Here is where they are buying lands as fast as it can be procured. Over $300,000 paid recently for one strip of ground.
The northern part of Quitman County has some very productive land, some very valuable timber, and above all a number of wide-awake planters and business men. Sledge, the principal town in that section, contains a half-dozen or more substantial mercantile stores, a bank, two ginneries, a saw mill and other sources of activity.
They are not anxious about selling land around Sledge at this time, yet the largest land deal that perhaps has ever been made in Quitman County took place recently when Mr. E.W. Taylor, a leading planter and business man of Sledge, sold some seventeen hundred acres of his land for more than $300,000. Mr. Taylor still has extensive interests at Sledge, including the mercantile firm of Howze Mercantile Company. He recently bought land near Sledge amounting to $177,000 in value.
The Howze Mercantile Company is considered one of the largest firms of its kind along the Y. & M.V., doing both a furnishing and a cash business. Mr. H.W. Howze, Mr. Taylor and others are interested in this company, but Messrs. Howze [William Harvey Howze 1879-1943] and Taylor also have farming interests together. Each also has independent farming property which amounts to considerable.
At this time the Sledge community is not a small farm country, but owned mostly by a few men. A great deal of timber is now being shipped away from this point.
But Sledge is growing fast. The statistics show that in 1910 only about eight hundred bales of cotton were ginned at this point, while in the season of 1918 between five and six thousand bales of cotton was ginned by the two gins located there. One of these gins is owned by Mr. E.W. Taylor, and the other by Messrs. Sledge & Fyfe [Henry M. Fyfe 1891-1955]. They are a credit to the neighborhood, and furnish quite a convenience to the planters thereabouts.
It is a startling fact that land values around Sledge have jumped from three to four hundred per cent in the past few years. There can hardly be any better evidence than this to prove the rapid and substantial growth of that section of Quitman County.
Bank of Sledge
Sledge has a bank, too. And it is a good one. The Bank of Sledge is founded on sound business principles, and was organized in 1905 with an authorized capital of $15,000. Since that time the bank has enjoyed a healthy growth, and at times a most remarkable development.
An idea of the growth of the community is reflected in figures showing the increase in deposits at the Bank of Sledge during the past few years. The statement of December 31, 1910, reports deposits of approximately $25,000, while the report for the same date in 1918 shows deposits of $155,415.58.
Mr. R.J. Lauderdale, cashier of the Bank of Sledge, who has been with this institution since 1910, is one of the best informed bankers in the Delta, and he considers the life of the Bank of Sledge one of remarkable growth. This bank is of great service to the people in the Sledge neighborhood, and is a convenience that many towns of like size find themselves without.
The officers of the Bank of Sledge are: Dr. A.P. Alexander [Albert Prentiss Alexander 1875-1938], president; R.F. Sledge [Ruffin Fanning Sledge 1865-1940] , vice-president, and R.J. Lauderdale, cashier. Besides the officers the following gentlemen are members of the Board of Directors: Messrs. E.W. Taylor, J.F. Williamson and J.O. Chorley.
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