General Letter No.6

EXECUTIVE OFFICE

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.           New York, May 3lst, 1916.

GENERAL LETTER NO. 6.

Tuesday, May 9th, we took the famous Shasta Limited and crossed the bay into Oakland. In passing over the bay, we saw plenty of shipping, including the old warship “Oregon”, which made the wonderful trip from San Francisco around to Santiago during the Spanish War of 1898. The Bay extends in two arms, thirty miles north and thirty-five miles south of San Francisco and from five to fifteen miles in width, the water area covering over 250 square miles, providing 40 square miles of good anchorage. This they claim is the largest land locked harbor in the world. (Please note they say “in the world”.}

We got out at the pier of the Southern Pacific Railway which extends a mile into the bay. We had elegant accommodations on the train, thanks to Mr. Rand

The train passed through Oakland and Berkeley to Port Costa, thirty one miles from San Francisco, where it crossed Carquinez Straits to Benicia, on what they call the largest ferry boats for trains in the world, each capable of transporting twenty passenger coaches and four locomotives.

We were then fully on our way to Portland, Oregon, up the famous Sacramento River, where lemons, oranges, raisin grapes, and alfalfa are grown. The scenery from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon is the finest I had seen up to that time and the railroad service was wonderful- a beautiful dining car and meals well served.

Mr. Rand cautioned us, however, to look out as we were going through the hottest part of California, but we surprised him by going through on a nice cool day and there was no fatigue whatsoever. He said we were very lucky, as it is generally very hot through the Sacramento Valley.

The train was running northward through Anderson and Redding, in plain sight of Mt. Lassen, a high peak against the skyline. This mountain is in erruption some parts of the year and probably when this volcano is in erruption, there is no danger of earthquakes in San Francisco. Mt. Lassen is 10577 feet high and lays 47 miles to the east of the Sierra-Nevada Range. On May 14th, 1914, it renewed its volcanic activity, believing to have last occurred 200 years ago, and at varied intervals it has since been in erruption, emitting large volumes of smoke and ashes and has incited much interest.

After leaving Redding, the train ran for many miles through the picturesque canyon of the upper Sacramento. It seems o be a habit in all these Pacific Coast States to call a small ravine or a large range of any kind of valley, a “canyon”, so please don’t confuse this with the wonderful spectacle we saw at Grand Canyon, Arizona. We saw the barren jagged lava rock bed of the river, which is remarkable, for there is no vegetation on either side of the river for miles and miles, which they say is caused by the fumes from the smelters. We saw the relics of many a mining camp, which had been abandoned years ago, yet notwithstanding this fact, we saw prospectors along the side of the river, looking for gold and I presume in the bottom of the Sacramento River, have been deposited considerable quantities of gold which have never been taken out.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.            6-l-16   2.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                   New York, May 31st, 1916,

At Kennett there is a large smelter in operation. One of the smelters was closed and out of business, on account of the protest raised by the residents, about the fumes which killed all vegetation. They now have a process, however, of smelting the ore without using chemicals that produce these poisonous fumes. We saw some of the smelters in full operation.

There is a small town called Castle Crag and the name is taken from the great splintered spires of Castle Crag, covering 2000 feet above the base and appearing in truth like some ruined mediaeval stronghold.

We suddenly came into beautiful green trees and vegetation and shrubs and from this on, the scenery was wonderful.

I forgot to mention that long before we struck this canyon, we saw in the distance, Mt. Shasta, which they say can be seen 150 miles away on a clear day. The train follows the winding Sacramento farther and farther into the depths of the mountains and now and then we catch a glimpse of Mt. Shasta.

All along this river, are summer outing spots, more or less rustic in character, the most prominent being Shasta Springs. The train stopped at Shasta Springs and it was after dark, but everyone got off the train to see these wonderful springs illuminated at night, with various colored incandescent electric lamps, which was a complete and unexpected surprise. The falls burst from the green mossy mountain side in mirrored virginal streams, which extend for a considerable distance along the hillside and pour a large quantity of water into the Sacramento River. The entire mountain side is a reservoir of pure, clean, delicious water, of which these falls are but a part. We all took a drink of this water, which has a strong mineral taste. There are two wonderful falls, which are about 40 feet high.

After leaving these springs, although it was night (the moon was shining bright), we saw the beauties of Shasta Mountain, like a great white loaf of sugar, piercing the sky. Shasta is the first of the great glacier peaks of the Cascade. Of all these peaks, Shasta is, according to Government measurementone of the two or three highest in the United States. It rises about 11,000.feet above the valley at its base and its table elevation is 14,162 feet above the level of the sea, according to one authority and 14380 feet according to another authority.

The train gradually winds around the foot of this mountain and for an hour and a half we sat up and looked at Mt. Shasta from various points of view, yet I suppose we were twenty or thirty miles from the base of the mountain. It is a wonderful sight at moonlight, with its perpetual snow. Geologists say it was once a volcano.

Congregating about it are five glaciers, one of which is more than two miles long, having crevices the same as those of the Alps and the ice is several hundred feet thick.

The next morning, we were surprised to find we werein the land of green pastures, beautiful trees and a nice lovely, rain storm, the first we had seen since we left New York, It was very pleasant and agreeable to again be back, away from the regions of Southern California, where they have no rain for six months and get back into a climate we were more accustomed to. The air was pure and had plenty of live, stimulation and oxygen, which we did not find in Southern California.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.            6-1-16    3.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                New York, May 31st, 1916.

We were now in Oregon and you would think you were in an entirely different country, as the houses were built differently and the vegetation was different, and the whole country looked more like Northern New York State, than any country we had been in since we left the east. The rain was pouring down in torrents; the rivers and the streams were all swollen and were now in the “Web-Footed” country.

We arrived in Portland at 1:50.P.M. Wednesday, May 10th and the rain had all cleared off and the sun was shining for the first time in three days. However, before we got to Portland, Mr. Rand received several telegrams, asking if Mr. Woolworth and his party would not please stay over a little, longer in Portland to visit the wonderful Columbia River Highway. We had planned to remain in Portland only two hours, but after several telegrams had passed between Mr. Rand and the prominent citizens of Portland, we decided to stay over in Portland until the night train for Seattle.

We immediately visited the store, which is one of the largest we have on the Coast. We were met at the station by the manager of the store and several others. The store is located on a prominent corner, which is connected with another large store on another business street. The store was beautifully decorated, windows handsomely trimmed, in fact, they had what looked to us like fifteen or twenty windows, it being a corner store with windows all around. It was decorated inside with placards, all over the store reading “Welcome to our President, F. W. Woolworth” Even when we went into the basement of this store, we saw the same placards.

The girls at the store evidently had expected us and while we were passing through the store, one of the young ladies at the counter wrote the following poem, extemporaneously – it was written on a piece of wrapping paper, which I still hold in my possession as a souvenir of the trip:

“When Mr. Woolworth comes to town, they make us all jump up and down. They change our counters all around, and throw our rubbish on the ground.

They sweep the walls and mop the floors, and varnish all around the doors.

Perhaps you never knew before that palms are growing in our store; Yes! Palms and roses fair to see, are blooming like a Christmas Tree.

We girls wear waists all white and clean, and Wallace wears a suit of green. (the porter)

No matter when our breakfast’s been, we girls must go to lunch at ten.

We grab our little luncheon sack and eat our food and hurry back. We’re all excited as can be and stretch our necks so we can see. He comes, He goes, we scarce know when, we sigh and settle down again,

Oh Mr. Woolworth, Hail to Thee, your kindly face we got to see, your car awaits, you at the door, Welcome, thrice Welcome to our store.

The above I consider very clever and only illustrates what literary talent we have in the Portland store.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.                        6-1-16      4.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES            New York, May 31st, 1916

I am very sorry we did not have more time to go farther into the details of this store, but we went over them upon our return, before the train left for Seattle.

We were met at the storeby one of the prominent citizens of Portland who had made his fortunes in the lumber business in the west, and owns a great many business blocks in Portland, one of which we occupy, and he is therefore our landlord, Mr. J. B. Yeon. This was the gentleman who was so persistent in sending telegrams, as he was very anxious to show us the Columbia River Highway, one of the most famous highways in this country, if not the most famous.

The Mayor of the city was there at the store to greet us and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, and they expected, according to the newspapers, we were to be entertained and given a banquet while in Portland and they were all ready to give us a big rousing welcome, but unfortunately our time was limited and we could not accept.

We found three cars lined up, all of which belonged to Mr. Yeon, to take this wonderful drive, on the Columbia Highway and we were soon on the road, although the rain was evidently going to make us trouble, but we had very little trouble in that direction,

Mr. Yeon drove one of his own cars, a Franklin by the way, and we had the lead. The rest of the party followed in the other two cars. He explained to me the wonderful road we were driving over in the suburbs of the city of Portland, and he said you can tell the minute you get outside of the city, by the road.

Now, this man is the kind of men they raise in the west. He told me he agreed to spend two years of his time for nothing in supervising and building this wonderful Columbia Highway. He said he made all his money there and he could see no reason why, since he had experience and knew how to build roads, that he could not be permitted to give up two years of his time for the public.

The beautiful road we drove over long before we got to the Columbia Highway, was 18 feet wide and cost $16,000. per mile. A more perfect road you could never find. We probably rode about twenty miles until we struck the famous Columbia Highway and all the glories of this wonderful scenery presented itself to us at once.

You have all heard of the Columbia River where the famous salmon are caught and here we were two thousand feet about that river and looking up and down this broad gigantic stream, with mountains snow capped on either side.

By the way, I forgot to mention, long before we got to this spot, I saw in the distance, what appeared to me to be a mountain and Mr.Yeon said it was Mt. Hood, a beautiful white cone shaped mountain, probably 45 miles away. In fact, there were high mountains all around, but this Columbia Highway has some of the grandest scenery in the Worldand it is impossible for me to describe it. This road was built recently, where there was never any road before, jagged rocks they had to cut through and tunnel through, yet there was not over five per-cent grade on the entire road.

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 EXECUTIVE OFFICE.     6-1-16            5.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York, May 31st, 1916.

On one side of us were falls dashing from the heights above down near the level of the road. Some of these falls were four and five hundred feet high and the grotesque rocks and big formations were wonderful. The road was not quite completed and we went about twenty miles on it and returned.

Just about as we were striking this wonderful road, I saw a little restaurant perched upon a hill, with a large sign out reading:

“CHICKEN DINNERS A SPECIALTY”

I said to myself, I am mighty glad we are going to pass that place, although Mr.Yeon told me we would have dinner at a restaurant on the road somewhere. To my horror, however, on our return, we were, told that was the place we were to have our dinner. Of course, it is generally known that there is one thing I abhor in the food line, and that is chicken. There is no road leading up to this restaurant – it is so high up in the air, so we climbed up to it. At the same time, I was wondering how I was going to avoid a chicken dinner. A woman met us as we went into the restaurant, and I am sorry to say, one of our party asked me if that woman had paint on her cheeks, because they were of such a delicate pink. She afterwards appeared to be the landlady and the cook.

We finally sat down to the table and lo and behold, after the soup was served, the chicken commenced to come in all shapes – chicken pot-pie, chicken this, chicken that and everything else. Inthe meantime, somebody tipped her off and instead of chicken they gave me the finest salmon, just caught out of the river, I had ever tasted, in fact the whole dinner was one of the best I had on the coast and it appealed to me very much.

There was another dinner party at the restaurant while we were there and we soon discovered it was representatives of the New York Life Insurance Co. of New York and Mr. Mc Call, the Vice-President, made himself known to us.

After dinner we remained and saw the grand sunset on the Columbia ever and the scenery is simply beautiful, and much finer than ever.  We decided this was one of the most enjoyable trips we had had since we left New York, and we started back to Portland.    The moon was shining bright and it was certainly a lovely ride.

I forgot to mention that soon after we left Portland to go on the Columbia Highway, the road led to a high elevation, which gave us a fine view of the City of Portland and on our return the city was all illuminated and looked very handsome.

By the way, we were told that the time to visit Portland to see it at its best, is the latter part of June, when they have the Rose Carnival and people who have been there and seen this wonderful sight, say it is one of the finest they have ever seen in their lives, as that is the time of the year when the roses are all in bloom.

We returned to the store and made a thorough investigation after the store was closed and the manager certainly had it up in mighty good shape, and he is one of the live wires among the managers of the Pacific coast.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.       6-1-16           6.

 

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York. May 31st, 1916.

We were somewhat tired and as a five and ten cent store is one of the worst places to rest in we decided to go to the best hotel in town. Mr. Yeon remained with us and entertained us to the best of his ability until we were tired out and decided to go to the train where we were soon neatly tucked away in our berths and were ready for the sights of Seattle.

Wednesday, May 11th, we arrived in Seattle early in the morning and had an excellent breakfast at the New Washington Hotel. When driving up from the station, we passed the L. C. Smith Office Building, the highest building on the Pacific Coast, and some people call it a duplicate of the Woolworth Building. Of course, I don’t know who the architect was of this building, but our party certainly did not like the architecture. The heighth of the tower they claim is 492 feet, or in other words, 300 feet shorter than the Woolworth Building. We obtained a pass to visit the tower and to our surprise, we did not go anywhere near the top of the building, but we landed in a large room, the full size of the tower, which looked very mysterious to us, as the decorations in this room were gold and black and inthe panels were Chinese letters or characters, which we suppose meant something. The attendent, however, came out and read to us what all these characters meant and he repeated some of the history of Seattle from its beginning up to the present time. Now what the object was in having these hieroglyphics was never made plain to us. On some of the doors of the building, we saw signs up, 42 story building, but as the elevator only goes to the 35th floor, I can’t quite understand how they make out the seven floors extra, as there is nothing but a conical tower, similar to the one on the Bankers Trust Co. Building. Of course, the building has not very much of an area, probably about one third the size of the Woolworth Building. Wewere given to understand, however, that the building was not a financial success, as there are a great many offices vacant.

For some unaccountable reason, the people we met in Seattle did not refer to that building at all as the people of New York refer to the Woolworth Building, as being such a beautiful structure and the highest building in the world.

I was led to believe that the city of Seattle was built on a hill and it was a very hilly city, but after coming from San Francisco, the hills looked very tame to us.

The buisness (sic) part of the city is well built up and our store is elegantly located and well managed and kept up in excellent condition, as Mr. Barstow seems to understand the method of running a good five, ten and fifteen cent store. This store had one of the best restaurants I have ever seen in any five and ten cent store in this country. It is run by a very bright young lady who certainly understands her business. It is not only a very attractive restaurant, but a good paying one, and we were told it was the very best restaurant in Seattle.  This only illustrates the fact that we can have a restaurant connected with our store, if we find the man or woman that knows how to run it.

We also visited our competitors store which was fully the size of ours and apparently had been doing some business heretofore, as I understand he was connected originally with the dry goods business and opened up this store in competition with us, in fact turned over this part of his dry goods store to a five, ten and fifteen cent store. It is called TheRose 5, 10 and 15cstore. We found he had a good many five, ten and fifteen cent goods displayed in the windows, but on examining the inter

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.       6-1-16    7.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York, May 31st, 1916

ior of the store, we found a great many higher priced goods than that, and some goods running up to a dollar and a dollar and a half, and I am glad to see our manager is getting the best of this competition.

We were entertained at luncheon by the managers of the stores in the surrounding district of Seattle. We had a separate room at this wonderful luncheon and the table was beautifully decorated and everything passed off wonderfully well and we were highly entertained. The following managers of the different stores were present:

Mr.W.A.   Smith Manager #419 Bellingham,Wash.   Wash.
Mr.E.H.Hannah Manager 529 Everett,   Wash.
Mr.E.M.Barstow Manager 96 Seattle,   Wash
Mr.A.H.Fox Manager 105 Tacoma,   Wash.
Mr.D.F.Macomber Manager 729 Tacoma,   Wash
Mr.M.A.Newman Manager 771 Centralia,   Wash
Mr.W.G.Williams Manager 524 Aberdeen,   Wash
Mr.S.Xapstein Manager 41 Portland,   Oregon
Mr.F.H.De   Vere Manager 498 Salem,   Oregon
Mr.J.A.Coburn Manager 633 Eugene,   Oregon
Mr.S.E.Davies Manager 503 Walla   Walla, Wash WWWWWWashWash.Wash
Mr.L.E.Williams Manager 615 N.Yakima,   Wash
Mr.F.B.Jacobs Manager 145 Spokane,   Wash
Mr.F.B.Gardiner Superintendent
Mr.W.J.Rand,   Jr.
Mr   H.H.Albright
Mr.F.W.Woolworth.

All of these gentlemen appeared to be very enthusiastic over the business and it was a great pleasure for us to meet them and get their ideas of business. Each one of them gave a little history of how they were led into the business and the experiences they had had. It appeared the harder the experience the young men had, the better managers they had become and it was certainly very interesting to us to listen to these young men. When I say young men, I might as well mention the fact right here that out of all the managers of stores we saw on the Pacific Coast, nearly everyone of them was born   after this business was started in other words, they were under thirty-seven years of age with very few exceptions.

The luncheon lasted over two hours and a half after which we took an extended drive around the city and must say that the city of Seattle is wonderfully located, notwithstanding the fact that Seattle had passed through a great many booms in real estate and also a great many reactions. It is now evidently safely launched as a commercial centre and will eventually be a very large city, because the natural advantages it has over many other coast cities is in evidence in taking the drive we did.

They have a wonderful harbor and a wonderful fresh water lake,   called Lake Washington, which is now being connected by canal with the salt water of Puget Sound.  We took a drive around Lake Washington, which was very beautiful, in fact the drives all around Seattle are not only fine but very extended and we enjoyed it very much.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.          6-1-16       8.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                   New York, May 31st, 1916.

The day was very pleasant and sun-shiny and we were told to watch to catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier, which is in full view of the principal part of Seattle. Snow capped mountains in pleasant weather are generally surrounded with white clouds. We did not get a view of Mt. Rainier but we were told we saw the peak of the mountain above the clouds, which looks very much like the clouds and it was almost impossible to distinguish the difference. They told us when the weather is clear around the mountain, it is a wonderful sight from Seattle.

The total height of Mt. Rainier, sometimes called Mt. Tacoma, is 14,408 feet high above the level of the sea and the reason why Mt. Rainier is so much more imposing than any other mountain in the United States is because it practically starts at sea level and it therefore, rises at an extreme height above the sea, and this is called the highest mountain in the United States, of course, not counting Alaska.

There are several other beautiful snow capped peaks near Seattle.

Mt. Hood        11,325 feet

Mt St. Helens   9,697  

Mt. Adams       12,307   «

These mountains are revelations to those accustomed to the peaks of the east. Even in the Rockies, no such mountains can be seen. If one expects to see such visions, one must go to this spot to see them. They are grand examples of volcanic mountain structure. Mt. Rainier has fifteen or more massive glaciers slowly working down its sideand all points of Puget this grand mountain looms high above everything. At sunrise, or sunset, under favorable conditions, one is vouchsafed visions such as is rarely given mortals to see.

(The above are quotations from the guide book.)

A committee of the Chamber of Commerce met us in our store and welcomed us to Seattle and they gave us vivid descriptions of the wonderful city of Seattle and they claim it is finest climate in the world. No extreme cold, neither is there any extreme heat, as the city is so near the Pacific, the weather is influenced by the Japanese Stream, which comes across the Pacific and warms the Pacific Coast. They claim a population of 325,000, although Portland claims it is just as big as Seattle and there seems to be a great strife between these two cities for supremacy in population. It means a great deal to either one of the cities, more than an eastern man can realise, when we take into consideration the fact that once upon a time Philadelphia was larger than New York, and once upon a time New Brunswick was larger than New York,  and once upon a time the little town of Flushing inLong Island was inhabited before New York City was inhabited, but on account of New York having so many advantages and being such a wonderful harbor and in addition to this the completing of the Erie Canal in 1825, whereby all the products of the west could be forwarded to New York City, gave New York the great start over all her competitors. This of course, was before the railroads commenced to change population in the various parts of the United States. It seems they are striving on the Pacific Coast for supremacy and there is great competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, all of which have certain natural advantages, and it remains to be seen which will be the largest city twenty-five years from now.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.       6-1-16    9.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                         New York, May 31st, 1916

 

The City of Seattle has 300 churches, the United States Assay Office, the Washington State University, the Carnegie Library, which contains 125,000 volumes; and does an enormous export and import business and has splendid street railway systems and water system.

The University of Washington is finely located with a campus of 350 acres within the City limits and a system of 28 parks.

We were told there was great and wonderful fishing all around the suburbs of Seattle and it seems to me a sportsman could spend several weeks around Seattle, Tacoma and Portland.

While in San Francisco, before deciding what route to take to come east, we were undecided between the Central Pacific Line by way of Ogden, Denver, Omaha and Chicago, or by way of Seattle Spokane, St. Paul and Chicago, but Mr. Rand thought it would be best for us to take the Northern Route, so as to be sure and see the managers of our stores in the Seattle District, and as the Railroad fare was just the same, and we could see the Pacific Coast by going by way of Seattle, we decided to take that road, especially after Mr. Rand recommended the Northern Pacific as being one of the finest routes from the Pacific Coast to Chicago, as we were told the dining car service was superb and accommodations first class, so on Friday night, we took the 7:10 train out of Seattle   on the Northern Pacific for Chicago.

While we were at the station, I was approached by a young man whom I had never seen before, and he said he had read in the newspaper we were going to leave on this particular train and he wished to see me before I left. He happened to be the son of a man that was in partnership with my Uncle in Cedar Springs, Mich. Years ago. I knew his father quite well and he seemed to be very glad to meet me.

I also might mention the fact that just before we got on the train in Portland, Oregon, a man came up to me and shook hands and called me by name and this man I had not seen in forty years, but I called his name, Henry Coon, and he said I was right, as Henry Coon went to the old stone school house at Great Bend, N. Y. where I used to live. It appears that a good many people who saw my name in the paper were anxious to meet me and would generally catch me at the station, if nowhere else, but going back to our final departure for the east, Mr. and Mrs. Rand were down at thestation, and also most all the managers of the stores were there to seeus off and they loaded us down with flowers and fruit and presents, and to bid us good-bye. They all invited us to come again and thus ended one of the most enjoyable trips we ever had in our, lives, beginning at Pasadena in Southern California and ending at Seattle, Wash. as far the Pacific Coast was concerned.

After the train pulled out of the station, we were somewhat disappointed in the Northern Pacific Railway. We had been in the habit of riding on steel constructed parlor cars and this train did not have any steel cars at all, they had all old fashioned wooden cars, but notwithstanding this fact, they were very comfortable.

We were also surprised to learn that we were on one of the roughest roads we had encountered on our entire trip, as the road is not sand ballasted the same as the Santa Fe Road, and we imagined we were going to have a very hard trip, as we were doomed for three days and three nights on this one car, until we reached Chicago, but on the other hand, we found, the trainmen very accommodating, very pleasant and agreeable, especially the dining car service, which was the best I have ever experienced in any country. We were taken care of so well and they were so

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.         6-1-16     10.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                   New York, May 31st, 19l6.

accommodating, they could not seem to do enough for us, so we imagined that Mr. Rand had tipped off the railroad people to make the trip as pleasant as possible for us, in other words, we were still under the influence of Mr. Rand, notwithstanding we had bid him good-bye.

One of the principal Pacific Railway dishes that are served on the Northern Pacific Railway, and is in large type on the menu is a great big baked potato, and they have made a specialty of this great big baked potato business, and you are impressed with it from the start. The menu is printed on a card the shape of a great big potato. They make a specialty of getting potatoes that will not weigh less than two pounds and some of them weigh over four pounds and we measured one of them, and it was 11 inches in length and they generally served these baked potatoes every meal.

Some days they have the menu in the shape of a great big apple, which of course, grow in the state of Washington.

The steward of the dining car service could not have been more obliging to anyone than he was to us. Not only the steward, but Mr. Titus, the superintendent of the dining car service of the Northern pacific Railroad was on our train and saw that we were attended to on our entire trip.   One of the inspectors of the dining car service, Mr. Leighton, was on part of the trip, and he also saw we were well taken care of, and when we reached Butte, Mont. the ladies were each presented with a large box of candy.

On Friday night, they served an especially fine complimentary dinner for us, which seems to have been gotten up regardless of any expense and on which there was no charge. Unfortunately for me, I was not permitted to partake of this wonderful dinner, as I was ill and lying in my state room for two days. During my illness, unfortunately, we passed through Butte, Mont. about 9 o’clock in the evening and the managers and their wives, of the stores in Butte, and Helena, also Mrs. Gardiner, the wife of the Superintendent of the Seattle District, were at the station, and we were still under the influence of Mr. Rand, because they brought us plenty of fruit and flowers, and I was very sorry I did not have an opportunity of seeing these friends, as they had made extra efforts to come to see us through a snow storm.

I had little chance to see the wonderful scenery, except what I could see on my side of the car by lying in bed, and although we went through the Great Divide Pass over the Rocky Mountains, I saw very little of it. The rest of the party enthused on the scenery however, most of which was on the opposite side of the car.

As. we approached the Great Divide, however, the weather got much colder, and the snow was quite deep, so all day Friday and part of Saturday, I saw very little of the scenery.

Saturday, May 13th, we were on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Montana and we were pointed out the place where Colonel Roosevelt had his ranch years ago. The country, however, was rather barren and uninteresting, as we were passing through the Great Plains of Montana and we were told that the reason why the meat’s now selling at such high prices, is because all the cattle ranches, throughout this vast territory have practically been abandoned and all the space has been taken up by farmers and settlers and very few cattle are raised in comparison with what there was 25 years ago. We soon passed

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.           5-1-16    11.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES                      New York May 31st, 1916.

over the border of Montana into North Dakota, into what they call the “bad lands” of North Dakota, and they certainly were bad. It seems nothing will live on such miserable land which is composed of little hills and hummocks and sand, and in fact, it does not seem to produce anything, except once in a while a coal mine. This is the worst territory we had passed through.

All day Saturday and Sunday it was raining, consequently there was no dust and it was very pleasant riding.

We arrived at St. Paul Sunday morning about 7:30 and Mr. Albright was up and met the manager of the St. Paul store, Mr. Worrall, who presented us with a great big box of American Beauties from Chicago Office. This was rather an unexpected surprise and illustrated to us that there are a vew (sic) live wires east of the Rocky Mountains, as well as west.

I forgot to mention the fact, that soon after we crossed the line between Montana and North Dakota, at a little town by the name of Beach, N.D. which is practically on the line of the two states, we received a telegram from Mr. Rand, bidding us good-bye to the San Francisco District and at the same station, we received a telegram from Mr. Mickler, manager of the Chicago Office, bidding us welcome to the Chicago District, both telegrams were handed to us at the same time which was very nice of both of the men, in reminding us of our passage from one district into another.

When we reached Paradise, Mont,   we received the following telegram from Mr. Mickler, of the Chicago Office –

“Can we count on you and your party for Monday luncheon. Please wire answer.”

We accepted at once, as we expected to stay in Chicago only one night and left on the 5:30 train the next day.

We rode all day Sunday, from 7:30. in the morning from St. Paul to Chicago, where we arrived at 9 o’clock P.M. I rode over this same route before, fourteen years ago, and I must say that the country looked better than I have ever seen it, as the farms were kept up in excellent condition and evidently produced wonderful crops.

We stopped off in Milwaukee, about a half hour just before dark and we walked up the streets of Milwaukee quite a distance, and saw one of the handsomest buildings we had seen on our entire trip – The North Western Life Insurance Co. Building, which was only completed a year ago. In fact all of the buildings looked good to us in Milwaukee. This was the first time I ever visited this city.

The railroad from St. Paul to Chicago was in very much better condition, as far as the road bed was concerned, than the entire road from Seattle to St. Paul, as here we took the Chicago North Western Railway Route, which is one of the best railroads in the United States and we made very fast time, especially from Milwaukee to Chicago.

We arrived in Chicago about 9 P.M. and were surprised before we got out of the car to hear some one calling out the name “Woolworth”. I did not expect any of the boys to meet us at Chicago at nine o’clock at night and we could not understand who was calling our name, but it was one of the railroad officials, who had been instructed to take care of us, when we arrived in Chicago, which he had in fine shape and saw that

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.         6-1-16         12.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, May 31st, 1916.

our baggage and everything was taken care of, but when we got to the gate leading to the station, we saw an array of men waiting for us, with Mr. Mickler and his wife and all of the men connected with the Chicago Office, including the Superintendents of the different districts, who greeted us and welcomed us to Chicago,

While on the train I sent a message ahead to the Blackstone Hotel to secure rooms. We were told we had wasted our money, as the rooms had been secured three days before and the order we gave for a taxicab to take our baggage and ourselves to the Hotel had to be cancelled, as the boys had their own cars there to take care of our baggage, in fact, we were in their hands from that time on and we were not allowed to lift a finger or do anything. They had secured the Regal Suite in the Blackstone Hotel, with a very large sitting room.

When we arrived there, apparently the same American Beauty Roses were there to welcome us, and the room was loaded down with flowers and they gave us a royal welcome, but they were very considerate and knew we were very tired and they left us to stay at the hotel and rest, for they knew the next day would be a very busy day.

Monday, May 15th, we arose as early as practical. When I say “practical”, I mean we had to lie in bed until our suits were pressed before we could get up, as our trunks we had not seen since we left San Francisco and did not expect them until we arrived in New York.

Mrs. Mickler was there early, and took the ladies out to show them the city, while Mr. Albright and I went to our Chicago Office, which we found in excellent condition and found plenty of flowers there to welcome us, as this was our first visit to Chicago Office, since they moved into the beautiful Mc Cormick Building.

The inspection of the office proved very satisfactory and I must say I am proud that the company has such beautiful offices as we found in St. Louis, San Francisco and Chicago, which is a credit to the business to have the office in such fine condition and especially run by such energetic managers and staff, which of course, includes the employees of the company.

We were warned we could not stay in the office very long, that there was a luncheon to be at the Blackstone Hotel at 12:30, with the result we went back to the Blackstone and there the real entertainment just was really to commence.

We had secured the Empire Room in the Blackstone, which was eminently suited for the beautiful and magnificent luncheon that Chicago Office gave to us. At this luncheon the ladies were also invited and there were twenty-three to sit down to the table, which of course, includes the managers of Chicago Office stores, the superintendents and their wives, and when I was introduced to the ladies, I was rather surprised and dumbfounded to see such a handsome lot of ladies connected with the Chicago Office. I knew the men were all good locking, but I did not expect, they had such good judgment to select such beautiful girls for wives. When I say “girls” – young people – asthey all appeared to be quite young and they were dressed in the heighth of fashion.

It is hardy possible for me to describe the decorations on the table, as that is something out of my line.    To say that the table was loaded with flowers and beautiful decorations, would be putting it very mild.    However, I noticed particularly, two handsomely decorated ladies

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.     6-1-16            13.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                  New York, May 31st, 1916.

hats on each end of the table, which looked to me very much out of place, until I discovered they were made of candy, and such a luncheon as those boys put up for us! To say that we were all happy and delighted, would be putting it very mild.

The speeches that were made by the men connected with the Chicago Office, were certainly very interesting. They all gave their experiences  of how they had worked up and got into the five and ten cent business and into their present positions.

Although I could remember a great many things we had at this dinner it would make this letter entirely too long. Toward the latter part of the dinner, we were surprised to see a couple of very handsome presents given to the ladies, which consisted of a beautiful crystal perfume bottle, handsomely decorated, with gold and enamel tops. Then Mr. A1bright and myself decided that there must be something coming to us. Finally, they presented. Mr. Albright with a very handsome bronze inkwell. When he got up to respond and thank them for this wonderful present, immediately a frog seemed to come up into his throat and he was speechless and dumbfounded, to think he should be picked out among so many and given such a beautiful present.

Time went on, however, and I commenced to feel a little jealous to think everybody else in our party had received presents and apparently none was coming to me, but Mr. Mickler got up and made a wonderful speech and I was presented with one of the handsomest cups I have ever received from any dinner or luncheon – a beautiful silver loving cup, about fourteen inches high appropriately engraved. This was certainly too much for me and I was in about the same condition Mr. Albright was, and simply overcome and surprised with such a wonderful gift, and I again take this opportunity to again thank the Managers of the Chicago Office for the beautiful presents they gave the ladies and the beautiful souvenir they gave Mr. Albright and the wonderful loving cup they gave to me.

This luncheon lasted about two hours and a half, I forgot to mention they had also procured an orchestra for our entertainment during the luncheon, and among other pieces they played, was the same we had heard in Los Angeles during our luncheon party there, also the same we heard in San Francisco, during a dinner party there – “The End of A Perfect Day”, and several other beautiful selections.

We were very sorry to be obliged to break up this elegant luncheon party, but we had not seen the stores in Chicago and a few other things, so we had to hustle to catch the 5:30 train to New York.

We then visited the two large stores on State St. and found them in very nice condition. We also visited our competitor’s store and a hurried glance at Marshall Fields & Co, and returned to the station, where we took the 5:30 Lake Shore Limited, and here was a crowd to bid us good-bye, with scores of flowers, fruit, etc.

The following people were at the luncheon:-

– over –

                        EXECUTIVE OFFICE,         6-1-16. 14

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York, May 31st , 1916.

Mr. & Mrs. C. E Mickler, Mr.R.H. Strongman,

Mr. & Mrs. C, E. Stirling,

Mr. &. Mrs H, D. Pruden,

Mr. & Mrs. S. E. Walker,

Mr. & Mrs. C. H. Tolle,

Mr. & Mrs. W. C. Allen,

Mr. & Mrs. F. G. Young,

Mr. & Mrs. F. D. Sprague,

Mr. & Mrs. G, H.Wheeler,

Mr & Mrs. H. R.Albright,

Miss W. Salter,

Mr. F. W. Woolworth,

You will notice that all the men connected with the Chicago Office are married except Mr. Strongman. We are not yet prepared to announce what is going to happen to him later on, but you can all do a little guessing on your own hook.

Before we left Chicago, we had decided to stop off at Syracuse and go to Watertown to attend the annual meeting of the Company on Wednesday, the 17th of May and they fixed up our tickets in good shape, so we could stop off and take a side trip to Watertown. We arrived at Syracuse at 10:30 A.M. Tuesday May 16th and we immediately visited our store on South Salina St. andsaw the manager, Mr. J. K. Brownell. After visiting our competitor’s stores and getting luncheon at the Hotel, we were driven through the city to see the sights until our train left at 1:50. Mr. Brownell accompanied us on this drive and pointed out the principal sights of Syracuse.

I forgot to mention that when we arrived at Syracuse, there was a young man calling out our name, the same as they did in Chicago and this young man took care of our baggage, arranged our tickets and transfers and everything in mighty fine shape. This was new to us, and it seems the influence of Mr. Rand was still with us. We thought we had gotten away from him entirely, so we gave him the credit of getting the railroad officials next to our party.

Mr. Ed. Smith of Buffalo met us in Syracuse and accompanied us to Watertown, where we arrived at 4:10 P M Tuesday afternoon, and here again we were met by a railroad official, who took care of our baggage and had been informed about our tickets and it was all arranged that we should go back to New York in safe hands, as our tickets would be all taken care of. This certainly was a surprise to us, to think that Mr. Rand’s influence had reached as far as Watertown apparently.

We stopped at the Woodruff Hotel in Watertown and went out to walk around. Upon our return, the manager of our store, Mr. Eldridge, came to us excitedly and informed us that Mr. W. H. Moore, one of the originators of the five and ten cent business, had just died. Mr. Moore died exactly one year from the time Mr. S. H. Knox died.

Before receiving this sad message, however, I had been interviewed by the Secretary of the Chamber Of Commerce and promised to be a guest at the Chamber of Commerce on the following day, Wednesday, at one o’clock. It seems that great preparations had been made for this luncheon party and it had been arranged by Mr. W.H. Moore himself. The Chamber of Commerce had tried to give me such a luncheon once before, two years ago, but I was taken ill and could not attend. There would probably have been

EXECUTIVE OFFICE       6-1-16             15

ALL OFFICES AND STORES,                    New York, May 31st, 1916.

over 500 people at that luncheon, which represent the commercial interests of Watertown, N. Y. had it not been for the death of Mr. Moore, but on account of his death, the luncheon was called off, so we decided to stay in Watertown until after the funeral, which was on the following Friday afternoon.

In the meantime, however we were kept quite busy, in trying to put through a deal with the Trustees of the Henry Keep Home and trying to secure a larger store in Watertown and possibly put up a new building. An agreement was reached, however, the following Friday afternoon, just before the train left for New York and if everything goes through satisfactorily, we will probably get possession of the property next January. Then we propose to have a very handsome store in Watertown.

We attended the annual meeting of our Corporation at noon on Wednesday.

Thursday there was a cold drizzly rain all day.

Friday morning we went up to Great Bend to see the Woolworth Memorial Church and in the afternoon we attended Mr. Moore’s Funeral. The body lay in state from twelve to two in Trinity Church. Mr. Moore was so well known in Watertown, a great many people availed themselves of the privilege of reviewing the remains. The services were held in the church at 3:30 and the interment was at Brookside Cemetary. It was a very beautiful day on Friday and everything passed off very smoothly.

The newspapers had long accounts about Mr. Moore’s career, having been fifty-five years in business in one place, the corner store, where our store is now located.

We arrived in New York, Saturday morning, May 20th.

F.W.WOOLWORTH

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F. W. WOOLWORTH.

Posted in 1916 | Leave a comment

Recapitulation

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.

6-7-16

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.           New York, June 6th, 1916.

RECAPITULATION

My last letter ended rather suddenly and brought us back to good old New York. There are a great many things that happened on our trip, which we will not forget for a long time and some things that we will never forget,

In going over the general details of our trip, the following things stand out in our memory, while other things may he forgotten.

When we arrived in Morristown, Tenn. and took our automobile trip to Tate Springs, a distance of twelve miles, we should not forget the ferry that took us across the river on a little slender wire. My brother who resides in Scranton gave me the laugh and told me that that was just an ordinary ferry and he had seen a good many of them in the State of Pennsylvania. I must admit, however, this was my first experience in crossing a ferry of that kind, although I lived in the State of Pennsylvania seven years, and if that is the kind of ferries they have in the State of Pennsylvania, it shows that they are pretty far back in the middle ages.

We shall not forget the impression that the Tate Springs Hotel had on us and how it took us ten minutes to count over our cash to see if we had money enough to go to California. When we found we had money enough, we decided at once to make the trip farther west.

We shall not forget the station agent at Morristown that sold us the four tickets to San Francisco and took a lot of our good cash. He afterwards said it was the biggest amount of money he had ever taken on four tickets.

We shall not forget how we surprised Mr. Walter Smith, manager of our St. Louis Office, the morning we arrived in St. Louis. There were no flowers there to greet us but there was no doubt there would have been flowers and a good many other things, had Mr. Smith known we were to arrive in St. Louis.

We shall not forget the nice luncheon we had at the Planters Hotel in St. Louis and the dinner we had at night out at the Country Club, and how we were entertained in our one day stay   in St. Louis without any preparations being made for our entertainment.

We shall not forget visiting our Kansas City Store, one of the finest stores we have in the country.

We shall not forget stopping at Albuquerque, N. Mex. and visiting our store there and how the youngmanager of the store was so anxious to see us and statedthat notwithstanding the fact that many eastern people went through Albuquerque and the train stops for a half hour, he had had very few visits from eastern people.

We shall not forget the surprise that Mr. Rand gave us at Pasadena, when we got off the train and the pleasant ten days we spent in Pasadena, visiting Los Angeles, Long Beach, Venice, Emona, Riverside and several other places near Pasadena.

One thing I did forget, however, was our visit to the Pasadena Store. It was so close to our hotel, we did not visit it until the day before we left, and I must say the store was in fine condition

EXECUTIVE OFFICE        6-7-16             2.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.           New York, June 6th, 1916

and the manager is up to date and sales are increasing all the time.

We shall not forget the luncheon that the managers of our stores in Southern California gave us in Los Angeles, through Mr. Rand’s efforts.

EARTHQUAKES.

In my letter I said nothing to you about earthquakes in California at six thirty in the morning when we left Pasadena, there was a distinct shock of earthquake that frightened a good many people. This was certainly unexpected. The Los Angeles paper the next day, however, had four lines in regard to the earthquake. Now, if an earthquake like that bad happened anywhere in the east, you would have seen very big head lines and a column in nearly every paper in the east, but they are trying to keep out of the newspapers, all the bad things that happen in California.

Another earthquake occurred near Butte, Mont. a few hours after our train passed over that section and this was quite a severe shock,

When we were in Bakersfield, Fresno and San Francisco, we noticed candles placed in all of the rooms, so as to be ready to light in case an earthquake should come and put out the electric lights. Yet, nothing is ever said about this here.

We shall not forget our automobile ride from Pasadena to San Francisco and the terrible heat we had to pass. through, especially just before we arrived at Bakersfield, when it was over 100 in the shade. When we arrived in Bakersfield, the thermometer registered 90 at 5:30 in the afternoon and the proprietor of the hotel told us he thought it was over 100 in the middle of the day, yet, there was nothing mentioned in the paper about the heat.

The same thing occurred at Fresno, where the heat was so great. I have heard since, that we were not the only people that suffered with heat visiting California. A gentleman just told me that in the latter part of September, going from Portland Oregon to San Francisco, over the Shasta route, he never suffered so with the heat before in his life. The thermometer registered 105 in the train,

I only mention these facts, to show you we do not hear all the bad things that they have in California.

Now, in regard to some of the good things they have there, will say they raise a tremendous amount of oranges. Of course, they are not quite as good as Florida oranges. They raise enormous quantities of grape for wine and grapes for raisins. We also saw large orchards of olives but the handsomest trees we saw in all Southern California was the Walnut Trees. We saw groves and groves of these wonderful trees and they raise very fine walnuts on them.

There are quantities of other kinds of fruit which they raise in Southern California to great advantage and you cannot blame the people of Southern California for boosting their wonderful climate and country, in fact the people of Southern California should be congratulated on the wonderful things they have accomplished in the last twenty-five to thirty years, as the irrigation has been a wonderful feature in developing

–   Over –

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.       6-7-16       3.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                New York, June 6th, 1916.

Southern California. The natives themselves are hustlers and they are always boosting their State. The same also applies to Northern California, San Francisco, Oakland, Oregon and Washington. They are very optimistic and sometimes I think they ate over-optimistic, but like every other climate, it is not all fine, the weather is not always perfect and crops are not always a success, but we only hear the good part, as we pass through this country.

One of the many things that the eastern people long for in Southern California, is the nice green grass which is always found in northern climates, and Southern California does not possess any turf or green grass at all, instead, there is nothing but weeds and sage brush that lives uncultivated in the place of green grass, however, they have the most luxurious alfalfa, with its beautiful dark green, which takes the place of grass.

While we were in Pasadena, Mr. Rand tried to find out which route we expected to return east on, which of course, I did not know at that time, I told him I would not decide until we got to San Francisco, but he took a chance, however, and thought possibly we might go back by the Union Pacific Railway and stop at Salt Lake City. He therefore commenced to warm up the wires between Pasadena and Salt Lake City, as he was very anxious for us to hear the big organ in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City, which is one of the famous organs in the world. When we arrived in San Francisco, everything was arranged for us to hear the organ, if we went back by way of Salt Lake City.

It seems that the organ was under extensive repairs and through some enterprise of Mr. Rand’s, everything was all arranged that we could hear it on a certain day, as the organ would be finished at that time. Of course, I do not know what expense or trouble Mr., Rand had gone to in securing this privilege, but it only goes to show the enterprise he has. How disappointed he was when he found we were going back Via the Northern Pacific and would not pass through Salt Lake City.

On the other hand, Mr. Rand was very anxious for us to go to Seattle and meet the managers of the stores in that neighborhood, so we decided to go to Seattle instead.

We shall not forget San Francisco. Chicago has the reputation of being the “Windy City” but I think San Francisco is entitled to this too. San Francisco is entitled to be called the “Hilly City” also, as I don’t think there is a city in the world that has so many steep hills as San Francisco.

The natural advantages of San Francisco, however, can never be taken away from her, that is, her wonderful harbor. Oakland on the other hand has a chance to expand and grow much larger than San Francisco, as San Francisco is on a peninsula and tied down on both sides, the same as the lower part of New York City and it cannot expand so very much.

We shall not forget the fine railway route we took from San Francisco to Portland, over the Shasta Route, amid beautiful scenery. We shall not soon forget our ride over the Columbia River Highway, which we took by automobile from Portland.

–        Over –

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.           6-7-16             4.

 

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                  New York, June 6th,l916,

There seems to be a strife “between Portland and Seattle for supremacy and population apparently. Seattle has the advantage on account of having such a wonderful harbor.

We shall not soon forget the wonderful service they gave us on the Northern Pacific Railway, especially the dining car service.

Taking our entire trip from Kansas City to California, Oregon back to Chicago, we cannot say we saw any wonderful scenery. Of course, we saw the Rocky Mountains, which are well named and we saw plenty of barren country and arid lands, wild deserts and prairie lands. Of course, we realize we did not pass through the finest scenery which they say is on the Western Pacific and Rio Grande Railway and the Canadian Pacific has the best scenery of them all.

I presume a good many people will wonder why we did not visit her places in California. I refer particularly to San Diego, Santa Barbara,, Delmonte, The Yosemite Valley and the Big Trees, and our excuse is, had we taken in those points, it would have taken us a month longer and as we were not on a sight seeing trip particularly, we did not have time to take in these places.

I am told however, that the climate at San Diego is the finest climate in California, as the temperature varies very little the entire year, but the trip from Pasadena is 145 miles and it would have taken u about four days in automobile there and back to Pasadena. We were told however, that the fair which is now being held in San Diego, is nothing wonderful.

Coronado Beach we would have liked to see, which is right near San Diego, but we were told it has nothing but a big hotel on the seashore, so we cut it out.

Santa Barbara, we would have liked to see, but it meant four to five days’ trip from Pasadena and back again and as the automobile roads along the coast are very poor, we could not take it in on that account.

We intended while we were in San Francisco to take a run to Delmonte which they say is the handsomest resort in California, with wonderful golf links of grass turf. This of course, would have taken about five days of our time.

Last but not least, we wished to visit the beautiful Yosemite Valley and visit the big trees of California. This they told us was a very tiresome trip and would take in at least a week’s time, so we returned back to Chicago, having seen the principal parts of the Pacific Coast, with the above exceptions. ”

We shall not soon forget, the wonderful entertainment they gave us in our Chicago Office and the wonderful flowers, the luncheon and last but not least, the souvenirs which were presented to us.

Of course, our trip had a sad -ending when we arrived in Watertown on account of the death of Mr. W. H, Moore, soon after our arrival.

As stated in my previous letter, we arrived in New York, the 20th day of May – Saturday morning and it certainly seemed good to us to be back to good old New York. The weather was delightful and New York never looked as good to us as it did this time.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.          6-7-l6    5.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York, June 6th, 1916.

In our travels, after being away five weeks and two days, we covered railway travel of about 7500 miles and nearly 2500 miles in automobile, in other words, about 10,000 miles and passed through twenty-five different states and in all of our travels, we did not pass a single city of over 10,000 inhabitants but what we had store located there. We spent 13 nights on sleeping cars, 20 days in travel and about 17 days sight-seeing.

Tracing our trip over a map of the United States, it shows that we had a very extended trip and did not travel over the same road twice.

We left on the Pennsylvania R.R., going south as far as Tennessee, then northeasterly to St, Louis and southwesterly to Los Angeles, then north as far as Seattle and southeasterly to Chicago and New York.

I wish to say, however, that the trains we travelled on were always on time and we never were more than five minutes late. We met no big crowds anywhere on our trip and always had good accommodations at hotels and on trains, and we believe April and May is the best time to travel west on that account. People who go to California in January and February have difficulty in getting accommodations on the trains and at the hotels, on the other hand, California is liable to be rainy in January, February, March and April but May the rainy season is over and the flowers are all in bloom, and we probably saw California at its best. Taking the trip as a whole, however, it gives one a wonderful idea of how large the United States is and makes a person feel proud that they belong to this country which is not yet fully developed and will not be developed for the next hundred years, but the United States is developing very fast and there is plenty of room for it to grow. There is no question in my mind but what in a short space of time, the United States will be the greatest country in the world.

By taking the map of the world, you will find that the location of the United States is the best of any country, as it is located in the temperate zone and yet the lower part of it is semi-tropical and the northern part is cold enough for anyone.

Ihave been told if you take a straight line from New York City and go directly west, the most enterprising people in the world live within 200 miles south of that line and 200 miles north of that line. After one gets 200 miles south of the latitude of New York City, you strike warmer climate, where there is not so much enterprise, on the other hand above the 200 mile limit, directly above New York City, you strike the cold regions, where the enterprise is checked by severe cold climate.

There is one thing the United States lacks, however, which will probably come in due time, and that is a Mercantile Marine. There seems to be no reason why the enterprise of the Americans should not have their own flag upon the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, and this must come in the future and undoubtedly will, as the United States cannot afford to confine themselves to the United States alone – they must reach out for foreign business.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.    6-7-16          6.

 

ALL OFFICES AND STORES,                         New York, June 6th, 1916.

There should be a big line of passenger and freight steamers to South America on the east also on the west. A big line of American Steamers from the Pacific Coast to the Orient and a big flotilla of passenger and freight steamers on the Atlantic, and then the supremacy of the United States will be a known fact throughout the world, but time will develop all this enterprise.

I will close this letter, trusting I have not tired you with details.

Yours truly,

F. W. WOOLWORTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(S)

 

 

Posted in 1916 | Leave a comment

Obituary

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.            6-8-16.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, June 7th, 1916.

OBITUARY

Mr. William H. Moore, Honorary Vice-President of F. W. Woolworth Co., and one of the originators of the 5 and lOc business, died at his home in Watertown, N. Y. Tuesday, May 16th, 1916.

While in Watertown I dictated to the reporters of the “Watertown Times”, a brief history of my early life, when I was, clerk in Moore & Smith’s store in Watertown, N. Y. A copy of this paper was sent to each one of our stores, which no doubt you received in due time, and therefore I deem it unnecessary to go into details in a letter of this kind, in regard to my early life.

As you all know, Mr. Moore was in business in Watertown in the same corner store for 55 years. He went into the store as a boy of 10 and he worked his way up gradually until he finally became a partner in the business and when I entered the store, a green boy from the country, the firm name was Augsbury & Moore, which in those days was considered one of the best dry goods stores in Northern New York. A year afterwards, however, Mr. Augsbury sold out his interest to Mr. P. R. Smith, and the firm was known after 1874 as Moore & Smith.

Mr. Smith was an enterprising young man not much older than myself and after the firm of Moore & Smith was dissolved, Mr. Smith went into the five and ten cent business and located in Akron, Ohio. He afterwards had several stores of which he was proprietor and he was a big success in that business, and finally retired several years ago. He is now residing at Asbury Park, N. J.

After the firm of Moore & Smith dissolved, Mr. Moore decided to go into the five and ten cent business and give up the dry goods business entirely. Mr. Moore was successful and also had another store established in Schenectady, N. Y. Both of these stores were turned over to the new corporation of F. W. Woolworth Co. in 1912. Since that time Mr. Moore has been out of business.

I do not believe there was any person that ever lived in Watertown that was thought more of than Mr. Moore. He was very reliable honest and charitable, as he established many charities in Watertown and his funeral was attended by the best people in the city, including Judges of the Courts and Officials of the City. Mr. Moore will be missed in Watertown as much as any man that ever lived there.

Both Moore and Smith were very kind to me when Istarted in the 5 and 10c business and both of them gave me encouragement on the start, while everybody else was discouraging me. I would probably never have left Watertown, and every manager that reads this letter, should remember that had it not been for Mr. Moore and Mr. Smith, there probably would never have been a permanent 5 and 10c business in this country. today and none of us should ever forget where we got our start in business.

Long before the 5and 10c business was ever heard of, while I lived on the farm, I was looking and watching for an opportunity to better myself and after I had spent several years as a clerk in the dry goods store in Watertown, I was very much discouraged, because the opportunity that I was looking for never came.

– over –

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.                  6-8-l6          2.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, June 7th, 1916.

It has been said, to young men, don’t wait for an opportunity but create one yourself. Now, I tried to create an opportunity myself when I left the farm to go in the dry goods business, but the real opportunity was never offered to me until the beginning of the 5c counters, for they were nothing more than small counters in the dry goods stores at that time.

Mr. Moore encouraged young men to start 5c stores and several young men from Watertown who had money enough to make the first purchase of stock went into the business. Finally I decided that my opportunity had come to make a start in the world and. through the encouragement of Mr. Moore, I made the start, and of all the men that left Watertown in 1879 when the 5 and 10c fever was at its height, everyone of them made failures and gave up the business. I considered I made a failure myself, because the profits were so small the first year I did not consider it a big success and in 1887, the 5 and 10c store idea was given up throughout the country as a failure and those who didn’t make a financial failure turned the business into a sort of department store selling all priced goods and eventually most of these that went into that enterprise made a failure also.

I was led to believe that there was more money by increasing the lines of goods to high priced goods, the same as the others were led astray, but I soon afterwards found my mistake, as my sales did not increase and people did not understand why a 5 and 10c store should sell higher priced goods, so finally I confined myself to 5 and 10c goods only and then the business commenced to improve.

Mr. Moore confined his new store in Watertown, (by the way, it was located on the same corner where he used to be in the dry goods business) to 5 and 10c goods only, with financial success.

Mr. Moore was such an honorable man, that notwithstanding the fact that he was practically bankrupt, with a good opportunity to make a financial failure, he made up his mind he would live long enough to pay all his creditors in full, which was a great pleasure for him that he was able to do it.

Socially Mr. Moore was a very agreeable man to be with. Many a time we took fishing trips to the Thousand Islands, as he was a great fisherman and he never felt so happy in his life, as when he was located in a little row boat with his hook and line out in the water} ready to catch a fish.

He attended a good many of the conventions of the managers of our company and he probably enjoyed them as much as anybody. He was not very great on making speeches, but whatever he said was right to the point and he lived long enough to see the 5 and 10c business grow into the largest retail business in the world and that was just as much satisfaction to him as to anyone else connected with the business and he was always proud of the men connected with our company and he was always willing and anxious to give them encouragement and some of the successful men today were brought up under his generalship.

Many a young man he has encouraged in the business and it seems strange that within thirteen months, our corporation has lost four of its greatest men. First, Mr. Carson C. Peck, who died April 1915, then Mr. S. H. Knox, who died in May 1915, then Mr. C. C. Griswold, who died in January 1916. All of these men were among the founders of the busi

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.               6-8-16     3.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                      New York, June 7th, 1916.

ness. Mr. Peck formerly lived in Watertown and was clerk in a dry store of A. Bushnell & Co. Mr. Knox was formerly my partner in Redding, PA.and afterwards partner of several stores, until he purchased my interest and then he made a wonderful success in the business. Mr. Griswold was a poor boy when he entered the store in Albany to learn the business under Mr. Gage, and he gradually grew up to become one of the greatest men this business has had and now the real founder of the business has passed away, Mr. W. H. Moore.

Yet notwithstanding this fact and although these men are a great loss to the company, our business is still forging ahead and unless we had the wonderful organization we have, this business could not succeed This is not a one man business or a two man business, as there is material and brains enough left, even if all the founders of the business should die, to carry on the business successfully in the future. Yet we men in the New York Office certainly miss these four great men.

We hear about great men that have not accomplished half as much as these four men have accomplished, yet there are long obituaries in the paper and big head lines, but what have they done. They have had some political job and they have been at the head of some organization and they have not accomplished as much as these four men have accomplished – yet, because a man happened to make a success in the mercantile career, he is not considered in the estimate of the public and newspapers, as accomplishing so much as some man who has been speculating in Wall Street and made a financial success.

Now, these four men not only made a financial success, but their home life was ideal – they had strength of character and they worked for something besides dollars and cents – they worked for their own good reputation, which really counts more than dollars and cents.

No one ever heard of Mr. Moore getting mad or disagreeable to employees or anyone else – he had a kind word for everybody.  If he did not like a person, he would keep his mouth shut and he would say nothing against anybody. He was always ready to praise those that accomplished and did good in this world. He certainly had a beautiful character and an enviable disposition that few men have.

I trust I shall not be called upon to write another obituary for years to come, as this is the fourth one I have been obliged to write within the last thirteen months.

In conclusion will say that as the President of your Company, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Larned, and other relatives in this hour of their bereavement.

 Yours truly,

F.W.WOOLWORTH.

Posted in 1916 | Leave a comment

Competition

EXECUTIVE OFFICE

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.               New York, June 9, 1916.

COMPETITION.

There was a time in the 5 and 10c business that the word “competition” was one that never entered the thoughts of the men in this business and a letter never was written that contained that word.

These were days of peace as compared with what came up later. After Mr. Woolworth was well launched in his 5 and 10c business career there were other men who began to see the possibilities in this character of business and with the living example of what was being done, started also in the 5 and 10c business, (but not as competitors,) as they started their stores in towns where there was no other 5 and 10c store. This was a condition that could not last for so very long, as the more stores that were started the more people came to see their success, and in a few years real competition started – competition, because the later stores were opened in towns where the originators of the business were already established.

The real competitor was never an originator but a copier, he copied the style of the originator’s store to the most minute detail. He copied as near as he could the methods of doing business and planted his stores as near as possible to that of the originator, thinking that with the same general appearance real customers could be fooled into doing business in the copier’s stores instead of the originator’s stores, and, in this belief they succeeded to a more or less degree in certain localities.

It may be said without fear of contradiction that copying is not learning, copying is not a method of education, copying can never meet with any great or permanent success, because the fundamental principles are not there. To learn we must study and experiment and success comes only through the greatest of all educators; experience.

We have had now, our experience with copiers, competitors, and imitators. We have seen them spring up like mushrooms in a night to go down in a short time from lack of principle, lack of capital, lack of the backing which in our business comes from the original idea.

We will not enumerate the copiers that have started out to continue only for a few days, a few weeks, yes, in a few of the most exaggerated cases, a few years.

The great European war has brought about a condition such as never was experienced since the origin of the 5 and 10c business. Such market conditions were never experienced before in our history, yet the sales from week to week, and from to month show that we are making a better showing than for any previous period. We are selling the goods because we have the merchandise to sell; we are getting the goods because we are one of the greatest retailers in the world. We get preference in the market because we can pay cash for our goods and because we will be doing business at the old stand long after the great war is over.      (

(1150 copies)                   Continued) 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                    New York, June 9th, 1916

COMPETITION, C’TD.

With the people who try to imitate our methods, copy displays, and compete with our business it is quite different – they can’t get the goods to sell; the prices they are obliged to pay for similar goods to ours are so high that they cannot sell at a profit. Their managers are leaving their stores in disgust, their temporary customers are coming back to our stores. Some of their stores are being closed; they can’t stand the expense which eats up all the receipts, say nothing of the profits. The long and short of it is, our copiers, imitators, and would-be competitors, are on the downhill run and are going down at a faster rate than most of us are inclined to believe, nevertheless they are going, and going fast.

Now it is the small, imitator that hurts you as well as the big one, and many of the small imitators have closed their stores since the first of the year 1916. The big imitators are finding the going very hard and in many instances have closed their stores and have resorted to selling higher priced merchandise, and will continue to find it harder going provided you are there, as manager of the Woolworth store to make this fight for supremacy the hardest in our history. Don’t miss this opportunity to make this fight a finish fight, for it is an opportunity we never had before. You have received letters from your district offices outlining the work to be done and the methods to pursue and the reason for this letter is to impress upon your mind more forcibly, if possible, the necessity of doing all you are told and more, to make this job a complete one. Later we will publish a list of firms that have discontinued business and a list of stores that have been closed.

Nothing succeeds like success. We will be successful as long as we continue the original idea: sell no article at a higher price than 10c and give the greatest value possible at our retail prices OF 5c and 10c. It is in the 5c goods that lie the greatest profits.

Yours very truly,

           J. Frank Nutting.

(1)  (1150 Copies)

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(l)    (1150 copies)

J. FRANK NUTTING.

Posted in 1916 | Leave a comment