“Register” Of 1874 Carried Optimistic Story Regarding Purchase Of Warehouse Here
From the 1938 centennial edition of The Times-Register
This section of the state of Virginia was a tobacco growing region at the time of the Revolutionary war for in that period we find that the court of Botetourt county fined Tories and those guilty of criminal offenses by ordering them to pay a certain amount of tobacco.
As late as 1840 the growing of tobacco was the main industry in this county as shown by the census of that year. Since the turn of the century tobacco growing has declined as this agricultural industry has spread southward with North Carolina greatly increasing their acreage of tobacco and South Carolina taking up the culture of the weed as a comparatively new venture. At the time of the Civil War , South Carolina almost exclusively depended upon cotton as a money crop.
Want Tobacco Warehouse
In 1874 Salemites had visions of making this town a big tobacco center as will be seen from the following article from The Register concerning the erection of a tobacco warehouse here:
“It gives us great pleasure to announce the fact that Salem is to have a tobacco warehouse. Capt. J. B. Bransford, in connection with a gentleman of long experience, and one of the most successful sellers in Virginia, have formed a co-partnership under the name of J. B. Bransford & Co. and will open a first class warehouse in this place at once. The first sale will take place on March 5 and every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter. They have leased the large tobacco factory of John Hurt and will convert it at once into a warehouse. Now let the farmers of Roanoke, Franklin, Montgomery and other counties send their tobacco at once , and we will insure them as good prices as can be obtained any place in the state. Should the prices not prove satisfactory here, these gentlemen have made arrangements with Messrs. Hutchinson and Savoy, inspectors and sellers of leaf tobacco at Mayo’s warehouse in Richmond which will enable them to forward all tobacco directly to them in case it does not bring good prices here.”
“We are also warranted in saying to the planters, that the merchants of this place have procured a lot in town, upon which they will erect a house and stables for their especial accommodation, so that they will be at no extra expense in staying overnight when they bring in their tobacco.”
“The name of our new warehouse is ‘Planter’s Warehouse’. Since it has been ascertained that we are to have a tobacco warehouse here, Mr. C. L. Preston, one of our most substantial citizens, has determined to start at once a factory for the manufacture of tobacco. He has not determined as yet as to the location of it but it will be somewhere within the corporate limits of the town. Mr. Preston is a No. 1 business man and has the capital to drive a large business. We also hear of two other factories but shall not mention names until all the arrangements are perfected. Mr. John W. Hurt has some time ago decided to start a tobacco factory and has nearly all the arrangements made towards that end.”
-Prepared by Lisa King