While this is being brought to our attention, it might be interesting
to review the history and learn something of another industry in our village,
which started here when business, and the affairs of our village were at
their lowest ebb; when real estate could be bought for one's own figure;
with scores of empty houses and men going away for employment. The
founder of this industry came here, and without any excitement started
the wheels going, which had been running intermittently, and for
some months previous had been lying idle. It is doubtful if at the
time these works were again started one-half of the inhabitants knew that
they were again in operation. Without any solicitation on the part
of the citizens, or any concession or consideration, these works were put
in operation, and since January, 1902, they have been running continuously
with only a break of a day or two at the most, necessitated by repairs
These works have been trebled in size and capacity. The equipment, which is the latest of its kind, and the best obtainable, has entirely replaced what the original factory contained. This plant, aside from the fact that it is of frame construction, is a model from the stand point of fire protection and heating facilities. Not less than $8,000.00 has been expended on fire protection and heating equipment alone, so that as a woodworking plant, it is no longer a fire menace to the village, for under ordinary conditions it would be impossible to destroy it by fire. This factory gives employment to over one hundred people (while during the busy seasons when at its fullest, there have been one hundred twenty-five on the pay roll), paying good wages and large salaries to its heads of departments. "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country," but if any of the citizens of Fayetteville will make it a point to go to any of the high-class furniture or department stores from the Atlantic to the Pacific and ask for Handcraft Furniture, you may see the product of the works at Fayetteville made by L. & J. G. Stickley. Through extensive advertising this furniture has not only made a name in this country, but inquiries are received from all quarters of the globe. Goods have been shipped direct to South Africa, Germany, Honolulu and Italy, and at present there are inquiries on file from Cairo, Egypt, Manila, Russia, Sweden and other countries, to say nothing of the goods which have been exported by dealers in New York and elsewhere.
The line of furniture built by L. & J. G. Stickley comprises over three hundred patterns, the style and design being carefully worked out by Mr. L. Stickley, and his able designer Mr. P. Hansen, who received his education on designing in Germany, his native country. The details of this establishment are countless. Were it not for the fact that the entire workings are under a perfect system, it would be difficult to conceive of building and filling orders on this great number of different patterns of furniture. Space will not permit going into detail regarding the finish of the wood: processes of finishing, originated by the proprietor himself, many of them being copied by competitors, but none being able to reproduce. The seating furniture is covered in the best grade of goat skins and steer hide. This leather is purchased from the tanners in the russet, or unfinished state, and is dyed and colored by secret processes, also discovered by Mr. L. Stickley. It is interesting to know that the amount of leather purchased each year exceeds the cost of lumber, and an idea can be had of what this amounts to by looking over the lumber yard, and when you know that quartered oak lumber sells for $85.00 per thousand feet, and that a car of lumber costs more than $1,000.00.
The depression in business, which everyone has felt for the last two years, has hardly been noticed by this concern; in fact business of each year since it began operations shows an increase over the preceding year. The citizens of Fayetteville may be justly proud of this industry, and it is well to be informed that the famous Handcraft Furniture is manufactured in our town.