Sunday, May 2, 2010

The History Of Pocomoke by Murray James (11)

Formerly New Town. 65

Captain Long was full of fun for the young folks. Sometimes he tried his talent at poetry, for instance, the following as a sample : "As she slips she slides along, A trusty friend is hard to find." He was thoughtful and kind to the poor. He left in his will the sum of $2,500 to be appropriated towards educating the poor children in and around New Town. This sum was appropriated by the Commissioners or the School Board of the county, by and with the consent of the heirs of Captain Long, to the erection of the High School building in New Town.

As this departure from the will was made, it was but just to the memory of Captain Long that the building should have been called the Henry Long High School. Captain Henry Long was brother to Captain John W. Long and David Long, and was the oldest of the three. When he died he was by his own request, buried in a pine coffin, by the side of his sister, Polly Henderson, in the Methodist Episcopal Church burying ground of New Town. The following inscription may be found upon the marble slab that covers his remains : " In memory of Henry Long, who was born the 27th of April, 1780, and died the 3rd day of January, 1855. Kind to the poor in his life, in death their wants were not forgotten." In 1855, John P. Hargis and William S. Dickinson 66 History of Pocomoke City, commenced merchandising under the name of Hargis & Dickinson, at the corner of Market and Commerce steets.

Previous to this, however, there was a firm by the name of Jones, Hearn & Co., which occupied the same stand, how long they did business I am not able to say. The store of Hargis & Dickinson was a first-class store, comprising dry goods and groceries, liquor excepted. This firm continued successfully until 1865, when by mutual consent, they dissolved partnership. John P. Hargis continued the business in his own name about six years and retired.

William S. Dickinson again commenced mercantile life, forming a co-partnership with I. H. Merrill and F. H. Dryden, two enterprising young merchants, whe were already selling goods under the firm of Merrill & Dryden. This connection with Merrill & Dryden took place in 1867. This firm was known as Dickinson, Merrill & Dryden, Mr. Dickinson being already in possession of the store house, at the corner of Market and Commerce Sts. The firm, having an opportunity of renting the store- rooms adjoining, previously occupied by A. S. Stevens and James S. Primrose, connected the three together, having three entrances on Market street and one on Com- merce street, and the buildings being so connected that customers could pass from one apartment of the store to the other without going out of doors.

They arranged their stock in trade in three departments, occupying the central room for dry goods and notions, with groceries, hardware, &c, liquor excepted, on one side; and boots v

Formerly New Town. 67 shoes and gentlemen's furnishing goods on the other. This firm did a heavy business from 1867 to 1874, when by mutual agreement they disolved partnership, each one taking a department and continuing the business in the separate branches so as not to conflict with each others interests.

In this division, William S. Dickinson the dry goods and notion department, I. H. Merrill the boot, shoe and gen- tlemen's furnishing department, F. H. Dryden the gro- cery and hardware department. Here were three stores made out of one, each one doing a good business. In 1878, F. H. Dryden sold out his stock of goods to H. T. Stevenson and E. F. Gibbons, this firm continued business but a short time, when E. F. Gibbons sold out to H. T. Stevenson, and Mr. Stevenson then took as a part- ner Dr. Sidney W. Handy, the firm now doing business under the name of Stevenson & Co. In the fall of 1881 they added to the hardware and grocery department that of dry goods, ^boots and shoes, and are doing a thriving business.

Stevenson & Co., are the first in Pocomoke City to introduce into their business house an elevator. At the commencement of 1881, Mr. I. H. Merrill took into partnership, with himself, two sprightly young men of this place, James P. Plain and William F. King, and the business of the house is now transacted by this company. William S. Dickinson has associated with the dry goods business, that of furniture also, and as I have given a brief history of Mr. Dickinson as a merchant, I feel it a pleasure, to give a synopsis of his life, as I have known him from

68 History of Pocomoke City,
his infancy. He was born the fifteenth day of March. 1833. Forty years ago, or more, he was a member of the Sabbath School, in this place, and I often call up in memory the Sabbath School Exhibitions of those days, and the speeches of those who were then children but now ere the venerable fathers and mothers of the present day. Frequently in meeting Mr. Dickinson on the street and elsewhere, I think of him on the stage in delivering his -speech, commencing with, "you will scarce expect one of my age, to speak in public on the stage, &c," He was always a good boy, thoughtful, studious and industrious.

At the age of thirteen he entered the store of his cousin, Joseph Bratton, Esq., at Barren Creek Springs, then Somerset county, Md., as clerk. He remained in this situation about fifteen months, when he returned to New Town. After returning home he went to school about one year, when he entered the store of Captain Henry Long, in 1848, as clerk. He remained in this situation until the •death of Captain Long, which event took place in 1855. It was found by the last will and testament of Captain Long that William S. Dickinson, in connection with his father, James T. Dickinson, were left executors of his -estate.

This was no small amount of confidence which Cap- tain Long reposed in Mr. Dickinson, as the estate was a iieavy one. Formerly New Town. 69 Integrity has marked his whole life, and if it were possible that one could be conscientious to a fault, I would say that of him. He is a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in Pocomoke City. He has three children — two daughters and a son, who are an honor to his name, and adorn his home with bright sunshine, and are as precious gems around his table of plenty.


Upon the dissolution of partnership of Clarke & Clarvoe in 1852, William H. T . Clarvoe and James Merrill united in copartnership, under the firm of Clarvoe &. Merrill, in the sale of goods, occupying the same stand that Clarke and Clarvoe occupied. This firm continued two years, when Mr. Merrill sold out to Mr. Clarvoe. Mr. Clarvoe conducted the business by himself until 1858, when he sold out to William W. and James A- Melvin, acting under the firm of W. W. & J. A. Melvin. This firm transacted business for a while in the store- house formerly occupied by Mr. Clarvoe, after which they purchased the wharf and ground upon which they built the storehouse, which is at present occupied by Smullin & Brother.

They did a heavy business from 1858 to 1866, when they sold out their stock in trade, together with their storehouse and wharf, to Stephen E. Mason. Stephen E. Mason conducted a heavy business from TO History of PocomoTce City, 1866 to 1870, when he sold out his stock of goods to John W. Selby and Julius J. Smullin, two enterprising- young men, who did business under the firm of Selby & Smul- lin until 1877, when Mr. Selby sold out his interest in the store to Julius J. and Albert Smullin. Smullin & Brother keep on hand a general assortment of dry goods, grocer- ies, boots, shoes, hats, etc., and are doing a thriving business.

These two young men are worthy of great praise for their business qualifications and fidelity, and it is said that they stand number one in business circles in the cities. In 1878, John W. Selby purchased the ground at the north-east corner of Market and Front streets and erected a large fine building for store and town hall purposes ; the store room is a spacious one, the upper room is used for town hall purposes. This is one of the finest storehouses, and for such a purpose is an ornament to Pocomoke City. Mr. Selby has a well assorted and well arranged stock of dry goods, groceries, boots, shoes, hats, etc. In 1854, Benjamin F. Ulman commenced merchan- dising in New Town, and sold goods for some time, after which he moved to the City of Baltimore where he is still doing business, and report says he has a bank of his own and is worth $500,000.

In 1862, Major T. and Jerome B. Hall commenced merchandising in New Town, at first dealing altogether in the hardware line ; after a while they branched out more at large in a general dry goods, grocery, boot and sho e house, under the firm of Hall & Bro. Formerly New Town. 71 In 1863, they added to their mercantile trade that of steam saw mill business; in 1868, that of ship building; and in 1872, the Marine railway business.

In 1878 they took into copartnership L. Fuller Hall, son of Jerome B. Hall. The company now doing business under the firm of Hall, Bro. & Co. This firm with this heavy business resting upon them, employ sixty men annually, repair about seventy-five vessels annually, and have built during their buisness life, about twenty-five new vessels. Their annual business aggregating §30,000. They own two steam saw mills, a Marine Railway. 300 acres of land and 23 houses and lots, some of the houses are fine buildings. In thus giving a brief outline of the business life of these two brothers it will, also, be of interest to the reader to learn something of their general history.

In view of their success in life, this will be given with the greatest pleasure, for I knew them when they were little flaxy headed boys. Their father, Benjamin Hall, was a highly respected man, a carpenter by trade and a captain of militia ; he died when these gentlemen were little children, leaving a widow and six children, without any assistance, to get their living as best they could. It is true the family lived on their own place, but that was very little more than a staying place, the little boys worked like little giants.

I have seen them coming to town with a load of pine wood, which they had cut, when you would think they were scarcely large enough to come to town any way. 72 History of Pocomoke City, Their mother, with the children, struggled against adversity until these two boys were old enough to go to- a trade ; then they commenced to learn the blacksmith business with George W. Landing.

They served an apprenticeship with Mr. Landing, and when he retired from the shop they took charge of it in their own name, and worked hard and continuously at the business until they entered mercantile life, as before stated. The reader, probably, is already thinking about their school advantages. They lived in the country and could only go to school, occasionally, in the winter time ; what little learning they got in this way was of very little advantage to them, as they experienced in the commence- ment of their mercantile life, in trying to use the pen and in calculating figures. They, however, learned to use the pen and calculate figures, and how to make money, also ; and their record shows the character of their intellect and business capacity. They are both members of the Baptist Church, in Pocomoke City ; Major T. Hall being a deacon. Their ages are, respectively, forty-eight and fifty-six years ; Major T. being the eldest. In 1856, C. C. Lloyd opened a drug store, which was the first ever established in New Town ; in addition to drugs he kept oils, paints, stationery, jewelry and variety store. He has, during his mercantile life, closely applied himself to business, always at his post, he is polite.

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