Although extending back nearly two and a-half centuries, there is little interest connected with the history of Woonsocket up to within a comparatively recent period. It was, in fact, an insignificant place fifty years ago. From an unimportant village it has grown during the lifetime of a generation to be one of the great industrial centers of the country. The value of the cotton and woolen goods manufactured here annually is something enormous. Of the latter, Woonsocket produces more than any other town or city in the United States, while in the former industry it is excelled by few. There are now in operation in this place seventeen cotton-mills and seven woolen-mills with an aggregate capital of about $5,000,000.
Among the other important industries are the manufacture of rubber goods, machinery, tools, castings, wringing machines, thread, silk, jewelry, sash, blinds, doors, etc.
Altogether there must be upward of ten thousand hands employed in the manufacture of textile fabrics alone in this town.
The population has more than doubled in the last two decades. The number of inhabitants in 1870 was 11, 527, and this had increased to 16,053 in 1880. The census of 1890 gives the population as 20,830, but it is supposed to have been much more than that, being now not far from 25,000.
Woonsocket as a manufacturing center owes its prominence to the magnificent water-power within its limits. The immense fall of water on the Blackstone River, which has long been regarded as a great natural curiosity, affords unlimited power. It is some twenty feet in height, and is almost perpendicular, the force of the volume of water being broken on its way down by huge rocks. The fall of water upon the precipice, through a succession of ages, has caused numerous excavations in the rocks, all of which are smooth and circular, and some of the these are sufficiently large to hold several hogsheads.
The town takes its name from the falls. As the word indicates, the name is of Indian origin. The original form was 'Woone-Suckete', from 'Woone', said to mean thunder, and 'Suckete', meaning mists.
The first settlers in the immediate vicinity of Woonsocket Falls were Richard Arnold and Samuel Comstock. The exact date of their appearance here is a matter of conjecture, but is generally supposed to have been early in the second half of the seventeenth century, for there was a sawmill (the first venture of the kind) built on the river in 1666 by the former. The early settlers planted themselves in the most promising sites by the Blackstone and began at once to turn to account the bounties of nature so generously provided. Notwithstanding the facilities at their control, but little progress was made in the new settlement for some time. As the soil was fertile and fuel abundant, the community, whose wants were few, prospered fairly well, however. Richard Arnold, who erected the pioneer sawmill in Woonsocket, acquired considerable wealth, and at his death his four sons came into possession of quite a large estate close by the falls.
Other settlers, too, succeeded in placing their families in tolerably comfortable circumstances, and the second generation saw considerable progress. In the course of time, the little hamlet grew into a prosperous village, which in 1867, was incorporated under a town form of government.
A distinctly noteworthy fact concerning the early inhabitants of this
place, as related by Mr. Richardson, the historian of Woonsocket, is, that
the people, unlike those of all the other New England settlements, were
not overmuch given to the exercise of piety. Indeed, it appears they
were for years without a church or house of prayer. It was not until
1718 that divine services began to be held here, and the initiative was
taken by the Society of Friends. With the exception of the Quaker
meeting-house, there was no other place of worship for more than a hundred
years. Referring to this subject Richardson says:
'Woonsocket became, not so much from the piety of the inhabitants as from the natural advantages of its location, first a religious and after an educational center of the large territory now comprised within the counties of Worcester in Massachusetts and Providence in Rhode Island.'
In this connection it is worthy of remark, that the disciples of George Fox were the first to move in the direction of introducing free schools, although their efforts do not appear to have received the approbation such a commendable project deserved; for we are informed that the plan of opening a free school for all classes was defeated at first 'by a vote of the ignorant backwoodsmen of Smithfield, many of whom were unable to write their names'. Up to the close of the last century the opportunities afforded the youth for acquiring even an elementary education hereabouts were very limited. In 1800 the town of Smithfield voted the sum of $2,200 for the support of twenty-four schools. It was not for some forty years later, however, that the people fully awoke to the importance of public schools. But the past half a century has witnessed remarkable progress in this direction, speaking of which Richardson well says: 'The system of education with the won has made a marked advancement since the introduction of public schools. The rude and often ill-constructed schoolhouse has given place to the present fine and convenient buildings, furnished with all the modern appliances for the comfort and convenience of both teacher and pupil. These excellent institutions are presided over by competent and accomplished teachers, and the citizens of Woonsocket have just reason to be proud of their present educational interests.'
photo on page 233: Main Street, Looking North, Showing Harris Block.
The town of Woonsocket was incorporated from parts of the towns of Cumberland and Smithfield, in 1867. The section of the town lying to the east of the river was for a hundred and thirty years previous to that, a village in the town of Cumberland. In 1871 this was still further increased by the addition of that portion of Smithfield which constituted West Woonsocket. The Blackstone River, which flows directly through the business center of the town, affords inexhaustible water-power and valuable sites for mills and manufacturing plants, all of which have been greatly improved. There is no place of its size in New England possessing better manufacturing facilities or greater hydraulic power, and in none have these been applied more advantageously.
Woonsocket lies in the heart of a fertile region and is distant sixteen miles from Providence and thirty-seven from Boston. The town has over seventy miles of streets, and is rapidly extending its corporate limits. The Providence & Worcester Railroad runs through the town, and the New York & New England connects it with Boston. It contains many handsome public buildings and institutions.
The town has nine churches, a high school and eight lower schools, several public halls and a free circulating library. The latter belongs to the Harris Institute, connected with which are also a lyceum, reading-rooms,etc.
The town supports a daily and two weekly newspapers and has two opera houses.
There are six national banks and five savings-banks in Woonsocket, and they are all solid and substantial institutions.
The town contains several excellent hostelries too, and first-class accommodations are provided for the local and traveling public.
As has been intimated, the surrounding country is very productive and market-gardening and dairying are carried on extensively. The quantities of fruits, vegetables, garden products generally, butter, eggs, etc., disposed of annually, reach enormous proportions. Then again Woonsocket is the center of an extensive retail and jobbing trade, and has a number of handsome and flourishing establishments in the various mercantile lines of business. Altogether the town presents a pleasing and lively appearance and everybody seems busy. About half the population is of foreign birth. This is accounted for by the large number of factories here. Many of these are immense plants, and most of them are concentrated within a very limited area, making one of the busiest industrial centers in the country.
Among the largest cotton-mills may be named those of the Social Manufacturing Company, the Clinton Manufacturing Company, the Woonsocket Mill and the Woonsocket Yarn Company. The most extensive manufacturers of woolens are the Harris Woolen Company, the Lippitt Woolen Company and the American Worsted Company. Other big concerns are the Woonsocket Rubber Company, the Bailey Wringing Company, the Woonsocket Spool and Bobbin Manufacturing Company, and the H. C. Lazelle Loom Harness Manufactory, and numerous establishments devoted to the production of machinery, castings, tools, builders' supplies, etc.
WOONSOCKET NATIONAL BANK, No. 165 Main Street. -- The history of the Woonsocket National Bank verifies the well-established fact that a great financial institution, having men of conservative characteristics and sound judgment at the helm, must surely become successful and prosperous. One must go back nearly sixty-five years to arrive at the year when this bank was incorporated, under the name of the Woonsocket Falls Bank, and in 1865 it was reorganized under the national banking laws. It has a capital stock of $200,000 and its officers and directors are as follows, viz.: President, J. W. Ellis; cashier, L. W. Ballou; assistant cashier, E. C. Francis; directors, Albert Jenckes, Latimer W. Ballou, John W. Ellis, Cyrus Arnold, W. O. Bardon, Frederick Cook, Geo. Reuter, Jr., E. C. Francis and C. B. Smith. Swinging a heavy capital controlled by founders and promoters of unquestioned integrity and tried ability, it was not only proved a pillar of strength in time of great financial necessity and fear, but has upheld and fostered the material interests of the entire mercantile and manufacturing community. Its watchwords have been prudence and economy - prudence in investments, economy in expenses of handling business - and from these two walls of strength has sprung a solid arch of prosperity and profit. A bank so long established, and having gone so far in its career with ever-growing success is, of course, an assurance of permanency; but there is more than mere 'solidity', as the word goes, which has contributed to its prosperity and popularity. Although founded upon a rock, it has each twelve months been raised above the level of the year before, and has now accumulated a surplus of $170,000, with undivided profits of $9,500. The Woonsocket National does a regular legitimate banking business in deposits, loans, collections and exchange; receives the accounts of corporations, firms and individuals on the most favorable terms; remits collections through its chains of correspondents, at lowest rates; furnishes bills of exchange and letters of credit available in all parts of the world, and renders thorough satisfaction to all customers. Dividends are declared on the first days of April and October, and have averaged 8 per cent from the start, while the bank never passed a dividend in its whole history. It has recently taken possession of its new and elegant banking-rooms in Harris Block, No. 165 Main Street, where every modern facility is afforded for the prosecution of an extensive banking business. The president, Mr. Ellis, is one of the most substantial citizens of Woonsocket, prominently identified with its commercial growth and prosperity. The cashier, Hon. Latimer W. Ballou, is one of the best-known men in the State, representing his district in Congress from 1875 to 1881, and has been connected with this bank since 1850; while he is also treasurer of the Woonsocket Institution of Savings, and the oldest bank official in continuous service in the State.
WOONSOCKET INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS, Harris Institute, No. 165 Main Street. -- The great accretion of capital as represented by the official statement of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings abundantly demonstrates the thrift and prosperity of the people of this city, in which this institution is by far the largest, as well as the oldest, of its kind, while it bears favorable comparison as to size, management and stability, with any in Providence or Boston. It was incorporated in 1845; the most eminent and wealthy citizens were chosen as trustees, and the bank began business under the most favorable auspices, which has been followed by a career of unexampled prosperity and marked by a rigid observance of the soundest principles governing banking and finance. The banking-rooms are eligibly located in Harris Block, No. 163 Main Street, and a very large business is done here smoothly and efficiently, reflecting the highest credit upon the executive officers. Deposits from $1 up to $2,000 are received, upon which a handsome interest is paid; the policy of the management is security first, a large income being a secondary consideration, while, as is well known, its investments are all thoroughly sound, and the bank is one that to the fullest degree invites the patronage of the public at large. It now has some 10,500 depositors, and its deposits amount to upwards of $5,000,000, with a surplus of $350,000. This is a showing hard to match. The officers and trustees are as follows, viz.: President, Lyman A. Cook; treasurer, Latimer W. Ballou; assistant treasurer and secretary, Charles E. Ballou; board of trustees: Latimer W. Ballou, Geo. Reuter, Jr., Dexter Clark, Frederick Cook, Geo. W. Jenckes, Geo. M. Welles, Edwin Aldrich, Austin S. Cook, Fancello G. Jillson, Chas. E. Ballou, Charles F. Ballou, Chas. H. Darling, John W. Ellis, Chester B. Smith, Chas. E. Thomas, E. Charles Francis, Ira B. Cook, Geo. H. Mowry; board of investment, Lyman A. Cook, Ira B. Cook, Dexter Clark, Austin S. Cook, Chas. H. Darling, E. Charles Francis, Chas. F. Ballou. The president, Mr. Cook, is one of our best-known and most public-spirited citizens, prominently identified in many ways with the commercial growth and financial prosperity of the city. The treasurer, Hon. Latimer W. Ballou, is the oldest bank official and most experienced financier in Rhode Island, having filled this position since the organization of the bank in 1845, and also been cashier of the Woonsocket National Bank for a period of forty-two years; while his services have also received appreciative acknowledgment in other fields of usefulness. He was representative in Congress form the second district for three terms, 1875 to 1881, and, although now in his eighty-first year, is still faithfully and accurately performing the responsible duties devolving upon him, and enjoys the esteem of his fellow-men in all the various relations of life. The board of trustees are representative and respected citizens, and under its sound and able guidance this institution is recognized as Woonsocket's best financial bulwark, ever a source of pride and profit to the community.
CURRIER & GUILD, (Successors to John Currier) Foreign and Domestic Dry Goods, Cloaks and Small Wares, No. 104 Main Street. -- For some forty-five years the well-known dry goods store of Currier & Guild (Successors to John Currier), No. 104 Main Street, has been in existence, and during the entire period has been steadily growing in popularity and patronage. It is the oldest establishment of the kind in Woonsocket, and is par excellence the ladies' wear emporium of this city. The assortment here displayed is exceedingly large and embraces everything in foreign and domestic dry goods, cloaks, dress fabrics, laces and feminine finery, and the prices prevailing are remarkably low. Goods are marked down to rock bottom figures in the various departments, exceptional bargains being offered in wash fabrics, cottons, domestics, flannels, etc.; and every article sold is warranted to be absolutely as represented. The premises occupied are spacious, commodious and attractively fitted up. The store is lighted by electric-light, is equipped with patent cash carrier service, and is provided with all conveniences for shoppers, while fifteen or more courteous assistants attend to the wants of patrons. The stock, which is extensive and complete, includes superb silks, satins, plushes and cashmeres, pretty patterns in ginghams and fancy calicoes, elegant cloaks, wraps and shawls, etc., laces, embroideries, ribbons and dress trimmings, corsets, underwear, hosiery, gloves, notions and small wares in great variety; also umbrellas and parasols, ladies' and gents' furnishings, cottons, linens, sheetings, towelings and staple dry goods generally. This business was established in 1847, by John Currier, who conducted it up to January, 1891, when he died and was succeeded by his son, John G. Currier and James Guild, the present proprietors, by whom it has since been continued with uninterrupted success. Mr. Currier, the younger, is a gentleman in the prime of life and a native of Woonsocket. He has been the efficient chief of police of this city for ten years, and stands high in commercial circles and in social life. Mr. Guild, his partner, who is also a comparatively young man, was born in Scotland and has resided in this city for a number of years. Both are men of energy and enterprise, and are, in a word, well endowed with the qualities that bespeak success in the business world.
PROVIDENCE CLOTHING COMPANY, Men's and Boys' Clothing, Hats, and Men's Furnishing Goods, Trunks, Etc., Longley Building, Corner of Main and High Streets. -- The establishment of the Providence Clothing Company, located at the corner of Main and High Streets, is one of the most creditable commercial features of the city and worthy of the most commendable notice. The proprietor, Mr. D. J. Snyder, is a native of New York State, and came to Woonsocket five years ago. His experience in the clothing industry extends over a period of fourteen years, and his knowledge of the trade is of the most thorough character. In October, 1887, he established business at No. 235 Main Street, beginning upon a very small scale, and with limited facilities, but through the indomitable energy brought to bear by him the favorable attention of the public was in time gained, and his patronage increased rapidly in volume and influence. In 1891 the need of more capacious quarters became imperative, and the removal to the present quarters was effected. Here the store occupied has a frontage of 42 feet, a depth of 103 feet, and the plate grass front is the largest in New England. The interior is handsomely appointed with hardwood fixtures, is lighted by electricity, and equipped with all modern improvements for the comfort of customers. The establishment is in fact the acknowledged leader in its line in Rhode Island. An immense stock is carried. A leading specialty is made of the finest clothing put on the market - in every respect the equal of custom make - while the styles are always the leaders; correct, elegant and fashionable. In addition to clothing there is also a splendid display of gentlemen's furnishing goods, men's, youths' and boys' hats and caps and a superior line of trunks and traveling bags. From ten to twelve clerks and assistants are employed through the week, and on Saturday nights the number is increased to from fifteen to twenty. Mr. Snyder is a member of the Merchants' Association, several fraternal organizations, and is active in promoting all legitimate business or social enterprises.
RHODE ISLAND FURNITURE COMPANY, Complete House Furnishers, No. 138 Main Street. -- For reliable goods, square dealing and reasonable prices, the Rhode Island Furniture Company enjoys a reputation second to none in Woonsocket, and a trade at both wholesale and retail reaching throughout this section of Rhode Island. Although sales are effected either for cash or under the instalment system of easy purchase, customers do not have to pay, either directly or indirectly, for extravagant commissions and expenses for agents, collectors and others; for the deferred payment plan is not pushed in any way, all sales being made on the spot, and credit is only extended with discretion to duly recommended patrons. The company is certainly headquarters for the finest descriptions of durable and thoroughly serviceable furniture, carpets, and every article used for housekeeping from the bedroom to the kitchen, and on the premises is to be seen a heavy and complete, though carefully chosen stock, the chief lines of which are some elegant parlor, chamber and dining-room suites, richly upholstered in the latest styles; beds and bedding, hall stands, boudoirs, kitchen furniture and utensils, house-furnishing goods of every kind; standard makes of stoves, ranges and furnaces, Brussels, ingrain and tapestry carpets of the most recent introduction; oil and floor cloths, mattings, etc. The enterprise was established in January, 1892, by the present proprietors, Mr. Fred B. Weeks, formerly of the Weeks Furniture Company, and Mr. Austin S. Cook, formerly of the Social Manufacturing Company. The premises utilized comprise a three-story building, 20 x 100 feet in dimensions, and six competent assistants find regular employment. Mr. Weeks and Mr. Cook are natives of Woonsocket and connected with a number of business and financial enterprises here, Mr. Cook being also a member of several of our leading fraternal orders.
WOONSOCKET LUMBER COMPANY, Dealers in Lumber and Building Material of all Kinds, Lumber for Mill Purposes a Specialty, Office and Yard, No. 189 North Main Street. -- One of the most extensive lumber businesses in Woonsocket is that conducted by the Woonsocket Lumber Company, whose office and yard are situated at No. 189 North Main Street. Although founded so recently as June 1, 1891, the undertaking has speedily become a leading source of supply for builders, contractors, carpenters, coach-builders, furniture and other manufacturers in this section of the country. The business is conducted at both wholesale and retail, from car-load lots to small quantities, and supplies are received direct from the finest forest lands in the Northern, Southern, and Western States, by the New York and New England and Providence and Worcester Railroads. Owing to the many special facilities the company possess for procuring their shipments from owners of timber-lands upon the most advantageous terms, they are enabled to offer to the trade some very substantial inducements as to prices, quality and delivery, and to this fact is mainly attributable the distinct success with which they have met. Hard and soft building lumber of all kinds, also, is largely dealt in, such as pine, spruce, hemlock, ash, oak, shingles, fence posts, whitewood, etc., as well as various fancy hardwoods for cabinet-work, including cherry, mahogany, walnut, quartered oak, etc., while building materials are also handled, the chief lines being lime, cement, plaster, lath, hair, drain pipe, fire and other brick, tiles, slates, chimney pots, etc. In addition to supplying the building trade, the company make a specialty of meeting the full requirements of sawing, planing and molding mills, with lumber and timber of the right kinds in any quantities. The office is neatly fitted and well arranged, and the yard covers an area of two and a-half acres. Here is kept in stock over a million feet of hard and soft lumber, logs, etc., well seasoned and ready for use, ten competent assistants being regularly employed, and eight teams maintained for delivery purposes. The treasurer of the company is A. W. Buckland, who is a gentleman of middle age, and was born in the town of Washington, Ohio. He has been an esteemed resident of Woonsocket for the past twenty-two years, is president of the Woonsocket Electric Power and Light Company, trustee of the Producers' Savings Bank, and is a prominent dentist here. The manager is Mr. D. B. Clark, a native of this city, still a young man, and is a member of several leading societies in town.
F. A. COLWELL, Manufacturer of Plain and Fancy Paper Boxes, American Block, No. 129 Main Street. -- An industry that has grown to very extensive proportions since its inception is that of the manufacture of paper boxes, and a leading house engaged in this field of production is that of Mr. F. A. Colwell, whose office, salesroom and factory are located in the American Block. This enterprise was founded in 1870, upon a small scale, by Palmer Brown, and after a number of changes in the management, the present proprietor, Mr. Colwell, succeeded to the control in 1881. Under his direction the business has rapidly expanded, and the extensive trade that has accrued is derived from all parts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The commodious premises occupied have an area of 14,000 square feet. The works are equipped with the most improved machinery, operated by steam-power, and employment is found for sixty experienced hands. Mr. Colwell manufacturers all kinds of plain and fancy boxes, making a leading specialty of shoe-boxes, and the factory has a productive capacity of 10,000 boxes daily. The facilities of the house are complete in every respect, orders of any magnitude can be promptly filled, while the prices which rule are of a character to successfully challenge competition. Mr. Colwell is a native of Manville, R.I., and has resided in Woonsocket fifteen years. He is a prominent member of the Order of Odd Fellows and other organizations, and is also identified with a number of business enterprises, all of which conduce to the best interests of the community.
J. PROULX & CO., Stoves, Ranges and House Furnishings, Nos. 64 and 68 Arnold Street. -- This very successful enterprise was established in 1885 by Messrs. Bouvier and L'Esperance, and in 1886 Mr. J. Proulx was admitted into partnership, in 1888 this latter gentleman succeeded to sole control of affairs and very shortly after he was joined by his son, Mr. Charles S. Proulx, the worthy senior being a thoroughly practical plumber and gasfitter. Every description of fine furniture of the latest styles, carpets, rugs, and house-furnishing goods in general are dealt in, as also the standard makes of stoves, furnaces and heaters, while the firm are agents for the celebrated 'Quaker' and Prize Model ranges, of which there have been over five hundred sold in this city and vicinity. Besides being extensive dealers in the goods named, the firm undertake a full line of plumbing, gas and steam fitting, sheet-iron, copper, tin and zinc work; including the fixing of hot-air flues, etc., drainage, ventilation, all kinds of sanitary plumbing, tin-roofing, spouting, guttering, etc., and jobbing and repairing of every description, the best work being executed promptly and accurately. The whole of the goods handled are of the latest introduction and are of an uniformly reliable and durable nature; sales are effected either for cash or on the instalment plan. The premises comprise a handsomely fitted double store, 46 x 61 feet in size, a basement of like proportions and an adjoining building in the rear used for storage. A large and very complete stock of carefully chosen goods is always carried, affording patrons an abundance of choice in each line, and the business in its various departments furnishes regular employment for ten skilled assistants. Mr. J. Proulx was born in Canada, coming to Woonsocket thirty-nine years ago, and is a member of several French societies and fraternal orders. Mr. Charles S. Proulx is a native of this city and still a young man.
PRODUCERS' SAVINGS BANK, Foss Memorial Building, No. 185 Main Street. -- One of the noteworthy and deserving public institutions of Woonsocket is the Producers' Savings Bank, whose offices are located in Foss Memorial Building, No. 185 Main Street. This bank was incorporated in 1868, under the laws of the State of Rhode Island, and from its inception down to the present time, its officers and trustees have included many of the most substantial and best-known citizens of this community. Its present board are as follows, viz: President, Reuben O. Cooke; secretary and treasurer, Samuel P. Cook; board of trustees, Edwin B. Miller, Alonzo D. Vose, William O. Mason, Geo. C. Wilder, Francello G. Jillson, George Worrall, Samuel P. Cook, Chas. E. Thomas, John A. C. Wightman, Alphonso W. Buckland, Jonathan B. Farnum, Chas. H. Horton. This is purely a savings bank, conducted in the interest of the people and recognized as an important factor in developing a spirit of economy and thrift in the community. It also furnishes administrators, guardians, trustees of churches, lodges and other societies, a safe and convenient repository for their funds, where a moderate rate of interest can be realized. Being conducted on sound business principles, and its management being characterized by foresight and judicious enterprise, coupled with ability and integrity, its history from the start has been a record of steady progress and prosperity. A flourishing business is transacted, giving evidence of constant and substantial increase annually, while its connections are of the most desirable character. Its management is in the hands of gentlemen of sound judgment and tried ability, whose names alone are of a sufficient guarantee of the solvency of the institution. The president, Mr. Reuben O. Cooke, is a Massachusetts man by birth and training, who came to Woonsocket in 1843. He is still in the prime of life, a director of the Producers' National Bank, a member of the F. and A. M. 32, the Mystic Shrine and other organizations, and eminently popular in the business world. The secretary and treasurer, Mr. Samuel P. Cooke (sic), is also cashier of the Providence National Bank, and a young man of large financial experience, wide acquaintance, and of high social repute.
PRODUCERS' NATIONAL BANK, Foss Memorial Building, No. 185 Main Street. -- One of the oldest and most flourishing of Rhode Island's fiscal corporations is the Producers' National Bank, of this city, whose banking-rooms are in the Foss Memorial Building, No. 185 Main Street. It has been in existence for forty years, its financial history, during such period, being one long story of enduring prosperity, achieved as the reward of able and skillful management, and of the constant maintenance of the most rigid principles, having for their vital element honor and integrity. The bank was organized in 1852, under the State laws of Rhode Island, and, in 1865, became a national bank, with a capital stock of $200,000, and there is now a surplus of $80,000. The officers and board of directors are as follows: President, Chas. E. Thomas; cashier, Samuel P. Cook; directors, Chas. E. Thomas, George C. Wilder, Jervis Cook, Chas. H. Horton, R. O. Cooke, George Batchelor, J. B. Farnum, Sylvester S. Aldrich, Samuel P. Cook.. The president, Mr. Thomas, is a native of this State, superintendent of the Globe Mills, and interested in several other enterprises, and he is one of the ablest and most esteemed of our local financiers. The cashier, Mr. Cook, born in this city, entered the bank in 1870 as a clerk, and through his ability won steady promotion. In 1885 he was appointed to his present position, the duties of which he has filled in the most creditable manner. Mr. Cook is also treasurer and secretary of the Producers' Savings Bank, and is prominent in both business and social circles. The Producers' National Bank carried on a general banking business, and its correspondents are the First National Bank, New York; Merchants' National Bank and Phoenix National Bank, Providence; National Redemption Bank, Boston; Fifth National Bank, Providence; and the Old National Bank of that city. Prompt, obliging, and efficient in all their dealings with the public, the officers of this bank are naturally popular, and they maintain the credit of the bank in both financial, commercial, and social life.
WOONSOCKET STEAM LAUNDRY, F. E. Cook, Proprietor, Cook's Hill, off Main Street. -- The largest and most popular institution of the kind in this city is that of the Woonsocket Steam Laundry, located on Cook's Hill, off Main Street. This was founded in 1897. When Mr. Cook took possession in 1890, he at once put in an entire new plant, introducing many new improvements, and to-day the establishment is one of the finest to be found in the country. The premises used comprise a building, 50 x 120 feet in dimensions, and a smaller building. The ironing and starch room is 50 x 75 feet in dimensions, the dryroom, 15 x 20 feet, and having a capacity for drying 200 shirts an hour; on the second floor is a hot water tank, having a holding capacity of 2,000 gallons. The mechanical equipment includes all the patent and most improved machinery used in the trade, embracing patent irons, heated by electricity, wire connections for the same being over each ironing-board. In 1890 the output of the laundry amounted to but 800 shirts a week; the output, since Mr. Cook assumed management, now amounts to from 1,800 to 2,500 shirts a week, while he has a capacity for turning out 5,000 shirts. From twenty to twenty-five hands are employed. Three delivery wagons are kept in operation, one here in Woonsocket, the others at the branches in Providence and Pawtucket. Orders may be sent by telephone, call No. 5122-5. Mr. Cook is a native of Woonsocket, born in 1854, and is favorably known to his fellow-citizens. He is a prominent member of several fraternal societies, is a young man of excellent business capacity, and is worthily sustaining the high reputation of the house.
JOHN F. MULVEY, Steam and Gasfitter and Plumber, also Dealer in Steam, Gas and Water Pipe Fittings, Plumbing Materials, Mill Supplies, Etc., Sole Agent for Woonsocket for the Victor Heater, Telephone Call, 5232-5, Office No. 141 Main Street, Works in the Rear. -- Of late years plumbing has become a science, and upon its proper study and application depend the solution of many questions of drainage, ventilation and sanitary conditions. In these days of complexities of city life, the plumber has become essential in the highest degree to our comfort and health, and the necessity of employing only those who are thoroughly qualified in every department of the business is apparent to every one. The acknowledged leader in this line in Woonsocket is Mr. John F. Mulvey, whose fine, first-class establishment is eligibly located at No. 141 Main Street. This gentleman is an expert steam and gasfitter and plumber, and also an extensive dealer in steam, gas and water fittings; plumbing materials, mill supplies, etc.; and sole agent in Woonsocket for the Victor Heater. He established his business here on the 27th of May, 1887, and has sustained a most enviable reputation for superior work and fair and honorable business methods. His workshop is fully equipped with all modern machinery and facilities for pipe-cutting, etc., enabling him to cut pipe from 1/8 to 6 inches and thread the same; while the motor is a steam-engine of 25-horse power, and steady employment is given to some thirty skilled workmen. He also operates a brass foundry in connection, for the manufacture of brass repairs, patterns, and all kinds of connections in bronze, brass and zinc. Special attention is given to house drainage and ventilation, and contracts are entered into in all parts of the country for fitting up mills and factories for steam, gas and water. Estimates are cheerfully furnished for the same, and all work is skillfully and promptly executed, and guaranteed satisfactory. The Victor Heater is a leading specialty of the house, and enjoys a high reputation and a wide-spread sale based entirely upon its merits. The Victor is made entirely of Scotch cast-iron, and constructed in such a manner as not to be affected by variations of temperature and consequent expansion or contraction. It is now a well-established fact that a cast-iron boiler will not rust out as quick as a wrought-iron, and no low pressure boiler has ever been known to explode. The cast-iron boiler does not want as frequent cleaning, is the lowest in price, and the fire surface can be located to better advantage than in the wrought-iron. It will be seen that in the Victor a large surface is located directly over the fire and one foot of surface here is equal to three in any other part of the boiler outside of the fire pot. Mr. Mulvey is also agent for the Walworth Automatic Sprinkler, used in most mills of the State; and is the manufacturer of the Mulvey & Greenhalgh Flushing Water-closet Cistern, now in use in the largest rubber factory in the world. Special discounts given to the trade, and orders by telephone No. 5232-3, by telegraph or mail, for these and other specialties of the house, receive immediate and careful attention. Mr. Mulvey is a native of Providence, R. I., and has worked at his trade in this city since 1870. He is a member of the K. of P., the A. O. U. W., the Foresters, the Iron Hall and other organizations, and stands deservedly high as an expert authority in this business.
NEW YORK HAT STORE, M. Jacobson, Proprietor, Dealers in Hats, Trunks and Gents' Furnishings, Nos. 18 and 184 Main Street. -- This business enterprise was inaugurated by the present proprietor, M. Jacobson, in 1871. The store occupied at No. 18, is 40 x 60 feet in dimensions, and the proprietor also has in successful operation a branch house at No. 148 Main Street, which is 30 x 100 feet in dimensions. In the hat, cap and furnishing department customers are at all times sure of finding the latest and best styles in both imported and domestic productions, the stock being large, complete and attractive, and the selections made with all the taste and judgment for which Mr. Jacobson is noted. A specialty of this house is custom-made shirts, which are made to order of the best material and warranted to give satisfaction. Constant additions of fresh goods, including all desirable novelties, enable the house to keep steady pace with the changes of fashion, and to meet the wants of patrons in the most satisfactory manner. The supply of trunks, bags and valises is full and presents the widest possible range of selection. From four to six courteous assistants are employed. Mr. Jacobson is a native of Hamburg, Germany, but has been a resident of the United States for thirty-eight years. He was a member of the 4th United States Cavalry during our late war and was stationed at the United States Ordnance Arsenal, Washington, D. C. He is now a member of Smith Post No. 9, G. A. R., also a prominent member of the I. O. O. F., the K. of P., the A. O. U. W., the Royal Arcanum and other societies.
JOHN F. CUNNINGHAM, Wholesale Dealer in Brandies, Gins, Wines, Etc., Direct Receiver of Kentucky Bourbon, Rye and Wheat Whiskies, Sole Local Agent for 'The Anderson' Pure Rye Whiskey, Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 Monument Square, and No. 1 Blackstone Street. -- This is an old and honored concern. For a period of twenty-three years it has been conducted by its founder, Mr. John F. Cunningham, who has gained a high reputation for the purity and excellence of his goods. The premises occupied comprise a store, 40 x 60 feet in dimensions, and a large storehouse in Blackstone, Mass. A large stock of brandies, gins, wines, etc., is kept constantly on hand, and Mr. Cunningham is also a direct receiver of Kentucky Bourbon, rye and wheat whiskeys. He is sole agent in this section for 'The Anderson', 'Nelson' and 'Blue Grass' whiskeys. In all the above the stock is not limited, like so many, to a few brands and vintages, but is a wide and comprehensive one, including many old and mellowed wines and brandies difficult to obtain. These goods are eminently popular for medicinal purposes, on account of their absolute purity and uniform excellence, and sell largely to druggists as well as to leading hotels, restaurants and retailers throughout New England. Mr. Cunningham is a native of Ireland, but has been a resident of this country for about forty years.
WOONSOCKET ELECTRIC MACHINE AND POWER COMPANY, Office and Works, No. 61 Front Street. -- The rapid adaptation of electricity for lighting purposes by the American people is something phenomenal. It needs no argument at the present day to prove its superiority over every other artificial illuminant. The old adage of 'the survival of the fittest' is exemplified in electric-lighting as well as in every other department of trade and industry, and is especially applicable to the Thomson-Houston system of electric arc and incandescent lamps, which is adopted by the Woonsocket Electric Machine and Power Company, whose office and works are located at No. 61 Front Street. This company was incorporated April 12, 1883, with a capital stock of $250,000, and is officered as follows, viz.: President, A. W. Buckland; treasurer and general manager, L. C. Lincoln; superintendent, Frank S. Pond; chief engineer, Alvin A. Jewell; assistant engineer, John Green; directors, A. W. Buckland, L. C. Lincoln, E. K. Ray, S. P. Cook, C. E. Thomas, James Murray, J. B. Farnum, Wm. Kent, Oscar J. Morse. This company now have 283 arc and 4,775 incandescent lights in use, with over 1,000 poles and 44 miles of arc wires, and over 40,000 pounds of incandescent wire in this city; while they supply Blackstone, East Blackstone and Millville with both arc and incandescent lights. Their plant comprises six acres of ground, eight buildings, and four tenement houses; while the equipment embraces one Corliss engine of 700-horse power, one Corliss engine of 200-horse power and four Armington & Sims engines of 125, 50, 50 and 65-horse power respectively; also, two Corliss upright boilers of 100-horse power each, and four horizontal boilers of 140-horse power each; one water wheel of 252-horse power, and another of 70-horse power; and eighteen dynamos, five of which are used for direct incandescent lighting, four for alternating incandescent lighting, four for commercial arc lighting, five for street arc lighting. Electric-motors are supplied, as well as power for the same; and also rooms with heat and power for general manufacturing purposes. The system here in use is really the most simple, economical and effective, and commercially available of any yet introduced. The large number of plants of other systems that have been thrown out in this country and the Thomson-Houston system installed in their place, is a fair criterion of their value. The expression of a gentleman who made such a change and months afterward addressed a letter to the company, tells the whole story. He says: 'It is cheaper to purchase a Thomson-Houston plant than to operate any other system as a gift.' The company here in Woonsocket have 123 street lamps and 160 store lamps in operation, running the former all night, and are giving unbounded satisfaction to the public; and the City Council has lately given the company the contract for lighting the city for the next five years. The management is in the hands of enterprising, public-spirited citizens, like Dr. Buckland, the president, and expert authorities on electric-lighting, like Mr. Lincoln, the treasurer and general manager; and the corporation is recognized as one of those beneficial and praiseworthy institutions that do credit to the new city.
LOGAN & SPROUL, Manufacturers of Moving and Party Wagons, Factory and Office, Nos. 15 to 20 Worrall Street. -- The manufacture of moving and party wagons and carryalls is an industry of ever-increasing importance, furnishing a useful and lucrative field for the employment of capital. The leading house in New England engaged in this line is that of Messrs. Logan & Sproul, of this city, whose office and factory are located at Nos. 15 to 20 Worrall Street. This enterprise was founded some twenty years ago, upon a small scale, by H. C. Marsh, to whom J. F. Fisher succeeded in 1884. In 1888 the present proprietors, Messrs. D. Logan and C. K. Sproul came into the control, and have directed affairs with a success reflecting very highly upon their ability, energy and enterprise. Both gentlemen are natives of Nova Scotia, Canada's fairest and most beautiful province, which juts into the great Atlantic, and through which one may ride for sixty miles amid meadows and orchards of fruit-trees. Mr. Logan left this 'land of the sweet-smelling mayflower' twelve years ago for the United States, and his partner, Mr. Sproul, came here eight years ago. Both are thoroughly practical carriage-makers and ironworkers, and employ thirty skilled assistants. The plant required for the industry is comprised in buildings and land, covering an area of one and one-half acres. The machinery is driven by electric-power and the mechanical equipment is complete in every particular. Both light and heavy work is executed, the firm's specialty being the manufacture of Boston truck, moving and party wagons and carryalls. The vehicles made here are of the finest specimens of workmanship, and are unrivaled for strength, durability, and general excellence. The trade extends all through New England and New York State. The firm also do all the work in their line required by the Woonsocket Street Railroad Company. Prices and all desired information are furnished on application, by person or by mail.
Illustration on p. 241: horse-drawn wagon.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK, No. 107 Main Street. -- There is no more unfailing barometer of the spirit of progress and enterprise prevailing in any community than the bank, sustaining as it does such close and important relations to all interests, mercantile, industrial and agricultural, as well as financial. The city of Woonsocket has every reason to be proud of its banking institutions, which are solid and ably-conducted, prominent among the number being the First National Bank, which occupies spacious and elegantly appointed quarters in the new Granite Block, No. 107 Main Street. This bank was originally incorporated in 1851, as the Railroad Bank, and was reorganized under the national banking laws of 1865. It has stood steadfastly through all these years a great monied institution, meeting all the obligations that press heavily upon banks in dark and panicky times. Its principal characteristics are those which tend to inspire and maintain success, to wit: ample capital, good connections, unlimited backing, able management, the esteem of all in commercial circles, and the highest standing in the financial world. The management has been noted for that spirit of cautious enterprise and vigorous conservatism which marks out new paths and follows them safely. These are among the great factors that produce a sound and healthy bank. The cash capital of the First National is $200,000, while its investments and operations have been so satisfactory that a snug surplus of $100,000 has been accumulated. It is a bank of issue, deposit and discount; while it negotiates loans on approved collateral, furnishes bills of exchange and letters of credit available in all parts of the world, and makes collections on all points at lowest rates through its chain of correspondents, which include the National Bank of Redemption, of Boston; and the Importers and Traders National Bank, of New York. A valuable and increasing list of patrons is drawn to its counters, the ability of the management and the high standing of the officers and directors giving every guarantee of the intelligent conservation of all interests committed to its care. Commercial and industrial enterprises find in the First National a stanch friend and supporter, all its influence being exerted in favor of their extension. The officers and directors of this bank are as follows, viz: President, Joseph E. Cole; vice-president, L. L. Chilson; cashier, R. G. Randall; assistant cashier, James E. Cook; directors: Joseph E. Cole, L. L. Chilson, R. G. Randall, J. E. Cook, Gilbert Darling, E. C. Delebarre, Aaron B. Warfield, David Bass and Frederick T. Comee. The president, Mr. Cole, has long been a power in the development of the commerce and industries of Woonsocket, and has been at the head of this institution since 1875. He is also president of the American Worsted Co., the Woonsocket Gas Co., and the Peoples Savings Bank; the treasurer is of the Harris Woolen Co. The cashier, Mr. Randall, has filled that position since 1853, and is also treasurer of the Peoples Savings Bank, the American Worsted Co., the Woonsocket Gas Co. and the Harris Institute; while the Board of Directors comprises much of the solid business element of the city.
A. H. RANKIN & CO., Wholesale Commission Dealers in the G. H. Hammond Co.'s Western Dressed Beef, also Dealers in Mutton, Lamb, Tripe, Pork Ribs and Sausage, Commission House, No. 257 River Street. -- The wholesale handling of beef and other meats occupies one of the first places in the most important branches of commerce, and the leading house in Woonsocket engaged in this line is that of Messrs. A. H. Rankin & Co., of No. 257 River Street. This business was founded in 1868, at Blackstone, Mass., under the firm-name of A. H. Rankin & Co., by Messrs. A. H. Rankin, H. A. Wood and L. T. Gaskell. They began as retail dealers, and in 1874 became wholesalers. In 1881 Mr. Gaskell retired; Mr. Wood followed in 1882, and in the latter year Mr. Rankin admitted to partnership his brother, Mr. A. B. Rankin. In 1881 the business was transferred to this city, the firm having been appointed receivers and wholesale commission dealers in the G. H. Hammond Co.'s western dressed beef. The premises occupied comprise a two-story building, 24 x 65 feet in dimensions, and equipped with an ice-box having a capacity for holding forty tons of ice and fifty head of cattle. The firm dispose of 3500 cattle and 1000 sheep yearly. Five men and six teams form the working force, a heavy stock of the choicest dressed beef, mutton, lamb, tripe, pork ribs and sausage is always carred on hand, and the trade is supplied at lowest market prices. The Messrs. Rankin are natives of Pelham, Mass., are residents of Blackstone, Mass., and members of the Woonsocket Business Men's Association.
WOONSOCKET BRUSH COMPANY, Successors to John W. Abbott, Brush Manufacturers, No. 38 Allen Street. -- The oldest concern devoted to the manufacture of brushes in Rhode Island is that of the Woonsocket Brush Company, No. 38 Allen Street. It was established about sixty years ago, by Aquilla Cook, at Bellingham, Mass., and in 1850, was moved to this town. In 1880 the business passed into control of John W. Abbott, who was succeeded in 1884, by Messrs. P. E. and W. S. Thayer, the latter having bought out the interest of P. E. Thayer, on June 1, 1892, and is now sole proprietor and continuing the business with uninterrupted success. The company turns out a superior class of brushes for cotton and woolen mills, print works, jewelry manufacturers, etc., and the productions are in extensive use. The goods made by the Woonsocket Brush Company have a widespread reputation, being not surpassed for the purposes intended by any produced in New England, and are in steady and growing demand throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut. The factory premises occupy two commodious floors, and are equipped with ample steam-power, improved machinery, etc., while twenty in help are employed. Brushes of all kinds are made to order at short notice, and a large assortment is constantly kept on hand, the specialties being brushes for manufacturers of textiles and jewelry. Every article leaving this concern is warranted as to make and material, while the prices charged by the company are of the most reasonable character, and all orders are promptly and carefully filled.
H. JEFFREY & CO., Power Loom Harness and Reed Manufacturers, Allen Street. -- This thriving and prosperous business was established in 1875 by H. Jeffrey, who died in November, 1889, when his son Walter assumed control, and has since conducted it for the estate of his father under the firm-name that heads this sketch, with uninterrupted success. They are manufacturers of power loom harness and reeds of a distinctly superior kind, and their productions command extensive sale throughout the United States. The manufacturing premises on Allen Street, near Main, comprise three 50 x 50 foot floors, and are equipped with ample steam-power, the latest improved machinery, etc., and twenty to twenty-five in help are employed. The firm have splendid facilities in all respects, and turn out a class of work of exceptional excellence. A large stock of harness and reeds is constantly kept on hand here, and all orders are promptly attended to, while the prices charged are of the most reasonable character, being, in fact, notably low, merit of productions considered, every article made here being fully warranted. Mr. Walter Jeffrey, who is a gentleman of middle age, was born in Maine and has resided in this city for a number of years. He is a practical loom harness manufacturer, and a man of thorough experience, and all the indications are that the business is bound to increase under his efficient management.
ENTERPRISE DYE WORKS, Mark Hough, Proprietor, Dyer and Bleacher of Woolen and Worsted Yarns and Braid, No. 92 South Main Street. -- The Enterprise Dye Works, located in this city at No. 92 South Main Street, while controlling the major part of the trade here, now rank as one of the oldest established in this section of the State, and they are widely known for turning out a fine line of work, in all senses reliable, and at fair and reasonable prices. The Enterprise Works are dyers and bleachers of woolen and worsted yarns, braid and cotton yarns for backings and slubbings. These yarns are bleached or dyed in all colors to order, and the heavy volume of trade controlled, reaches throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, among manufacturers of textile fabrics and cotton and woolen spinners. The dyes used, as well as the various chemical compounds, are selected with scrupulous care, with a view to producing bright, clear colors, that will last in fine condition as long as the fabric itself, and the processes adopted are based upon the latest approved scientific principles, so that the yarns sustain absolutely no injury in any respect, and are not deteriorated in strength or tenacity, no inferior dying or bleaching being undertaken. The business was founded by the present sole proprietor, Mr. Mark Hough, at Pawtucket, in 1876, under the name of Hough Bros. In 1884 the Enterprise Dye Works was founded. The owner was enabled to embrace all the most improved appliances known in the trade, for ensuring an uniformly high standard of productions, and the new and elaborate plant laid down is as complete as it is possible for a dying establishment to be at the present time. This plant is contained in two spacious floors, each 40 x 100 feet in area, and among other things it comprises two boilers of 60-horse power each, steam-power machinery for fans, pumps, etc., and fourteen vats or color tubs. The output of the works is sixteen thousand pounds of yarns in all colors per week, and regular employment is furnished twenty workers, all skilled in their respective departments. Mr. Mark Hough was born in England in 1851, but has resided in the United States for the past thirty-six years, and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Good Fellows, besides being prominent in the Masonic Fraternity. He has been actively engaged as a practical dyer for over a quarter of a century, and personally superintends the accurate and prompt fulfillment of all orders he undertakes.
MONUMENT HOUSE, L. W. Elliott & Co., Proprietors, Monument Square. -- The Monument House was erected on the site of a building destroyed by fire, in 1877, by Mr. L. W. Elliott, who has since conducted the hotel as proprietor, and whose name has become a synonym for perfection in hotel keeping the country over. The house is four-stories high, 42 x 160 feet in size, and contains seventy rooms. No luxury afforded in situation, surroundings, modern conveniences or management in any hotel in the State is lacking at the Monument House. It is pleasantly situated on Monument Square, near to the depot and adjoining the business center, and is convenient alike to the permanent patron, the commercial tourist and the transient guest. The house is heated by steam, lighted by electric-lights, and provided with electric call bells, while a fine biliard hall, barber-shop, bar and cafe, and a well-equipped livery stable, are among the necessities of modern hotel life here supplied for the accommodation of guests. The cuisine of the house is worthy of special commendation, being under the most expert management and kept up to the highest standard of excellence. The dining-room has a seating capacity for 150 guests, and the house is liberally patronized by our citizens, having over forty permanent borders, besides a large and influential transient trade. Terms are placed at the low rates of $2 per day, and a stay at this hotel is ever remembered as a pleasant experience. Mine host Elliott is also lessee of the Woonsocket Opera House, the finest hall for theatrical and operatic purposes in Rhode Island. It was built at a cost of $65,000, in 1887, Willard Kent, architect. It has a seating capacity of 1,500, the stage is 51 x 65 feet, and there are six private boxes, three on each side of the stage. The building is 82 feet high, 70 x 172 feet in dimensions, and constructed of brick and terra-cotta in a thoroughly fireproof, ornate and substantial manner. In its architectural appearance, as well as in its careful and expert management, it is a credit to the city, and is liberally patronized by the best concert and dramatic companies from New York and Boston, who find Woonsocket a fine field for the exercise of their talent. Mr. Elliott is one of the busiest men of the town, being a large property owner and prominent in local affairs.
PEOPLES SAVINGS BANK, No. 167 Main Street. -- No savings institution in Rhode Island deservedly enjoys a greater degree of confidence than the Peoples Savings Bank, of this city. It was incorporated in 1857, and from the start has been constantly availed of by the most thrifty classes of the community as a safe and remunerative depository for their savings. Its banking-rooms are desirably situated in the new Granite Block, No. 167 Main Street, and contain every modern facility for doing an extensive business, while the vault for the storage of books, bullion and papers is both fire and burglar-proof, giving the greatest possible security. Deposits of from $1 up to $2,000 are received, and interest at 5 per cent, per annum is paid thereon. The bank now has no less than 2,000 depositors, who have due them the sum of $1,175,000; while the bank has a snug surplus of $50,000. The guidance of this popular savings bank has ever been of the soundest and most conservative character. The ablest and wealthiest citizens of Woonsocket have, without emolument and at much personal self-sacrifice, devoted their time and talent to its management, and no financial concern in the city makes a more representative showing in its array of trustees. The list is as follows, viz: Joseph E. Cole, President; R. G. Randall, treasurer; and Gilbert Darling, Clinton Puffer, James S. Read, Bradford F. Knapp, David Bass, Joseph B. Aldrich, Leroy L. Chilson, J. B. Farnum, Austin S. Cook, A. W. Buckland and George M. Welles. The above are gentlemen prominent in every walk of life. The president, Mr. Cole is also president of the First National Bank, the Woonsocket Gas Company, and the American Worsted Co.; treasurer of the Harris Woolen Co., and a tower of strength to any undertaking with which he may be identified. The treasurer, Mr. Randall, is also cashier of the First National Bank, secretary and treasurer of the Woonsocket Gas Co., and treasurer of the American Worsted Co. and the Harris Institute of Woonsocket. The business of this institution is steadily increasing, while its solidity and security are commensurate with its patronage and the confidence of the community keeps pace with both.
CITY LUMBER COMPANY, Dealers in Lumber, Moldings, Doors, Sashes and Blinds, Brick, Lime Cement, Etc., Yard on River Street, near New York and New England Railroad. -- One of the most extensive lumber and building materials businesses in Woonsocket is that conducted by the City Lumber Company, whose yard is situated on River Street, near the New York and New England Railroad. This important enterprise was established on June 1, 1882, by Mr. H. N. Brown and Chas. Genereaux. At Mr. Brown's decease in 1889, the present company succeeded, the proprietors being Mr. Charles Genereaux and Mr. George M. Welles. The chief lines of goods dealt in are building lumber of all kinds, such as yellow and white pine, spruce, hemlock, cedar, ash, oak, whitewood, walnut, poplar, chestnut posts, shingles, clapboards, lath, etc., as well as moldings, doors, sash, frames, blinds, brick, lime, cement and hair. These are procured in each instance direct from mills, manufacturers and others, upon the most advantageous terms, thereby enabling the company to offer to users throughout this section, some substantial inducements as to prices, qualities and delivery. Shipments are received by the New York & New England and New York, Boston & Providence Railroads, whose cars upload in the yards. These latter, covering an area of two acres, are provided with lumber sheds, etc., and contain a very large and carefully selected stock of lumber, lime, cement, etc., competent assistants being regularly employed around the premises, and seven teams retained for delivery purposes, insuring prompt delivery. Of the able proprietors, Mr. Charles Genereaux, who is a gentleman of middle age, was born in Canada, but has resided in Woonsocket since childhood, and is a member of the Business Men's Association, as well as of several fraternal orders and French societies; while Mr. George M. Welles - also a gentleman of middle age - is a native of Connecticut, having resided in this city for the past twenty-seven years, and is trustee of the Peoples Savings Bank, besides being on the Board of Investment of same, is a director of the Gas Company of Woonsocket, and is vice-president of the Building and Loan Association here, and a member of the Business Men's Association.
A. C. SIBLEY, Dealer in Lumber and Glass, and Manufacturer of Doors,
Sashes, Blinds, Moldings, Boxes and Cloth Boards, Etc., Mill, No. 172 Pond
Street. -- The lumber trade of the various sections of New
England has been aptly described to be one of the integral links in the
great chain of American commerce. Its important bearing upon the
commercial economy of the country is a manifest fact. The leading
representative of the industry in Woonsocket is Mr. A. C. Sibley, whose
lumber yard and planing-mill are located at No. 172 Pond Street.
Mr. Sibley was born in Oxford, Mass., came to this town fifteen years ago,
and in 1879 established the business which has since, under his personal
management, developed to such extensive and prosperous proportions.
The premises used for the industry cover an area of one acre, and here
is carried a stock of over 200,000 feet of hardwood, logs, lath, shingles,
clapboards, pine, hemlock, spruce, and building lumber of all kinds.
The mill is a two-story building, 50 x 110 feet in dimensions, with a wing
30 x 40 feet in size. The mill is equipped with the most improved
woodworking machinery, driven by a 100-horse power Corliss engine, and
the huge smokestack from the boiler-room is sixty-four feet in height.
Mr. Sibley has ten teams, employs thirty workmen, and executes planing,
sawing and jobbing of all kinds, making a specialty of sawing to order
flume and bridge planks. He deals in plain and cathedral glass, and
in short wood and kindlings, and manufactures a general line of doors,
sashes, blinds, moldings, boxes and cloth boards. Orders, large or
small, are given the same careful attention, and the most liberal terms
and lowest market prices are quoted in every instance. Mr. Sibley
is a gentleman of unqualified integrity, prominent in business circles,
and he has very materially advanced the best interests of this thriving