Story by Zillah (Cross) Peel - (The Benton County Sun, May 3, 1906)
Suppose you are a woman - a woman reporter standing with empty notebook on a corner of the public square of Bentonville. It is the finest of May mornings and golden sunlight is flooding the pavements and filtering through the branches of those big old trees in the city park. There is the greenest of green grass carpets beneath those big old trees and you find yourself gazing rather enviously at the small boy so luxuriously ensconced thereon. There comes a melodious note or two, and your eyes rove upward to the pretty little feathery, little creature hopping from bough to bough - "Who so happy now?" Mr. Birdie is leaving the park; he crosses the square. What a historic old square this is! What an enterprising new square this is! Hoary and rich with time honored names, with memorable associations: young and opulent with tireless energy, with aggressive modernity. As you look about you, north and south, east and west, voices of the past and the present mingle harmoniously in the air. There in the little park once stood the pioneer courthouse, of by-gone years. Just over here is a handsome creation of 1905, a brick and stone weather signal station, with complete modern equipment. The shades of antiquity are thickest, perhaps, on the western outskirts of the square. They actually seem to throng about the threshold of a certain weatherbeaten wooden structure. This is the veritable Eagle Inn where Franz Sigel's breakfast was so unceremoniously interrupted some years ago. Yonder winds the road over which the redoubtable general galloped to Pea Ridge. And here again the past and the present link hands, for the ancient tavern is face to face with the beautiful home of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church. Thus the landmark of the turbulent years is overshadowed by a monument to present peace. A happy omen you are thinking, as you stand on a corner of the public square of Bentonville this finest of May mornings. The scene before you is in truth, a peaceful one. More than merely that, better than merely that, it is a scene of peaceful industry. The crafts and industries of peaceful times are being vigorously plied all about you. You, the only dreamer in the scene waken with a start. The little book in your hand is still blank. Into this live business world you must plunge at once, for tidings of the day. Why not begin at the bank on the corner? Surely a banking atmosphere will dispel this dreamy mood. You seem to recall a saying, "there's no poetry in the banking business." Up the street accordingly you start only to halt at the sight of some attractive things in leather, hanging outside a neat looking establishment. The instinct of Kentucky ancestry propels you across the threshold of
L. C. Crouch's Leather House.
Here are all manner of horsey things, harness, saddles, etc. Whips, blankets and a lot of unusually pretty summer dusters are hanging around. Mr. Crouch, the veteran harness maker of thirty years' experience, is busy with his latest improvement on team harness. He explains to you that this new style of hip strap gives freedom of movement and lessens the wear. You admire another novelty - the rubber trimmings of the gentleman's driving harness, one of Mr. Crouch's specialities this season. Again enroute to the bank, you reflect it really is quite a clever world. Look at this
Fidelity Saving Bank & Loan Co.
-the youngest bank in town and doing an enormous lot of business. These people are undoubted clever, else why are the reputed as "conservative enough to be safe, progressive enough to be liberal." The introduction of the individual savings bank by this firm seems to fill a long felt want, in fact the methods and manner of this banking house have from the start, inspired general confidence. Thus cogitating you enter the pleasant banking rooms on the north west corner of the square. Big south windows diffuse brightness throughout the main business apartment, some of the radiance seeming to focus on a certain spot inside the cashier's window. That gleam of color catching your eye, a certain chinky sound falling on your ear, you indulge in the fancy that banking has after all, a poetical aspect - considering that dreams are supposed to broaden. But glancing through the open door of a private room this idea strikes you as entirely too far fetched. There is such an overwhelmingly matter of fact air about the conference in progress in there. The President, Mr. Arthur Burks, is evidently engaged in a matter of deep import. It's surely a serious job-this job of being President and First Cashier of this busy bank, of being its financial agent in all its farm land and real estate loans, of handling stocks and municipal bonds, etc. Decidedly a strenuous institution this is! Emerging into the open air you look about for some relaxation. Down the street in a window are some charmingly frivolous things, ribbons, laces and what not! Coming abreast of this display, you perceive that
The Model Store
is quite at home in its new quarters, the former stand of Woods Dry Goods Co. Everything is attractively arranged and there are some new brand attractions. Those Egyptian muslins are quite fascinating in white and the daintiest tones of heliotrope, pink and other colors. You quite fall in love with a new lace, on the order of Point de Paris. Mr. Finley, the manager of this house, keeps up with the market, that's evident! And so do his neighbors
King & Moore.
You are quite as much interested in things to eat as in things to wear, and there's a strong probability of discovering something new in this up to date grocery. Those chocolates in this first counter are a delightfully fresh item and so are those fine mixed bon bons. The manager and junior partner of this firm, G. J. Moore, is justly attaining much popularity by carrying very popular goods at very popular prices. Looking around, you see shelves upon shelves, filled with canned and bottled fruits and vegetables of the Punch and other favorite brands. Here is an excellent stock of fancy and staple groceries, confectionary and cigars. Out you go and again- into the
Terry Dry Goods House.
This is one of the time honored institutions of the town. It has a name that has been handed down the years. B. S. Terry and W. A. Terry the present managers being sons of Colonel W. A. Terry, the gallant old southern gentleman, who founded the house thirty-one years ago. As you sink into a comfortable table seat and contemplate the crowd of shoppers you reflect it's not a bad thing - this thing of being an old, old store and having such stacks of customers- stacks is hardly the word you want yet, look at that customer over yonder! That one alone, is surely a stack! Very, very stout she is and quite engrossed by the heap of beautiful summer fabrics spread out before her. Your prophetic soul warns you, she will decide on that new shade of pink - that adorable shade for slender maidens - that very inappropriate shade for portly matrons. But just in the act of repressing a shudder, admiration seizes you. The conscientious little sales lady has tactfully displayed a more quiet shade of the dainty Persian lawn and Madame is allowing herself to be persuaded - she is saved and her husband and family are saved also. They may never know what they had been delivered from -- it's extremely probable they will never learn of their obligation to that artistic little women behind the counter. All the same, having access to good advice in dress matters, is worth a good deal not only to the shopper, but to the shopper's relatives. That young blond, farther down, before the glove counter, is evidently one of the elect - she knows for herself "what's what." Great is her gratification at finding the new gloves, the long kid mousketaires, that she has vainly searched the town for. How interesting the big shoe department looks! This is really two stores in one, since Gilbert & Adams Shoe House consolidated with the Terry Dry Goods Co. How much you would like to go all over the establishment of general merchandise - see all those pretty rugs, mattings and things up stairs! There is poetry enough in the dry goods business - half a dozen poems are in sight at this very minute! Yet you must tear yourself away. So with a backward glance of admiration at several recent improvements, a convenient new balcony, a wonderful National register, you take your departure. The few steps you take to your next stopping place, gives you time to reflect that the Terry Dry Goods Co. well deserves its reputation. Such well selected stock prices and attentive salespeople! They cannot very well help having a large business! The handsome brick structure erected by Col. Terry, stands three stories high, on this southwestern corner of the square. The Terry Dry Goods occupies entirely the spacious second floor, and on the main floor runs like an enormous L, around the suite of rooms built expressly for the
Benton County Banking Co.
This is the second bank you have been in this morning and you are getting used to the banking atmosphere. You feel quite capable standing your ground - for a few minutes at least - until you inspect these handsome apartments. Of course, such a dreadfully rich institution can afford everything it wants in the way of big plate glass windows, real walnut woodwork, handsome furniture and etc. All these things together make the main lobby, the counting room, the reception room and directors private office look extremely nice. This has been the home of the oldest bank in Benton county for 18 years. Established in 1885, under the very same name it bears today, this house has been making history right along with the county, in fact the county affairs have been the banks affairs. And these bankers are very proud of the county's growth - well they may be, being, and having been, such a factor, of it! And quite proud is the county of the influential bank, it has helped to make! Many of the wealthiest business men, merchants, fruit men and farmers of this section are depositors. Small wonder however, that such general confidence is felt, when the stockholders are such upright conservative men of large means. The paid up capital is $60,000. You recall many comments you have heard on this bank's prosperity and prestige. Of course mere woman as you are, you do not understand every single thing about the banking business, but there are some things even a mere woman can comprehend and approve of - for instance those individual savings banks over there. Professor Hennon inside of the cashier's window, tells you they have purchased 400 of these economy encouragers. This old bank is quite up to date. It is now a National bank with W. E. Adams as its president, Dwight Dickson and Ben S. Terry vice presidents, J. D. Covey cashier, J. C. Hennon and C. H. Kelly assistant cashier's. As you turn around the bank corner into church street [now Central Ave], you are struck afresh with the pleasant vista. Here business has gone beyond the square. There is a whole block of handsome stores reaching westward, and beyond, the green bordered street stretches away into the distance, with beautiful homes in velvety lawns on either hand. But just at hand is also beauty, beauty of the kind that draws the average women like a magnet,
The Jackson Dry Goods Co's
windows are positive treasure houses. As you linger before them admiring that fascinating gold embroidered collar, that fetching Alice blue fan you no longer lament the fact of being a mere woman - you openly revel in these mere woman fancies:
Alas! to be a mere man And have to dispense with this fan! To go through life without that collar Groping merely for the dollar.
What a tragic fate! You are so unnerved by this reflection (and by the rhymes you are perpetrating) that you seek distraction within doors. This is a pioneer house of the town - established 22 years ago by George P. Jackson who is still the head of the firm. How perfectly arranged! is your exclamation as you inspect the interior of this magnificent building, which was put up four years ago, to accommodate the enormous growth of business. The double width store room stretches north for more than a half a block with large wing reaching east to the square, (this is devoted to gentlemen's clothing and furnishings.) Around you on every hand, are beautiful summer dry goods fabrics, ladies' furnishing goods, everything and anything that mortal women could possibly want. Over in the footwear department is an elegant exhibit. That reminds you - you want to ask the head shoe man some questions. "Yes," he courteously replies. "the gun metal leather Beach Tie is quite the correct thing - and the Red Fern last is considered very smart. This one of the new toes, is the Skee-toe and that gentleman's shoe over there, has the late Potay-toe." Just here your attention is distracted by the charming gown of a brunette standing near by. A clerk recognizes the material as one of her sales - "one of the new Egyptian tissues" she tells you. Now you are upstairs in the millery department, admiring some very artistic creations. You over hear a young person posed before a mirror regretting her nose. You are quite interested in the milliner's assurance that noses are still fashionable - almost any variety can be worn under the new short brim, provided the hat is tilted, so! Coming down the grand central stairway that so conveniently adjoins the office, you have an excellent view of beautiful rugs of Oriental and other designs. These samples of the big third floor stock of carpets, mattings, draperies, etc. are so cleverly arranged on the balcony that runs around, as to give a most pleasing effect from the main floor below. Pleasing! that word strikes you as the keynote of Jackson's success. They have such pleasing prices, they are so bent on pleasing that how can the whole town help being pleased with Jackson Dry Goods Co? Right next door to them, is
The Benton County Hardware Co.
This building was erected at about the same time as its neighbor, and for the same reason - The firm outgrew its old home and unbelievable as it may be, this frightfully big establishment cannot accommodate all of its stock. But oh my! what a store it is, stretching clear through to the next street - a solid block that way and double width this way, and hardware! simply acres of it, so it appears to you. Above this main floor is a balcony all around, just stocked with furniture - all kinds - and above that another floor with more furniture and buggies, buggies galore! and to think these people have another enormous store in Siloam Springs. It actually makes you dizzy to think about so much stuff. This Bentonville establishment is more than you can "take in" all at once. You have so often thought that "Everybody's Store" wouldn't be a bad name for it. Everybody seems to find what they want here. W. J. Doke, the manager of this large concern, has made a fine demonstration of the efficacy of proper business methods. Just think of the small beginning, comparatively, that this house made in 1891! just think of its present proportions! and all the result of courteous treatment, the the right thing for the right price and a guarantee back of every article sold. Leaving the Hardware store, you step into the
City Meat Market.
Everything is conveniently arranged in this new brick building, for the managers and also for the public. They have a large stock of fresh meats and they tell you of an enormous refrigerator of tripple capacity they have ordered. When it has arrived they will be able to keep three and four beeves, several hogs, etc., on ice. It is quite wonderful to you that this size town has this size Meat Market. The firm Lee & Williams are extremely accommodating. Out in the open air once more, a high cackling sound reaches your ear from the west - something is going on at
McHenry & Bryan's.
Things generally are going on in this big produce house - in the line of business, things are going out, too, poultry, eggs, etc. going out by the caseful and money is going out! going out by the handful! To the Benton County people! to the people all over this section. McHenry & Bryan pay out $500 daily for produce. Then the quality of fruit they handle! It is quite bewildering to think of, to conceive an idea of 1,00,000 lbs. of dried fruit, but this is the quantity of evaporated apples they shipped last season. For eighteen years this firm has been growing - growing with the county's growth. At Fayetteville, the branch house is doing a big business. This handsome, substantial place of business in Bentonville was erected last year. Back of the commodious office are the large warerooms. As you cross the street you see
Chas. E. Mitchell's
workman chipping, drilling and dressing blocks of marble and granite. Those blank stones will soon immerge from the hands of these experts, converted into beautiful memorials to loved ones who have gone before. What a mixture there is one on the square - and in the world everywhere! Just yonder the reminders of a higher sphere, the mental existence! Right here the physical necessities of our earthly state, in the grocery store of
Orr & Thomason.
Mr. Thomason is busy with a customer. This housekeeper evidently knows where to find fresh green things. In her basket are the finest beans and beets. She is now asking for the "Puck Brand" of oysters, and Mr. Thomason selects it from his well filled shelves, you note the fact that he has all the standard brands of canned and bottled goods. He seems to understand the market and is prepared to meet all calls for Staple and Fancy Groceries. Grocery stores never could go out of style, you think, because people will never stop eating. They are going to keep right on eating - even when it disagrees with them, but in that case, of course, there are the drug stores. Here is
W. H. Haxton's.
Inside you can see rows and rows of medicine bottles on the shelves. No doubt there is Chaimberlain's Cough Cure, Radway's Ready Relief, Pale Pills for Pink People - that is Pink Pills for, etc. The sight of all this stuff slightly confuses you, because strange to relate, you have never really cared for medicine - even in the days of infancy you had a distaste - you can recall instances when your opposition to things of this nature was positively violent. But in spite of this early and late prejudice, you are compelled to acknowledge this is a very nice place. There are so many pretty toilet articles, books, stationary, attractive sundries, all the paraphanalia of the up-to-date drug establishment. The rounding counters contribute to the metropolitan appearance of this store which is being so successfully managed by the Messrs Haxton. All things have an ending and so these digressions of yours end at last in the
The First National Bank
Familiar and dear to the hearts of Bentonville and Benton County as the "Peoples Bank" established in 1888, this banking house has maintained from its inception, a lofty standard. Organized by men of high tone, it has egme down the years, directed always by citizens of unimpeachable integrity, of unusual financial ability, and thus it has grown into power! Its present officers, Geo. P. Jackson, President, J. G. McAndrews and D. H. Woods, vice-presidents, D. W. Peel, cashier, and Rex Peel's assistant cashier, are all men of such high standing, that their sponsorship would secure public confidence to even an unknown institution. But the First National has long had its individual place, its powerful place in this community. The building overlooks the square, being a handsomely finished two story structure, with an elegant main lobby, counting room, private office and well appointed basement. Rich, dark shades of red are blended harmoniously in the interior decorations. The beautiful mosaic floor of the lobby always attracts the visitor's attention as does also that formidably secure vault. Fireproof, a 10 x 12 double wall, heavy steel doors secured by the most wonderful and fearful of combination locks; this feature of the bank always attracts the visitor's attention. As you stand gazing comprehensively about this lobby, a loved familiar figure, tall, striking, imposing silvered head, smiling brilliant eyes. The memory of the late Colonel James M. Bohart thus materializes to you in this room with which his popular presence was long associated, in this house of which his financial genius was long a bulwark. You are saying as you leave the First National Bank, "this spot has a scared significance to many hearts." Crossing the street to the southern side of the square you notice the very first thing that enormous plate glass front that has just been put on
Higley's Drug Store.
You must, of a certainty, put down in your little book the dimensions of that of that extremely swell display window. You hardly believe Mr. Higley, when he says "14 X 7, the display part." The large glass transom above gives the effect of a 14 X 14. This corner drug store is being thoroughly remodeled. A beautifully wrought steel ceiling will soon be placed, also the magnificent illuminators, the latest device in burst lights. These people are not the least bit afraid of light, its a strictly one price house. Mr. Higley is a veteran prescription filler and enjoys a good business.
The White Star Restaurant
Has a very opportune location. This fact is quite patent to you as you sit refreshing yourself with a soda in the quiet cool room with pleasant little tables under big palms. "De Spain's" seems an opportune place, not only to you, but to a lot of others as well. They come and go, drinking and eating all manner of nice things. The boy at the big fountain can hardly serve the men at the bar. Short orders are being served, picnic lunches daintily arranged for waiting customer. These good natured people really seem to enjoy catering to the public needs.
J. C. Knott
Is not-(of course he is always Knott) - but what you want to say is, he is absent from the store. The man who is in the store says he does not know when Mr. Knott will return - does not even known how old he is. You have never once in this little tour of yours, touched upon the age question - that is of proprietors, but you have heard much of the venerable years attributed to this establishment. "Been running right on that spot since the year one," says a man. Now, as some of the geologists claim this Ozark uplift was the first uplift from the ocean - why - but of course even if men are not the least bit sensitive on the age subject, it is but right for you to say that Mr. Knott was too young then to be in business. The man in the store, however, finally consents to throw some light on the mooted point. "He's been in business just about thirty years." This one fact the man in the store is willing to admit, and several other things you happen to know. You know that you have heard the statement made - " a certain man is open as the day, as honest as Jim Knott," and looking at his store you perceive that Mr. Knott is very neat as well as honest. Everything clean and orderly - just the kind of place where things to be put in your in your mouth ought to be kept! The large business of this old firm justifies the large stock displayed, of fancy and staple groceries, feed of all kinds. You are on the whole glad you are not a graduate of the St. Louis college of Pharmacy like--
F. M. Buch.
The poor man spends the greater part of his life behind the prescription case. Of course it is nice for him to have the confidence of the people and also it's nice for you when you have to take medicine (in case the doctor refuses to prescribe change of climate.) -it is nice then to know you are taking exactly what the doctor wants you to. This is precisely what happens to you when Mr. Buch puts up your prescription. If it is horrid, it is the proper kind of horridness, you are sure of that! F. M Buch keeps other kinds of medicines besides the kind he fixes, and all sorts of other things in drugs, stationery, etc.
A. B. Phinney,
in his quarters of the left hand side of the store is fitting pair of glasses, and the woman loudly expresses her delight - couldn't see a thing with those other glasses she says. Mr. Phinney is a graduated optician from Philadelphia and Kansas City colleges, located in Bentonville. These traveling people are no more than out of town than their wonderful(?) glasses begin to strain the eye. The home man is responsible for his goods. Another thing, Mr. Phinney is responsible for, is his watch repairing. He tells you he made a specialty of Bench work for many years and is thoroughly equipped for it, having a complete outfit of tools.
At Will Burn's Grocery
you make a discovery- somebody is going on a picnic! and is going to have lunch, the crispest crackers, the freshest cheese, finest pickles (Heinz's)! Mr. Burns is selecting for his customers numerous nice luncheon articles from his line of staple and fancy groceries. He is a young man just starting in business for himself and his methods are inviting him much patronage, and right glad you are, for does not the young man, the enterprising energetic young man, deserve encouragement, and then Mr. Burn is no stranger here. He has been favorably known in Bentonville for several years. This grocery is on the southeastern corner of the square and looking eastward, you are reminded of the visit you intend making the
Studio of Arthur Hansard.
Mr. Hansard is out making some views at Park Springs with a fine new camera of his - an 8 X 12. You look at the beautiful picture he has mounted of the new Christian church and you're quite sure that the camera can be depended upon. Mr. Hansard kindly shows some graceful slender new panel mounts they have just received and tells you they are now quite prepared to get up the latest photo novelties. There is quite a fetching hat in one of these display pictures and that suggests - in the spring a woman's thoughts are very easily turned in a certain direction. The direction in this instance is toward
Morgan & Woolsey's
millinery house. You take a short cut and there you are, right in a flower garden -so it appears at fist glance, but your second glance shows you birds too, wings and feathers, dashing quills and other up to date decorations in the various styles of headwear. Those sailor shapes over there have such an air to them! It seems to you that brunette or blonde, short woman, tall women, in fact any kind of a woman who likes correct and pretty things, could find something in this immense assortment quite to her mind. Just as fascinating as these hats to you are those tempting cakes in the
window to the small boy on the pavement. "A happy maverick soul in the world at large," you think is this small personage, but the happy maverick soul does not seem to appreciate being at large as long as those cakes are in confinement. You acknowledge to yourself that the sight of those deliciously frosted things aggravating to grown-ups as well as to the juniors. The odor of fresh bread comes through the doorways. Buns and tarts, chocolate cake, jelly cake, truly gingersnaps -everything that mortal man- that is Mr. Novitsky can possible devise in the way of delightful cookery is here spread out. You make a pause and then go munching on your way. People cannot get very hungry on this side of the street you think, as you pass by the
Queen City Restaurant.
Short orders are being served in dining room and up in front ice cream is being dished out. So good and solid looking! Near the entrance is a full line of confections and cigars and on the shelves are all sorts of lunch goods. Mr. Gibson must be a very progressive young man and worthy of the patronage he is getting. In the windows of
G. E. Hildebrandt
are displayed such very choice suitings that you at once begin to perceive that there may be more than one point of view on this subject of raiment. Perhaps man does not really hanker after birds - that is on the hat (of course if it's plumes he wants, he can join the Knight Templars.) Perhaps man does not really crave eyelet embroidery on his linen. If in his heart of hearts he does feel his privations, yet there must be compensations. Even to woman these swell things of Mr. Hildebrandt's appear as "balm in Gilead." You feel that a grown of that silver gray suiting would to you be a large source of consolation. It would enable you to bear up under a good deal - say (possibly) under another round of church reportorial work. However that may be, the men at the present have a corner on Mr. Hildebrandt's artistic work, and his suits, all of them have that air, that first-class hand work alone can give. It is now high noon. A certain thought that has been seduously relegated to the back of your mind for the past thirty minutes comes to the front with a bound. Well and why not ? Why not go to lunch? Your little book is filling up- there is an encouraging amount of copy in it. You really deserve as good a lunch even as the
sets forth. Accordingly you are enroute to the Southern and forthwith engage in an interview of a highly gratifying nature. You accumulate items of all kinds, rare, tender and spicy; the last one (the coffee) is positively inspiring. Emerging from the dining room quite reconciled to life, you take possession of a rocker in the cool parlor. There is no special hurry - no enormous scoops to be fought for through daylight and darkness. You could not play Rhoda Massey if you tried in this peaceful, well-behaved old town; and anyway the church sheet that you're working on is pink, not yellow. You reluctantly prepare to depart from this pleasant house, so retired, yet only a step from the square. Such a lot of traveling men under the big trees in front! They can alway be depended upon to find a comfortable place, and Mr. Blake really deserves their patronage and that of the public generally. Such a good table, such pleasant surroundings and the true southern hospitality. Never during all the long years of his hotel life has Mr. Blake failed to entertain ministers, church delegates and such people as his own private guests. Though the sun is shining, still you spy some little clouds gathering in the north and perhaps the weather bureau man
will advise you about the little drive you are contemplating this afternoon. So you ring the bell inside the classic porch of the government mansion - gazing meanwhile at the beautiful severe columns with approbation. A cordial voice calling "come," you walk right into the handsome apartment, where Mr. Parker is up to the eyes in calculations. Very successfully he pretends "this is no interruption," promises you to keep the shower off until night and then most graciously does the honors of his new establishment. Inside and out and all about you go, Mr. Parker considerately dropping all technical phraseology and explaining things so that even this benighted woman's mind can grasp the workings of these various instruments. Of course you have heard of the thermometer, even of the barometer, perhaps, of the cyclometer, possibly of the anemometer. You don't recall your Greek and you get down the name of the instrument in a way that will possibly be Greek to the public. It's all very interesting and you are so excited at really and truly seeing the hundredth part of an inch with the naked eye, that you promptly forget half the names of all these scientific instruments that have cost such years and whole lives of labor by inventors of France, America and other nations. But anyway there are all sorts of gages, raingages, windgages, sunshine recorders. Mr. Parker tells you that all the instruments are on exhibit to the general public. He has served the government for 40 years and still intends doing so, but, or rather consequently, he is going to help the fruit growers of this section, also. Of this there can be no doubt, such an experienced man, such an equipment, how can this bureau fail to be of service to the Horticulturists? High time it is that you were at
Wilk's Lumber Yard.
Squeezing most determinedly through the wagons backed up for lumber, you edge your way still more determinedly through the busy yard. Opposition only fires one's blood, so the incident of being nearly decapitated by a person with a very sharp plank only enhances your determination to see Mr. Wilks. He's not supposed to be an enemy of poetry - indeed like Silas Wegg's friend, Mr. Wenus, he appreciates your "dropping into poetry." So you want to tell him about a verse that got into your head along with the coffee at lunch time.
If in our lives all words were splinters If in our verse all lines were planks We'd build for Wilks high fame, no stinters We'd lavish scroll work for my thanks.
Because Mr. Wilks really has been very generous to the newswomen! But alas, you do not get to lay your votire offering at Mr. Wilks' feet. He is busy with another man's feet - that is he "measuring off" and when lumber people are "measuring off" poetry somehow seem superfluous. You hesitate and are lost - that is, your opportunity is lost. Since Mr. Wilks has begun contracting and since he's doing all sorts of milling work, his business has become frightfully extensive! Your courage at the last, has evaporated, and you make good your retreat. You congratulate yourself on your dexterity in getting in out of that crush and you console yourself with the thought Mr. Wilks will see the poetry in the paper. You hurry around the square and ask
D. S. Foster & Son
if there is anything new in the meat line. They reply, "the newest kind of _______ the freshest of fresh meat," and you quite believe them because you and everybody know they tell facts - facts as cold as their meats. They do keep everything so cool and nice and their pork, ham and veal are fine. On Fridays they can always give you such nice fish and weinerwurst. Your appointment at three o'clock weighs on your mind so in you go
D. R. Porter's.
Here's the time! Time on every hand. You are quite charmed that you will have breathing time - time to look around and inspect some of the pretty things. "Yes, these novelties in spoons are quite popular", Mr. Porter points out his complete line of beautiful silverware with justifiable pride. He has been in the business so long that he has become a connoisseur and his line of jewelry, time pieces, toilet articles &c. is unusually well selected. From one of the handsome clocks, you ascertain you will have a few moments to make your call on
Miss Laura Harris.
She has such a dear little studio upstairs in the Craig building - not a little in the literal sense, for her rooms are very commodious, but then everything is so cozy, so artistic. It takes a woman to fix up a place, you reflect, and then you remember you came to ask Miss Harris about library folders. Yes, they are"the thing" in photo covers, and she shows you one of her excellent pictures - for she does make a really excellent picture - in this new stiff cover, which is both pretty and substantial. How much you would enjoy lingering to examine Miss Harris' Platinum work of which she has made such a study, but there is the
Which has been registering a number of persons, it seems from the ledger in the office. Mr. Baldwin tells you he is from Cleveland, Ohio, has been at the hotel business for years and he and Mrs. Collins intend to maintain the reputation of the house. It has been the commercial house of the town and they intend that it shall remain so. Mrs. Collins is an old and favorably known resident of this vicinity. You cross the street to the little road wagon where your dark-eyed friend awaits you. Dolly, the sorrel nag, seems to fasten a reproachful eye on you. She wears a resigned , albeit dejected air that hints of several things. In the years agone Dolly was the prime favorite of a congressman - a live congressman from Benton county and proudly drew his honor about. Now this reporting expedition! No doubt the poor horse hears glory's voice saying "Good-bye, Dolly; I must leave you!" You enter somewhat into Dolly's feelings. The iron has began to penetrate your soul. Has not the dust on your skirts, the rent in your glove been convincing you the last half hour that reporting is not an aristocratic occupation on a summer day? However the drive is refreshing and your self-respect returns, as the dust is shaken off your weary feet. Arriving at the
Benton County Lumber Co.
professional instinct is aroused by the site of all those sheds. Why are they here and how many of them, &c? Mr. Robinson cheerfully explains that they built them for the purpose of keeping all the lumber dry. They make a point of this and their fine sheds hold an enormous quantity. The main shed appears to you to have enough lumber in it to build a town. A town, this lumber yard appears with all its sheds and shops. Mr. Robinson says, "over there is where the mill work is being done, doors, sidings, everything in turned work that can be possibly turned out." There is the big engine, enormous saws - rip saws of every kind and size. Trade and manufacture evidently flourish here. Mr. Robinson, with his years of knowledge, practical knowledge is making things hum here. There is a buzzing sound in the air, whizzing, a screech or two, in fact a chorus on mechanical voices fill the yard. Dollie right in the middle of the pandemonium, presents a saint-like repose - but still an undefinable something seems to suggest the eternal feminine "I told you so." Evidently Dollie is grieved but not surprised at this development of the reporting expedition. With perfect decorum she proceeds to the
Cold Storage and Milling Co.,
one of Bentonville's most important plants. This strikes you and your friend as a very interesting place. The discussion of sweet cider is brought about and Captain N. S. Henry, the manager, tells you the delicious barrel just opened was put in storage last September. Also that those beautiful apples were just taken out the other day. They had been in one of those thirty-two temperature rooms for more than six months. Captain Henry seems pleased (and well he may be, for he's been so painstaking) at the uniform record this season, of the mercury in the storage rooms. The flour mill is puffing, turning out its 100 barrels of flour per day. Everything on cold storage hill seems in prime condition. You are assured that Captain Henry can make good his proposal to take good care of the coming apple crop. Now you are driving over the hill to the
one of the most indispensable industries of this apple region, for how would all the Ben Davis and other big red fruit be packed if barrels were not to be had, and at a reasonable prices? Last year 20,000 barrels were manufactured and the output will be greater this year. As you gaze at this stack of fruit boxes and crates you can, in fancy smell the luscious strawberries soon to cover Benton county. You think with satisfaction, how meet it is in this crowning fruit county of the world, there's a cooperage so fully competent to assure the heavy demand promised by these budding, blossoming orchards. As you homeward turn, your mind is still dwelling on these budding, blossoming orchards. Dainty and evavescent as these blooms look, on their materialization, their development largely depends the prosperity of Benton County
If our weather man can only keep the frost away! Just let him keep that frost at bay, And the brightest "Sun" in Benton County Can then stay pink from bounty.
You mean to say that the ladies could then afford to put a pink cover on the Sun every single week. Mr. Douglass, who meets you at the door of his office, does not seem much cheered up by this little suggestion of yours; however, he suppresses his sorrows bravely, is so courteously attentive that the church ladies are quite overwhelmed with gratitude. Surely H. L. Cross and W. J. Douglass are most generous souls in town. Here they are donating their issue of the paper to the church and then working like Trojans, working in really truly manual manner, working so very hard that soon the big electric press with that ingenious folder will begin to turn. As you "turn your copy in" with a sigh of Thanksgiving - the long lane has a turning after all - you observe the A. O. U. W. people hurrying about from case to case, stick in hand. It develops, upon inquiry, that the whole Guide force is making a strenuous effort to get the
Apple Blossom Edition
out and really if one has to work on a church edition this is an extremely pleasant place to work in. This handsome double building with its wrought steel ceilings, shining plate glass windows, houses very elegantly, The Benton County SUN on the north, the A. O. U. W. Guide on the south. How commodious, how conveniently arranged, how thoroughly equipped are these newspapers offices! This is your last thought - that is it's the very last thought you're going to think on this longest day in May.