The editor of
the Star had heard so
much about the hustling business activities of Montbrook and Morriston,
the western borders of Marion, but in Levy county and on the Atlantic
Line Railroad, that a desire long cherished to inspect them was
The traveler is impressed, as he
alights from the car at Montbrook, to note the clouds of smoke as they
into the sky and hear the rush of steam as it escapes from the big
that furnish the motive power for the large sawmill and planing mill of
place. The sawmill is owned and operated by the Wade & McCarthy
cuts 30,000 feet a day and employs some eighty hands. Their tram roads
into the pine timber for logs, a distance of five miles and as the
disappears before the woodman’s axe the line is extended. W.
D. McArthur is the
efficient manager and everything around the mill moves like clockwork.
Adjoining this sawmill is what is
known as the H. M. Tyler Lumber Co., owned by New York parties and
over by Mr. A. W. Reed. This company takes all the board lumber made by
neighboring sawmill, as well as the same product from the mills at
and Williston, which is dressed and converted into flooring, siding,
and moldings. The capacity of this planning machinery is 32,000 feet a
running ten hours. Attached is an electric light plant, that supplies
illumination in the early morning and late in the afternoon, both in
planning department and the sheds where the finished product is stored,
are immense structures several hundred feet long, about fifty wide and
twenty-five feet high, through the centers of which tracks are laid
to run cars for loading.
This institution employs fifty
hands. Its machinery is up to date and its work of the first order. We
pleasure of meeting Mr. I. M. Riles, who has charge of the machinery
manager of the operating department. He is devoted to his
has shown rare mechanical ingenuity in
devising a transfer team, by which the boards after being surfaced and
are conveyed to the machinery to produce the exact material desired
putting a hand to a board. His invention is on the same principal that
in sawmills in removing the waste of the log to the firepit, with an
Riles has also invented and patented a
fine arch for furnace doors to mill boilers, through which water is
passing, making it impossible for the heat to consume the iron arch
furnace door of the boiler, as was formerly the case and the cause of
trouble and waste under the old system of an iron bar support
over the furnace door arch, which was continually
being burnt out.
One of the things of interest to
the writer was the automatic saw filer of the mills, which does the
work of a
58-inch saw in from one half to an hour, while by hand it would take
of a man for a day. Those saws need filing three times a day.
The pay for ordinary labor in these mills is
from 95 cents to $1 a day. The same pay is given the men in the
works of the place, who employ about 100 men and whose output last year
2000 barrels of spirits of turpentine and its concomitant of resin. Mr.
Flynn is manager of the turpentine plant.
With these facts before the reader,
he can easily see why the village of Montbrook is a place for
commercial importance, for, added to the 250 or 300 men constantly
the milling and turpentine interests, are the solid agricultural
including stock raising, for which this section is noted and the volume
trade can be easily devised. To meet the demand there are
stores, well stocked, conducted respectively by F. E. Crawford, C . C.
& Co., and Thomas & Davis.
Mr. Crawford is a young business
man, who has been eminently successful
and has a bright future before him. His sales exceed $3000 a month.
The active man of the firm of C. C.
Rawls & Co., is Mr. Tom Limbeaugh, a Marion County boy, a
enterprising business man who is very popular with the public. The
this firm exceeds $50,000 a year.
Messrs. Thomas and Davis are, comparatively
speaking, a new firm, but are growing and will make their mark as
merchants. Mr. J. R. Thomas is a son of Marion’s popular
citizen, Mr. Charles
Thomas, of Pine.
Montbrook has a population of about
300 people outside of the mill laborers.
Baptists have a very creditable
church building and services are held regularly. A good school building
is one of
the possessions of the village, with 80 odd pupils on the roll and over
Fender presides most acceptably, assisted by Miss Ross who has charge
primary department. Mrs. J. R. Davis ministers to the
wants of the wayfarer at “Cherry Cottage,” where
clean and soft beds with good
meals comfort the homeless.
Mr. Sim Blitch, son of Hon. Newton
Blitch, is the popular railroad and express agent of the place, which
of trust he has kept ever since the Amber log road from Archer struck
Montbrook section, which was then known as Phoenix. He is the joint
agent of the
A. C. L. and Seaboard Air Line Railways, both of which corporations use
track from Archer to Morriston and divide the freight of the town and
productive interests. Montbrook is incorporated and Mr. Simion Blitch
head of the municipal government.
This article would be incomplete
without referring to the fact that Montbrook is the home of State
Newton Blitch, who by his fidelity and pure conscience, carried out in
acts, to his neighbors and the state at large, occupies a large piece
confidence and affection. Senator Blitch is largely interested in stock
The people of Montbrook are very
kindly disposed towards Ocala and Ocala merchants and the latter
considerable trade from that section when business calls them to town.
merchants of Montbrook do all their banking in Ocala.
While at Montbrook we ran across
Carlos Sistrunk, who was in the village on legal business. Carlos is
popular with the people of that section. It is the place of his birth
honored parents reside in the town.
Ocala Evening Star: 1-28-1903
Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers
Flowers and is not to be reproduced in any form without written consent.
July 11, 2014
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