast field for active and successful operations.
|THE CITY OF WILMINGTON, N. C.—ITS HISTORY.|
We, of the present day, are so imbued with the notion of this being an age of progress and enlightenment, as compared with its predecessors, that we very frequently either altogether deride the attainments and performances of our forefathers, as being unworthy of our attention, or regard them with such a cold, patronizing glance, that our approval of them is rather an insult than an honor to their memory. And yet there are times when this self-laudation is not only ill-timed, but unfounded; when it would contribute much more to our present benefit, if we thought how little rather than how much we had progressed, and considered that, while running more speedily than our predecessors, we may be on an entirely different line, instead of the direct roadway which they were pursuing. It would be well, then, if every one were at least familiar with the leading events connected with the history and early settlement of the community in which he resides, and had some knowledge of the character of the people to whom the civilization of to-day is so much indebted. Of all the departments of intelligent research, the study of historical events is certainly the most interesting, having attractions peculiarly its own. The student of human nature here finds the lives of all kinds of men, the circumstances that led to the formation of their characters, and the influence they exerted upon their contemporaries and their posterity. The student of prophecy here finds the data upon which his surmises regarding the unforseen future must be built. Gathering together the tangled webs of the past, and looking at their issues, he has some guide as to what is likely to spring from the events going on around him, and a clue to the movements and changes to which in turn these will give rise.
The voluminousness of historic detail, however, brings with it one or two serious drawbacks—one is, that it is impossible to overtake all history, and it is, therefore, needful to confine one's attention to a comparatively limited portion of it. It would be impossible, for instance, to write a complete history of the world for a single year—for no building could contain the books that would have to be written—a lifetime would not suffice to write it—a lifetime would no be long enough in which to read it.
Recognizing the full force of what we have said, and, also, that “brevity is the soul of wit,”—as well as having a due regard for the purposes with which this volume is published—we content oureslves with endeavoring to present, in as concise a shape as we may, some few of the principal events of the city's past history, trusting that we may be able to make at least some slight record of those early times so pregnant of the city's future greatness and importance, as well as of her latter days of permanent and assured prosperity.
Before proceeding at once with our subject, it would, perhaps, prove of interest to our readers to know that there are many who contend that the name of the majestic river to which Wilmington owes her existence as a city, should be called by another name: that is to say, that Cape Fear should be Cape Fair. It is said that the name was originally so given because its surroundings presented to the early adventurers so fair and attractive an appearance. It is, furthermore, stated by some authorities that neither the cape or river were ever called by the present name until after 1750, and never officially until 1780. The preponderance of evidence, however, is strongly in favor of the existing name as against the more attractive appellation. The word was unquestionably often spelt “Fair,” and there is, therefore, some foundation for the controversy. The true explanation of the apparent misnomer is, doubtless, to be found in the fact, that in those days a most startling latitude and license in the matter of spelling was universally allowed and most recklessly indulged in—every man being, as it were, his own Webster. Plantation was “plantacon;” proposals were “proposealls;” grant was “grannte;” engage, “ingaige;” growth, “groathe,” and so on ad infinitum. In pursuing this inquiry, it must be borne in mind that it is to the name of the cape,
|and not that of the river, that investigation must be directed, as for nearly a hundred years the cape bore its name before the river was known to history. In De Bry's map of Lane's expedition, 1585, although no name is given to the cape, the two Latin words, “promontorium tremendum,” sufficiently attest the knowledge of its location and dangerous existence. In the narative of Sir Richard Greenville's first expedition in the same year, the following entry is read for the month of June, 1585: “The 23d we were in great danger of a wreck on a breach called the Cape of Fear.” Again, two years later, in the narrative of White's first voyage, we are told that in July, 1587, “had not Captain Stafford been more careful in looking out than our Simon Fernando, we had all been cast away upon the breach called the Cape of Fear.” It will be observed that in those days a “breach” constituted a beach. The river at first bore a different name, being called Charles River, and it was some time after 1663, that it took the name of the cape, and was called Cape Fear River. The first settlement on what is now Cape Fear River, was made in 1659 or ’60, but was abandoned in 1663. In the same year one of the first acts of the Lords Proprietors of the Colonies, after receiving the liberal grant from the Crown, was to publish an important document, denominated the “Declaration and Proposealls to all y’t will plant in Carolina.” It was published in August, 1663, and one of the first results effected was during the autumn of 1665, when Sir John Yeamans, with a colony of men from Barbadoes, sailed into Cape Fear River in search of a site for settlement. It was one of the strict requirements of the “Proposals” of the Lords Proprietors that for every fifty acres of land granted there should always be one man, “armed wth a good firelock musket, performed boare, 12 bullets to ye pound, and wth 20 pounds of powder and 20 pounds of bullets.” That's what colonization meant in those days. It was not so much against the Indians, however, as it was against the pirates, who infested the coast, and the Spaniards in Florida, that these precautions were necessarily taken. It was, probably, through fear of the latter that the Lords Proprietors were so anxious that settlements should be made to the westward of Cape Fear in order that the North and South Provinces might the more readily afford each other mutual aid and protection. However that may be, the first condition in the Proposals was: “If ye first collony will settle on Charles River, near Cape Feare, wch seems to be desired, it shal be free for them soe to doe, on ye larboard side enteering. If in any other parte of ye Terrytory, then to chose eithr side, if by a rivr.” The colonists were empowered to fortify the mouth of the river, and were presented by the King with twelve pieces of cannon and a considerable amount of ammunition for that purpose. Agreeably to the terms and stipulations contained in the Proposals, Sir John and his men landed on the west side of the river, selected a site, and laid the foundation of a town. In honor of the reigning King, it was called Charleston, or as it was at first, and for years afterwards written, Charles Towne. Among historians there has been much doubt and uncertainty as to the exact place selected, but tradition has fixed the spot beyond dispute. It was at or near the junction of Old Town Creek with the river, about eight miles below Wilmington, on the north side of the river, an evidence of which may be found, if any were wanting, in the fact that just before our late civil war an old cannon was found, deeply imbedded in the earth, and almost devoured by rust, at this spot|
The town “assumed immediate importance, and in less than two years numbered eight hundred souls; and built up an important trade with the West Indies, particularly in timber and staves.” And such was the desire for emigration to it from Barbadoes that the Legislature there felt called upon to pass an act prohibiting “the spiriting people off the Island.” Its prosperity, however, was but temporary, and it soon began to decline. It can now only be conjectured what caused its decay. At any rate in 1671 Sir John was appointed to succeed Governor Sayle, and together with most of the colonists sailed for Port Royal in the Southern Province, and afterwards removed to the neck of land between Ashley and Cooper Rivers, and founded the present city of Charleston, S. C. Many of his descendants are still living. The new town afterwards went totally out of existence, and it is conjectured by some that what few inhabitants it had left founded the old town of Brunswick. Brunswick was situated on the river, some sixteen miles below the present City of Wilmington, at the place afterwards known as Fort Anderson, which was the scene, during the late war between the States,
|of one of the most terrific bombardments known in the history of modern warfare. Our first authentic knowledge of it begins in 1820, and in 1825 Col. Maurice Moore, a grandson of Sir John Yeamans, received from the Lords Proprietors a grant of 1,500 acres of land on the west side of the river, and proceeded to lay off a town on its most eligible site, which he named Brunswick. Emigration rapidly set in, and many gentlemen of culture and refinement, we are told, came here from both Carolina and Virginia, and others from England. In the same year, also, a number of educated gentlemen, disgusted with the despotic laws of New England, settled here. It was from ancestors such as these that many of the most illustrious names in the history of this section were handed down to the present day.|
The exposed roadstead of Brunswick, and the discovery that its harbor was unsafe for such crafts as were then in use for bringing produce from the upper rivers, necessitated a further exploration up the line of the river for the purpose of securing a more suitable place for the reception and shipment of the produce then constituting the principal articles of export from this part of the Province, and the present site of the City of Wilmington was determined upon as the best for the purpose required. Accordingly in 1730 the first settlement was made, a village was laid out, and wharves and buildings first erected. It was called New Liverpool. In 1732, a survey having been made for the purpose of laying it out as a town, the settlement was called Newton or New Town. In 1735, John Watson received a grant for 640 acres of land, situated on the west side of the Cape Fear River, and including the village or town of Newton. In 1739, through the influence of Gabriel Johnston, then Governor of the Province, the name of Newton was changed, by Legislative enactment, to Wilmington, in honor of his patron, Spence Compton, Earl of Wilmington. From this time forward the town of Wilmington grew rapidly in wealth and population, while the old town of Brunswick sank into obscurity and decay, and was finally abandoned. It is believed by some that it was burned by the British during the War of the Revolution, but that Wilmington had previously absorbed almost the entire population. It was near Brunswick that, on the 8th of August, 1775, Josiah Martin, the last Colonial Governor of North Carolina, fulminated his proclamation against the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the Governor at the time being on board H. M. ship Cruiser, whither he had fled from the righteous indignation of the people. The only vistiges of the city now remaining are the walls of old St. Philips Church, which was built, prior to the Revolution, of brick imported from England. The walls are two feet thick, and apparently strong enough to stand another century of exposure. It is, by the way, a somewhat memorable circumstance that, during the terrific bombardment of Fort Anderson during the late war, by the Federal fleet, on the day and night of the 18th of February, 1865, not a shell, or even the fragment of a shell, struck the old church, although its walls frowned upon the war vessels from the immediate rear of Anderson.
In 1738 the Parish of St. James embraced the whole of New Hanover county. At that period there was no parish church, and in 1747 the Court House was used as a place of worship. During this year the lot upon which the Church of St. James now stands was presented to the parish by Michael Wiggins, on which the first church was afterwards erected. It was nineteen years in course of construction, and when finished was a huge, barn-like structure of brick, without ornament, but of most ample accomodation within. It gave place in 1839 to the present more commodious and elegant edifice. An interesting incident in the history of this church is worthy of mention in connection with the city's history. In 1749 a number of Spanish privateers, availing themselves of the defenseless position of Cape Fear, entered the harbor and committed a number of depredations upon the inhabitants. The people hastily collected and attacked them. During the action one of the pirate vessels was blown up and captured, and a number of valuables were taken from the wreck. The proceeds of this property were afterwards applied to the building of the churches of St. Philips and St. James at Brunswick and Wilmington. Among other acts of the General Assembly of North Carolina, will be found the one passed in 1760, authorizing a lottery to raise money to build the church of St. James Parish at Wilmington, and appropriating part of the effects of this vessel to the same object. Modern lottery companies are here presented with a precedent as to the righteousness of their undertakings.
|Among the many curious things found in this pirate was an “Ecce Homo,” a painting of the Savior in one of the scenes of his passion as described in St. John XIX, 5. This valuable painting is still preserved in the vestry of St. James’ Church, and probably came into possession of the pirates in one of their marauding descents upon the South American or West Indian coasts.|
IN 1758 sixty persons owned houses in the town of Wilmington, valued in the aggregate at $6,625. In 1762 the population of the place approximated one thousand persons. February 25th, 1760, the citizens were granted a charter erecting Wilmington into an incorporate borough, to consist of a Mayor, a Recorder and eleven Aldermen. John Sampson was chosen Mayor and Marmaduke Jones, Recorder. Among those elected Aldermen were Cornelius Harnett, Dan. Dunhibben, Arthur Mabson, Sam. Green and Moses John De Rossett. The borough had power to enact its own laws and send a representative to the General Assembly. It seems, however, that a portion of this charter must have subsequently been set aside, as we find that afterwards the names of five gentlemen chosen appear as Commissioners.
In September, 1761, a violent equinoctial gale raged along the coast of Cape Fear. It lasted four days, and was very disastrous in its effects. Such was the fury of the storm, that the waves forced open a new passage from the river to the ocean, and what is known as the New Inlet, which has lately been closed at so much trouble and expense, dates its existence from this time.
On September 1, 1764, the first newspaper ever published in Wilmington made its appearance. It was called the Cape Fear Gazette and Wilmington Advertiser, and was edited and published by Andrew Stewart.
North Carolina is certainly entitled to precedence of the other colonies in taking steps toward throwing off the British yoke, for at Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, on the 20th of May, 1775, there was drawn, signed and sealed, the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independance. But Cape Fear, as a section, anticipated the action of the State. The Stamp Act received the King's assent March 22d, 1765. The people of North Carolina were so warm in their indignation, and so violent in their opposition to this flagrant violation of the rights of the colonists, that Governor Tryon, who was called by the Indians the “Great Wolf of Carolina,” was afraid to convene the General Assembly.
Early in 1766 the British sloop-of-war, Diligence, arrived in the river Cape Fear, having on board the stamped paper destined for the use of this Province, and on the 6th of January the Governor issued a proclamation announcing the circumstance, and calling on all persons authorized to act as distributors of the stamps to make application therefor to the commander of the sloop. But on the first notice of the arrival of this vessel, Col. John Ashe, of the County of New Hanover, and Col. Waddell, of the County of Brunswick, assembled the militia of the two counties, and marched at their head to the town of Brunswick, where the sloop was anchored, and notified its commander of their intention to resist the landing of the stamps. It was judged best by him not to make the attempt. A party was then left to watch the movements of the sloop, and the rest of the militia marched back to Wilmington, carrying with them one of the boats belonging to the vessel. Having fixed a mast in it, with a flag attached, they hoisted it on a cart and drove triumphantly through the streets of Wilmington—the inhabitants all joining in the procession. At night the whole town was illuminated. On the next day a great concourse of people, headed by Col. Ashe, proceeded to the residence of the Governor, then situated on the south side of what is now Market street, between Front and Water streets, and demanded audience with James Houston, one of the Council, who had been appointed Stamp-Master for the Province. The Governor first declared his intention not to allow it, unless Houston would come willingly, but the people threatened to set fire to the house, and proceeded to make preparations for so doing. The Governor then requested Col. Ashe to step inside and talk over the matter with the Stamp-Master, when Houston, finding himself so obnoxious to the people, went with them to the market house, where he took a solemn oath not to proceed with the duties of his office, whereupon the people gave him three cheers and conducted him back to the Governor. Thus ended the first overt act of armed resistence to the British Crown. In the latter part of February, at a general militia meeting in
|the town of Wilmington, the Governor offered to the people there assembled a barbecued ox and a number of barrels of beer. They were refused; the ox was thrown in the river and the beer poured out on the ground. The Stamp Act was repealed, and on the 26th of June the Mayor, Alderman and Recorder of Wilmington presented an address to the Governor, congratulating him upon the fact. This manly resistance to oppression on the part of the people of the Cape Fear section, was but the first exhibition of a valor and patriotic enthusiasm that soon brought about a revolution against the most powerful Government on the face of the earth, which finally resulted in the establishment of American liberty and independence.|
In August, 1774, the citizens of Wilmington sent to the relief of the people of Boston, who were then suffering many privations from the arbitrary enactments of the British, a large sum of money and a vessel of provisions. The vessel was tendered free of cost by Parker Quince, Esq., and the captain and crew refused any compensation whatever for their services.
On the 19th of June, 1775, after the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence had been signed, the citizens of Wilmington assembled themselves together and unanimously resolved themselves into an association, whose avowed object was resistance to the Government of Great Britain by an appeal to arms. A committee of safety was appointed, which remained in office until February 1776, and means of defence aganst the British were immediately collected and arranged. War was imminent, and the utmost prudence and foresight were exercised in making the necessary preparations to meet the emergency. Knowing that they occupied a revolutionary aspect, and that they were at any moment liable to British attack, these patriots did not hesitate. They fully appreciated the fact that Fort Johnson was the key to the district; knew that it was defended by British bayonets, and that Gov. Martin, the executive head of affairs in the State, had there taken refuge. They were fully aware, also, that the guns of the British man-of-war, Cruiser, commanded the place. Yet, in the face of all this, they were determined that Fort Johnston should be reduced. Thoroughly frightened by the demonstrations of the colonists, Gov. Martin caused the guns and stores of the Fort to be removed to the Cruiser, and was preparing to follow them himself, when on the 18th of July, Col. John Ashe and his followers appeared before the walls of the Fort. Martin immediately fled to the ship, the works at Fort Johnson were burnt and destroyed under its very guns, and Col. Ashe and his men returned to Wilmington. In the language of another, “Thus, nobly upon the Cape of Fear, closed the first act of the drama, and when the curtain rose again, George, by the grace of God, King, was King no longer, but the Constitution reigned, and the free people of North Carolina governed themselves.”
During the Revolution, the town of Wilmington became a place of much military importance. The most important event of this period, perhaps, as regards the town of Wilmington, was the battle of Moore's Creek, which occurred about eighteen miles from the city, where the county bridge now crosses that stream. It was fought on the 27th of February, 1776, between the Scotch Tories, under Brigadier General McDonald, and a small body of patriot Whigs, under Colonels Caswell and Lillington. The Tories were on their way to Wilmington to effect a junction with Sir Peter Parker and Major-General Sir Henry Clinton, who arrived in Cape Fear with a military and naval armament, on April 18th, 1776. The Tories were completely routed with great loss of both men and arms. The victory was an exceedingly important one, for the reason that it entirely broke up an intended British campaign in North Carolina. Clinton, being sorely disappointed at the result, and despairing of obtaining a foot-hold in the Cape Fear section, after landing with a part of his troops and devastating a portion of Brunswick County, re-embarked and sailed for Charleston on the 4th of June.
In 1780 the town of Wilmington became one of the military posts of the British army in America, and a dwelling house at the corner of Third and Market streets was used as the headquarters of Lord Cornwallis during the occupancy of the town by the British. The enclosure around the graveyard of St. James Church was removed, the edifice stripped of its pews and other furniture, and converted first into a hospital, next into a block-house for defence against the Americans, and last into a riding school for the dragoons of Tarleton. This old and historic church could lay no claims in those
|days to architectural beauty. It was built of brick, and extended thirty feet into what is now Market street—standing about fifty yards east of the site of the present edifice.|
During the Revolutionary period the history of the town became blended with the records of the common country, and we hasten on.
During the period extending from the close of the Revolution to the second war with Great Britain, the people of Wilmington and its vicinity were distinguished for gaity, cordiality, generosity and sociability. Many opulent planters made the town their residence for a part of the year. Men of leisure, in conjunction with gentlemen of the liberal professions, moderated and refined the spirit of trade, and gave an elevated tone to society. The woods furnished game in abundance, and the river and neighboring ocean many varieties of fish. Racing was greatly indulged in, and gentlemen prided themselves, rather upon the quality of their horses than the style of their equipages. Style was hardly considered of so much importance then as now.
In the wars of 1812 and with Mexico, Wilmington was not behind in zeal and patriotism, and the blood of many of her sons was shed upon the heights and plains of Monterey, Buena Vista and Palo Alto.
Prior to the late civil war Wilmington had become one of the most prosperous and wealthy cities in the South. With a safe and convenient port, the outlet of the most highly productive portions of this great State, her trade and commerce had grown to extensive proportions, and an era of unbounded prosperity was being enjoyed. But cruel war came again, commerce was prostrated, trade paralyzed and society completely demoralized for the time. Every available man was needed in the Southern armies, and the port was blockaded by the Federal fleet. Although the State did not secede until the 20th of May, 1861, she had for more than a month been committed to the act. The news of the bombardment and capture of Fort Sumter by the Provisional forces, on the 14th of April, fired the people of North Carolina with patriotic zeal, and fearful lest Forts Caswell and Johnston, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, should fall into the hands of the enemy, the young men of Wilmington rushed to arms. On the 15th of April, Col. John L. Cantwell, then commanding the 30th regiment of the North Carolina militia was ordered to proceed, with the volunteer companies under his command, to Smithville and Caswell and occupy the forts there. This order was countermanded on the same day, but on the day following a final telegram was received from Governor Ellis directing his previous order to be at once put into execution. On the morning of that day, therefore, four volunteer companies from this city, the Wilmington Light Infantry, Capt. Wm. L. DeRossett; the Wilmington Rifle Guards, Capt. O. P. Meares; the German Volunteers, Capt. C. Cornhelson, and the Cape Fear Light Artillery, Capt. John J. Hedrick, embarked for the forts below. This, and the almost simultaneous seizure of Fort Macon, in Beaufort Harbor, was the signal for the revolution in North Carolina. It is certainly a fact worthy of note that the news of the secession of the State from the Federal Government, and the call upon her people to arm themselves, was first made known to the pioneer troops of Cape Fear upon the parade ground of Fort Caswell. These four companies were the first in this section to take active part in the commencement of hostilities, and eventually gave to the war some of the most illustrious names that the South can boast. In the meantime troops began to assemble from all parts of the State, and the most distinguished men of the time offered themselves to the Executive for service. The terrific struggle between North and South began in earnest, and troops were rapidly advancing to the front. A Federal blockade was soon placed upon Southern ports, nothing but battles were thought or spoken of, and commercial enterprise was looked upon as a thing of the past.
Cape Fear River, though unmolested until near the close of the war, ere long was recognized as one of the few links connecting the Confederacy with the outside world. The low, swift, English-built blockade runner became a frequent guest in these waters, and revived to some extent the dormant spirit of commercial enterprise, and the city began to assume some appearance of its former activity. Merchants and ship agents from abroad flocked to the city, railroad trains were filled with cotton and naval stores, either for the Government or private parties, and new buildings and warehouses were erected to accomodate the increasing supplies arriving here, both for exportation and for
|the Southern Army. The Army of Northern Virginia, in 1863 and ’64, drew much of its supplies from this source, and a large per centage of the army munitions furnished to the different ordnance and quartermaster departments of the Confederate States was received by blockade runners through this port. The importance of Wilmington as a post was not lost upon the Confederate Government, even as early as the first year of the war. Generals Gatlin, Anderson and French being successively placed in command, new works were projected, new fortifications built and requisitions made upon the War Department for men and material for the construction of these defences. Yet work was delayed by the want of energy and skill of those commanding the department, and it was not until November, 1862, that operations were commenced in earnest. In that month General W. H. C. Whiting, by order of the War Department, assumed command of the post and the supervision of the Cape Fear defences. Then the work commenced with vigor. The works at Fort Fisher were energetically pushed forward to completion. Smith's Island was cleared, and the foundation of Fort Holmes established. Fort Pender, at Smithville, was built, and soon the guns of Fort Anderson, first called Fort St. Philip, the last great work of the defences which fell to the Federal hands, frowned from the heights of Old Brunswick. No means were spared, and no labor was begrudged that could contribute to the defence of the river. Day by day the work went bravely on, new additions were constantly made to its defensive strength, until at length numerous guns looked forth threateningly to the sea from the five principal forts of the river. Torpedoes and sunken obstructions were placed in the river, batteries frowned from every bluff and the city itself was surrounded with a chain of entrenchments.|
Of so great an importance to the Confederacy, and one of its chief strongholds, it appears strange that Wilmington should have escaped attack until during the last year of the war. The nature of the coast and the known strength and durability of the fortifications were enough, it seems, to deter the hazard of an attempt until December 23d, 1864. On that day, memorable for all time, the Federal fleet appeared in the offing opposite Fort Fisher, and at about two o'clock that night, Butler's Yankee Toy, the powder boat, was exploded near the works with no other result than that of affording the Confederates a gratuitous display of fire-works. The next day the Federal fleet, numbering fifty-two vessels, was ranged in line of battle opposite the fort, and at about noon opened a terrific bombardment. The fort replied slowly but steadily, until after an uninterrupted contest of five hours, the fleet retired. On the next day the bombardment was resumed with redoubled vigor, and with a force up to that time unprecedented in the history of the world. Shot and shell were literally hurled in an almost solid mass at the fort, and the air was filled with flying fragments. The gallant defenders held manfully to their posts and hurled defiance back. In the midst of the fight a landing was effected by the enemy at Anderson Battery, at the head of the Sound, and they advanced to attack the fort. Their assault was assisted by an increase of fire from the fleet, which endeavored to prevent the Confederates from manning the parapet to resist the attack. Gen. Whiting and Col. Lamb, who were in command of the fort, were the first at the post of danger, and encouraged by their brave example, the men swarmed to the parapet, and the enemy were driven back to their entrenchments. That night the entire fleet was withdrawn. Shortly afterwards the land forces also re-embarked on their transports, and the Federal force left for the North, defeated. Over twenty thousand shot and shell had been expended by the fleet in their futile attempt to reduce the fort. The strength of Fort Fisher, as a defensive work, was vastly overrated by the Federal commanders, and it could easily have been taken by Butler at this time if a concentrated effort had been made. Its chief value to the Confederacy lay in the aid it afforded blockade runners in entering or leaving the port. We must now pass over many acts of heroism on the part of the brave detenders of Fort Fisher, the memory of which will forever be cherished in the fond recollections of this people, and can only mention that little band of boys, yet children, who constituted the only defence of their mothers and sisters in Wilmington at this time, who alone stood guard over the prisoners at this city on the night of the great bombardment, and who were “as true to the trust confided to them as if their leader had numbered fifty instead of fifteen years.”
|The fatal time soon came, however, when Fort Fisher was doomed to fall, and when the Confederacy was destined to receive a vital blow, from the effects of which it never recovered. Suddenly and without warning the Federal fleet again appeared before Fisher on the 13th of January, 1865. Troops were landed at Anderson Battery, and when Gen. Hoke arrived later in the day with his division, he found the line of the enemy confronting him, stretched across the entire peninsula from ocean to river. At the first news of the intended attack, Gen. Whiting had hurried to the assistance of Col. Lamb, and these two heroes of the first great battle made vigorous preparation for a second defence. Although not exactly in the nature of a surprise, the attack came at a most inauspicious moment. Forts Fisher, Caswell, Anderson, Pender and Holmes, near the mouth of the river, and comprising the defensive strength of the Cape Fear, had become almost entirely stripped of troops for action at other points, and the division under Gen. Hoke was then stationed at or near Wilmington, but between Fisher and Wilmington there intervened some twenty miles of sandy, tedious road. At about two o'clock on the morning of the 13th, Hoke's command left for the fort, but arrived too late to prevent the landing of the troops. In the meantime Gen. Whiting had left for the front. About noon on the 13th the fleet opened fire upon the fort, and a more terrific and terrible bombardment than the first one ensued. The enemy's object was plainly apparent. It was their intention to cripple the fort as much as possible by the fire of the fleet, and to make easy a projected assault by the land forces. Success rewarded their efforts. So terrible was the fire of shot and shell that it was almost impossible to man the guns of the fort, and the garrison were driven to the bomb-proofs and kept closely confined there. From noon on the 13th until three o'clock on the afternoon of the 15th, a period of fifty-one hours, the terrific bombardment was continued without intermission. At the last named hour the fire of the fleet was suddenly raised, and the land forces were discerned moving to the assault of the fort. The assault was made in two columns, each advancing to different points of attack. The first numbered about two thousand and was composed of sailors and marines, who moved up the line of the sea beach, while the other, numbering four thousand, charged along the bank of the river, and made their attack on the left land flank of the fort. The first column mentioned was easily driven back, and made no second attempt. The second was temporarily checked in its advance, but upon being strengthened by reinforcements, again advanced and succeeded in entering the fort. But Fort Fisher did not even then yield without a final and desperate struggle. The Confederates fell back in disorder, but not in confusion, and stubbornly contested every foot of the enemy's advance. From traverse to traverse they, retreating, fought the overwhelming force of numbers, driving them back. The fight was continued in this way for six hours, until at length the last traverse was torn from the hands of these brave defenders, and they were forced beyond the enclosure of the fort. Thus was Fort Fisher captured—it never surrendered.|
The conflict ceased, and at about midnight, there being no means of escape to the main land, Gen. Whiting was compelled to surrender his command as prisoners of war. In this engagement the loss of the Confederates although severe, was not nearly so large as that of the Federals. The losses of the former amounted to two hundred and fifty killed, wounded and missing, while the latter lost over eight hundred. So Fort Fisher fell, and on the same night the works south of it, and commanding Main Bar, consisting of Forts Caswell, Holmes and Pender, were destroyed and abandoned, and their garrisons removed to Fort Anderson. It was plain to be seen that Wilmington must eventually fall into the hands of the enemy.
But Fort Anderson, on the site of the ancient city of Brunswick, still defiantly commanded the approach to the city. The river was filled with torpedoes and sunken obstructions, and Gen Hoke was strongly entrenched between the advancing army and Wilmington. On the 17th of February a portion of the Federal fleet steamed up the river and commenced the bombardment of Fort Anderson. The fire was returned as slowly and deliberately as if the garrison were at target practice. In the meantime Gen. Schofield had marched up from Smithville with a land force of eight thousand men, to co-operate with the fleet in the reduction of the fort. He was confronted by Hagood's brigade, which had been thrown over by Hoke to the assistance of the fort,
|and which was strongly entrenched, presenting an effectual barrier to his advance. Hagood's left rested on the fort and his right on Orton Mill Pond. Finding his path so completely obstructed, Schofield made a detour to his left around the pond, which was about nine miles in circumference, with the intention of striking Hagood on the flank. This movement could not be opposed with the small force on hand, and the immediate evacuation of Anderson became an imperative necessity. On Sunday, the 19th, before daylight, the guns were spiked and the garrison quietly withdrew. This fort had been considered almost impregnable, and it has been often contended that, if a sufficient land force had been available to protect its rear, it could never have been taken. As it was, the bombardment left it comparatively uninjured. The garrison retreated rapidly, and paused the same day at Town Creek, where a few entrenchments had been hastily thrown up. On the next day the line of retreat was resumed, and that night they reached Wilmington. On the following day the advance of the Federals could be plainly seen marching along the causeway on Eagle's Island, but a shell fired from the corner of Front and Market streets informed them that the defenders of Anderson were in the city, and suddenly checked their onward march to take possession, which they had supposed an easy undertaking. They again endeavored to advance, but a few more shell drove them back in confusion. Skirmishers were then sent forward by both sides.|
In the meantime, as soon as Anderson had been evacuated, Hoke had gradually fallen back upon the city, but still presenting a defiant front. On the morning of the 21st he reached Wilmington and effected a junction with Hagood and Hedrick. Then it was that Wilmington was evacuated, the enemy entering the next day, and with it expired the most sanguine hopes of the final success of the Confederate cause.
We reluctantly pass over many of the incidents connected with the occupation of the city by the Federal forces, nor would it serve any purpose to relate many of the events then transpiring. There is one incident of the Federal occupation, however, the actors in which are still living, which viewed in any light reflects neither reputation or credit upon the officers in command. The Rev. Dr. Watson, who was at the time rector of the church of St. James, was ordered by Federal authority to offer prayer in the church service for the President of the United States, instead of the President of the Confederate States. Feeling that he had no canonical right to do so, Dr. Watson refused, whereupon the keys of the church were seized by order of Major-General Schofield. Subsequently Brigadier-General Hawley—who is now a United States Senator from Connecticut—ordered that the edifice itself be seized and converted into a hospital. Members of its congregation, now living, begged him to spare their beloved church and offered him any number of more suitable and convenient places for the purpose. But he was inexorable and commanded a force of twenty-five negro soldiers, in charge of a negro officer, to proceed to the building with pick-axes and tear out the pews and other furniture. His orders were obeyed, the pews were thrown into the street by negroes, and for the second time in its existence the historic and venerable church of St. James was turned into a military hospital.
Hawley is a North Carolinian by birth, having been born in Robeson County, but while an infant his parents removed to that land of morality—Connecticut. During his occupation of this city he boastingly averred that he had returned to his native State to teach the people “correct principles.” The conduct of this moral educator of the people would certainly seem to indicate that during his sojourn in Connecticut he had acquired peculiar notions as to what constituted correctness of principle, and that a preliminary step in this branch of knowledge consisted in the wanton and uncalled for desecration of a house of God. We are free to confess that, to those not so enlightened as Senator Hawley, his conduct on the occasion we have mentioned would appear to indicate a most unfortunate ignorance of the ordinary decencies of life and an entire absence of reverence for the Almighty.
Before drawing the curtain upon the events of the war, we may be pardoned a few words in regard to the swift and silent blockade runners, whose incomings and outgoings gave to Wilmington so much of commercial importance during 1863 and ’64. The blockade runners were English steamers built more for speed than carrying capacity. They were painted a French gray or lead color, which blended with the atmosphere so
|as to make detection extremely difficult. They carried a pilot and signal officer, and when ready to leave port, dropped down the river near the mouth of the inlet, waiting for a dark night to slip out. The guns of Fort Fisher commanded the entrance to the harbor, and no vessels could pass in or out without the knowledge of those within the fort. Signals were consequently arranged, and an officer placed on board each ship in control of that branch of the service, and by such means those in command of the fort could easily distinguish friend from foe. In running into the harbor the same precautions were necessary. When a runner approached the fort, which was of course always at night, the signal officer on board displayed a peculiar light and made a certain signal, which was answered by the fort, and she then passed in without molestation. The blockading fleet lay some four or five miles distant from the fort, and the danger of running in or out was the risk of capture by them. In making the passage the ship displayed no light, and the most rigid discipline was enforced. It frequently happened that in the darkness they ran so near to the blockading fleet as to be heard by them, the noise of the wheel betraying their presence. Rockets would immediately be sent up and a fire opened. If coming in, a dash was then made to get under the guns of the fort; if going out, all steam was raised and a chase of the most exciting character began, the ships dashing through the water at a tremendous rate, the blockader firing continually at the fleeing runner, hoping by a well directed shot to disable her, and the latter using every means that skill and ingenuity could suggest to effect her escape. A great portion of the cargo was frequently thrown overboard to avoid capture, and instances were not infrequent when large amounts in gold, which were shipped out for foreign purchases were tossed into the sea when escape became impossible. In the early days of blockade-running the ships engaged were rarely captured, as they were much faster than the vessels of the blockading fleet, having been built expressly for the business, but very soon ships equally fast were obtained by the Federal Government, rendering escape more difficult. It is remarkable, when the risk attending the running is considered, that so little damage should have been done to life and property. There was but one life lost during the entire time, and but very few were injured. Some vessels were run upon the beach to prevent capture, but none were sunk outright by the blockading fleet, and individual acts of heroism were frequent.|
It is greatly to be regretted that a correct record has not been preserved of the blockade steamers and their operations in Cape Fear River during the four years of the war, and any account of the same that can now be given is but partially correct. From private memoranda the following figures are given and may be relied upon as being substantially correct:
The number of vessels from May the 20th, 1863, to December 31st, 1864, was about 260; prior to May 20th, 1863, 15, and after December 31, 1864, 10, making a grand total of 285. There is no record extant of the imports and exports during that period.
After the close of the war, and upon the re-opening of the port, the most gloomy anticipations as to the future were indulged. Little cotton and scarcely any turpentine had been produced during the war, and it was generally supposed that home manufacture and foreign shipment had exhausted the last bale and barrel of each. But as soon as it was ascertained that shipments could be made North with perfect security, the market became flooded with both cotton and naval stores, commerce suddenly revived and Wilmington began to rise again to commercial importance in the maritime world. A direct foreign trade began to be established and shipments were made to the principal points in Europe, the West Indies and South America.
On the 20th of February, 1866, the act incorporating Wilmington into a city was ratified by the Legislature, and on Thursday, the 8th day of March, it was accepted by the citizens through the ballot-box. On the same day Hon. A. H. Van Bokkelen was elected the first Mayor of the City of Wilmington, and on the 10th day of March he entered upon the duties of his office. At the same election S. D. Wallace, R. J. Jones, James G. Burr, James H. Ryan, W. H. Lippitt, O. G. Parsley, A. E. Hall and Wm. A. Wright were chosen Aldermen. From this time to the present the City of Wilmington has steadily and surely progressed in population, wealth and commercial importance,
|and, in proportion to her population, is to-day beyond all question the most prosperous city in the South.|
We have thus, with feeble pen, briefly, but to some purpose we may hope, traced the history of the Cape Fear region down to a period within the recollection of all. Through the terrible and trying ordeal of war this city has bravely passed, coming forth like iron from the furnace strengthened and purified, and to day her diversified industries give forth those sounds of prosperity and general well-being which quicken the pulse of a nation and prolong the life of a republic. But in the prosperity of to-day may the memory of the glorious past be ever fondly cherished, and as the ancients were wont to twine the dark wreath of the cypress with the amaranthus and the rose, so let us join the memory of days gone by with the golden opportunities of the present and the brilliant promise of the future.
WILMINGTON IN 1884.
No one can visit the city of Wilmington to-day and fail to be impressed with the many signs and indications of growing wealth and prosperity which abound on every hand. Here will be found all public buildings and institutions usual to a commercial city of metropolitan proportions, as for instance a U. S. Custom House, U. S. Marine Hospital, U. S. Signal Service station, Seamen's Home and Bethel, a city hospital, eight newspaper publications, thirty-eight churches and twenty eight public and private schools.
The city is in latitude 34° 12′ and in longitude 77° 6′. It is situated upon both sides of Cape Fear River, thirty miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and has over three miles of river front. It is a port of entry, having a large commerce, both foreign and coast-wise. Vessels drawing eighteen feet of water can readily reach the ocean. The city is located on a rolling site, which renders drainage easy, and in this regard certainly occupies a most advantageous position. The situation of the city as regards healthfulness is a most excellent one, the average rate of mortality being much below that of other seaports on the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. By the reports of the National Board of Health for the year 1881, the following were the number of deaths to each one thousand of the white population in the following cities: Wilmington, N. C., 15.9; Philadelphia, 22.6; Boston, 25.9; Norfolk, 27.2; Savannah, 29.2; Charleston, 29.5, New York, 31.7, and Baltimore, by a report from another source for 1880, 27.1. At the last census Wilmington had a population of 17,350, which has since rapidly increased, and is now estimated at from 20,000 to 21,000. During the last decade the aggregate increase of population in Wilmington was in excess of that of Charleston and Savannah, or Norfolk and Portsmouth combined, and while the per centage of increase in New Orleans was only .13, in Wilmington it was .29.
The city limits extend from north to south 2¾ miles, and from east to west 1⅓ miles, comprising a total area of about 2,400 acres. The general contour of the city is that of an elevated sand ridge, running parallel with the river, intersected with dunes and rivulets emptying into the river and adjacent streams. The Cape Fear River flows past the western front of the city, and its branches and tributaries almost encompass it.
The advantages and attractions of Wilmington as a place of residence are surpassed by no city of equal population in the Union. The climate is delightful, the society is cultivated and refined, educational facilities are both excellent and abundant, and the city is well provided with churches, whose pulpits are filled by pastors of most excellent abilities, who are, in every instance, well supported by large congregations.
|Some of the church edifices are remarkably fine specimens of architecture and will compare favorably with those of any city in the Union. In the following pages we will speak of the leading institutions and industries of the city in detail, and feel assured that a careful consideration of the facts presented will convince our readers that the future of the city is no longer a matter of speculation, and that the position of Wilmington as one of the greatest trade centers of the South is established beyond the possibility of a doubt. The city is growing rapidly and is already one of the most important commercial points in the country. As the metropolis of a great State, that is destined in a few years to take a front rank among her sister States, the future of the city is assured, and she is unquestionably entering upon an era of permanent prosperity.|
As herein-before stated, the first charter was granted to the Town of Wilmington in 1739. The city charter was granted in 1866 by an act of the General Assembly, passed February 1st. Since its incorporation as a city the following named gentlemen have officiated as Mayor:
A. H. VanBokkelen, elected in March, 1866.
John Dawson, elected in January, 1867.
Joseph H. Neff, appointed by the Provisional Governor of the State in July, 1868, and elected in January, 1869.
S. N. Martin, elected in January, 1870.
James Wilson, elected in May, 1872.
W. P. Canaday, elected in May, 1873.
John Dawson, elected in June, 1877, and resigned in February, 1878.
S. H. Fishblate, elected in February, 1878.
W. L. Smith, elected in March, 1881.
E. D. Hall, elected in March, 1883.
The present city government is composed of a Board of Aldermen and Board of Audit and Finance. The city is divided into five wards, which are represented by ten Aldermen—two from each ward—from which number one is elected Mayor to serve for a term of two years.
The present Board of Aldermen is composed of the following named gentlemen: Hon. E. D. Hall, Mayor, and Messrs. G. J. Boney, Samuel Bear, John L. Dudley, S. H. Fishblate, Wm. L. DeRossett, Wm. H. Chadbourn, Isham Sweat, John J. Geyer and Valentine Howe.
The bonded debt of the city is $567,700, which was mainly contracted for railroad subscriptions, a city hall building and market house. A sinking fund was established in 1880 for the purpose of liquidating the public debt, and a regular tax levy has been made each year for that purpose. Last year the tax was eighteen cents on the one hundred dollars. The sinking fund now amounts to $53,437.86. The tax levy this year was 1¾ cents on real and personal property, which, together with the license tax, will produce a revenue of about $125,000.
The assessed value of real estate in the city is $3,347,010, and of personal property $1,801,091.
THE BOARD OF AUDIT AND FINANCE,
As a co-ordinate and most important branch of the city government, has brought about a most fortunate and substantial improvement in the city's financial affairs, and should receive that consideration to which the intelligent efforts of its members entitle
|it. This Board was created by act of the General Assembly, passed February 28th, 1877, and its members are appointed by the Governor for a term of two years. It is at present composed of the following gentlemen:|
R. G. Jones, Chairman and Commissioner of the Sinking Fund, and Messrs. William Calder, W. R. Kenan, O. A. Wiggins and John L. McEachern. Capt. John Cowan is the Clerk of the Board.
The Board holds regular meetings twice every month, or oftener, if they deem it necessary, of which public notice is given, and at which all claims or demands against the city must be presented, verified by the affidavit of the claimant or his agent. The Chairman of the Board is also ex officio the Commissioner of the Sinking Fund of the city.
We make the following extracts from the act establishing the Board, as giving an idea of the extent and importance of their duties and responsibilities:
“SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of said Board to audit and pass upon the validity of all claims and demands against the City of Wilmington, and no claim or demand against said city shall be paid by the Treasurer of said city, or by any other person, out of any funds belonging to said city, until the same has been duly audited and approved by said Board, and a warrant, signed by the Chairman and Clerk, given for the payment of the same. All claims, demands and accounts presented to said Board to be audited, shall be treated and proceeded with in all respects as is provided in section twelve, chapter twenty-seven of Battle's Revisal, in reference to claims or accounts against counties. Any member of said Board who shall knowingly vote to allow any false, fraudulent or untrue claim or demand against said city, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars, and by imprisonment for not less than one year.
“SEC. 6. No ordinance of the Board of Aldermen of said city, levying any tax whatever, shall be valid or of any effect, unless an estimate and the rate of assessment of the taxes so to be levied, shall be first submitted to said Board of Audit and Finance, and approved by at least three of its members. The estimates aforesaid shall specify the amount required during the next coming fiscal year to pay interest on the debt of said city, and to provide a sinking fund for its ultimate payment, and the amount which will be required, as nearly as can be ascertained, to meet the necessary expenditures for the several departments of the city government, and the amounts to be expended under said estimates shall be apportioned by said Board of Audit and Finance, according to the specification accompanying the same, among the several departments of the city, of which apportionment a copy shall be delivered to the Clerk and Treasurer of said city. All warrants which may be drawn on account of any duly audited claim or demand, shall specify the particular fund from which the same is to be paid, and no such warrant shall be paid from any other fund, than the one designated therein; and if any such warrant shall be paid, in violation of this provision, or if any claim against said city shall be paid or be received on account of any indebtedness to said city, before a proper warrant for the same has been issued, the Treasurer of said city, or any other person paying the same out of any funds belonging to said city, shall be liable for the amount so paid, and shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
“SEC. 7. The said Board of Audit and Finance shall, once in every three months, cause to be posted at the Court House, and ten other public places in said city, a statement of all claims and demands against said city, audited by said Board, giving the respective amounts claimed and allowed, the character of said claim and the name of the claimant.
“SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of said Board of Audit and Finance, and it shall have exclusive power to fix the salaries or other compensation of all officers and employes of said city, and to pass upon and approve the official bonds of such officers; and no contract, even for the necessary expenses of said city, nor any bond, note or other obligation in behalf of said city, shall be valid or of any effect, unless the same be approved by said Board, and such approval be endorsed thereon.”
As showing the remarkably healthy and satisfactory condition of the Sinking Fund, we give in full the report of the Commissioner, Richard J. Jones, Esq., of date January 2d, 1883:
|OFFICE BOARD OF AUDIT AND FINANCE,|
WILMINGTON, N. C., January 2d, 1883.
To the Honorable, the Mayor and Aldermen, City of Wilmington:
GENTLEMEN:—As required by law, I herewith submit statement, showing the condition of the Sinking Fund of your city:
|Of Matured Bonds ||$ 1,700 |
|Of Bonds Maturing February 1st, 1892 ||3,000 |
|Of Bonds Maturing January 1st, 1897 ||3,700 |
|Of Bonds Maturing January 1st, 1899 ||1,000 |
|Of Bonds Maturing January 1st, 1901 ||10,000 |
|Of Bonds Maturing January 1st, 1904 ||25,000 |
|Cash Uninvested ||29 |
|Total ||$44,529 |
The value of maintaining this fund as an important factor in sustaining our city credit, is fully recognized by every one who deals in our city securities, or is at all interested in the good faith of the city toward its creditors, as it forms a part of the contract under which our bonds were issued. For it must be borne in mind that the several acts of the Legislature authorizing the city to issue bonds, provided for the creation and maintenance of a Sinking Fund for their gradual payment. But it was not until the creation of the Board of Audit and Finance—whose Chairman was made ex officio Commissioner of the Sinking Fund—that any attention was ever given to the subject. Hence, in 1877, when the Board of Audit and Finance was organized, its Chairman found no such fund in existence. While the pressing demands upon the City Treasury—which was then laboring under the heavy burden of over a hundred thousand dollars past due indebtedness, gave no encouraging prospects of establishing one—yet the law required it should be done, and the necessary machinery was set to work by tax assessment for that purpose. As the money is collected and paid over to the Commissioner of the Sinking Fund, it is invested in the City Bonds, which are registered and stamped—both bonds and coupons—“Sinking Fund, City of Wilmington,” and now form a permanent fund, the interest of which is invested semi-annually. That it has grown to its present proportions, is certainly a matter for congratulation, and, if prudently managed, it will go on increasing until our bonded debt is entirely absorbed by it, while it gives assurance meanwhile to our creditors that the city is mindful of its obligations, and is preparing to meet them.
RICHARD J. JONES,
Commissioner Sinking Fund.
The bonded indebtedness of the city, including the Market House Bonds, together with the amount belonging to the Sinking Fund, as per last semi-annual report of Commissioner Jones, made January 14th, 1884, will be found in the following figures:
|Funding 8 per cent. bonds due in 1887 ||$130,800 |
|Funding 8 per cent. bonds due in 1888 ||23,600 |
|Funding 8 per cent. bonds due in 1889 ||5,500 |
|Ma. 8 per cent. bonds due in 1892 ||100,000 |
|Funding 6 per cent. bonds due in 1897 ||49,800 |
|Funding 6 per cent. bonds due in 1899 ||50,000 |
|Funding 6 per cent. bonds due in 1901 ||50,000 |
|Funding 6 per cent. bonds due in 1904 ||50,000 |
|Funding 6 per cent. bonds due in 1910 ||80,000 |
|Market House 6 per cent. notes due in 1902 ||30,000 |
|Total Bonded Indebtedness ||$569,700 |
|REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE SINKING FUND, JANUARY 14, 1884. |
|4 ||city bonds due in 1887 ||$ 400.00 |
|1 ||city bonds due in 1889 ||1,000.00 |
|7 ||city bonds due in 1892 ||3,500.00 |
|37 ||city bonds due in 1897 ||3,700.00 |
|10 ||city bonds due in 1899 ||1,000.00 |
|10 ||city bonds due in 1901 ||10,000.00 |
|25 ||city bonds due in 1904 ||25,000.00 |
|3 ||city bonds due in 1910 ||3,000.00 |
|97 ||bonds, amounting to ||$47,600.00 |
| ||Cash invested ||5,837.86 |
|Total amount Sinking Fund ||$53,437.86 |
|Increase since last report ||8,908.56 |
This is a most creditable showing for the Board, and sufficiently attests the efficiency and intelligence with which they manage the affairs entrusted to their care and direction. The city six per cent. bonds are now worth par and accrued interest, and there are none for sale at those figures.
The administration of the county affairs is vested in five commissioners, who are elected by the Board of Magistrates of the county for the term of two years, and are styled “The Board of Commissioners for the County of New Hanover.” They hold their meetings on the first Monday of each month, and are paid $2.00 per day for their services. The following gentlemen constitute the present Board:
D. G. Worth, Chairman; Horace A. Bagg, Roger Moore, James A. Montgomery and E. L. Pearce.
The following is the annual statement of the Board of Commissioners for the County of New Hanover, for the fiscal year beginning the 1st day of December, 1882, and ending the 30th day of November, 1883, omitting the individual payments:
General Fund Account, New Hanover County in Account with Owen Burney, Treasurer, from December 1st, 1882, to November 30th, 1883.
|Dr. || || || || ||Cr. |
|To Am't paid Warrants ||$24,556 92 || ||By Balance Dec. 1st, 1882 || ||$26,475 83 |
|To Am't paid Bonds ||9,700 00 || ||By Balance from Sp'l Fund || ||145 65 |
|To Am't paid Coupons ||1,050 00 || ||By S. H. Manning, Sheriff, General Tax, 1882, ||$ 8,826 64 || |
|To Am't paid Com'sions ||809 64 || || || || |
|Balance || ||$19,969 41 ||By S. H. Manning, Sheriff, General Tax, 1883, ||14,150 00 || |
| || || ||By S. H. Manning, Sheriff, Schedule B. Tax, ||5,026 00 || |
| || || ||By S. H. Manning, Sheriff, Jury Tax ||59 33 || |
| || || ||By J. E. Sampson, Register, Marriage License Tax ||154 31 || |
| || || ||By J. E. Sampson, Jail Fees ||14 00 || |
| || || ||By Pender County Insane ||60 30 || |
| || || ||By Tax on property purchased by County ||1,054 00 || |
| || || ||By sale of sundry articles ||53 91 || |
| || || ||By Am't from S. H. Manning ||16 00 || |
| || || ||By Am't from Craig's Bond ||50 00 ||$29,464 49 |
| || ||$56,085 97 || || ||$56,085 97 |
County Treasurer's Report of Receipts and Disbursements of School Fund from December 1st, 1882, to November 30th, 1883.
|DISBURSEMENTS. ||RECEIPTS. |
|Paid Teachers of Schools for Whites ||$ 3,937 52 ||Balance on hand as per last report ||$ 7,006 78 |
|Paid Teachers of Schools for Colored ||5,338 52 ||Rec'd Gen'l Property School Tax ||6,315 34 |
|Paid for School Houses (White) ||430 18 ||Rec'd Gen'l State and County Poll Tax, 1883 ||2,982 91 |
|Paid for School Houses (Colored) ||577 68 || || |
|Paid County Superintendent ||272 00 ||Rec'd from Liquor Licenses ||3,819 00 |
|Paid Register of Deeds ||150 00 ||Rec'd from Auctioneers ||19 89 |
|Paid Treasurer's Commissions ||301 69 ||Rec'd from Fines, Forfeitures and Penalties ||291 72 |
|Total Disbursements ||$11,007 59 || || |
|Balance ||9,428 05 || || |
| ||$20,435 64 || ||$20,435 64 |
| || || ||Constables ||230 61 |
|CRIMINAL COURT. ||Justices of Peace ||592 56 |
| || || ||Register of Deeds ||429 69 |
|Judge ||$2,500 00 || ||Advertising ||83 75 |
|Clerk ||885 20 || ||Roads and Bridges ||131 99 |
|Solicitor ||212 00 || ||Clerks of other counties ||21 00 |
|Sheriff ||664 41 || ||Elections ||6 50 |
|Jurors ||1,858 30 || ||Clk. Aud. Com. Janitor, Gas, Ice, etc. ||1,239 58 |
|Witnesses ||508 98 || ||Poor House ||2,696 06 |
| || ||$6,628 89 ||Out Door Poor ||2,396 64 |
| || || ||Jail ||1,650 45 |
|SUPERIOR COURT. ||Public Buildings ||563 11 |
| || || ||Stationery and Printing ||343 73 |
|Clerk ||$ 119 69 || ||Tax Listing and Assessing ||1,338 00 |
|Sheriff ||23 30 || ||Tax Remitted ||33 14 |
|Jurors ||773 10 || ||Real Estate ||1,000 00 |
| || ||$ 916 09 ||Superintendent of Health ||900 00 |
|Attorney || ||530 00 ||Hospital ||1,353 49 |
|Commissioners || ||831 90 || || |
|Coroner || ||197 75 || ||$24,114 93 |
|Current Expenses proper of County ||$21,761 44 |
|County Proportionate part of Expenses of City Hospital ||1,353 49 |
|Purchase of Old Fair Ground Tract ||1,000 00 |
| ||$24,114 93 |
|Current Expenses of County for 1882 ||$25,042 49 |
|Current Expenses of County for 1881 ||29,226 94 |
|Current Expenses of County for 1880 ||24,735 61 |
|Current Expenses of County for 1879 ||31,546 95 |
|Current Expenses of County for 1878 ||41,037 37 |
|BONDED DEBT. |
|Bonded debt due March, 1887 ||$6,100 00 |
|To meet this debt there is on Certificate of Deposit, bearing 4 per cent. interest, First National Bank ||6,500 00 |
|Floating debt ||0,000 00 |
|TAX LEVY OF 1883. |
|State Tax on Property ||37½ ||State Tax on Poll ||$1 12½ |
|County Tax on Property ||37½ ||County Tax on Poll ||1 12½ |
|Total ||75 ||Total ||$2 25 |
|AMUONT DUE EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT. |
|District No. 1, White ||$ 246 68 ||District No. 1, Colored ||$4,988 50 |
|District No. 2, White ||1,722 26 ||District No. 2, Colored ||944 89 |
|District No. 3, White ||37 63 ||District No. 3, Colored ||101 10 |
|District No. 4, White ||90 46 ||District No. 4, Colored ||283 47 |
|District No. 5, White ||247 09 ||District No. 5, Colored ||337 66 |
|District No. 6, White ||22 73 ||District No. 6, Colored ||131 29 |
|Total White ||$2,396 85 ||Total Colored ||$6,786 91 |
|Total White || || ||2,396 85 |
|Balance General School Fund || ||244 29 |
| || || ||$9,428 05 |
|B. G. WORTH, Chairman, ||Auditing Committee. |
|H. A. BAGG, |
|ROGER MOORE, |
In recording the advantages possessed by the City of Wilmington as a commercial, manufacturing and business center, the fact should not be overlooked that the city has kept fully up with the times in regard to educational matters. It is not necessary, nor does space permit us, to enter into a detailed description of each of the twenty-eight public and private institutions in the city, and we content ourselves with stating what is known to be the fact—that they are fully equal in most respects to those of other Southern cities.
Among the individual and denominational schools, academies, &c., the following, however, are worthy of mention: Academy of Incarnation, 223 and 225 S. Fourth street, Sister Mary Augustine, Superior; Messrs. Burr & James, 310 Market; Cape Fear Military, 105 N. Fourth; Annie J. Hart, 16 N. Third; James H. Lane, 410 Red Cross; Rev. Daniel Morelle, English and classical, 420 Orange; Mrs. R. A. Murray, 401 Market; New Hampshire Memorial Institute, 318,-324 S. Seventh, Rev J. M. Thrall, Principal; St. Barnabas, 421 Swan, Fannie S. Jackson, Principal; St. Joseph's Male Academy, 220 S. Fifth.
The people of Wilmington have most excellent reason to congratulate themselves upon the prosperous and flourishing condition of their
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM,
A condition of affairs for which they are in a large measure indebted to Mr. M. C. S. Noble, under whose supervision and direction the schools have reached a most gratifying standard of excellence. Elementary education is now within the reach of all, and a very general disposition is noticeable among all classes to avail themselves of this privilege.
The management of the common schools is in the hands of five County Commismissioners, who form the County Board of Education, and appoint three school committeemen for each District, and the School Committee, in turn, appoint teachers, and oversee the general management of the schools. The County Superintendent is appointed by the Board of the Justices of the Peace.
“The system, surrounded in this manner, by all the safeguards necessary to protect both the interests of the children and those of the tax-payer, works well in this city.”
We make the following extracts from Mr. Sprunt's work, published in April, 1883, and to which we have elsewhere alluded:
“Wilmington Township, which is co-extensive with the City of Wilmington, has two school districts, in each of which is one for the whites and one for the blacks.
District (No. 1), white, lies north of Market street.
District (No. 2), white, lies south of Market street.
District (No. 1), black, lies north of Chestnut street.
District (No. 2), black, lies South of Chestnut street.
Hemenway Graded School, District No. 1, white race, is on Fourth street, between Red Cross and Campbell
Peabody Graded School, District No. 1, colored race, is on Fifth, between Red Cross and Campbell streets.
Union Graded School, District No 2, white race, is on Sixth, between Nun and Church streets.
Williston Graded School, District No. 2, colored race, is on Seventh, between Ann and Nun street.
|Number of children of school age in District No 1, white ||1,009 |
|Number of children of school age in District No. 2, white ||943 |
|Total ||1,952 |
|Amount apportioned ||$3,904 |
|Number of children of school age in District No. 1, colored ||1,606 |
|Number of children of school age in District No. 2, colored ||1,510 |
|Total ||3,116 |
|Amount apportioned ||$6,232 |
|Average daily attendance in white schools about ||300 |
|Average daily attendance in colored schools about ||425 |
|Number of teachers in white schools ||8 |
|Number of teachers in colored schools ||12 |
In a speech by Senator Blair, of New Hampshire, June 13, 1882, allusion was made to the disproportionate attendance of school children in North Carolina to the population, in the following language: “Wilmington, North Carolina, has an enrollment of 866, or 18 per cent., while 82 per cent. of the children of that city would appear to be without means of public education.” This reflects unjustly upon our public school system.
“The school laws of Massachusetts require the attendance of children between the ages of five and fifteen years—those of North Carolina between six and twenty-one years.
It is well known that the greater number of both male and female children leave school before they reach the age of 17 years; and, as all over that age are registered as attending no school, it would appear that there is a want of proper interest in the matter of education; whereas both sexes generally attain all the elements of an education at or about 17 years of age, at which time they are generally obliged to work for a livelihood.
The cost of each pupil per school year in Wilmington is about $8.50—in New York City it is about $30.”
* * * * * * * *
Special features of the Wilmington schools consist in the fact that they are all thoroughly graded, and conducted on the same general principle. The teachers are well qualified, and many of them have made special preparation by attending the State Normal School. The Principal conducts four teachers’ meetings during each month—two for the white teachers and two for the colored teachers. At these meetings, school government and methods of teaching are discussed, and work for the next two weeks is properly assigned. While the schools are in session, the Principal goes from room to room, takes notes on the teacher's manner, and the decorum of the pupils, and at times conducts the recitation himself; and, while inspecting, forms, in a great measure, the subject of discussion at teachers’ meetings. Occasionally, to illustrate any new method of instruction, the teachers are resolved into a model class, when the recitation is first conducted by the Principal, and afterwards by the teachers in turn. In this way the peculiarities of each teacher are brought to view, criticised, and then approved or disapproved, according as they are good or bad.
The members of the District School Committees from time to time, in a body or individually, visit the schools and inspect the character of the work done.
They pay particular attention to the most economical methods, and are careful to employ only thoroughly capable teachers.
In this way, and with the aid of instructors working for a reputation, they hope to make the schools under their charge an honor and an ornament to the city, and an object of interest to visitors from abroad.
The members of the School Committees are:
District No. 1—Donald McRae, Chairman; William M. Parker and Joseph E. Sampson.
|District No. 2—James H. Chadbourn, Chairman; Walker Meares and John Norwood.”|
UNION FREE SCHOOL.
The question of building this public school house was first brought to the attention of the citizens of Wilmington in 1856 by Mr. John W. Barnes, Sr. A meeting was held and a subscription list opened, and in a short time a sufficient sum was realized to warrant the erection of the building, which was finished the following winter, and denominated the “Union Free School.” The first annual session was opened October 1st, 1857.
In the spring of the ensuing year, the “Board of Superintendents of Common Schools for New Hannover County, in response to a petition of a number of citizens, remodelled the town districts (then two in number), dividing each into two districts, and appointing new committees in the lower or southern districts (No. 2 and 58), in which this school was situated, whereby it would receive the benefit of the funds appropriated for both, and also the advantage of two co-operating committees, which secured its continuance until July 1st, 1863—a period of six years.
A free school was taught in Union School House during the winter of 1865-66, supported by the Soldiers’ Memorial Society of Boston, Massachusetts.
In December, 1866, Miss Amy M. Bradley came to Wilmington under the auspices of the American Unitarian Association and the above-named Society, and on January 9th, 1867, opened the Union School House with a beginning of three pupils, which was shortly afterwards increased to 157. During the second year the number of pupils was increased to 188.
The third term was divided by her charge of Union School—223 pupils; Hemenway School—157 pupils, and Pioneer School—45 pupils.
Her fourth term was classed Normal School—60 pupils; Union School—211 pupils, and Hemenway School—176 pupils.
The fifth term, October 10th, 1870, to June 30th, 1871, Union and Hemenway Schools expended $5,983.81—of which the State provided $1,286.70, and the Peabody Fund 1,000, retaining seven assistant teachers and enrolling 192 and 205 pupils, respectively.
In addition to their annual report, November 23d, 1871, the School Committee of the Township of Wilmington, James H. Chadbourn being Chairman, made the following statement:
“In the first communication of the Committee to your Board, you were informed that there were no school-houses within the limits of the township belonging to the State or county; and in a subsequent communication, dated February 8, 1870, a proposition was made to you for the purchase of two school-houses (one for each race), for the sum of $3,000 each, and you were requested to levy a tax upon the property of the township, which would produce the sum of $6,000 for that purpose.
The proposition was agreed to, and a tax levied, which yielded the sum of $5,738.61.
The Committee, with the approval of your Board and the Superintendent of Instruction, purchased the Hemenway school-house of Miss Amy M. Bradley, for $3,000, with the promise on her part, that the money she received for it should be expended in continuing her two schools, then in successful operation. This understanding was carried out in good faith, and to the entire satisfaction of the Committee.
The cost of sustaining the Union and Hemenway Grammar Schools for the past two years, has been $10,850.40—$1,266.70 of this sum was received from the State, $2,500 from the Peabody Fund, $3,000 from the sale of the Hemenway school-house—and the balance, $4,083.70, from the friends of Miss Bradley and her work.
Seven teachers have been constantly employed for a term of nine months each year. The number of scholars has been over 400, and the average attendance about 300. These schools have attracted the attention of all who feel any interest in free schools in this city, and by good judges, who have visited them, have been compared favorably with the best grammar schools in the country.”
In October, 1871, agreeably to the foregoing understanding, the advanced divisions of the Union and Hemenway Schools were united under the name of
|THE TILESTON NORMAL SCHOOL,|
And the session opened in the Union School House—the Hemenway School House having been purchased by the county. In October, 1872, this school was moved into the new building on Ann street, erected by that distinguished philanthropist and friend of education, Mrs. Augustus Hemenway, of Boston, at a cost of $30,000.
In the earlier part of her work, Miss Bradley's object was often misunderstood by this sore-hearted people; but in recent years, hundreds of happy homes in their midst bear cheerful and grateful testimony of the substantial good she has accomplished. The system and course of instruction has been thorough, practical and comprehensive, the discipline, by moral suasion, inflexible and effective; and the result—the education of hundreds of young people of limited means, in all the essential branches of an education which compares favorably with that of any institution in the State.
“One of the noblest and most effective aims of the institution has been the preparatory education of boys for the mechanical professions. With unusual discernment, Miss Bradley saw that the avenues of the learned professions were being crowded with mediocrity, and that our counting-houses were filled to overflowing, with little prospect of advancement, and that the mechanical trades—degraded in public estimation by false notions of the dignity of labor—were offering extraordinary attractions in remunerative and abundant work, with every encouragement for excellence in all departments of skilled workmanship.
With this in view, many of our boys have been prepared by her efficient instruction for intelligent apprentices as machinists, boiler-makers, carpenters, masons and blacksmiths; others for matriculation at the Boston School of Technology, with higher aims as mechanical and mining engineers.
There is nothing superficial in the work of this school. An hour's visit will convince the most skeptical that the Principal is thoroughly in earnest, that her assistants are imbued with the same spirit, efficient in the highest degree, forbearing and patient, and that the good accomplished is simply incalculable.”
Wilmington is about as well provided with places of divine worship as any city of its size in the country. There are thirty-eight places of public worship—the principal church buildings being St. James’ (Episcopal), St. John's (Episcopal), St. Paul's (Episcopal), St. Mark's (colored Episcopal), First Presbyterian, Second Presbyterian, Chestnut Street Presbyterian (colored), St. Thomas’ Pro-Cathedral (Roman Catholic), Front Street Methodist, Fifth Street Methodist, St. Stephen's (colored Methodist), St. Luke's (colored Methodist), First Baptist, Second Baptist, First Baptist (colored), Temple of Israel (Hebrew), Congregational and Lutheran. The average Sunday attendance of whites is estimated at 3,600, and that of the negroes 6,000. The value of church property is estimated between $265,000 and $270,000.
There are few cities in the Union where so deep and fervent an interest is taken in religious matters, and as a rule the churches are both largely attended and well sustained.
We give the following brief sketches of several of the leading churches of the city whose pastors have kindly furnished us with the requisite data. Those not mentioned failed to respond to our request for information.
|THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.|
Owing to the fact that unfortunately the records of the establishment of this church have been lost, the date of the first organization cannot be given, but it was about the year 1816. The present church edifice is located on the corner of Third and Orange streets, the structure being 100×60 feet in dimensions. The auditorium is 90×60 feet, with a seating capacity of from 750 to 800 persons. There are two Sunday school rooms, one 65×30 and the other 30×25 feet in size, which are connected by folding-doors. The church membership is nearly 300; the number of Sunday school scholars 175, and teachers 30. The present pastor is the Rev. Joseph R. Wilson, who entered upon his duties here in October, 1874.
The Ruling Elders are Messrs. B. G. Worth, George Chadbourn, A. A. Willard, C. H. Robinson, Samuel Northrop, John McLaurin and B. F. Hall.
Deacons—G. W. Williams, W. R. Kenan, H. H. Munson, James Alderman, D. G. Worth, James Sprunt, C. P. Mebane and John D. Taylor.
The following clergymen have successively occupied this pulpit down to the present time: Rev. Artemus Boies, Rev. Leonard E. Lathrop, Rev. Noel Robertson, Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, Rev. James A. McNeill, Rev. W. W. Eels, Rev. Thomas R. Owen, Rev. J. O. Stedman, D. D., Rev. M. B. Grier, D. D., Rev. H. L. Singleton, Rev. A. F. Dickson and Rev. Joseph R. Wilson, D. D.
SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
The Second Presbyterian Church of Wilmington was organized in December, 1858, under the ministration of Rev. Martin McQueen. Its first officers were Alex. Sprunt and John C. Latta, Ruling Elders; and John Colville, J. R. Latta, James Price and J. H. Blanks, Deacons. The membership at first was only fourteen. The membership had grown to thirty-eight in 1862, when the congregation was broken up and scattered by the war and the yellow fever epidemic of that year. In 1872 a Sabbath school was gathered together, and in 1874 the congregation was re-organized with thirteen of the old members. The church now has a membership of 140, with 125 Sunday school scholars and 25 teachers. From 1872 to 1874 H. G. Barr was the stated supply, and in the latter year the present pastor, Rev. C. M. Payne took charge. The present officers of the church are Messrs. Alex. Sprunt, John Colville, Robert McDougald, J. R. Latta, W, H. Sprunt, W. J. Smelt, L. T. Beatty, J. W. Munroe, Walter Smallbones and James C. Stewart. The church edifice is located at the corner of Fourth and Campbell streets, and is 30×66 feet in dimensions. The auditorium is 28×60 feet in size and will seat about 300 persons. The Sunday school room is the same size as the auditorium
ST. PAUL'S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL.
This church was first established in 1858. It is situated at the corner of Fourth and Orange streets, the edifice being 60×30 feet in dimensions, and having a seating capacity of about 300. It now has a membership of ninety-five persons, about fifty Sunday school scholars and ten teachers. The present rector is the Rev. T. M. Ambler.
CHRIST'S CHURCH (CONGREGATIONAL.)
Christ's Congregational Church was first organized May 3d, 1870, with a membership of eleven persons. H. B. Blake was the first pastor, and officiated in that capacity for a period of three years, when he was succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. Daniel D. Dodge. The building is located on Main street, between Sixth and Seventh, and 36×72 feet in dimensions. The auditorium is 36×60 feet in size and 22 feet in height from floor to ceiling, having a seating capacity of about 500. The Sunday school is held in the school building, which has two wings. The congregation numbers forty souls, and the Sunday school has three hundred scholars and ten teachers.
The officers of the church are Anthony Pedin and Calvin Blount, Deacons, and Esther A. Warner, Treasurer and Clerk.
|THE PRESS—ITS HISTORY, &C.|
The present is emphatically a newspaper-reading age. If our readers will take the trouble to picture to themselves the condition of our ancestors in the absence of so common a thing as a newspaper, they will be more able to fully appreciate the great convenience, usefulness and power of the press of to-day. Before the press began its labors, how slow do time and events appear to have traveled in comparison with the present, and how unreliable very often was the reported news for a lengthened period. We do not mean to intimate that the latter characteristic never attaches to the newspaper press of nowadays; but the misdemeanor of one journal, in this respect, is soon found out and corrected by the watchfulness of its contemporaries. Now almost every man takes at least his weekly, and in our large towns and cities it is indeed rare to find one in business who does not take regularly one or more dailies. The leading articles in our principal papers are often essays of great merit, and being written by men of acknowledged standing and ability, carry a proportionate amount of influence with them, over and above that inspired by the subject and its manner of treatment.
The political is, doubtless, the chief element in the general make up of our newspapers, but this exhausts but a comparatively small portion of their contents. Our public meetings, social and other gatherings, novelties of discovery in any art or science, together with the latest news from all parts of the civilized world, are well noticed and brought before the public by the enterprising and ever-ready press. The proceedings in our criminal and civil courts of law, and National and State Legislatures, are also reported, and, doubtless, gratify innumerable readers on various accounts; while that portion of a paper devoted to markets, the prices of commodities, stocks and bonds, rates of exchange and general mercantile and industrial intelligence, the greater part of which, to the uninitiated, seems but a series of mazy groups of figures, is full of valuable meaning to the merchant and business man, who knows that but a slight variation of some of these figures will usher in gloom and desolation to hundreds of families who are dependent upon a fluctuating trade. Truly the power of the press is great, and to the free and judicious exercise of this power is to be ascribed the unprecedented greatness of the people of these United States. The extension of commerce, the utilization of science, the spread of enlightenment and intelligence, the reform of morals, the maintenance of public law, of social order and of individual right—in a word, all that pre-eminently distinguishes the present age, is due mainly to the influence of a free and enlightened press.
The history of the press of Wilmington is one of the most interesting and noteworthy features in the record of the city's progress. We are told by the historian that the Lords Proprietors and the Royal Governors were extremely hostile to the establishment of newspapers in the colony under their administration. We are further told that the Governor of Virginia would not suffer the use of the printing press in the colony under any pretense whatever, and that Sir William Berkley, one of the Proprietors of North Carolina, thanked God that there was not a printing press in any of the Southern colonies. Notwithstanding such opposition, however, a printing press was introduced into North Carolina, and a paper published at Newbern, by James Davis, in 1749, one hundred and thirty-five years ago. It was called the North Carolina Gazette, and was issued weekly. The second paper published in the State was at Wilmington, where, in 1764, the Cape Fear Gazette and Wilmington Advertiser was started by Andrew Stewart. This paper was discontinued in 1767, but was succeeded in the same year by the Cape Fear Mercury, published and edited by and Englishman named Adam Boyd,
|who afterwards left the press for the pulpit. There is no record extant as to how long the Mercury continued to exist. It has frequently been stated that there could be found no trace of any other publications in Wilmington prior to 1818. Through the courtesy of Hon. A. H. Van Bokkelen, President of the Chamber of Commerce, to whom we are indebted for many favors, the writer has just been shown a well preserved copy of The Cape Fear Herald, a weekly paper published by Boylan & Ray. It bears date Wednesday, November 2d, 1803, and is Vol. I, No. 46. It contains, among other things, Thos. Jefferson's Message to the Eight Congress, which was presented to that body Monday, October 17th, 1803. The existence of this paper forever sets at rest what has heretofore been a disputed point in the history of the press of Wilmington.|
In 1818 a gentleman named David Smith, Jr., began the publication of a paper called the Cape Fear Recorder, and continued it until 1825, when he was succeeded by Mr. Archibald McLean Hooper, a cultured and educated gentleman, and a ready and forcible writer. For a long time this was the only newspaper published in this section of the State, and naturally wielded great influence.
In 1834 Henry S. Ellinwood came to this city and took editorial charge of a paper then published here called the Wilmington Advertiser. His connection with it was brief, however, as he died suddenly soon after assuming its control and management. The paper, at his death, was purchased by Mr. Joshua Cochrane, of Fayetteville, who conducted it until the summer of 1836, when he also died, and the paper fell into the hands of Mr. F. C. Hill, as editor and proprietor, who continued its publication until 1842, in which year it took its place in history as a thing of the past.
A publication contemporaneous with the Advertiser was the People's Press, a paper published by P. W. Fanning and Thomas Loring, the latter being editor-in-chief, a position which he held for some time, when he disposed of his interest and purchased the Standard at Raleigh, which paper was at that time the organ of the Democracy of this State. Differing with his party in 1842 in regard to the course pursued towards the banks of the State, he retired from the paper, returned to Wilmington and established the Tri-Weekly Commercial, which he conducted until failing health forced him to retire from journalism, and its publication was discontinued.
In 1838 the Wilmington Chronicle was established by Asa A. Brown. It advocated the principles of the Whig party with great ability and earnestness. In 1851 Talcott Burr, Jr., purchased the paper and changed its name to the Wilmington Herald. Under his capable management the Herald became one of the leading and most influential papers in the State. Mr. Burr continued its publication until 1858, in which year he departed this life in the prime of a useful manhood. His brothers, C. E. and R. Burr, carried on the paper for several years afterwards, when it was purchased by A. M. Waddell, and, upon the breaking out of the war, it ceased to exist.
The first number of the Wilmington Journal was issued in 1844 by Messrs. Alfred L. Price and David Fulton. For many years thereafter this publication exercised a controling influence upon the political questions of the day. The editorial charge of the paper was in the hands of Mr. Fulton, and so remained until the time of his death, when his brother, Mr. James Fulton, took charge of its editorial management. Under his control the Journal became a powerful influence, not only in this section, but throughout the entire State. In the early part of 1866 Mr. Fulton died and was succeeded by Major J. A. Engelhard, who fully sustained the reputation the Journal had acquired under its previous management. Col. Wm. L. Saunders became connected with the paper by the retirement of Mr. Alfred L. Price, and the firm became Engelhard & Saunders. During the perilous times and almost utter demoralization of society that followed the close of the war, the utterances of this paper were manly and fearless in denunciation of the oppressive measures taken by the party in power under their so-called, reconstruction policy. It continued in existence until 1878, when, overcome by adverse circumstances, its publication was discontinued, and it was purchased by the Daily Review, an afternoon paper published by Josh. T. James, as editor and proprietor, who now issues it, in connection with the Review, as a weekly, still retaining the old name.
Several other papers were, at different times, published in the city, but their existence was only temporary, and we have not considered them important enough to
|demand mention at our hands.|
There are two daily papers now published in Wilmington—The Morning Star and the Daily Review.
THE MORNING STAR.
This well-known and influential newspaper is an able representative of that industry and enterprise which are so essential to the success of journalism in the present age of enlightenment and progress. It is conducted editorially with marked dignity, courtesy and good taste; its business is prosperous and its circulation large, extending all over this section. It is at all times Democratic in politics, recognizing party fealty as the highest obligation of a party newspaper. It is not only the oldest, but one of the best dailies now published in the State. Its market reports are prepared with great care, and the regular dispatches of the New York Associated Press are supplemented by telegrams and communications of special correspondents, giving it the fullest and most complete summary of North Carolina news of any paper published within the State. Locally, the Morning Star holds the very highest rank, and its daily presentation of Wilmington happenings is looked to by all as being reliable, readable and complete. The daily was established by Mr. W. H. Bernard, the present editor and proprietor, and its first issue appeared September 23d, 1867. The weekly was afterwards established, the date of its first publication being November 1st, 1869. The former is 24×36 inches, the latter 27×42. The editorial staff of the Morning Star at the present time is, Wm. H. Bernard, editor and proprietor; T. B. Kingsbury, associate editor; J. H. Muse, city editor, and H. H. Smith, assistant reporter.
Its editorial department is conducted with signal ability and an intelligent independence, while its city columns contain full and well-written presentations of all matters of local interest. In a word, the paper, in its manifold features of excellence, is one of the best representatives of metropolitan journalism south of Mason and Dixon's line.
THE DAILY REVIEW.
The Daily Review is one of the most influential and widely circulated newspapers in the State of North Carolina. It was established in 1875, and afterwards became, by purchase, the successor of the Journal, a daily publication whose existence dated back to 1844. The Review is now published every afternoon, except Sunday, the Journal still being issued in connection with it as a weekly, appearing every Friday. The Review has always exercised a wide influence in all matters of public interest, and paid vigilant and critical attention to local affairs. It has been an important factor in the growth and prosperity of the city, and has invariably given a liberal and discriminating support to mercantile and industrial interests, which owe a lasting debt to its intelligent labors in their behalf. The paper's especial features are accuracy, promptness in getting together all items of news and fidelity to honest convictions. The sharp, pungent paragraph is a praiseworthy feature of its editorial department, and all matters, of either local or general interest, are creditably presented in a most comprehensive shape. The editorial staff consists of Josh. T. James, editor and proprietor, and Major H. H. Foster, associate and local editor. Under the editorial management and direction of Mr. James, the paper has assumed distinctive and attractive characteristics, which Major Foster has energetically promoted. It is strictly Democratic in politics, is extensively quoted by contemporary journals, and considered one of the best exponents of Democratic principles in this section. No paper in the State is conducted with more dignified manliness or is more devoted to the best interests of the community in which it is published.
THE SUNDAY MORNING MAIL.
The first issue of this bright and attractive weekly paper made its appearance on Sunday morning, January 13th, 1884, and supplies a want which has long been felt in this community. Although in existence but so short a time, it has already become the most popular publication in the city, and its appearance every Sunday is eagerly looked forward to. It is devoted to the manufacturing and general interests of North Carolina, to society, art, the drama, and the presentation of all items of news of general
|interest. Politically and religiously the Mail is untrammeled, and freer to express its views on all subjects than any other paper in this section.|
It is neatly printed and presents a better appearance than any paper in North Carolina. It reaches the very best classes in the community, and as an advertising medium commends itself to the most favorable consideration of business men. It is published every Sunday morning by Messrs. E. S. Warrock & Co., proprietors.
In this connection we desire to also call attention to the job printing establishment of the same firm. They have been making rapid strides in this department of their business since the first of October, 1882, when they began to enlarge upon the already flourishing business of Mr. E. S. Warrock, who is a first-class practical printer and an intelligent gentleman. Their operations have increased to such an extent that they have been compelled to add to their already finely equipped job office two new presses and a new ruling machine. Their type is entirely new, and these gentlemen enjoy the reputation of turning out promptly and on short notice work that, in point of neatness and style, is not only of the most excellent character, but superior than that of probably any other office of the kind in the city.
NORTH CAROLINA PRESBYTERIAN.
This weekly publication was first established in 1858, at Fayetteville, as the official organ of the Synod of North Carolina, and has continued in existence uninterruptedly ever since that time, with the exception of a short period just after the close of the war.
In 1874 it was removed to Wilmington, where it has ever since been published. It is a religious family newspaper, devoted to the intellectual, moral and spiritual interests of the people. It is the only Presbyterian paper published in the State, and one of the seven published in the interests of the Southern branch of that church.
Rev. George McNeill was its first editor, and John McLaurin is its present editor and proprietor.
There are also now published in Wilmington the following journals:
The Wilmington Post, a weekly, established in 1866.
The Africo-American Presbyterian, published in the interest of the colored members of that denomination.
The North Carolina Medical Journal, a monthly publication of great value to the profession. It was established in January, 1878.
SEAMEN'S FRIEND SOCIETY.
This Society is incorporated by act of the State Legislature, and was organized on February 4th, 1853, for the purpose of improving “the moral, social and religious condition and character of seamen.” The building used as the Home, or “Hotel,” is a four-story structure, 65×65 feet in dimensions, located on Dock and Front streets, and can accomodate 100 seamen. There is also a church or Bethel adjoining the Home, which is kept up, and whose chaplain is paid, by annual contributions from the American Seamen's Aid Society of New York City.
|All ship-wrecked or destitute seamen are cared for by the Society free of charge. The revenues of the Society are derived from the annual dues paid by its members and the rents received for the stores under the “Hotel.” It is to the Rev. Wm. L. Langdon, a Methodist clergyman who devoted many years of his life to the soliciting of subscriptions, that this port is indebted, in a great measure, for the success of the institution. The Sailors’ Bethel was built by the late Capt. Gilbert Potter, and donated to the Society. Both church and Society are non-sectarian in their management.|
The present officers of the Society are as follows: Geo. R. French, Sr., President; George Harris, Vice President; Geo. R. French, Jr., Secretary and Treasurer; Capt. Potter, Chaplain. The Trustees are fifteen in number. The Executive Committee is composed of the following gentlemen: Messrs. H. B. Eilers, E. T. Hancock and R. E. Heide.
ST. JAMES’ HOME.
“In the spring of 1867, Dr. A. J. DeRossett, Senior Warden of St. James’ Parish, Wilmington, N. C., conveyed to the vestry of the parish an entire city square, with a two-story double wooden house thereon, as a free gift for religious and benevolent use. The active exertion of the parishioners, aided by the liberality of friends in different portions of the United States, and supplemented by a very successful fair, enabled the vestry to restore the residence which had been seriously damaged during the war of secession.
In 1870, a Sunday and a day school were opened in the building for the gratuitous instruction of the poorer white children of the city. The object of the school was the instruction of such children as might be reached by it in the more fundamental branches of an ordinary English education, in connection with the direct inculcation of moral and religious principles, with a view, not merely to prepare its scholars for respectability and success in the world, but therewith, also, to make them good, orderly citizens, both of the commonwealth, and of the church.
Since its commencement, the school has been maintained without interruption, except for the ordinary vacations. So far as the existing records of attendance supply material for the estimate, it is calculated that from 600 to 800 children of both sexes have, up to the present time, come under the influences and enjoyed the training of the school. Though at no time having room for any very large attendance, the numbers of the school have steadily increased from the first, and there are now upon the rolls more than one hundred names. The growth of the school required, very soon after its first opening, a separate school room, which was annexed to the main building. This has recently been enlarged to more than double its original size, and, thanks to the liberality of friends, both in New York and Wilmington, has been lately furnished with an entire set of new and handsome desks of the most approved pattern.
Teachers have been employed at fixed salaries during much of the time. But much or most of the work has been done—and well done—by the voluntary labor of educated women who have devoted themselves to good works, and who have had their home on the premises. Since the fall of 1878, the school has been in charge of members of the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd, whose mother house is in New York, and whose work in this connection has been beyond all praise. The order and discipline maintained have been such as would compare favorably with that of any other school in the country, and the advances in education have been creditable to both teachers and scholars.
In connection with the school, a general mission work among the poorer classes has been zealously maintained, and with the best and most evident results. It has been a part of the work of the ladies, resident at the Home, to visit the poor and afflicted, and carry with them help and consolation—to be instructors in all good and useful things—from house to house, especially among the parents of the school children. A large and varied work of this sort is incessantly done.
In addition to this, orphans, or half-orphans, have from time to time found a home in the house. The more helpless and homeless sick have, in several instances, been brought thither and cared for, and nursed till relieved of their sufferings by death, and
|then decently buried. Invalids from places at a distance, seeking the help of the skilled physicians of the city, have been received and nursed. Penitent women have found a refuge where the religious influences of the household have aided them in their attempts at reformation. Beside all which, the Home has been a nucleus for the benevolence of the parish, and has given wise form and direction to its alms. Nor should it be forgotten that to carry out more completely its influences for good among the children connected with its schools, instruction in needle work and in cooking have been added to its other departments of education. It is at this time, and in this way, the only industrial school in the city known to the writer.|
All this work has, of course, involved considerable expenditure, and at the same time required very rigid economy in the administration of the household.
The institution has so far been supported—
1st. By a regular subscription kept up by a few ladies and gentlemen of the parish.
2d. By the collections in its behalf of the Ladies’ Association of the parish.
3d. By public offerings on Ash Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day in each year.
4th. By occasional contributions.
* * * * * * * *
At present there are three lady residents at the Home, and constituting the sisterhood family, all of them connected with the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd, and all of them, together with another lady of the parish, who comes daily, actively occupied in the work.”
The foregoing particulars are taken from a published sketch of the institution prepared by the Rector of St. James Parish.
WILMINGTON CITY HOSPITAL.
About four years since, some citizens connected with the county and city government, having experienced the great difficulty of properly carrying for the indigent sick of the city and county, planned the establishment of a hospital for this purpose, and at the session of the Legislature of 1880-’81, procured a charter which allowed the county and city to conjunctly pay or build a hospital for the sick poor, the former bearing three-fifths and the latter two-fifths of the cost and operating expenses, and to be controlled by a Board of Managers, consisting of three members of the Board of County Commissioners and two members of the Board of Aldermen. Early in the year of 1881 this Board organized and purchased for a hospital the Wilmington Garden property, occupying a whole square in one of the most elevated portions of the city.
The number of patients, both pauper and those who pay for their treatment, has steadily increased from the beginning. The Board wisely selected one of the best surgeons in the city as the resident physician, and, under his careful treatment, with a competent corps of nurses, many have been cured, who otherwise would, doubtless, have died from want of proper treatment.
Many patients have come from distant parts of the State, where medical advice is not as good as they wish, and have placed themselves here in the hospital where consultation can be held with all the physicians of the city. The management now find the buildings inadequate for the increased number of patients, and have now contracted for the erection of a new wing to the main building, containing twelve cots and bathrooms, water closets and operating rooms.
This noble charity does great credit to the people of Wilmington and New Hanover County, as nothing shows the benevolence of a community better than the manner in which it provides for its sick and infirm. The Board of Managers are Roger Moore, Chairman; B. G. Worth, H. A. Bagg, Sam'l Bear, Jr., W. H. Chadbourn, Secretary; W. W. Lane, M. D., Resident Surgeon; John T. Taylor, Treasurer.
THE OPERA HOUSE.
Most cities, in both Europe and America of any metropolitan pretensions, consider an opera house a necessary institution, one of the best evidences of culture and refinement, and a certain indication of commercial progress and wealth. It has, moreover, been said by an eminent writer on commercial topics, that, “when a traveler arrives
|in a city and spends a dollar, the effect is just the same as if he had remained abroad and sent it to the city, instead of coming and consuming it here; and is precisely similar to that of international commerce, in which the profit is made by the city, if not the whole or the principal value received, at least is a large per centage upon that principal. But, if that city offers no especial attractions, how can we hope to gain that dollar. We are quite certain that the merchant will not come for ever purchase that he makes, unless there be offered some inducements to pleasure and recreation, and in ordering his goods he will not enclose a dollar toward the support of an institution from which he derives no benefit while at a distance.” Whether or not, in recognition of the force of this or similar arguments, it is certain that the City of Wilmington is far in advance of many of her larger sister cities of the South in respect to having a first-class attractive and well patronized place of amusement. The Opera House in this city is situated in, and forms a part of, the City Hall building. Its lessee is E. J. Pennepacker, Esq., one of the most enterprising and public spirited of the prominent citizens of Wilmington. Its interior design and construction is most complete and attractive, both as to the convenience and accommodation of the audience, and theatrical and operatic companies, as well as regards accoustic properties. It is supplied with six dressing rooms, having all necessary conveniences, and has property and baggage rooms, together with all necessary scenery, carpets, &c. The stage is perfectly equipped with all necessary flies, traps, shiftings and other arrangements, and is 30×35 feet in dimensions. The seating capacity of the parquette is 350; of the balcony and first gallery, 300; of the second gallary, 300; total, 950. The house is heated by large furnaces, and by means of eight fire exits, can be entirely emptied in two minutes.|
The manager, Mr. George R. Dyer, is a gentleman of acknowledged ability and business intelligence, and has exhibited rare judgment and managerial skill. The Treasurer is Mr. J. H. Hart, a gentleman also perfect in his responsible position as to acquirements, urbanity and popularity. Altogether the Wilmington Opera House is a most creditable and successful institution.
THE HISTORICAL AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY OF WILMINGTON, N. C.
This Society was organized in October, 1876, and is the only one of the kind in active operation in the State. Its first officers were Rev. G. D. Bernheim, President; W. B. McCoy, Secretary and Treasurer; W. F. Wenzel, Curator.
The object of the Society is to collect, preserve, and diffuse historical and scientific information, especially such as is connected with the State of North Carolina, and, particularly, with the Cape Fear region.
In this it has been so far very successful, and its archives now contain valuable records which would probably been forever lost but for the existence of the Association. Many rare specimens in the animal and vegetable world have been collected, and continued research frequently brings to light, when least expected, some hidden treasure which greatly enriches the collection.
The Society maintained a correspondence with similar organizations throughout the country, and a system of exchange has been established, by means of which the various publications of those sections are regularly received. They are also the recipients of publications from the Smithsonian Institute at Washington.
The meetings of the Society are held monthly, at which time a paper upon some historical or scientific subject is read by a member previously designated for that purpose, and which are published. It is a matter of gratification that so many of those papers have been favorably commented upon, not only at home, but also abroad. It is the intention of the Society, in the not far distant future, to have all of its productions published in one or more volumes for sale and distribution, and it is but reasonable to suppose, from the recognized abilities of the writers, that the work will be a valuable addition to the literature and history of this section of the State particularly.
The Association has labored under many disadvantages from its organization—the want of capital has been, and still is, a very serious one. Not having the means to control a building of its own, it has been compelled to rent a room from year to year in which its meetings are held, which is a very unsatisfactory arrangement, as it affects the
|idea of stability, but, nevertheless, it has more than equaled the expectations of its founders, and is doing a good work that will be appreciated by posterity.|
The officers of the Society are elected annually, and hold their positions for one year, but are eligible for re-election. The present officers are Col. J. G. Burr, President; Rev. A. A. Watson, D. D., Vice-President; S. A. Story, Secretary and Treasurer; Rev. F. W. E. Peschan, Corresponding Secretary; David Cashwell, Curator.
OAKDALE CEMETERY COMPANY.
The charter of this corporation was granted on the 27th day of December, 1852, and the company was organized on the 16th of November, 1853. The grounds were opened, and the first interment made on the 6th of February, 1855. The necessity for the formation of this corporation grew out of the fact that the old time-honored custom of interments within the city church yards was fast giving way, in other places, to the cemetery system of burials, and a few public-spired gentlemen of Wilmington suggested the location of a central cemetery, “to be universally adopted as a substitute for the old grave-yards then in use.” Acting upon this suggestion, the grounds just east of the “Old Burnt Mill Creek,” containing 60 acres, were purchased and named “Oakdale,” and dedicated to the preservation and continued protection of the dead.
All revenue, from whatever source it may be derived, is devoted to the maintenance of the grounds.
Up to the present time about one-third, or probably one-half of the grounds, have been improved and formed into sections, and sections into lots, each lot containing four hundred square feet. The sections vary in size to suit the conformation of the grounds, as follows:
Section A has 4 lots, section B has 151 lots, section C has 23 lots, section D has 110 lots, section E has 42 lots, section F has 70 lots, section G has 25 lots, section H has 124 lots, section J has 87 lots, while the last section, K, which has been opened, contains 150 lots, without including the plot donated to the Ladies’ Memorial Association for the Confederate dead, to which 453 bodies were removed and buried in two semicircular graves, and upon which stands the most beautiful monument erected to the Confederate dead in the South.
Owing to the loss of some of the records during the war, as well as to the confusion growing out of that terrible epidemic of 1862—the yellow fever—which carried hundreds to their graves, including both the Secretary and Superintendent of this company, the present Secretary, Mr. R. J. Jones, says:
“I cannot give a correct list of the interments since the opening of the grounds. My records, commencing February 4th, 1867, show 1,825 for the past sixteen years, or up to the 1st of January, 1883, and it is but fair to presume, that with the casualities of the war and yellow fever combined, there were at least 2,000 buried before my record commences.”
The present managers are: Donald MacRae President; Timothy Donlan, Superintendent; Richard J. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors—Edward Kidder, W. H. Northrop, Wm. J. Yopp, Geo. R. French, James H. Chadbourn, Dr. A. J. DeRossett.
CLARENDON WATER WORKS.
The Clarendon Water Works Company was organized on April 16th, 1881, and the works were completed during the following autumn. They began supplying the city with water during the month of December, 1881. The hydrant service was accepted by the city during January, 1882. There are about twelve and a half miles of main pipes from four to twelve inches in diameter, and about one and a half miles of service pipes and small mains from three-fourths of an inch to two inches in diameter.
There are over one hundred public fire hydrants and nearly three hundred consumers. The daily consumption at the present time is upwards of 100,000 gallons. The Company makes use of what is known as the stand-pipe and direct pressure system. The
|water is pumped into the stand-pipe for ordinary use, but in case of fire it is pumped directly into the mains, the pressure being increased as the exigencies of the case demand. The stand-pipe is 20 feet in diameter and 90 feet high, which gives a domestic pressure of from 25 to 50 pounds to the square inch. The fire pressure is usually 100 pounds per square inch. The capacity of the stand-pipe is 210,000 gallons.|
The works have two Worthington duplex pumping engines—one high pressure of 500,000 gallons daily capacity, and the other a compound non-condensing engine, of 1,000,000 gallons daily capacity. This can be increased about 25 per cent. if necessary.
The capital stock is $50,000 and the works cost about $150,000, the balance being represented by stock.
WILMINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY.
This company was chartered January 27th, 1851, and was organized in February, 1855. Its capital stock is $100,000. The works are located at the corner of Surry and and Castle streets. The gas produced is manufactured from wood and rosin, and the holders have a capacity of 40,000 cubic feet of gas. The price charged is $2.50 per 1,000 cubic feet. The length of mains is about ten miles.
The officers are Edward Kidder, President; Richard I. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer; John W. Reilly, Superintendent.
THE WILMINGTON TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
was opened here in 1879, Wilmington being the first city in the South to adopt the telephone exchange system. In 1880 the method of working was much improved by the introduction of the “Law System” of central office “switching,” which is claimed to be the best in the world.
Wilmington was also the second city in the United States to adopt the telephonic fire alarm system, the wisdom of which action has been frequently demonstrated.
SECRET AND BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES.
There are twenty-eight benevolent organizations in the City of Wilmington, of which twenty-two are white, and six colored. First in order, as in age, is St. John's Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. This is probably the first Lodge organized in North Carolina, as the register of the Grand Lodge of England, published in 1762, contains the following: “213, A Lodge at Wilmington, on Cape Fear river in the province of North Carolina, March 1755.” In 1791 the Grand Lodge, after a full investigation of the claims of all the Lodges to priority, in the award of numbers, gave St. John's Lodge at Wilmington, the “No. 1,” thus showing that it has claims to antiquity, which claims the records sustain. It is to be regretted that there is no record containing the names of its first members, but we know that they were among the most prominent Wilmington citizens. For more than a century this Lodge has been active in good works, and in its green old age still flourishes with as much vigor as in the early days of its youth.
Cape Fear Lodge No. 2, I. O. O. F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), was instituted by dispensatian from the Grand Lodge of the United States, in the town of Wilmington, on the 13th of May, 1842. Its officers first were W. S. G. Andrews, Noble Grand; Valentine Hodgson, Vice Grand; Wiley A. Walker, Secretary; Alexander McRae, Treasurer.
The Lodge was organized on the second floor of a building owned by the late Aaron Lazurus, on the corner of North Water street and Ewing's alley, and had only vacated those quarters about two or three months for their new one on Front street, now occupied by J. L. Boatwright, Esq., when the great fire of 1843 burned every building on the wharf, from Ewing's alley to the depot of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company.
On the 26th of April, 1870, the Lodge commenced the erection of their new hall on Third street, and on the 1st of January, 1871, formally occupied the same as their permanent home. It now numbers over fifty members.
The other societies are as follows:
Wilmington Lodge No. 319, Concord Chapter No. 1, Wilmington Council No. 4 and Wilmington Commandery No. 1.
I. O. O. F.
Orion Lodge No. 67, Oriana Lodge, Daughters of Rebecca, No. 3, Wilmington Degree No. 1 and Campbell Encampment No. 1.
KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS.
Stonewall Lodge No. 1 and Germania Lodge No. 4.
AMERICAN LEGION OF HONOR.
Clarendon Council No. 67.
KNIGHTS AND LADIES OF HONOR.
R. H. Cowan Lodge No. 549
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF RED MEN.
Wyoming Tribe No. 4.
I. O. O. B. (HEBREW.)
North State Lodge No. 222.
K. S. B. (HEBREW.)
Manhattan Lodge No. 158.
Cornelus Harnett Council No. 231.
KNIGHTS OF HONOR.
Carolina Lodge No. 434.
There are also a number of colored associations.
LADIES’ BENEVOLENT SOCIETY.
This is probably the oldest of the charitable institutions of Wilmington, having been organized early in 1845, and in 1852 it was incorporated as “The Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Wilmington, North Carolina.”
During the war, the operations of the Society were entirely suspended, but in 1868 a re-organization was effected, and Mrs. C. G. Kennedy elected President. This lady has been successively re-elected, and to her, more than to any one else in Wilmington, is the success of the Society due, almost her whole time being devoted to its work. In 1872, a lot which had been donated to the Society before the war, was sold, and one-half the proceeds given to the family of the donor, who were left much impoverished by the war. The remaining half, together with the proceeds of some railroad stock, was used to purchase a more suitable place for the Home, which the Society wished to organize, and in 1881 was established the “The Old Ladies’ House of Rest.” The President, in her annual report for 1881, says: “The House is rather small, and is now occupied, almost to its full extent, by respectable and worthy ladies, to whom, as yet, we can only give a comfortable shelter, not having funds for the support of those who are received, but hope to be sustained in our efforts to make it altogether what its name imports. It is even now a harmonious and peaceful home—not denominational, but guarded by Christian principles.”
The Society is supported entirely by voluntary contributions of money, wood and provisions, from benevolent citizens and the dues of its members, which are one dollar a year.
ST. GEORGE AND ST. ANDREW SOCIETY, OF WILMINGTON.
This is a charitable Society, and was instituted in 1871. Its object is to relieve and aid sick and distressed Englishmen and Scotchmen. The members of this Society wish
|to alleviate all suffering amongst their fellow-countrymen. The Treasurer has expended about $1,500 in such charities since the Society was founded. The present membership number about thirty-four. None but Englishmen, Scotchmen, or the sons or grandsons of native English or Scots are admitted as resident members.|
Officers—Alex. Sprunt, President; Robt. Sweet, Vice President; John Colville, Treasurer; H. G. Smallbones, Secretary, and T. F. Wood, Physician.
The regular meetings are held on the second Monday of each month, and the annual meeting on the 21st of March. The fees are 50 cents per month, and the life members are required to pay $50, which relieves them from all other dues.
THE HIBERNIAN ASSOCIATION, OF WILMINGTON,
Was organized in 1866 for the purpose of relieving sickness and distress among its members, and also to assist strangers, (their fellow-countrymen), who would otherwise be a burthen to the community. The present membership is about fifty.
The Society is not a secret organization, but purely benevolent, and includes in a bond of good fellowship nearly all of the most respectable Irishmen of this community; many having risen to wealth and honor, and not a few of whom have been identified in the past with the material progress of the city.
The officers are elected yearly.
There are not sufficient hotel accomodations in Wilmington.
There are a number of minor associations and institutions of a social, literary and military character in the city, but we have not the space to speak of them in detail.
HARBOR AND RIVER IMPROVEMENTS.
THE HARBOR AND IMPROVEMENTS OF CAPE FEAR RIVER AND BAR BELOW WILMINGTON.
On other pages of this volume we have repeatedly directed attention to the extraordinary advantages and facilities possessed by the City of Wilmington as a great center of trade and commerce, and as a depot for the reception of those products which find so ready a market and are in such great demand in foreign countries. The position of the city, as regards easy accessibility and convenient distances of carriage, is at once commanding and important. For years this city has supplied a larger portion of the naval stores in the markets of the world than any other, while the exports from this port of the greatest of all agricultural products—cotton—are of a magnitude demanding especial consideration. The city is also the natural entrepot for the grain and produce of the West seeking foreign markets, and as a port of refuge on the exposed coast of North Carolina, its utility does not admit of calculation. It, therefore, becomes a matter of supreme and paramount importance, not only to all classes of this community, but to the world at large, that the great undertaking of procuring and maintaining the requisite depth of channel should succeed. Upon it depends the future prosperity of the city. The operations so far have been eminently successful, and it is the duty of the General Government to see to it that they be rapidly pushed forward until the desired result be attained. There are a number of gentlemen who have devoted considerable time and attention to the advancement of these much-needed and greatly to be desired improvements, but no one does the City of Wilmington owe more in this regard than to
|Hon. A. H. Van Bokkelen, President of the Chamber of Commerce, who has been untiring in his efforts to induce and secure the necessary legislation on the part of Congress in this behalf.|
From reliable and official sources we are enabled to give the following condensed review of the condition of Cape Fear River, below Wilmington, for the last century, and bring the history of its improvements down to the present time:
The original condition of the entrance to Cape Fear River before the opening of the New Inlet in 1761, according to rather uncertain information obtained from old maps, was that of a good channel over the bar and shoals of fourteen feet depth at low water in the Baldhead Channel, in about the same position as that of the present channel. The position and depths of the Smithville Harbor were about as they have ever since remained. The depth of the Horse Shoe Shoals appears to have been about twelve feet. The earliest information as to the upper river, from Campbell's Island to Wilmington, is that there were shoals in several places where there was not more than seven and a half feet depth at low water.
After the opening of the New Inlet there was a gradual deterioration at the Baldhead Channel, and variable conditions in the Rip Channel and Bar, and in the New Inlet Bar. There are no certain records before 1839, when the survey of Lieutenant Glynn shows nine feet at the Baldhead Channel, nine feet at the Western or Rip Channel, and ten feet at the New Inlet.
The Coast Survey Chart of 1851, shows the low water depth at Baldhead Channel eight feet, the Western Channel seven feet and New Inlet Bar eight feet. The Coast Survey Chart of 1866 does not show much change, the available depths appearing to be about the same. A careful survey made by Mr. Vinal, of the Coast Survey, in 1872, when considerable progress had been made in closing the opening between Smith's and Zeke's Islands, shows still nine feet at low water at the Baldhead Channel, and the same depth at Rip Channel, and ten feet in the New Inlet Bar. No changes appear to have occurred in the upper river until after improvements were made.
The improvement of the river below Wilmington was begun by the State of North Carolina, and continued from 1823 to 1828. In 1829, it was taken in hand by the United States, and from 1829 to 1838, inclusive, Congress made annual appropriations, amounting to $202,539, which were expended in improving the river from Wilmington to Campbell's Island, about nine miles below. The operations consisted mostly of pile and plank jetties made to concentrate the currents. Some dredging was also done. The plans initiated by the State were continued by the United States. An available increase of about two feet in depth was obtained, so that nine to nine and one-half feet could be carried at low water.
Projects for improvement were revived in 1852, when Congress appropriated $20,000, and $140,000 was appropriated in 1854. These appropriations were expended for the improvement at the entrance, by jetties, at Baldhead Point, and by closing the breaches between Smith's and Zeke's Islands. When the latter works were nearly completed and the appropriation exhausted, a great storm in September, 1857, destroyed to a considerable extent the works at Zeke's Island, leaving the stone foundations only. Nothing further was done towards improvement until 1870, when the work began again. The project adopted in 1870 was the closure of the breaches between Smith's and Zeke's Islands, with the ultimate closure of the New Inlet in view. In 1873 and ’74, the additional work projected was the dredging of the new channel behind the Horseshoe Shoal's, near Snow's Marsh, and dredging the Baldhead Channel, (which had already began to improve), and also dredging and removing obstacles in the river between Campbell's Island and Wilmington, so as to obtain twelve feet depth at mean low water. The official report to the Commission of Navigation and Pilotage, Wilmington, on the 1st day of July, 1870, gave depth of water as follows: Western Channel, outer bar, ten feet ten inches at low water; Western Channel, rip or inner bar, seven feet ten inches at low water; New Inlet, outer bar, nine feet at low water; New Inlet, inner bar, nine and a half feet at low water, to which must be added four feet for neap tides and six feet for spring tides, to give the depth at high water. In 1870 Baldhead Channel was not reported. The recollections of persons who should know, place the depth of water on the obstructions in the same at six to six and a half feet at low water.
|In 1875 the work of closing the New Inlet was begun in earnest. A continuous line of mattresses, composed of logs and brush, sunk and loaded with stone, was laid entirely across the New Inlet, from October, 1875, to June, 1876. This was the first foundation of the dam.|
As fast as appropriations were available the work was continued from year to year, by piling small stone rip-rap on and over this foundation, and finally bringing it up to high water, and then covering it with heavy granite stones on the top and slopes to low water. There were many real discouragements during the progress of the work, not to speak of the almost universal prediction of ultimate failure by the pilots and others, who were well acquainted with the forces to be contended with. The great rush of these tidal currents in and out can hardly be realized, even now, when it is shown that the alternate difference in level on the sea and river sides of the dam at the different stages is usually from one to two feet, and a difference of three and one-half feet has been observed. This rush and over-fall caused a scour on both sides of the foundation for a depth of from six to sixteen feet below the bottom of the mattresses, and the water found its way underneath them, and the scouring caused their irregular subsidence. In some instances the settlement was ten or twelve feet within twenty-four hours. The only, or at least the best remedy, was to continue to pile on stone and let them go to their limit, thus making the foundation from ninety to one hundred and twenty feet in width at the base, where the original mattresses were from forty-five to sixty feet. The whole work, from shore to shore—Federal Point to Zeke's Island—is nearly a mile in length. For about three-fourths of a mile of this length the stone go to an average depth of about thirty feet below the top of the dam; in many places the depth is more than thirty-six feet. The limit of subsidence was reached during the year 1878, since which time it has only been necessary to widen the foundation and cover the dam with heavy rock. This was carefully done by the use of three floating derricks—one of which was operated by steam—between December, 1879, and July, 1881. The stone used in its construction amounts to 181,600 cubic yards, including 16,756 gross tons of heavy granite. During the progress of the work the small stones below high tide were being cemented into a solid mass by oysters and barnacles; and now the whole structure, with its granite surface, is like one solid rock. Its crest is above the level of ordinary spring tides, and there can be no question of its permanence.
When the magnitude, and apparent and real difficulty of the work are considered, the cost has been small. The whole cost, from its inception in 1875, to its thorough completion in 1881, has not exceeded $480,000.
During the first three years of the construction of the dam, it did not much effect the quantity of the in and out flow of the tides at the New Inlet, but as it approached completion, the stoppage was more and more, and the effect on the Baldhead Channel increased; this was also assisted by the operation of the suction dredge Woodbury, which was thoroughly rebuilt and put in operation on the Baldhead Channel early in April, 1879, and continued work until October, 1881, during which time 169,491 cubic yards of sand were dredged and dumped in deep water. In good weather the amount of compact sand dredged and carried to deep water for dumping would often amount to 500 cubic yards per day, and occasionally more than 600 cubic yards. The large amount of materials removed by the dredge bore a small proportion to the amount carried out by the natural force of the tidal currents, as frequent surveys have proved. The following were the shortest soundings in the Baldhead Channel at the end of the fiscal years: 1878, 9 feet; 1879, 11 feet; 1880, 13 feet; 1881, 14 feet; 1882, 14 feet.
This result has been gratifying in the extreme, and has brought the channel into as good or better condition than it was before the breach of the New Inlet in 1761. Up to this point, the mean range of tides being four and one-half feet, seventeen and one-half feet draft could be carried over the bar and shoals at ordinary high water, and eighteen and one-half at spring tides. As the available depth of water between Smithville and Wilmington only allowed fourteen and one-half feet draft at high water, the importance of obtaining a greater depth was apparent. An estimate of it was placed before Congress, at the instance of Senator M. W. Ransom, in January, 1881, and an appropriation of $140,000, designed in part for it, was made by act of Congress,
|approved March 3, 1881. The project adopted was for a channel to be dredged, where dredging was needed to obtain it, of 270 feet wide and sixteen feet depth at mean low water, from the deep water at Smithville Harbor to Wilmington, and the first contract for dredging was made in May, 1881. Another appropriation of $225,000 was made in August, 1882. The work is still in progress, and in the course of the next twelve months a depth of eighteen feet will be obtained from the ocean to the city, which will eventually be increased, as now contemplated, to from twenty-four to twenty-six feet—it being practicable at a moderate cost.|
Wilmington now compares favorably with other Southern ports, and will in a very short time be the equal of any. Vessels loading to a draft of over eighteen feet can lighten a portion of their cargo at a comparatively small expense and with but slight detention. During the present season foreign steamers of 1,700 tons burden, loaded with cotton, have easily proceeded from the city to the sea. This port is also well located for a coaling station—is already a port of call for steamers, and is destined ere long to become the most popular coaling station on the South Atlantic coast.
This work of improvement now being carried on by the Government stands high in the estimation of the United States Engineer department, and being recognized as a truly National work, will always, as it should, receive favorable consideration from the Government authorities. Upon a visit of inspection made January 29, 1884, by Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, Secretary of War; Gen. H. G. Wright, Chief of Engineers; Gen. J. G. Parke, in charge of the Division of Rivers and Harbors office of Chief Engineers, and Col. W. P. Craighill, engineer in charge of the improvement of the lower Cape Fear River and Bar, they found the work progressing satisfactorily, with results already attained, giving conclusive evidence that the depth of water contemplated would be obtained within a reasonable time.
From the reports of the engineers in charge there seems to be no doubt but that, by a proper jetty system, a depth of at least twenty feet at low water can be obtained from the sea across the bar to the harbor. It then becomes a mere matter of expense to secure that depth all the way to the city. The matter is certainly important enough to deserve careful consideration by the Government.
The following are the appropriations that have been made by Congress for the improvement of Cape Fear River and Bar:
|By act approved March 11, 1870 ||$100,000 |
|By act approved March 3, 1871 ||75,000 |
|By act approved June 10, 1872 ||100,000 |
|By act approved March 3, 1873 ||100,000 |
|By act approved June 23, 1874 ||150,000 |
|By act approved March 3, 1875 ||150,000 |
|By act approved Aug. 14, 1876 ||132,500 |
|By act approved June 18, 1878 ||160,000 |
|By act approved March 3, 1879 ||100,000 |
|By act approved June 14, 1880 ||70,000 |
|By act approved March 3, 1881 ||140,000 |
|By act approved Aug. 1, 1882 ||225,000 |
|Total ||$1,502,500 |
With reference to direct communication with all parts of the world, the City of Wilmington occupies a position at once commanding and unexcelled. By comprehensive railway system, all points in the United States are readily and quickly reached; by the Cape Fear River the richest and most fertile sections of the great State of North Carolina pay tribute to her commerce, while her eligibility and superior advantages as a great maratime port, place her among the greatest commercial and trade centers on the South Atlantic coast, and connect her industries with the leading markets of the world. We shall briefly consider the
centering here, and call attention to several which are now being projected, and which will, in all probability, be completed at an early day.
WILMINGTON & WELDON RAILROAD.
This railroad was projected solely by the people of Wilmington, and was completed in 1836. Its length from Wilmington to Weldon is 163 miles, the line passing through New Hanover, Pender, Wayne, Wilson, Edgecombe, Nash and Halifax Counties, with branch roads from Rocky Mount to Tarboro, a distance of seventeen miles, and from Halifax to Scotland Neck, twenty miles. It is said to be one of the best equipped roads in the South for traveling comfort and speed. President Bridgers has not seen fit to respond to our request for information touching matters of interest connected with the management and affairs of the road, and we are, therefore, unable to give any other facts and figures save the following contained in his annual report, November, 21, 1882:
|Gross earnings ||$ 783,790 27 |
|Total expenses ||574,318 30 |
|Leaving a net of ||$ 209,471 98 |
The receipts show an increase of $32,873.43, which is made up as follows:
|Through Freight ||$ 1,033 88 || |
|Through Passengers ||16,877 07 || |
|Local Passengers ||24,042 30 || |
|Mail and Express ||11,930 97 ||—$53,884 22 |
|Decrease in Local Freight || ||21,010 79 |
|Net increase || ||$32,873 43 |
WILMINGTON, COLUMBIA & AUGUSTA RAILROAD.
For the like reason given above, namely: the failure of President Bridgers to pay any attention to our request for information as to this road, of which he is also President, we can only give our readers the following facts:
This road is 189 miles in length, and passes from Wilmington into South Carolina, through Brunswick and Columbus Counties, North Carolina, and continues its route through Marion, Darlington, Sumter and Richland Counties, South Carolina.
The President's annual report, dated November 21, 1882, gives the following:
|“The gross receipts for the year are $692,628.52, being an increase of $51,672.22 over those of the preceding year, which is made up as follows:|
|Through Freight ||$ 6 51 |
|Local Freight ||20,578 44 |
|Through Passengers ||9,704 69 |
|Local Passengers ||8,272 02 |
|Mail and Express ||13,110 56 |
|Total increase ||$51,672 22 |
The expenses are $553,036.57, in addition to which the following amounts have been paid for improvements:
|Two New Engines || ||$ 25,898 10 |
|One Hundred and Fifty Box Cars ||$ 88,471 50 || |
|Two Baggage Cars ||4,986 00 || |
|Two Postal Cars ||7,412 56 ||—100,870 06 |
|Warehouse at Timmonsville ||4,865 09 || |
|Warehouse at Whiteville ||4,536 85 || |
|Warehouse at Wilmington ||12,773 45 ||— 22,175 39 |
|Total || ||$148,943 55 |
Also 2,200 tons of steel rail and necessary fastenings have been put in the track.”
The Central Railroad has diverted a very considerable amount of business from this road at Sumter and various other points, thus materially decreasing its receipts. Its advantage to Wilmington, however, is still very great
THE CAROLINA CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY.
This road is, perhaps, the most important line that enters the city, and is a most powerful agent in promoting the prosperity of her business interests. Its route stretches westward through a magnificent country of varied and abundant production, traversing the counties of New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Robeson, Richmond, Anson, Union, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland—a section highly productive of cotton, turpentine and other articles of export. Anson, Union and Richmond Counties are especially noted for the quality of cotton grown, it being superior to that raised in any other part of the State, and generally considered to be the finest upland cotton in the world. The road is 242 miles in length, and its western terminus is Shelby, N. C. The history of this road is briefly as follows: In 1855 the acts ratifying the incorporation of the Wilmington & Charlotte and the Wilmington, Charlotte & Rutherford Railroads, were passed by the Legislature, and up to the time of the war 103 miles had been built on the Eastern Division, and a line of road completed to Lincolnton on the Western Division. In 1873 the Carolina Central Railway purchased the roads, and completed the line to Charlotte and Shelby in November, 1874. The Carolina Central Railway was sold May 21, 1880, and was re-organized as the Carolina Central Railroad Company by act of the Legislature ratified January 18th, 1881. It connects at Wilmington with the Wilmington, Columbia & Augusta and the Wilmington & Weldon Railroads; at Alma, with the Alma & Little Rock Railroad; at Hamlet, with the Raleigh & Augusta Railroad; at Wadsboro, with the Cheraw & Salisbury Railroad; at Charlotte, with the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta and Richmond & Danville Railroads, and at Lincolnton, with the Chester & Lenou Railroad.
The equipment of the road is first-class, and among the best in this part of the South. It has seventy-three miles of steel rails, and its rolling stock consists of twenty-nine engines and 410 cars. For the fiscal year ending April 1st, 1883, the receipts from all sources were $596,328.98, with expenditures for same period of $427,857.67—this latter sum including the cost of construction, repairs, renewals, &c., of ever description, which were quite extensive. Among them may be mentioned the reconstruction of the Pee Dee bridge; culvert to displace Muddy Fork trestle, filling Beal's trestle, making culverts, filling South Fork trestle, wharf improvements at Wilmington; construction of freight depot at Charlotte, and of shops at Lincolnton, together with amounts paid out for purchase of machinery and tools. The showing, therefore, is a
|highly creditable one for the management. The present officers of the road are as fol-follows: J. M. Robinson, President; J. C. Winder, General Manager; L. C. Jones, Superintendent; James Anderson, Treasurer; J. H. Sharp, Secretary; F. W. Clark, General Freght and Passenger Agent; A. J. Howell, Auditor. The affairs of the company are managed with ability and good judgment, and the road is one of the most prosperous in the State.|
CAPE FEAR A YADKIN VALLEY RAILWAY.
The vast importance which the completion and extension of this line of railroad will be to Wilmington admits of no calculation. We copy in full a recent article from the pen of Major Wm. A. Herne, a gentleman thoroughly familiar with the railroad systems and resources of the State. It is worthy of special consideration, as well from known ability of the writer as the importance of the subject:
“The plodding, persistent North Carolinian has always demanded a North Carolina policy for North Carolinians.
“The first, the greatest, the wisest of all the internal improvement fathers, Governor Dudley, vexes himself that Virginia, on the one hand, and South Carolina on the other, should have been permitted to commercially enrich themselves to the impoverishment of our own people and the drying up, so to speak, of our magnificent sea ports, Wilmington and Beaufort Harbor.
“ ‘They were,’ he said, in 1838, ‘stripping the carcas while the limbs yet quiver with life,’ and he proposed to ‘play back’ upon them with a northwest and southeast system of railway—the Cape Fear & Yadkin River Railroad, then in vogue.
“Time hallows the memories of our internal improvement men, from Caldwell to Morehead, and record has noted their achievement, but amid all revolving changes the index finger of nature has never pointed away from North Carolina's best line of internal improvement and field of highest material development.
“From the port of Wilmington on tide-water Cape Fear, to the central border of the northwestern tier of counties, comprising Ashe, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey, the air line is northwest, and on to connections with the commercial centres of the great Northwestern Empire of States, the route retains its northwest and southeast directions.
“Such route is the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway enterprise, and in it centers the only hope and all the possibilities of a North Carolina system, with all that implies.
“If there had not existed such a port as Wilmington, Governor Dudley would not have raved: But for Beaufort Harbor, the North Carolina Railroad would never have been designed or built. To the navigation of the Cape Fear and its outlet at Wilmington are we indebted for the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railroad idea.
“Few read history far enough back to know that the commerce of Wilmington—the direct foreign export trade—once exceeded that of the ports of Virginia combined, or live to learn now that presently the vailable depth of water from the sea to Wilmington dock will be greater than the possibilities of New York Harbor, and as good as Norfolk. But such is sure, and it is soberly written.
“It is on foot to build the Cape Fear Division to Wilmington; the South Carolina Extension is reaching out to Bennettsville precisely as Governor Dudley sought and recommended; and from Fayetteville the road is knocking at Greensboro's doors. The way is prepared for it to pass rapidly on to the mountain counties, and the day has almost dawned for its direct and unbroken connection with Cincinnati.
“It transverses the three great inter-State systems of transportation that dominate North Carolina; the Piedmont Air Line, the Atlantic Coast Line at Wilmington, and crosses the Seaboard Air Line at two points in different portions of the State.
“The effect will be the regulation and cheapening of freights by a water transportation standard of our own; Wilmington, and not West Point and Norfolk, will schedule the tariff of interior freights.
“Scientific investigation and climatic observation have placed Wilmington next door to Florida. The vigorous climate of the Northwest is driving the population to seek milder winter homes, and the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway, with its Northwestern
|connections, will distribute people of the populous Northwestern States all along its temperate, mild and semi-tropic route, from the foot of the Alleghanies to the Atlantic Seaboard.|
“We relegate to the realms of speculation the sum total of all the advantages to be derived during future and all coming years of conditions like these.
“No man can approximate the volumes, either of disclosed or hidden resources, in the sections of country tributary to the route of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway, from Wilmington to the northwest corner of the State, and it is as useless to note present productions as to speculate on future outcomes.
“With its tide-water division to Wilmington; its southern extension tapping the rich cotton fields of South Carolina; its main stem running from the head of Cape Fear navigation to the mountain slopes of the Northwest counties; with connections across the Alleghanies to the States of the Upper Mississippi Valley; branches of the main stem to the busy nest of humming factories on Deep River in Randolph, to Danbury in Stokes, and to Paterson in Stokes, and to Patterson in Caldwell, the old, ardent internal improvement masters in North Carolina could have outlined no more inviting picture; no Moses of an era of progress and development, taking a last look at the promised land in a country loved so well, could choose an hour in which to, the more happily
“ ‘Draw the drapery of his couch about him,
And lie down to pleasant dreams.’ ”
CLINTON & POINT CASWELL RAILROAD.
This is a railway projected from Point Caswell to Clinton, the county seat of Sampson County, via Kerr's Landing and Hanell's Store, connecting the daily steamers from Point Caswell, on Black River, with Wilmington, twenty-eight miles distant, for the purpose of bringing the produce of Pender and Sampson Counties to this market. This road was chartered by the Legislature February, 1883, with a capital stock of $150,000. The charter requires that the road shall be completed within two years.
A road is also being proposed to Stone's Bay, or Snead's Ferry, in Onslow County. Its length would have to be about thirty-four miles, and the road could be constructed and equipped for less than $200,000. It would pay a good dividend from the time of its completion, as it would have tributary to it the whole of the New River section, from the source of that stream to its mouth—a region which abounds in immense forests of timber, yet untouched so far as saw-milling is concerned, and easy of access at all points.
OCEAN CARRYING TRADE AND SHIPPING INTERESTS.
From what has already been said, it must be apparent to everyone that the City of Wilmington owes her present commercial importance to her shipping interests and ocean carrying trade, and upon the further enlargement and development of these interests must she depend, in a great measure, for continued prosperity and future progress. The foreign carrying trade of Wilmington is done mostly by Norwegian, German, Swedish and British vessels, ranking in number in about the order named. Vessels of all nations, however, enter this port. For the carriage of spirits of turpentine the smaller sailing vessels are much preferred; those best suited for this trade being of from 275 to 300 tons registered. Their cargoes generally consist of from 1,000 to 1,500 casks, and it is seldom that over 2,000 casks are carried. For other naval stores
|vessels of from 250 to 500 tons are most in demand and deemed most suitable. For cotton the larger the vessels the more profitable the cargoes, and shipments of over 5,000 bales have been successfully and easily made from Wilmington, during the present season, on steamers. A very great advantage possessed by Wilmington over all other ports is that foreign freight is offered here during the entire year, and so generally is this fact recognized in the maratime world that vessels from all parts of the globe, that have been unable to obtain cargoes elsewhere, come to this port for cargoes, some even from Africa and South America. During the winter season cargoes of cotton can almost always be obtained, and extensive shipments of lumber are constantly being made to the West Indies and South America. Being south of all the dangerous capes and shoals of the coast, vessels are subjected here to less loss of time and hazard, they are consequently enabled to make make more dispatch and incur less expense in the item of marine insurance. The bar below the city is much more easily crossed than that at Charleston, there being now an amply sufficient depth of water, and there is splendid anchorage at Smithville, which place is connected with Wilmington and all the world by telegraph and offers unsurpassed facilities as a port of call, but little lighterage is now required. As a port of refuge and convenience, Wilmington is situated at the most desirable intermediate point between the Northern and South Atlantic coasts, having all the advantages of both, and the disadvantages of neither. Vessels are here fully protected from all the winds that blow. The port of Wilmington is also well watered, and the Cape Fear River water has long been acknowledged as of superior quality for ship use on long voyages. A striking peculiarity about this water is its great benefit to vessels having iron or wooden hulls. It kills all barnacles and enables bottoms to be easily cleaned of grass—being readily scraped off—and vessels entering with foul bottoms go out with them entirely cleaned by the action of the river water.|
The ocean carrying trade of Wilmington has already reached large proportions and with the improvement made in the river and harbor by the general Government, and the increased depth of water already obtained, and contemplated in the near future, is bound to become still greater. Some idea of its present importance may be gained from the fact that for the year ending June 30, 1883, the value of all exports by ocean commerce from this port reached $12,678,913, while the imports for the same period are estimated at from six and a half to eight and a half millions of dollars. The Custom House receipts range annually to from $75,000 to $100,000. A large increase in tonnage has taken place in the last few months and there seems to be no present reason why the trade this year should not be in excess of that of any similar period since the war.
The following is a carefully prepared statement of all vessels over 100 tons entered and cleared at the port of Wilmington during the year ending January 1, 1884:
The following is a carefully prepared statement of all vessels over 100 tons entered and cleared at the Port of Wilmington during the year ending January 1, 1884:
|1883. ||Steamers ||Barks. ||Brigs. ||Schooners. ||Total Steam & Sall |
| ||No. ||Tons. ||No. ||Tons. ||No. ||Tons. ||No. ||Tons. ||No. ||Tons. |
|January ||8 ||7,159 ||14 ||5,347 ||7 ||2,646 ||22 ||5,249 ||51 ||20,401 |
|February ||5 ||4,379 ||25 ||9,365 ||7 ||1,843 ||24 ||6,705 ||61 ||22,292 |
|March ||4 ||3,380 ||7 ||2,609 ||2 ||610 ||10 ||2,088 ||23 ||8,687 |
|April ||4 ||3,380 ||20 ||7,523 ||4 ||1,155 ||13 ||3,765 ||41 ||15,823 |
|May ||5 ||4,223 ||12 ||4,181 ||3 ||892 ||18 ||4,650 ||38 ||13,946 |
|June ||5 ||4,162 ||13 ||4,641 ||9 ||2,178 ||11 ||3,232 ||38 ||14,213 |
|July ||5 ||4,227 ||2 ||588 ||1 ||275 ||15 ||3,249 ||23 ||8,339 |
|August ||4 ||3,380 ||8 ||3,888 ||4 ||1,457 ||16 ||3,327 ||32 ||12,052 |
|September ||8 ||7,613 ||6 ||1,904 ||1 ||314 ||6 ||1,540 ||21 ||11,371 |
|October ||8 ||6,697 ||14 ||5,390 ||1 ||236 ||15 ||3,271 ||38 ||15,594 |
|November ||8 ||6,002 ||29 ||12,351 ||7 ||2,051 ||14 ||3,873 ||58 ||24,277 |
|December ||8 ||6,934 ||25 ||9,917 ||5 ||1,439 ||19 ||4,143 ||57 ||22,433 |
|Totals ||72 ||61,536 ||175 ||67,704 ||51 ||15,096 ||183 ||45,092 ||481 ||189,428 |
|The foreign consuls in Wilmington are as follows:|
|NAME. ||RANK. ||NATION. ||WHEN APPOINTED. |
|Frederick J. Lord ||Vice Consul ||Spain ||May, 1843. |
|O. G. Parsley, Jr. ||Vice Consul ||Brazil ||1859. |
|Alexander Sprunt ||Vice Consul ||Great Britain ||March 31, 1866. |
|Jacob Loeb ||Vice Consul ||France ||May 29, 1867. |
|Wm. L. DeRossett ||Vice Consul ||Portugal ||March 30, 1868. |
|R. E. Heide ||Vice Consul ||Norway ||Dec. 10, 1870. |
|George Harris ||Vice Consul ||Argentine Republic ||October, 1871. |
|Edouard Peschau ||Vice Consul ||Germany ||Nov. 8, 1871. |
|Consul ||Dec. 7, 1874. |
|W. A. Cumming ||Vice Consul ||Hayti ||March, 1874. |
COMMISSIONERS OF NAVIGATION AND PILOTAGE.
The Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage for the Cape Fear River and Bars were formerly elected by the qualified voters of the City of Wilmington, but in 1870 the Legislature of the State passed an act authorizing and requiring the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Wilmington to appoint every year five persons, and the Mayor and Commissioners of the town of Smithville two persons, to serve as Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage for the Cape Fear River and Bars, and providing that the seven persons so appointed should have power to do and perform all acts therefore authorized by law to be done by the Board of Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage. The Commissioners have authority in all matters that may concern the navigation of the waters from seven miles above Negrohead Point downwards, and out of the bar; and with respect to throwing rubbish in the river at the City of Wilmington, and in the construction of wharves have concurrent jurisdiction with the Mayor and Aldermen of the city.
The Commissioners are required to appoint a Harbor Master, and prescribe the duties of his office; to make such rules and regulations for the Port of Wilmington, and respecting the duties of pilots, as they may deem most advisable, and to impose reasonable fines, forfeitures and penalties for the purpose of enforcing such rules and regulations. They are required to provide for the examination by nautical men, of apprentices who have served three years, and who desire to become pilots, and to issue commissions or branches to such as are found qualified to perform the duties of pilots, provided that there shall not be at any one time more than sixty-five river and bar pilots in commission. Three classes of licenses are required to be issued—one to pilot vessels whose draught of water does not exceed nine feet, one to pilot vessels whose draught does not exceed twelve feet, and one unlimited, or full license, to pilot vessels of any draught of water.
Every person, before he obtains a branch to become a pilot, must give bond, with two sufficient sureties, in the sum of $500, payable to the State of North Carolina, for the faithful discharge of his duties.
The number of pilots for the river and bars must not any time be reduced below forty.
The Commissioners are authorized to fix the rates of pilotage, provided they do not reduce them below the rates established in 1869.
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels of sixty tons burthen and over.
The present number of pilots (sixty-five) is about equally divided between the bars and river.
The Commissioners are required to regulate the number of apprentices, provided there shall not be less than twenty. During and since the war it has been impossible to comply with the provision of the law, there having been at no time since the war as many as twenty to serve, and now there are not more than three or four.
|A Harbor Master's fee, when no service is performed, is not compulsory; but, by an order of the Commissioners, every vessel whose captain voluntarily pays the Harbor Master three dollars, on her arrival, is entitled to his services at all times while the vessel is in port, without further charge.|
If this fee is refused, and the vessel so refusing requires the Harbor Master's services, he is entitled to, and can collect, $5 for the first visit and $2.50 for every subsequent visit.
The present Board consists of the following members: J. H. Chadbourn, chairman; Donald McRae, D. G. Worth, R. E. Heide, Jas. Sprunt, Wilmington; Jno. R. Newton, J. T. Burriss, Smithville.
The following are the Rules and Regulations of the Port of Wilmington, Revised and Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage, on September 18, 1868, for the Government of the Port of Wilmington and River and Bars of the Cape Fear.
Ordered: That hereafter all vessels arriving in this port, the master, agent or consignee of which, shall voluntarily pay to the Harbor Master, the sum of three dollars, they may command, at all times, the services of said Harbor Master, as prescribed by the port regulations, without further charge, while the vessel shall remain in port; but where such master, agent or consignee shall refuse to pay said amount of three dollars, the following fees are fixed, and shall be collected as provided in Revised Code, chapter 85, paragraph 3, page 461: When called upon to perform any duty required by law or port regulations—for the first visit or performance of duty, five dollars, and for each subsequent visit to the same vessel, two dollars and fifty cents.—Adopted November 11, 1869.
1. All ballast, coal, or other substance calculated to injure the river, shall be safely placed not less than four feet from the cap of the wharf; and in delivering or landing, must be done under such precautions as to prevent the escape of any portion into the river, under the penalty of fifty dollars. No ballast or coal shall be discharged from any vessel, while in this port, after dark or before sunrise, under a penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every offense, to be paid by the captain. And no trash or substance calculated in any manner to injure the navigation, shall be thrown into the river, under a penalty of ten dollars, for each and every offence, to be paid by the party offending.
2. All vessels crossing the bars, either in or out, or navigating the rivers from or to the sea, shall be required to pay full pilotage to the pilot offering his services, whether such craft be in tow or otherwise, and that any pilot neglecting or detaining a vessel under his charge unnecessarily, shall suffer the severest penalty of the law. Ordered further, That any person without the authority of this Board, attempting to pilot a vessel, or charging for such service, shall pay a penalty of forty dollars.
3. Any vessel hoisting her colors for a pilot, shall be compelled to pay the pilot offering his services full pilotage, whether such pilot be employed or not.
4. When no pilot is in attendance, any person may conduct into port any vessel in danger from stress of weather or in a leaky condition; but if any persons not duly qualified or licensed, shall presume to act as pilot under any other circumstances, he shall forfeit and pay forty dollars.
5. No master of a vessel having a branch, or a mate with a branch, shall be compelled to take a pilot, said master or mate first having a permit from this Board for leave of absence.
6. Every master of a vessel who shall detain a pilot after the time appointed, so that he cannot proceed to sea, though wind and water should permit, shall pay such pilot three dollars per day during the time of his actual detention; and if any vessel, which shall be boarded by a pilot, without or within any of the inlets, shall, by violence of the weather or otherwise be driven to sea, the master or owner of such vessel shall allow and pay the pilot three dollars per day for every day he shall be on board, besides the fee of pilotage.
7. All vessels at anchor, or under way, within the bars of Cape Fear River, at night, shall exhibit a light in some conspicuous place, at least ten feet above the deck,
|so as to be seen by vessels or steamboats passing up or down the river, under a penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every neglect, and shall also be liable for all damages or the amount of injury sustained by any vessel or boat coming in contact, to be recovered for the benefit of the injured party. And it shall be the duty of the pilots to notify the master of each vessel coming over the bar of the existence of this order.|
8. No vessel shall anchor in the river, or extend her fasts as to interrupt the navigation of said river, or the passage of the ferry boats to and from their usual place of landing on either side of the river, under the penalty of fifty dollars for each and every offence, after notice from the Harbor Master.
9. No vessel shall extend her hull, bowsprit, yards, rigging or fasts so as to interrupt the passage into or out of the public docks, under the penalty of five dollars for each and every hour said offence shall continue, after notice from the Harbor Master.
10. No vessel that has discharged, or that is not engaged in discharging or taking on board a cargo, shall keep her place at any wharf, when, for the convenience of discharging or taking on board a cargo, said place may be required by any other vessel, under the penalty of fifty dollars for each and every day such offence shall continue.
11. No vessel shall careen for the purpose of burning, cleaning or repairing, at any wharf within the limits of Wilmington, except at regular ship-yards, under a penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every offence.
12. No master or commander of a vessel shall disobey or neglect such orders and directions as may be given by the Harbor Master, in times of gales of wind, relating to the safety of vessels in the harbor, under penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every offence, to be paid by the master or commander of said vessel.
13. No vessel having on board grain, or articles evidently in a state of putrefaction, or offensive, shall haul to or lay at any wharf, but shall anchor in the middle of the river until the order of the Board shall be known, under the penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every hour said offence shall continue, after notice from the Harbor Master. Nor shall any vessel discharge offensive bilge water within the limits of the City of Wilmington, under a penalty of fifty dollars.
14. No vessel shall lay at any wharf with her yards and booms otherwise trimmed than as the Harbor Master shall direct, under the penalty of fifty dollars for each and every day said offence shall continue, to be paid by the master or commander of said vessel.
15. No vessel, whether loaded or empty, shall lay at anchor in the river opposite the city, between Mulberry and Castle streets, for more than twenty-four hours at one time, under a penalty of fifty dollars for each and every day said offence shall continue, after notice from the Harbor Master.
16. If a branch pilot shall go off to any vessel bound in, and offer to pilot her over the bar, the master or commander of such vessel, if he refuses to take such pilot (except lawfully exempt,) shall pay such pilot lawful pilotage.
17. When any pilot shall see any vessel on the coast, having a signal for a pilot, or shall hear a gun of distress fired off the coast, and shall neglect or refuse to go to the assistance of such vessel, such pilot shall forfeit and pay one hundred dollars—one-half to the informer and the other half to the master; unless such pilot is actually in charge of another vessel.
18. The Board of Commissioners may designate the place whereat, within the waters of their control, may be cast and thrown ballast, trash, stones and such like matter; and if any person shall cast or throw from any vessel into said waters, any such substances, likely to be injurious to the navigation, shall forfeit and pay two hundred dollars. And if any pilot shall knowingly suffer such unlawful act to be done, and shall not, within ten days thereafter, give information to some one of this Board, he shall be subject to the lawful punishment.
19. Authority is vested in the Commissioners to hear and determine all matters of dispute between pilots and masters of vessels, or between the pilots themselves, respecting the pilotage of vessels—appeal in certain cases to be allowed.
20. On arrival of any vessel at this port, it shall be the duty of the Harbor Master to go on board and deliver to the captain or officer in charge of such vessel, the port
|regulations, under a penalty of ten dollars.|
21. Any pilot running a vessel ashore, by which means any injury or detention is sustained by such vessel, shall report the same, without delay, to the Chairman of this Board.
22. No vessel under sixty tons shall be compelled to take a pilot or pay pilotage, unless a signal for a pilot shall be made.
23. Any pilot intending to absent himself from his station for over twenty-four hours, shall communicate his intention to the Chairman, who may grant a permit, and he shall likewise make known his return, under a penalty of fifty dollars for such neglect.
24. Should any hulk, raft, flat or other obstructive substance become sunken, from any cause, in the river, the same shall be immediately removed, under a penalty of five dollars for each and every day such nuisance shall remain, after notice from the Harbor Master, to be paid by the parties interested or concerned; and in case exertions are not immediately made for the removal aforesaid, the Commissioners may exercise the discretion of using other means of abating the nuisance, even to the confiscation or condemnation of such obstructions.
25. The Harbor Master shall have power to regulate all fires which are burning or kindled on rafts, decks or flat boats, or lighters, and any owner or agent of the owner, refusing to obey the orders of the Harbor Master, shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars for every violation.
26. It shall be the duty of the Harbor Master to see that all raft frames be taken out of the water by persons landing wood or lumber, and it shall be the duty of the agent or inspector of said rafts to have the same done, when so ordered, or at all times, under a penalty of fifty dollars.
27. Any person encumbering either of the public docks with logs, dilapidated hulks, or other trash or nuisance, shall forfeit and pay a fine of five dollars, if not removed immediately upon notice from the Harbor Master, and five dollars for every additional day the nuisance remains. And when the owner cannot conveniently be found, the Harbor Master shall take the most speedy method to clear the dock.
28. The bar pilots shall be divided into classes of not less than four each, whose duty it shall be by turns to ascertain the depth of water at the several navigable points and to report to this Board by the first regular meeting in each month, being Tuesday—penalty for neglect, ten dollars.
29. In all violation of these ordinances, wherein no forfeiture is specified, a penalty not exceeding fifty dollars may be imposed, according to the aggravation of the case.
30. During the recess of the Board, the Chairman shall be empowered to try and determine all cases of delinquency occurring, and an appeal from his decision to this Board being allowed; and all matters connected with the navigation and regulations of the port, during the recess of the Board shall be under his immediate supervision and control.
31. No apprentice allowed to pilot any vessel drawing over six feet of water without permission from the Chairman of this Board.
32. Any pilot, who, after having been notified for the purpose, shall fail to be on board any vessel at the time set for sailing, shall forfeit and pay the Captain ten dollars for each day's delay, (unless at the time he shall have personal charge of some other vessel), and the further sum of one day's expense of such vessel. Pilots, however, may require advance pay for pilotage.
33. Pilots navigating vessels into port, shall be entitled, exclusively, to navigate such vessel out of port, provided they be in attendance when the vessel is ready to sail; otherwise, the Captain may employ any other suitable pilot. Any pilot or other person navigating a vessel contrary to the meaning of this regulation, shall forfeit and pay the injured pilot forty dollars.
34. Neglect to repair dilapidated wharves shall subject the owners or parties interested, after having been duly notified, to a fine of five dollars for each and every day's neglect to make such repairs.
35. All flats, lighters or other boats or vessels, employed within the limits of the City of Wilmington, propelled wholly or in part by gigs or poles, are hereby prohibited
|from using upon the ends of said gigs or poles, any iron or other metal points so sharpened as to make indentation into wood. And any vessel, steamer or package of goods, receiving damage from the use of said gigs or poles, the owners or agent of the owners, or the flat or lighter, shall be liable for the full amount of damage arising therefrom. And any person or persons employed as crew of said flat or lighter, who shall violate this ordinance, shall be fined not less than five dollars for each and every offence.|
36. Any person casting loose or adrift, any flat, raft, or any raft of turpentine, or any boat or vessel, without the consent of the Harbor Master, had and obtained, shall be punished by a fine of ten dollars for each and every offence. One-half of the said fine shall, when collected, be paid to the person or persons giving the information to the Harbor Master.
37. From and after this date, any person piling wood, or any other material or merchandise, in such manner as to prevent or obstruct the fastening of vessels at any piling or ringbolt, placed upon any wharf for the purpose of securing any vessel, shall forfeit five dollars for each and every hour said obstruction shall remain, after notice from the Harbor Master; said fines to be collected in the same manner as other fines imposed by this Board.
All ordinances, rules or regulations, conflicting with those above specified, are hereby repealed.
JAS. H. CHADBOURN, Chairman.
JOS. PRICE, Harbor Master.
Ordered by the Board of Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage:
That hereafter no pilot shall leave a vessel on the river without the consent of the Master, and when any detention shall occur, by fault of the Master of any vessel, the pilot shall be entitled to three dollars per day for every day so detained.
When any vessel lying outside of the Rip, or at other exposed points, shall set her colors for a pilot, the regular pilot shall promptly answer her signal, or in his absence, some other pilot who has a branch, entitling him to take charge of such a vessel, shall proceed to her with all possible dispatch, and for such service shall receive five dollars per day until discharged by the Master.
Services rendered by any other than the regular pilot, in answer to a signal, shall not deprive the regular pilot of his right to carry the vessel to sea when she is ready.
Any pilot failing to carry out this order, shall be liable to such fine as the Board of Commissioners, after investigating the cause, may impose.
JAS. H. CHADBOURN, Chairman.
FEBRUARY 17, 1874.
|The following are the|
RATES OF PILOTAGE
for the Cape Fear Bars and River, established on the 2d day of August, 1870, in accordance with the existing acts of the Legislature of North Carolina, which went into operation August 10th, 1870:
|Every vessel drawing 6 feet and under 6½ feet ||$ 9 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 6½ feet and under 7 feet ||9 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 7 feet and under 7½ feet ||10 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 7½ feet and under 8 feet ||11 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 8 feet and under 8½ feet ||12 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 8½ feet and under 9 feet ||12 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 9 feet and under 9½ feet ||13 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 9½ feet and under 10 feet ||14 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 10 feet and under 10½ feet ||15 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 10½ feet and under 11 feet ||17 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 11 feet and under 11½ feet ||18 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 11½ feet and under 12 feet ||20 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 12 feet and under 12½ feet ||22 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 12½ feet and under 13 feet ||25 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 13 feet and under 13½ feet ||28 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 13½ feet and under 14 feet ||31 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 14 feet and under 14½ feet ||34 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 14½ feet and under 15 feet ||38 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 15 feet and under 15½ feet ||42 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 15½ feet and under 16 feet ||45 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 16 feet and under 16½ feet ||50 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 16½ feet and under 17 feet ||55 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 17 feet and under 17½ feet ||60 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 17½ feet and under 18 feet ||65 00 |
| ||From Smithville to Wilmington, and vice versa. ||From Five Fathom Hole to Wilmington, and vice versa. |
|Every vessel drawing 6 feet and under 6½ feet ||$ 9 50 ||$ 7 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 6½ feet and under 7 feet ||10 50 ||8 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 7 feet and under 7½ feet ||12 00 ||9 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 7½ feet and under 8 feet ||12 50 ||9 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 8 feet and under 8½ feet ||13 00 ||10 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 8½ feet and under 9 feet ||13 50 ||10 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 9 feet and under 9½ feet ||14 00 ||11 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 9½ feet and under 10 feet ||15 00 ||12 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 10 feet and under 10½ feet ||16 00 ||13 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 10½ feet and under 11 feet ||18 00 ||14 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 11 feet and under 11½ feet ||19 75 ||15 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 11½ feet and under 12 feet ||22 00 ||16 75 |
|Every vessel drawing 12 feet and under 12½ feet ||24 00 ||17 50 |
|Every vessel drawing 12½ feet and under 13 feet ||26 50 ||20 00 |
|Every vessel drawing 13 feet and under 13½ feet ||29 00 ||22 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 13½ feet and under 14 feet ||42 00 ||24 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 14 feet and under 14½ feet ||35 00 ||26 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 14½ feet and under 15 feet ||40 00 ||28 25 |
|Every vessel drawing 15 feet and under 15½ feet ||44 00 ||30 00 |
From Smithville to Brunswick, or from Brunswick to Wilmington, or vice versa, is one-half the pilotage from Smithville to Wilmington. From Smithville to Five Fathom Hole, from Five Fathom Hole to Brunswick, from Brunswick to Campbell's Island, from Campbell's Island to Wilmington, or vice versa, one-fourth of the pilotage from Smithville to Wilmington: Provided, That vessels of 60 tons burthen, owned by the citizens of this State, shall not be required to take a pilot.
Alligator Captured in front of the City Measuring 10 1-2 feet.
By means of several lines of steamboats, Wilmington is in direct communication with Fayetteville, at the head of navigation on the Cape Fear River, and with the interior of the State. Fayetteville is the county seat of Cumberland County, and an active and important business and manufacturing center. It commands the trade of the adjacent country, from which it receives the products of the pine forests. These are lumber, tar, rosin and turpentine, which, together with cotton, constitute the principal articles of export from Wilmington. From along the river, between Wilmington and Fayetteville, large quantities of naval stores are shipped to this port, constituting one of the principal sources of supplying this market.
There is a daily packet up the river, and on some days of the week two boats leave this city for Fayetteville.
There are but two banks in Wilmington, the Bank of New Hanover and the First National Bank of Wilmington, full descriptions of whose operations and condition will be found in another department of this work. The former has a capital of $300,000, and the latter of $250,000. They are both well managed and substantial institutions,
|but at the same time, there is a growing demand for more banking capital in Wilmington. The general, we might say universal, opinion among business men seems to be that there is not sufficient banking capital here now to readily transact the large amount of business annually done. It is quite probable that an early day will witness the establishment of one or more financial institutions in the city.|
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce was organized September 11th, 1866, for the mutual interests of those engaged in mercantile pursuits, and for the purpose of instituting a uniform system for the government of trade and commerce, of adjusting amicably by arbitration causes of dispute, and of exercising a general supervision of all matters pertaining to the commercial interests of the port.
In 1873, the organization of the Produce Exchange assumed control of certain branches of trade not fully provided for by the Chamber of Commerce; and on the 12th of June, 1873, the constitution of the latter body was amended in all points at conflict with the new organization.
The following named gentlemen have served as Presidents of the Chamber: Wm. L. DeRossett, five years; Alfred Martin, two years; W. W. Harris, two years; A. H. Van Bokkelen, eight years.
The present officers are as follows: A. H. Van Bokkelen, President; Edward Peschan, First Vice President; Donald MacRae, Second Vice President; John L. Cantwell, Secretary and Treasurer.
Executive Council—R. E. Heide, George Harris, H. C. McQueen, J. H. Chadbourn, W. Calder and Roger Moore, (President Produce Exchange).
The Wilmington Produce Exchange was organized in April, 1873, and incorporated in September of the same year. It consists of an association of the leading capitalists, merchants and business men of the city, who, with broad and liberal views of what is best tended to promote the general interests and welfare of the community, will ever be found ready to adopt every legitimate means calculated to spread abroad the intelligence of the present advantages and future possibilities of the City of Wilmington as a great commercial and manufacturing center and important distributing point. Its progressive sprit has infused additional life and activity into the business of the city from its very beginning. The important influence exerted by institutions of this character upon the material interests of the municipalities in which they are established, and the manifold advantages which accrue from such organizations cannot be over-estimated by merchants, manufacturers and business men generally, and may be briefly summed up as follows: By joint and concerted action they have a tendency to foster and develop the commercial, manufacturing and general business interests of a community, and by providing for the collection, preservation and dissemination of statistical and reliable information concerning the same, they furnish to the world at large reports of the most valuable character, which, under ordinary circumstances, are obtainable in no other way. They serve to assist in the removal of obstacles, either natural or artificial, tending to impede the city's progress or growth, and maintain a vigilant watch over all schemes which may in any way tarnish the good name or commercial honor and integrity of the community. They also assist in adjusting, as far as possible, the controversies and misunderstandings which are liable to arise between parties engaged in trade, avoiding the expense and
CITY HALL AND OPERA HOUSE.
delays of litigation, and generally aid by all lawful and legitimate means, the encouragement and protection of home interests, of whatever nature and description. They also form the connecting link with similar institutions in the sister cities of the Union for the purposes indicated above.
The following named gentlemen have served as President of the Exchange since its organization: D. R. Murchison, D. G. Worth, C. H. Robinson, R. E. Calder, James Sprunt and Roger Moore.
The present officers, Board of Managers and standing committees are as follows: Roger Moore, President, J. H. Currie, Vice President, John L. Cantwell, Secretary and Treasurer.
BOARD OF MANAGERS.
H. C. McQueen, B. F. Hall, A. M. Green, R. E. Calder, A. Martin.
ARBITRATION.—D. G. Worth, A. J. DeRossett, Alex. Sprunt, John Woody.
FINANCE.—R. E. Calder, B. F. Hall, Jno. L. Cantwell.
LAW.—H. C. McQueen, Alfred Martin.
INFORMATION AND STATISTICS.—C. H. Robinson, H. Johnson, R. E. Heide.
MARINE.—James Sprunt, E. Peschan. C. P. Mebane.
INSPECTION.—A. H. VanBokkelen, R. H. Love, B. G. Worth.
COTTON CLASSIFICATION.—A. H. Greene, E. Lilly, R. W. Hicks.
COTTON (QUOTATIONS.)—Wm. Calder, S. R. Birdsey.
NAVAL STORES (QUOTATIONS.)—C. H. Robinson, W. W. Harriss, D. G. Worth.
|MEMBERSHIP.—W. R. Kenan, Jno. L. Rankin, G. J. Boney.|
The Board of Managers meet on the first Tuesday of each month.
The stock reports and other statistics required by the Exchange are prepared by the Secretary, Col. John L. Cantwell, a gentleman whose long experience, remarkable accuracy and corteous and agreeable deportment, eminently fit him for the responsible and important position he occupies, and the writer here takes occasion to acknowledge the many kindnesses and valuable assistance received at his hands.
We truly believe that it needs no argument at our hands, in view of what has elsewhere been said, to convince those who are engaged in a search for a desirable place of location, that Wilmington, regarded from every point, is a highly favored city, and it needs no additional proof that it is in every respect a center of wealth, population and intelligence. The importance of the manufacturing advantages and resources of the city cannot be overestimated, and our purpose in publishing this work has not been merely to advertise the individuals and firms, an account of whose enterprises appear elsewhere, but has rather been, as far as possible, to call the attention of capitalists and those contemplating a change of residence, to the great natural resources and excellent opportunities here presented to those wishing to embark in almost any branch of trade and manufacture. It is specially with reference to her manufactures that this city is destined to become one of the greatest commercial and industrial centers in the South, and it is hoped that the outline of the vast resources of this community which has been set forth in these pages will have, to some degree at least, the effect of directing the attention of the general public, and of merchants, manufacturers and capitalists all over the country to the superiority of this locality and thus attract increased population and additional wealth. We do not claim, nor would it be reasonable to expect, that in this brief space to which we are necessarily limited, every interest receives entire and complete justice, but we trust we may have been able to present some intelligent outline of the resources and industries of the city and her outlook for the future.
The great essentials for success in manufacturing industries are an adequate local supply of raw material, cheapness of fuel for manufacturing purposes, easy and convenient means of carriage, centrality of position and accessibility to the markets of the world. The power of distribution is in itself, perhaps, the chief advantage, for without it the ability to produce cheaply and copiously would be of little worth. It stands in the same relation to the producer that the ability to send out his crops readily to the best market does to the agriculturist. All these essentials that we have mentioned, and other advantages upon which we have not now time to dwell, are possessed by this city in an eminent degree. Wilmington not only possesses the advantages of position we have mentioned, but combines with it such a comprehensive system of ocean, river and railroad transportation, that there is probably no city on the South Atlantic coast possessed of equal advantages. Her harbor is a favorite one with vessels from all parts of the world, and her ocean commerce is rapidly increasing in both value and importance. All parts of the civilized world pay her tribute. Her railroads and river also play an important part in giving her commercial prominence as a city.
With reference to motive power for her factories, the city is most advantageously situated. The Cape Fear River with its affluents, by careful estimates, gives a water power equal to about 135,000 horse power, while the abundance of wood furnished by neighboring forests and wooded sections of the surrounding country make it exceedingly cheap and useful as a fuel for steam power and heating purposes. Coal is found in abundance at the mines in Chatham county, and will in a short time be placed at low figures in this market. The mineral resources of the State are very great, but as yet have not been developed to any considerable extent. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and all
|cereals are easily obtained cheaply and in abundance. In the reception of material the same advantages are enjoyed by this city as in the distribution of it, producing in the combination of lessened expense, of reception in crude forms and of re-distribution in finished shapes, a great general advantage not to be too highly valued, and one at all times powerful in holding position against competition.|
There are at the present time abundant openings in Wilmington for manufacturing enterprises, which will not fail to be highly remunerative if properly conducted.
To the capitalist desirous of investing money, the mechanic of employing skill, and the merchant of exerting ability and enterprise in the distribution of manufactured products, a closer and personal examination of the subjects treated of in this volume, will undoubtedly prove advantageous. The writer has before him the expressed opinions of nearly two hundred of the business men of the city, who unanimously express the opinion that there is here both business and a demand for almost any kind of manufactures.
It goes without saying that cotton takes the lead of all other agricultural products, not only in this State, but in the entire South, both in the quantity produced and its value. This most useful staple, from its adaptability to the manufacture of so many articles, both for utility and ornament, presents a most interesting record of agricultural achievement, and is, indisputably, the most potent ruler of the vegetable kingdom, wielding in its might and power a scepter of unlimited influence. Wilmington is naturally the receiving point of cotton for export for a vast area of country, including not only North Carolina, but also parts of Georgia and South Carolina. By a comprehensive railroad system, the city is also the most convenient entrepot for the product of a very large section of the great cotton growing districts of the South. Geographically, Wilmington is on an almost direct line with Memphis, now the largest inland cotton market in the world, and by the completion of the system of railroads through the mountain ranges in the western part of the State, affords direct ocean communication to Tennessee and Arkansas, and Northern Alabama and Mississippi. As a port Wilmington now compares favorably with other Southern cities, and will in a short time be the equal of any, and the superior of many. Vessels loading to a draught of over eighteen feet can lighten a portion of their cargoes at small expense and with little detention. The city is already a favorite port with vessels of all nations, and during the present season foreign vessels of 1,700 tons burden, loaded with cotton, have left the city and successfully reached the ocean without difficulty. In October last a shipment of cotton, consisting of 5,030 bales, was easily made on a steamer, drawing 14.9 feet—the passage being made at high tide.
Wilmington is proverbially a cheap port, and presents a river frontage of over three miles. Dock and wharf accomodations are excellent; the cotton compresses are as powerful as any in the United States, and have warehouses attached capable of safely storing many thousand bales; the facilities enjoyed for loading are unsurpassed; port charges are exceedingly moderate, there being no harbor or wharf dues to pay, with the exception of a small Harbor Master's fee, and first-class stevedores are cheaply and easily obtained. As will be seen by reference to our article on Harbor and River Improvements, a depth of eighteen feet of water will be obtained in the next twelve months between the city and ocean, which will eventually be increased to from twenty-four to twenty-six feet—such increase being practicable at moderate cost. In view, then, of these extraordinary advantages and facilities, Wilmington is clearly able to hold out more favorable inducements as a cotton shipping point to both foreign and coastwise vessels and to shippers, than almost any other Southern port. The beneficial influence of these great advantages has already been strongly felt, and to-day this city ranks as one of the most important cotton receiving and distributing points in the country.
|Some idea of the extent of the cotton exports of the United States can be gained from the fact that, according to the census of 1880, there was only 23.04 per cent. of the entire crop for the calendar year of 1879 retained for home consumption—76.96 per cent. being exported to foreign countries. The entire crop for that year was 5,737,257 bales, of which North Carolina produced 389,598 bales. The quality of the cotton raised throughout the State is similar to that of South Carolina and Georgia, that grown in Montgomery County, and Anson, Richmond and Union Counties, on the line of the Carolina Central Railroad being superior to that of any other section of the State, and the best upland cotton in the world. According to the United States Census, (crop year 1879), the cotton acreage of North Carolina was 893,153 acres, producing 389,598 bales. The average product per acre in the fraction of a bale of 475 pounds, was .44 of a bale, or more per acre than in the States of Georgia, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida, and about the same as in Mississippi and Tennessee, which each show .46. There were used during the same year 27,508 bales for home consumption in the State by cotton mills—the mills that year running 102,767 spindles and 1,960 looms. Since then, as is well known, there has been a great increase in North Carolina, in common with the whole South, in cotton manufacturing. For the year ending March 31st, 1883, the receipts of cotton at this port were 128,466 bales, while for the year preceding they reached 137,732 bales; but this falling off furnishes no criterion of the business of this market, as during a considerable part of the season there were no freight vessels offering here, and consequently nearly all shipments from this market were made by steamer, via New York, at rates which greatly lessened the volume of the business. By an inspection of the following table it will be seen that there was an almost steady increase from 1873-74, when the receipts were only 43,070 bales, to 1881-82, when 137,762 bales were received:|
|TABLE OF RECEIPTS AT WILMINGTON FOR YEARS ENDING MARCH 31ST, 1873-83. |
|1873-74 ||43,070 |
|1874-75 ||81,854 |
|1875-76 ||91,589 |
|1876-77 ||121,929 |
|1877-78 ||120,975 |
|1878-79 ||111,798 |
|1879-80 ||78,345 |
|1880-81 ||116,876 |
|1881-82 ||137,732 |
|1882-83 ||128,466 |
On account of this scarcity in the matter of tonnage, during the period mentioned, there was a large falling off in receipts from the interior for foreign shipment in 1882-83; and it is but fair to presume that, under the usual favorable circumstances, the business for the year would have been fully equal to that of the year previous. The receipts for the week ending February 16, 1884, (the date of this writing), foot up 1,094 bales, as against 3,773 bales for same date last year, a decrease for the week of 2,679. The receipts for the crop year to date amount to 86,359 bales, as against 111,709 bales to same date last year, a decrease so far this year of 25,350 bales. This falling off is entirely due to the shortness of the crop. For the cotton year ending September 1, 1883, the total cotton exports from Wilmington amounted to 126,749 bales, of which 68,987 were domestic and 57,762 foreign. For the same period the year before, total exports 137,708 bales—domestic 73,875, foreign 63,833.
The following table gives the destination and totals of both foreign and domestic exports for the cotton years of 1880, ’81, ’82 and ’83, together with the average price each year of midling upland:
|DESTINATION. ||1883. ||1882. ||1881. ||1880. |
|New York ||59,422 ||71,531 ||43,088 ||35,509 |
|Sundry, via Railroads ||8,817 ||1,651 ||6,080 ||4,285 |
|Burnt ||5 || ||178 ||1,324 |
|Local Consumption ||743—68,987 ||693—73,875 ||686—50,032 ||644—41,762 |
|DESTINATION. ||1883. ||1882. ||1881. ||1880. |
|Amsterdam || || ||1,209 ||3,551 |
|Barcelona || ||1,530 || || |
|Bremen ||2,140 ||7,289 ||7,219 ||4,547 |
|Cranstadt ||950 || || ||2,020 |
|Christiana || || || ||2 |
|Channel, for orders ||4,800 || ||7,870 ||1,195 |
|Genoa ||1,500 || || || |
|Ghent || || ||1,047 || |
|Hamburg || || ||1,753 ||1,526 |
|Havre || ||1,430 ||1,444 ||1,177 |
|Liverpool ||48,372—57,762 ||53,584—63,833 ||49,268—69,810 ||22,668—36,586 |
|Summary of Domestic ||68,987 ||73,875 ||50,032 ||41,762 |
|Total Domestic and Foreign ||126,749 ||137,708 ||119,842 ||78,348 |
|Average Price of Middling Upland ||10 5/2c. ||11c. ||10½c. ||11⅕c. |
It will be observed that the local consumption has increased from 644 bales in 1880, to 743 bales in 1883. It will further be seen that there is an extensive and increasing trade established by the City of Wilmington with the principal European ports direct, and that both as a market for the foreign and domestic export of cotton the city occupies a prominent and important position among the leading cities of the world.
It is but natural that a trade so important in its proportions should exert a powerful influence upon the general welfare of this community, and upon all other branches of the commerce of the city. Its encouragement is essential to the continued growth and prosperity of the city. Its features are so varied that it would be a difficult undertaking to set them forth in detail clearly and accurately, but in their proper place we shall endeavor to describe such of the interests connected with this branch of commercial pursuit as will enable the reader to form some intelligent idea of the magnitude of the whole.
We call special attention to the sketches of the Wilmington Cotton Mills, Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company and the Champion Cotton and Warehouse Company. The total yearly transactions of the different firms and individuals engaged in the various branches of the trade are included in the general summary of the trade and commerce of the city, which will be found on another page.
NAVAL STORES AND TURPENTINE PRODUCTS.
The term naval stores in general acceptation is an exceedingly comprehensive one, but as it is commercially used and understood embraces only those products of turpentine known as sprits, rosin, tar, pitch and crude turpentine. American turpentine is chiefly obtained from the “long-leaved” pine which is abundant on the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia, in the upper portions of Florida and the lower belt of Alabama and Mississippi.
Spirits, or oil of turpentine, is the volatile oil distilled from turpentine. What is called Venice turpentine is obtained in Southern Europe from the larch, or larix Europea; it is a ropy liquid of a transparent, brownish or greenish color, and has a bitter taste.
Rosin is the residum from the distillation of turpentine when it is freed of the spirits of turpentine and water which it contains. Tar is procured by burning the wood of the “long-leaved” pine in kilns so constructed that the tar is extracted from the wood without being consumed—it running from the bottom in a liquid state. The residum is charcoal. What is known to commerce as navy pitch remains after the oil has been extracted from tar, and this was formerly the only way of obtaining it. It is now
|produced, however, by a combination of tar with dark rosins. There are also several grades of pitch manufactured from other materials.|
Crude turpentine is procured by cutting, during the winter, a hollow receptacle, called a box, in the lower part of the tree. During the spring and summer the pores of the sappy portion of the tree are opened weekly by a slight cutting, which enables the turpentine to exude and run into the box, from which it is dipped and placed in barrels for transportation to the distilleries. Whatever remains during the autumn hardened on the face or side of the tree has to be scraped off and is sometimes added to the last runnings, but is generally put in separate barrels and sent to market as scrapings.
But before proceeding further with our subject, it would, doubtless, interest our readers to learn some of the leading facts as regards the establishment and early foundation of the naval stores trade, generally. There are a great many who possess no knowledge on the subject whatever, and still others who may be practically acquainted with its commercial bearings and importance, who know but little, if anything, of its history.
Previous to 1820 the production of turpentine was very small, being confined to the region of North Carolina embraced between the Cape Fear River on the South, and the Tar River on the North, the shipping depots being Wilmington, Newbern and Washington. Distillation was done to a very small extent, and in iron stills upon plans very different from the present mode. Most of the products went to Northern ports, where some little was distilled, and the balance was shipped to Great Britian in the crude state. Up to 1836 the getting of turpentine was confined to a space between the two above named rivers, and within twenty-five miles of the shipping ports alluded to above; the quantity produced being sufficient for the consumption of this country and for export to Great Britian. In 1834 great improvements were made in distillation by the use of copper stills, when the product was increased, and new distilleries were erected at shipping points. In 1836 the manufacture of India rubber goods caused a new demand for spirits of turpentine, increasing its value greatly, and creating a demand for new territory near shipping points. Up to this time it was considered that the country on the west and south sides of the Cape Fear River would not yield turpentine. A test being made in 1837, the error was discovered, and the business extended rapidly in that direction. After 1840 many of the operators left the old region to operate in the new. Up to 1844 no distilling was done away from the shipping points, all turpentine being sent in from the country in the crude state, and was manufactured about as follows: one-fourth in North Carolina, one-fourth in Northern cities, and one-half in Great Britian. Some spirits of turpentine was used for illuminating purposes as early as 1832, in mixture with high-proof alcohol, and called spirit gas. About 1842 rectified spirits of turpentine began to be used largely as an illuminator under the names of camphene, pine oil, etc. The mixture with alcohol was furnished under various new names, and at cheaper rates when the patent right expired, and was the cheapest light known until the discovery of petroleum, which has entirely displaced it.
The increased demand for spirits of turpentine caused the production to increase, and the gathering extended to States south, embracing South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. The quantity of rosin produced exceeded the demand, and was not worth the cost of handling, even at the ports. This caused distilling to be done as near producing points as possible, which carried into the country numerous distilleries. Previous to 1846 the tariff of Great Britian was such as to exclude imports of spirits of turpentine and rosin, but when free trade was established in spirits and rosin, as well as crude turpentine, shipments were made of all grades; the manufacturers increasing, and the crude decreasing, up to 1861, when business became closed by the breaking out of the war. Upon the opening of business in 1865, there was some stock on hand of spirits and rosin in the South, which, with the old crude on hand, constituted the business until the new crop of 1866 came into market, since which time the production has continued regularly, but did not at any time prior to 1875 reach an amount equal to 1860, the many uses of the product of petroleum, where spirits of turpentine had before only answered, having reduced the demand, and caused prices in
|some localities to be unremunerative, especially in those off from railroads or rivers, the hauling being too expensive.|
Turpentine has been, and is produced to some extent, in the northern districts of France, from which source Europe obtained its supplies during the years 1863-4, and in 1865, after the supplies of America had been exhausted. The trade with Europe, previous to 1861, was done mostly by way of New York. Now almost all of the foreign consumption is supplied by direct shipment, experience having proved that to be the most economical course. The distillation of turpentine has ceased in Europe outside of France; also in the States north of North Carolina, and excepting the small portion distilled at some of the ports in North Carolina, all supplies come now from the country as spirits and rosin. At present the prices of naval stores are low, having felt the effect of the late general depression in prices, but is to be hoped that there is a better future for business generally, in which event this branch will share the benefit. The product of the spirits of turpentine and rosin for the crop year of 1876 in the United States in round numbers was about 300,000 casks of spirits and 1,500,000 barrels, of 280 pounds, of rosin. In 1880 it had increased to 350,000 casks of spirits and 1,750,000 barrels of rosin, and in 1883 to 400,000 casks of spirits and 2,000,000 barrels of rosin. This would not be in excess of consumption in years of general prosperity. The Franco Prussian war interfered with the production of naval stores in France, causing the supply for 1871 from that quarter to run short. This created a speculation and put prices much above the regular rates, causing an excess of production. There has been no recovery from this up to the present time.
In this State as trees have from time to time become exhausted of turpentine they have been cut into saw mill timber, for which purpose persons of experience claim that they do as well, if not better, than others. On lines of railroads these trees have been used for cord-wood and other purposes. The land cleared up produces as good crops agriculturally as if the trees had not been worked. Some of the most thriving counties in North Carolina, where this business originated, are now agriculturally the richest and most prosperous. Some even contend that it is advantageous to work the timber off the land, and none with experience believe the land damaged for agricultural purposes. It may be interesting to the reader to understand how turpentine products are procured from the tree. We therefore attempt a brief description.
The original product of the pine is of two sorts—turpentine and tar. Turpentine is the sap of the tree obtained by making incisions in its trunk. It begins to exude about the middle of March, when the circulation commences, and flows with increasing abundance as the weather grows warmer, so that May and June are the most productive months. When the circulation is slackened by the chills of autumn, the operation is discontinued, and the remainder of the year is occupied in preparatory labors for the following season. The first thing to be done is the making of the boxes. This is done in January and February, in the base of each tree, about three or four inches from the ground, and of preference on the south side. A cavity is formed, commonly of the capacity of two pints, but proportioned to the size of the trunk, of which it should occupy a quarter of the diameter; on stocks of more than six feet in circumference, two and sometimes four boxes are made on opposite sides. Next comes the raking, of the cleaning of the ground at the foot of the trees from leaves and herbage. Cornering is merely making at the sides of the box two oblique gutters, about three inches long, to conduct into it the sap that exudes from the edges of the wound. In the interval of a fortnight which is employed in this operation, the first boxes become filled with sap. An iron paddle or rather dipper is used to transfer it to pails, which in turn are emptied into casks placed at convenient distances. To increase the product, the upper edge of the box is chipped once a week, the bark and a portion of the sap-wood being removed to the depth of one-half an inch. The boxes fill every three weeks, and the turpentine thus procured is the best. It is called pure dipping, or virgin.
The chippings extend the first year eighteen inches above the box to remove the sap coagulated on the surface of the wound. The closing of the pores, occasioned by continued rains sometimes, exacts the same remedy; and it is to be remarked that the product is less abundant in moist and cool seasons. After five or six years the tree is abandoned.
|It is reckoned that forty boxes yield a barrel containing 320 pounds. A single hand can hack 10,500 boxes, others only 8,000, which is considered an easy task. In general 10,500 trees yield, in ordinary years, 200 barrels of dip turpentine and 50 of scraping, the first year, which supposes the boxes to be emptied six or seven times in the season. The scraping is a coating of sap which becomes solid before it reaches the boxes, and which is taken off in the fall.|
In November, 1807, turpentine was sold at Wilmington at $3 a barrel of 320 pounds, gross.
A great deal of spirits of turpentine has been made in North Carolina for many years. It is obtained by distilling the turpentine in large copper retorts, and light barrels of crude turpentine (pure dipping), now yield one cask of forty-eight gallons spirits. In 1804 the exports of spirits from North Carolina amounted to 19,526 gallons; they now amount to over 5,300,000 gallons. It is shipped to all parts of the United States and Europe, and is preferred to the French as being less odorous. The residum of the distillation, as we have said before, is rosin. The exportation of this substance has increased from 4,675 barrels in 1804 to over 550,000 barrels. All the tar made in the Southern States is from the dead wood of the long-leaved pine, consisting of limbs and trees prostrated by time or other causes. As soon as vegetation ceases in any part of the tree, its consistence speedily changes; the sap decays, and the heart already impregnated with resinous juice, becomes surcharged to such a degree as to double its weight in a year; the accumulation is said to be much greater after four or five years. This general fact may be proved by comparing the wood of trees recently felled, and of others long since dead. To produce the tar, a kiln is formed in a part of the forest abounding in dead wood; this is first collected, stripped of the sap, and cut into billets two or three feet long and about three inches thick—a task rendered long and difficult by knobs. The next step is to prepare a place for piling it. For this purpose a circular mound is raised, slightly declining from the circumference to the center, and surrounded with a shallow ditch. The diameter of the pile is proportioned to the quantity of wood it is to receive—to obtain 100 barrels of tar it should be eighteen or twenty feet wide. In the middle is a hole with a conduct leading to the ditch, in which is formed a receptacle for the tar as it flows out. Upon the surface of the mound, beaten hard and coated with clay, the wood is laid around in a circle. The pile, when finished, may be compared to a cone truncated at two-thirds of its height, and reversed, being twenty feet in diameter below, twenty-five or thirty feet above, and ten or twelve feet high. It is then strewed with pine leaves, covered with earth, and contained at the sides with a slight cincture of wood. This covering is necessary in order that the fire kindled at the top may penetrate to the bottom with a slow and gradual combustion. If the whole mass was rapidly inflamed, the operation would fail, and the labor in part be lost. In fine, nearly the same precautions are exacted in this process as are observed in Europe in making charcoal. A kiln which is to afford from 100 to 130 barrels of tar is eight or nine days burning. As the tar flows off into the ditch it is dipped into barrels made of the same species of wood.
Pitch is tar reduced by evaporation, and should not be diminished beyond twenty per cent. of its bulk to be of good quality. It is now made principally by a combination of tar and dark rosins. For the year ending January 1, 1884, 8,112 barrels of pitch were exported from Wilmington, against 7,965 for the year previous, an increase of 147 barrels.
It has lately been contended by several cities that they had outstripped Wilmington as a naval store market. That their claims are utterly without foundation is evidenced by the following table, which shows this city to be now, as it has always been in the past, the largest naval stores market in the world:
|SEPTEMBER 1, 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||7,646 ||83,132 ||1,328 ||610 ||92,716 |
|New York, N. Y. ||2,380 ||34,859 ||961 || ||38,200 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||4,043 ||40,661 || || ||44,704 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||13,506 ||75,463 || || ||88,969 |
|YEAR ENDED AUGUST 31, 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||84,767 ||425,775 ||72,694 ||63,881 ||647,117 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||71,230 ||301,618 || || ||372,848 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||115,615 ||421,361 || || ||536,976 |
|Brunswick, Ga. ||19,060 ||74,580 || || ||93,640 |
|Mobile, Ala. ||40,044 ||170,421 || || ||210,465 |
STOCKS—END OF THE NAVAL STORES YEAR.
|APRIL 1st, 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||2,877 ||74,870 ||10,645 ||2,525 ||90,718 |
|New York, N. Y. ||2,635 ||16,851 ||1,232 || ||90,718 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||1,613 ||28,765 || || ||30,377 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||2,437 ||46,678 || || ||49,115 |
RECEIPTS—NAVAL STORES YEAR 1882-’83.
|YEAR ENDED APRIL 1st, 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||88,186 ||433,200 ||73,598 ||68,574 ||663,558 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||72,052 ||299,567 || || ||371,619 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||88,153 ||390,287 || || ||478,440 |
|YEAR ENDED AUG. 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Pitch. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||FOREIGN. ||49,330 ||359,941 ||16,964 ||712 ||6 ||426,953 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||46,478 ||221,189 || || || ||267,667 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||53,228 ||144,063 || || || ||197,291 |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||DOMESTIC. ||31,297 ||73,774 ||48,569 ||9,343 ||7,878 ||170,861 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||18,818 ||58,469 || || || ||77,287 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||51,142 ||266,396 || || || ||317,538 |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||Total FOREIGN & DOMESTIC. ||80,627 ||433,715 ||65,533 ||10,055 ||7,884 ||597,814 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||65,296 ||279,658 || || || ||344,954 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||104,370 ||410,459 || || || ||514,829 |
|CROP YEAR ENDED MARCH 31, 1883. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Tar. ||Crude. ||Pitch. ||Totals. |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||FOREIGN. ||54,483 ||384,534 ||23,297 ||692 ||6 ||463,012 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||54,883 ||205,634 || || || ||260,517 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||37,340 ||109,670 || || || ||147,010 |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||DOMESTIC. ||32,567 ||98,918 ||32,241 ||2,496 ||7,794 ||194,016 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||17,188 ||89,509 || || || ||106,697 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||49,454 ||393,500 || || || ||352,954 |
|Wilmington, N. C. ||Total FOREIGN & DOMESTIC. ||87,058 ||483,452 ||75,538 ||3,188 ||7,800 ||657,028 |
|Charleston, S. C. ||72,071 ||295,143 || || || ||367,214 |
|Savannah, Ga. ||86,794 ||413,170 || || || ||499,964 |
|WILMINGTON AND SAVANNAH. |
|[Year ended August 31, 1883.] || || ||[Year ended March 31, 1883.] || || |
|Excess in Favor of Wilmington ||STOCKS, ||3,747 ||Excess in favor of Wilmington ||STOCKS, ||41,602 |
|Excess in Favor of Wilmington ||RECEIPTS, ||100,131 ||Excess in favor of Wilmington ||RECEIPTS, ||185,118 |
|Excess in Favor of Wilmington ||EXPORTS, ||82,985 ||Excess in favor of Wilmington ||EXPORTS, ||151,064 |
|The yearly receipts of spirits, rosin, tar and crude at this market for the crop years 1878-9 to 1882-3, inclusive, are given in the following table:|
| ||SPIRITS. (casks) ||ROSIN. (bbls) ||TAR. (bbls) ||CRUDE. (bbls) |
|Received *Crop 1882 and 1883 ||*88,186 ||433,200 ||73,598 ||68,574 |
|Received *Crop 1881 and 1882 ||85,916 ||454,917 ||68,653 ||87,486 |
|Received *Crop 1880 and 1881 ||†87,107 ||444,552 ||56,460 ||92,101 |
|Received *Crop 1879 and 1880 ||103,671 ||568,188 ||45,623 ||132,375 |
|Received *Crop 1878 and 1879 ||109,574 ||581,739 ||78,116 ||154,985 |
† 3,008 from Charleston and Savannah.
* 441 from Charleston.
The following table gives the destination of naval stores exports for the naval store years ending March 31, 1882 and 1883:
DESTINATION OF EXPORTS.
|YEARS ENDED 31st MARCH. ||1881-’82. ||1882-’83. |
|Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. |
|Channel, for Orders ||6,474 ||1,293 ||7,625 ||3,697 |
|London ||21,278 ||53,040 ||12,916 ||58,508 |
|Liverpool ||3,317 ||13,614 ||2,050 ||17,372 |
|Bristol ||5,544 ||20,021 ||5,610 ||29,716 |
|Glasgow ||532 ||27,299 ||1,730 ||33,368 |
|Hull ||1,483 ||6,038 ||1,731 ||3,650 |
|New Castle || ||12,331 ||75 ||11,200 |
|Granton and Leith || ||14,429 || ||12,990 |
|Belfast ||825 ||4,700 ||1,000 ||2,963 |
|Hamburg and Harbourg ||8,391 ||98,285 ||8,600 ||50,725 |
|Rotterdam ||3,165 ||31,370 ||4,602 ||19,767 |
|Amsterdam || || || || |
|Antwerp ||7,202 ||25,524 ||7,712 ||27,232 |
|Stettin || ||28,320 || ||29,407 |
|Bremen || || || || |
|Cronstadt || ||10,761 || ||5,741 |
|Trieste ||400 ||17,320 ||750 ||29,868 |
|Barcelona || || || || |
|Cardiff || || || || |
|Havre || || || || |
|Genoa || ||2,650 || || |
|Marseilles || || || ||3,000 |
|Cette || || || || |
|Ghent || || || || |
|Riga || ||7,161 || ||22,950 |
|Rostock || ||2,587 || ||4,602 |
|Flume || || || ||7,076 |
|Konigsberg || || || || |
|Sunderland || ||2,722 ||50 ||2,184 |
|Lisbon || ||800 || || |
|Gibralter ||4 ||13 || ||8,373 |
|Other Ports || || ||2 ||145 |
|Total Foreign ||58,615 ||380,278 ||54,483 ||384,534 |
|Total Domestic ||29,752 ||45,645 ||32,567 ||98,918 |
|Total Exports ||88,367 ||425,923 ||87,050 ||483,452 |
Other figures will be found at the conclusion of this department of our work.
Owing to the great variety of business interests connected with the naval store trade of the city, and the fact that many houses are so closely identified with other branches of commercial pursuit, that separate figures cannot be obtained. We are unable to give in dollars and cents the exact amount of business annually transacted in the different branches of the trade, and must content ourselves with referring our readers to another department of this volume where sketches of the leading distillers, commission merchants, exporters and dealers engaged in the business will be found, which, taken together, furnish a fair estimate of the great importance this branch of commerce is to the city, and a satisfactory indication of its beneficial influence upon the general welfare of this people.
ST. JAMES’ CHURCH.
LUMBER AND SHINGLES.
Of the timber trees which abound in this section, the first place is unquestionably due to the long-leaf pine. It is the most valuable of all trees. Apart from its products—turpentine, tar, rosin and the spirits distilled from turpentine—its uses in both civil and naval architecture defy enumeration. This timber and its products have long constituted one of the chief articles of export from this port. It alone has brought, and now brings, to Wilmington ships from all parts of the world.
The cypress is the next in importance. It is found everywhere in the swamps of Eastern North Carolina. The axe has been diligently plied in the cypress forests of the State for three-quarters of a century or more, its timber being among the most valuable for the frame and wood-work of houses, for fences, water-pipes, &c., especially for shingles. Notwithstanding this, the margins of the swamps only have been cleared. Beyond this margin is an immense forest of these trees which has been scarcely touched. The height of the tree is from sixty to one hundred feet, with a circumference above its swollen base of from twenty to thirty feet—often much larger.
The white cedar, or juniper, and the live oak are also found in abundance throughout this section.
The lumber and shingle trade of Wilmington is then very naturally one of large proportions.
|There are seven saw and planing mills engaged in this industry, employing over three hundred hands. Their aggregate annual capacity is about forty-five million feet.|
The following figures give the exports, both foreign and domestic, of lumber and shingles for each month of the year ending January 1st, 1884:
January, 4,487,081 feet; February, 2,582,224 feet; March, 2,837,972 feet; April, 2,148,565 feet; May, 3,056,555 feet; June, 3,689,774 feet; July, 2,637,708 feet; August, 3,103,489 feet; September, 2,298,701 feet; October, 2,534,823 feet; November, 2,413,538 feet; December, 3,673,694 feet.
January, 360,600; February, 495,475; March, 724,421; April, 129,775; May, 479,375; June, 197,150; July, 561,000; August, 548,900; September, 814,525; October, 827,825; November, 245,005; December, 1,005,525.
MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURING AND MERCHANTILE
The movement of guano from Wilmington during the year 1883 indicates a business here in that line aggregating a million of dollars annually. It is impossible to give exact figures, as no statistical record has been kept, and the trade is so mixed up, if we may use the expression, with other branches of business.
Sketches of the leading enterprises connected with the trade will be found elsewhere.
There are three rice-mills in Wilmington, and a very large business in this line is annually transacted. “During the last few years,” says Mr. Sprunt, “the reclamation of old rice lands on the Cape Fear, many of which have been restored to a high and profitable state of cultivation, has been one of our principal industries—the present acreage in the vicinity of Wilmington on river lands being about 2,000 acres, which will be increased next season about 700 acres. The receipts have, however, fallen much below those of last year, as will be seen from the table appended:
|Receipts last year upland rice ||66,313 bushels at this date. |
|Receipts this year upland rice ||37,382 bushels at this date. |
|Decrease ||28,931 bushels at this date. |
|Receipts tide-water rice last year ||51,000 bushels at this date |
|Receipts tide-water rice this year ||41,191 bushels at this date |
|Decrease ||9,809 bushels at this date |
The cause of this decrease is variously accounted for, but it is most likely owing to the risk consequent upon a threatened or possible change in the tariff laws, planters being indisposed to prepare new lands with prospective foreign competition, which would inevitably render the cultivation of American rice hopelessly unprofitable.”
The clean rice from this port is chiefly shipped to New York, Boston and Philadelphia, where it receives an appreciative market, and is well known as the best rice milled in this country.
We copy the following article in full from Mr. Sprunt's work:
“In former years the trade in provisions was done by and through wholesale grocers in this market, who not only supplied the retail demand of the city, but who furnished the planters and distillers in our country section for a radius of several hundred miles. Of late years the trade has fallen into the channel of provision brokers, who, at a small rate of commission, sell to the city dealers, and at times to the outside trade, their daily requirements of corn, meat, hay, flour, oats, and other staple articles, at current prices in Chicago, Louisville and other supply markets, plus the bare expense of freight and charges.
The present annual consumption of provisions in this market is estimated, upon actual receipts, as follows: corn, 500,000 bushels; meat, 15,000 boxes; hay, 1,500 tons; flour, 50,000 barrels; oats, 75,000 bushels. This enormous trade shows that the farmers and other consumers of provisions in and around Wilmington pay annually to the Chicago, New York and other remote markets, the sum of one million five hundred thousand dollars a year for provisions which ought to be raised by our farmers themselves. Is it a wonder that North Carolina remains poor, or that our farmers who persist in planting cotton and working turpentine, to the utter neglect of provisions and provender, are always behind? Perhaps the current low prices of cotton this year, compared with the unreasonably high cost of provisions, will teach our people an important lesson, which they have hitherto been slow to learn.”
The North Carolina peanut crop is grown upon the hammock lands, upon the immediate coast, between the South Carolina line and Beaufort, N. C. The average yield per acre is about thirty bushels.
Wilmington being the most central point, almost the entire crop is marketed here—the markets being mostly Northwestern and Southern cities.
The following figures gives the number of bushels exported for each month of the year ending January 1, 1884: January, 7,368; February, 6,701; March, 6,620; April, 5,301; May, 6,398; June, 5,406; July, 5,027; August, 5,043; September, 3,910; October, 2,093; November, 8,590; December, 9,360.
GRAIN, FLOUR AND HOMINY MILLS.
There are four flour, grain and meal mills in the city, and the only two pearl hominy mills in the State. They give employment to 44 persons, and their annual transactions aggregate $400,000.
MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS.
There are in Wilmington at the present time, in addition to the manufacturing establishments already mentioned, the following: two rosin oil distilleries, one kreosoting works, one gypsum mill, one dry dock, two marine railways, three machine shops and foundries, one railroad car factory, four peanut cleaners, two spirits of turpentine and tar canning establishments, one marble yard, one tobacco and two cigar factories, ice works, and a fish and oyster packing establishment.
THE GROCERY TRADE.
The grocery trade of Wilmington ranks as one of the leading branches of commerce in the city. From the following carefully prepared figures some idea of the vast influence exerted by the trade upon the commercial well-being of the city can be obtained.
There are located in Wilmington twenty wholesale and retail establishments, and ninety retail houses. The former employ 125 persons, carry $325,000 worth of goods in stock and transacted a business last year amounting to $2,353,000. The business of the retail concerns for the same period is estimated at $250,000.
It is impossible to give exact figures as to the amount of business done annually in dry goods strictly, as most of the houses engaged in the trade are also dealers in notions, clothing, boots, shoes and hats and caps. We approximate it as nearly as possible.
|There are twenty-one houses in the city, the aggregate of whose transactions will reach $1,250,000. They carry an average aggregate assortment of goods worth $250,000, and give employment to between 75 and 100 persons.|
CLOTHING AND GENTS’ FURNISHING GOODS.
Seven first-class establishments represent this line of trade in Wilmington, whose annual transactions aggregate nearly $500,000. They employ fifty-one persons and have $196,000 invested in the business.
BOOTS AND SHOES.
In addition to those houses handling this class of goods engaged also in other lines, there are three exclusively boot and shoe houses in the city carrying average stocks amounting in the aggregate to $135,000, and employing twenty persons. Their annual transactions amount to $285,000.
HATS AND CAPS.
There is but one exclusively hat and cap house in the city, although a number of other establishments are large dealers in this line in connection with other branches of trade. The one we have mentioned carries a stock of about $4,000 and does an annual business in the neighborhood of $15,000.
CARRIAGES AND HARNESS.
There is but one house in the city devoted to the harness trade exclusively, and two others dealing in both carriages and harness. Their annual transactions amount to $55,000, affording employment to twenty-five persons.
FURNITURE AND CARPETS.
Three houses in this branch of trade carry a line of goods averaging $35,000 in value, and employ sixteen assistants. Their yearly transactions amount to $100,000.
The hardware business of the city is one of its most important branches of trade. There are four large houses in this line employing a capital of $175,000, and twenty-six persons. Their yearly business amounts to the handsome sum of $470,000 dollars.
LIQUORS AND TOBACCO.
There are five wholesale houses devoted to this branch of business, whose yearly transactions amount to a sum exceeding $450,000.
Nine drug stores employ thirty assistants and carry on a business in their line amounting to $150,000.
STOVES AND TINWARE.
This branch of trade is represented by two establishments whose business amounts annually to $65,000. They employ twelve hands and keep about $20,000 worth of goods in stock.
PAINTS AND OILS.
A business amounting annually to $105,000 is transacted in the above line, affording employment to about fifteen persons.
BOOKS, STATIONERY AND MUSIC.
There are two excellent houses devoted to the above trade, doing an annual business of 75,000.
There are, of course, other branches of business not before mentioned, and, in regard to which, we have been unable to obtain reliable figures, among them are: four livery and sale stables, three sewing machine agencies, five bakers and confectioneries, five cotton and naval store brokers, eight merchandise brokers, four ship brokers, one timber broker, one candy manufacturing establishment, thirty-three commission merchants, four coal and wood dealers, two china, glass and earthernware dealers, three photographers, one shirt factory, to soda water manufactories, three upholsterers, three undertakers, and, perhaps, other enterprises. In the following pages, however, we give descriptions of such of the leading business interests of all kinds in the city as we have
|been able to obtain, and in every instance they may be relied on as complete and accurate in every detail.|
From the most careful estimate that could possibly be obtained, taking official figures where they exist, and gathering information from the most reliable sources where they do not, we find the business transacted annually in the City of Wilmington to be $27,750,000.
This statement of the commerce and trade of the City of Wilmington shows what has already been accomplished, and what position in the mercantile world the city occupies to-day. It is certainly creditable to the enterprise of the men who have placed her where she is; but, if we mistake not, the opportunities and possibilities of the future, the development of the next ten years will far exceed any corresponding period in the city's past history. Though misfortunes have been suffered in days happily gone by, and the skies have temporarily been darkened, the light of a renewed prosperity shines again upon this community, fructifying and warming into life its trade, enterprises and industries, and a future is before for manufactories in iron, wood, cotton fertilizers, tobacco, wool, and, in fact, every staple in the country, while, for the capitalist and mechanic, we know of no place in the South where skill and money can be more profitably employed.
If Wilmington does not in time become one of the greatest business centers and most important manufacturing cities in the Union, it will not be because nature has not endowed her with every gift, showered upon her every blessing, and favored her with every circumstance necessary to her growth and prosperity.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
|DESTINATION OF EXPORTS. |
|YEARS ENDED 31st MARCH ||1878-’79. ||1878-’79. ||1880-’81. ||1881-’82. ||1882-’83. |
|Cotton. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Cotton. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Cotton. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Cotton. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. ||Cotton. ||Spirits. ||Rosin. |
|Amsterdam ||5,379 || || ||3,451 || || ||1,209 ||1,100 ||1,283 || || || || || || |
|Antwerd ||900 ||16,752 ||51,639 || ||8,477 ||42,829 || ||7,394 ||28,681 || ||7,202 ||25,524 || ||7,712 ||27,232 |
|Barcelona || || || || || ||5,623 || || || ||1,530 || || || || || |
|Belfast || ||550 ||1,070 || ||745 ||3,460 || ||1,800 ||6,840 || ||825 ||4,700 || ||1,000 ||2,963 |
|Bremen ||7,479 ||2,700 ||1,012 ||4,547 ||1,760 ||27,089 ||7,219 || || ||7,289 || || ||2,140 || || |
|Bristol || ||11,923 ||20,659 || ||2,970 || || ||4,320 ||36,778 || ||5,544 ||20,021 || ||5,610 ||29,716 |
|Cardiff || || || || || || || || ||3,044 || || || || || || |
|Cette || || ||2,250 || || ||1,991 || || || || || || ||4,800 || || |
|Channel, f. o. ||5,775 ||5,771 ||8,477 || ||21,376 || ||9,065 ||3,702 ||1,241 || ||6,474 ||1,293 ||950 ||7,625 ||3,697 |
|Cronstadt || || || ||2,020 || || || || ||3,145 || || ||10,761 || || ||5,741 |
|Dantzic || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|Dordrecht || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|Elsinor f. o. || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|Flume || || || || || || || ||500 ||11,551 || || || ||1,500 || ||7,076 |
|Genoa ||1,365 || || || || || || || || || || ||2,650 || || || |
|Ghent ||2,068 || || || || || ||1,047 || || || || || || || || |
|Gibraltar || || || || || || || || || || || || || || ||8,373 |
|Glasgow || ||6,580 ||43,333 || ||2,830 ||61,974 || ||1,790 ||43,981 || ||532 ||27,299 || ||1,730 ||33,368 |
|Granton and Leith || || ||12,697 || || || || || ||22,133 || || ||14,429 || || ||12,990 |
|Havre ||2,050 || ||2,456 || || || ||2,621 ||812 ||8,716 ||1,430 || || || || || |
|Hamburg and Harbourg ||1,398 ||9,354 ||87,689 ||1,526 ||2,934 ||96,711 ||1,753 ||3,021 ||72,603 || ||8,391 ||98,285 || ||8,600 ||50,725 |
|Hull || ||1,797 ||5,318 || ||2,954 ||5,176 || ||450 ||7,267 || ||1,483 ||6,038 || ||1,731 ||3,650 |
|Konigsberg || || || || || || || || ||1,941 || || || || || || |
|Lisbon || || || || || || || || || || || ||800 || || || |
|Liverpool ||39,871 ||6,257 ||44,424 ||22,668 ||7,774 ||65,416 ||49,268 ||514 ||17,324 ||53,584 ||3,317 ||13,614 ||44,314 ||2,050 ||17,372 |
|London || ||27,602 ||80,434 || ||19,217 ||64,421 || ||31,148 ||50,888 || ||21,278 ||53,040 || ||12,946 ||58,508 |
|Marseilles || || ||4,000 || || || || || || || || || || || ||3,000 |
|Naples || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|New Castle || ||1,130 ||13,759 || ||1,010 ||15,599 || ||420 ||8,080 || || ||12,331 || ||75 ||11,200 |
|Riga || || ||15,263 || || ||16,050 || || ||7,324 || || ||7,161 || || ||22,950 |
|Reval || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|Rotterdam || ||4,976 ||43,192 || ||550 ||57,333 || ||5,675 ||32,835 || ||3,165 ||31,370 || ||4,602 ||19,767 |
|Rostock || || ||1,734 || || || || || || || || ||2,587 || || ||4,602 |
|Stettin || || ||29,328 || || ||31,920 || || ||3,300 || || ||28,320 || || ||29,407 |
|Sunderland || || || || || || || || || || || ||2,722 || ||50 ||2,184 |
|Trieste || || ||20,558 || ||100 ||33,458 || ||550 ||23,361 || ||400 ||17,320 || ||750 ||29,868 |
|Other Ports || ||5 ||1,045 ||2 ||102 ||2,633 || ||3 ||52 || ||4 ||13 || ||2 ||145 |
|Total Foreign ||66,285 ||95,397 ||490,337 ||34,214 ||72,599 ||531,683 ||72,182 ||63,199 ||392,318 ||63,833 ||38,615 ||380,278 ||53,704 ||54,483 ||384,534 |
|Total Domestic ||45,651 ||12,860 ||70,495 ||41,463 ||26,302 ||39,811 ||46,271 ||33,121 ||52,793 ||71,694 ||29,752 ||45,645 ||70,749 ||32,567 ||98,918 |
|Grand Total ||111,936 ||108,257 ||560,832 ||75,677 ||98,901 ||571,494 ||118,453 ||96,320 ||445,111 ||135,527 ||88,367 ||425,923 ||124,453 ||87,050 ||483,452 |
|TO THE PEOPLE OF WILMINGTON,|
THE BUSINESS MEN OF NORTH CAROLINA AND THE SOUTH.
We present to our readers, and the business community herewith, a brief historical review of the prominent business houses and manufacturing establishments of the City of Wilmington. It will not only be interesting as an exhibit of the growth of the city in the past years, but also as an indication of the present prosperity.
The notices, as a group, embraces numbers of substantial and enterprising firms in every department of trade and commerce, including many specialties, and will be an assurance to those contemplating a visit to the city for the purpose of purchasing supplies, that their every want can be here fully satisfied on as reasonable terms as at any point in the United States. Some firms are conspicuous by their absence. Those of any prominence have not been willingly excluded. They are mostly of that class, however, who have kept the City of Wilmington half a century behind the times, and are wedded to the notions and prejudices of their grandfathers. Fortunately they are few in numbers, and generally lacking in the intelligence and ability which it is necessary for the successful business man to possess in this progressive age. They will soon pass away and be forgotten.
View of the City of Wilmington.
J. H. CHADBOURN & CO., Proprietors of the Clarendon Steam Saw and Planing Mills.
Office No. 11 N. Water Street, (up stairs.)
Among the industrial and commercial interests of the City of Wilmington there are none occupying a more prominent position or exercising a more healthful influence on the general thrift and prosperity of the community than those connected with the lumber trade. The situation of the city with reference to the timber growing districts of North Carolina has always conduced to give it special importance in this branch of trade, and it is only reasonable to suppose that enterprises of this kind should be among the most important industrial and commercial factors in the sum total of the city's trade and resources. Of the several firms in the city, the aggregate of whose transactions is mammoth in its proportions, the establishment of Messrs. J. H. Chadbourn & Co. occupies
|such a prominent and influential position as to demand special consideration in a work of this kind. The enterprise was inaugurated by the present firm about thirty years ago and has enjoyed an honorable career of prosperity and success. They have both a saw mill and a planing mill, and manufacture yellow pine timber into lumber. Their saw mill building is a two-story structure, 26×100 feet in size—the planing mill is one story in height and 31×100 feet in dimensions. These mills are in every respect, perhaps, the most complete and perfectly arranged of any of the kind in North Carolina. The machinery in both is of the latest and most improved pattern and design. Two fine and powerful engines supply the requisite motive power—that in the saw mill being of a 75 horse power and the one in the planing mill a 35-horse power engine. They employ from thirty to fifty hands, to whom from three to four hundred dollars are paid in weekly wages. They saw to order entirely, and sell from five to six million feet per annum. Their trade is located principally in Maine, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, coast-wise, and in the West Indies.|
The firm is composed of Messrs. J. H. and George Chadbourn, both natives of Maine, but residents of this city for thirty five and thirty-four years, respectively. The former is one of the members of the Board of Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage for the Cape Fear River and Bar, and is now Chairman of the School Committee for District No. 2. Mr. George Chadbourn has been a member of the City Board of Aldermen and is a Director of the First National Bank. It is by such men that the reputation and trade of cities is established and maintained, and these gentlemen certainly deserve the praise and congratulations of the citizens of this community for building up so important an enterprise in their midst.
These gentlemen, having more capital than they could employ in their mill business here, sought opportunities for profitable investment elsewhere, and in March, 1882, commenced building a larger mill on the line of the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, fifty-three miles from Wilmington, at the same time constructing a railroad to reach large bodies of standing timber they had previously bought. This mill is built in the most thorough manner, with all the modern improvements, and is capable of sawing from 25,000 to 40,000 feet of lumber daily. Every arrangement has been made to manufacture the lumber and load the cars with the greatest economy, and is said by many who have visited it to be the best arranged mill in the State.
At first they had determined only on building such a railroad as would accomodate their logging business, but, finding the country through which it passed so rich and fertile and capable of being made as fine a cotton and corn producing section as any in North or South Carolina, they changed their plans and built the railroad in as thorough a manner as possible, using best heart cross ties and best material for bridges and trestles and five feet guage to connect with the W., C. & A. R. R. They have this railroad now completed between nine and ten miles, and have fully equipped it with rolling stock for freight traffic, and the amount of freight they have hauled in the short time they have had it in operation has exceeded their most sanguine expectations, and shows their sagacity in selecting this point of operation.
The objective point of this railroad is Conwayboro, the leading outlet for the produce of Southeastern South Carolina, thirty-five miles distant. To reach this the railroad passes through untouched forests of the best yellow pine timber to be found in the Southern country. The reason this timber has been left, is that this section through which the road passes has had no outlet whatever, and although these magnificent forests are here and a soil equal to any, yet not a stick of timber could be hauled to market, nor a bale of cotton raised where it had to be hauled thirty-five miles to market. The people of Horry county, South Carolina, are enthusiastic over such a prospect as being connected by railroad with the outside world, and predict an increase of value to their hitherto undeveloped lands of one hundred per cent. The quantity of yellow pine timber this road will reach is variously estimated at from one to one hundred and fifty million feet, and in quality equal to any in Georgia or Florida. The land along this railroad can now be bought cheap, and people from other sections are beginning to see their ultimate value and are purchasing, and at no distant day we predict that this will be the garden spot of the Carolinas. The salubrity of this section is unsurpassed in the country—chills and fever being unknown, and for people having tendency to
|pulmonary diseases unequaled—the breathing of the pure air from the pine forests proving most beneficial and salutary, and, unless the disease has taken too strong hold, effecting a cure. At the terminus of the railroad they connect with the W., C. & A. R. R., and being of same gauge, freight does not break bulk, and in the month of January, only fifteen months after breaking ground, they hauled 1,200,000 pounds of freight. They have built a town here, and it was incorporated at the last session of the Legislature. There are now twenty-six houses in the village, many others are contemplated, and there is a brisk demand for building lots in the place. They have most appropriately named the town Chadbourn, and the main railroad has been quick to see its advantages and erected the finest wood-house and water-tank on the whole road, and stop all trains there. They have ample post-office and telegraph facilities.|
They have associated with them in this enterprise a younger brother, W. H. Chadbourn, and a son, J. H. Chadbourn, Jr., and have built this costly mill and railroad entirely within their own means so far, but if they would extend the road and dispose of some of the stock, it would be a most profitable investment and would be readily taken. The Legislature, in granting them a charter for the railroad, gave them many privileges, and the people along the line of the road are so anxious for the building of the road, that they freely offer the right of way and donate a large per centage of their lands to the company for the sake of having the railroad pass in their vicinity. In addition to the yellow pine, large bodies of the finest cypress, recently become very valuable, are touched.
CRONLY & MORRIS, Auctioneers, Real Estate and Stock Brokers,
Corner Water and Princess Streets.
Of the various enterprises that give character and standing to the metropolitan pretensions of the City of Wilmington, we know of none which is more worthy of favorable consideration at the hands of the public than that of Messrs. Cronly & Morris. It is an establishment whose foundation dates back to 1847, in which year it was founded by Mr. Cronly. The present firm was formed in 1866. They carry on a general auction, real estate and stock brokerage business, which amounts annually to from $30,000 to $40,000. Their business premises are located at the corner of Water and Princess streets, in a building 60×75 feet in dimensions, where three assistants are employed. The individual members of the firm are Messrs. Mich. Cronly and Wilkes Morris, both natives of this city. They are gentlemen of extended means and influence in the community, closely identified with the advancement and development of the resources of this section, and have done much to promote the material welfare of and general well-being of the city.
KERCHUER & CALDER BROS., Wholesale Grocers and Commission Merchants,
Cotton Factors and Dealers in Fertilizers, Nos. 221 and 223 North Water Street.
Wilmington being naturally the point for the receipt and distribution of so large and important a section of the country, it is no wonder that she stands justly celebrated for the magnitude and extent of her trade, and the enterprise of her merchants and business men. In every branch of trade the city can boast of representative business houses which will compare favorably with other cities having a much larger population. With reference to commercial affairs, however, it is the wholesale grocery, cotton and naval stores commission trade which must always occupy the most prominent position here as promoting most materially the mercantile importance of this community, and in our endeavor to make on these pages some lasting and historical record of those firms and commercial establishments which have mainly contributed to the importance and standing the City of Wilmington now holds in the mercantile world, we find none more worthy of special consideration than that which heads this article. The business was established by F. W. Kerchuer in 1865, just after the close of the war, and has steadily grown to its present proportions. As wholesale grocers and dealers they carry constantly on hand a complete and carefully selected stock sufficient to meet all the demands and requirements of their extensive trade. It will average from $25,000 to $50,000 in value, according to season. As commission merchants and cotton factors,
|and dealers in fertilizers, their transactions also aggregate a very large sum. Their consignments are received from all directions. Their business premises are extensive and fully commensurate with the requirements of their trade. The building occupied as the store is a substantial three-story structure, 75×40 feet in dimensions, adjoining which are two warehouses, one 25×50 and the other 30×75 feet in size. Their fire-proof brick cotton shed is supplied with all modern improvements and conveniences, and has a floor surface of 7,000 square feet. Their naval store yard is centrally located, fronting on the river 200 feet, and having a depth of 165 feet, with sheds covering 20,000 square feet of floor space. It will thus be seen that they are possessed of unusual facilities and arrangements for the convenient and effective transaction of all the details of the line of business in which they are engaged. In the different departments they employ fourteen assistants, to whom $185 is paid weekly. Their business extends throughout the States of North and South Carolina, along the Atlantic coast and Cape Fear River, as well as along the lines of the different railroads entering this city, their annual transactions amounting to from $750,000 to $1,000,000. The individual members of the firm are Messrs. Francis W. Kerchuer, Robert E. Calder and Wm. Calder, the first formerly a citizen of Baltimore, and a resident of this city since 1865; the two latter natives of Wilmington. Mr. Wm. Calder, of this firm, is a member of the City Board of Audit and Finance.|
Combining, as do the members of this leading firm, all the departments of the business of their house with careful, prudent and intelligent management, and fair and liberal dealing, they have the foundation laid for a success in the future as great and enduring as has been achieved in the past, and are worthy representatives of the important business interest to which their energies are devoted.
ROBERT PORTNER BREWING COMPANY, of Alexandria, Va., J. H. Tienken, Manager.
Wilmington Depot, No. 21 North Second Street.
The great popularity of the amber-hued beverage of the “Faderland” among all classes and nationalities is the best evidence of its generous appreciation, and its ability to fill the wants of the public for a health-giving and invigorating drink. In Germany, where for centuries the knowledge and practice of brewing lager beer has descended from generation to generation, it is held in the highest estimation by the people, and is regarded as an indispensible adjunct to the every day wants of all classes of society. Notwithstanding the fact that the first knowledge of the brewing of beer had its inception in the principalities of the old world, it has been left to America the honor of having perfected and improved its standard to the present high grade of excellence. There are many mammoth brewing establishments throughout different parts of the country, but in the South the Robert Portner Brewing Company, of Alexandria, Va., stands far in the lead, as being both the most extensive in the magnitude of its operations, and for the superior excellence of their manufacture. The Wilmington depot was established in 1878, and is under the efficient and intelligent management and direction of Mr. J. H. Tienken. The building occupied is a two story brick structure, 25×120 feet in dimensions. Both keg and bottled beer is handled. The Wilmington establishment bottles from 300 to 400 barrels per month, and transacts a business amounting annually to not less than from $40,000 to $50,000; the territory over which Mr. Tienken has control being about forty miles square. Five assistants are employed by him in the transaction of the business of the company. He is a native of Wilmington, where he is well and favorably known and universally popular with the trade, and brings to the discharge of his duties an executive ability and intelligence of a high order.
The Robert Portner Brewing Company has depots and bottling establishments in the following cities in addition to Wilmington: Richmond, Va., Norfolk, Va., Lynchburg, Va., Danville, Va., Hampton, Va., Augusta, Ga., Washington, D. C., Charlotte, N. C., Goldsboro, N. C., Raleigh, N. C., Columbia, S. C., Greenville, S. C., Florence, S. C.
|CAROLINA RICE MILLS, Nos. 7 and 9 Chestnut Street.|
In reviewing the commercial and manufacturing interests and advantages of the City of Wilmington, we are confronted by many enterprises especially worthy of extended notice and consideration. It is a fact, and one worthy of appreciation by our readers, that in this, the thriving and progressive metropolis of the State, are located many establishments whose extensive proportions and large operations would reflect credit upon the largest cities in the country. One of these representative enterprises in its special line is the Carolina Rice Mills, of which Messrs. Norwood Giles and Pembroke Jones, of this city, are the enterprising proprietors. In 1879 these gentlemen were induced by the increasing rice crop along the Cape Fear River, as well as in the up country, to undertake this important enterprise, and the remarkable success that has attended their efforts is a most gratifying evidence of their wisdom and forethought. They have now as completely equipped and model an establishment of the kind as can be found in the Southern States, while their annual transactions are as large as those of any mill of the kind in the country. The mill building is a substantially built, fourstory structure, 60×120 feet in dimensions. The machinery and appliances in use are all of the very latest and most improved pattern, and driven by a 60-horse power engine. The average amount of stock carried is $100,000, and thirteen persons are employed in the different departments. The natural product is roughed into clean rice, from 75 to 100 barrels being run out daily. It first passes through a set of stone, where it is ground, thence to the pestles, which are eighteen in number, where it is pounded and beaten. Thence it passes through the spouting to the next floor, where it is cleaned or separated from the flour. It is then passed through the brushes for polishing, and the necessary fans and screens. The flour obtained as above is used for feeding purposes. There is also another grade of flour called the polish, which is also used for feed. The elevators in the building materially assist in facilitating all the operations of the mills. The product of these mills has become generally recognized all over the country as being of a very superior quality, and has come into extensive demand in such markets as New York, Cincinnati, London, England; Charleston, Norfolk, Richmond, Lynchburg, Pittsburg and Kansas City.
The proprietors of this important enterprise, as we had occasion to say before, are Messrs. Norwood Giles and Pembroke Jones, both natives of this city. They are gentlemen of unusual business ability and intelligence; just in the prime of vigorous manhood, and have proven themselves among the most enterprising and substantial of the citizens of this community. Their establishment is a credit to the city, an honor to themselves, and an important factor in the advancement and promotion of the trade and commerce of Wilmington. They also have another mill at Washington, this State, which is a branch of this mill.
HOLMES & WATTERS, Wholesale and Retail Grocers, Nos. 6 and 8 Front Street.
A careful review of the various commercial enterprises of this city renders apparent her reputation for business energy and enterprise. With her numerous prominent houses in the general grocery trade, Wilmington may justly claim to be the distributing point for a large and prosperous region of country. Among the houses that are justly qualified for rank and credit as being not only extensive, but among the foremost in this branch of trade, there does not exist a firm more deserving of such classification than that of Messrs. Holmes & Watters. This house was started in 1879 by the present firm, and has been successful from the beginning. Their business premises are commodious and conveniently arranged for the transaction of business, the building being 50×120 feet in dimensions, with an L 25×50 feet. They carry a large and varied stock of both staple and fancy groceries, the value of which is from $18,000 to $20,000. Nine competent and experienced assistants are employed in the different departments of the business. The firm has ample capital and can offer their customers every advantage in the matters of cheap prices, first class goods and reasonable terms. Their trade is large and steadily increasing, extending over North and South Carolina, and amounting to $150,000.
|The individual members of the firm are Messrs. G. Holmes and J. H. Watters. Mr. Homes is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in this city for sixteen years. Mr. Watters was for some time connected in an official position with the City Fire Department. He was born in this State, and has been a resident of Wilmington since 1868. They are both enterprising business men, and enjoy the confidence and esteem of all with whom they have business relations, As a firm, they are justly entitled to a prominent position among the representative business houses of the City of Wilmington.|
JAMES A. FORE, Proprietor Harrison Planing Mills.
This city, being so advantageously situated with reference to the lumber producing districts of North Carolina, has become a point of prominence in the trade, and it is only natural that among the industrial and commercial enterprises of the city, those connected with this branch of industry should be among the most important factors in the general welfare of the city. Among the several individuals and firms engaged in this line of operations, Mr. James A. Fore already stands in the front rank. He commenced business on January 1st, 1884, and is possessed of every advantage and facility for transacting a large and lucrative business. He deals in all kinds of lumber, lath, shingles, sash, doors, blinds and mouldings; manufactures fruit and vegetable boxes; does fancy scroll work and turning to order, and makes a specialty of ceiling and flooring. The plant of the establishment is located at the foot of Walnut street. The planing mill is 40×40 feet in dimensions, and the factory building the same size and height. The machinery and appliances in use are of the very latest and most improved pattern for this branch of manufacture, the motive power for which is steam, supplied by an engine of 60-horse power. In its particular line of manufacture this establishment is prepared to meet all the demands of the trade in this city and the surrounding country. A manufactured stock averaging $3,000 is carried on hand, and twelve skilled and experienced workmen are employed in the different departments.
Mr. Fore is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and has resided in Wilmington four years. He is an energetic, enterprising business man, entitled to great credit and favorable consideration for establishing an enterprise of so much importance to the manufacturing and industrial interests of this community.
J. W. TAYLOR, Saw Mill, Foot of Walnut Street.
To manufacturers and dealers in lumber there are few cities in the South offering such advantages as the City of Wilmington, an abundant proof of which fact is to be found in the extent and importance of her lumber trade. Situated within easy access of the great timber producing districts of the State, and with unsurpassed facilities for shipment to all parts of the world by means of vessels entering this port, it is but natural that there should be located here enterprises notable for the large amount of capital invested in them, and remarkable for the energetic and industrious character of their proprietors. Such an establishment is that of Mr. J. W. Taylor, which was founded by that gentleman in 1874. His mill is located at the foot of Walnut street, the building being a structure 30×120 feet in dimensions. None but the latest and most improved machinery is used in the mill, which is driven by an engine of 80-horse power. He employs about twenty hands and saws four million feet per annum. The logs are rafted down Cape Fear River to the mill, where they are sawed and the lumber prepared for shipment. The entire product is shipped to New York and other prominent points, the annual sales amounting to about $40,000. An average stock of $5,000 is carried in the yards to meet the immediate demands of the trade.
Mr. Taylor is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in this city for nearly twenty years. He possesses a thorough knowledge of his business, and is able to successfully meet and overcome all competition from whatever source. As a citizen, no one could occupy a more prominent position, or has aided more to elevate and extend the trade and reputation of the city.
|PARKER & TAYLOR, Wholesale and Retail Stoves, Tinware and House-Furnishing|
Goods, No. 23 South Front Street.
The above establishment is a leading one in the above branch of trade, and has been brought to a high standard in all its departments. It was founded by the present firm in 1870, and the business has grown rapidly and is steadily increasing. They occupy a large store at No. 23 South Front street, the building being a two-story structure, 22×98 feet in dimensions, with a show room for parlor and heating stoves attached in the second story, and above the offices of Howe, Baily & Co., 50×35, and offer to customers a complete assortment of goods in their line at moderate prices. They have a large and carefully selected stock of stoves, both cooking and heating, together with every variety of house-furnishing goods and tin, copper, sheet-iron, brass and Japanned wares; the whole being of an average value of from $10,000 to $12,000. Four assistants are employed, and all orders are promptly and satisfactorily executed. Their trade extends into all parts of the surrounding country, their annual sales comparing favorably with those of any similar establishment in this section.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. W. M. Parker and James H. Taylor. Mr. Parker is a native of Connecticut, but has resided in this city since 1862. He is one of the members of the School Committee for District No. 1. Mr. Taylor is a North Carolinian by birth, and has been a citizen of Wilmington since 1866. These gentlemen are capable and energetic business men, honorable and straightforward in all their transactions, and their establishment is deserving of generous consideration.
THE ACME MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Manufacturers of Cotton Seed Oil Fertilizers,
And Pine Hair for Upholstering Purposes, Office Cor. Water and Princess Streets.
The experience of the last few years has clearly demonstrated the fact that Southern cities cannot hope to obtain either commercial prominence or material and lasting prosperity and wealth through the channel of mercantile trade alone. It is upon the development of their manufacturing and industrial interests that they must mainly rely for substantial growth and financial stability. Within the last decade the intelligent attention of capitalists and business men in all parts of the South has been turned to this subject. The result has been that mines are being opened, and mills and factories of all kinds are springing into existence all over the Southern States, and it is thus that the unlimited and boundless resources of this great section of the country will eventually be developed. In this community abundant evidences of progress and advancement are to be found on every hand, a sure guarantee of stable and permanent prosperity in the future. A striking example of this favorable condition of affairs is afforded by the Acme Manufacturing Company, an enterprise mammoth in its proportions and unlimited as to its future possibilities. It is the result of a consolidation of three important enterprises, which were incorporated under the existing management in 1883, by a stock company with an authorized capital of ($1,000,000) one million dollars, and a paid-up capital of ($152,000) one hundred and fifty-two thousand dollars. Their line of operations embraces the manufacture of cotton seed oil by a new and improved process, the naphtha process, whereby they obtain a much larger per centage of oil than is yielded by the old system, and fertilizers of various grades and fibre from the long-leaf pine, for upholstering purposes.
The plant of their works is situated at Cronley, on the Carolina Central Railroad, about seventeen miles west of the city. The situation of their factories is a most favorable one, as they are located immediately on the line of the Carolina Central Railroad and on the banks of Livingston Creek, a navigable stream emptying into Cape Fear River, and are only three-quarters of a mile from the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, with which road the factories will soon be connected by track. The factory buildings are three in number, and occupy about ten acres. There have been also erected on the land of the company twenty-five tenement houses for the accommodation of their employes, each house being detached by itself, surrounded with a neat fence, and having a plat of ground about 70×140 feet. The eployes at present number one hundred, and receive about $700 in weekly wages, while a considerable amount in addition is paid out every week to the country people, who bring in pine
|straw, wood, etc. The various and diversified machinery and appliances in use are of the most modern and improved patterns and designs, the power used being steam. In all respects and details these factories are as completely and thoroughly equipped as any in the United States. Their fibre factory has already turned out about 100 tons of manufactured product, and as the demand for the “pine hair” for upholstering purposes has been steady and far in excess of their output, the company has largely increased the capacity of their fibre factory, which will soon be able to turn out eighteen tons per week. At present they only manufacture the fine fibre for upholstering purposes, mattresses, bedding, etc., and as the fibre possesses the property of driving off and destroying insects, etc., they have had and will have a large demand for their output for these purposes. We have seen several letters from distinguished persons who have used this fibre for mattresses, etc., and who have, unsolicited by the Company, written to express their satisfaction with and confidence in its virtues and properties. During the process of converting the pine-leaf into the fibre, an oil is obtained which appears to possess wonderful curative properties. The operatives at the factories seem to use this oil for wounds or colds in preference to any other remedy, and in several instances it has been used for rheumatism, neuralgia, and croup, with surprising results. The company expect to pay more attention to the extraction of this oil, and to place it upon the market in quantities. Mr. A. Scott, who for some time was employed in the mills at Dundee, Scotland, is in charge of the fibre mill, and as he has great practical experience in the manufacture of flax, jute, etc., the Company intend to introduce into this factory the machinery necessary for the manufacture from the pine fibre of matting similar to jute matting, and the coarser grades of carpets. The establishment of this factory will mark an area in the prosperity of the State, as by its means a vast and hitherto useless and neglected mine of wealth will be opened.|
The fertilizer factory of the company has a capacity of over 10,000 tons per annum. Their fertilizer is made from phosphate rock, which is found in large deposit upon the property of the company. In this particular the State at large certainly owes a debt of gratitude to the gentlemen composing this company, as notwithstanding the fact that there has been for a long time a department especially established by the State for the advancement of agriculture and kindred interests, and the further fact that the geological formation of Eastern North Carolina is very similar to that of the localities of South Carolina where the celebrated phosphate rock is obtained, this company was the first to make any persistent and practical search for such deposits, and that, too, in the face of repeated obstacles, freely expressed doubts and discouragements. But since this company has been successful in its search, and has proved beyond a doubt, that phosphate rock of considerably commercial and agricultural value does exist in this State, it has excited a great public interest in this question, and in consequence of which numerous explorations have been made, resulting in the finding of several similar deposits scattered throughout the State.
From the fact that the company obtains its phosphate rock from its own lands, and in consequence of the favorable location of its factories, it is enabled to manufacture a first-class fertilizer at so low a cost as to place it within reach of all. It is only reasonable to suppose that the establishment of this and similar factories will eventually retain the whole of the vast trade in fertilizers, which is carried on in this State, within its own borders. Their oil mill for the extraction of cotton seed and other vegetable oils, is the first mill of this kind which has been established in this country. By this process they obtain a larger per centage of oil at a smaller cost than by the old system. This process is similar in its principle to that which is so strongly advocated by the distinguished French chemist, George Ville; and its introduction into this country was also advocated by the celebrated cotton statician, Mr. Edward Atkinson, of Boston, Massachusetts. This factory has a capacity of about twenty (20) tons, and the company has now on hand a very large quantity of cotton seed, which will enable the mill to be operated until late in the season.
A visit to Cronly, where the factories are located, will display to the visitor a busy and animated scene. The neat cottages of the operatives all have lots attached to them, enabling the employes to have small kitchen gardens of their own, encouraging them in habits of thrift and industry. The company have firm faith in the virtues of
|paint and whitewash, and it is one of their rules that the cottages and surroundings of their factories shall present a neat and trim appearance. Another of their rules is not to employ any one whose character is not good, and to most decidedly discourage the habit of drinking, by promptly discharging any of their employes who are guilty of it. The company owns about 2,500 acres of rich land surrounding their factories, and have recently perfected arrangements for the leasing of farms for a long term of years for a nominal rent, to young and energetic men. They also expect to erect sulphuric acid and refining works this summer, and so be enabled to prepare at their own factories everything needed to put articles of the first grade directly upon the home and other markets. The trade of the company already extends all over the United States.|
The investment of such large sums of money in manufactories near Wilmington cannot fail to add largely to the prosperity and development of this city and the surrounding country, and by dividing taxation and giving employment to so many of our people, prove an inestimable and lasting public benefit. These enterprises belong to a class, that when once profitably fixed, must continue to increase and expand.
The establishment of these factories is one of the most noteworthy events in the history of Wilmington and this section of the State, and the energy and business capabilities displayed by their founders prove them worthy of the success they have already attained, and which is certain to be largely increased.
The officers of the organization are: Wm. Latimer, President; H. G. Latimer, Treasurer, and Henry Savage, Manager, with Cronly & Morris, General Agents, all citizens of Wilmington. They all take an active part in the business, employ large capital, and their establishment deservedly takes high rank among the leading industrial institutions of the South.
H. D. GILBERT, Bakery, Bread, Cakes, &c., No. 27 Front Street.
One of the most enterprising and thorough-going business men in this section of the city is Mr. H. D. Gilbert. His is the leading establishment of the kind in the city, and deservedly enjoys the patronage of the best class of citizens. He commenced business in 1877, since which time he has received the most encouraging support. His business premises are centrally located, and consist of a store 15×40 feet in dimensions, and a bakery 15×40 feet. He carries an ample stock, embracing every article, pure and fresh, in his line for family consumption, and transacts an annual business of $12,000, employing three competent and practical hands. He produces and furnishes to his large custom, from select flour, the choicest bread, cakes, rolls, &c., besides possessing one of the most attractive stores in the city.
Mr. Gilbert is a native of the neighboring State of South Carolina, but has resided in Wilmington for forty-five years. His business is steadily growing, and his enterprising policy will always secure for him a high position among the business men of Wilmington.
JAMES C. MUNDS, Druggist, No. 104 North Front Street.
As an important factor in the growth and general progress of the city, the drug trade has played no insignificant part. Among the leading establishments in this branch of business in Wilmington, that of Mr. Munds takes prominent position. It was founded in 1873, and through the experience and enterprise of its proprietor, is in the enjoyment of a flourishing and prosperous trade. The business premises occupied consist of a large three-story building, 20×65 feet in dimensions, admirably situated, where a stock of an average value of $12,000 is carried. It is large and complete, embracing drugs, chemicals, proprietary medicines, surgical instruments and appliances, druggists’ sundries, and a handsome and elegant assortment of fancy goods and toilet articles, and all that pertains to a first-class establishment of the kind. Three competent and experienced assistants are employed and an annual business of $15,000 is transacted.
Mr. Munds was born in Wilmington, and is a thoroughly educated and practical druggist. Prompt, reliable and courteous to all, he is in every way deserving of the liberal patronage he receives, and will, in every respect, always be found fully up to the times.
|P. H. HAYDEN, Manufacturer of Carriages and Harness,|
Nos. 13, 13 1-2 and 15 North Third Street.
In reviewing the numerous, varied and important industrial enterprises which go to make up the sum total of the city's wealth and prosperity, there are many which are deserving of more space than we are at liberty to extend them. Such an one is the carriage and harness manufacturing establishment of Mr. P. H. Hayden. We speak advisedly when we say that there are but few cities in the South where a better arranged or more complete enterprise of this kind can be found. It was founded by the present proprietor sixteen years ago, and has steadily increased to its present large proportions. The premises occupied are located as above, and consist of a substantial and conveniently arranged building, 55×56 feet in size, with an “L” 40×26 feet, the structure having two stories and a basement. The establishment is complete in every detail and arrangement, and equipped with the most modern improvement known to this branch of industrial pursuit. In the manufacture of carriages Mr. Hayden is prepared to turn out anything from a sulky to the heavy but graceful family carriage, his work being noted for the excellence of material used, superior workmanship and beauty of design and finish. He enjoys the largest trade in harness of every description in the State. He employs a large number of hands, all skillful and experienced workmen, and gives his personal attention to all matters connected with his establishment. His trade extends into all the surrounding country, and is steadily and satisfactorily increasing. He is a native of Maryland, from which State he came to this city sixteen years ago. He is a practical and experienced business man, and there exists in this city no enterprise of worthier mention.
P. L. BRIDGERS & CO., Wholesale and Retail Grocers.
No. 110 North Front Street.
There is no more important factor in the commercial and industrial growth and prosperity of a city than the grocery trade, and no more unerring index by means of which to judge of its enterprise. Prosperous and well-established grocery houses indicate qualifications among her citizens, which are the surest evidence of progress and development in commercial affairs. Such an establishment is that of Messrs. P. L. Bridgers & Co., which was founded by Mr. Bridgers in 1878. His premises are located at No. 110, North Front street, in a building 26×123 feet in dimensions. The house also has a large warehouse for purposes of storage. A large and well assorted stock of staple and fancy groceries is carried on hand, averaging $12,000 in value. Ten assistants are employed in the different departments, and an annual business is transacted in North and South Carolina amounting to a sum exceeding $100,000.
Mr. Bridgers is a North Carolinian by birth, has resided in Wilmington for thirteen years, and is numbered among the most enterprising and substantial of the citizens of this community. His establishment ranks among the first of his contemporaries, and commands the respect of the trade and the highest consideration of the public at large.
In addition to his stock of groceries he has a fine stock of wines and whiskys, also a full line of domestic and imported cigars.
J. C. STEVENSON, Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Fancy and Staple Groceries.
No. 31 Market Street.
The name of Mr. Stevenson has long been a familiar one to the homes and tables of the best citizens of Wilmington, and his establishment is certainly entitled to considerable mention among the leading grocery houses of this city. The business was established by Mr. Stevenson in 1867, and has enjoyed a career of marked success and prosperity. He occupies as a store a four story brick building, 20×120 feet in dimensions, at No. 31, Market street, which is supplied with an ample stock of first-class fresh and pure groceries, both staple and fancy, consisting in part of choice family flour,
|fine coffees, teas, sugars, syrups, canned goods, and the thousand and one other articles for household use and domestic consumption. The facilities of the house are unsurpassed by any other establishment in the city for first quality of goods and low prices. Families can have their purchases delivered, without extra charge at their homes, no matter in what part of the city. The stock is most carefully selected and is constantly being replenished, and the trade of the house in the city and surrounding country is probably the largest in this line.|
Mr. Stevenson is a native of Wilmington, and is thoroughly identified with the commercial growth and prosperity of the city. The well known, honorable and liberal basis upon which all his transactions have been conducted has won for his house a reputation to which nothing that we could say would add.
Mr. Stevenson is also the proprietor of E. J. Moore & Co.’s confectionery and candy manufacturing establishment; also of the retail grocery house of J. C. Stevenson & Co., in another part of the city. He is also the largest country produce receiver in the city, and has received 100,000 poultry alone in one year, besides eggs, butter, peas and other produce.
AARON & RHEINSTEIN, Wholesale Dry Goods, Notions, Hats and Shoes,
Nos. 29 and 31 North Front Street.
The business enterprise, prosperity and solidity of a city are in a large measure indicated by the extent and character of her commercial houses. The great dry goods houses of the country, with their co-relative branches of trade, have exercised a powerful influence upon the welfare of the communities in which they are situated, and the old, wealthy and successful establishments have become familiar, by trade and reputation, in all sections of the land. Wilmington is most favorably situated as to the great arteries and highways of commerce, having extensive connections by both river and rail with North, South and West—her mercantile ramifications extending in every direction, and yearly growing larger and more important. One of the great factors in her progress has been her jobbing trade, and the history of her wholesale houses, while a necessary and integral part of her commercial prosperity, is also interesting and valuable as a historical record, and especially useful for purposes of reference. In 1866 Messrs. David Aaron and Fred. Rheinstein associated themselves together, under the present firm name, in the wholesale dry goods, notions, hat and shoe trade. The house soon took rank as the leading wholesale house in this part of the country, a position to which they were justly entitled, from their extensive transactions, the magnitude of their stock, and the well-known characteristics of the gentlemen composing the firm. Through all the years that it has been in existence, it has maintained, with brightening reputation, the perfect system, the high degree of mercantile integrity and the elevated business enterprise with which it was inaugurated, and is now, and has been for a number of years, universally recognized as the largest wholesale house in the State of North Carolina. The business premises of the firm consist of the three stories and basement of a building fronting on Front street, 35×82 feet in dimensions, and two floors and the basement of the adjoining building. It is one of the most commodious and convenient business houses in the country, and larger, perhaps, than in any other city of the size of Wilmington in the United States. The immense business is thoroughly organized into different departments, managed by competent men, all under the constant supervision of the proprietors. In these departments can be found a more extensive assortment of goods suited to the wants of the merchants in this section of country than can be found in any house in the State. It would be both tedious and useless to give a detailed description of the immense stock carried—suffice it to say, that it consists of everything in the lines of dry goods, notions, boots and shoes, hats and caps, and is larger than any house in the State. Twelve assistants are employed in the store and three traveling salesmen represent the interests of the house on the road. Their trade is extensive throughout the two States of North and South Carolina, amounting annually to about half a million dollars. Such a large business gives them great advantages over their competitors, enabling them to sell goods at a small margin, and at the same time secure for themselves satisfactory profits. To attend properly to such a trade requires a system of
|complete thoroughness and a knowledge of business naturally acquired by a long course of education and experience.|
Mr. Aaron has resided in Wilmington for thirty-two years, and Mr. Rheinstein for twenty-five years. Their establishment is the leading representative house of Wilmington, and their name has become co-extensive with the reputation of the city.
The firm have an office in New York City, thereby enabling them to purchase goods at lowest possible prices.
THE WILMINGTON COTTON MILLS, Front Street, between Wooster and Dawson Streets.
In the commerce of the country the City of Wilmington occupies a prominent and important position. Her cotton interests alone make an immense business, while the position of the city, as the natural depot for the reception and shipment of this staple product for all the surrounding country and a large portion of the cotton producing districts, give her special prominence in the rapidly developing South. That cotton is an indispensable commodity and all-important auxiliary in civilized countries is universally conceded, and its incalculable value to man in supplying his necessities is apparent, when the trouble is taken to follow it through the various processes to which it is subjected to fit it for his use. Seeing the final result, one must acknowledge that cotton, as to its value, is not only King but a prime necessity, and one of nature's most important and useful contributions to the wants of humanity. In this section, as in every other part of the South, this great staple takes the lead, and may be considered the main source of the prosperity, wealth and commercial standing of the city. For many years this useful article was taken from its natural home to pass into the mills and looms of the North, to be woven into the numerous fabrics to which it is adapted. Until but a comparatively few years ago it underwent this temporary exile, while the cotton milling industries of the country were monopolized by the Middle and New England States. After her recovery from the prostration of her commerce and energies caused by the war, a new era dawned upon the South, fresh energy and impetus was given to her industries, and to-day they stand the successful rivals of those old institutions which boast of their age and prestige. With the tide of this irrepressible progress the City of Wilmington has steadily kept pace, while to no single enterprise is she more indebted for this advancement than to the one which is the subject of this article. This now extensive establishment was first organized by a stock company in 1874, and the mills were built at an original cost of $150,000. The company was, however, re-organized in 1878, with a reduced capital stock of $60,000. The stockholders of the company are among the leading citizens of this community, men not only remarkable for their individual success in business, but for their promptitude in aiding and encouraging all enterprises looking to the advancement of the city and her progress in commercial importance, while their names are a sure guarantee of the success of any undertaking in which they may interest themselves. The line of goods manufactured at these mills is exclusively print cloth, 64×64, and the product is almost entirely sold in New York and Philadelphia. It is the only print cloth mill in the South, and ranks as one of the very best of the kind in the country. The plant of the mills covers an area of two whole blocks of ground. The main factory is a three-story brick building, 70×120 feet in dimensions. In all the machinery, appointments and appliances necessary for speed and perfection in results, these mills are as well equipped as any in the country, all being of the most improved pattern. No expense has been spared in making improvements conducing to a lessening of the cost of production and elevating the standard of excellence of the finished product. There are in operation 5,712 spindles, 156 looms, 34 cards, besides a full complement of pickers, drawing frames, speeders, slubbers, &c. The motive power is furnished by an engine of 100-horse power and a battery of boilers. In the various departments forty male and eighty female operatives are employed, to whom $450 is paid in weekly wages. The capacity of the mills is 6,000 yards per day of eleven hours.
The officers of the organization are Donald McRae, President, and W. G. MacRae, Secretary and Treasurer, both well known as enterprising and public-spirited citizens, of extended influence and high standing in the community. This important
|enterprise is not only a splendid monument to the intelligent enterprise of its management, but is one of those concerns whose great and honorable success reflects credit and reputation upon the fair name of the city. It stands prominent among the leaders of its kind, and holds a commanding position among the industrial institutions of the country.|
R. W. HICKS, Grocer and Commission Merchant.
Nos. 120 to 124, North Water Street.
In endeavoring to preserve some record of the commercial establishments of the the city by historical and statistical notes, our object in introducing this department of our work is attributable more to a desire to gather remembrances and facts of an interesting and useful nature, than to seek opportunity for personal compliment. But it is quite admissable for us to say that Mr. R. W. Hicks, grocer and commission merchant, belongs to that class of enterprising and successful business men who have been prominently identified with the commercial interests of the city for a number of years past, and to whose enterprise and perseverence, as well as sterling integrity and financial responsibility, those interests are indebted for much of their present vigor and development. This enterprise was first started in 1878 by the firm of Messrs. Patterson & Hicks, who were succeeded by Mr. Hicks as sole proprietor in 1881. Throughout its existence the house has had a very successful career, the business gaining strength and volume every succeeding year. A large two-story building, 60×90 feet in dimensions, is occupied and contains a large assortment of the usual line of goods carried by grocery and commission houses, the stock being of an average estimated value of $35,000. The concern also has a two-story warehouse, 40×50 feet, and a molasses shed 15×40 feet. The wharf of this house is 100×400 in area, upon which there is a shed 200×40 feet in dimensions. Seven assistants are employed, and an annual business of $60,000 is transacted in the States of North and South Carolina.
Mr. Hicks is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in this city for fourteen years. His establishment sustains in all respects a commanding position in Wilmington, and is in a condition to afford buyers all the advantages that result from a clever combination of business ability and experience, supported by ample capital.
GEO. A. PECK, Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Hardware, Sash, Doors and Blinds.
No. 29 Front Street.
This establishment is one of the oldest and most reliable concerns of the kind in the city, and transacts a large and prosperous business. It was established in 1865 by the present proprietor. The building occupied is a substantial two-story brick structure, 30×97 feet in dimensions. The ample stock carried embraces everything included in the general term hardware, both heavy and shelf, together with a full line of doors, sash and blinds. Five assistants are employed in the house, and an extensive trade is enjoyed, both in the city and throughout the surrounding country.
Mr. Peck is a native of this city, is well and favorably known in business circles, and is an enterprising and energetic merchant.
G. W. LINDER, Retail Groceries and Liquors, No. 32 Front Street.
One of the most enterprising establishments which it is our pleasure to mention in connection with the business interest of Wilmington is that of Mr. G. W. Linder, dealer in groceries and liquors. The house was started by Mr. Linder in 1883, and has so far been very successful. The building occupied is two stories high and 30×60 feet in dimensions. A full stock of the choicest groceries is kept constantly on hand and in excellent condition. An extensive trade in the purest and best brands of wines, liquors, &c., is also enjoyed. The estimated value of the average assortment of goods kept in stock is about $1,500. Two assistants are employed, and the trade of the establishment, which is entirely local, amounts to from $12,000 to $15,000 per annum.
Mr. Linder is a native of Denmark, and came to this city ten years ago. He has established an enviable business reputation, and enjoys high position among the leading retail dealers of the city.
|WORTH & WORTH, Naval Stores and Cotton. Importers of Molasses and Dealers in|
Groceries, Lime and Cement, Nos. 1 and 2 Mulberry Street.
Among the representative commercial enterprises of the City of Wilmington that of the well-known firm of Messrs. Worth & Worth occupies a position of conspicuous and deserved prominence, and is entitled by its magnitude, and the great part it has played in the commercial progress of the city, no less than by its extensive operations, to a prominent position in this volume. Identified with the trade and commerce of the city for a period of over thirty years, it has gained a commercial standing that is second to none, and which is shared by few in its lines of trade in any part of the United States. The house was founded in 1853, by the firm of T.C. & B.G. Worth; from 1865 to 1872 the firm was Worth & Daniel, and in the latter year the present proprietors took charge of the business. Their warehouses are four in number, and, together with wharves and yards, cover an area of about an acre of ground. They do a general commission business in cotton and naval stores, which they receive on consignment and sell here in Wilmington to exporters direct. They also import molasses from the West Indies, and carry one of the largest stocks of groceries in the city. They are also prepared at all times to supply the trade with lime and cement in any quantity desired. Messrs. Worth & Worth also own the controlling interest in the Cape Fear and People's Steamboat Line, which runs two steamers in the trade between this city and Fayetteville, on the Cape Fear River. The firm handles annually about 10,000 bales of cotton, 120,000 barrels of rosin and 22,000 barrels of spirits of turpentine, and has in its employ twenty persons.
The firm is composed of Messrs. B. G. and D. G. Worth. The former has lived in Wilmington since 1853, and the latter for twenty-two years. They are deservedly esteemed among the best class of the representative business men of this community, and the City of Wilmington has certainly every reason for congratulation on the possesison of so important and prosperous a business enterprise.
CAPE FEAR & PEOPLE'S STEAMBOAT COMPANY, Worth & Worth, Agents.
Landing at the foot of Chestnut Street.
The geographical position of the City of Wilmington is such that it has necessarily become a great center, not only commercially, but also as the receiving and distributing point for the produce and merchandise of a large, wealthy and productive region, and no one enterprise has done more to foster the trade and build up the character and reputation of the city than the Cape Fear & People's Steamboat Company. It was originally established thirty-five years ago, but the present organization was not effected until about twelve years ago, and is the result of a consolidation of two lines of boats. Two steamboats are run in the trade between this city and Fayetteville on the Cape Fear River, named as follows: The Gov. Worth, a side-wheel boat, and the A. P. Hurt, a stern-wheel packet. They make regular trips on schedule time. The mail packet is the A. P. Hurt, a steamer of 140 net tonnage, having six staterooms and thirty-four berths. She is allowed to carry thirty-six cabin passengers and thirty-four deck passengers. She has two non-condensing engines, thirteen inches in diameter, of five-foot stroke, and one fifteen-foot boiler, four and one-half feet in diameter. Her hull is of iron. Her carrying capacity is 400 barrels. She is commanded by Capt. A. H. Worth.
The Steamer Gov. Worth is 136 feet long 22 feet beam. She was built in 1866 and has an iron hull. Her engines are two in number, of a six-foot stroke, sixteen inches in diameter, with a five and one-half foot boiler. Her carrying capacity is 1,000 barrels, and she is universally acknowledged to be the largest and fastest boat on the river.
The officers of the organization are F. W. Kerchuer, President, and D. G. Worth, Secretary and Treasurer. In all the details of the management the affairs of the line are conducted with a liberal policy and upon a basis of the soundest business principles. The traveling public and shippers receive every attention, and the line enjoys a well deserved popularity. Messrs. Worth & Worth are the local agents.
|THE BANK OF NEW HANOVER, Corner of Front and Princess Streets.|
The Bank of New Hanover
No financial institution in the history of this city has been more intimately connected with the interests of this community, or has had a more uniformly successful and prosperous career. It has the largest capital, and with its branches commands the most extensive line of deposits and does the largest discounting businness of any bank in this section. It was incorporated in 1872, with a capital stock of $300,000, and during the entire period of its existence has been regarded as one of the best managed monetary concerns in the United States. It is by far the largest and most elegantly fitted up institution of the kind in the city, the handsome building in which it is located being owned by the bank, and the interior arrangements and appointments are exceptionally convenient, attractive and substantial. Among the officers and directors at the present time will be found names closely identified with the history of Wilmington in her progress and prosperity, and the advancement and development of her business interests and manufacturing and commercial resources. The present officers of the institution are the following well-known gentlemen: Isaac Bates, President; S. D. Wallace, Cashier, and Wm. L. Smith, Jr., teller. A general banking business is conducted in loans, discounts, deposits, and exchange on all the important points in the United States and Europe. Conducted in all its affairs upon a policy of the highest standard of commercial honor, liberal yet conservative, the Bank of New Hanover is certainly entitled to the great prosperity it has attained, and is at the same time deserving of the confidence, esteem and consideration of the public. Some idea can be gained of the successful results attending the management of its affairs from the following statement of the condition of the institution on February 4, 1884:
|RESOURCES: ||LIABILITIES: |
|Loans and Discounts || ||$ 840,453 59 ||Capital Stock ||$ 300,000 00 |
|Due by other Banks ||$212,668 67 || ||Due Depositors ||953,789 43 |
|Currency and Specie ||186,841 85 || ||Due other Banks ||65,125 71 |
|Checks on other Banks ||25,374 85 ||—424,885 37 ||Surplus Fund ||86,920 71 |
|Real Estate || ||79,599 24 || || |
|Office Furniture and Safes || ||7,082 37 || || |
|Bonds and Stocks || ||48,813 69 || || |
|Checks and Drafts in Transit || ||5,001 59 || || |
| || ||$1,405,835 85 || ||$1,405,835 85 |
THE NAVASSA GUANO COMPANY, Manufacturers of Fertilizers and Sulphuric
and Muriatic Acids,
The great importance of these enterprises engaged in the manufacture of artificial fertilizers cannot be overestimated. Apart from their great value to the agricultural interests of the South, they are of vast importance in the prominent and active part they take in the promotion and advancement of the general welfare and industrial thrift of the communities in which they are located. One of the most prominent enterprises organized by Wilmington capital, whose operations have already assumed mammoth proportions, is that of the Navassa Guano Company. The company was organized by a number of influential and wealthy gentlemen of this city in 1869, with a capital stock of $200,000. The factory is situated four miles from the city, the plant covering an area of ten acres of ground. It occupies a most advantageous position for shipping
|purposes, being on the lines of all railroads entering the city, and also on the river. The institution is extensive in proportions, the factory buildings being twenty in number. There have been erected on the premises twenty tenement houses for the accomodation of the employes of the company. The machinery and appliances in use for grinding, crushing and mixing the raw materials used are of the very latest and most improved pattern, while in general arrangement and equipment the works are unsurpassed by any similar establishment in the country. The motive power is steam, which is supplied by three engines aggregating 175-horse power. They manufacture fertilizers of various grades, in addition to sulphuric and muriatic acid, having a capacity of 2,000 tons per month. A force of 125 persons is employed, to whom $1,000 is paid weekly. The company has become famous all over the South as the manufacturers of the “Navassa Guano,” which is one of the most powerful and reliable fertilizers known to agriculturists. Their transactions extend throughout the entire South, amounting to $750,000 annually. The company also owns an extensive rice plantation of about 400 acres, situated between the works and the city, which yields between ten and fifteen thousand bushels of rice yearly.|
The President of the organization is Hon. R. R. Bridgers, ex-member of Congress from this District. The Secretary and Treasurer is Donald MacRae, Esq., and Col. C. L. Grafflin is the Superintendent. Under such control this important enterprise has become one of the leading industrial institutions of the entire South, and its great success, that would, under other circumstances, appear somewhat extraordinary, seems only the natural result of its able and enterprising management.
C. S. LOVE & CO., General Commission Merchants,
Office Water Street, between Dock and Market Streets.
Among the prominent and influential firms engaged in the above line of business in this city there is none which stands higher than that of Messrs. C. S. Love & Co. The business was started by the firm in 1877, and has proven a highly successful undertaking. They employ six assistants and do an annual business of $120,000. Messrs. C. S. Love and T. D. Love, Jr., constitute the individual members of this old and reliable house. Their business is conducted in all its various details upon principles of pure mercantile integrity, and as a firm they are deserving of special consideration in a work of this character designed for general circulation. It is not too much to say that no house in the city is more generally or favorably known. They have ample capital and possess every facility for the successful carrying on of their large operations.
BLADEN STEAMBOAT COMPANY, Office Water Street, between Market and Dock Streets.
As the commercial and industrial interests of Wilmington are so large and varied, it is a matter of necessity that her transportation facilities and shipping interests should be correspondingly large. In this connection the above line is worthy of special consideration. They make two trips per week from Wilmington to Fayetteville on Cape Fear River. The company owns and runs in this trade the steamer “Bladen,” which is 125 feet long, twenty-one feet beam and five feet hold. It has a capacity of 100 tons and can accomodate 300 people. Twenty-five persons are employed on board. The boat is in command of Capt. T. J. Green, who is an old and experienced steamboatman.
The officers of the organization are T. D. Love, President, and C. S. Love, Secretary and Treasurer. Both of these gentlemen are fully conversant with the wants of the shipping and traveling public, and are able to afford shippers the very lowest rates of freight. It is with pleasure that we are able to commend this line to the public, being, as it is, thoroughly equipped and efficiently managed. The impetus given to the industries of this community by the capital and enterprise of this company is not unrecognized, and the general consideration with which it is regarded is the natural outgrowth of a career, which ever since its beginning has embodied the highest principles of integrity and commercial honor.
|GEO. R. FRENCH & SONS, Wholesale and Retail Boots and Shoes.|
No. 108 North Front Street.
In the preparation of a work of this kind no pleasanter task falls to the duty of the editor than that of presenting to the world the character and personnel of the leaders of thought and action, and reviewing the results of their enterprise and energy in the busy drama of everyday life. Men who give both impress and impulse to commercial history are not only “the abstract chroniclers of their day,” but they are the guides of the people in mercantile education and heralds of the broad progress that marks American trade. For broad grasp and executive abilities, for leadership, men moving upon the stage of active business life have proven their superiority in the public estimation, not only in business pursuits, but to grapple with and manage the most abstruse points and problems of political econemy. There is more true ability, more statesmanship, if one may so call it, in the circle of commercial enterprise, in the practical solution of commercial problems and the application of correct theories of trade, than can be found in the halls of legislation. The true American statesman, of broad views and successful action, are the leading merchants, the founders and the heads of great commercial and manufacturing enterprises. It is, therefore, with more than ordinary satisfaction that we pen this historical sketch of a business founded in early days by a gentleman yet living hale and hearty, at a ripe old age, who has made a rare record of mercantile success and gained an enviable position among the commercial leaders of the age in his State and city, and who furnishes an encouraging example to the actors yet young in the busy drama of modern mercantile progress. The history of the commercial activity of Wilmington has produced few examples so marked and substantial as that which has attended the career of Geo. R. French, Sr., the senior member and founder of the leading boot and shoe house of Messrs. Geo. R. French & Sons. Within the period of its existence this establishment has taken position at the head of this branch of trade, and achieved a success commensurate with the known and recognized ability of its management. The boot and shoe trade of the city, standing next in importance to dry goods and groceries, affords a pleasing illustration of what can be accomplished by a firm of enterprising and liberal merchants. In 1822 Mr. George R. French, Sr., came to this city from Massachusetts and established himself in his present line of business. He pursued his affairs industriously, and with the earnest purpose of building up an establishment that would eventually stand in the front rank of commercial enterprises. Of his success it is not necessary for us to enter into extended comment. In 1866 the existing firm was formed by the admission into partnership of the sons of the proprietor, and a movement was made from the old quarters on Market street, where the business had been so long conducted, to North Front street, between Market and Princess, where, having purchased the vacant property, the firm proceeded to construct a large three-story brick building, with iron front and glass on the first floor—it being the first building of its kind constructed in the city, and was at its completion the handsomest store in the city. At that time North Front street was either used as a place for dwellings or small stores, and being out of the usual haunts of trade, many predicted failure on their part to carry trade so far up street, but with energy and foresight the firm succeeded, and soon by building other stores and alterations of old buildings, they surrounded themselves with other lines, and the success of the movement was assured, and Front street took its place as a business street and has continued to increase in estimation of the people each year. Business continuing to increase in a few years, the present four-story iron front building was erected by the firm and handsomely fitted up, being the first full iron front erected in the city, and the business was moved into it in September, 1873. At this time Mr. Chas. E. French was placed in charge of the retail department, and continued to manage the same until some three years since, when he removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to become a partner in the large flour business in Crown Roller Mills, conducted under the firm name of J. A. Christian & Co., Mr. Jas. McD. French now being a salesman on the road. At the present time the control and management of all the affairs of the house are in the hands of Messrs. Wm. A. French and Geo. R. French, Jr., although their father is still as active as most men are at sixty-five. The business premises of the firm are centrally located
|on one of the principal business thoroughfares of the city, the building being 25×131 feet in dimensions, and having four floors. Eight assistants are employed in the house, and two traveling salesmen are kept constantly on the road. Their trade extends throughout both North and South Carolina.|
They carry the largest and most complete stock of boots, shoes, gaiters and slippers that is to be found in the State, the entire four floors of their building being used for storage of their goods.
The influence of this representative establishment upon the trade, reputation and prosperity of the city has been in the past, and still continues to be of the very highest importance, and attests in an eminent degree the commercial spirit and enterprise of the City of Wilmington.
The management has been in the hands of the sons since the war, who have built three stores and four dwellings, besides being among the original starters of the Wilmington Cotton Mills.
NEW YORK AND WILMINGTON STEAMSHIP COMPANY,
Office Corner of Water and Chestnut Streets.
It is to ocean navigation and her excellent advantage as a seaport that the City of Wilmington owes her present and past prosperity. The carrying trade of the city is one of the most important in the country, and especially deserving of favorable consideration in a volume of this kind. Of the several steamship lines connecting Wilmington with other ports, the New York & Wilmington Steamship Line is by far the most important. The line is composed of three steamers, the “Gulf Stream,” “Regulator” and “Benefactor,” which, according to the requirements of business, form a semi-weekly fast freight line between the two cities and via their connections carry property under through bills of lading, and at lowest through rates between Boston, Fall River, Providence and interior eastern and western cities and Wilmington, and interior cities in North and South Carolina.
The “Gulf Stream” is 998 tons, 215 feet long and 32 feet beam.
The “Regulator” is 847 tons, 182 feet long and 36 feet beam.
The “Benefactor” is 844 tons, 184 feet long and 36 feet beam.
The vessels are commanded by experienced officers and seamen. The company uses the wharves of Messrs. Kerchuer & Calder Bros., of this city, in the transaction of their business, and employ forty persons in different capacities. The general agents of the line in New York are Messrs. W. P. Clyde & Co. The resident Superintendent at Wilmington is H. G. Smallbones, a gentleman fully alive to the interests of his company and popular with all those with whom he has business relations.
To no single enterprise, perhaps, is the City of Wilmington more indebted for superior shipping and carrying facilities.
CHAS. P. MEBANE, Ship Broker, Ship Agent and Commission Merchant,
Corner of Dock and Water Streets.
The foreign trade of the City of Wilmington is the prime factor in the sum total of her commercial interests. Large quantities of rosin, spirits of turpentine, tar, lumber and cotton are constantly being shipped from this port to the United Kingdom, the Continent and points on the Baltic and Mediterranean. Any enterprise, therefore, connected with the shipping and maritime interests of the city is one that demands fitting recognition in a work devoted to a review of the city's advantages, resources and future possibilities. One of the most important and a leading one of the kind in the city is that of Mr. C. P. Mebane, ship broker, agent and commission merchant. It
|was established by that gentleman in 1879, and its immediate success is a sure guarantee of future prosperity and usefulness. The business done in the winter of 1882-’83 sufficiently attests its great benefit to this community. The following is the aggregate:|
|Number of vessels ||66 |
|Register tons ||25,257 |
|Cargoes, cotton ||(bales) 23,676 |
|Cargoes, rosin ||(bbls) 89,605 |
|Cargoes, spirits ||(bbls) 24,928 |
|Cargoes, tar ||(bbls) 1,300 |
|Aggregate gross freight ||£47,665 |
Prompt replies are guaranteed to all letters and telegrams. Parties sending vessels to this port should direct letters for captains and crews to the care of this agency, thus insuring their prompt delivery on arrival of vessels. Consignments of vessels and offers for charters are solicited at all times by Mr. Mebane, and all persons entrusting matters to his care can safely rely upon prompt and satisfactory attention.
Mr. Mebane is a native of Richmond, Virginia, but has resided in this city for a period of seventeen years. Public spirited, energetic and liberal, he is held in high esteem in all the various walks of life.
His cable address is “Mebane,” Wilmington.
E. J. POWERS GUANO COMPANY, Office Corner of Front and Princess Streets.
The trade in fertilizers is of very important consideration in reviewing the commercial interests of the city, and deserves especial attention at our hands. In 1882 a most valuable addition to this branch of the city's business was acquired by the establishment here of an office and branch of the E. J. Powers Guano Company of New York, an establishment whose immense shipments of fertilizers from New York and Europe to all parts of the great cotton belt have given it a wide-spread reputation in commercial circles. In this city all sales are made by order and a very heavy business is transacted. Fifty persons are employed in handling guano and making shipments for the concern. The amount handled annually at the present time is about 6,000 tons, representing a business of $100,000 per annum.
E. J. Powers, Esq., the proprietor, lives in New York City, but his affairs here are ably and intelligently managed under his own immediate supervision.
HOLLINGSWORTH & CO., Livery, Sale and Exchange Stable,
Corner of Fourth and Mulberry Streets
There are several large establishments engaged in this useful line of business in Wilmington, among the most prominent of which is that of Messrs. Hollingsworth & Co. The enterprise was first established in 1882 by the firm of Merritt & Hollingsworth, which was succeeded by Messrs. Hollingsworth & Walker. The present firm was formed and took control of the establishment February 1st, 1884. Their stable building is a one-story frame structure, 60×120 feet in dimensions, and they also have a large stock-yard for the use and benefit of all stock consigned to them for either sale or exchange. They have facilities for the convenient handling of about sixty head of horses and mules. Their arrangements are all first-class in every respect and terms reasonable. In their livery department they have twenty safe and speedy animals, and a well selected variety of buggies and other vehicles for public use. They employ six careful and competent assistants, besides personally supervising all the details of the business. They have at all times on hand both horses and mules to supply the wants of their customers, and their business facilities and arrangements for procuring stock, both for sale and exchange, are unsurpassed.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. O. R. Hollingsworth. Mr. Hollingsworth is a North Carolinian by birth, and is well and favorably known in the community, where he has resided for about five years. He is a gentlemen of extended experience in this line of business and thoroughly comprehends its every detail. The firm commences business under the most favorable auspices and gives every promise of
|a future of usefulness and success. We may also add that Messrs. Hollinsworth & Co. are supplied with two fine hearses for funerals—one for white persons and another for colored. They are prepared to furnish everything in their line for funerals at most reasonable terms.|
WOODY & CURRIE, General Commission Merchants, No. 105 North Water Street.
No firm in the city stands higher in commercial life than do Messrs. Woody & Currie, nor has any establishment better advantages or greater facilities. Wilmington is the great distributing point for the products of a large section of the country, and, as a natural consequence, the commission business is not only a very lucrative one, but also one of enormous proportions. The firm of Messrs. Woody & Currie is one of the most substantial and reliable in the city, and transact a very large business throughout both North and South Carolina. It was originally established by Mr. Woody in 1870, who continued the business until 1875, when Mr. Currie was admitted into partnership, under the present firm name and style. They occupy for business purposes a building two stories high, 35×80 feet in dimensions, centrally located and conveniently arranged. In the different departments of their business they employ fourteen assistants, and their annual transactions exceed half a million of dollars.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. John D. Woody and John H. Currie, both North Carolinians by birth. Mr. Woody has resided in Wilmington for fourteen years, and Mr. Currie for nine years. They are thoroughly reliable, energetic and enterprising business men, and justly rank among the leading commission houses of the city.
WILMINGTON COMPRESS & WAREHOUSE COMPANY,
Water Street, above Carolina Central Railroad.
It goes without saying that cotton takes the lead of all agricultural products, not only in this, but also in almost every other part of the South, both in the quantity produced and its value. This most useful staple, from its adaptability to the manufacture of so many articles, both of utility and ornament, presents a most interesting record of agricultural achievement, and is, indisputably, the most potent ruler of the vegetable kingdom, wielding in its might and power a scepter of unlimited influence. Wilmington being a great center of trade and commerce, and a seaport of considerable importance, naturally handles an immense amount of cotton. As a point for its reception and shipment all over the world, no city in the country can offer superior advantages and facilities. This fact is generally recognized, and it is to the cotton trade, in all its different branches, that the city is more indebted for her past and present commercial importance and prosperity than to any other agency. To no one enterprise does she owe as much for the important position she occupies as a point for the reception and distribution of the product of a large section of the South, as to the Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company. It was the first company to erect presses in this city after the war, and enjoys the best of facilities for the handling of cotton. The largest sized vessels from all parts of the world can readily enter this port and load directly at their wharves, thereby saving a heavy expense in the matter of drayage and literage. The company was organized in 1875, with a paid up capital stock of $85,000. Their wharves, warehouse and presses are located on Water street, in the northern portion of the city, adjoining the terminus of the Carolina Central Railroad. The presses are two in number, of the latest and most improved pattern. One is a Taylor Steam and Hydraulic Press of an estimated pressure of 1,500 tons, and the other a Tylor Steam Press of 1,000 tons pressure. The capacity of the two presses is 1,500 bales every ten hours. The company handles on the average from 60,000 to 70,000 bales per annum, but are able to handle fully 150,000. They employ forty-five persons, to whom $350 is paid weekly. The warehouse is 360×410 feet in dimensions, and has a storage capacity of 10,000 bales of cotton. It is used for the storage of cotton purchased by local merchants. Cotton for foreign shipment is compressed for vessels, and from this source is derived a very large revenue.
|It is a business that has steadily increased since its introduction here, and when the many advantages offered to shippers at this port become generally known, it will inevitably assume much larger proportions. The officers of the organization are Geo. W. Williams, President, and Geo. Sloan, Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Williams is also Vice President of the Bank of New Hanover. Under the management and direction of these gentlemen, the success that has attended the operations of the company in the past, can be easily accounted for, and a future of increasing prosperity and usefulness is as certainly assured.|
EXPRESS STEAMBOAT COMPANY, Office at G. W. Williams & Co.’s Store.
As the City of Wilmington occupies so favorable a position upon Cape Fear River with reference to the interior of the State, it is but natural that to the navigation of that river she is largely indebted for her commercial and manufacturing importance, and the prosperity she enjoys. The Express Steamboat Company is an organization which was incorporated in 1865, and specially founded for the purpose of actively promoting the commerce and industries of the city, and the territory along the river tributary to it, as well as for that remuneration to which its wise, energetic and liberal management entitles it. The boats of this line ply between Wilmington and Fayetteville, making two trips each per week. The boats are two in number—the Steamer Murchision of 120 tons burden, and the Steamer Wave of 100 tons burden. The former can accommodate fifty passengers, the latter forty. Both vessels have iron hulls and are staunch and speedy. They are commanded by experienced and obliging officers, who give every attention to the comfort of the traveler and make every effort to oblige the shippers of freight. The company has a capital stock of $30,000, and is officered as follows: H. C. McQueen, President, and Mike Cronley, Jr., Secretary. Mr. McQueen was born in this State, and has resided in this city for eighteen years. He is still a young man, energetic and enterprising, and is thoroughly identified with the best interests and prosperity of the community. Mr. Cronley is a native of this city, and since his connection with the company has taken an active and prominent part in placing its affairs upon the firm and secure foundation upon which they rest to-day.
THE PURCELL HOUSE, B. L. Perry, Proprietor,
Front Street, between Market and Princess.
In a review of a city as a commercial and manufacturing center, including comment upon her institutions of worthy mention, there is, perhaps, no line of business more appropriate for special attention, or affording more universal interest to those engaged in all branches of business who may be called upon to visit the city than that connected with the accomodation of the traveling public. The City of Wilmington certainly commands a position essentially calling for first-class hotel accomodations of large capacity and intelligent management. In this regard the Purcell House is in all respects up to the standard and is the leading hotel in this section, unsurpassed in its appointments and the excellence of its supervision. It was originally established in 1867, and came into the hands of its present proprietor in 1881. The building is a four-story structure, with a frontage on Front street of 135 feet and a depth of 135 feet. It contains seventy-five sleeping apartments—light, comfortable and neat—besides two large and handsomely furnished parlors, and can accomodate 150 guests. The dining room is large and neat, and is capable of seating 130 persons. The table is at all times supplied with the best the market affords. The house is lighted by gas throughout, is furnished with electric bells and has water on every floor. There is both a bar and barber-shop attached, each creditable in its appointments. Thirty-two servants and attaches are employed, whose monthly wages amount to $600. The office is on the first floor, and is presided over by two competent and experienced hotel clerks.
The proprietor, Mr. B. L. Perry, is a most capable and clever gentleman, and under his efficient management the Purcell House is in the enjoyment of a most enviable reputation and a liberal patronage.
|A. A. WILLARD, Importer and Dealer in Salt and Cotton Buyer,|
No. 212 North Water Street.
In reference to the commercial and industrial interests of this large and growing city, the importation and trade in salt, owing to its rapidly increasing proportions, is entitled to prominent mention in this work. This could not well be done without making more than mere passing notice of the well-established and important enterprise of Mr. A. A. Willard. He commenced this line of business in 1865, just after the close of the war, and has safely conducted it to its present influential position in the trade. He has three large warehouses on the opposite side of the river and one on this side for the reception and storage of cargoes of salt imported from England to this port, and makes shipments to all prominent points in North and South Carolina and Georgia, having in warehouses an average stock of about 20,000 sacks. His business premises at No. 212 North Water street are centrally located in the trade circles of the city, the building being a two-story structure, 60×40 feet in size. An extensive business is also carried on in the purchase of cotton. He employs altogether twenty-five persons.
Mr. Willard came to this city after the close of the war, and has ever since been fully identified with the growth, prosperity and commercial progress of the city.
M. S. WILLARD, General Insurance Agent, No. 212 North Water Street.
In every city of the size and importance of Wilmington it is imperative that the vast amount of insurance business necessarily transacted should pass through the hands of reliable and responsible agents. The business of insurance is indeed so important a one in all civilized, and especially commercial countries, that there is in truth no surer index by which to judge of the growth of a city in trade and population, than the aggregate amount of insurance carried by her people. Estimated by such a standard, this city surely takes prominent position. The general agency of Mr. M. S. Willard was established in this city in March, 1881, and soon came to be considered one of the best and most reliable in the community. He represents and is General Agent for North Carolina of the following solvent and substantial companies: Northern (Fire) Assurance Company, which pays all losses without discount; the Fire Insurance Association of London, which has $640,200 in U. S. bonds deposited; British and Foreign Marine Insurance Company, with assets of over $4,000,000; the Boston Marine Insurance Company of Massachusetts, which is the most successfully managed marine insurance company in the United States, and the Accident Insurance Company of North America, the only company transacting an exclusively accident business. Mr. Willard is also the local agent of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. The aggregate assets of the above companies is over $140,000,000. Mr. Willard also has under his control thirteen agencies, in different parts of the State, of the Accident Insurance Company of North America, and pays all their losses within the boundaries of North Carolina. He transacts a business of over $48,000 per annum from premium receipts, his transactions for 1883 over the year preceding increasing fully one hundred per cent. He is a native of this State and has lived in this city since 1865. He possesses in a high degree energy, business tact, sound judgment and the other requisite qualifications of a successful insurance agent, and ranks as an enterprising and esteemed member of this community.
F. M. KING & Co., Manufacturers of Tinware and Dealers in Stoves
and House Furnishing Goods, No. 25 Market Street.
Among the successful business enterprises in this part of the city, the stove, tinware and house-furnishing goods establishment of Messrs. F. M. King & Co. occupies a leading and prominent position, and is a representative in its particular line. The business was commenced by the present firm about seven years ago, and has grown to its present proportions through the energy, enterprise and intelligent direction of its proprietors. They occupy three floors and the basement of a building, 16×90 feet in dimensions, where they carry on hand, to meet the demands and requirements of the trade, a stock averaging from $7,000 to $8,000 in value. They manufacture all kinds
|of tinware and keep in stock a complete assortment of house-furnishing goods of all kinds, together with stoves suitable to the trade of this locality and of the very best makes. Their extensive experience in the business enables the firm to readily comprehend the wants of the public, and the quickness with which they supply all demands has been largely instrumental in bringing about their signal success. They employ eight assistants, transact an annual business, locally and throughout the surrounding country, aggregating $30,000, and their transactions for 1883 increased fully fifteen per cent, over those of the year preceding.|
The firm is composed of Messrs. F. M. and William E. King, both natives of this city. Thoroughly identified with the progressive spirit of the day, and possessed of the essential requisities of sound judgment and prudence in all business transactions, they present the strongest claims to popular favor in those departments of trade in which they are engaged.
JOHN DYER & SON, Tailors and Haberdashers, No. 34 North Front Street.
This well-known and popular establishment is the leading one of the kind engaged in this branch of business in the city. The establishment was started by the present firm February 1st, 1880, and a steady application to business, a thorough knowledge of its details and requirements, and a liberal policy soon brought them the largest trade in the city, and gained for their establishment customers who have always remained with them. It is generally recognized as one of the solid and substantial firms of the city. At their store will be found all styles of the very best foreign and domestic goods, which they are prepared to make up at reasonable prices and in the very latest style. Their clothing is remarkable for being made from exceptionably good material, for stylish cutting and finish, for perfect fits and the extensive assortment of styles and qualities from which selections can at all times be made. Their advantages and experience enable them to offer inducements to customers that cannot be duplicated by any similar establishment in the city. Their word can always be implicitly relied on as to the quality of their goods; but their large and rapidly increasing trade is sufficient and stronger evidence than we could give as to the merit and popularity of the house. So rapid has been the progress made in the last three years that their business has increased in a greater ratio than that of any mercantile house in the city. Ten skilled and experienced hands are kept constantly employed at remunerative wages, and an average stock valued at $6,000 is carried, from which an annual business of $24,000 is transacted, both locally and throughout the State.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. John and George R. Dyer. The former is a native of Ireland, but has resided in this city for thirty years; the latter was born in Wilmington. They are regarded as enterprising, honorable and liberal merchants, who have prosecuted a successful trade through the legitimate channels of commerce, are justly regarded as the first in their line, and are fully entitled to the consideration and esteem in which they are universally held.
Mr. Geo. R. Dyer, of this firm, is the manager of the Opera House, a sketch of which institution elsewhere appears.
WM. GOODMAN, Clothing, Gents’ Furnishing Goods and Dry Goods,
No. 8 Market Street.
Of the several leading houses engaged in this line of trade it is safe to say that the establishment of Mr. Goodman is the most extensive, as well for the amount of stock carried, as the magnitude of its operations. The business was first started in 1867, and has proven a marked and gratifying success. The stock carried on hand will average from $18,000 to $20,000, and embraces everything in the way of ready-made clothing, gents’ furnishing goods, dry goods, &c. The building occupied is a two-story brick structure, 24×67 feet in dimensions. Three assistants are employed, and an annual business is transacted throughout the city and surrounding country, amounting to $50,000.
Mr. Goodman is a German by birth, but has resided in this city for a period of twenty-three years. He is a reliable business man, of unblemished reputation, and stands high in the estimation and consideration of the public.
|HEIDE & CO., Importers of Fertilizers and Salt, Ship Brokers|
and Commission Merchants, No. 6 South Water Street.
There are many commercial and mercantile enterprises in this city that are worthy of extended consideration and favorable mention on these pages, and are deserving, perhaps, of fuller notice than the scope and design of this work will admit. Among these that of Messrs. Heide & Co. is one of the most promient. Mr. R. E. Heide came to this city in 1849, and established himself in business in 1851. In 1853 he moved to Fayetteville, but in 1866 returned to Wilmington and opened a large wholesale grocery house in connection with his other business, but discontinued the grocery house in 1870, and confined himself to the trade in which he is now engaged. He imports large quantities of both salt and fertilizers and carries on a general commission business, and is also a ship-broker. He charters annually about 100 vessels of from 250 to 700 tons burden, and does a large business in Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston and Brunswick, as well as in this city. He has ample capital and has met with the most satisfactory results in his business career. His office is large and commodious, and three clerks are kept constantly employed.
Mr. Heide was born in Denmark, and is now Vice Consul at this port for Denmark, Sweeden and Norway. He is a thoroughly experienced business man, perfectly familiar with every detail of the trade in which he is engaged, devoting his personal attention to its management, and enjoys the confidence, esteem and respect of the entire community, with whose best interests he has been closely identified for so many years.
GEO. M. CRAPON, Retail Grocer, No. 22 South Front Street.
The establishment of Mr. Crapon, although only started in 1883, is already one of the best known and most popular in the city, and has proven a marked success from the very beginning. His place of business is located at No. 22 South Front street, the building being 25×75 feet in dimensions. He carries a full and complete stock of the choicest and purest staple and fancy groceries, the assortment averaging $1,500 in value. His facilities and advantages are of the most desirable character, and he is at all times prepared to offer his patrons inducements, both as to the quality and price of goods, unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries. His trade is entirely local and amounts to the handsome sum of $20,000 annually, requiring the assistance of three employes.
Mr. Crapon is a native of this State, and has resided in Wilmington for fourteen years. The manner in which his business is conducted is an obvious evidence of his superior business qualifications, and a standing guarantee of his increasing usefulness and prosperity.
G. I. BONEY, Pearl Hominy and Grist Mill, Commission Merchant, No. 318 Nutt Street.
The foundation of this important business enterprise was laid in 1873 by the firm of Messrs. G. Boney & Sons. In 1883 the present proprietor succeeded to the business. As first commenced, the transactions of the house were in the line of the general commission business, but on the first of May Mr. Boney will add to his other business a large pearl hominy and grist mill. The building is 50×62 feet in dimensions, three stories high, and is now being equipped with all the latest and most improved machinery and appliances known to this branch of indusiry. The mill will have four run of meal stones, one hominy burr, one hominy mill, and the motive power will be furnished by an engine of 75-horse power. The capacity of the mill will be twenty barrels of hominy and 500 bushels of meal per day. Mr. Boney still continues his other business, which extends throughout North and South Carolina.
Mr. Boney was born in this State, and has resided in Wilmington for eleven years. He is closely identified with the growth and prosperity of the city, and takes great interest in local affairs, being at the present time a member of the Board of Aldermen from the Second Ward, and is Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of New Hanover County. In commercial circles he enjoys a high reputation as one of the representative business men of the city.
|T. J. SOUTHERLAND, Livery and Sale Stable, Nos. 108 and 110 Second Street.|
In enumerating the various branches of business important to the pleasure and comfort of the general public, as well as to its necessities, we find none more worthy of extended notice than that in which Mr. Southerland is engaged. His establishment is one of those instances of enterprise and success that are deserving of special consideration in a work of this kind. The livery and sales stables are situated on Second street, where a substantial two-story building, 60×310 feet in dimensions, admirably adapted to the business, is occupied and equipped in the most complete manner possible. It has 100 stalls and from 150 to 200 horses can be easily handled. Mr. Southerland also has another stable at the corner of Second and Princess streets, which is a two-story structure, 66×160 feet in size, which he uses for his stock. He has from twenty to forty horses for use for livery purposes, and possesses a fine variety of buggies, carriages, phætons, &c., all of elegant style and finish, and of the best makes, special care being taken that everything turned out from the establishment is supplied with all the requisites for safety and comfort. Twenty-one assistants are employed; the stables are noted for their cleanliness, and the feed and care provided for the animals under his charge is of that class which a lengthened experience, a thorough knowledge of their wants and ample capital can only supply. This establishment does the largest business in the city, and none in this section enjoys a higher reputation.
Mr. Southerland is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in Wilmington for thirty-three years. He will always be found a courteous and agreeable gentleman in both social and business relations, and his establishment stands highest in the appreciation and esteem of the community.
ATKINSON & MANNING, Fire, Marine and Life Insurance.
Office, Bank of New Hanover Building.
Insurance or assurance—relative terms of like general signification—may be defined to be a contract of indemnity, whereby one party, in consideration of a specified payment called a premium, undertakes to guarantee another against risk of loss. The first insurance company in England was the “Amicable,” organized in 1696, and is, or at least up to a few years ago, was still in existence; and so insurance has progressed and come down to modern times, constantly increasing in usefulness and popularity. The place in this community occupied by the agency of Messrs. Atkinson & Manning is such that, in compiling the commercial, manufacturing and other advantages of the City of Wilmington, our work would be incomplete were we to omit mention of an institution which adds materially to the solvency and solidity of her mercantile enterprises, by affording that protection and security guaranteed only by the best underwriting organizations in this country and in Europe. The business of insurance has become a great factor in the transaction of the world's commerce. It is a distinct business, in the prosecution of which a most delicate relationship must be observed by the agents whose duty it is to zealously guard the interests of the insured equally with those of the companies they represent. Acting in this dual capacity, each alike important to his good standing and reputation, a successful agent must necessarily be the possessor of a high order of business talent and personal integrity. Not only the ability to properly construct a policy binding and equitable, but also the judgment to estimate values and determine liabilities must be possessed. A reliable agency can, therefore, only be ascertained by the duration and extent of its business, the standing of the companies represented, and the satisfaction manifested by its patrons. Applying these
|positive tests, the establishment of Messrs. Atkinson & Manning must be recognized as the representative underwriting agency of Wilmington. It is not only the largest in the entire South, but one of the most extensive in the United States. It was established in 1865 by Mr. Atkinson, who continued the business until 1873, when the present firm was formed. Referring to our remarks as to duration of existence being one of the tests of reliability, it will be seen that these gentlemen have a long and extensive experience in this line of business, always representing the most prominent, wealthy and reliable companies in the world. They now represent the following fourteen companies, the aggregate of whose assets is $150,000.000:|
Queen Fire Insurance Company, North British and Mercantile Insurance Company, Hartford Fire Insurance Company, German American Insurance Company, Phœnix Insurance Company, City of London Fire Insurance Company, Virginia Home Insurance Company, Lion Fire Insurance Company, Imperial Fire Insurance Company, Commercial Union Assurance Company, the Fire Association of Philadelphia, North Carolina Home Insurance Company, Insurance Company of North America, Conneticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. In these companies they carry risks amounting to the immense sum of $10,000,000.
It may readily be conjectured from what we have said that this is one of the largest agencies in the country. Their patrons are among the most influential business men of the city, and their excellent management of their affairs ranks them as gentlemen of universal executive ability and intelligence.
The members of the firm are Messrs. Jno. Wilder Atkinson and Edward Wilson Manning, both Virginians by birth, who have resided in Wilmington nineteen and twenty-two years, respectively. Their establishment is one of the leading representative business institutions of the city.
J. K. McILHENNY, Wholesale and Retail Drug Store,
Corner of Market and Front Street.
A neat and attractive drug store is not only an ornament to any city, but an absolute necessity in any community of metropolitan pretensions. It is with pleasure, therefore, that we give space to a brief description of that which heads this article. It stands in the front rank of the leading establishments of the kind in Wilmington, is complete in all of its appointments, and in the enjoyment of a large and steady patronage. It was founded in 1869 by Jas. W. Lippnitt & Co., and came into the hands of the present proprietor in 1871. He occupies a two-story brick building, 30×50 feet in dimensions, handsomely fitted up and conveniently arranged. A stock of an average value of $6,000 is carried, which embraces patent and proprietary medicines of all kinds, pharmaceutical preparations, perfumeries, fancy goods, and a full line of drugs and druggists’ sundries. One skilled and experienced assistant and two porters are employed, and special attention is paid to the prescription department. His trade is not confined to the city, but extends into all the surrounding country, amounting annually to from $12,000 to $14,000.
Mr. McIlhenny is a native of this city, a skilfull and experienced druggist, and his establishment is worthy of a liberal patronage at the hands of the public.
ALFRED MARTIN, Commission Merchant and Manufacturer of Turpentine, Rosin,
&c., Office No. 7 Dock Street.
We have presented, in a general way, in the editorial portion of this work, the advantages and resources of this city for the manufacture and exportation of turpentine, rosin and their products, and it now falls within the province of this portion of the book to present, in detail, a brief sketch of the leading establishments whose commercial magnitude and extensive transactions make up the sum total of the city's trade in this the principal department of her commerce. And in doing this, we feel called upon to make especial and particular mention of the enterprise founded in 1854 and ever since conducted with so great success by Mr. Alfred Martin. His office is located at No. 7 Dock street, but the factory is situated on the west side of the river, the building and yards covering an area of 170×390 feet. The factory building is completely arranged in respect to all the details of the business, being provided with all the latest and most
|improved machinery and apparatus known to this branch of industrial pursuit; the motive power for pumping water is furnished by an engine of 15-horse power. Twelve persons are employed in the different departments, and an average stock of from $10,000 to $15,000 is carried on hand to meet the demands of the trade. The line of production and manufacture embraces spirits of turpentine, Venice turpentine, rosin, tar oil, rosin oil, paint oil, spirits of tar and naptha, deck and spar oil, navy, brewers, brush-makers and waxmakers’ pitch and bright and black varnish. These products are manufactured principally from crude turpentine and tar, and are sold by Mr. Martin at the factory to exporters and consumers, his annual transactions aggregating not less than $150,000.|
Mr. Martin is a Virginian by birth, coming to Wilmington forty-nine years ago. He is one of the oldest men now in business in the city, and is the most practical, scientific and experienced manufacturer in his line of productions in the State. So generally is this fact appreciated, that Mr. Martin is recognized in the trade as authority upon all matters appertaining to this branch of business. He is moreover one of the most substantial and enterprising business men of Wilmington.
NORTHROP & CUMMING, Proprietors of the Wilmington Mills, Manufacturers of
P. P. Lumber and Dealers in Cypress Shingles, Saw and Planing Mills and Yards at Foot of Castle Street.
The lumber trade of Wilmington, especially with foreign ports, is of much greater magnitude than is generally supposed, and it affords occupation in its various ramifications to a large number of persons. There are but few of the best informed of the business men of the city, who have watched with sufficient interest its late developments and enlargements, or who have reflected upon the unlimited resources about them yet undeveloped, but certainly to be drawn upon in the near and swift approaching future. The location of Wilmington and its favorable situation and accessibility to the immense lumber regions of the State, places the city in the most favored position with reference to this great branch of the industries of the country, and should make her one of the leading lumber markets in the South. The trade is by no means in its infancy, having been for half a century or more represented by some large and influential establishments, among which, perhaps, the oldest still in existence, and certainly one of the most enterprising and extensive is that of Messrs. Northrop & Cumming, which was established by Isaac Northrop, Esq., in 1832. The existing firm succeeded to the business in 1866. Their facilities for the sawing and preparation of lumber for shipment are most complete in all respects. Their mills and yards are situated at the foot of Castle street, the plant covering five lots and having a frontage on the river of 330 feet. Vessels are thus easily loaded directly at the wharves of the firm. The mills are thoroughly equipped with the latest and most improved machinery and appliances known to this line of industry. The motive power for the saw mill is supplied by an engine of 100-horse power, that of the planing mill by a 45-horse power engine. A force of from forty to fifty persons is constantly employed, to whom about $300 is paid in weekly wages. Each mill has a capacity of 30,000 feet per day. Their trade, it is hardly necessary to say, is very large and located at different points in the West Indies, South America and on the Spanish Main. They also make a specialty of Stanley's celebrated patent process and apparatus for treating timber. It is an improvement upon all other processes for the preservation of wood, known as kyanizing, burnettizing and creosoting. While this process is especially designed for the treatment of piling, wharf and bridge timbers, it is equally adapted for use in the case of railroad sills and cross-ties. Full information and particulars will be furnished on application.
The individual members of this prominent firm are Messrs. Samuel and W. H. Northrop and W. A. Cumming. Mr. Samuel Northrop is at the present time a member of the City Board of Aldermen, while Mr. Cumming is the Haytian Vice Consul at this port. Such being a brief resume of this representative establishment, it is scarcely necessary to add in conclusion, that its influence upon the industrial thrift and general well-being of the community is of a highly beneficial character, and to no small degree promotive of the prosperity of the city.
|D. A. SMITH, Dealer in Furniture, &c., No. 112 North Front Street, (Smith Building.)|
Mr. Smith commenced his present business in 1866, and by his energy, enterprise and well-known business ability has increased and extended it until it now ranks as the leading establishment of the kind in the city. He occupies three warerooms at the above number, the lower storeroom being 25×120 feet in size, and the two upper rooms each 50×120 feet in dimensions. They are the largest show-rooms of the kind in the South, having a floor surface of over 20,000 square feet. The building in which they are located was erected in 1872, at a heavy cost, and was constructed especially for the business under consideration. The stock is complete in all particulars, and of an average estimated value of $10,000. It is conveniently arranged into separate departments. Upon the first floor are to be found wardrobes, side-boards, chiffoniers, book-cases, secretaries, parlor desks, extension tables, hat stands, window shades, walnut chamber sets, rattan chairs and rockers, beadsteads, mattresses, looking-glasses, mats, rugs, mattings, &c. On the second floor carpets, parlor sets, marble-top centre tables, lounges, walnut, poplar and cottage chamber sets, bureaus, dressing cases, wash stands, corner and side what-nots, fancy rockers, chairs, &c. On the third floor is a varied assortment of cane seat chairs, wood seat chairs, cane and wood seat rockers, wash stands, toilet tables, saloon and round tables, mattresses, spring beds, cottage sets, children's chairs and carriages, safes, dining tables, cribs, cradles, children's bedsteads, &c. Five assistants are employed in this house and an annual business of over $30,000 is transacted throughout both North and South Carolina. The prices asked in every department are so reasonable as to have gained for this house the reputation of being the cheapest furniture establishment in North Carolina.
Mr. Smith was born in this city, and is widely known and recognized as one of the leading and most enterprising merchants in the city. Such in brief is the history of the accomplishments of a house in which is shown clearly the sound judgment, perseverance of intelligent management that have characterized its founder, and which has tended in a great degree to enlarge the trade and influence of the city. Few houses anywhere can show so honorable and successful a business career, or have obtained so wide-spread and enviable a reputation for uniform courtesy, fair dealing and the exercise of the most liberal policy.
WEST & CO., Wholesale and Retail Grocery, No. 127 Market Street.
Occupying a prominent position by reason of its active operations and the extensive and varied assortment of stock carried, the establishment of Messrs. West & Co. merits liberal consideration among the leading business enterprises of the city. This house was established in 1871. With each succeeding year the sphere of its operations has been widened and enlarged, unti to-day few houses in the city are in the enjoyment of so desirable a class of trade. The firm possesses a thorough appreciation of the wants and demands of the trade, which coupled with their intimate knowledge of the business, enables them to offer marked inducements and advantages to their patrons. Their business premises consist of a three-story building, 30×140 feet in dimensions, and a warehouse used for storage purposes. They employ five assistants and carry an ample stock on hand. The trade of the establishment is not confined to the city, but extends into all the surrounding country, aggregating a very handsome amount per annum, their sales being both at retail and wholesale.
The members of the firm are both natives of this city. By judicious management, strict attention to business and undoubted integrity, they have succeeded in building up a large and growing business, their house ranking among the first in the city in its line. They are entirely worthy of public confidence and esteem, and merit the fullest measure of business success.
|SOL. BEAR, Wholesale and Retail Clothing, Boots and Shoes, Dry Goods, Hats and Caps,|
Carpets, Oil Cloths, Rugs and House Furnishing Goods, No. 20 Market Street.
The largest and most prominent establishment of this particular kind in this city is that of Mr. Sol. Bear, located at No. 20 Market street. It was founded as early as 1853 by the firm of S. Bear & Bro., the present proprietor succeeding to the business in 1882. The premises occupied consist of a large three-story building at the above number and two upper floors of the building adjoining. The line of goods handled consists of ready-made clothing, staple and fancy dry goods, boots and shoes, hats and caps, of all of which the assortment is complete and carefully selected. The stock carried on hand will average from $50,000 to $75,000 in value, from which a very large business is transacted in the city and throughout the twelve adjoining counties. Six assistants are employed in the prosecution of the business of the house.
Mr. Bear was born in Germany, and came to this city thirty-three years ago. He is an energetic, reliable and enterprising business man, and his success is the result of a close application to business and a thorough knowledge of all the details of his trade.
WHEELER & WILSON MANUFACTURING CO., J. E. Morris, Manager,
No. 119 Princess Street.
The Wilmington agency of this company is a very important one, representing, as it does, nine counties in this State and four in South Carolina. It was established here in 1873, with J. & J. Johnson as managers. They were succeeded in 1877 by W. B. Orr, and in 1882 the present manager, Mr. J. E. Morris, took charge. The premises occupied are conveniently situated, large and commodious, being a three-story brick building, 20×60 feet in size, especially fitted up and furnished for the transaction of this line of business. Mr. Morris gives employment to sixteen agents and assistants and runs eight wagons. He carries on hand an average of about 200 machines and transacts an annual business in this territory of about $35,000.
Mr. Morris was born in Georgia, and has resided in this city since July, 1882. Like many successful business men, it has been by steady application and an earnest devotion to his calling, that he has risen to the prominent position he now holds. With his experience and facilities, and by means of the just and liberal policy that marks his business career, together with the acknowledged superiority of their machines, this agency presents advantages and inducements such as entitle the Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing Company to the most favorable consideration of all classes of buyers, both in this city and throughout the surrounding country.
W. P. OLDHAM & CO., Corn Mill, Dealers in Meal and all Kinds of Feed,
No. 12 Dock Street.
In reviewing the business interests of Wilmington, we wish to call especial attention to such enterprises as that in which Messrs. W. P. Oldham & Co. are engaged, which is the conversion of corn into feed and meal, and also dealing in those products. This mill was started by Mr. Oldham in 1876, under favorable circumstances, and the growth in business has been steady and gratifying. It is equipped with all modern improvements and appliances for making No. 1 products, and fully sustains the reputation of the city for enterprise and manufacturing ability. This representative establishment is located in the center of the city traffic, the building being a three-story structure, 30×60 feet in dimensions. Its capacity is 300 bushels in twelve hours, requiring the services of three assistants in its operations. The trade of the concern extends throughout both North and South Carolina, and is in a healthy and prosperous condition. The various machinery and appliances in use are driven by an engine of 35-horse power. An ample stock is kept constantly on hand to meet all the demands of the trade.
Mr. Oldham was born in Orange County, North Carolina, and has resided in Wilmington for a period of eighteen years. He is an energetic business man, who, by his enterprising ability and business policy, has done much towards furthering the best interests and reputation of the city, and while achieving material prosperity for himself, has gained the respect and esteem of the community. In all respects his establishment is a representative industrial enterprise.
|CHAMPION COMPRESS AND WAREHOUSE COMPANY, Corner Red Cross and Water Sts.|
The City of Wilmington possesses facilities for the successful handling of cotton which are unsurpassed, if equaled, by any other Southern port. Cotton can be cheaply delivered here from all parts of the South, by means of the lines of railroads centering here, to the presses, while the largest sized vessels are easily loaded directly at the wharves of the compress companies, thereby saving very considerable items of expense in the matter of drayage and lighterage. Port charges also are less here than at other points, and expenses generally much more moderate.
First among the grand enterprises of which the people of Wilmington speak with a natural feeling of pride, stands the Champion Compress and Warehouse Company, entitled by its magnitude, and the important part it has played in the commercial progress of the city since its inauguration, no less than by its extensive operations, to a prominent place in this volume. Its success sufficiently attests the advantages of Wilmington as a point for the reception and shipment of the great Southern staple. The company was organized and incorporated in 1879, with a capital stock of $100,000. The stockholders consist of a number of the most prominent business men of the city, the present officers of the company being E. J. Pennypacker, President, and T. B. Harriss, Secretary and Treasurer. Upon these two gentlemen the executive management of the enterprise mainly devolves, and it is to their intelligent direction that the rapid growth and remarkable success of the company is largely due. Some very valuable wharf property is owned by the company on both sides of the river. Their cotton compress and warehouse is located on the river, at the foot of Red Cross street, adjoining the W., C. & A. and W. & W. R. R. depots. This warehouse, with sheds, covers an area of 344×66 feet, while on the west side of the river they have the largest guano warehouse in the State, it being 45×300 feet in dimensions. They do already two-thirds of the entire local business in the storage of fertilizers. Their press is of the celebrated Morse Patent, and exerts a pressure equal to 1,800 tons, having a ninety-inch cylinder and a compressing capacity of 800 bales of cotton in ten hours. The superior power and construction of these presses has reduced freight to the minimum and made the business of compressing a most successful and remunerative one in Wilmington. The machinery used is all new and of the most improved pattern. In the various departments of their business the company gives employment to a force of forty men, whose weekly pay-roll exceeds $250. They handle annually about 75,000 bales of cotten for shipment to New York, Boston, Baltimore, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Bremen, Barcelona, Revel, Russia, and other foreign ports.
Mr. Pennypacker, the President of the company, is a native of Pennsylvania, but has resided in Wilmington for twenty years. He is the Collector of this port, and is well known in commercial circles for his enterprise, integrity and superior business qualifications. The Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. T. B. Harris, is a native of this city, and brings to the discharge of his important duties an ability and intelligence that rank him as one of the most capable business men of the city. Under such a management the future of the enterprise, so far as success is concerned, is fully assured.
We regret that space does not permit us to indulge in more extended mention of this great undertaking, which is exerting so vast an influence for good upon the general welfare and prosperity of the city. Sufficient, however, has been said, we may hope, to convey to the mind of the reader some idea of the importance of the cotton trade of Wilmington, and of the leading business enterprise connected with its continued growth and further advancement.
THOS. C. CRAFT, Wholesale and Retail Furniture, Manufacturer of Mattresses,
No. 20 South Front Street.
So much pride is now taken in the ornamentation of our homes, that fine furniture has become an indipensable article to all who desire to keep up with the progressive spirit of the age. Prominent among the business houses of Wilmington engaged in this line of trade, is that of Thos. C. Craft, No. 20 South Front street. Since the time of the inauguration of the enterprise, the business of the house has steadly increased under the untiring efforts and straight-forward dealing of its proprietor. He is thoroughly
|experienced in the furniture business, and a competent judge of all matters connected with the trade. Besides meeting the wishes of the trade in grace of design and beauty of finish, he has made it his paramount endeavor to add those essential qualities which are lacking in many cases, namely: durability and completeness of workmanship. This house is the leading establishment of the kind in the city, both as regards the amount of stock carried and the magnitude of its operations. The business premises occupied consist of three floors of a building, 25×80 feet in dimensions, where a stock averaging $7,000 is carried, and employment is given to seven assistants. In addition to the furniture business, Mr. Craft is an extensive manufacturer and dealer in mattresses. The trade of the establishment is confined to North and South Carolina, and amounts annually to about $35,000.|
Mr. Craft is a native of this city, and is a young gentlemen of energy, intelligence and unusual business ability. He is fully entitled to the confidence and esteem of the public, and is well deserving of the prosperity he enjoys.
WILMINGTON IRON AND COPPER WORKS, Hart, Bailey & Co., Proprietors,
Manufacturers of Iron, Copper and Wood Work, Nos. 19 and 21 South Front Street.
Among the many business enterprises contributing to the credit of the City of Wilmington as a manufacturing and business center, there undoubtedly is no one single establishment that has done more by its capable management, practical skill and business ability to extend the reputation of the city's industries than the enterprise which heads this article. Messrs. Hart, Bailey & Co. have taken the lead in the adoption of all modern improvements, and rank as the leading establishment of the kind in this section. Their business premises, including their machine shops and store, cover a quarter of a block of ground on South Front street. They give employment in their brass foundry, machine shops, copper works and boiler shops to sixty workmen and mechanics, to whom $500 is paid in weekly wages. Their works are supplied with all the latest and most improved machinery and appliances, which are driven by an engine and boiler of 25 and 30-horse power, respectively. They are prepared to do all kinds of iron, copper and wood work, including wood mouldings and ornamental wood work, gas fitting and plumbing. They carry a full stock of plumbers’ and machinists’ supplies and steam fittings, and are agents for the Atlas Engine Company's manufacture of portable engines. Their annual transactions aggregate a very large sum, and their business extends over the States of North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. This house has made for many years a leading feature of their business the manufacture of copper turpentine stills, having been pioneers in this direction, and have always held the prestige for excellence of work.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. H. A. Burr and E. P. Bailey—the former a native of New York and a resident of this city for ten years; the latter a native of Sweeden and a citizen of Wilmington for fifteen years. They are both active, energetic and practical business men, and their enterprise is a credit to the city, ranking among its representative establishments, and is deserving of all the commendation we can give.
S. P. SHOTLER & CO., Naval Stores, No. 229 North Water Street.
This house, which is engaged in the business indicated above, is a representative establishment in its line, having one of the largest and most extensive naval store yards in the city. It was established in 1882 by Mr. S. P. Shotler, who resides in Savannah, Georgia. This gentleman also has a branch house in Boston, but the principal establishment is in Savannah. The wharves and yard in Wilmington cover an area of 366×66 feet, where five persons are given constant employment in the prosecution of the business. Shipments are made of naval stores, to the West, the Provinces, and foreign countries.
Mr. J. W. Bolles, who is the manager of the business in Wilmington, is a gentleman well known in commercial circles, and conducts the important affairs in his charge with an ability and success that is deserving of the highest commendation.
|N. JACOBI, Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Hardware, also Paints, Oils,|
Sash, Doors and Blinds, No, 10 South Front Street.
The term hardware is one of those indefinite, comprehensive words, of which it may be said that it almost includes, as its name imports, every ware that is hard. Popularly, it is understood to embrace all the unclassified manufactures of iron and steel, including all the appendages of the mechanic arts, as well as many articles pertaining to common life, as various in appearance, size and uses as can well be conceived. It is a trade of great importance, and one deserving of careful consideration in any review of a city's commercial advantages and resources. The establishment which heads this article was founded in 1856 by James Wilson, who was succeeded by the present proprietor in 1868. Mr. Jacobi started with ample capital for meeting all the demands of the trade, and has succeeded in building up a very flourishing and prosperous business. His stock of general and heavy hardware is full, complete and carefully selected, embracing everything usually carried in this line. He also deals extensively in paints and oils of all kinds, doors, sash and blinds. His stock on hand will average from $15,000 to $20,000. His storeroom is centrally located at No. 10 South Front street, the building being two stories high and 25×120 feet in size. There is also a large warehouse in the rear for storage purposes of bar iron and nails. Six assistants are employed in the establishment, and an annual business exceeding $40,000 is transacted throughout North and South Carolina. Mr. Jacobi also deals in stoves, being manufacturers’ agent for twelve of the largest and best factories in that line.
Mr. Jacobi is a native of South Carolina, but has resided in this city for a period of twenty-one years, having been on duty under Gen. Whiting during the latter half of the war. He is probably as widely known throughout the State of North Carolina as any merchant within its borders on account of his connection with various benevolent and beneficial orders. The Knights of Honor are largely indebted to him for the extension of the Order in Eastern North Carolina. He also introduced the Orders of the American Legion of Honor and the Royal Arcanum, put in existence the first Council in the State, and by his influence greatly added to the extension of these Orders. He is a popular and enterprising citizen, fully conversant with his trade, devoting his personal attention to its management, and by a long and honorable business career, well deserving of the esteem in which he is held.
KENAN & FORSHEE, Merchandise Brokers, Corner North Water and Chestnut Streets.
In reviewing the commercial and industrial interests of a city there will be found, outside of what may be termed the regular branches, certain classes of business which exert an important influence on the progress of the city towards prosperity and commercial prominence. Of these there are none more entitled to favorable consideration than that of merchandise brokerage. In pursuance of this business, brokers necessarily influence the value of the leading articles of merchandise, and, while doing this, their assistance is invaluable alike to the buyer and seller. It is a business requiring the exercise of the strictest integrity, the best of business ability and most enterprising perseverance. Messrs. Kenan & Forshee possess these necessary qualifications in an eminent degree, and rank as the leading firm in the city engaged in the same line of operations. The business was originally establised in 1875 by Mr. Forshee, the present firm being subsequently formed. Their office is large and conveniently arranged, and four assistants are kept constantly employed. Their business is, of course, entirely local, and ranges from two to three million of dollars annually.
The firm is composed of Messrs. W. R. Kenan and J. M. Forshee, Mr. Kenan was born in Kenansville, Duplin County, N. C., and has lived in this city for nineteen years. He is one of the City Board of Audit and Finance. Mr. Forshee is a native of Philadelphia, and came to Wilmington eleven years ago. They are both gentlemen of high social and commercial position, and in the consideration of the community no firm takes a higher rank or is more deserving of the success which it has achieved and the reputation it sustains.
|LOUIS J. OTTERBOURG, Wholesale and Retail Clothing, Nos. 22 to 28 North Front Street.|
Within the past few years a most important and complete revolution has taken place in the clothing trade by the universal introduction of ready-made clothing. Our best houses are now those which have perfected arrangements for securing custom-made clothing of superior quality and of equal value in style, finish and workmanship to that manufactured by merchant tailors. These remarks are more especially called forth by our desire to call public and general attention to the mammoth wholesale and retail clothing establishment of Mr. Louis J. Otterbourg of this city. It was established by that gentleman in 1878, and has enjoyed a career of marked and substantial prosperity. Two floors of a building, at the above numbers, 40×100 feet in dimensions, are occupied. Here will be found displayed a large, elegant and unsurpassed assortment of custom-made clothing, embracing garments of every grade and style for men, youth, boys and children, and which cannot fail to please the most fastidious. The stock carried will average not less than $35,000 to $50,000 in value. The storerooms are well lighted and attractively arranged. Five polite and experienced assistants are employed, and an annual business of from $75,000 to $100,000 is transacted throughout the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia. All trade outside of the city is strictly C. O. D.
Mr. Otterbourg is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in Wilmington for a period of six years. He is a young gentleman of pluck, energy and enterprise, all of whose operations are based upon a policy of honorable as well as liberal dealing, and few similar houses in the South can offer its patrons so substantial advantages as this representative establishment.
J. B. HUGGINS & CO., Family Grocery, No. 125 Market Street.
Every business venture that evidences in its management a genuine spirit of energy and enterprise is entitled to due consideration in a work of this character. A well-managed and conveniently located family grocery is of especial interest to the citizens of a community, inspiring them, as it does, with confidence that they will be supplied with choice and fresh articles for family consumption. The establishment of Messrs. J. B. Huggins & Co. is pre-eminently one of this class, and its proprietors, being live and energetic business men, thoroughly acquainted with their trade and its requirements, are already in the enjoyment of a liberal patronage, although the present firm only dates its existence from January 1, 1884. Their location is one of the very best in the city and their customers are among the best class of the citizens of Wilmington. The building occupied is three stories in height and 25×110 feet in size. They employ three assistants, and carry an assortment of goods valued at $4,000. Their stock is always complete and of the choicest and freshest quality to be obtained in this market, consisting of all kinds of family supplies, both staple and fancy.
The members of the firm are Messrs. J. B. Huggins, and F. G. Robinson. Mr. Huggins is a North Carolinian, has resided in Wilmington since 1851, and was for some time one of the City Aldermen. Capt. Robinson has resided in this city since 1858. He was for a considerable length of time foreman of the Little Giant Engine Company, No. 1, and was afterwards, until recently, Chief of the City Fire Department. They are both well known as citizens and business men, and enjoy a high reputation as straightforward and honorable merchants.
This house was established thirty years since by the father of Mr. Huggins, and has been in existence since, except a few months in the latter part of the late war.
|C. B. WRIGHT, Flour, Pearl Hominy and Meal, Nos. 320 and 322 Nutt Street.|
This is the largest and most extensive enterprise of the kind in the city. It was established in 1868 by Alexander Oldham, who is still connected with the establishment. The mill is a four and one-half story building, 70×60 feet in dimensions, and has three run of stone for flour and corn. There are also three hominy mills for pearl hominy. It is thoroughly equipped in all its appointments, the machinery in use being all of the latest and most improved pattern, driven by an engine of 85-horse power and a battery of two boilers, which can be run either together or separate. The engine room is strictly fire-proof and is 27×60 feet in size. An average stock valued at $20,000 is carried, and seven assistants are employed. The capacity of the mill is about 500 bushels in ten hours. The trade of the establishment extends into the States of North and South Carolina, amounting annually to from $75,000 to $100,000.
Mr. Wright is a native of this city; Mr. Oldham is also a North Carolinian, and has resided here for twenty-eight years. They are both experienced business men. Their mill is a credit to the city, and deserves prominent position among the representative business interests of the city.
P. HEINSBERGER, Live Book and Music Store, Nos. 107 and 109 Market Street.
In every community there are men whose enterprise, activity of mind, and strong business talents bring them into prominence—men in whose hands a branch of business, ordinarily commonplace, is built up and managed with such skill that it assumes a prominent position in the mercantile history of a city. Such a gentleman and such a business is that of Mr. Heinsberger. His present enterprise was established in 1868, and by prudent management, and a thorough and practical knowledge of the business, has been brought to its present large and growing proportions. Mr. Heinsberger occupies a two-story building, 30×80 feet in dimensions, where he carries a stock of an average value of $25,000. It embraces stationery of all kinds, pianos and organs, fancy goods, chromos, guitars, violins, banjos, strings, &c., and is unsurpassed in the city. Four assistants are employed, and an annual business of from $40,000 to $50,000 is transacted in the city, surrounding country and parts of South Carolina. Mr. Heinsberger is a German by birth, but has resided in Wilmington for thirty years. He is one of the most enterprising and enerjetic merchants in the city, and is held high in public esteem and popular favor.
D. L. GORE, Wholesale Grocer and Commission Merchant,
Nos. 2 and 3 South Water Street.
In a history of the advance and development of the City of Wilmington, with reference to commercial affairs, the wholesale grocery trade must always occupy a very prominent position as a branch of mercantile pursuit, contributing in no small degree to the commercial importance of the city. Among those houses whose extended transactions and high standing entitle them to special mention is that of D. L. Gore, it being one of the largest establishments in the city. It was founded in 1877, by the firm of Gore & Gore, the present proprietor succeeding to the business in 1878. It has had a prosperous and successful career, its business steadily increasing with each succeeding year. The building occupied is 32×60 feet in dimensions, two stories in height and contains a full and complete stock of carefully selected groceries in great variety, the average stock carried amounting to $8,000 in value. A general commission business is also transacted. The trade of the house is confined mainly to the States of North and South Carolina, amounting annually to the handsome sum of $75,000. Six assistants find constant employment in the different departments.
Mr. Gore, who is a native of North Carolina, has been a citizen of Wilmington for seven years, and is an active business man of high standing in commercial circles and a gentlemen of sterling worth. Promptness and reliability are leading characteristics of this house, and it is deserving of unlimited patronage.
|L. HANSEN & CO., Ship Chandlers and Grocers, No. 9 South Water Street.|
In every city there are individual examples of men whose connection with its business pursuits, whose prominence in all matters of industrial enterprise, and whose record for integrity, honesty and industry make them objects of special note and worthy of extended consideration in a work of this kind, wherever an exalted commercial reputation is recognized and respected. In this city there are but few men now engaged in business, or associated with the industrial interests of the city, that stand higher, either individually or as a firm, than do Messrs. L. Hansen & Co., whose business is the subject of this article. This house was established by its present proprietors in 1877, and has enjoyed a career of gratifying and well-deserved prosperity. A large and carefully selected stock of both groceries and ship chandler stores is kept constantly on hand and a business of extensive proportions is transacted, extending throughout the States of North and South Carolina, requiring the services of three assistants. The building occupied is 40×75 feet in dimensions, located at No. 9 South Water street, in the business center of the city. The individual members of the firm are Messrs. L. Hansen and A. Smith. The former was born in Denmark, the latter in Sweden, and they have each resided in this city for eight years. They are both active, energetic and enterprising business men, thoroughly conversant with every detail of the line of business which they so ably represent.
Another enterprise in which these gentlemen are engaged, and one which is exercising a highly beneficial influence upon the trade and reputation of the city, is that of the
CAROLINA OIL COMPANY,
of which this firm are sole proprietors. Under this name they are extensively engaged in the manufacture of pine wood creosote oil, and wood spirits, creosote, black varnish, navy pitch, pine tar oil, Stockholm tar, pyroligneous acid and worm-proof paint. They manufacture under their own patent, and are the only firm in the United States so doing that is engaged in this branch of manufacture. This enterprise was founded by Messrs. Hansen & Smith in 1881, and manufactures mostly to order for shipment to all parts of the world. The factory is located at the foot of Church street, the building being 168×50 feet in dimensions. It is supplied with machinery of the most improved pattern and design, which is driven by an engine of 15-horse power. The capacity of the factory is about forty barrels per week, and three assistants are employed.
This firm are the only manufacturers in this country of pure vegetable pine wood creosote oil. This oil is derived from a distillation of pine wood, and is a very superior article for the preservation of wood from the injurious effects of the sun and weather when applied before painting, and especially where it is not intended to paint the wood. This oil contains a large per centage of creosote, protecting the wood from the attacks of worms and insects—particularly from the Teredo, or salt water worm. It also prevents the shrinking and swelling of deck planks, the decay of oakum and timber, and the rusting of nails and spikes. It is worthy, therefore, of special recommendation to railroads and ship builders. It is a sure preventative of dry rot, and is claimed to be the best and most reliable preservative of cross-ties, piling, railroad and bridge timbers. Parties interested in the subject will promptly receive full information, certificates of well-known persons who have fully tested the oil, and all other particulars by addressing the Carolina Oil Co., P. O. Box 551, Wilmington, N. C.
ADRIAN & VOLLERS, Wholesale Grocers and Liquor Dealers,
Commission Merchants and Provision Dealers, Corner of Dock and Front Streets.
Standing prominently forward among the great commercial houses of this city, this extensive and veteran house has claims upon the attention of the reviewer of the business interests of Wilmington that are possessed by few houses in the city. The high character earned by nearly twenty years of honorable business enterprise, the great resources and facilities accumulated and acquired during that time, the experience of the wants of the trade, gained by long observation of its requirements, and the energy, business ability and liberality that characterizes all operations of the house, command for it a conspicuous and honored position among the mercantile institutions of the country.
|The establishment was founded by its present proprietors in 1865, and has from the start exerted a wholesome and continually increasing influence in the support and promotion of the interests of the City of Wilmington as a center of supply for the large area tributary to the city, particularly in the lines to which the house is specially devoted. They supply a heavy and growing trade throughout both North and South Carolina, their annual transactions in all lines amounting to more than half a million of dollars. Their stock of groceries and liquors is probably the largest in the city, being of an average value of $60,000. They also transact a large general commission business, and are extensive dealers in all kinds of provisions. Their business premises are centrally located, large and commodious, the building being a two-story structure, 60×150 feet in dimensions. In the different departments of the house, they employ eighteen assistants and keep two traveling salesmen constantly on the road.|
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. A. Adrian and H. Vollers, both natives of Germany and residents of Wilmington thirty and thirty-five years, respectively. Each of these gentlemen have at different times been members of the City Board of Aldermen. They employ a large capital in their business, and the aggregate of their trade constitutes an important factor in the commercial wealth and progress of Wilmington.
W. I. GORE & SON, Commission Merchants, Nos. 5 and 7 South Water Street.
Few business houses in the city can advance so many claims to popular notice and favor as the one whose name stands at the head of this article. The age of this house, the high standing which it has always maintained in the mercantile world, the great reputation which it sustains, not only in the South, but all ever the United States, as well as the magnitude of its business operations, all unite to render it eminently deserving of the highest consideration on the pages of a work devoted to an impartial presentation of the advantages of the City of Wilmington, from a commercial and industrial point of view. This house has had a most creditable history and prosperous career. It was founded in 1869 by the senior member of the existing firm. In 1881 his son, Mr. Albert Gore, was admitted into partnership, and in 1883 the present firm was formed by the admission of Mr. M. J. Corbett. Their business premises are located at Nos. 5 and 7 South Water street, the building being two stories in height, and 47×92 feet in dimensions. In the different departments ten competent and experienced assistants are employed. A general commission business is transacted by the firm, but specialties are made of meats, lard and peanuts, of which they handle immense quantities. Their trade extends all over the United States, and amounts annually to a sum exceeding half a million of dollars. They have ample capital employed in the business, and possess facilities of a superior character for the transaction of their extensive operations.
The house has a wide reputation for liberal and honorable dealing, is entirely reliable and responsible, and all its transactions are marked with a careful regard for the interests of its patrons and the maintenance of its high standing and integrity.
COWAN SAW AND PLANING MILLS, Edward Kidder & Son, Proprietors,
Mills on River, at foot of Marscelor Street.
The mention of the above establishment in lumber circles carries with it a prestige and confidence that is seldom enjoyed by any firm, and this has been gained by a business career of half a century. The enterprise was first inaugurated in 1840 by the firm of Patter & Kidder. In 1868 the present firm succeeded to the business. The mills, lumber yards and timber pen of the firm cover an area of ten acres of ground. They operate both saw and planing mills, which are each supplied with all the latest and most approved machinery that money can buy, or that human ingenuity has been able to devise, while the motive power is furnished by two engines of an aggregate of 105-horse power. The planing mill has a capacity of 20,000 feet of lumber per day, while the total capacity of the mills is about 11,000,000 feet per annum. Of this product the firm exports about 8,000,000 feet annually to the West Indies and South
|America. They employ forty-five men in the different departments of their business. The firm is composed of Mr. Edward Kidder and his son, Mr. Geo. W. Kidder. The former is a native of New Hampshire, but has resided in this city for over fifty years. He enjoys the enviable distinction of being the first to utilize saw-dust as fuel, thereby saving a heavy expense in the running of steam saw-mills. He is one of the oldest and most respected of the citizens of Wilmington. His business enterprise and attainments have been by no means confined to this one enterprise. Perhaps no citizen of this city has done more to develop her resources and increase and extend her reputation. As a business man his career and untarnished reputation are too widely known to require comment here. His works, enterprise and general usefulness speak for him in terms sufficiently expressive, and entitle him to the greatest esteem and consideration of this community. Mr. Geo. W. Kidder inherits those superior business qualifications of his father that have made his name synonymous with success, and stands high in commercial and financial circles. As a firm, none stand higher in the community or are more fitting representatives of the trade and commerce of Wilmington.|
M. M. KATZ, Staple and Fancy Dry Goods, No. 116 Market Street.
Of the many houses whose history is well worthy of occupying a place in this work of useful information, is the old and popular establishment of Mr. M. M. Katz, which stands at the head of the dry goods trade in this city. It was founded as far back in the history of the city as 1845, by S. B. Kahneweiler. In 1857 the firm name was changed to S. B. Kahneweiler & Co., and in 1860 the present proprietor took sole charge of the business. The stock carried comprises a complete assortment of staple and fancy dry goods, selected with great care, and of a value averaging from $25,000 to $50,000. Enjoying the best of opportunities for buying profitably, this house is enabled to offer the public the best of both foreign and domestic goods at exceedingly low prices and upon most reasonable terms. The business premises occupied are extensive and commodious, the building being three stories in height and 20×80 feet in dimensions. In the different departments seven experienced assistants are employed in attending to the wants of the many patrons of the house. The trade enjoyed, while very large locally, extends into all the surrounding country, aggregating a very handsome sum annually.
Mr. Katz is a native of Germany and is an old resident of this city, having lived here for thirty years. He has served as one of the City Aldermen and is one of the Directors of the State Insane Asylum. He is universally regarded as a conscientious, energetic and reliable business man, well deserving of an extended share of public patronage. His establishment is a credit to the city, and a just source of pride to its proprietor.
DR. W. W. HARRIS, Cotton and Naval Store Broker,
No. 109 North Water Street.
The enterprise displayed by those engaged in the cotton and naval stores business in the City of Wilmington has been, and is, of such an active and aggressive character as to center at this port a very large trade, which gives every assurance of continued increase and development. Many operators in this direction are now transacting a business that results in an aggregate yearly trade of very large proportions. Of the several departments of this branch of business there is none of more importance than that of the broker, and among those who must be accorded a conspicuous and deservedly prominent position Dr. Harriss is certainly worthy of most favorable mention. He commenced his present business in 1882, and his standing in commercial circles is unquestioned. He transacts a general cotton and naval store brokerage business, in every detail of which he is thoroughly experienced, and has met with most gratifying success, as his constantly increasing operations fully attest.
Dr. Harriss is a native of Wilmington, and for a period of two years was President of the Chamber of Commerce. He is widely known in the community, and is highly respected and esteemed, both in commercial circles and by the public generally, as an enterprising, energetic and reliable business man.
|W. E. SPRINGER & CO., Wholesale Hardware and Dealers in Agricultural Implements,|
Nos. 19, 21 and 23 Market Street.
There is probably no one branch of trade that is more important in its relations, influence and bearing upon the commerce of a city than the hardware business. It is extensive in its influence, because there is no other branch—no industrial or mechanical pursuit, profession or artistic avocation, that is not more or less dependent upon the hardware business in some of its manifold ramifications. The generic term hardware includes all the unclassified manufactures of iron and steel, all the appendages, implements and mechanical appliances of the mechanic arts and professions, agricultural tools and implements, articles as varied in appearance, distinct in application and different in size and use as can well be conceived. There are no distinct specialties in this market, the various industries and demands of the trade being supplied by the enterprise of Messrs. W. E. Springer & Co., in whose wonderfully-complete stock will be found every article entering into the general hardware trade, both heavy and shelf, made in the best eastern and foreign factories and sold at lowest prices. Of the firms dealing in hardware in this section none occupy a more prominent position, or conduct their business with more enterprise and intelligence. The present firm succeeded the late firm of Jno. Dawson & Co. in 1880, and their ample facilities and resources, together with an excellent business capacity, had an immediate and marked effect upon the trade, naturally resulting in a business steadily increasing with each succeeding year. Their place of business is in a convenient locality, consisting of a two-story building sixty feet front by one hundred and fifty feet deep, which is filled with a stock of an estimated value of $25,000, consisting of the miscellaneous articles entering into the trade, general hardware for all purposes, builders’, mechanics’, architects, and farmers tools and implements, saws, shovels, edge tools, bolts, springs, rasps, nuts, &c. They make a specialty also of all kinds of agricultural implements. In the prosecution of the business they employ seven assistants and keep one traveling salesman constantly on the road. Their trade lies principally in North and South Carolina and Georgia, and amounts to $100,000 annually. This house is not only the largest in this section, but compares favorably with any in the South, standing in the front rank of the business houses of the City of Wilmington, not only in regard to the quantity of their stock and extent of their business transactions, but also for enterprising, energetic and systematic business habits and capacity. The firm is composed of Messrs. W. E. and Jno. C. Springer, both natives of this State, who have resided in Wilmington for a period of nineteen years. They are gentlemen of sterling integrity and worth, noted for their enterprise, business qualifications and unquestioned reliability in all the walks of life.
MATT. J. HEYER, Wholesale Grocer, Liquor Dealer and Commission Merchant,
Nos. 216 and 218 North Water Street.
Prominent among those houses engaged in the above branches of trade, and worthy of liberal mention in a work devoted to a detailed and descriptive review of the commercial and manufacturing enterprises and advantages of the City of Wilmington, is the establishment of Mr. Matt. J. Heyer. This house was established as early as 1846 by Jno. C. Heyer, who continued the business from that period up to 1883, when the business passed into the hands of the present proprietor. In addition to the general lines of groceries and liquors, a specialty is made of naval stores, received by the house on commission. The building occupied by the store is a two-story structure, 36×103 feet, where a large and complete stock of the best grades of staple and fancy groceries and the choicest wines and liquors is kept constantly on hand, and will average $15,000 in value. The naval store yard and wharf of the house covers an area of 100×200 feet, on which is located a one-story warehouse, 36×60 feet in dimensions. In the different branches of the business eight persons find constant and remunerative employment. The annual transactions of the house will exceed $200,000—the trade extending into all parts of the surrounding country. Mr. Heyer is a native of this city. He conducts his affairs with liberality, ability and a high sense of commercial and personal honor, and we are pleased to be able to accord his establishment that position to which its extensive operations and beneficial influence upon the community entitles it.
|PARSLEY & WIGGINS, Saw and Planing Mill. Manufacturers of Sash, Doors and|
Blinds, Corner of Fourth and Ashe Streets.
The situation of Wilmington with reference to the timber growing districts of North Carolina must always give it importance in the lumber trade and its relative branches. The magnitude and extent of the trade would be better understood, both at home and abroad, by a description of the different establishments in the city, and some statistical information in regard to the extent of their operations, which is part of the purpose of this work. Some of these establishments are mammoth in their proportions, and supplied with every requisite facility for the manufacture and handling of special branches of the trade. Among the most prominent of these stand that of Messrs. Parsley & Wiggins, whose establishment is one of large proportions and of perfect arrangements, and occupies such a position among the manufacturing interests of Wilmington as to deserve prominent consideration in an enumeration of the enterprises of the city.
This establishment was originally founded in 1857 by O. G. Parsley, and was taken charge of by the present firm in 1879. They are only just putting up their sash, door and blind factory, but it will be in full operation by the time this volume issues from the press. They expect to do a business in this line all over the South. The plant of the mills covers an area of fifteen acres of ground at the corner of Fourth and Ashe streets. The sawmill is a building two stories high and 50×125 feet in size; the planing mill building is a two-story structure 50×100 feet, and the sash, door and blind factory will be 50×60 feet, also two stories in height. These works are as perfectly equipped and supplied with as complete a complement of machinery as any contemporaneous concern in the South, the motive power being supplied by two engines, one of 60 and the other of 40-horse power, and give employment to fifty persons, to whom $350 is paid in weekly wages. An average stock of one million feet of lumber is carried on hand, and an annual business of from $75,000 to $100,000 is transacted. The trade of the house lies principally with the ship building interests of Maine and the West Indies.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. W. L. Parsley and O. A. Wiggins, the latter of whom is a member of the City Board of Audit and Finance. They are both young men, enterprising and energetic in all matters of business, and maintain an honorable and justly deserved commercial and social position in this community.
J. L. CROOM, Wholesale and Retail Grocer and Liquor Dealer,
No. 8 North Water Street.
In endeavoring to present some record of the commercial houses of the city by historical notes, our object in introducing this department of our work is attributable more to a desire to gather together remembrances of a useful and interesting nature, rather than to seek opportunity for personal compliment. It is quite admissable for us to say, however, that Mr. J. L. Croom, wholesale and retail grocer and dealer in liquors, belongs to that class of merchants whose enterprise and perseverence, as well as sterling integrity and high order of business ability, have given to the commercial interests of the city much of their present vigor and development. The enterprise under consideration was founded by Mr. Croom in 1882, with ample capital, and at once took prominent position in the trade. A large three-story building is occupied, which is 30×75 feet in size, and contains a large assortment of goods, consisting of groceries of all kinds, together with the purest wines and liquors, the stock on hand averaging $6,000 in value. Three assistants are employed, and an annual business amounting to from $40,000 to $50,000 is transacted. The trade of the house is not confined to the city, but extends throughout all the surrounding country. It increased over twenty-five per cent. for 1883 over the year preceding. Mr. Croom is a native of this State, and has resided in Wilmington for two years. By judcious management and strict attention to business he has secured a lucrative and flourishing trade, and from present indications it would seem that his house is soon destined to become one of the largest establishments in this section of the country.
|DeROSSET & CO., Shipping and Commission Merchants,|
No. 113 North Water Street.
Among those firms which are most intimately connected with the history of Wilmington, its struggles, growth, and subsequent prosperity, sharing in and promoting every matter of public interest, the house of Messrs. DeRosset & Co. is assuredly entitled to prominent position and worthy of the highest consideration. It was founded in 1839 by A. J. DeRosset, and for nearly half a century has been closely allied with the shipping interests and commercial trade and prosperity of the city. In addition to a large office, in which three competent and experienced assistants are employed, two warehouses are used in the prosecution of the business of the house, one being 25×60 and the other 25×90 feet in dimensions. A very large business is annually transacted, both in Europe and America, which steadily increases with each succeeding year.
The present sole proprietor of this large and influential house is A. L. DeRosset, a native of this city, and a gentleman noted for his enterprise and intelligence. He has made for himself an honorable record in mercantile circles, both at home and abroad, and enjoys a business prosperity that will compare favorably with that of any establishment in the city.
MUNSON'S CLOTHING AND MERCHANT TAILORING ROOMS,
No. 32 North Front Street.
No clothing establishment in the State of North Carolina will surpass in general excellence and the magnitude of its operations that of Mr. H. H. Munson, of this city. The business was founded by its present proprietor in 1865, and by his industry and perseverence, together with a thorough knowledge of all the details and requirements of the trade, has been built up to its present mammoth proportions. His business premises are eligibly situated at No. 32 North Front street, in a handsome three-story building, 20×78 feet in dimensions. The stock carried on hand is select, and embraces all the latest styles and designs in this important branch of trade. Twelve skilled and experienced assistants are employed, and a very large business is annually transacted. His facilities for fashionable and desirable goods, perfect fitting and well made garments and honest prices, are unequalled by any similar concern in the city, and unsurpassed by any establishment in the South.
Mr. Munson was born in New York, but came to this city thirty-two years ago. He is an active and energetic business man, thoroughly conversant with all the details and requirements of his business, and has a high and well deserved standing in the esteem and confidence of the community in which he resides.
A. DAVID, Wholesale and Retail Clothing, Gent's Furnishing Goods, Merchant Tailor, &c.
Corner of Front and Princess Streets.
To those interested in the study of the progress and advancement made in the different branches of trade and commerce, the clothing trade is full of interest. Since the time when Adam and Eve first “sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons” to cover their nakedness, the history of this important and influential industry, and the task of tracing the gradual development and change in the form and fabric of men's clothing, is both interesting and instructive. In the commerce of the world today there is no one branch of industry that exerts a wider or more powerful influence upon the general welfare of a business community than the manufacture of and trade in clothing, and especially true is this of the City of Wilmington. The subject of this sketch first entered into business in this city in 1865, and his establishment now ranks as a representative concern of the kind in this section. The building is a large and commodious structure, 30×80 feet in size, having three floors and a basement, and is conveniently arranged for the accommodation and display of the large manufactured stock carried, which embraces men's, boys and youth's clothing of all kinds in every variety and style, made from the finest foreign and domestic cloths, down to the modest and unassuming jeans. The line of gent's furnishing goods carried is unsurpassed in the city, and in the merchant tailoring establishment close attention is always paid to
|perfect fits and first-class workmanship, only skilled and experienced hands being employed. Six male and six female assistants are employed, and two traveling salesmen represent the house on the road. Ample stock is carried from which a large business is transacted in the States of North and South Carolina. Mr. David is a German by birth, but has resided in this city for nineteen years. He has given his undivided time and attention to his business, and how completely and thoroughly he has succeeded, his large and satisfactory trade bears in full measure most gratifying evidence. The people of this community can justly accord him the greatest consideration as a successful business man, because he has fully earned it.|
EVANS & Von GLAHN, Dealers in Boots and Shoes, Leather and Shoe Findings,
No. 117 Princess Street.
The extent of the territory covered by the mercantile trade of the City of Wilmington evidences an amount of ability and business enterprise among her merchants far greater than would be expected from her population. This has been the result of a combination of causes: the favorable geographical position of the city, her advantages in the matter of transportation, both by river and rail, but more than all from the broad view and business enterprise of her merchants. Among the foremost in giving impetus and direction to the trade of the city in that branch of commerce which they represent, the house of Messrs. Evans & Von Glahn stands decidely prominent. It was established by the present firm in 1872, and compares favorably with the best establishments of the kind in the South. They are extensive wholesale and retail dealers in boots and shoes, also leather and shoe findings, boot fronts, gaiter uppers, &c., carrying a complete and carfully selected stock in this line of an average value of $25,000 to $30,000. They occupy a three-story building, 20×60 feet in size, employ four assistants and keep two traveling salesmen on the road. Their trade extends into the States of North and South Carolina. The firm is composed of Messrs. H. C. Evans and H. Von Glahn. Mr. Evans is a North Carolinian by birth, and has resided in this city for twenty-five years. Mr. Von Glahn was born in Germany, coming to Wilmington in 1845. He was for some time a member of the City Board of Aldermen. They are both prudent and honorable merchants, who highly deserve the success that has attended them throughout their business career.
ORIN T. THOMAS, Art Studio, Crayon and Pastel Portraits.
No. 119 Market Street.
It is with much pleasure that we call the attention of our readers to the elegant and handsomely appointed art studio of Mr. Orin T. Thomas, which is unexcelled in general excellence by any of his Southern contemporaries. He is an experienced and pains-taking artist, and enjoys a reputation second to none in the country. He is prepared to do all kinds of crayon and pastel work in the most artistic and life-like manner, and makes the finest free hand portraits from any kind of small pictures, which are warranted not to fade. He is sparing neither time, trouble or expense in his efforts to build up a reputation for the best work in his line, and for honorable and square dealing with all. That such a course is the best policy for him to pursue, is abundantly proven by the success he has already met with. Really first-class photographs are quite expensive, and as he only furnishes one grade in which he strives to compete with the best artists in this country, he has reduced his prices in order to introduce his portraits. These portraits are very durable and life-like, and are drawn to any size desired. Any change in drapery, &c., can be effected with ease. Sometimes a hat or bonnet is left off or they may be put on. Portraits can be expressed to any part of the country without injury. Should any one wish any work in his line he will pleased to correspond with them, giving prices, explanations, &c., as regards the work, or refers to the following gentlemen, who have seen and inspected his work: Prof. Wm. Wallace Scott, of Cooper Institute, N. Y.; Dr. A. R. Ledoux, 10 Cedar street, New York; Gov. Thos. J. Jarvis, of North Carolina; Hon. Kemp P. Battle, of Chapel Hill, N. C.; Maj. Chas. M. Stedman, of Wilmington, N. C.; Dr. W. B. Phillips, of Wilmington, N. C.
|Mr. Thomas was born in Moore County, this State. He was a poor farmer boy, and entered school in 1875, when a boy of about fifteen years of age. He continued going and teaching until the spring of 1882. During his latter school days he became very fond of art—especially so of sketching in crayon, and in the spring of 1882 went to Tarboro, in this State, and took a short series of lessons under Mrs. Dorsey Battle, a very fine artist. He was so much encouraged with his success that he applied and was admitted into Cooper Institute, New York, in the fall, and studied very successfully there for a season. He returned to North Carolina in the spring of 1883, and settled in Wilmington, since which time so rapidly has grown his reputation as an artist that it is with difficulty that he fills all the orders received for portraits, especially those in crayon. It is his intention to visit New York annually, and there keep fully apace with the times. His studio is located at No. 119 Market street, in the Yates building, and is beautifully and elegantly fitted up. It is full of specimens of his handiwork, which display the best artistic skill and accuracy. Mr. Thomas is a natural artist, and by his perseverence, intelligence and enterprise has carved his way to a proud and prominent position in the world of art.|
GILES & MURCHISON, Wholesale Hardware, and Importers of and Wholesale Dealers
in Earthenware, China, Glass and Queensware, Nos. 101 and 103 North Front Street.
There are always to be found in every community, in every branch of trade and commerce, certain men about whose character and standing there is no kind of doubt; whose record is untarnished, whose business is great in magnitude and stable in character, and who are generally conceded to be the representatives of those departments of human industry with which they are associated. Such is the acknowledged position of the well-known firm of Messrs. Giles & Murchison. They are engaged in two separate and distinct lines of commercial pursuit, that of hardware and china, glass and queensware, having an establishment devoted to each. They commenced business under the above name and style as hardware dealers in 1873, adding their crockery department in 1878. Each store occupied has three floors and is 25×140 feet in dimensions, where are carried the complete and carefully selected stocks of goods handled by the firm. They deal in all kinds of shelf and heavy hardware, and are both wholesale dealers and importers in earthenware, china, glass and queensware. In the different departments a force of eight assistants is given constant employment and one traveling salesman is kept constantly on the road. Their trade is very large annually, extending throughout both North and South Carolina.
The members of the firm are Messrs. Clayton Giles and J. W. Murchison, both natives of North Carolina, who have resided in this city eighteen and eleven years, respectively. They are both comparatively young men, and are energetic, enterprising business men, possessing the confidence and esteem of all with whom they have business relations. They enjoy a social and financial standing equaled by few and surpassed by none.
MUNDS BROS. & DeROSSETT, Druggists, Corner Market and Second Streets.
Of all the branches of business connected with the mercantile interests of Wilmington, there are none of more importance than the drug trade, and none which requires more ability, closer study or a more thorough preparation. One of the largest, neatest and most attractive establishments in the city in this line of trade is that of Messrs. Munds Bros. & DeRossett, which was founded by the present firm in October, 1883. They occupy a large and handsome store at the corner of Market and Second streets, which is tastefully fitted up, and presents a most attractive appearance. They carry a large and carefully selected stock, consisting of pure drugs and chemicals, all popular and reliable patent medicines, surgical instruments of all kinds, toilet and fancy articles, perfumeries, druggists’ sundries, and in fact every article to be found in a firstclass drug store. They are thoroughly skilled, practical and scientific druggists and pharmacists, and enjoy a large and growing trade in their prescription department. They possess in an eminent degree the confidence and esteem of the medical profession and the public generally, and justly rank as a representative establishment in the line of business in which they are engaged.
|COMMERCIAL HOTEL, M. Schloss, Proprietor, Corner Market and Second Streets.|
There is no better hotel in this section than the Commercial, and none which offers superior inducements to the traveling public. Mr. Schloss took charge of the house two years ago, and has by his politeness and care of his guests, secured a patronage that ranks his house as one of the most popular in the State. The building has a frontage on Market street of seventy-five feet and a depth of eighty feet. It is four stories high, well arranged, and in the center of the city. It has just undergone extensive repairs and is now on an equal footing with any establishment in the city, and one of the best in the State. It is lighted by gas and has all modern improvements and conveniences. There are thirty-five sleeping rooms, nicely furnished and stricly neat and clean, and capable of accomodating 100 people. The dining room can seat forty persons. Connected with the hotel is both a bar and billiard room. Ten male and five female employes are required in different capacities. The parlors are two in number and neatly furnished. Every department has been newly repaired, and no pains or expense spared by the proprietor and his assistants to make the sojourn of guests pleasant and agreeable. Ladies and gentlemen visiting Wilmington, either for business or pleasure, will find at this popular house the best of accomodations, a table abundantly supplied with the best in the market, and the most polite attendance. The prices charged are exceedingly moderate and within the reach of all. In the management and direction of the house Mr. Schloss is most efficiently assisted by the ladies of his family, and in every department the most perfect system prevails. We would not do justice to this favorite hotel did we fail to mention Messrs. W. H. Shearen and S. A. Schloss, the polite and obliging clerks. These gentlemen are thouroughly conversant with their business, are both courteous and polite, and are ever on the alert in looking after the comfort and convenience of all those stopping at the hotel.
Mr. Schloss was born in Bavaria, and has resided in this city for two years. He is a successful and efficient hotel manager, an obliging and attentive host and is universally popular with the traveling public.
H. BRUNHILD & BRO., Wholesale Liquors and Tobacco,
No. 18 South Front Street.
When we take into consideration the fact that the articles of whisky and tobacco pay to the general government more than half the amount derived from the internal revenue of the country, it conveys to our mind some idea of the magnitude of the interests in these branches of trade. The wholesale trade in Wilmington is represented by several substantial houses, the most prominent of which is that of Messrs. H. Brunhild & Bro. This house was originally founded in 1868, by the senior member of the firm, Mr. H. Brunhild, the present firm being formed in 1870 by the admission into the concern of his brother, Mr. L. Brunhild. From the beginning the house took a prominent position in the trade, both as to the amount of their business and their standing in commercial circles. The high grade of goods carried in stock, the moderate prices at which they were sold, quality being considered, combined with their energy and enterprise, and their well-known reliability as merchants, soon built up and extended their business, until to-day it ranks first in the State in this line. Their goods are distributed throughout the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia, keeping two travelers constantly employed. They carry an average stock of $40,000 to meet the demands of their immense trade, and transact an annual business exceeding a quarter of a million of dollars. They employ in the various departments of their business ten competent and experienced assistants. Their business premises are centrally located and conveniently arranged. The building is a two-story structure, 32×100 feet in dimensions, in the rear of which they also have a large warehouse. Their stock embraces the most reliable and celebrated brands of whiskies and liquors and a full line of wines, both imported and domestic. The firm import direct all their wines and brandies, also bass ale and ginness porter. Their tobacco factory is an extensive and thoroughly equipped establishment, and is located at Richmond, Virginia. The first tobacco factory ever started in Wilmington was put in operation by this firm.
|Both members of the firm are Germans by birth. Mr. H. Brunhild has been a citizen of this city for sixteen years, and Mr. L. Brunhild for fourteen years. They are well known in Wilmington as being among the foremost and most enterprising of her business men, who are taking the most active part in building up her wealth and spreading abroad her reputation. If the city had a few more such enterprising firms her growth and prosperity would be much more sure and certain.|
J. H. JONES, Livery, Feed and Sale Stable, No. 312 Princess Street.
In recording the various enterprises of this city, we desire to call attention to the livery, sale and feed stable of Mr. J. H. Jones, situated at No. 312 Princess street. Although the business was only started about two years ago, it now stands in the front rank in its line in the city, both as regards sales of horses and mules, and the character of the livery stock and vehicles kept on hand for the use of the public. The stables are centrally and conveniently located, and admirable in arrangement and appointment. The building is 35×100 feet in dimensions, having two floors and a basement. The stables are commodious and well ventilated, and can easily accomodate and feed sixty head of horses. The arrangements for boarding horses are first-class and terms exceedingly reasonable. Ten reliable and speedy horses are kept for livery purposes, and four careful and experienced hands are employed.
Mr. Jones is a native of this State, and has resided in Wilmington since 1848. He gives his undivided time and attention to his business in all its branches, is a thoroughly reliable, energetic and enterprising business man, and as such is well worthy of the patronage and consideration of the public.
JOHN R. TURRENTINE, General Merchandise and Produce Broker,
Dock Street, between Front and Water Streets.
Of the many commercial and mercantile enterprises forming the channels through which the trade of cities flows, there are few, if any, having capacity for a wider scope and range than the general merchandise and produce business. Few persons are aware of the fact that, to conduct successfully a brokerage business in this line of trade, a higher standard of business knowledge and ability is essential than in ordinary lines of business pursuit. Success requires both activity and energy, together with a keen perception of the best interests of both buyer and seller. Of those engaged in this line in this city, probably the most prominent and influential establishment is that of Mr. John R. Turrentine, both from the extent and character of his operations. This enterprise was first established in 1876, with ample capital and has since taken an active part in promoting the business interests and prosperity of the city. The comprehensive knowledge of all the requirements and responsibilities connected with this branch of commercial operations possessed by Mr. Turrentine, together with his enterprising and straightforward manner of transacting business, has steadily increased his trade, until it now amounts to the handsome sum of one million and a half of dollars, and extends throughout North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. Most of the business of the house is in Western produce, which is sold in car-load lots, specialties being made of New Orleans molasses, meats, flour, grain and rice. The office is centrally located, large and commodious, and here four competent and experienced assistants are given constant employment.
Mr. Turrentine is a native of North Carolina, and has resided in this city for a period of twenty-one years. He is a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, and refers, by permission, to A. K. Walker, Esq., Cashier First National Bank, Messrs. Hall & Pearsall and Adrian & Vollers, of Wilmington; Messrs. Robert Carey & Co., of New Orleans; Messrs. Geo. P. Plant & Co. and N. K. Fairbank & Co., of St. Louis; Messrs. Martin & Bennett, of Chicago, and Messrs. H. A. Hayden & Co., of Jackson, Michigan. Through long experience in every detail of his business, and the highest reputation for integrity and financial responsibility, he is justly entitled to the high position he holds in commercial circles.
|W. H. GREEN, Wholesale and Retail Drugs, No. 117 Market Street.|
In presenting for the consideration of our readers, both at home and abroad, historical and descriptive reviews of the great industries and commercial enterprises of the City of Wilmington, it is necessary and important to select representative institutions and establishments, and to consider more particularly those whose success has made them conspicuous and gained for their proprietors positions prominent in the mercantile history of the city—the character of business men being often measured by their success, reflecting to a certain extent upon the credit and reputation of the community of which they are members. The drug trade of this, or, in fact, any city, is one of the most important factors in its general makeup, and exercises an influence not out-measured by any other branch of trade. The leading house in this city, and certainly the largest in the State, engaged in this line is that of W. H. Green, located at No. 117 Market street. It was founded by Messrs. Green & Flanner in 1870, which firm was succeeded by W. H. Green as sole proprietor in 1880. With regard to so well known a house but little can be said that is not already generally understood of its importance as a mercantile enterprise, and beyond giving the plain facts, a detailed description is unnecessary. A large, handsome and conveniently arranged building is occupied, having three floors, and being 23×135 feet in dimensions. Capable and experienced assistants are employed in the house and one traveling salesman represents the interests of the house on the road. The trade of the house is steadily and satisfactorily increasing in both North and South Carolina. The departments are numerous, and embrace American and foreign chemicals, proprietary and patent medicines, pharmaceutical preparations, together with the largest and most complete stock of drugs and druggists’ sundries to be found in the State of North Carolina. Special attention is paid to the prescription department.
Mr. Green was born in this State, and has resided in Wilmington ever since 1870. His facilities for doing business, and his superior qualifications for its management, are unsurpassed in the trade. His establishment is alike an honor and credit to himself and this community.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF WILMINGTON, No. 17 Front Street.
This is a bank, the details of whose history if written, would reflect the financial condition of this city from the close of the war down to the present time. Few banks in the United States, operating through the period of this institution's life, have wielded so powerful an influence, or maintained so prominent a place in the confidence and esteem of the community in which they are located, as has the great monetary institution which is the subject of this sketch. It is the oldest bank now doing business in the city, and is one of the earliest and strongest of the National banking organizations in the South, having been established in 1866, with a capital of $100,000. This amount was soon afterwards found insufficient for the extensive operations of the institution, and the capital stock was subsequently increased to $250,000. The offices are elegantly appointed and fitted up, and all interior arrangements are both convenient and substantial. The officers of the institution at the present time are: Edwin E. Burruss, President; A. K. Walker, Cashier, and Wm. Larkins, Assistant Cashier. It would be difficult to select a management for such an institution of greater force, influence and more reliable judgment in financial matters than that in whose hands the affairs of the First National are placed. The President of the institution is a gentleman of unusual experience in such matters, having been for some time Treasurer of the County. The
|Bank issues notes, receives deposits, negotiates loans, deals in both foreign and domestic exchange on all important points and conducts a general banking business. It is an influential factor in the banking system of the country, and has always been a strong support of the business interests of the city, taking an active part in promoting all substantial enterprise, and exercising a wholesome influence upon the material progress of this section.|
The following is a statement of the condition of the affairs of the institution, at the close of business, December 31st, 1883:
|Loans and discounts ||$ 733,437 96 |
|Overdrafts ||8,834 62 |
|U. S. Bonds to secure circulation ||50,000 00 |
|Other stocks, bonds and mortgages ||61,949 22 |
|Due from approved reserve agents ||38,587 14 |
|Due from other National Banks ||22,001 93 |
|Due from State Banks and bankers ||3,345 37 |
|Real Estate, furniture and fixtures ||79,993 46 |
|Current expenses and taxes paid ||9,189 52 |
|Bills of other Banks ||28,564 00 |
|Fractional paper currency, nickels and pennies ||284 27 |
|Specie ||46,081 00 |
|Legal tender notes ||22,725 00 |
|Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer, 5 per cent of circulation ||2,250 00 |
|Total ||$1,107,103 46 |
|Capital stock paid in ||$ 250,000 00 |
|Surplus fund ||41,455 76 |
|Undivided profits ||70,499 03 |
|National Bank notes outstanding ||44,990 00 |
|Dividends unpaid ||2,456 00 |
|Individual deposits subject to check ||286,342 60 |
|Demand certificates of deposit ||282,101 45 |
|Due to other National Banks ||12,800 45 |
|Due to State Banks and bankers ||849 04 |
|Notes and bills re-discounted ||115,009 13 |
|Total ||$1,107,103 46 |
W. J. & B. F. PENNY, Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods, Notions and Clothing,
No. 17 Market Street.
In writing a descriptive review of the commercial resources and advantages of Wilmington, and in mentioning the various enterprises which add so materially to the general sum total of the business interests of the city, no house is found taking a more prominent part than the establishment which heads this article. It was founded by the present firm in 1880. Guided by a business policy founded upon the most honorable basis of mercantile integrity, it is not surprising that they now occupy a position among the most prominent establishments in the city, and enjoy a trade and reputation that extends throughout all the surrounding country. They occupy a two-story building, 20×100 feet in dimensions, located at No. 17 Market street, and conveniently arranged for the transaction of business. Three assistants are employed, and an annual business of $15,000 is transacted in the city and throughout the surrounding country. The stock carried averages from $4,000 to $5,000 in value. The assortment is carefully selected, and embraces everything in the lines of dry goods, notions and clothing. Sales are made at either wholesale or retail to suit customers.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. W. J. and B. F. Penny, both natives of this State, who have resided in Wilmington for twenty-one years. They are substantial and enterprising business men, who, both as a firm and individually, have achieved the highest position in the estimation of the trade and the consideration of the public.
|I. SHRIER, Wholesale and Retail Clothing and Gents’ Furnishing Goods,|
No. 114 Market Street.
This well-known and popular establishment is the clothing emporium of the City of Wilmington. Its proprietor, Mr. I. Shrier, is, in experience, one of the oldest clothiers in the city, having been in the business for years. The enterprise was established first in 1870 by the firm of Shrier & Bro., but on the first of January last the present proprietor assumed sole control. Steady application to business, a thorough knowledge of all its details and requirements, and a liberal and honorable policy soon brought the house into prominence. It is one of the most solid and substantial concerns in the city. The building occupied is a handsome three-story brick structure, 20×60 feet in dimensions, situated in the business center of the city. Here will be found at all times a complete and carefully selected stock of all kinds of men's youths’ and boys’ clothing, together with a full line of gents’ furnishing goods. The clothing carried in stock is remarkable for being manufactured from exceptionably good materials, for stylish cutting and finish, and for the extensive assortment of styles and qualities from which selection can be made. The prices are always reasonable, and Mr. Shrier's experience and advantages are such that he is enabled to offer his customers inducements more favorable than can be elsewhere obtained in the city. The average value of the stock carried on hand is from $25,000 to $30,000, and an annual business is transacted throughout the city and surrounding country amounting to from $35,000 to $40,000, Three experienced assistants are employed in the prosecution of the business of the house.
Mr. Shrier is an European by birth, and has resided in this city since 1870. He is an esteemed citizen, a thorough gentleman and an enterprising business man.
B. F. MITCHELL & SON, Commission Merchants, Millers and Grain Dealers,
Nos. 20 and 22 Water Street.
Among the many business enterprises contributing to the credit of Wilmington as a manufacturing and commercial center, there is undoubtedly no single establishment of any kind that has contributed more by its capable management, practical skill, abundant means and business ability, to the development of the resources and possibilities of this city than the concern that heads this article. It was founded in 1847 by the firm of Ellis & Mitchell, and came into the hands of the present proprietors in 1873. It is, therefore, the oldest existing enterprise of the kind in the State, has always taken the lead in the adoption of modern improvements, and ranks as the most prominent establishment in this section. The firm carries on a general commission business and are heavy dealers in grain of all kinds, also peanuts. Their storeroom and mill is located at Nos. 20 and 22 North Water street, in the business center of the city, the building being a substantial two-story structure, 50×100 feet in dimensions, with an L, 40×50 feet in size, used for the peanut rooms. The mill is equipped with all modern and improved machinery and appliances for grinding both wheat and corn, and has four run of stones. The motive power is supplied by an engine of 70-horse power. There are fifteen male and ten female hands employed in the establishment, to whom remunerative wages are paid. They carry on hand an ample stock to meet all demands of the trade. Their trade amounts annually to half a million of dollars, and is located in Chicago and different points in the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia.
The members of the firm are Messrs. B. F. Mitchell and F. H. Mitchell. The former, though a native of Maine, has resided in Wilmington since 1835. He is one of the oldest and most influential citizens of the city, for years closely identified with her commercial and business interests. Mr. F. H. Mitchell was born in Wilmington, and is a gentleman of unusual executive ability, enjoying the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has business relations. The establishment of this leading firm is a worthy representative of the industries of this community, and is exercising a most beneficial influence upon the trade, commerce and material welfare of the city.
|GEO. HARRISS & CO., General Commission Merchants and Ship Brokers,|
No. 109 North Water Street.
The establishment of Mr. Geo. Harriss is one of the oldest and most firmly established houses connected with the commercial and maritime interests of the City of Wilmington, and during its existence has enjoyed a position and standing shared by few and surpassed by none. It was founded by its present proprietor in 1847, and is a representative of the business interests of the city. A general commission and ship brokerage business is carried on, and two tug boats are run between the city and the sea for towing vessels. The tugs are named the Waccamarr and Alpha. Mr. Harriss has an extensive wharf on the opposite side of the river for the convenient loading of vessels. It is 146×108 feet in dimensions. He takes great interest in all matters pertaining to the shipping interests of this port, and was one of the Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage for the Cape Fear River and Bars for many years. He is a native of the city, is closely identified with her advancement and prosperity, and is recognized as a representative business man. Mr. Harriss is Vice Consul for the Argentine Republic.
ALEXANDER SPRUNT & SON, Naval Stores and Cotton.
This is one of the most substantial commercial firms in the United States, and one of the leading representatives in this city, and throughout this entire section of those great interests to which the City of Wilmington is indebted for the commercial importance and prosperity that she now enjoys. The house was established eighteen years ago by Alexander Sprunt; by the subsequent admission of his son, Mr. James Sprunt, the existing firm was formed. The business has been managed with a practical ability and judicious enterprise that have made it a continuous success, and now reaches a grand aggregate of $2,000,000 per annum, with no limit as yet discovered to its further growth under the same intelligent and experienced management. The offices, wharves and warehouses are situated on the continuation of Water street, covering an area of 66×344 feet. They have an ample cotton sample room, it being 25×30 feet in size; the warehouse is probably the largest in the city, being 60×250 feet. In the prosecution of their business they employ from seventeen to thirty persons, to whom $300 is paid weekly in wages and salaries. Their business is almost exclusively the exporting of cotton, spirits of turpentine, rosins, tar and turpentine, to London, Liverpool, Glasgow, New Castle, Belfast, Antwerp and other foreign ports. Their facilities for handling these products and loading vessels are unsurpassed, being perfect in every detail and arrangement. The house of Messrs. Alexander Sprunt & Son is a prominent factor in the commercial prosperity of this section, and one of the principal sources from which the great and steadily increasing foreign demand for both cotton and naval stores is supplied.
Messrs. Alexander and James Sprunt are the individual members of the firm. They were both born in Scotland, coming to Wilmington thirty-two years ago. On May 1, 1866, the senior member of the firm, Alex. Sprunt, was appointed British Vice Consul, a position he still retains. Mr. James Sprunt was in point of numerical order the fifth President of the Wilmington Produce Exchange, and in retiring from that position in April, 1883, presented to its members, in lieu of the usual condensed report, a pamphlet, compiled and published at his individual expense, containing information and statistics in reference to this city and port. It is copyrighted, and in book form, entitled, “Information and Statistics Respecting Wilmington, North Carolina.” It is not the province of the work in which we are engaged to indulge in personal compliment, but in some instances it is impossible to state facts without so doing, and this is certainly such an occasion. This bound report of Mr. Sprunt is the most complete, well-written and altogether valuable and useful publication of the kind with which it has been our pleasure to meet. Although only claimed to be a record of facts, its literary merits are of a high order, and we take this occasion to acknowledge the immense value it has been to the editor and publishers of this work in the prosecution of their labors.
|PRESTON CUMMING & CO., Corn Mill, and Dealers in Grain, Feed and Peanuts,|
Nos. 101, 102, 103, 104 and 105 South Water Street.
The grain interests of this city may justly be regarded as one of the strongest proofs of commercial success already attained and attainable in the future. The system of railroad connections and the unsurpassed shipping facilities with which this city is favored give her superior advantages in the matter of transportation, and enable her millers to place their products rapidly and securely upon the market at most advantageous rates.
The representative mills of Wilmington, and we may also add of the State, are those of Messrs. Preston Cumming & Co., which were established in 1872. From the time of their foundation they have been managed with energy, intelligence and a determination to make them the representative establishment of this section, and in this the most gratifying success has crowned the efforts of the firm. The corn mill is a large two-story structure, 40×55 feet in dimensions; directly across the street the peanut mill is located, this building being also two stories high and 40×55 feet in dimensions. They also have two large warehouses for the storage of peanuts and hay. The mills are furnished throughout with new machinery of the most approved design and perfect workmanship, making them among the best and most thoroughly equipped in the South. Two engines, one of forty and the other of ten-horse power, furnish the motive power. The amount of stock carried on hand, to meet the demands of the trade, as a matter of course varies greatly according to season, but may be said to be from $5,000 to $40,000. In the different departments of their business the firm constantly employ from twenty-five to thirty male and female hands. Their trade extends throughout North and South Carolina, and amounts annually to from $130,000 to $150,000.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. Preston Cumming and E. J. Lilly, Jr., both natives of this State. The former has resided in this city for a period of twenty years, the latter ten years. Enterprise and reliability, together with a liberal policy, are characteristics for which this firm is noted, and under all circumstances their undertakings can be implicitly relied on. Intimately connected, as they are, with the resources, development and prosperity of the city, Messrs. Preston Cumming & Co. have achieved a position as richly merited as it has been justly gained.
C. W. YATES, Books and Stationery, Pianos and Organs, Photograph Gallery.
No. 119 Market Street.
Of the many establishments located on this busy thoroughfare there is none which is more noticeable for its extent and attractive appearance than that of Mr. C. W. Yates. There are three separate departments to his business, each complete in every respect, in every detail and arrangement. The premises occupied are conspicuously located at No. 119 Market street, the building being three stories in height and 24×100 feet in dimensions. His stock of books, stationery, periodicals, magazines and other articles usually found in a first-class book store, is probably the largest and most carefully selected in the city. His assortment of musical instruments and musical merchandise is also very large and varied. He makes a specialty of the Sohmer piano and of Mason and Hamlin's organs. The photograph gallery is the largest in the city, as well as the most completely and thoroughly arranged. The photographs taken at this establishment are remarkable for their faithfulness to nature, their elegant finish, and are characterized by ease and gracefulness of position.
Mr. Yates was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and started in his present business in Wilmington in 1875. He employs seven assistants in different capacities, and does the largest local business in his branches of trade. Some idea of the great success with which he is meeting can be gained from the fact that his business increased thirty-three and one-third per cent. for 1883 over that of the year preceding. Prompt and reliable in all transactions his house can be safely commended to the trade and the consideration of the public.
|JAMES J. METTS, Merchandise and Produce Broker.|
Office Water Street, between Market and Dock Streets.
Scarcely to be classed under the industries of Wilmington, and yet intimately connected with them by association and mutual benefit, the business of Mr. Metts is one especially deserving of recognition in this work. There are but few who recognize the magnitude and importance of the merchandise and produce brokerage system, and it can only be appreciated by singling out and describing the representative establishment in this line of business in Wilmington. It is of prime necessity that importers, large dealers and producers holding large stocks of goods should be enabled to present their goods to dealers for inspection, and, therefore, proper representatives of business tact and unquestioned integrity obviate many of the difficulties in the way, and keep steadily before the trade different lines of merchandise and kinds of produce in sample, giving grade, quality, quantity and price, according the constantly fluctuating changes in quotations, supply in the market, &c. The convenience of this system of brokerage applies as well to the dealer or buyer as to the producer or seller. Goods can be selected, prices, quality and quantity be ascertained, and supplies be ordered and received through the agency of the broker, and this in the most satisfactory manner. Mr. James J. Metts may be justly classed as a representative broker of this kind in the city, not alone for extent of trade, valuable experience and energy, but also for commercial standing and mercantile ability, qualifications which are sure guarantors of merit and success. He originated his business in 1873 with ample capital, and has built up a trade as gratifying to himself as it has proven convenient and beneficial to the wholesale dealers of the city. An annual business of about $150,000 is transacted, sales being made entirely to the wholesale trade in bulk lots.
Mr. Metts is a native of this city, is strictly honorable in all the walks of life, and has gained in an eminent degree the esteem and regard of the community, and the confidence of all with whom he has established business relations.
BROWN & RODDICK, Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods and Notions,
No. 9 North Front Street.
The pride of a city centers in the character of its representative institutions, and it is, therefore, only the truly metropolitan interests that are worthy of extended comment in a historical and commercial review of this city. In writing a description of these institutions it is generally done by comparison, but there is always found a house in every branch of business so far in advance of its fellows that comparison is impossible. It can only be made the standard, while the others must be written of relatively. This reputation is gained and held by the uniform completeness of its stock, the ample resources and enterprising spirit of its proprietors and the magnitude and extent of its operations. Such an establishment is emphatically that of Messrs. Brown & Roddick, which was founded by the present firm in 1873. It is unquestionably the best and leading concern of the kind in this section, and none is entitled to more extended consideration, both with reference to the high commercial standard upon which its operations are based, the extent of business transacted and its influence upon the trade. The members of the firm are Messrs. A. D. Brown and Wilkin Roddick, both natives of Scotland, and residents of this city for twenty-four and ten years, respectively. They are marked examples of the popularity resulting from an honorable, liberal, enlightened and enterprising business policy. With such an established reputation, and possessing such attributes, it is not a matter of surprise that the house should be a favorite one. They enjoy a very large share of the trade transacted in this city, and from their extended eastern connections with the largest and most reliable manufacturers and importers in the country, are able to offer their customers advantages that cannot be duplicated by any contemporaneous concerns in this section. Their facilities, so far as regards the premises occupied, are all that could be desired—the building being two stories high, 30×130 feet in dimensions, commodious and eligibly situated. Here will be found at all times the most complete and carefully selected assortment of staple and fancy dry goods, laces, linens, cottons, silks, velvets, woolens, merinos, &c., together
|with a full line of notions, affording an opportunity for selection rarely attainable outside of the metropolitan cities of the East. They carry an average stock of $40,000, and a business of $150,000 is transacted throughout North and South Carolina. One traveling salesman is kept constantly on the road, and sixteen assistants are employed in the store.|
Cordially commending this establishment to the consideration of the trade and the public generally, and directing attention to the manner in which its affairs are conducted, the aptitude of its facilities and resources, we take pleasure in saying in conclusion, that, ranking first among its line of contemporaries, this firm is of that class which commands the respect, confidence and esteem of the community at large.
J. A. SPRINGER, Dealer in Coal, Wood and Cypress Shingles.
Office, No. 121 North Water Street.
Among the representative firms in this city extensively engaged in the coal and wood business, whose transactions have assumed great magnitude, the establishment of Mr. J. A. Springer may safely be said to be the most prominent. It was established by him in 1873, ever since which time the business has been successfully prosecuted by its founder, His yards have a frontage of 110 feet and a depth of 125 feet. The coal is stored in four large bins. All kinds of wood for fuel is handled, being sawed by steam, the motive power being supplied by a portable engine. Ten hands are employed at a weekly expense of $60. The trade of the establishment is by no means confined to the city, but extends into all the surrounding country, and an annual business of $40,000 is transacted. Coal is brought to this city from Baltimore and Philadelphia and both varieties are sold at these yards. Mr. Springer possesses facilities of the best possible character, extensive in both detail and arrangement, and is prepared to supply the public promptly, in whatever quantity desired, upon the most reasonable terms. He also handles cypress shingles in connection with the other branches of his business.
Mr. Springer is a native of Maine, and has resided in this city for eighteen years. During his residence here he has held the important and responsible position of Assistant Postmaster for four years, and Chief Clerk in the same office for ten years. As a prompt and reliable business man, keeping pace with all the advances made in each department of his trade, he can offer his customers advantages that cannot be surpassed, and deservedly holds the high position accorded him in commercial circles.
E. PESCHAU & WESTERMANN, Ship Brokers and Chandlers, and Commission Merchants
204 and 206 North Water Street.
In a careful review of each important branch of business in the City of Wilmington none will be found to be of more importance than those connected with the shipping and maritime interests of the city. One of the leading concerns of whom it is our privilege to make favorable mention is that of Messrs. E. Peschau & Westermann. It was founded in 1873 by the present firm, and has been continuously successful ever since. They carry on a general ship brokerage business, and are able to offer extra inducements to shippers in the matter of ocean tonnage. A general ship chandler and commission business is also a feature of their operations. Their business premises are 72×45 feet in size, where they carry on hand a carefully selected stock, and employ three assistants. Their annual transactions are considerable and are almost exclusively with foreign ships.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. Edward Peschau and Heinrich Westermann. They are both Germans by birth, and have resided in Wilmington since 1854 and 1856, respectively. Mr. Peschau is the Imperial German Consul at this port. They are gentlemen of marked business ability and intelligence, and will at all times be found both prompt and reliable. With so useful a place among the commercial interests of the city, and a trade productive of such satisfactory results, their enterprise exerts a large influence upon the general welfare and prosperity of the community.
|J. H. MALLARD, Harness, Saddlery, Collars, &c., No. 10 South Front Street.|
An establishment of no little importance to any community is that conducted by the harness-maker. All classes are dependent upon him, to a greater or less extent. A prompt, reliable and enterprising establishment of this kind in Wilmington is that of Mr. J. H. Mallard, which was started by that gentleman in 1880. His ability, skillful workmanship, square, honest dealing and agreeable deportment soon won him many friends, and his trade steadily grew and prospered. He employs two assistants, carries an average stock of $2,500, and transacts an annual business of from $12,000 to $15,000. His store is amply stocked and his business one of the best in the city. His business premises are centrally located and commodious, being 30×75 feet in size. He manufacturers and deals in all kinds of harness, from heavy truck to the handsome and elaborate carriage. Goods are repaired in a prompt and satisfactory manner.
Mr. Mallard is a native of this State, and has resided in Wilmington for thirty years. He is a gentleman worthy the confidence and patronage of his fellow citizens, and one with whom it will be found a pleasure to have business relations.
BEHRENDS & MUNROE, Dealers in Furniture, Carpets, &c., S. E. Corner Market and
Second Streets, and Second Street, bet. Market and Princess Streets.
In a populous and growing section of the country, such as this certainly is, there are many business houses whose existence is but the natural result created by the demands of the necessities of the people, and which, as a matter of course, receive a large patronage from the fact that they offer to the public those articles which practical and civilized life finds to be needful. Of such a nature is the house of Messrs. Behrends & Munroe, of this city, dealers in furniture. They started the enterprise six years ago, and their efforts have been rewarded by the most gratifying prosperity and success. Their store is a substantial three-story brick building, occupying 7,500 square feet in size, and they also have a wareroom on Second street between Market and Princess. Their stock is ample to meet all the demands and requirements of their large and extensive trade, and embraces not only all kinds of furniture but also carpets and house-furnishing goods of every description. Their trade is not only very large in the city, but extends into the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia.
The individual members of the firm are Messrs. S. Behrends and W. Munroe. They have had long experience in the business in which they are engaged, are enterprising and energetic gentlemen, and highly deserve a liberal share of public patronage.
PATERSON, DOWNING & CO., Roger Moore, Manager, Exporters of Naval Stores.
Foot of Mulberry Street.
Of the many enterprises which give character and reputation to the City of Wilmington, we know of none which is of more importance to the general welfare of the community than that of Messrs. Paterson, Downing & Co., of which Roger Moore, Esq., has the management and direction. The principal house of the firm is located in New York City, but they also have houses in Charleston, Savannah, Mobile and Canada, and an agency in Brunswick, Georgia. They are unquestionably the largest exporters of sprits of turpentine, rosin and naval stores in America. The Wilmington branch of this mammoth institution was founded in 1877, and does an annual business of $735,000, affording twenty persons employment. Shipments are made to all parts of the world. Every facility is possessed for the convenient handling and shipment of the products dealt in, the company having here three large warehouses and two wharves. The importance of this establishment to the city cannot be overestimated, entitling it to special consideration in a work of this character.
Its affairs are entirely under the management and control of Roger Moore, Esq., of this city, who is the President of the Wilmington Produce Exchange. He is one of the most prominent and influential of the citizens of this community, and enjoys in a marked degree the esteem and consideration of all with whom he has either social or business relations.
|Mr. Robert W. Paterson, the senior member of the concern, has been engaged in the naval store trade in New York for a great many years, and was for a long time connected with the house of Paterson, Rudderson & Co. The present firm does business with all the principal cities and towns both in the United Kingdom and upon the Continent. During 1883 they cleared from this port alone 63 cargoes for foreign parts, and exercise a highly beneficial influence upon the general trade and commerce of this section.|
McDOUGALL & BOWDEN, Dealers and Manufacturers of Carriages and Harness,
No. 114 North Front Street.
This extensive establishment was started in this city during the year 1883, since which time it has been in continuous and successful operation. The building occupied is located at No. 114 North Front street, having two floors, and is 25×190 feet in dimensions. They are supplied with all the requisite facilities for doing business successfully, and employ only first-class mechanics and exercising special care to have on hand only material of the best quality. They are enabled, therefore, to turn out work that cannot be excelled by any of their competitors in the State for strength, durability and finish. They are prepared to receive and execute promptly orders for the manufacture of every article in their line of business on the most satisfactory terms. They employ sixteen persons and keep on hand a stock of carriages, harness, &c., of an average value of $14,000. While their trade is very large locally, they also have numerous customers throughout both North and South Carolina, their annual transactions aggregating from $30,000 to $40,000. The individual members of the firm are Messrs. R. P. McDougall and H. M. Bowden. The former is a Canadian by birth, but has resided here for twelve years; the latter is a native of this city. Each member of the firm is an active, enterprising business man, and occupies a prominent position in the industrial and mercantile circles of this community. Their enterprise is a most creditable and useful one, in every way deserving of the extended patronage and consideration of the public.
East Tenn., Virginia & Georgia
Via WARM SPRINGS & JELLICO,
Opened for Business June 4, ’83
Immediately Assumed the Advantages of being
The Short Line Route
NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA
AND THE WEST.
PRESENTS A COMPLETED ROADWAY, WITH STEEL RAILED, ROCK BALLASTED, SMOOTHLY SURFACED, EVENLY GRADED, PERFECTED TRACK
Equipped in the Most Comfortable and Luxurious Style
Known to Modern Science and Railway Art.
Presents Immense Commercial Superiority,
FROM 100 to 500 MILES SHORTER,
And Correspondingly Quicker than all other Routes between Common Points named.
Also, Possesses the Most Alluring Tourist Route in the Southern States.
JNO. F. O'BRIEN,
J. F. OGDEN,
Gen. Freight Ag't,
Gen. P ss. & Ticket Ag't,
KNIVES & FORKS
NATHANIEL + JACOBI,
WE CARRY A FULL STOCK IN
Sash, Doors & Blinds
Window Glass of All Sizes.
FACTORY AGENCY FOR
READY MIXED PAINTS,
PURE WHITE LEADS
PAINTS, OILS, ETC.,
THE VERY BEST
AT FACTORY PRICES.
NEW STOCK CONSTANTLY ARRIVING.
Send in Your Orders and Save Money
All Correspondence by Mail Promptly Attended to.
No. 10 South Front St.
WILMINGTON, N. C.