1906 Industrial Issue - Lenoir County  

Contributed by Sloan S. Mason

This Industrial Issue of the Kinston Free Press was published in 1906 although there was an earlier Industrial Issue published in 1899.

We are grateful to the Free Press for permission to post anything of historical or genealogical in nature published prior to 1939.


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Is situated in the most favored section of eastern North Carolina. Splendid agricultural and timber resources. Cotton and tobacco Grow luxuriantly. Truck and general farming. Great possibilities. Sketches of our county officers.

The county of Lenoir is one of the undeveloped sections of North Carolina. The census of 1900 represented it as having 215,911 acres of farmland and 101,966 acres of unimproved land. At least 50,000 of these unimproved acres are swamp land, capable of being reclaimed and made very productive of the small grains, corn, peas, clover, the grasses, also cotton and tobacco. But during the past decade there has indeed been decided progress in the way of social and material advancement.

Farmers have put their farms in better condition, in some instances taking hold of neglected or "cast-away" tracts and making valuable properties of them; the school authorities have built better houses, employed better teachers, and lengthened the school term; the citizens of the county in both town and country are building better structures both for dwellings and outhouses, fixing up the fences, using more paint and white-wash than formerly, and making their premises more attractive and more inviting.

One would naturally look for these evidences of progress in incorporated towns, but improvements of the kind in the rural districts, when seen, are noteworthy and significant. "Seeing is believing," and we present to our readers cuts of some of the neat attractive homes in each township of the county, while of course not professing to cover the ground in full-a task beyond the scope of our work.

The truth is that Lenoir County is in a more prosperous condition now than heretofore, and her people are converting their prosperity into better homes for their families, better educational advantages for their children, better and more improved farming utensils, and devoting more attention to the development of their agricultural interests. The table below given, taken from the tax books, is significant:

Date: 1883
Val. R. Estate: 1,540,297
Val. Per. Prop: 820,196
Val. R. R. Prop.,etc.:$9,000.00
No. Polls: 2,088

Date: 1893
Val. R. Estate: 1,238,775
Val. Per. Prop: 688,725
Val. R. R. Prop., etc: $189,659.00
No. Polls: 2,242

Date: 1905
Val. R. Estate: 2,514,751
Val. Per. Prop: 1,573,583
Val. R. R. Prop., etc: $640,106.00
No. Polls: 3,387

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In 1883 our people were just getting on their feet again after disastrous Civil War and financial stringency of the seventies. Farm produce was selling well and people were living comfortably. But affairs began to change about 1885 and before the decade beginning with 1883 closed there was a different story to tell about Lenoir County. Statistics for 1893 show that values of both real estate and personal property had decreased, while the number of polls had increased only 154. Real estate had decreased in valuable $301,522, and personal property had fallen off $131,471-and this slump in the county’s taxables in a single decade! In the valuation of its railroad property alone did the county show an appreciable gain.

These were the days of five-cent cotton, of not tobacco and a little or no truck. The fact is that the produce of the land brought very little money. So land values as well as personal property values were low. But the decade following 1893 marked a change. The tide had set in for the better; so that the list of taxables for 1905 showed more than a doubling in real estate and personal property values, and more than a trebling in the value of railroad property; and at the same time the number of polls had increased only 145.

This marked improvement in the condition of the county was due to several causes. Farmers were beginning to raise more home supplies. Trucking was just beginning to become a profitable vocation for our people. There was little or no trucking done in this county before 1891 and then for two or three years truckers did not realize much from their industry. After the season 1898-99 cotton rose above the six cents limit. For the seasons after this time up to the present year the approximate average price paid for cotton was a follows:

Season 1899-00, average 7 1/2 cents; 1900-1901, 8 3/4 cents
1901-1902- 7 3/4 cents
1902-1903- 10 cents
1903-1904-12 1/4 cents
1904-1905-9 cents
And for the season 1905-1906 the average price bids fair to reach if not pass the eleven-cent mark.

But the most potent factor of all contributing to a general revival of prosperity in this section was the introduction of tobacco growing. The production of fine bright tobacco has stimulated every interest.

In the late summer of 1895 the first tobacco warehouse was opened in Kinston for the sale of a crop, which had not become general until that year. Business men of Lenoir County saw that in the culture of tobacco there was a bright future for the agricultural interests of the section, and Capt. J. W. GRAINGER, of Kinston, alone spent at least $500 in introducing the culture of the weed throughout this and adjoining counties. While there was some tobacco raised in Lenoir before the opening of the Kinston market, the culture of the weed had not become so general as to affect the prosperity of the county and influence property values. Since then tobacco has made a marked improvement in very many rural districts.

The dotting of this section over with sawmills, creating a demand for its millions of feet of valuable timber has done much toward awakening a new life and advancing prosperous times among our people.


In this way thousands of dollars have been turned loose in our midst. But in addition to the better prices for cotton, tobacco, and lumber, all farm products-meal, corn, hay, poultry, eggs, butter etc., etc., have steadily advanced in price; all of which has contributed to the rise in land values.

But the avenues for development in our county are wide open and are many. The possibilities, under the persistent application of intelligent, skillful and energetic brain and brawn, are almost unlimited.

Lenoir County is favorably situated only 60 miles from the coast, coming under the direct influence of the warm stream that issues from the Gulf of Mexico and wanders northward along the coast a few miles off the Carolina capes. The county is crossed by the 35th parallel of latitude, and thus is no further from the equator than is Southern California and not so far as is southern Spain and southern Italy.

Below are presented two tables, which give an insight into the weather conditions of our immediate section. These tables are taken from the meteorological records kept by Dr. R. H. LEWIS, of Kinston and are authoritative. The first table shows the total rainfall and the second the mean temperature prevailing in this section for the five years immediately past.

The tables deal in averages and inspection of them will show that during January and February-the coldest months-the average temperature is well above the freezing point while during July and August-the hottest months-the mercury as a rule does not climb higher than 80 degrees, while the temperature averages about 60 degrees for the whole year. Also a study of the figures on precipitation will carry the conviction that every month in the year with us is provided with sufficient moisture for purposes of agricultural production. Then too, competent mill men tell us that the humidity of the atmosphere is of such a degree as to exceptionally favorable to the manufacture of cotton goods, etc.

Total Precipitation in Inches

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1901 2.76 2.40 4.00 4.74 6.51 3.66 6.25 7.50 7.57 0.94 2.48 4.67 53.27
1902 1.01 5.70 3.04 2.31 2.64 3.92 2.69 8.91 2.76 5.13 4.09 1.82 44.05
1903 3.96 5.91 5.06 3.00 3.91 2.42 8.07 5.93 0.89 3.28 0.60 2.00 45.03
1904 3.32 4.08 5.04 0.82 3.78 1.29 5.00 3.58 4.75 1.68 2.30 2.32 37.96
1905 0.84 4.66 2.52 3.15 3.53 3.92 4.38 4.22 1.70 3.12 1.58 4.75 38.36

Mean Temperature, Farinheit

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1901 44 39.2 54.5 55.4 70.3 77.6 82.1 80 73.7 62 45.1 44.4 60.4
1902 44.3 38 54.7 58.2 74 75.2 82.6 80.3 72.3 63.9 57.2 45 62.1
1903 43 48 60 57 68 71 79 80 72 57 44 36 60
1904 25 38 52 59 69 78 80 73 70 65 49 40 59
1905 40 38 58 62 74 77 80 77.3 74 62.5 53 45 68


The soil of Lenoir County is of such a nature-taken in connection with the prevailing climatic conditions-as to produce anything that can be grown anywhere else in the State–and North Carolina will produce almost any crop that can be grown anywhere else in the Union. The soil is of a more or less sandy nature with a clay subsoil and an underlying strata of marl, which can be dug out and which makes one of the best of all fertilizers. The timber of the great Michigan fruit belt, suggesting the adaptability of our section to fruit raising. Most of the land of the county is similar in character and every bit as good for truck or strawberry raising as that of the Chadbourn, the Mt. Olive or other sections along the Atlantic Coast line. No better bright tobacco land can be found than we possess, and our facilities for making cotton are better than the average.

Then, too, the level character of our country renders the employment of farm machinery not only an easy matter, but the "logical" thing. The country is level, without rocks, and easily rid of stumps and roots, and our agricultural interests are suffering from the lack of labor that may be relied upon to do its duty in producing a crop. The free use of improved farm machinery will largely meet the necessities of the case. The broad prairies of the West are not better situated in this respect than are our own smaller plains.

Though much of the land has been "cut over" once there yet remain many acres of valuable timber land. And it is estimated that timber will make itself, with us, in 15 years; so that although a tract is cut over, if there has been no wanton waste, its timber growth will soon again be valuable.

The dairy industry is one which has not been developed to any great extent in this county. According to the census of 1900 there were 617 farms to report dairy products which were valued at $37,527. It was estimated that for the preceding year 303,920 gallons of milk were produced, 279,898 being consumed on the farm and 24,072 being recorded as sold. Only 245 gallons of cream were reported as having been sold and 14,759 pounds of butter.

The census of 1900 gives, for Lenoir County, the number of chickens and guinea fowls as being 48,263; turkeys, 5,664; geese, 4,878; ducks, 572; eggs produced 138,520.

In both instances-that of dairy products and poultry-these figures represent a small out-put in comparison with that warranted by natural conditions. We have a mild, open climate, fields producing grass and hay of a fine quality for cattle, and environment unexcelled for the raising of poultry, and an active local demand for these products in addition to excellent facilities for shipping the same to other markets.


While on various lines agricultural production might be increased, in the matter of small grains Lenoir County lacks a great deal of producing that of which she is capable. Our lands and climate are adapted to such culture. The census of 1899 gives our acreage in small grains, as follows: Oats, 1,946 acres; rye, 69 acres; wheat, 898 acres; and rice, 137 acres. Among the crops that Lenoir County produces none is finer than the sweet potato. The county is situated in the midst of the famous Carolina sweet potato belt, and the product of the soil is of the richest quality. The soil of the county makes a fine quality of peanut and an abundant yield. These always find a ready market, or make a very desirable food for fattening hogs, while the vine makes excellent forage.

By turning their attention more largely to the production of these and other crops farmers can save much money which is now sent abroad in quest of these products or an equivalent therefore.

Thus there are many ways of making a living and accumulating wealth in Lenoir County. Should tobacco prove unprofitable, the cotton crop is there to help out; should cotton fail, the farmer may be able to redeem himself by raising strawberries, potatoes, cabbage, beans or some other truck crop. Then one can always count on a harvest of corn, wheat, oats, hay, peanuts or the like; also plenty of poultry, meat, dairy products, etc.


Lenoir County is in need of active, energetic people to come and make homes and cultivate her soil, much of which is not cultivated or cultivated poorly because of the over-abundance of land in proportion to the labor supply.

Many of our people are land-poor. The county needs a large number of small farmers, or rather big farmers on a small acreage. When this condition is reached, and our friends from beyond our borders have accepted our standing invitation to come in and live with us, and help develop our undoubted resources, the county and the whole section will know a substantial prosperity as never before.



"The coming City of the east. Rapid progress made Twentieth Century thought and activity permeates all, churches, schools and modern improvements. Sketches of city officials, industrial enterprises and leading business men of this growing Community."

The first permanent white settlement in the State was made to the east of the Chowan River, in what was then Albermarle County, probably as early as 1650. From time to time other settlers of English or French nationality came, thus extending the frontier to the South and Southwest until in 1706 the Neuse River was reached and passed. All this section of estern North Carolina, including the territory lying between the Roanoke and Cape Fear rivers, with an indefinite western boundary, formed originally the county of Bath. The old Bath County comprised what is now one of the most promising sections of North Carolina.

It included bottom lands on the Roanoke, the Tar, Contentnea Creek, the Neuse, the Trent, the Cape Fear, and other streams, besides lands adjacent to the Albermarle and Pamlico sounds. These bottom lands were settled first, then lands further away from the water courses.

To the English and French inhabitants in the county of Bath, were added German Palatines and Switzers, in 1710, under the leadership of Baron DeGRAFFENREID. From time to time these settlers pushed westward up the Neuse and Trent rivers and along Contentnea Creek. In 1740, William HERITAGE, a well to do planter and jurist of much ability came from Newberne to Atkins Banks, now Kinston, on the Neuse and before long he had attracted many settlers to him. So that by 1762 the country in this immediate community had become quite thickly settled for those days, and people began to ask for the establishment of a town on the Neuse River in Dobbs County, of which Lenoir is now a part. Atkins Banks was the site chosen, and the act drawn by Richard CASWELL, authorizing the establishment of the town, was passed and received the assent of the royal governor, Arthur DOBBS, in December 1762.

The act named as trustees, Francis MCLEWEAN, Richard CASWELL, Simon BRIGHT, Jr.; John SHINE and David GORDON. Today, for each of these five men, we have named a city street, and also one for William HERITAGE, one, King street is named in honor of King George III, of England, and another Queen Street, named in honor of his wife, Queen Charlotte. Other streets have from time to time been added and named in honor of people closely identified with the town’s history.

The town was originally named "Kingston," but shortly after the Revolution the obnoxious "g" was dropped, as reminding the people of and the name became "Kinston." The legislature in 1826, passed an act incorporating Kinston, but as none of the commissioners named cared to qualify, it amounted to nothing. In 1849 another act was passed incorporating the town, and this time, in January 1849, the commissioners named did qualify and a town government was established. These commissioners were John F. WOOTEN, Pinckney HARDEE, John H. PEEBLES, James W. COX and W. C. LOFTEN, men of much prominence in this section.

During these years there was growth but the growth was not rapid. The people lived in plenty and contentment. The county round about developed in civilization and refinement, such as is customary with a highly prosperous agricultural community. In 1770, a tobacco warehouse was established on the Neuse River, probably at Kinston, as a "public warehouse" is mentioned in the act of 1762, establishing the town. In 1785, an awakening along educational lines came and in November, of that year, Dobbs Academy was established. Before the Civil War, the Dibbles established a buggy factory just east of the Hotel Tull building of today and they attained a big reputation as buggy makers.


Not only this, but they operated a fleet of boats from Kinston to Newberne, thence to northern points, whereby they carried on a very large lucrative trade in southern products. John C., and George WASHINGTON built a shoe factory in the northeastern section of the town and did a big business. These men built up "Yankee Row" for the use of their workmen and families.

The advent of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad in 1856-7, did not materially effect Kinston’s development. The town became a good shipping point, and the fertile back country on all sides furnished a good patronage for purposes of trade. Time flew on, and it was not until the year 1890 ushered in the last decade of the nineteenth century that Kinston really woke up and realized fully her favored situation. In 1891, the Orion Knitting Mill was established by home capital on a co-operative basis, and started on a career of prosperity. In that year the Atlantic Coast Line officials recognized this as a good point and built to Kinston a branch from Weldon; a little before that the American Tobacco Company placed a large stemmery here; in 1896 the Gay Lumber Company-which is now the big Kinston Lumber Company- bought out a small lumber concern that was operating at this point, greatly enlarged it, and established here a large and modern plant which has now a capacity of 35,000 feet a day; in 1898 the Hines Bros. Lumber Company established here one of the most complete plants operating in North Carolina, having a daily capacity of 55,000 feet; in the same year the Kinston Cotton Mill, another co-operative industry, backed by local capital, was launched in Kinston, with an equipment of 5,250 spindles which has grown to 12,200 at the present time; in 1902 the Imperial erected in Kinston one of its best equipped stemmeries, which was followed by the Randolph Meade, the C.R. Dodson and the Hoge- Irvin stemmeries, all of whom give employment to a large amount of labor and do a big business.

In 1901, two nice brick buildings were erected for a furniture factory. Such a factory was operated for a while and finally discontinued. Recently the plant was sold to the W. H. Ashley Silk Company, of Hacketts town, N. J. This company has mills at Hackettstown, Phillipsburg and Patterson, N. J. and Avoca and Scranton, Pa. After considerable search in the South for a favorable location for an enterprise of this kind, Kinston was selected as the preferable site, and the old furniture factory was bought.

In connection with the silk mill the furniture factory will be reopened, as the purchasers of the plant consider the conditions favorable for such an undertaking.

Besides these manufacturing enterprises, Kinston has a number of other flourishing industries, producing first class goods and giving employment to considerable labor. Such concerns as the Randolph, the Ellis, and the Temple carriage works are doing a very large business and are destined to grow. The Neuse Milling Company, the Hodges Machine shops, and other smaller concerns make up a large array of industries that form the backbone of the town’s prosperity.

Most of these industries are fully described in other columns of this Magazine.

Manufacturing makes towns; and Kinston’s industries have done a large part toward making the town the live place that it is. Already there is a large amount of capital invested in Kinston enterprises, and each year there is paid out for labor many thousands of dollars.

But the end has not come yet, and the town is destined in the future to have more and larger industries that at present. This prediction is based largely on a knowledge of Kinston’s favorable position and the trend of events in this favored section.


Kinston is situated on the navigable waters of the Neuse River, and on three railroads-the Atlantic and North Carolina, the Coast Line and the Kinston and Carolina, and still a fourth one is projected, the Snow Hill Kinston road. These roads lead out in different directions and together with the river afford excellent traffic facilities. We are within ten to twenty hours ride of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and other points in the east, while railroad developments that are now under way will place us in close touch with the middle west. The Western Union Telegraph Company places us in communication with the vast territory into which it goes, and we have a local phone system and connection with the long distance Southern Bell which covers nearly the whole country with its network of wires.

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Then there are developments now going on near us which will mean much to the future of our city, Beaufort Harbor, to the east of us about sixty miles, is being dredged by the United States government and made into a first class harbor for shipping.

This means that Kinston will be placed within a few hours ride of a harbor for the shipment of her products to the North or to the South in the cheapest manner possible. Besides this the great Inland Waterway will sooner or later be constructed whereby still more favorable facilities will be guaranteed our shippers.


Kinston is well supplied with business houses of a mercantile character. In other columns of this edition will appear references to the wide awake business men who are interested in the development of Kinston and who are steadily pushing her to the front. The wholesale and retail drygoods, drug and grocery stores, the furniture, hardware, millinery and novelty stores etc., will provide the buyer with a choice line of almost any kind of merchandise desired.


Two very accurate indicators of a community’s "industrial health" are found in its railroad and post office statistics. Figures from these two sources show up very favorably for Kinston. The business done at the Kinston post office has increased from $3,921.51, in 1895, to $10,730.83 in 1905-an increase of $6,809.32 in ten years.

The railroads entering the city have shown a gradual increase of business for the last fifteen years, indicating the growth of business activity. Eight regular passenger trains, four regular freight trains and two mixed passenger and freight trains call at our stations every day except Sunday, when the freights do not run. The Atlantic and North Carolina is now laying heavy sixty pound rail, and the Kinston and Carolina, which was constructed as a log road, is now laying heavy rail and widening its gauge. The Hines Bros. Lumber Company, is behind the newly projected Kinston-Snow Hill road and when this is constructed another rich agricultural and timber section will be bound to Kinston by bands of steel. The city is sure to come in for her part of the great railroad development now in progress in eastern North Carolina.


Although the industrial awakening came to Kinston before 1900, it was not until the present decade that the town entirely threw off "childish ways" and placed herself in the class of modern cities. Kinston was a village before the Revolution, but she is today essentially a twentieth century city.

In March 1897, after the severe ravages of fire in 1895, the town installed a small thirty K. W., incandescent generator and a forty- five-light arc machine. The arc lights were of 1,200 candle power, and the town was provided with eight miles of wire. A little later-in 1900- a 300-gallon pump was secured and water was pumped from driven wells about twenty feet deep. A pipe was run a few blocks up Queen Street, eleven hydrants provided for fire purposes, and some twelve or fifteen customers were served with water.

Meanwhile the town was growing, people saw the inadequacy of the light and water plants then in existence, and they began to agitate for better things. So in May, 1903, the voters of the town authorized the Mayor and board which then took office to issue bonds to the value of $150,000 and install a series of public improvements, viz., water, electric lights, and sewer plants for the entire city and a pavement for a portion of Queen street. The city administration accepted the commission and immediately began to devise plans for carrying out the popular demand. The entire bond issue was not made at once, but from time to time so as to furnish funds for the improvements as such were demanded. At that time the condition of the money market in the financial centers was such that it was thought best to sell the bonds slowly and thus secure their sale under the most favorable circumstances. To design and supervise the work, Mr. J. L. LUDLOW, one of the most prominent municipal engineers of the South, was retained.


There was considerable difference of opinion, at first, as to the best course to pursue in order to secure a good water supply. The engineer favored taking surface water which was to be drained from a large area and accumulated in a reservoir. Others favored pumping the water supply from the Neuse river. Still others-among whom was Mayor ROUSE, to whom the board had practically left the matter-favored deep wells. These "deep water" men argued that surface water would not do for various reasons, that river water would not be much better and would necessitate an expensive filtration plant, and so it was decided to try to find deep water. It was a risky thing to do-to take several thousand dollars of public money and sink it in the ground in the hope of finding deep water, when expert opinion had advised against that course; but the Mayor determined to do this very thing, and his faith was rewarded at the first attempt by finding an abundant supply of excellent water.

The water is analyzed every month and below is given the official analysis for March 1906:

Tempr. Centigrade---21
Apparent Color—0
Total Hardness—18
Temporary Hardness—12
Permanent Hardness—6
Total Solids—56
Free Ammonia--.001
Albuminoid Ammonia--.085
Only Bacteria—Common Saprophytic
Indications and remarks: Pure Water

The water comes from three ten inch overflow artesian wells, each 311 feet deep. These empty into a 350 thousand gallon reservoir, from which two one million gallon pumps are used to force the water into a standpipe having a capacity of 150,000 gallons.

There are now eleven miles of four, six, eight and ten inch water pipe laid in the city which provides an adequate water supply for the entire area; the only thing to be done is to make the proper connections. Double nozzle hydrants are placed at each street intersection for fire purposes and every piece of property in town is within three or four hundred feet of one of them. The normal standpipe water pressure is 60 pounds to the square inch; and this pressure can of course be increased by application of direct pressure at the powerhouse or use of the city’s fire engine.

The pumping station and light and power plant are two brick buildings, very complete, and of the very latest type both as to design and equipment. The dynamo room contains one 120 K. W. machine and one machine having a capacity of 180 K. W. At present there are 83 arc. lights located at street intersections so as to light practically the whole town. There are about 3,500 incandescent lights, and the plant can take on as many more. Sixty five miles of wire have been put up, and the department is constantly installing new lights.

The city is in a position to furnish electric power to consumers, at a low cost; and the charges for lights to residents are 10 cents a K. W. with a reduction of 20 per cent, to business houses and 10 per cent to residences for payment before the tenth of each month.

The sewer system is just as complete as is either the water or electric system. At present seven miles of from eight to twenty two inch terracotta pipe have been laid along the principal streets of the city and provision is made for extending the system, should a demand for such service appear. The whole system is flushed by automatic flush tanks once in every twenty four hours.

The paving is now practically complete. It is one of the very best pavements to be found anywhere being laid of vitrified brick. The aldermen have already let the contract for providing the sidewalks of Queen Street with an up-to-date granolithic pavement, and this will close the public improvements as originally authorized and designed.

It will be seen from the above that the city has secured equipment considerably in excess of its present actual needs. This is the part of wisdom. We are building for the future development which is bound to come. That we have faith in our future is evidenced by our works.


The cost of these improvements has been considerable, but will scarcely be felt, in the long run. We have a water works plant costing $75,000; an electric plant costing $35,000; a sewerage system representing $25,000; and a pavement that will cost us $30,000.

We have in all a bonded debt of $197,000 having paid off $1,000 this year. There are outstanding $150,000 public improvement bonds, recently issued, bearing 5 per cent interest; $20,000 in school bonds, paying 4½ percent; $25,000 refunding and electric light bonds paying 5 percent; and two $1,000 bonds due one each in 1907 and 1908. These latter are left of the old electric light bonds and bear 6 per cent interest.

Nowithstanding our indebtedness, we have reduced taxation for city purposes from 70 cents a hundred on property and $2.10 on the poll in 1901, to 33 1/3 cents on property and $1.00 on the poll in 1905.

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This includes every form of city taxation, except a special school tax, which has been reduced from 30 cents on property and 90 cents on the poll in 1901 to 20 cents on property and 60 cents on the poll in 1905.

This is a tax rate which, taking into consideration the improvements, and the size of the city, cannot be duplicated anywhere in the state. Bonds are not to be dreaded, and no city that wants to make progress can afford to decline to make use of them. But when bonds and improvements come with such a gentle touch we must consider ourselves fortunate particularly in view of the fact that we are now from 50 to 100 thousand dollars better off than if we had no debt. In other words we have borrowed $150,000 and spent it in establishing public utilities which would today-should they be offered-bring on the market at least $200,000 in cash, and probably a substantial sum above that figure.

Kinston is one of the leading tobacco markets of the state, selling more tobacco direct from the producer than any other market does. We have now five large warehouses, and a number of buyers representing the leading manufacturers in this country and England and also a buyer who looks out for the interest of the Japanese government, which has only recently entered the field as a tobacco manufacturer.

The good prices for cotton which the farmers have realized within the last few years have caused them to curtail their tobacco acreage; but notwithstanding this we have, this season, which is a short one, sold 8,143,788 pounds of tobacco.

Kinston does not alone sell tobacco, but has four large stemmeries for the preparation of the leaf for shipment. The American Tobacco Company now maintains in Kinston its finest and largest plant in the East, having a capacity of 12,000,000 pounds a year. The Imperial Tobacco Company has placed here one of its most complete stemmeries, having an annual capacity of from eight to ten million pounds per annum. Each of these is a two story brick building, modern in all respects. Then Randolph Meade Stemmery and the Dodson Stemmery, while smaller are no less modern in their equipment and active on the tobacco market.

During the eleven years since the Kinston tobacco market opened we have sold about 69,725,600 pounds of tobacco, for which the patrons of the market have received $6,199,778.48. This money scattered far and wide throughout this section has done marvels in the way of developing the country.


Kinston is well supplied with schools and churches. Besides a number of private schools and music classes the city maintains a first class grammar and high school for the whites and a grammar school for the colored people. The combined enrollment of both schools last year was 1,191 pupils, 804 in the white school and 387 in the colored school. Each school has been admirably planned and graded. The efficient city superintendent is Prof. L. C. BRODGEN, a graduate of the University of North Carolina and an active school man.

The white school consists of nine grades, the seventh, eight and ninth constituting the Kinston High School. Its purpose is to prepare students for the actualities of life or for entrance to some higher institution of learning. This it does successfully. Last June a class of twenty five was graduated from the high school; and of these five or six are now teaching public schools in this and other counties, others have gone to college, and still others have entered business.

The principal of the grammar school is Prof. C. H. JENKINS, who graduated at Wake Forest College in 1904. The work is assigned as follows: 1st year, sec. a) Mrs. George B. WEBB; sec. b) Miss Lucy BROOKS, of G. F. College, 2d year, sec. a) Miss Fannie MOSELEY, of the State Normal, sec. b) Miss Eliza MOORE; 3rd year, sec. a) Miss Lena SPAIN, sec. b) Miss Alice TULL, of the State Normal; 4th year, sec. a) Miss Scotia HOBGOOD, sec. b) Miss Hattie PARROTT, of the State Normal; 5th year sec. a) Mrs. J. W. GOODSON, of G. F. College, sec. b) Miss Sidonia WEYHER, 6th year, Mrs. Henry ARCHBELL; 7th year, Miss Nannie L. BLACKWELL, of Randolph-Macon Womans College; and the eight year work is given to the principal, Prof. F. C. H. JENKINS.

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The principal of the high school is Prof. Wingate UNDERHILL, of the University of North Carolina. The work is carried out according to the departmental plan. Miss Eva NEAL, of the Winthrop Norman School, teaches English and Geography. Miss Margaret PERRY, of the N.C. Normal teaches latin and history. While the principal, Prof. UNDERHILL, of the University of N.C. teaches mathematics, geography and history.

The principal of the colored school is Rev. J. H. SAMPSON, and his teachers are J. H. SCARLET, Mamie STERITT and N. A. RUTHERFORD. This school has six grades.

It can be judged from the foregoing, and from cuts of the grammar school, the high school, and of the teaching force, that educational facilities have not been neglected in Kinston. The school enrolls more white children than any other graded school between Raleigh and Wilmington-save the Goldsboro school alone, which has about a hundred and twenty-five or thirty more pupils that this school.

In addition to excellent graded school facilities Kinston is the location of the Rhodes Military Institute, one of the best schools of its class in the state. This school presents a full literary course and has a business department. The building is steam heated and very attractively situated. The superintendent is Col. W. H. RHODES, an educator of wide experience and a consecrated Christian gentleman. He is supported by the following efficient faculty: Major R. F. MCCRACKEN, commandment; Prof. G. W. GARNER, commercial teacher; Mrs. Wesley N. EASON, Mrs. G. W. GARNER, Miss Lula JACKSON, and Mrs. W. H. RHODES, lady principal. The school is conducted under the best Christian influences, and the standard of scholarship is high.

Kinston is well supplied with churches, as with schools. The Methodist, the Missionary Baptists, the Disciples, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Free Will Baptists, the Christian Scientists and the Universalist each have congregations in the city. Kinston people attend their churches and support the ministry of the gospel. From its earliest days our community has been a God-fearing one; and while material prosperity has come it has not worked to the destruction of the softening, up lifting influences shed abroad by the presence of a live religious sentiment. The pictures of the various churches appear in this issue.



The city is well provided with social organizations of various kinds. There are a large number of orders and clubs here, covering many phases of our life. The various ladies’ clubs, clubs of an industrial nature, secret orders, and philanthropic organizations, keep alive the social and fraternal spirit that means so much to any community-a spirit that has made Kinstonians feel that they are "brethren."


While Kinston is only 48 feet above the sea level it is very healthy place. The natural drainage is good, and the soil is of such a character that water remains on the ground only a few hours after it falls. The excellent sewer and drainage systems which the city maintains are, to a large extent, an additional guarantee against the presence of stagnant water or unsanitary matter.

Good water is the foundation of health and of this Kinston has an abundance from her new plant. There is very little malaria with us, so little that we may disregard it in discussing health conditions.

While Kinston has an able medical fraternity these gentlemen do a large country practice, reaching out into adjoining towns and counties. They could not depend upon their income from practice in Kinston alone.

The recently established Robert Bruce McDaniel Memorial Hospital is a valuable addition to the city’s facilities for taking care of the health of its people and those of the surrounding section. This hospital is being thoroughly equipped in every respect. It was established by Mr. And Mrs. J. A. MCDANIEL and a fuller description of it will be found on another page of this issue.


Kinston is a good town. There is no better one in North Carolina. We are not the only one, but our town is as good as the best and if you come to see us you will find this to be a certain fact. The future of the city is assured; her past marks a record of which any community might feel proud. We extend an open-handed greeting to all who would come into our midst to help us make of the city better and more prosperous community in which to live. We do not need the drone of the idler; we do not need, at present, any considerable development in the way of mercantile concerns. But we do need more industries and a large development of those that are already established here.

All we ask is that you come and see for yourself.

1906 Industrial Issue