Letter from J.F. Battle, 1895
Following is an extract from a private letter written by Mr. J. F. Battle of his city to a friend in a neighboring county. The letter was published though not written for that purpose, and we reproduced the following to show what every private citizen can tell to the world about our splendid town and county. Thanking Mr. Battle, we take advantage of his private correspondence, and print this part of it:
"* * *Perhaps you would like to hear something of Hunt County and Greenville. A great many changes have taken place since we toiled over the Headlight together. Statistics are usually dull, but I will not delve into them enough in this letter to make them tiresome. Hunt County in 1890 had a population of 31,684. In 1895, she had 45,000, having increased 5,000 last year. We now have thirty-nine post offices in the county, thirteen of them being money order offices. Just for the sake of comparison, and hoping that Brother Tate will not hear of it, I will state that Hopkins County only has three money order offices. Hunt's taxable values in 1880 was $2,464,000. In 1893, it was $8,473,000; in 1895, $8,882,725. In 1880, we had no railroads, now we have 160 miles with eighteen depts. Hunt County has 135 public schools, 11,000 pupils of scholastic age, and her public free school teachers tap her till to the tune of $40,000 per annum. Our farmers last year made 52,242 bales of cotton averaging 531 pounds each, a world of corn, oats, wheat, and cane, which aggregated in value about $9,000,000.
During this time, Greenville has kept up with the procession. In 1880, she had 1,008 population; in 1890, 4,369; in 1895, 7,400. During the past twelve months, we have had a regular building boom. We have built a $50,000 ice factory, a $50,000 opera house, a $30,000 college, a $10,000 brick terra cotta depot, a $30,000 electric light plant, a $50,000 cotton seed oil mill, four brick hotels, thirty brick business houses, and over 200 residences. Our taxable values have run up from $135,000 in 1890 to $2,067,682 now.
We think there is no town in the state with better railroad advantages and a brighter future than Greenville has. Come up and see us, Tom, and you will find we have something to brag about."
(December 19, 1895, The Greenville Messenger)
Submitted by Sarah Swindell