Early Fayetteville, Arkansas Business Development

The Civil War dealt harshly with Fayetteville. Her churches and institutions of learning, all of her public buildings, and many others, were destroyed, while her people were scattered all over the South, financially broken and morally disheartened. But an intelligent and enterprising community, possessing the natural advantages that belong to Fayetteville, cannot be permanently “downed.” No sooner had hostilities ceased than the work of restoration began, and the city of to-day is a lasting monument to its extraordinary recuperative powers. The location of the State University here in 1871 marks a long step forward, but the completion of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad added an element of still greater importance to the growth of the city. The population is now not far from 4,000, and in 1887 the estimated total business transactions amounted to more than a million and a half dollars. The following is a running account of its business:

McIlroy’s bank (private) was opened in 1872 under the name Denton D. Stark & Co., with William McIlroy as a large owner in it. Mr. Stark had the management of the business until 1878, when Mr. McIlroy assumed complete control. On July 1, 1886, the present firm name was adopted, the capital being owned by the McIlroy estate. W. R. McIlroy is cashier, and is assisted by C. M. Greene. Their resources are as follows: Loans and discounts, $88,978.60; overdrafts, $1,538.73; building, furniture, etc., $4,500; due from banks (good on draft), $50,487.71; cash, exchange and other items, $26,343.80; total, $171,878.84. Liabilities: Capital, $25,000; surplus and profits, $9,231.67; due depositors, $137,614.42; due banks, $32.75; total, $171,878.84. Loans made during 1887, $50,923.35; correspondents, Chemical National Bank, New York; Continental Bank, St. Louis, and the First National Bank, Little Rock.

The Washington County Bank was chartered November 6, 1884, under the State banking laws, by W. B. Welch, president; J. A. Ferguson, vice-president; B. R. Davidson, T. F. Jones, directors, and S. P. Pittman and A. L. Williams. The first four directors and two officers mentioned, with Mr. MacDevin as cashier, constituted the first organization. These men represent an estimated worth of $320,000. The officers remain unchanged, excepting S. P. Pittman, as vice-president and director, vice J. A Ferguson. The resources of the bank are as follows: Discounts and loans, $55,943.25; bonds and stocks, $25,000; county warrants, cash value, $2,300; real estate, furniture and fixtures, $5,700; due from banks, $21,148.32; cash on hand, $20,267.54; total, $130,359.11. Liabilities, capital stock, $12,000; surplus, $6,400; undivided profits, $4,056.42; due other banks, $641.20; due depositors, $107,261.49; total, $130,359.11. Loans made in 1887, $290,000; exchange in 1887, $480,000; average daily clearance, $20,000; correspondents, National Park Bank, New York; Bank of Commerce, St. Louis; First National Bank, Fort Smith; German National Bank, Little Rock, and Merchants’ Loan and Trust, Chicago.

Fayetteville Building and Loan Association, No. 1, permanent, was incorporated and began business March 11, 1886. E. B. Harrison was chosen president; J. W. Stirman, secretary; D. W. C. Davenport, treasurer; B. R. Davidson, attorney; E. B. Harrison, J. C. Williams, Albert Byrnes, G. T. Lake, J. L. Duke, H. K. Wade and C. W. Trott, directors. Their stock is divided into two series of $100,000 each, and each series is divided into 4,000 shares, valued at $25 each. Monthly dues are 12½ cents per share, and premiums are from 15 to 30 per cent. The present officers are President, E. B. Harrison; secretary, C. M. Greene; treasurer, W. R. McIlroy; attorney, E. D. Wall; directors, E. B. Harrison, G. T. Lake, A. Byrnes, J. L. Cravens, J. L. Duke, C. Dale and J. L. Bozarth. The association has been a powerful agent in the development of Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville Electric Light and Power Company was organized as a stock company in January, 1888, with the following officers: President, E. B. Harrison; directors, A. Byrnes, J. S. McDanield, Lee Baum, J. L. Cravens, G. T. Lake and J. L. Duke. Their chartered stock was $36,000. Their plant, valued at $8,000, has a capacity of 460 Heisler incandescent lamps of 20-candle power each; however, they have now but about 250 lamps, distributed on streets, in churches, hotels, etc. The H. F. McDanield Railway Supply Company is one of the largest in the State. The Fayetteville Street Railway Company’s president is I. J. Ronan, and W. L. Killebrew is secretary and superintendent.

In general merchandise are Baum & Bro., Reed & Ferguson, Campbell & White, C. C. Conner & Co., Wood & Co., B. H. Stone & Co., R. S. Curry, Boles & Co. and “The Famous” of Jesse Ellis. The grocers and general stores are represented by Mulholland & Lake, Gilbreath & Taylor, Wilson & Dickson, W. W. Harrison, C. M. Bigelow, Blakeley Bros., Lantrip & Miller, Moore & Gallaher, A. B. Lewis, Randall & Oliver and D. A. Coker. In the line of bakery, restaurant, confectionery, etc., are August A. G. Hach, Hodge & Riggs, Ira Turner, C. M. Bigelow, U. G. Pearce, N. L. Dickson & Co., T. Satterfield & Co. and J. F. Johnson. Hardware is headed by E. B. Harrison, E. Z. Davies, W. N. Crenshaw and R. R. Smith. W. F. Russell and John Cox are barbers. Jesse Ellis deals in, and John Feathers manufactures, boots and shoes. J. L. Duke and J. Wadkins have jewelry and time-piece establishments. Z. Thomas is a cigar maker. Mrs. S. J. Young and J. W. Hansard are photographers. Books and stationery are handled by J. D. Van Winkle and W. C. Cardwell. Gregg & Smith, Benbrook & Co., W. H. Whitlow, J. H. Williams & Co. and W. W. Dickey are in the drug and pharmacy trades. John F. Buie, undertaker. Saddlery and harness are in the hands of George Sutton and S. J. Jones. Implements of various kinds are sold by S. L. Kyle, John M. Howe and Cato Bros. Mrs. M. M. Allbright & Co. deal in musical instruments. D. M. Harbison and Carter & Taylor have meat markets. The Van Winkle House, by R. S. Miller, Mountain House, by Thomas Jennings, Tremont House, by H. L. Glass, and Quarles House, by E. Quarles represent the hotels. The Sweitzer Wagon Co., president, E. B. Harrison, and Ellis Duncan, secretary and superintendent. The Fayetteville Evaporator Company, by Campbell & White. The Bed Spring Manufacturing Co., proprietor, Thomas Jennings. The tailors are Baum Bros. and McFadden. W. L. Call, R. T. Smith and J. W. Quick are blacksmiths. H. F. Buie has a billiard hall. The legal fraternity are L. Gregg, B. R. Davidson, A. M. Wilson, J. V. Walker, J. D. Walker, C. W. Walker, J. W. Walker, T. M. Gunter, W. L. Gregg, R. J. Wilson, J. W. Stuckey, E. B. Wall, S. H. West, G. W. M. Reed, Jr., R. W. Carter, W. J. Patton and C. R. Buckner. Real estate is handled by Davidson & Jones and Dickson & Pettigrew (also abstractors of title), Reed & Carter and E. B. Wall. Mr. Keenan buys wheat. Drs. W. B. Welch, H. D. Wood, T. J. Pollard, Wade Pollard, C. S. Gray, A. S. Gregg, J. B. Massie and O. L. Wilson represent the medical fraternity, while the dental profession has Drs. J. R. Southworth, S. D. Luther and R. B. Horton for their representatives. The newspapers are elsewhere mentioned. Livery, Simmon & Ferguson, J. E. Vaughan and Thomas Jennings. The Fisher Transfer Company. Furniture, J. L. Bozarth, The Fayetteville Manufacturing Company, and McClelland. Produce shippers, Campbell & White, McNabb & Rogers and Oscar Richter. The Waters-Pierce Oil Company, J. P. Marbut, manager. Brick and stone masons, Willard Algine & Company and S. H. Blackmer (brick yards also), Charles Dodt and R. M. Jestice. Fayetteville Bottling Works. City Laundry, A. A. Hollister, proprietor. City Bath Rooms, J. T. Watson. The Fayetteville Steam Dye Works. Millinery, Baum & Bros., B. H. Stone & Co. and Mrs. Abbott. Mills, Byrnes & Blackmer and J. S. McClelland (planing), and the Fayetteville Flouring Mills, J. F. Cravens, lessee. The Fayetteville Foundry and Machine Shops, manager, A. Volner. Lumber trade, C. Dale and Cazort Bros. Contractors and builders, Mix & Co., I. N. Baker, F. P. Milburn and O. H. Marion. Architect and superintendent, C. M. Prentice. Insurance, J. H. Van Hoose and E. B. Wall. Sewing machines, L. Matney.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.

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