Saturday, November 24, 2007

slowly and unsteadily improved

Shisler House, 1809 Woolen Mills Road

Under Marchant's skillful hand the mill steered a course to calmer waters. After 1874 the financial condition slowly and unsteadily improved, as the following table will show:

By January, 1875, a $12,000 surplus existed. While this fund yawed badly, ranging from $2,500 in 1878 to $24,800 by 1881, a glance at the thirteen years beginning in 1869 shows that dividends and divided surplus amounted to nearly a five percent return on the original capital. Moreover, earnings had sufficed during that period to write off over $6,500 in bad debts and accumulate a surplus one-third the size of the stock issue. As early as October, 1877, the mill was capable of discharging its funded debt if it so desired and in addition able to procure abundant raw materials. Business was so brisk that night shifts had to be used that year and salesmen were temporarily called in. The late seventies witnessed a short setback which was overcome by 1880. In that year, fortunate wool purchases and a market shift to fabrics made from coarse fibers brought high profits.--Harry Poindexter

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