Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 96

The Shields-Morley Grocery Co.
Wholesale Grocers
Colorado Springs, Colo.

August 3, 1901

To the business men of Colorado Springs in the year two thousand and one

Colorado Springs until very recently, has been considered more of a health resort than a place of much commercial enterprise. Our population has been largely composed of those who came here for their own health or on account of the illness of some member of their family. Many people of wealth seeking health and finding it here have built beautiful homes and the residence portion of the city has always been greatly in advance of the business portion. This however is rapidly changing-our merchants are beginning to reach out more into the state for trade and we are building up large commercial interests. Many fine business blocks are being erected and our city will soon look to outsiders what we on the inside know it to be-a very prosperous place of business as well as a most delightful health resort. Colorado Springs has never been what we of the west call a "boom town." Our growth has been natural and healthy. The people who came here from the first have never been of the sort attracted by mining towns and we have never had to contend with the curse of the rum shop, the dance hall and the low gambling places.

Our merchants and business men have always been conservative and very few failures are on record. Our banks have always been strong institutions and it has been said that were it not for the telegraph and the newspapers very few people in Colorado Springs would even have known of the panics which have so seriously disturbed our country at times during the last twenty years.

During the ten years-since 1891-we have made our greatest growth as a city and this is chiefly due to the discovery of gold in the Cripple Creek district-most of the mines are owned by our people and much of the wealth that has come to us from this camp has gone into the building of homes-business blocks-smelters and reduction works for treating the ore and other business ventures that are fast making the city one of great importance in the State. We have quite a railroad centre and our merchants receive great benefit by our being one of the Colorado common points. The Colorado common points-being now-Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Trinidad. There has never been a more prosperous year in our history than the one we are now living-1901. This is due largely to the building and completion of The Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway. A road remarkable for its wonderful engineering, even in this age of mountain railroad construction. It is not only a great credit to the man who ran the construction line but to the men who financed and built it. The men who made it possible are such men as Irving Howbert, William Lennox, Frank M. Wood, Horace G. Lunt, K.R. Babbitt, James F. Barnes, William P. Bonbright, Frank M. Peck, F.H. Morley, J. Addison Hayes, Edward W. Giddings, W.S. Stratton and many others-citizens of Colorado Springs. Personally I am proud of my own small share in their work and as a director in the company I feel that we have all contributed to the future of our beautiful city a lasting benefit-something that will continue for years to come-the source of great good and profit to our people.

For your comparison I have made an estimate of the capital used in various branches of commerce. Also an estimate of the annual sales. These estimates are not exaggerated and are given so that you may compare them with the figures of 2001. I hope the prosperity and growth of our city may continue in the same ratio and that you of the next century will love Colorado Springs as much as the writer of these lines.

John G. Shields

Estimate of Capital and annual business in the following lines.

Capital Annual sales
Groceries-wholesale $450,000. $2,000,000.
" Retail 250,000. 1,250,000.
Dry Goods 500,000. 1,500,000.
Drugs 150,000. 500,000.
Commission & Produce 75,000. 300,000.
Hardware 235,000. 450,000.
Flour, Feed, Hay & Grain 100,000. 500,000.
Jewelry 60,000. 100,000.
Harness, Trunks & Saddlery 20,000. 30,000.
Clothing & Furnishing goods 300,000. 600,000.
Tailoring 25,000. 115,000.
Bicycles and Automobile 30,000. 100,000.
Carriages & Wagons 30,000. 100,000.
Tents and Awnings 10,000. 40,000.
Confectioners 10,000. 40,000.
Books and Stationery 40,000. 100,000.
Boots & Shoes 30,000. 100,000.
Crockery & Glassware 25,000. 50,000.
Curios 25,000. 50,000.
Furniture 100,000. 200,000.
Meats 100,000. 400,000.
Totals $2,565,000. $8,525,000.

For a complete list of the firms doing business in our city today - I refer you to the City Directory and to R.G. Dun & Co. mercantile agency book. I can mention here only a few of our leading business men ____

Irving Howbert Prest. Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek Ry, J. Addison Hayes Prest. First National Bank, W.L. Jackson Prest. El Paso National Bank, J.R. McKinnie Prest. Exchange National Bank, W.P. Bonbright Prest. Colorado Springs Bank, W.A. Otis - of W.A. Otis & Co., Philip B. Stewart of Philip B. Stewart & Co., Fred H. Morley of The Shields, Morley Co., Sherwood Aldrich - of Shove, Aldrich & Co., E.P. Shove of Shove, Aldrich & Co., Fred Ballard - John L. Tucker, James P. Barnes, George Bernard, L.L. Bernard, George D.B. Bonbright, W.A. Burgess, H.A. Brown, H. & Chas. Seldomridge, W.L. Boynton, J.A. Morrison, EW Giddings Jr., W.H. Tucker, Ralph Giddings, Rowell Puffer Mer. Co., R.J. Bolles, Warren Wood, James F. Burnes, F.M. Wood. F.F. Castello, Jim China, Arthur J. Connell, James C. Connor, David B. Donaldson, R.P. Davie, Louis R. Ehrich, C.E. Evans, Holbrook & Perkins, Clarence Edsall, John J. Key, F. Gilpin, F.L. Gutman, A. Hemenway, Percy Hagerman, Henry Hine, W.W. Hassel, John E. Hundley, Henry L. Hayward, R.H. Hutton, O.E. Hemenway, W.K. Jewett, Jones & Wellington, F.J. Plimpton, A.L. Lawton, William Lennox, Henry LeB. Wills, Matthew Kennedy, H.P. Lillibridge, W.H. Leonard, Gilbert McClurg, Lowell Meservey Hardware Co., D.B. Fainley, C.M. MacNeill, Franck Johnson, H.J. O'Brien, F.A. Perkins, F.D. Pastorius, J.P. Pomeroy, John Potter, John Proudfit, Verner Z. Reed, A.C. Ridgway, W.L. Stratton, F.E. Robinson, A. Sutton, E.J. Ulrich, A. Jae Ward, Wandell & Lowe, W.H. Wise, George Rex Buckman.

There are many others - but men like those named are the men who are making our city.

Yours truly,

John G. Shields


Colorado Springs Colo. Aug. 3rd 1901.

The wholesale feed flour and grain business at this present writing is represented in Colorado Springs by the firms of Seldomridge Bros., The F.F. Roby Flour, Feed, Grain and Storage Co. and A.S. Ingersoll who also sell at retail. The firms of Opdycke & Co., J.H. Campbell, Colorado Springs Produce Co., H.C. Warden, J. Hagen & Co. sell at retail, some of them confining themselves to the business altogether and others have feed stables and sell coal in connection. A considerable part of the hay is grown in the immediate vicinity in the Fountain Valley where it is raised by irrigation and on the Divide where the crop is dependent on the rains. A considerable amount is also obtained from other sections of the state viz: the San Luis valley, the Tomichi and other tributaries of the Gunnison river and from the section north and east of Denver along the Platte and other streams. The alfalfa grown in the vicinity is almost altogether used by the dairies so that the supplies for the trade are shipped in from the outside, mostly from the Arkansas valley and the section north of Denver.

With the exception of the grain grown in the Divide section, the crop of which is uncertain since it is dependent on the rains, the supplies of grain are obtained principally from Nebraska, some hay is also obtained from the same section as well as from Kansas. There are no flour mills located here and the supply for the retail trade is obtained from Denver, Longmont, Boulder, Loveland and other milling points in the state. The flour is made from spring wheat and is not suited for bakers use and that for their use is brought in from Kansas principally; some Minnesota and Nebraska flour is also used. Other commodities handled by the above firms are oil meal, salt, corn meal, rye and buckwheat flour, cereal goods, wheat for chicken feed, bran, chop and chop feed, seeds etc.

On account of the severe drought prevailling [sic] in the states east of Colorado this year prices on all grain products are extremely high and supplies will have to be obtained principally from Iowa. The states where the drought is most severe are having to draw on this state for more or less of their supply of hay which has had a tendency to advance the price here to a considerable extent. The prices prevailing at present to the consumer are per cwt. Oats 1.85, bran 1.10, corn 1.45, hop 1.50, wheat 1.40, mixed feed 1.60, Upland hay .90, second bottom .75, alfalfa .60, straw .50, flour Colorado 1.90, meal 1.80, flour Kansas 2.50, flour Minnesota 3.00. The grain from the east is all shipped in bulk and is rehandled here in sacking.

The trade in Colorado City and Manitou obtain all their supplies from this place and considerable is also shipped to local points along the Colorado Midland R.R. and to Cripple Creek district points, Leadville and other points in the state and also New Mexico points. The amount of capital invested in the business is about $100,000.00 and the yearly business amounts to about $500,000.00.

C.B. Seedmidge

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