This plant was organized and began business in 1910 and is located in the southwest section of the city on the Ohio River. The officers of the corporation are as follows:
E.S. Weston, President
F.H. Korte, Vice-President
D.E. Klutts, General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer
W.R. Cromeens, Sales Manager
The company manufactures building brick and cement drain tile and has a daily capacity of 30,000 brick. It gives employment to about thirty men at good wages. But the giving of employment to these men is not altogether where the company does Metropolis the most good. The product from the plant is shipped to points far and near and thus furnishes the city a kind of advertising it would not get otherwise. The quality of the Bennett-Borman brick is pronounced first class and this after a thorough trial. Most of the brick buildings erected in Metropolis since 1910 have been built by brick from the above plant and when we say that bricks are of the highest quality we know exactly what we are talking about. The company is steadily growing and machinery is now being installed at heavy expense for the manufacture of all sizes of farm drain tile. Much valuable land in this immediate section is not producing anything like should because it is not properly drained and the farmers are awakening to that fact. Hence the need of this added machinery at the Bennett-Borman plant.
Mr. Klutts, the genial and affable general manager and secretary-treasurer of the company is one of Metropolis' progressive citizens. He owns a number of residences for tenting purposes and occupies a pretentious residence of Fifth Street. He is one of the enthusiastic members of the Commercial Club, one of the city's best boosters and an ideal citizen. He affiliates with the Christian Church.
Mr. Cromeens hustling sales manager is a native of Pope County and is rendering valuable aid to the Bennett-Borman Company. He is courteous and is not afraid or averse to conversing with those calling at the plant.
The other gentlemen comprising the ownership are too well known to call for any comment here though some of them are mentioned elsewhere in this big issue of the Journal-Republican. As we stated in the outset the Bennett-Borman Company is a valuable addition to the business interests of Metropolis.
As they originally lay, these lands were practically worthless; now, by the opening of a few small laterals, almost every foot of ground in the compass of the system is converted into tillable soil; a large percentage of it being the very best land in our county, whereas, formerly, it was practically worthless. Entirely aside from the gigantic improvement in the value of the land for agricultural purposes, is the benefit to the general health, which will naturally arise from carrying off the stagnant waters which have so poisoned the air for so many years is a consideration not easily measured in dollars and cents; it is safe to say that the pond region will from this day forward, become a more and more healthful portion of our county. This article could be drawn out at great length in details, however those which follow below will give the reader almost every material fact.
Organized date--May 11. A.C. 1911.
First Officers--Jas. L. Elliott, chairman, H.A. Evans, secretary, S.D. Peeler, commissioner.
Present Officers--S.D. Peeler, chairman, S.Barlett Kerr, secretary, H.A. Evans, commissioner.
Engineers--W.L. Moyers, J.H. Sharp, J.T. Corlis.
Present status of work--about one-sixth of the work on -------- railway is constructed and -------------------- cut off is to be -------------------------- put in good working -------------------------------(2 lines ink blur) 1916.
Contractors--Cook Construction Co. by Moffatt and Herrick(sp.). The Moffatt Co., Cache Valley Dregging Co., ---ing & Brockenbrough.
Acres brought into cultivation--About 40 thousand acres.
The Whole System
The whole drainage system includes Cache River Drainage District with 24 miles of ditch constructed at a cost of $200,000.
sub. dis.#1--Black Slough, 15 1\2 mi. $100,000
" " #2--Hackberry, 3 1\4 mi. 7,000
" " #3--Black Loam, 4 mi. 8,000
" " #4--Cypress Creek, 8 mi. 17,000
total miles of ditch to be built (78 ink spot not sure this is right)
total number of ------- drained 80,000
total cost of drainage $---,000.
Harner sold to W.E. Warr. Mr. Warr was succeeded by W.A. Spence and Senator Helm. The paper is now wholly owned by Mr. Spence. This story is condensed into the briefest possible mention of the names of those connected with Republican journalism in the county. Some of the names mentioned were really brilliant writers and men of high purposes in life.
After the close of the civil war Massac county became intensely Republican in politics making the publication of a square-toed Democratic paper a very precarious undertaking. In 1867 Wm. J. Ward began the publication of the "Metropolis Times", a Democratic publication; Mr. Ward was succeeded by Wm. A. McBane who afterwards sold to Capt. McCartney who converted it into an independent paper, later on Capt. McCartney sold out to Judge Alonzo K. Vickers who afterwards became Supreme Judge of Illinois. The Times was removed to Vienna where it is now the Republican organ of Johnson County.
In 1877 Hale E. Armstrong bought a printing plant from ________ _______ of Vienna, brought it to Metropolis and established the Democrat which soon died. Afterward F.A. Trousdale and James D. Stewart bought the plant and re-established the Democrat which weathered all storms and today lives as the Metropolis Herald and independent paper published by Walter E. Speckman.
The Bar of Massac county has been honored with a goodly number of very bright minds, two of whom Hon. John H. Mulkey and Alonza K. Vickers became Supreme Judges of the state. Of the present bar it can be truthfully said that they are much above the average, not only in legal knowledge, also as advocates and in moral character.
The early attorneys were Jedidiah Jack, who built the brick portion of the Manitoba hotel. Jack was killed by Elijah Stauffer. Col. tom Smith killed at Fort Donnelson was another early attorney. Theodore B. Hicks and Judge Wm. H. Green were connecting links between early and later times. The two McCartneys, Capt J. F., and Judge Robt. W., were very prominent in legal affairs. After quite a career in journalism Ben O. Jones entered the legal profession. The present bar composed of the Messrs. James -. Courtney, the nestor of the local bar, his partner and former pupil Senator D.W. Helm, Fred R. Young, Clement L.V. Mulkey, H.A. Evans, Fred Smith, S.A. Vankirk, W.L. Krone, Roy -. Helm, Walter Roberts and Bonner Leonard.
During the late years Mr. Miller was located at Joppa, where he was postmaster from 1904 to 1905. He was always very active in politics and was imbues with a spirit of Republican that knew no failure. Such yeomen service had he done for his party that in 1906 he was appointed deputy sheriff and served four years under R.B. Lytton. And it was white deputy sheriff that his fine qualities were made more visible. He was such a faithful officer that when he asked for the nomination for Sheriff in 1910 he was given the same by a rousing majority. His election followed and Massac County never has a more conscientious officer, a more faithful sheriff than Oscar Miller. He made good in every sense of the word and sustained what his friends had claimed for him.
At the expiration of his term as Sheriff he purchased the New Central Hotel and has conducted that popular hotelry since. And his patronage is all that could be asked for. His hotel bears an excellent reputation all over the state and justly so, because Mr. Miller, ably assisted by his good wife, strive hard to please their guests and they succeeded in that effort.
Oscar Miller was united in marriage on the 30th day of December 1901 to Miss Ada Amos, a talented young lady of Massac county, and to this happy union have been sent four children--Ruby B., Louis H., Leonard O., and Donald L.
Mr. Miller holds membership in the A.F. & A.M., The I.O.O.F., the M.W. of A. Lodges and is very enthusiastic in the workings of each. He is looked upon here in Metropolis as one of the "Live Wires" and he has proven that he is on several occasions. He is willing at all times to do his full p[art. He's another of the many good citizens here who are helping us in the publication of the big paper, which issued to help the city.
Oscar Miller is a splendid man and he deserves all the success that he is receiving. The New Central Hotel is among the ornaments of Metropolis.
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