1907  history parkersburg industrial parkersburg WV - Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair


Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair
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Parkersburg WV 26101

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1907 History Parkersburg Industrial  



Parkersburg, a hustling and up to date city of 25,000 population, lies at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers, and at the terminus of the canal now being' constructed to connect the Great Lakes at Cleveland with the Ohio River, and being situated at the crossing of these waterways, iron ore and cokeing coal can be assembled here at less cost than at any other place in the United States, making it the best location in the Ohio Valley for manufacturing enterprises, and it is now one of the valley's principal manufacturing cities.


It was settled more than one hundred years ago, but its modern development began not more than fifteen years ago. It now has fifteen miles of brick-paved streets, twenty miles of electric street railways, good sewerage, good water and light systems, splendid schools, handsome churches, public library, costly club houses, two large theatres, three daily newspapers, and many advantages of a city even larger than this. The people are cordial, hospitable, and extend a warm welcome to strangers.  The population is practically all American, and is about equally divided between the Old Virginia element, the first settlers, the Ohio element, and the Pennsylvania element, and happily blends the comfortable home lift of a Southern city with the hustling business enterprise of a Northern one, making an ideal city 'both for residence and business.


Parkersburg has ten banks, all in a flourishing condition. Their deposits are, in round numbers, Five Million Dollars, and their aggregate resources are more than Eight Million Dollars. The average deposit in Parkersburg banks per capita is $232, while in the United States the average is about $85, a fair illustration of the comfort of its citizens. In addition to the banks there are three Building and Loan Associations with aggregate resources of more than Two Million Dollars. Parkersburg, owing to its splendid railroad and river facilities, is a natural distributing point in a commercial way, and its wholesale houses keep about 125 salesmen on the road. They do an annual business of about Five Million Dollars, making this city a wholesale center for almost all lines of merchandise.


There are nearly two hundred industrial establishments here, employing three thousand persons, paying out a million and a half dollars a year in wages, and turning out six million dollars worth of finished product annually The lines of manufacture include steel products, foundries, forges, machine shops, wood working plants of all kinds, including furniture factories, chair factories, mantels, house  furnishings and cabinet works, oil refineries and chemical plants, potteries, tile and brick works, artificial stone works, engine works, brewery, railroad repair shops, boiler works, and a great variety, of other factories.


As a manufacturing site, Parkersburg has many advantages. It possesses the three essentials for suitable manufacturing sites, cheap raw materials, cheap cost of manufacturing, including labor and power, and accessibility to market, with cheap transportation.  Parkersburg has cheap raw materials of almost every variety. Especially is this true of all kinds of timber and hard woods, iron and steel, which enter largely into most lines of manufacture.


It is close to the immense forests of West Virginia, where every variety of timber, known to the temperate clime is found. Much of it is floated from forest to factory on the rivers, making the cost here about the same as in the forests. Iron and. steel can now be had by water transportation from the furnaces at little more than the cost at the furnace. When the canal to Cleveland is completed, within two years, iron ores from the Great Lakes can be delivered here at 40 cents a ton less than at Pittsburg, and with cokeing coal of the finest quality at the very door of Parkersburg, this city will become a great iron making center.


Fire amd  potters clays, glass sand, fruits and vegetables for canneries, wool, cotton and a great variety of other raw materials for manufacturing are to be had here at such low rates that all raw material may be said in a general way to be cheap ami plentiful. The best steam coal can be had delivered in factory here at $1.25 per long ton, but it is not used because natural gas at eight cents per thousand feet is so much cheaper and more satisfactory in every way. At this price gas is considered the equivalent of coal at 95 cents per ton. Labor is plentiful and reliable and is native American.


The heads of several large manufacturing concerns here who have had years of experience in other places, say that labor is the best to be had. The cost of living is Low, and labor troubles are practically unknown. Plenty of good female help can be had for work which is suitable for women. Parkersburg is centrally located and accessible to the general markets. It is about the same distance from New York, Chicago and St. Louis. It has ample railroad facilities in every direction, with five roads running into the city, and is also on the Ohio River, which United States Engineers say affords the cheapest transportation in the world. Freight rates are satisfactory to all points and railroad rates are regulated by the competition afforded by river transportation, thus insuring a permanent equitable adjustment.


One of the most important features of this city is the low rate of taxation, being less than one half of one percent on each hundred dollars of valuation in the city and about twothirds of one percent for county purposes. After the year of 1908 no taxes whatever will be paid for State purposes. Therefore Parkersburg and West Virginia can offer greater inducements to manufacturing enterprises seeking location than any State in the Union.


More than $2,750,000, is being expended at the present time in improving industrial conditions and makinga permanent and solid foundation for a great industrial city. The greater portion of this amount is being used to improve the railroad and water transportation facilities and to supply additional and cheaper fuel. More than $500,000 is being expended in the erection of additional industrial plants or the enlargement of present ones. The permanent improvement of industrial conditions helpful to the varied manufacturing interests at present with us and to attract new ones, is the Parkersburg idea, and it is along these lines that the organized commercial forces of the city are working, so as to improve its already favorable conditions in order that success and prosperity will attend every factory which is established in the city.


The United States Government is constructing a lock and dam in the Ohio River five miles above the city of Parkersburg, at a cost of $850,000. which will provide continuous navigation between the Little Kanawha River and the Muskingum River in Ohio. Five miles below Parkersburg another lock and dam in the Ohio River will provide a permanent pool of deep water in the Parkersburg Harbor. More than $125,000 has already been appropriated for this work, which will cost in the neighborhood of $850,000 when completed. A lock and dam to cost $110,000, has been provided for in the Muskingum River by the United States and will be completed next season. From the Muskingum river to Lake Erie at Cleveland the State of Ohio is re-constructing, widening and deeping the old canal. It will be completed and boats will be passing through it within twelve months. So that, within the next year direct water communication between Parkersburg and Cleveland will have been established, with a minimum depth of five feet, and after years of persistent effort Parkersburg is about to realize her dream of a waterway connecting the ore fields of the Great Lakes with the coal fields of West Virginia, and water transportation of the product to the wide markets of the world.


Fully $300,000 is being expended in Parkersburg for the improvement of its freight terminals by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co., the construction of new roundhouses, repair shops and yard improvements, and upon the completion of these improvements a large and comfortable passenger station will be constructed here. Parkersburg has suffered from a lack of suitable sites for factories. To remedy this condition, the Parkersburg Industrial Company, headed by United States Senator J. N. Camden, C. H. Shattuck, Judge Reese  Blizzard and others, have secured about 1500 acres of land on the south bank of the Little Kanawha River, near the Eastern part of the city. A bridge is now being constructed across the river and as soon as completed, the Parkersburg, Marietta and Inter-Urban Railway Company will extend its electric lines across the bridge and through the property, providing adequate street and facilities.


The Little Kanawha Railroad already runs through the property and the Little Kanawha River with water transportation passes in front of it. And a macadamized boulevard eighty feet wide and two miles long is being constructed, thus providing ideal sites and transportation facilities for manufacturing enterprises. With cheap natural gas which has not failed for a single day since its introduction thirteen years ago, with the splendid coal fields of West Virginia at her door, with manufacturing sites ideal in character, with cheap transportation by both water and rail to the markets of the world, with $850,000 being expended on Lock and Dam No. 18; with $125,000 being expended on Lock and Dam No. 19 below Parkersburg: with $83,000 being expended improving Locks and Dams on the Little Kanawha River; with $300,000 being expended on the Baltimore and Ohio shop improvements; with $300,000 being expended on bridge and street railway and boulevard to South Side with $500,000 being expended on enlargements at Standard Oil Refinery and $50,000 having just been expended on betterments and improvements of the Parkersburg Iron & Steel Company's Plant: and with thousands more to be expended upon additions to their plant to care for their increasing business throughout the country; with $50,000 being expended on the Agricultural Fair Grounds and buildings, making a grand total of approximately $2,758,000, being expended on industrial  improvements, a wonderful development is with us, bright prospects are before us, and Parkersburg will take front rank as one of the leading commercial and manufacturing centers of the Great Ohio Valley, the Richest Industrial Valley in the World.



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