Publication: The Muncie Daily Herald
Muncie, IN, United States
MUNCIES GREAT PROSPERITY,
DELAWARE COUNTYS WEALTH HAS INCREASED $7,000,000 IN FIVE YEARS.
And the Population of Muncie, Its capital Town, Has Grown from 6,000 Ten Years Ago to More than 22,000 in 1892.
NATURAL GAS HAS BROUGHT TO THAT TOWN ALMOST $6,000,000 OF OUTSIDE CAPITAL.
Which Furnishes Employment for 8,000 Workmen and disburses in Wages nearly $350,000 per Month A Marvelous Record.
MUNCIE, IND, Dec. 20. Just previous to the discovery of natural gas here the assessment value of all taxable property in Delaware county was $11,000,000. In 1891 the value of property returned by the assessor for taxation amounted in round numbers, to $18,000,000, showing an increase of $7,000,000, or an advance of more than 50 percent, upon real estate and chattela throughout the county. In 1880 the population of Muncie was 6,000; in 1890 it had increased to about double that number. The cit directory, now approaching completion, will approximately fix the number of inhabitants at 23,000.
The increase of population and property values is the countys inheritance from the gas belt. To this Muncie owes that Metropolitan air which distinguishes her from other cities of the district, and in point of size and commercial importance has enabled her to rank among the leading cities of the State. The energy which has successful located so many millions here in manufacturing enterprises is not notably a new element in Muncies history. She has always had many public-spirited citizens, and even before the discovery of gas was foremost in the encouragement of commercial and industrial concerns. By her liberal subsidies to railway corporations she had already provided herself wit an extensive system of transportation, which became immediately valuable when the development of her gas wells began, drawing manufacturing plants to this vicinity. She has carefully husbanded her enormous output of the fluid, and on this account is enabled now to offer enormous supplies of free fuel to all industries that may avail themselves of its advantages. There are at present in Delaware county nearly two hundred flowing wells. Of these Muncie is using fifty for all private and manufacturing purposes within the city. They supply 150,000,000 cubic feel daily. The old Eaton well, the pioneer of the group, has been in daily, though underrate, use for six years, and shows no decrease of pressure.
In view of the wisdom of its methods, it is proper here to briefly notice the existence of a business organization to which the city is largely indebted for that prosperity which is do evident on every band. This is the Citizens Enterprise Co., composed substantially of every
Previous to October, 1891, the town contained but eleven thousand inhabitants, and its manufacturing interests, though considerable, were wholly in the hands of local capitalists. These concerns, if incorporated at all, were not heavily capitalized, and afforded employment to but a limited number of men. It was only after natural gas had been discovered, revolutionizing the question of fuel, that foreign manufacturers began locating industrial enterprises here. How rapidly this added to the citys active wealth will appear from a survey of the following list of incorporated concerns here within the past two years.
Indiana Iron Co .$300,000
Rochester and Muncie Land Co 80,000
Ames Bending Co 5,000
Nelson Glass Co .. 25,000
Architectural Iron Co 35,000
Midland Steel Co . 200,000
Indiana Cracker Co . 38,000
R E Hill Manufacturing Co . 100,000
Crozier Washing Machine Co 30,000
Ohio Wagon Co 20,000
Albany Furniture Co . 10,000
Commonsense Engine Co . 100,000
Sterling Grocery Co .. 15,000
Roderick Gas Co 5,000
Silver Ash Institute 10,000
Gas, Land and Improvement Co . 10,000
Muncie Casket Co . 50,000
Shoe and Leather Co 60,000
Gates and Bluntville Natural gas Co 15,000
Farmers Natural Gas Co .. 5,000
Indiana Natural Gas Co ... 2,000,000
Muncie Brass Plating Works . 30,000
Manufacturers Gas co .. 25,000
Port Glass Works 25,000
Rochester White Lead Co . 125,000
Western Improvement Co . 100,000
Economy Gas Co 15,000
White River Cattle Co . 10,000
Combination Manufacturing Co . 25,000
Muncie Nail Co . 200,000
Muncie Glass Co .. 23,000
Delaware County Land Co . 250,000
Novelty and Brass Works 10,000
Clyde Window Glass Works Co .. 2,000
Muncie Rubber Co 250,000
Light, Heat and Power Co 50,000
Indiana Bridge Co . 300,000
White River Iron and Steel Co . 75,000
Hemingray Glass Co . --
Muncie Foundry and Machine Wks 50,000
Tappan Shoe Co 50,000
Muncie Skewer Co . 25,000
Johnson Hardwood Co .. 40,000
Jas Boyce & Co (shovel handles) 100,000
Hardy Washer Co .. 20,000
Maring, Hart and Co (glass) . 100,000
Patterson Glass Co .... 25,000
Albany Paper Co --
Muncie Roofing Co . 10,000
Total .. . . . [illegible text] . . .
This total is composed of incorporated concerns only, many substantial industries not of record have been omitted. The Whitely Harvesting Machine Co., which has already put into active circulation over half a million dollars, is not included in this list.
The establishment here of all these industries has necessarily brought with it an active demand for labor. The factories now in operation, employing labor and disbursing heavy monthly pay-rolls may be easily and readily comprehended by a glance at the following tabulated statement showing the number of men employed, together with their aggregate monthly earnings, so far as the latter has been obtainable:
No. Men Monthly
Jos Bell Stove Co ... 250 $10,000
Muncie Steel Co .... 100 6,000
Akron Forging Co ..... 200 8,000
Whitely, Harvesting Machine Company .......... 2,000 80,000
Boyer & Kande Carriage Co ..... 50 2,000
Burdette Organ and Piano Co ........ 150 6,000
Gill Bros & Co, glass . . . [illegible text] . . . .............. 60 3,500
J. . . [illegible text] . . . McVey Corrugated Iron Co ..... 150 . . . [illegible text] . . .
Muncie Rivet and Tack Co .... 25 1,000
Muncie Wheel Co .. 80 3,000
Hill Manufacturing Co