by Roy Hodge
Another look at some old, tattered newspaper pages:
From page one of The Fulton Patriot, February 6, 1901:
• A Pair of Hustlers
• Fulton and Oswego Falls
• The Most Enterprising Villages in the United States
• Over Eight Thousand People Who Are Up-To-Date on Everything All the Time
That was the many-tiered headline. The article continues:
“A Brief Outline of Their Advantages – There is no danger of a successful contradiction of the statement that there are no two villages of this size in the Empire State that can show as much enterprise and business opportunities as are shown by the villages of Fulton and Oswego Falls.
“These two thriving villages are situated on the bank of the Oswego River – Fulton on the east side and Oswego Falls on the west – and the population, according to the last U. S. census, is Fulton 5,281, Oswego Falls, 2,925; total, 8,206. These villages are located twelve miles from Oswego, the county seat, and twenty-five miles from Syracuse, the Central City of the Empire State.”
The article goes on to outline the manufacturing facilities of the city. Thirty-three manufacturing plants, along with their number of employees, are listed. The largest employee, American Woolen Co., employed 1,097 persons. The smallest company listed is R. F. Hoff, miller, with three employees.
The Hunter Arms Company employed 285 persons; American Tobacco Co., 150; Oswego Falls Pulp and Paper Co., which in later years was known as the Sealright Co., had 86 employees. Victoria Paper Co. employed 80 and Foster Brothers Knife Works had 75 employees.
There were several successful smaller companies also. Daniel Baldwin, employing eight persons, made crates and boxes. A. Bristol and Sons made carriages and buggies and employed 15. The Fulton Bag Co. had 30 employees.
Included in the article is a glowing description of the two villages’ labor force – “First class labor can be found in Fulton and Oswego Falls. The two villages have a resident class of mechanical laborers – men who are here to stay, who own their own homes and are interested in the prosperity of the villages…”
Many other aspects of life in the two villages are outlined in the informative article:
“The means of transportation are furnished by three railroads – the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg branch of the New York Central, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and the New York, Ontario and Western railroads, over which 26 passenger trains arrive every day, and twelve on Sunday. The Oswego Canal connects with the Erie Canal at Syracuse, and Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes at Oswego. In addition, there is street car service between the two villages at all hours during the day and evening.
“Fulton has two large and well-equipped schools under a corps of experienced teachers. Oswego Falls has two smaller school buildings. A new $30,000 school building is being constructed in Oswego Falls.
“The Fulton Library is free to the public of the two villages. The Stephens Opera House in Fulton and the new Citizen’s Hall, Oswego Falls, furnish ample room for entertainment visiting the villages.
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