Monday, February 18, 2008

new ballast

Thomas Jefferson Baltimore (9/13/1911-12/27/1971) on the south-side of his grand-parents house, 1604 Woolen Mills Road. Baltimore's grandfather, James Starkes, began working at the mill in the 1860's. Baltimore's son-in-law, William A. Strauss Jr., died February 13, 2008, in Richmond, Virginia.

Steps were quickly taken to adjust capitalization to the new needs. The board was granted sweeping powers to revise expenditures and the duties of officers and employees to meet the needs of increased size. A new mortgage of $50,000 was floated at six percent to replace the old and to add new ballast to the company. When this proved insufficient, Marchant in June turned again to the Northern stockholders, this time for loans. It appears that Coates sent some $13,500 and Furbush as least $10,000. Another $11,000 came from Brennan and Company, a local private bank. John L. Cochran also advanced $16,000 to rescue the company from its distresses.

These loans were obviously only temporary expedients. Plans had been made on the assumption that shortly after production started a large percentage of the proceeds would quickly flow back to the company. This hope was based on a new arrangement to sell through Northern commission houses which would immediately make advances on consignments. For some reason, the experiment failed and the mill found itself thrown back on loans to obtain capital. As a result, Marchant was able to run less than half the expensive machinery, yet production costs mounted so high that full capacity might be secured at an extra cost of only twenty-five percent.--Harry Poindexter

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