Those of our readers who have followed us thus far, in our descriptive account of the chief cities of Southern Illinois, must recognize that we have no desire to claim for any one of them the entire advantages possessed by this section of country as a whole. Our object is to direct the merchant and the manufacturer, the banker, investor, or home-seeker where he may find what he wants and to do so we endeavor, as simply and concisely as possible, to draw attention to such natural advantages of locality and resources as any city holds, the extent of work attempted and accomplished in the field of development and directly or by inferences, which the reader may draw for himself, point out the possible and probable results to be attained in the future.
We are not aware that there was any deliberate selection of the site upon which Mound City is located, as a point at which to build a city; it seems to have grown as a result of the advantages afforded by its location on the Ohio river, at a convenient point for the collection and distribution of the products of an extensive territory of bountiful resources.
The city was formally incorporated in 1812 and the results of its strong position are apparent in the place it now occupies as a rail and river transportation centre and the wonderfully large growth of its industries.
It is a terminal point of the Illinois Central and has eastern and northern through connections by means of the "Big Four" R. R. True, the connections afforded by the Central, between this point and the junction three miles distant at Mounds (Beechwood), are rather imperfect and the principal grounds on which they may be commended to public notice are as a curious eccentricity of railroad management in this century of rapid steam and electric transit, but this is a matter which is to be laid at the door of the railroad rather than ascribed as a reflection upon the city. There is a growing impatience on the part of the community, and a strong desire to secure better means of transport at an early date shall no doubt find the "fast mule express" replaced by a mode of transit more in keeping with the times. Mound City is 135 miles from St. Louis, 7 miles north of Cairo, 30 miles from Metropolis, a terminal of the 8t. Louis Alton & Terre Haute and 35 miles from Paducah, Ky., at the point where the Tennessee River discharges its waters into the Ohio.
Pulaski County, of which this is the judicial seat, was organized in 1843, named after the Polish patriot, Count Pulaski, whose memory is honored in this country for his distinguished services as an officer of Cavalry in the Revolutionary War.
The principal resources of the section are lumber and agriculture and may be said to be about evenly divided; much of the city's trade results from her collection and distribution of the products of the valuable timber country on the other side of the river, in which there is an unlimited supply of white oak, white and long leaf yellow pine, cypress, poplar, walnut and other valuable woods, most of which grow profusely in this country also.
This part of the country is in the same latitude as the heart of the Kentucky Blue Grass region and the climate is just as mild and pleasant; the soil presents such varieties as might be expected in a rolling country and there are many hundreds of acres of as rich black land as can be found, wonderfully fertile and capable of the highest yield.
General farming and stock-raising are engaged in to an almost equal extent and both are profitable.
Fruit culture is fast becoming one of the farmer's leading resources and is followed with particular success by the land-holders along the line of the Illinois Central. Close proximity to important markets and fast connections with Chicago and the north, where there is an unlimited demand for small fruits and vegetables, gives every opportunity of profitable returns from these crops and the development already accomplished in this direction is bearing fruit and must materially benefit the agricultural interest.
The leading and, indeed, almost all the industries are located in Mound City, though there are some saw and planing mills, fruit package and box factories located at lesser points. The field of manufacturing has been thoroughly tested and it may be correctly staled that nothing has been touched that has not yielded good returns. The limits within which this article must be kept forbid any details of the various manufactures carried on; most of these will be found described in the special notices following; among the leading industries are a marine railway and stockyard, several saw and planing mills, hoop and stave factories, furniture factory, slack barrel factories, one large concern manufacturing pumps and wood water elevators, machine shops, etc., and we might add that plans for a large flouring mill are now under consideration, the city having already granted a bonus for its erection and operation. We are not in a position to state the number of persons employed in the various establishments but the average weekly pay-roll, which goes into local circulation is in the neighborhood of $8000. There are some splendid retail establishments but the mercantile interests, as a whole, do not strike the observer as being commensurate with the advancement of the city's industries; this is probably due to the proximity of the larger city of Cairo and a mistaken policy, which part of the community follow, of trading at points other than their own home.
It is only fair to state emphatically that this does not indicate any lack of enterprise or resource upon the part of local merchants, who, as a class of business men, are progressive and energetic la the highest degree; as it is, they enjoy a very fair trade and when the people generally learn that patronizing home enterprise is the way to ensure the city's prosperity, the revolution which will then set in will rebound creditably to the business sagacity of these men and bring them a largely increased measure of success. The advantages which Mound City real estate offers are rather those which attract the investor in search of absolute security, either from present income or a steady and permanent advance in values than those which concern the speculator and as a rule it follows the same conservative lines which govern its trade and commerce. Prices have not been run up above actual values and advance has been the result of growth and remains permanent. Of late several important transactions have taken place, investments made by northern capitalists in particular and with these indications of a strong forward movement a general feeling of prosperity reigns throughout the real estate interest.
There is a State Bank, which is in a prosperous condition and whose funds are always in active service, productive of material good in the extension of trade; the local building and loan association is in a particularly flourishing condition.
The religious, educational and social advantages are pretty much the same as are found in all towns of like size in this southern section. The leading churches are Catholic (St. Mary's), Congregational (Pilgrim), Episcopal (St. Peter's) and Methodist Episcopal (Grace) and there are two excellent public, graded schools, one for white and one for colored children. The former was built at a cost of $10,000 and has a staff of seven teachers, and a principal and there are three teachers in the colored school.
The various fraternities are well represented; the Knights of Pythias are probably the strongest order, closely followed by the odd Fellows, who have a nice hall of their own; a Masonic Lodge has just been instituted.
It is usual in an account of a county seat to give some description of the Court House, but this we cannot do in this instance as that building was recently burned down; the officers are located in one of the business blocks, which was conveniently adapted to their requirements and as the public officers find them sufficient and the people are just as efficiently served, there is probably no reason for the county hastening to incur the expense of a building. The last assessment gives the following values— lands $552,135.00, lots $164,026.00, personality $218,349.00; the total taxation for all purposes is $49,525.36, the total school tax $21,875.79. The city's debt is comparatively light, $18,500; it expended $157,000 upon the four miles of levee which surround the town, all of which has been paid, but with this exception it owns no public improvements of any considerable value.
Private enterprise has formulated plans for supplying the city with waterworks and electric lighting facilities and the necessary preparations for the construction and erection of both plants is now under way.
The streets of the city are well laid out and well graded; the brick sidewalks, now being laid by property owners and the municipal authorities, are a handsome and very desirable improvement.
There are two weekly newspapers, one independent in politics, the other republican, a nice little Opera House opened last spring, one first-class hotel and several of a smaller order, well equipped livery stable, fire company and in short all the common facilities required by a go-ahead flourishing community, presently placed at about 2800 POPULATION.
There is no question but that Mound City is enjoying an era of prosperity and one which, moreover seems to be but in the beginning. As these lines are being written, work upon a new stave and hoop factory, which will employ over a hundred men, is nearing completion and an important manufacturing concern from the north is negotiating with a view to locating here also, attracted by the fullness of the timber supply and the splendid facilities afforded for receiving materials and the shipment of its manufactures. The fact it that this city and surrounding country offer manufacturers in lumber and kindred lines of trade such opportunities is are afforded at no other point in the United States — abundance of raw material of the best qualities, facilities unequalled for cheaply marketing the manufactured products.
MOUND CITY STAVE COMPANY, A. J. Dougherty, Supt. — The business carried on by the Mound City Stave Company, one of the prominent features of industrial activity in this section, was established at its present headquarters by Mr. A. G. Dougherty in 1870. His practical training and personal energy enabled him to carry it on with vigor and success and in 1877 the business had grown so much as to suggest the formation of a stock company. In that year therefore the company was organized and incorporated, the active management of affairs remaining in Mr. Dougherty's hands; since then the resources of the establishment have been extended in various ways and the works in their mechanical efficiency are not surpassed by anything. The plant, comprising saw-mill, planing mill, engine and boiler houses, dry house, warehouses, sheds, office, etc. covers about two acres of ground and the premises where some fifty men are employed, present an animated and busy appearance. The main lines of manufacture are staves and heading for flour, lime and fruit barrels, about twenty thousand staves and twelve hundred sets of heading being turned out daily; the annual consumption of timber is from five to six thousand cords, most of which the Company get out themselves giving employment to an additional force of about fifty men in Pulaski County and along the river. As already indicated, Mr. Dougherty takes the leading part in the conduct of the business, which from its large extent must need a very great deal of forethought and energy, but from the results that have been achieved it is readily seen that nothing has been spared to develop all of its resources. He is one of the most progressive and public spirited of our citizens, and is now engaged in launching an enterprise to erect and operate an electric light plant in Mound City, for which he has already secured the franchise and is also formulating plans for the erection and operation of a large flour mill, an industry for which this location offers a splendid opportunity.
G. J. MURPHY & CO., Dealers in Coal, Wood and Kindling, Lime, Cement, Etc. Steam Boat Agency. — One of the most prominent features of commercial activity in this progressive little city is the business carried on by the firm of G. J. Murphy & Co. which as a combination of various interests forms an enterprise of considerable proportions. They are dealers in coal, wood and kindling, feed of all kinds, building materials, lime, cement, brick and sand, also wagons, skiffs and oars. The business was established upon its present basis in 1889, the members of the firm being Mr. G. J. Murphy and Mr. F. A. Wilson; the office and principal warehouse is on East First street between Commercial avenue and Main Street, from which they have telegraphic connection to the railroad depots. Mr. G.J. Murphy was born in Missouri but has been resident in Mound City for twenty-five years and has gained for himself an enviable position of business prominence. He is a partner in the firm of E. A. Hayes & Co. general merchants and is a member of the City Council for the third term; for a number of years he was City Clerk. He is at present superintendent of the Mound City Stave Works. His associate, Mr. E. A. Wilson is acting agent for all the lines of steamers plying the Ohio River that stop at this point, which throws upon his shoulders a business of large extent. The principal lines are the St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co., Cincinnati, Memphis and New Orleans Packet Co., Paducah and Cairo Dally Packet Co. His office is located at the corner of Commercial avenue and East First street, one block from the Boat Landing. Mr. Wilson is a comparatively young man, but possessed of much business push and ability. He is painstaking in his efforts to please shippers and in every way efficiently subserves the interests of the lines he represents.
E. P. EASTERDAY, Notary Public, Abstracter of Titles and Real Estate Agent. — A title, to have any value, must be perfect and should a transfer of property necessitate the examination of the title, it is always wise policy to place the matter in the hands of reliable abstracters. Such is to be found in this city in the person of Mr. E. P. Easterday, resident partner of the firm of M. E. Easterday & Co. of Cairo and Mound City. The Cairo office has been conducted since 1879 and the Mound City branch was established in 1887, to deal with matters relating to Pulaski County. The firm are the compilers and owners of a complete set of abstracts of Alexander and Pulaski Counties, going back to the original government entries, about the year 1818. Their records are the only abstracts of Pulaski County in existence and are therefore of exceptional value. Mr. E P. Easterday, who has charge of this Pulaski County business, is a comparatively young man, but as his whole attention through his career has been devoted to real estate matters, his knowledge and experience are equally extensive. He is regarded as an authority on land titles and an excellent judge of present and prospective values of real estate. Mr. Easterday is Police Magistrate, Notary Public and ex-officlo Justice of Peace; he is a prominent member of the Odd Fellows Fraternity and having held all the offices is Past Noble Grand.
T. M. FORD & Co., Dry Goods and Notions. — An important retail business in Mound City is that which is conducted by Messrs. T. M. Ford & Co. of which firm Mr. Ford is the representative. The business has been established over two years, but in that comparatively short time has taken a leading place in its particular line of trade. In the store will be found a very complete stock of dry goods and notions; fine dress goods are a specialty and the lines of linens, silks, embroideries, ladies furnishings, hosiery and fine foot wear offer exceptional opportunities and inducements. The store itself is a large double building and it takes the joint efforts of the proprietor and two salesmen to keep up with the demands of trade. Mr. Ford was born In Tennessee and was formerly in the lumber business; he was for some years located in Kentucky and after coming to Mound City twelve years ago operated a saw-mill for nearly ten years. The new enterprise in which he engaged, met with a hearty success from the first, which is entirely due to his business ability and progressive ideas. He stands high in public esteem and renders efficient service to the community as a member of the City Council.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY MARINE, RAILWAY & DOCK CO. Works at Mound City, Ill. — This business was founded many years ago as an individual enterprise, but its advanced stage of development dates from the time it passed into the hands of the present holders some twelve years ago; the success which has since attended it, can be best described by a presentation of its present status among the industries of Egypt. The yard is located on the Ohio River front, towards the south end of the city, within the corporation limits, covering an area of between eight and ten acres. The plant consists of several buildings, such as engine and boiler house, wood-working and machine shops and a large shed extending over the ways, which can accommodate between seven or eight ordinary sized vessels at one time. There are nine inclined railways running to the bed of the river upon which vessels are hauled out for repairs at any time of the year, with immense claims forged specially to withstand the enormous strain to which they are daily subjected; the gearings by which they are operated have attached heavy cog and gear and screw worm machinery of extraordinary powers which indefinitely increase the lifting capacity of the 16x24 engine. Employment is given to one hundred and fifty men; the lines of the work being the repair of river steamers and barges and the building of new vessels. This is probably one of the best marine railways in existence; it was constructed at a time when the river trade was in its glory and was put down on a solid and permanent basis which cannot be duplicated in any plants built more recently. Henry C. Haarstlck, of St. Louis, is President of the concern and Captain H. E. Taylor of Mound City is Secretary and Treasurer. Captain Taylor is a native of the Blue Grass State, born in Henderson; the entire management of the company's business falls upon his shoulders for which however he is particularly well qualified by an active river experience during almost a quarter of a century.
"THE REPUBLICAN," Richard M. Boren, Publisher, F. M. Collins, Editor. — Another feature tending to show the steady progress of this city towards metropolitan conditions is the establishment of a second newspaper — "The Republican.' The publisher is Mr. Richard M. Boren, who came here from Dongola, where he published the 'Dongola Independent" and he has associated with him, as editor, Mr. F. M. Collins another newspaper man of standing and experience. "The Republican," which is a seven column folio, made its bow to the public on the first day of September and appears every Saturday morning; it has gained a splendid start with a bona fide circulation of 750. From the amount of advertising in its columns it has evidently been adopted by the enterprising merchants of this city as a desirable medium for business purposes. The office is equipped with a Babcock country cylinder newspaper press, fast job press, plenty of new type and every facility for first-class job printing, in which line it has already secured a desirable patronage; the working staff numbers four persons. Altogether the new enterprise makes its debut under auspicious conditions. Mr. Boren and Mr. Collins are both thoroughly identified with Southern Illinois, the former is a native of Pulaski County, while the latter is a native of Alabama and served the Union cause from October 1st, 1861, in the 60th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Company K, which made the memorable march to the Sea with Sherman. Captain Collins was mustered out of service August 10th, 1865. On October 9th, following he formed a co-partnership with Hon. John F. McCartney and established the "Promulgator," at Metropolis, Ill., since which period he has been closely identified with the newspaper interests of this part of the state and bears the reputation of being among the most active journalists of Southern Illinois.
JOS. GATTINGER, Diamonds, Jewelry and Silverware. — An expert watchmaker and reliable dealer is Mr. Joseph Gattinger. He learned the trade of jeweler in Anna and for a period did business in Dongola, Ill. He located in this place some five years ago. In his store, which is directly opposite the National Hotel on Main street, he carries a very choice and highly diversified stock which he purchases direct from the manufacturers and is local agent for the popular goods of the Columbus Watch Company. Mr. Gattinger is an expert workman and can minister to ail the diseases to which time-pieces of all descriptions are liable and can restore to perfect health and a prolonged life of usefulness. Indeed he devotes a great deal of attention to repairs, especially of watches and is very particular about executing orders in this department.
LOUIS BLUM. — The oldest business house in the town, in its particular line of trade is that of Mr. Louis Blum; business has been conducted at the present stand for twenty-five years and for a few years previous to that it was located in another part of the town. Mr. Blum deals in dry-goods, clothing and shoes and makes a special feature of tailor made clothing. His established connections and ample resources enable him to buy his goods "just right" and it is not at all surprising that the house should enjoy so wide a reputation for the high-class quality of its wares as well as the lowness of its prices. Mr. Blum is of German birth but has been a resident in this country the greater part of his life and has always been regarded as one of the leading dealers of Mound City.
FRANK R. CASEY, Druggist. — One of the oldest known stores in this part of the county is that old established pharmacy, which for the last two years has been in the hands of the present owner Mr. Frank R. Casey. Conveniently located in a central part of the town it forms a prominent feature among the retail interests and receives a stream of custom from all parts of the neighborhood. The stock is very full and complete in all the main lines to be found in any first-class pharmacy and embraces a splendid assortment of pure drugs and chemicals, standard medicines and proprietary remedies, in addition to which are soaps, perfumes, brushes, jewelry, stationery, fancy goods, inks and cigars. Mr. Casey, who is a native of Mound City, is a registered pharmacist of long experience and indeed has been connected with the store of which he is now proprietor for twelve years. He employs a registered assistant who lends him efficient and competent help in the compounding of physicians' prescriptions, which department is kept open night and day. Mr. Casey stands in high esteem in the community and is regarded as an enterprising and reliable citizen. He is the Cashier of the local cabinet of the American Mutual Benefit Society, a national beneficial organization incorporated under the laws of Virginia.
A. W. WILLIAMSON, Sash, Blinds, Flooring Ceiling. — Among the industrial enterprises of this busy little city, the business carried on by Mr. A. W. Williamson occupies a conspicuous position. He is a manufacturer and dealer in sash, doors, blinds, flooring, ceiling, siding, builder's hardware and nails and has a well equipped saw and planing mill plant in constant operation giving employment to fifteen men. The business was established in 1881 by the firm of Ford & Williamson and was at first located on the other side of the river, just opposite this city; it was moved to its present site on the Levee nine years ago. In 1891 Mr. Williamson purchased his partner's interest and has since carried it on as an individual and steadily increased his trade every year. Mr. Williamson was born in the northern part of the state and came from Chicago to Mound City in 1881; he has during his whole residence here been intimately associated with many movements for the public good and has done his full share in fostering the general business development. He is a Director of the First State Bank of Mound City, President of the Mound City Building and Loan Association and is at present serving his second term as Mayor.
C. F. MEYER, Manufacturer of White Oak Staves and Heading. — The stave factory, which is now owned and operated by Mr. C. F. Meyer, was established many years ago by his father, the late G. F. Meyer. In its large productive capacity it forms one of the leading industrial features of the city. The principal lines of manufacture are beer, half-barrel and keg slaves, whiskey barrel staves, bucked and jointed ale hogshead and barrel staves, all with heading to match, and a special feature is made of white oak full dressed beer and half-barrelatives. The factory is equipped with the best styles of machinery and labor-saving appliances and employs some seventy-five workmen. The annual consumption of timber, some of which is got out by Mr. Meyer's own lumber-gangs, is very large and the shipments of manufactured material amount to in the neighborhood of two hundred cars. Within easy reach of an abundance of first-class lumber, with cheap transportation to bring it to the door of their factory, with first class labor and machinery, Mound City staves can naturally enter into competition with anything in the trade; the premises are conveniently located in the city limits close to the Big Four and Illinois Central tracks, which carry their goods north, east, south and west.
MOUND CITY FURNITURE CO. Manufacturers of Imitation and Oak Furniture. — In a review showing the business growth and general material and social development of this section of the state, attention is properly directed to such concerns as this to whose energy and enterprise may be ascribed the vitality that has characterized the state's advancement. The Mound City Furniture Company was incorporated in 1883, with $50,000 capital (four-fifths paid in) under the following officers: President, C. F. Meyer, Secretary, R. C. Magill. In the factory proper they work about seventy-five men and in addition have lumber gangs employed the season through along the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers; the principal lines of manufacture are oak and imitation furniture, suits, bureaus, wardrobes, tables, stands, safes, etc. The factory is located close to the intersection of the Big Four with the Illinois Central and comprises dry-houses and saw-mills, besides the furniture factory proper. The works consume two and a half million feet of lumber annually.
W. T. FREEZE, Lawyer. — Among the representatives of the professional interests in Mound City, a prominent place is occupied by Mr. W. T. Freeze admitted to the Illinois Bar by examination of the Appellate Court in 1881. For thirteen years he has been engaged in practice in tills city. Although taking a keen interest in politics, he has never put himself forward for any office but believing with Bacon that the "greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving counsel" has prepared to devote all his time and energies to his professional engagements. Our subject was born in Coffee County, Tennessee, December 1st 1844 and came here in 1848 with his parents who located in Union County three miles from Anna, Ill. He was raised on a farm; arriving at manhood's estate he engaged in fruit farming and was among the first who cultivated strawberries in this part of the state and made a success of the enterprise. From his 9th year up to this time he had received but limited educational training. In 1862 he enlisted in the 18th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company H, and subsequently received the appointment of Hospital Steward in which capacity he served until the close of the war. He had prepared himself for the profession of civil engineer but owing to physical disability, the result of dysentery contracted in the service, he had to abandon the pursuit of that profession. For a period of eight years prior to entering upon the practice of law he engaged in mechanical occupations. In connection with his professional duties he is still a fruit grower and is the owner of a 240 acre fruit farm in Pulaski Co. He attended the Michigan University one term and in all respects he is a self-made practical business and professional man and a public spirited citizen, whose success is well deserved.
F. J. WEHRFRITZ, Dealer in Groceries, Provisions, Hardware, Queensware, Tinware, Etc. — Among the retail interests of this place one that has acquired some prominence during the six years it has been established is the business carried on by Mr. F. J Wehrfritz. This store is located on the main street in a central part of the town, occupying commodious premises, which are conveniently arranged to display a heavy stock of goods. With long experience in the business and ample resources, Mr. Wehrfritz is able to buy to the very best advantage and is thus able to offer his customers many inducements they cannot duplicate elsewhere; he gives the business his personal attention and two active salesmen find their time fully occupied in waiting on the demands of a large pushing trade. Born in Germany, Mr. Wehrfritz has been resident in the United States the greater part of his life and came to Mound City in 1865; he has ever taken a prominent part in promoting the best interests of this section and is regarded as an estimable and reliable citizen. He renders efficient public service as a member of the Board of Education and as one of the City Aldermen.
W. A. STEED, Tailor. — It pays to dress well. The man who presents a neat appearance will find that it helps him along towards success. A good tailoring establishment therefore always receives the cordial support of a community, as Mr. Steed has found out, although he only began business less than a year ago. He is a native of the northern part of the state, but was for some time in St. Louis, where he gained experience in merchant tailoring. Mr. Steed makes a specialty of fine dress and business suits and the quality of his work and careful attention to details have brought him many regular patrons. He carries a good selection of woolens, suitings and trimmings and rather enjoys seeing anyone compete with him on prices.
G. F. MEYER & CO. Dealers in General Merchandise. — The visitor to Mound City will be struck with the business block; situated at the south end of Main street, bearing upon its front the name of G. F. Meyer & Co., and upon a little enquiry he will find that the firm are fully in keeping with the building, occupying a position of great prominence in commercial circles. The business was established in 1858 by Mr. G. F. Meyer (deceased, 1888) and is now carried on by his son under the old style; every year has seen their transactions increase and the reputation of the house is so far above question that "they are Meyer's" is all the recommendation their goods require. The lines carried embrace staple and fancy groceries and provisions, dry goods, boots and shoes, harness and saddlery, hardware and stoves, each occupying a separate store, and in addition they deal in boat stores, paints, oils, building material, buggies and wagon. The building covers five lots and was erected in 1882 to replace the original store, an old frame building burned down in the big fire which wiped out the south end of the city in 1876. There is ample storage accommodation in the rear and a large new warehouse covered with galvanized steel sheeting has just been erected across the street for the more bulky class of goods. Mr. C. F. Meyer, the head of this important concern is a pillar in the financial, industrial and mercantile interests of the city. He is President of the Mound City Furniture Company and owner of a large stave and heading factory. Under his management the firm of G. F. Meyer & Co. not only retains its old standing and established relations, but finds the scope of its operations being steadily developed.
"THE DAILY ENTERPRISE," J. F. & W. F. Connell Editors and Publishers, was established Oct. 29, 1894. It is a six column quarto, is issued every day except Sunday. Subscription forty cents a month. It is strictly non partisan, non sectarian and non factional and its columns will at all times be found consistently truthful and untrammeled.
THOS. BROWNER & SON. — One of the oldest houses in Mound City in its particular line is the general store of Thos Browner & Son. It was established twenty-one years ago and carried on individually by the senior partner Mr. Thomas Browner, until 1884 when his son, Mr. M. F. Browner, was admitted to partnership. The store is on Main Street, almost directly opposite the National Hotel. The lines carried embrace the usual features of a general store, special attention being given to groceries, hardware, queensware and stoves. As is natural with a business so long established the house has an extensive connection and its trade comes from all parts of Pulaski County. Mr. Thomas Browner was born in Ireland but has been resident on this side of the ocean the great part of his life and for thirty years has been a Mound Citizen. As a firm and individually they are regarded as among the most prominent of our enterprising men. Mr. M. F. Browner is City Clerk.
"PULASKI ENTERPRISE, Official Paper, County and City — The "Pulaski Enterprise," was established in 1892 by a stock company, with Mr. J. F. Connell at the head of affairs as publisher and managing editor. It is a weekly six-column quarto, patent inside, with a bona fide circulation of 1000. Mr. Connell who was born in Nashville, Tennessee was long a resident of Williamson County and began his newspaper career as publisher of the "Egyptian Press" at Marion; there he was 17 years and later connected himself with the Cairo press three years. Since his residence in Mound City he has devoted untiring energy to increasing his paper's popularity and that he has eminently succeeded is evidenced by its wide influence in the city and county.
NATIONAL PUMP COMPANY, Manufacturers of Wood Pumps of Every Description.
— Few enterprises have done more to enhance the good name of Mound City as a
centre of pronounced industrial activity than that which is carried on by
the National Pump Company. As manufacturers of wood pumps of all
descriptions they have attained undisputed pre-eminence in their line and
their goods are shipped to all parts of the Union, principally however to
eastern, northern, northwestern and western states. It is quite
impracticable in the limits at our disposal to give anything like a detailed
account of this large concern, but briefly we will place before our readers
some facts which will serve to indicate its extent and the influence it
exerts upon the business growth and material advancement of Mound City. The
works cover three acres, the plant comprising two saw-mills and the pump and
chain curb factories proper each with their own engine and boilers
aggregating in capacity nearly two hundred horse-power, dry-houses, paint
shops, finishing rooms, shipping and warehouses, etc. The machinery,
appliances and numerous labor-saving devices are of the most approved
description and embrace every feature of mechanical efficiency known to the
trade. Employment is given to over a hundred men, under competent
experienced foremen in each department and the business as a whole is
directed by the Superintendent, Mr. F. J. Kuny, who is local officer in
charge. The company use nothing but the best Tennessee poplar in their
manufacture, of which they consume some three million feet annually. The
daily output is equal to one car load of pumps and pump material and chain
curbs. They also manufacture the famous national water elevator, veranda
columns and hose reels. Every part of the work, from cutting the logs in the
depths of the Tennessee forests to the finished products, is done by their
own men and machinery. The business, which is now operated as a branch of
the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company whose general offices are in St.
Louis, has been located in Mound City since 1887 and for five years previous
to that was carried on at Hickman, Ky.; since being up here it has been
greatly broadened in base and had its facilities developed and the scope of
its operations has been consequently augmented. It constitutes a potential
factor in the business growth of this place with the annual volume of its
shipments and the amount of money it puts into local circulation and may
justly be classed among those prominent enterprises that are fast building
up this southern part of the state.
While it is too large an institution to be dependent upon the efforts of any one man it is but fair to state that under Mr. Kuny's administration of its local affairs its prestige is fully sustained. He is a comparatively young man, born in Germany, but resident in this country since boyhood; he was first engaged in the plumber's supply trade, then connected with the N. O. Nelson Mfg. Company, in charge of factory estimates, from which he gained a very thorough knowledge of practical details. In him the company have a faithful representative and the works could certainly not have a more popular Superintendent.
Extracted 20 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from Historical and Descriptive review of Illinois, Volume 1, The Southern Section, Her Principal Towns and Their Progressive Men, pages 148-155.