(previous page) interest to the growing metropolis of Southern Missouri. Springfield has been A STRONG TRADING POINT, from the day of its founding to the present. In the early days its trade extended well over Southwest Missouri, and in later years has been carried, by its better transportation facilities, into the neighboring states and territories. That Springfield is A NATURAL TRADE CENTER, is fully attested by the growth of the jobbing trade, which now embraces dry goods, groceries, tobaccos cigars, smokers supplies, heavy and shelf hardware, stoves, jewelry, furniture, wagons, carriages, farm implements, wines and liquors, foreign and domestic fruits, game, books and stationery, mill supplies, drugs, harness and saddlery, lumber and building materials, mill stuffs, queensware, millinery, clothing, ladies and gents furnishing goods, photographic supplies, mules, horses, cooperage, lime, wagon wood-stocks, paints, wall paper and other lines which represent an investment of $2,000,000 and a yearly jobbing trade exceeding $5,000,000. In groceries, provisions and kindred stocks alone the jobbing trade closely approximates $2,000,000, and covers half a dozen states and territories; and that Springfield is rapidly coming to the front as a jobbing center is patent even to the superficial observer.
The steady extension of its railway system and the rapid development of the lumber, mining, agricultural and fruit interests of the great region now tributary to Springfield, will give it a jobbing trade of $20,000,000 within the next ten years. For the same reasons its industries which now cover plants worth $2,500,000 and employ 2600 men will have grown to equally grand proportions, and the two great interests will give the citys growth exceeding the most sanguine estimates of the gentlemen elsewhere quoted. THE RETAIL TRADE of the city makes a splendid showing. Eighty grocery houses carrying aggregate stocks valued at $187,500 do a yearly trade of $944,500, and employ 197 hands. J. C. B. Ish & Son, prominent grocers who carry $7,000 in stocks of staple and fancy groceries and provisions and are among the most enterprising and successful dealers in the city, report a marked increase in their own sales, and a very gratifying improvement in the trade throughout the city. Twenty-two restaurants and fruit stands, with an investment of $11,000, give employment to sixty-two hands and do a yearly business of $50,900. Ten retail stove, tin and hardware houses carry $98,000 worth of stocks, employ forty-nine hands, and do a yearly business of $286,000. Six jewelry houses, with stocks aggregating $83,500, employ twenty men and have a yearly trade of $140,000. Mr. J. G. Willeke, who has represented this line in Springfield nearly twenty years, and whose stocks have grown from a small shop-keeping outfit to a model and magnificent display of jewelry, watches, clocks, silver and plated wares, bronzes, fancy goods and diamonds, worth $50,000, of which $10,000 is invested in diamonds alone, has carried his trade well over Southwest Missouri and the neighboring states, and, including the jobbing department, does a yearly business of $75,000. In magnitude and quality his stocks are second to none in the State, outside of St. Louis and Kansas City. His store is headquarters for the J. G. Willeke Watch Club Co., and his successful mercantile career, fine executive gifts, sterling enterprise and business probity give him high rank in mercantile circles. Mr. Willeke reports the jewelry trade of the city in excellent condition and the outlook highly encouraging.
Mr. H. M. Heckart, who has also successfully represented this branch of trade in Springfield for the last ten years, carries an elegant stock of jewelry, watches, clocks, diamonds, silverware and fancy goods, is a man of tireless energy and enterprise, and has built up a capital business. His house is headquarters for the Springfield Watch Club Co., and with the forecast of a clearsighted, self-commanding and accomplished merchant, he speaks very confidently of the business future.
Eight exclusive boot and shoe houses, with stocks valued at $64,000, employ 19 men and do a yearly business of $192,000. Mr. A. Doneghy, a recent acquisition to the boot and shoe trade of the city, whose keen business sense, thorough knowledge of the work in hand, and fine mercantile discipline, give the weight of authority to his opinions is confident of a bright future for the trade. Mr. Doneghy comes of a race of born merchants, carries a large and elegant stock, is a live, confident, progressive dealer, believes in advertising and is a capital acquisition to the commercial forces of this solid, commercial city. In the dry goods, clothing and furnishing goods lines, are thirty-one houses, carrying $706,000 worth of stocks, employing 240 hands and doing an annual trade of $1,045,000.
Four dealers in paints, oils, wall paper, glaziers goods, etc., etc., carry $14,000 worth of stock, employ 24 men and do a yearly business of $56,000.
Eight furniture merchants have $66,000 invested in stocks, employ 85 men and carry their yearly sales up to $151,000.
Eighteen drug merchants have $80,000 worth of stock, do an annual business of $197,500, and (next page)
Springfield-Greene County Library