Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dresden Enterprise Apr 24 1896 - The Illustrated Edition Part 2 "A Dead Town"

This is the second in a multi-part series featuring the April 24 1896 edition of the Dresden Enterprise.  If you missed the previous post you can find part one here.  The following segment was written tongue in cheek by an unknown contributor and is entitled "A Dead Town."

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Eleven years ago, when the effort was being made to abolish the charter of Dresden, and thereby drive the saloon from the town, the economics of the movement urged with zeal and eloquence, with argument and invective, that the result of success would be the destruction of the business of the town----a wiping out of all public spirit, and end to progress, in short, that Dresden would soon be a "dead town."  In spite of these doleful predictions, in the face of the convincing arguments thus offered, with the certain prospect of ruin before them, a majority of the people rushed heedlessly to their doom, and Dresden ceased to be an incorporated town, the majority, in its blindness, deciding that the absence of a police and no whisky was more tolerable than the presence of both.

Eleven years have now elapsed and our citizens are able to see the effect of their greivous (sic) error, in the
fact that new residences have been built in the village by only the few persons whose names follow, at an average cost of not exceeding one thousand dollars, towit: Gus Atkins, V H Davis, R T Overton, J F Brinkley, G Landres, Wm McCuan, B Jackson, W.J Reavis, Nat Moore, E H Ayres (e), Joe Nanney, G W Winstead, R G Maloan, the Methodist Parsonage, J A Irvine, G A Dowd, J G Thomason (2), G S Boyd, T A McElwrath, C P Meadows, John McGlothlin, J E Jones, A V Boden, T M Little J W Moran, T L Woods, (3), J B Jolly, C A Bailey (2), Joe Loyd, G I Baxter, J W Killebrew, A E Gardner (2), J R Thomason, T A McElwrath, H W  Paschall, W H Riddle (2), W T Mangum, Jeff Harris, H L Hill, C M Ewing and J W Rogers, besides the remodelling and rebuilding of the residences of J A Gibbs, Lea
Harris, W C Holt, and Will Fuller, and among the colored people Cullen Edwards, Nancy Bondurant, Ike Fowler, Bledsoe and Ruffan Rogers, and several others whose names we do not now recall.

The business houses erected are, six iron fronts, one by J.M. Meadows on lot that stood vacant since the great fire here in the 60's, three by J.W. Moran, one each by J.A. Gibbs and B.D. Irvine, and the two-story Brick hotel, on north side of the square.

The brick banking houses of the Henry County Bank and Weakley County Bank, the brick livery stable of J.A. Paschall and the iron roofed and weatherboarded livery stable of E.A. Maloan; while two story frame buildings have been built A.V Boden, B.D. Irvine and E.L. Rogers.  The J.W. Rogers frames, The Enterprise Office and T.L. Woods' business house have been remodelled.  Wm. McCuan built a business house near the depot, and McCuan's and Fuller Bro's., tobacco warehouses and the spoke factory, giving employment to fifty men and supporting as many families, complete the list of business houses.

Irvine & Scott
The public buildings are limited to two churches, two school houses and the new depot.  To be strictly just we must not omit the establishment of the Weakley County Bank and the Dresden Bank, neither of which has during the long continued depression failed to meet promptly every demand, and both of which have paid fair dividends to the stockholders.

As a striking contrast to this doleful record of sloth, inertness and decline, let us now look at the rapid growth, striking progress and marked prosperity during the ten years preceding the suicidal act of its citizens in repealing its charter, during which time residences were erected by the following persons, greatly to the delight of every lover of the town, towit; M.D. Cardwell, R.N. Irvine, S.P. Scott and J.M. Meadows, at an average cost of probably not less than $1,500.  The Irvine& Scott flouring mill was also built during this period, but has been entirely refitted with new machinery of the latest construction and most approved styles within the last few years.

Of public buildings, there was built during that ten years, THE JAIL.

In the face of these startling facts, of this record of decline and degeneration, of rapidly approaching death there are, strange as it may seem, men in our town who are not ashamed to admit that

 they assisted in the fatal act which has brought such ruin and destruction upon our town, and obstinately assert that they have no regrets for what they have done.  There are even some blinded, hard-headed and misguided individuals, who go so far as to say they would like to see the town "ruined some more," on the same lines.

Weakly (sic) County Jail
The complete list of links in this multi-part series:
part onepart two, part threepart fourpart fivepart sixpart sevenpart eightpart ninepart tenpart elevenpart twelvepart thirteenpart fourteenpart fifteenpart sixteenpart seventeenpart eighteenpart nineteenpart twentypart twenty-onepart twenty-twopart twenty-three.

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