LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA:
ITS INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGES
AND THE AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES OF CALCASIEU PARISH

 

(transcribed by Leora White, 2008)

 

 Issued by  

Passenger Department  

Southern Pacific 

Sunset Route  

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

M. L. & T. R. R. & S. S. CO. AND L. W. R. R.

1909

 

A Review of the Commercial and Industrial Possibilities of Lake Charles and the Agricultural Resources of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana and the Remarkable Commercial and Physical Development of the City and Tributary Country during the past few years.

  

Calcasieu Parish Grows one-sixth of all Rice Produced in the United States.

 

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA

 ITS INDUSTRIES, COMMERCE AND FINANCE

 

            Lake Charles, Louisiana, is situated in Calcasieu Parish, on the line of the Southern Pacific – Sunset Route, two hundred and nineteen miles west of New Orleans.  It is a thoroughly modern and progressive community with a population of 18,500, possessing every attribute and desirable element to attract the home seeker, investor or capitalist.

 

            It has splendid schools, churches, banking institutions, hotels, paved streets, manufacturing institutions and many progressive wholesale and retail establishments ranking in facilities and stocks with those found in modern communities the world over.

 

 

            Lake Charles was incorporated in 1852 and, until twenty-five years ago, had only a population of 800 inhabitants, the increase from that number to its present population of 18,500 has been brought about entirely by its desirable location, natural resources and wonderful fertility of the lands of Calcasieu Parish.  A most substantial industrial fabric has been acquired consisting of thirty-two separate and distinct institutions, manufacturing a great variety of products and representing investments of several millions of dollars.

 

            Nineteen wholesale institutions have selected Lake Charles from which to operate and have developed a business connection in their various lines that extends to all parts of Southern Louisiana and Texas. 

 

            Not in the least among the elements contributing towards Lake Charles’ growth and development has been splendid transportation facilities and advantageous freight rates furnished by the railroads serving this section. 

 

Calcasieu Parish

 

           Calcasieu Parish is the largest in the State of Louisiana, and also contains the largest number of varied resources.  With an area larger than the State of Delaware, she produces practically every variety of raw material known with the possible exception of some of the minerals, but to offset this, has some of her own not produced at any other point in the United States.

 

            Calcasieu Parish has 3,600 square miles of territory, embracing a formation of prairie, pine hills, pine flat, coast marsh, alluvial and wooded swamp lands.  It is drained by the bayou Nezpique and the Sabine, Mermentau and Calcasieu rivers, giving a bountiful supply of pure fresh water for irrigation purposes as well as a means of drainage and transportation.

 

 Ryan Street, looking North

 

            Among the fruits oranges, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, guava, pomegranates, prunes and figs grow in abundance and would bring a great revenue if cultivated for commercial purposes.

 

            The timber resources, which are covered more fully in a separate article, include long leaf yellow pine, oak, elm, sugarwood, cottonwood, willow, locust and persimmon.  Minerals - Petroleum and Sulphur.

 

            Game abounds in her forests and swamps and nowhere in the State can the hunter find a more inviting paradise.  While the larger game has been giving away before the march of civilization, they may still be found in her reserved forests and marshes.  They include deer, fox, coon, bear, rabbit, squirrel, snipe, becasine, partridge, rice birds, plover, robin, wild duck, geese, woodcock, pheasant and papabot.  Her lakes and streams are filled with fish, bass, trout and carp and many other kinds of fish are found in great abundance.  The Southern Pacific - Sunset Route passes directly through the parish from East to West. 

  

 

Location and Contiguous Territory

 

            The splendid geographical location of Lake Charles gives this city direct access through its transportation lines to 40,000,000 people within twenty-four hours ride, both a commercial and agricultural population who must be fed, clothed, and their industrial wants supplied. This fact alone, insures to Lake Charles for all time a continuation of its present substantial and orderly growth, now apparent upon every side.  In the constant additions to its industrial enterprises, in its public improvements, in municipal expansion and physical betterments of every character, in the growth of commerce and the increase of banking capital and operations - in every line of Activity - there is a promise of greater development within the next ten years than has been known during the past fifty-seven of the city’s existence. 

 

Industrial Growth and Advantages

 

            While Lake Charles is, comparatively, in the infancy of its industrial development, it possesses a number of large and very important manufactories and many of minor size that are prospering and developing rapidly, steadily increasing their capital, output and wage-roll.

 

            Many openings exist for new enterprises.  Considerable of the goods of all kinds used in this section are still brought from the North and West, at great expense for transportation and handling, which could and should be made at home. 

 

 

            Manufacturers who enter this field, study the demands of the people, and meet them, will place themselves on the high-road to wealth.  Lake Charles offers every possible encouragement to men embarking in industrial enterprises, large or small.  Especially favorable are the opportunities for manufactures into which lumber largely enters.  The following list will show the class and character of enterprises which Lake Charles especially needs: 

 

Lake Charles Banks have deposits amounting to over $3,500,000.  

 

 

Lake Charles Newspapers

 

            The press of Lake Charles is like the other industries of the place - progressive and energetic - always seeking to promote and develop the splendid natural advantages of the community.  There is one daily paper published in the city, the Lake Charles Daily American-Press, which has excellent telegraph and local news service. 

 

Lake Charles is a Competitive Point

 

            Lake Charles is a competitive point which guarantees that shippers will be placed upon the same basis with all large cities on the Gulf. 

 

Pithon Coulee

 

Climate

         

            The altitude of the Gulf Coast region in Calcasieu Parish varies from sea level at the Gulf shore line to nineteen feet at Lake Charles, rising rapidly to a considerable altitude along the northern portion of the parish.  The climate is one of the most attractive features about Calcasieu Parish.  It is that of a moderately warm temperate zone.  The killing heat of the Northern altitudes is not here.  Sunstroke is an unknown malady.  The winters are never severe, the mercury seldom sinking to the freezing point, and never remaining there long when it does.

 

 

            The ground never freezes and field work can be done all winter.  The average monthly and annual temperatures at Lake Charles, La., during the past twelve years, as recorded by the United State Weather Bureau, are as follows:

 

Month Degrees
January 51.9
February 53.9
March 59.6
April 67.4
May 73.8
June 79.9
July 80.9
August 80.6
September 77.2
October 68.7
November 59.3
December 53.5
Annual Average 67.2

          

Prevailing Winds

 

            The prevailing gulf breeze tempers both the summer and winter seasons to a very marked degree.  During the summer months shortly after sunrise a fresh wind starts inland from the Gulf of Mexico and continues through out the day and far into the night.   These winds appear in March and disappear in November, being most extensive from May to October, when they extend northward to the Dakotas.  They are cool, pure, fresh and invigorating, and add much to the comfort of the residents and attract many people from the interior who regard Lake Charles as a very pleasant summer resort.

 

Ryan Street, looking North

 

Lake Charles has three National Banks and one Trust and Savings Bank.

 

Public Health

 

            Public Health is exceptionally good.  The death rate per thousand inhabitants in the city population of the United States is 19.9.  In Lake Charles the death rate is 14 from which 1.5 can be deducted for deaths resulting from industrial accidents. 

 

Pujo Street, looking West

 

Lake Charles has seventeen Churches.

 

Annual Rainfall

         

            The annual rainfall from forty-five to fifty inches, and the distribution is especially favorable for crop production throughout a long growing season.  The average distribution is as follows:

 

Month Inches
January 4.31
February 3.51
March 3.98
April 4.62
May 5.84
June 4.25
July 2.59
August 2.68
September 3.25
October 3.62
November 4.45
December 3.81
Total for Year 46.91

 

Lake Charles has seven public school buildings.

 

Ryan Street, Residential Section

 

Lake Charles Real Estate

 

            Real estate investments are of a most substantial character in Lake Charles.  The solid growth of the city during the past few years, with no reaction any unhealthy inflation of property values caused by a “boom” makes the city a most desirable place in which to invest in real estate, either for residential, commercial or investment purposes. 

 

Pujo Street, looking East

 

Calcasieu Parish Schools

 

            This parish has a splendid free school system, affording the boy or girl in the rural districts an excellent opportunity to get a most thorough common school education.  There are 208 Districts in the Parish, with a school for each district.  There are six approved high-schools in the Parish, which does not include those within the precincts of Lake Charles.  Three hundred teachers are employed, and there are 130 one-room school houses for white pupils, 16 for colored children and 54 graded schools.  All buildings are substantial and are made to conform to modern requirements as to convenience, comfort and sanitary arrangements for scholars.  One hundred and ninety thousand dollars was collected last year for school purposes from the taxpayers of Calcasieu Parish which shows that the citizens of this Parish realize the value of education for their children and are consequently generous.  One hundred and sixty-two libraries have been installed, which are now being supplemented with current literature.

 

St. Patrick's Sanitarium; Masonic Temple

 

Lake Charles has five railroads, operating eighteen trains daily.

 

Lake Charles a Distributing Center

 

            Lake Charles occupies a most fortunate geographical position.  This advantageous position has been supplemented by adequate transportation facilities which penetrate in all directions the richest and most populous sections of the United States.

 

            Advantageous freight rates furnished by the railroads serving this section have brought to this city quite a number of wholesale firms who have developed a very substantial trade which extends throughout Southern Louisiana and Texas. 

 

            There are nineteen firms engaged in wholesaling in Lake Charles and the lines represented are:  groceries, grain, produce, fruit, oil, hardware and specialties in chemicals, rice and cattle feed.

 

 

On the Beautiful Calcasieu

 

Rice Mills

 

            Lake Charles has three large rice mills, the Lake Charles Rice Mill; the Wall Rice Mill and the C. B. Lake & Co. mill at Westlake.  These mills not only give employment to a large number of people, but also furnish an immense tonnage to the railroads.

 

 Transportation Facilities

 

            Lake Charles has at present five railroads:  the Southern Pacific (Louisiana Western Railroad) operating from New Orleans to the Pacific Coast; Kansas City Southern Railroad, from Lake Charles to Kansas City; the St. Louis, Watkins and Gulf (Missouri Pacific), from Lake Charles to Alexandria, La., a distance of 100 miles; the Lake Charles & Northern Railroad operating from Lake Charles to DeRidder, 43 miles, and the Lacassine Branch of the Southern Pacific running from Lake Charles to Lake Arthur, a distance of 43 miles. 

 

 

            An immense tonnage is handled in and out of Lake Charles by the railroads, consisting principally of lumber, rice, sugar, molasses, implements and canned goods. 

 

            The following statistics showing inbound and outbound tonnage of  this city, from October 1st, 1908, to October 1st, 1909, will furnish and adequate idea of the commercial and industrial importance of Lake Charles.

 

Inbound, car loads, miscellaneous and Inbound, less than car loads

60,000 Tons

Consisting of Sugar, Molasses, Wire Nails, Canned Goods, Implements and Packing House Products

125 Cars
Inbound Grain and Grain Products, per Month 75,000 Tons
Inbound Rough Rice 1,000 Cars
Outbound, less than car load lots, Miscellaneous 32,000 Tons
Outbound, car loads of Clear Rice 1,000 Cars
Outbound Sulphur, car loads shipped per Day 35 Cars
Outbound, Lumber and Lumber Products 12,800 Cars

 

            This vast tonnage on lumber is secured from twelve mills operating in this district upon a ten-hour working day, and for practically the full year, and in addition to the tonnage from the mills directly situated in the immediate vicinity of Lake Charles, there is a much greater tonnage from mills in other parts of Calcasieu Parish that is received here and rebilled to various parts of the United States. 

 

Fire Protection

 

            The city of Lake Charles has a paid fire department with all modern equipment, such as two combination chemical and hose wagons and all other necessary apparatus.  The service is exceptionally efficient and prompt, so that the fire loss of the city has been reduced to a minimum.  There are two stations situated in opposite sections of the town. 

 

 

Clubs, Societies, Etc.

 

            All of the regular fraternal organizations flourish in Lake Charles, as well as several clubs.  The Elks’ Club have erected a handsome building, and numbers among its membership some of the most prominent of Lake Charles’ business and professional men.

 

 

Hotel Accommodations

 

            There is not a city of the size and population of Lake Charles in the Southwest that has hotel accommodations equaling those found here.  There are three hotels in the city - two American Plan and one European Plan - modern in all essentials and conducted according to modern hotel ethics. The largest and best known of the hotels, the Majestic, is an institution that would be a credit to a city many times the size of Lake Charles.  It was erected by some of the prominent and public-spirited businessmen of the city who realizing the need of a modern high class hotel, came forward and invested their money in the enterprise.

 

 Post Office Reflects Growth of City

 

            The receipts of the Lake Charles post office have shown a remarkable growth during the past twelve years.  The steady increase in postal receipts is the best indication of the growth and development of any community, and the record shown here is one of which the citizens of Lake Charles can well be proud. The following table of figures shows the increases by years:

 

Years

Receipts

1897 $9,500
1898 10,000
1900 13,500
1901 16,000
1902 18,000
1903 21,998
1904 22,870
1909 33,598

 

            The United States Government has appropriated $125,000 for a new Federal Building, for which ground has already been broken and construction commenced. It is to be a handsome structure, containing court rooms and offices on the second floor for court officials and employees and on the lower floor the post office will be housed.  It is something that has long been needed here, as the business of the post office has increased so rapidly that the present quarters were outgrown long ago.

 

 

The Southern Pacific and Lake Charles businessmen are working towards the same end; more people to engage in industrial pursuits.

 

The Southern Pacific is the direct line to the Pacific Coast.

 

Lake Charles’ Exceptional Advantages from a Transportation Standpoint

 

            Because of the unsurpassed railroad facilities, Lake Charles is in close touch with all the great commercial and industrial centers of the country.  The Southern Pacific - Sunset Route - a great system, whose ramifications extend from the Mississippi River to all parts of the Pacific Coast country, with lateral lines extending South through Mexico, and North through connections to all parts of the great West.  On the East this line makes direct connection with all lines leading out of New Orleans to the Great Lakes and Atlantic Seaboard States, thereby furnishing the people of this section with transportation for their products to the principal marts of the United States. The Southern Pacific maintains a most efficient freight and passenger service, with through and local trains on main and branch  lines, the Electric Block Signal System which has been installed, contributing on no small measure to the promptness and safety of passengers and freight under transportation on their lines.  The Kansas City Southern Railroad furnishes this section with direct service to Kansas City and to lines operating from that point.  The St. Louis, Watkins & Gulf Railroad taps one of the richest lumber sections in the world and gives Lake Charles an opportunity to reach the markets in the central portion of Louisiana.

 

Views of Lake Charles; Shell Beach Drive

 

  Lake Charles Board of Trade

 

            The Lake Charles Board of Trade is the commercial organization of Lake Charles.  Its membership comprises the representative businessmen of the city who are ever alert to the possibilities of this great section and who extend a most cordial welcome to all home seekers, investors and new citizens. 

 

            The headquarters of the Lake Charles Board of Trade are in the second story of the Viterbo Building, corner of Ryan and Division streets. The Secretary is in his office from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. each week day and will be pleased to meet any person who may have matters of general interest to Lake Charles to be taken up.

 

 

            Persons who interested in Lake Charles are requested to address the Board of Trade for literature and for all information they may desire relative to Lake Charles or surrounding country.

 

            Newcomers to Lake Charles are extended an invitation to become members of the Lake Charles Board of Trade and help “boost.”  One of the strongest assets of the city is the scarcity of “knockers,” and the few characters of that type here are too well-known to carry any weight.  Lake Charles has a very bright future. 

 

            It is going forward day by day.  It is already the third city in the State and is now bidding for second place.  Write to the Lake Charles Board of Trade for a list of “opportunities.” 

 

 

The Southern Pacific is one of the most important factors in the growth and development of Lake Charles.

 

The Southern Pacific operates through and local freight service on all divisions.  

 

Prize Poultry at I. J. Bell's Poultry Farm

 

Lake Charles Traffic in Grain and Grain Products

 

            This city has five firms dealing exclusively in grain and grain products in a wholesale way, several wholesale grocers who handle the commodity extensively in conjunction with groceries.  An immense trade has been built up from Lake Charles by these firms that extends to all parts of Southern Louisiana and Texas. 

 

The Southern Pacific is the shortest route to the Pacific Coast.

 

 

City Tax Rate

 

School Tax 10 mills
City Tax 10 mills
State Tax 5 mills
Criminal Tax 1 mill
Total 26 mills

 

By reason of her water transportation, Lake Charles has the benefit of competitive rates.

 

Game in Plenty on the Calcasieu; Steamer "Borealis Rex" entering Lake Charles; Pile of Pure Sulphur, at Plant of Union Sulphur Co.

 

Waterways

 

            Among the chief factors in the upbuilding of Calcasieu Parish and its principal city are the natural waterways, affording many hundreds of miles of steam navigation in the interior of the parish, and consequently the cheapest form of transportation of the products from the spot where they are gathered to a convenient place of shipment.  The  three great basins of the parish - the Mermentau, the Calcasieu and the Sabine - give access to hundreds of farms, mills and logging camps, and year by year these natural waterways are being improved and extended, either at public or private expense.

 

The Southern Pacific furnishes efficient switching service in and around Lake Charles.

 

 The Intercoastal

 

            The project just now attracting the attention and on which the greatest effort is being expended is the construction of the intercoastal canal.  The project, in its entirety, designed to connect the Mississippi with the Rio Grande, is one of the nation’s most important propositions.  Its peculiar value to Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish, however, lies in the fact it will connect three great river basins that comprise the parish not only with each other, but also with deep water ports, giving the parish products cheap transportation to ports of export. 

 

 

Natural Outlet for Vast Territory

 

            Within twelve hours ride of Lake Charles are the agricultural and manufacturing products of 20,000,000 people, and within twenty-four hours ride there live and move and have their being an industrial life of 39,000,000 people, practically the entire population of the Mississippi Valley.  The expansive growth of the South and Southwest will probably show in the coming census that within twenty-four hours ride of Lake Charles there will be fully one-half of the population and over one-half of the manufacturing industries of the United States.

 

Lake Charles in one of the best winter resorts on the gulf coast.

 

Lake Charles has a splendid climate.

 

Churches

 

            Few cities of the size of Lake Charles have better church buildings, or more of them.  Here almost every denomination is represented, and the pulpits are presided over by able pastors.  There are seventeen churches in the city, several of them exceptionally handsome and commodious structures, a credit to any community. Those who wish to remove to this city need not hesitate for a moment for fear of lack of religious advantages. 

 

Lake Charles has five wholesale grain dealers.

 

Lake Charles has one cold storage plant.

 

LAKE CHARLES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS       

 

            There are four financial institutions in Lake Charles, three National Banks, one Trust and Savings Bank, having a capital of $450,000.  The growth of the financial strength of these banks can be clearly seen from an examination of the sworn statements of both the National Banks and the Trust and Savings Bank.  Every bank has had steady and strong growth. All are directed by conservative and able men, who have the utmost confidence of the people.

 

            Through conservative and cautious in management, the banks are progressive.  A healthy rivalry exists.  Eyes are open to every opportunity, and whenever a safe proposition presents itself, one or more of the progressive bankers are there to meet it.

 

            All of the liberality consistent with safe and prudent banking methods is shown. 

 

            These banks have kept steadily ahead of the times and neither the old inhabitant or the newcomer need lack most excellent banking facilities upon the production of proper credentials and security.  Loans are freely made according to the requirements of the business and the nature and extent of the security.

 

          Calcasieu National Bank

          First National Bank of Lake Charles

          Lake Charles National Bank

          Calcasieu Trust & Savings Bank

 

            The following statement of the deposits for the years from 1889 up to November 16th, 1909, plainly shows and reflects the strong and steady growth of Lake Charles in both manufacturing and wholesaling, and Calcasieu Parish in agricultural development. 

 

1889 $94,000
1893 250,000
1898 400,000
1900 825,000
1903 1,750,000
1905 2,034,693
1906 2,700,000
1909 3,420,166

 

One of Calcasieu Parish's many Resources - A Forest of the famous "Calcasieu Long Leaf Yellow Pine Timber"

 

Property Valuation in Lake Charles

 

            Assessed Valuation  $3,878,400.

 

            This is considered to be an exceptionally low valuation.

 

Area

 

            The city of Lake Charles covers approximately five square miles of territory.

 

Sewer System

 

            The city is now making arrangements to install a thoroughly modern sanitary sewer system, which is to take in all the principal business and residence districts.

 

Calcasieu National Bank Building

 

CALCASIEU NATIONAL BANK  

Lake Charles, Louisiana

 

Capital

$150,000.00

Surplus and Undivided Profits

$150,000.00

 

Officers

H. C. Drew, President

J. A. Bel, Vice-President

Geo. Horridge, Vice-President

Frank Roberts, Vice-President

H. H. Rock, Asst. Cashier

S. Arthur Knapp, Cashier

 

United States Depository

 

Directors

J. A. Bel D. R. Swift
Geo. Horridge H. C. Drew
J. G. Powell     S. T. Woodring
H. G. Chalkley M. J. Muller
Frank Roberts  

                                                               

 Report of the Condition of the

Calcasieu National Bank

of Lake Charles, Louisiana  

At the Close of Business Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1909

 

Resources
Loans and Discounts  $1,587,556.12
Stocks, Securities, Etc. 17,312.52
Overdrafts  1,080.11
U.S. Bonds 125,000.00
Other Bonds to Secure U. S. Deposits 1,000.00
Premium on U.S. Bonds 4,000.00
Banking House, Furniture and Fixtures 50,000.00
Other Real Estate Owned  17,951.28
Five Per Cent Redemption Fund 6,250.00
Cash and Sight Exchange 329,226.58
Total $2,139,376.61

Liabilities

Capital Stock $150,000.00
Surplus  100,000.00
 Undivided Profits  53,260.77
Circulation   123,900.00
 Dividends Unpaid     220.00
Reserve for Taxes and Interest  7,960.00
Rediscounts     148,000.00
Deposits 1,556,035.84
Total   $2,139,376.61

  

 

CALCASIEU TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK

of Lake Charles, Louisiana 

Began Business July1, 1909

 

Officers and Directors

Frank Roberts, President  D. R. Swift, Vice-President
E. N. Hazzard, Cashier W. G. Moeling, Vice-President
J. A. Bel S. T. Woodring
 H. C. Drew  James Storer  
     H. G. Chalkley A.G. Wachsen 
G. M. King M. J. Muller

                                                                                                                     

Report of the Condition of the

Calcasieu Trust and Savings Bank

of Lake Charles, Louisiana

 At the Close of Business, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1909

Statement

 

Resources
Loans and Discounts $627,923.72
Bonds, Securities, Etc. 36,350.00
Cash and Sight Exchange 123,340.36
Total   $787,614.08

Liabilities

Capital $100, 000.00
Undivided Profits 4,977.68
Reserved for Interest   6,000.00
Deposits, bearing interest  676,636.40
Total

   $787,614.08

                                              

 

LAKE CHARLES NATIONAL BANK

Lake Charles, La.

United States Depository

Depository City of Lake Charles

 

 

Officers

H. C. Gill, President W. P. Weber V-President
Wm. A. Guillemet, Cashier F. H. Junkin, Asst. Cashier

  

Directors

C. D. Moss   E. D. Miller
R. Krause Dr. T. H. Watkins
H. C. Gill   Wm. A. Guillemet 
W. P. Weber  

 

 State of Condition at the Close of Business, Tuesday, November 16, 1909

 

Resources

Loans and Discounts $328,109.58
Overdrafts 770.72
Banking House 38,000.00
United States Bonds and Premiums 108,002.50
 Cash: Due from Banks and U.S. Treasurer 82,351.71  
Cash: In Bank 44,909.12  
Cash: United States Bonds 49,000.00 176,260.83
Total       $651,143.63

Liabilities

Capital Stock Paid In  $100,000.00

Surplus Fund, Earned    

57,000.00  
Less Dividends Paid to Stockholders  27,000.00   30,000.00
Undivided Profits  9,202.24
Reserved for Taxes   925.00
Circulation 100,000.00
Deposits   411,016.39
  Total  $651,143.63

  

Lake Charles has eight miles of street railway.

 

Lake Charles has thirty miles of concrete sidewalks.

 

 Loyd Grocery Co. Building

 

Lake Charles has an ice manufacturing plant.

 

Lake Charles has an electric light plant.

 

First National Bank Building

 

FIRST NATIONAL BANK

of Lake Charles, La.

 

Oldest Bank in Southwest Louisiana  

 Established in November, 1889

 

United States Depository

 

Officers

Geo. Lock, President     N. E. North, Cashier
L. Kaufman, Vice-President O. L. LeBlanc, Asst. Cashier

J. N. Wetherill, Asst. Cashier

 

    

Directors  

Geo. Lock  L. Kaufman     
A. P. Pujo J. N. Prater 
Henry B. Kane Dr. D.S. Perkins
N.E. North  
   

Report of the Condition of the

First National Bank of Lake Charles

At the Close of Business, November 16, 1909

 

Resources

Loans and Discounts $608,931.13  
Stocks, Securities, Etc. 51,711.47  
Overdrafts  809.05 661,451.65
U. S. Bonds and Premiums      114,500.00
Banking House, Furniture and Fixtures   22,500.00
Other Real Estate       46,673.28
Redemption Fund   5,000.00
Cash and Sight Exchange    222,742.95
Total   $1,072,867.88    

Liabilities

Capital Stock $100,000.00
 Surplus 50,000.00
Undivided Profits, Net    16,390.06
Circulation 100,000.00
   Deposits  776,477.82
Rediscounts 30,000.00
Total   $1,072,867.88

                                                                                                 

Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Co.; Powell Lumber Co.; Hodge Fence and Lumber Co

 

Lake Charles Lumber Interests

 

            It will not be necessary to chronicle the past history of the lumber industry of Lake Charles, for the reason that we are interested in its present condition and future outlook only.  The manufacture of rough and dressed lumber is the largest and most important of the industrial operations carried on here.

 

            There are at present twelve mills operating in the immediate vicinity of Lake Charles:  the Long-Bell system, 2; Hodge-Fence & Lumber Co., Powell Lumber Company, J.C. Stout, Rosenthal-Richards Mill, Lyons Lumber Co., J. A. Bel Lumber Co. in Lake Charles; Krause and Managan Lumber Co., West Lake; Lock-Moore & Co., Lockport, and in addition to the above named firms engaging in lumbering operations direct, there are two firms manufacturing fencing and pickets, the Hodge Fence Co. and E. W. Channell.  The above named manufacturing concerns have been the greatest contributors to the growth and material development of the city, by reason of the fact that a great many men are required in their operations and the money paid to them in wages is all distributed in and around Lake Charles.   Great quantities of material is cut for export, being shipped to all parts of the world, by way of the various ports of the Gulf and Atlantic States and a domestic business has been developed that takes in practically every State in the Union. The daily output of the mills in the Lake Charles district is estimated at one million feet.

 

Lake Charles has a population of eighteen thousand five hundred.

 

No Bonded Indebtedness

 

            The Parish has never issued any bonds, and owes practically nothing, except current bills.  This fact speaks well for the Parish.  It shows that its affairs are well-managed and that the people are not overburdened with heavy taxes. 

 

Lake Charles has three job printing plants.

 

What Lake Charles Needs

Box Factory Cotton Gin Soap Factory 
Paper Mill Turpentine Factory  Starch Factory
Launch Factory Sugar Refinery Coffee Roasting Plant
Gas Plant Handle Factory Creosoting Plant 
Pine Block Paving Factory Ladder Factory Furniture Factory
Fruit Preserving Plant Canning Factory Grist Mill 
Shingle Mill Mattress & Pillow Factory Oyster Packery
Glue Factory Tent and Awning Factory  Macaroni Factory

Mixed Feed Plant

Wholesale Coal and Wood Yard A Modern Opera House
Wholesale Dry Goods House Wagon Factory  

 

Lake Charles has five wholesale grocery institutions.

 

J. M. Stout Lumber Co.

 

Recent Improvements in Lake Charles

 

Improvement Cost
Federal Building $125,000
St. Patrick’s Sanitarium    50,000
Masonic Temple 40,000
Elks’ Club  40,000
First Baptist Church   35,000
Four Miles Street Railway         18,000
Sewerage System  200,000
Total $508,000

     

Contemplated Improvements

 

Improvement Cost
New Theatre Building  $75,000
 New Central High School 125,000
New Launch Club House 10,000
New Office Building   50,000
New Presbyterian Church  40,000
Total $300,000

  

Calcasieu Parish Tax Rate

 

            The tax rate for the year 1910 for this Parish will be 6 mills.  

 

Fish and Game in Abundance

 

            The fish and oyster industry is another important one, and no choicer sea food is obtainable than that which abounds in this vicinity.  The shape of the coast line and character and extent of its numerous sounds and rivers furnish the finest feeding grounds for fish of all kinds. 

 

            The rivers and lakes of this favored region are visited in winter by wild fowl of every description, including canvass back, mallard and red head duck, geese and swan, and the forest abound in game, such as bear, deer, wild turkeys, snipe and quail. 

 

The Southern Pacific has been one of the most important elements contributing to the development of this section of Louisiana.  

 

Taxable Values of Calcasieu Parish

         

            The greatest evidence which can be presented of the progress of any community is in the increase of its taxable values, for that does not represent inflated conditions, but on the other hand are generally about one-third to two-thirds of what the property would bring on the market.

 

1884 $2,750,500
1889 4,300,330
1894 7,283,475

1899

16,378,540
1909 29,709,590

        

            This increase during the past twenty-five years has been something remarkable.  No better evidence than this need be presented to prove that Calcasieu Parish possesses great opportunities for investment in both farm and city property.

 

The Southern Pacific traverses one of the richest agricultural sections of the Southland.

         

Lake Charles has two brokerage and commission houses.

 

"The Golden Grain" - Harvesting Rice in Southwest Louisiana

 

Agricultural Statistics of Calcasieu Parish for 1909

 

Acres of Open Land 430,022
Acres of Timberland 1,614,582
In Cane 365
In Cotton 4,999
In Rice 141,500
In Corn 9,720
In Oats 2,307
In Hay 16,410
In Potatoes 10,700
In Sorghum 302
In Meadow or Pasture 288,400
Total Cultivated 186,303
Total Uncultivated 1,858,301
Total Acreage 2,044,604
 
Number of Horses and Mules 11,246
Number of Cattle 24,598
Number of Sheep and Goats 31,547
Number of Hogs 5,513
Acreage Value Per Acre (This includes 160 acres of Sulphur Land) $15.79
Average Value Per Acre $5.90
Barrels of Molasses 2,936
Bales of Cotton 4,000
Barrels of Rice 1,022,100
Bushels of Corn 194,400
Bushels of Oats 40,910
Bales of Hay 301,000
Bushels of Potatoes 309,500

 

Mineral Resources of Calcasieu Parish

 

            The mineral resources of Calcasieu Parish have been thoroughly exploited within the past eight years, and in both petroleum and sulphur, great development has taken place.

 

 

Lake Charles has a modern telephone system.

 

Rice

 

            Calcasieu Parish produced in 1909 rice to the extent of 1,022,100 barrels.  The actual cultivation of rice is identical with that of wheat, the only difference being that rice is irrigated and wheat, ordinarily is not.  Rice land must possess a subsoil sufficiently tenacious to hold water and be firm enough to sustain machinery used in harvesting.  The land must be susceptible to good drainage and the clay must be near enough to the surface to dry out in a few days after the water is turned off.  It requires from 24 to 30 inches of water to supply the quantity absorbed by the soil, evaporation and irrigation during the growing period of rice, and the quantity actually needed is governed by the rainfall during that time. 

 

            Calcasieu Parish produced over one million barrels of rice last year and had under cultivation for this purpose 141,500 acres.  Against this great acreage in 1909, there is a comparison with 1893 when only ten thousand acres were cultivated in rice.  A gain of 131,500 acres in fifteen years shows to what enormous proportions this industry has grown in that time.

 

            Southwest Louisiana is the world’s typical rice country, and the millions of dollars already invested in rice lands, canals and machinery, attest to the fact that the industry is a highly profitable one.

 

The Southern Pacific maintains connections with all eastern lines, through New Orleans. 

 

 LAKE CHARLES PUBLIC UTILITIES  

 

            About the first question a prospective investor or home-seeker asks when looking for a new location, is the condition of the public utilities.

 

            Their condition has more influence upon the upbuilding of a community or retarding its progress as the case might be than all other agencies combined. 

 

            The lack of building or mercantile accommodations can be supplied by themselves, but not so with ice, light and water, especially the latter, as the operation of that industry successfully can be done only by the expenditure of large capital, and if the operating company does not deem it necessary to meet the wants of the people, it is very hard for it to be remedied, and one of the greatest stumbling blocks to the progress any community has been created.

 

Car Barn of the Lake Charles Railway, Light, & Water Works Co; Ice Plant of the Lake Charles Railway, Light, & Water Works Co.

 

            In this respect, Lake Charles was particularly fortunate in having these matters taken over in their infancy by men with whom progressiveness was second nature, and they have made it a point to keep the city’s public utilities in a condition that is far ahead of her present needs, both as to equipment and services.  The Lake Charles Railway Light &Water Works Co., who operate practically all of this city’s public utilities, is the outgrowth of the firm of J. A. Landry & Company, which was organized in 1890 for the purpose of supplying the city with water and fire protection and the building of a local ice factory.

 

            The ramifications of the business are such that the work has been divided up into four departments, as follow: 

 

            The Lake Charles Railway, Light & Water Works Co., the parent company, furnishes the water and lights for the city; makes the ice and operates the street railway system. 

 

            This company has the following officers:  Messrs. J. A. Landry, President; T. J. Bird, Vice-President; D. J. Landry, Treasurer, and P.O. Moss, Secretary.

 

The Lake Charles Board of Trade is always ready to assist prospective settlers.   

 

Street Railway Department

 

            The company operates nine and one-half miles of street railway, with single track laid with 60-pound, 60-foot standard T rail, continuous rail joint and heavily creosoted ties.

         

            The rolling stock consists of the usual work and freight cars and six 30-foot cars and two 40-foot cars, equipped with two 35 H. P.  motors under each car, for passenger service.

 

            Regular schedules are maintained upon all lines and the service is the same found upon all similar railways where modern requirements are fulfilled and the best equipment installed that money and scientific knowledge can procure. 

         

 

            The company has erected a large barn for the housing of its rolling stock.  The building is thoroughly modern in construction, conforming to the exactions of up-to-date street railway operation and is equipped with repair tracks and machine shops, etc.

 

Lake Charles banks are always ready to lend assistance to worthy and legitimate enterprises.

 

 Electric Light and Power Plant

 

            There are practically no other cities of the size and population of Lake Charles in the United States, possessing electric lighting facilities equaling those here, and it can be truthfully said that many cities much larger in area and population do not have them of equal voltage.

 

            The plant here furnishes current for electric lighting, power and street railway purposes.  The company has a contract to furnish the city with electric current for street lighting and water for a long period of years.

 

 

Shipbuilding Plant of the Clooney Construction Co. showing Nine Barges on the Ways

 

            It will be interesting to note the capacity and character of equipment in this department.

 

            The plant has a total generating capacity of 2,000 K. W., with overload capacity of 3,000 K. W., and is equipped with one 1,000 K. W. Parsons-Turbo Generator; one 400 K. W. Parsons-Turbo Generator and one 500 H. P. Compound Engine.  Oil is used for fuel.

 

            The plant is maintained at a high state of physical efficiency and only the most modern methods and ideas of electric lighting plant operation has been applied to its management.

 

Ice Plant

         

            The Ice Plant of the Lake Charles Railway, Light & Water Works Co. has a daily refrigerating capacity of 120 tons of ice, manufactured from the same artesian well water furnished the citizens of this community.  The plant is a model of scientific efficiency and productive capacity, having equipment representing the best machinery for ice manufacture known to the business.  There are two Frick Co.’s ice machines installed in the manufacturing department and the service of twelve wagons are utilized for the local trade.  The product of this company is distributed to all parts of Southwest Louisiana.

 

 Coal for Fuel

 

            The Lake Charles Railway, Light & Water Works Co. maintains a coal yard handling only the best grades of Pittsburgh and Alabama bituminous coal.

 

Lake Charles has a Carnegie Library.

 

 

 Water Works

 

            The water supplied the city of Lake Charles is worthy of especial mention from the fact that it is of unsurpassed purity for all purposes and is obtained from four artesian wells of 7,000,000 gallons daily capacity, situated on the grounds of the plant.

 

            The plant is equipped with two large pumps of sufficient capacity to properly distribute water throughout the city for domestic and fire protection purposes, at 110 pounds direct pressure.

 

            There are 18 miles of 12, 10, 8 and 6 inch mains and a standpipe 110 feet high, 16 feet diameter and capable of storing 190,000 gallons.

  

Lake Charles has one of the finest hotels in the Southwest.

 

Lake Charles has a paid fire department, which assures good fire protection.

  

Crops Raised in Calcasieu Parish

 

            Almost any character of crop that will grow anywhere will grow and mature in Calcasieu Parish, but it has been determined by experience that certain kinds of products yield better results here than others.  The soils are especially adapted for truck or market gardening: tomatoes, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, onions, beans, beets, cow peas, and many others grow well.

 

            Fruits of all kinds are raised in this vicinity. Strawberries have proven highly profitable where systematically cultivated.  Oranges, of the Satsuma variety, and figs are grown in the Parish, but hardly enough to supply the local demand. 

 

Lake Charles Plant of the J. A. Bel Lumber Co.

 

Petroleum

 

            Fortunes have been made in Louisiana oil fields, especially those in Calcasieu Parish around Jennings.  Considerable development work is now being done around Vinton and just northwest of Westlake, a short distance from Lake Charles.

 

J. A. Bel Lumber Company  

“Manufacturers of Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber”

 

            One of the strongest testimonials to the inherent value of the country’s resources surrounding Lake Charles is to be found in the number of men who, with little capital, but with a keen insight into the future and a comprehensive grasp of affairs, have staked every dollar they possessed upon the future and have built up big businesses, which are employing much labor, doing good to the community and making money for their projectors. Lake Charles can boast of many such institutions and one of the most striking of them is the J. A. Bel Lumber Company.

 

            This business was first established here in 1884 by Mr. J. A. Bel, and he incorporated it in 1894 with a paid in capital of $100,000.

 

            The plant has a capacity of over 125,000 feet of “Calcasieu Long Leaf Yellow Pine" daily, is well-equipped with planer capacity, dry kilns and all accessories of a modern mill of great magnitude, has it own electric light plant and water works and with the lake on one side and the railroads on the others, has exceptionally fine shipping facilities.

 

            The company handled over 75,000 tons and shipped over 3,000 car loads of lumber last year to all parts of the United States and exported it to practically every part of the known world. 

 

            As an evidence of the value and an economic factor in Lake Charles’ material prosperity, we take pleasure in citing the fact that they give employment  to over 300 people at the plant here and pay out annually $100,000 in wages.

 

            The J. A. Bel Lumber Company has mills on the following railroads: Southern Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Missouri Pacific, Santa Fe, Rock Island and Frisco systems.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. J. A. Bel, President; W. S. Goos, Vice President; W. G. Moeling, Secretary, Treasurer and Sales Manager; and H. N. Green, Assistant Secretary.  

 

North American Land and Timber Company, Ltd.

 

This company was organized in 1882 and has been of the utmost benefit in developing this section of the country.

 

            The company is an English syndicate, with offices in London, but is ably managed here by a most competent representative who is doing a great work in helping the people get good farms and homes as well as making dividends for his company. 

         

            The company was originally formed to buy timber lands, but finding that the government had quite a body of land on the market, they decided to buy agricultural lands instead, and it is due to the enterprise and vast sums of money expended by this company in this section that a vast body of rich land has been reclaimed and put into cultivation, thus helping in a material way to develop the country.

         

Views of an Orange and Grape Fruit Orchard, Calcasieu Parish

 

            From their original holdings of about 900,000 acres already over 200,000 acres have been redeemed and put into fertile farms.

 

            This land has been sold to actual settlers and two towns have already been built up - Manchester and Holmwood, both of which are now flourishing villages, with good schools, churches, etc.

 

            At Manchester the company has erected a large rice milling plant, which affords a near-by market for the rice harvested.

 

            Lands sold by the company in the past at from $10 to $20 per acre can now be bought at double that price.

 

            It is the policy of the North American Land and Timber Co. to redeem the land by a system of dredging and canals.

 

            The first year after the land has been redeemed the company puts it in cultivation and its worth is therefore proven to the settler before he is given an opportunity to buy it.

 

            The reclaimed land owned by the company represents some of the most fertile to be found in Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes, and farmers wishing to procure land will do well to call on the company or communicate with their agent in Lake Charles, Mr. H. G. Chalkley, who will be glad to furnish any information desired. 

 

            Lands in this section have shown a safe and steady advancement in values year by year. 

 

            You can make no mistake in buying now, and the North American Land and Timber Co. will not only meet you half way, but they will make the payments so easy that you can make the land pay for itself and live at the same time.

 

            The great development work done by this company has been of the utmost advantage to Lake Charles and surrounding country.

 

            By reason of an extensive system of drainage canals, made at a great cost, they have gradually reclaimed thousands of acres that are now producing fine crops each year, thus developing the country in a material way, and at the same time making it possible for people to own their own farms, thus making more trade for the towns and cities in this section. 

 

            In developing their property the company has made a big drainage canal across a large portion of the parish, which in time, will form an important link in the intercoastal canal that is contemplated by the United States government.  The officers of the company are located on the ground floor of the Calcasieu National Bank building, Pujo Street entrance.

 

Cotton

 

            Calcasieu hasn’t enough cotton to boast of, but the area runs about 5,000 acres every year.  Most of the cotton is raised in the Northern portion of the Parish. 

         

            The Parish ranks with the best in the matter of yield and quality, and a larger area ought to be planted. 

 

Lake Charles has three machine shops and foundries.

 

 

Gulf Grocery Company of Louisiana 

Wholesale Grocers and Importers

 

The wholesale interests of Lake Charles have never known a period of greater development than during the past few years, which is aptly illustrated in the remarkable success of the Gulf Grocery Company, which was established and incorporated here in 1909 with a capital stock of $75,000.

 

            The Gulf Grocery Company of Louisiana succeeded the Gulf Grocery Co. and the Hawkins & Wachsen Co., firms that had been in successful operation here for several years past.

 

            The firm occupies a specially designed and constructed building, splendidly equipped with every device and appliance necessary to facilitate their operations.  It is two stories, with basement, and is 150 feet square, thus affording an immense floor space. 

 

            An immense stock of staple and fancy groceries are carried, in addition to a comprehensive stock of foreign and domestic cigars, and are the exclusive agents for some of the best advertised and most favorably known brands of food products. 

 

            The business is of great consequence to Lake Charles as nineteen people are given employment in the house here and four traveling salesmen cover the territory within a radius of 100 miles of Lake Charles. 

 

            Officers of the company who direct its extensive operations are Messrs. A. G. Wachsen, President, and L. W. Reed, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

 

What Lake Charles Has

 

Boat Club

Summer Theatre

Wholesale Hardware House

State Rifle Range

Three National Banks

Seven Public School Buildings

Thirty Miles Concrete Sidewalks

Waterworks

Three Machine Shops and Foundries

Twelve Saw Mills

Five Wholesale Grocery Firms

One Cold Storage Plant

Two Wholesale Implement and Vehicle Dealers

Water Transportation Giving Us Benefit of Competitive Rates

Two Steam Laundries

Carnegie Library

Five Railroads

One Ice Plant

Paved Streets

Three Brick Plants

Two Woodworking Plants

Two Wholesale Grocers

One Daily Paper

Two Book Binderies

Three Parks

Pleasure Pier

Two Express Companies

Finest Hotel in the Southwest

Elks’ Club

Gun Club

Baptist Orphanage

Seventeen Churches

Ten Miles Street Railway

Eighteen Daily Trains

Three Rice Mills

Two Car Shops

Two Fence Factories

Two Boat Building Plants

Five Wholesale Grain Dealers

Pipe Line Headquarters

One Hospital

Business College

Electric Cars

Paid Fire Department

Masonic Temple

Mattress Factory

 

Krielow-Dudley Company  

Wholesale Grocers

 

            For the past five years, the  Krielow-Dudley Company has been a most essential factor in the wholesale grocery trade of this section.  The business was established in April, 1905. By modern aggressive business methods, handling high class grocery products and making a specialty of prompt delivery, have built up a business that aggregates nearly a half million dollars annually and which extends all over Southwest Louisiana.

 

            They occupy a thoroughly modern building at 414 Ryan Street, with a floor space of 180 x 50 feet, with adequate trackage facilities on the Kansas City Southern Railroad. 

 

            They use three wagons for city delivery work, employ nine people and have two traveling salesmen covering adjacent territory.  Eight thousand tons of groceries, grain and produce was handled last year by this firm. 

 

            The business is directed by Mr. A. S. Dudley in the capacity of manager. 

 

 

Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company

 

            Lake Charles can boast of many large and successful lumber mills, but there are none in the city or State that ranks higher, or can boast of more modern equipment than the big mills at Goosport belonging to the Calcasieu Lumber Company.

 

            The business was established in 1906 and incorporated at the same time for $1,200,000, and transacts an annual business closely approximating a million dollars, shipping their product of Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Yellow Pine to all parts of the United States and exporting it in large quantities.

 

            The plant covers forty acres, gives employment to 500 people and pay out $250,000 annually in wages.  The company handled 50,000,000 feet of rough and dressed lumber last year.

 

            The mill has a daily cutting capacity of 200,000, while the planers’ capacity is 300,000 feet and the dry kilns have a daily capacity of 200,000 feet.

 

            It is generally conceded that this mill is one of the most perfect in the Unites States from a mechanical standpoint, having every known appliance and device which could in any way contribute towards the proper manufacture and economic handling of lumber.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. R. A. Long, President; C. B. Sweet, Vice-President; F. J. Bannister, Secretary, and S.T. Woodring, Treasurer and General Manager.  

 

Lake Charles has three rice mills.

 

Plant of the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Co.

 

Rice

As a Factor in Living

(From Colliers’ Magazine)

 

          “Over rice in this part of the world, not one-half the talk is made that focuses on wheat; yet in the whole world there is almost as much rice eaten as wheat.  Latest estimates place the world’s wheat crop at about 190,000,000,000 pounds; rice, 175,000,000,000.  Rice growing and rice consumption have increased rapidly in the United States. For instance, the rice production in this country in the last decade has equaled that of the half-century immediately preceding.  In 1908 over 600,000,000 pounds were raised.  Texas and Louisiana together produced more than 90 percent of the total. As the amount exported has not increased, one may gain an idea of the growing home consumption of rice and may guess at its future role in the United States. Perhaps we shall subsist on it largely when beef has become almost a memory, which, at the present rate of increasing cost, will not be so very far away.”

 

 Orange Land Company, Ltd.

 

            The lands of the Orange Land Company, Ltd., in Vermilion Parish extend from a few miles south of the  Southern Pacific Railroad, running from Lake Charles to Abbeville, in an almost solid body to the gulf, a distance of about thirty miles, and from Vermilion Bay westward, about thirty miles, containing about 300,000 acres of land.

                                                                                           

Water Well Four Miles South of Lake Charles

This well irrigated three hundred acres of land last year. Land purchases from Orange Land Co., Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

Classes of Land

 

            These lands are divided into three classes, High Prairie, Low Prairie and Marsh.

 

 High Prairie Land

 

            In the northern part is found some of the finest prairie land in Louisiana.  This land is generally known as table land, and is from three to five feet higher than the surrounding country, and is therefore easily drained.  It is suitable for rice, cotton, corn, fruit and all vegetables grown in the temperate zone.

 

Low Prairie Land

 

            This land is very flat, but is not wet or swampy.  It holds water near the surface and has short green grass on it the entire year.  With some expense the land can be drained into the numerous bayous running into Vermilion Bay and the Mermentau River, and be devoted to rice culture.

 

            This land is now used for grazing purposes, in winter, for the herds of cattle raised along the Louisiana coast.  In summer the cattle are driven back into the lower lands or ...

 

The Marsh

 

            ...Which is always covered with long growths of grass, furnishing all the food ever given them. 

 

            In various parts of this area are high ridges, some of which are owned and occupied by other persons.  On these higher lands, peaches do exceptionally well and do not have an enemy.  Oranges also do well, being a source of profit to the producer, and with a little attention for a few weeks during the winter, could probably be considerably increased.

 

The Southern Pacific is always ready to co-operate with and furnish prospective investors with all possible assistance.

 

Fruit Production

 

            The most productive, the easiest raised and the hardiest fruit tree grown in the South is the fig.  The tree grows from a cutting and requires no attention except to keep the grass and weeds cleared from around its roots.  The tree never freezes and will bear for twenty years.  Figs can be dried at a nominal cost and yield a sure profit.

 

Sixty-four bushels of Corn per acre from a farm owned by Ben M. Foster.

 

Reclamation

 

            The Orange Land Company, Ltd., of Lake Charles, Louisiana, is offering marsh lands at a cheap price, so as to allow for their reclamation by drainage at a profit to investors.  The soil is an alluvial deposit of from two to four feet deep, under laid with a clay subsoil which is impervious to water.  Canal systems have been constructed along the Louisiana coast, which are used for the three-fold purpose of drainage, irrigation and transportation.  These improvements and works have proved successful.  For further information write the Orange Land Company, Ltd., Lake Charles, La.  

 

Lake Charles has two telegraph companies.

 

Tobacco Culture

 

            Tobacco culture in southern Louisiana has long passed the experimental stage.  Calcasieu Parish has land in every way identical with that found in other communities in this section where tobacco is profitably and successfully raised.  The famous “Perique” tobacco grown on the alluvial lands of St. James Parish, Louisiana, has been a commercial crop for more then fifty years.  Those who have experimented with tobacco growing have found that Cuban cigar wrapper tobacco can be raised on the open Gulf Coast, without the expense of artificial shading that is used in Florida and other sections.

 

Lake Charles has an excellent water works.

 

Lake Charles has paved streets.

 

 

Krause and Managan Lumber Company, Ltd.  

Calcasieu Yellow Pine Lumber

 

            Calcasieu Parish is noted for her lumber mills, and it is quite probable that in the Lake Charles district there is more lumber cut each twenty-four hours that constitutes a day’s time than in any other place of similar size in the entire country.  The merits of Calcasieu Yellow Pine is not only known and extolled throughout this country, but the mills here make large foreign shipments, the export trade being not an inconsiderable part of their business. 

 

            In this particular respect the plant now owned and operated by the Krause and Managan Lumber Company, Ltd., is one of the oldest and most favorably known mills in this section.  The business was first established in 1873, and incorporated in 1893 with a capitalization of $100,000, and a business in Calcasieu Yellow Pine has been built up that aggregates approximately $300,000 annually.

 

            The plant proper covers 30 acres and 300 people are given employment, who receive about $125,000 in wages yearly, all of which is distributed among the retail interests of the Lake Charles district.

 

            In addition to the mill at Westlake, with its cutting capacity of 100,000 feet daily, another has been erected and is in operation at Foley’s Spur, which has a cutting capacity of 25,000 daily.

 

            The company has immense holdings of the best character of pine lands and have acquired an enviable reputation for the superior quality and general excellence of their product.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. Rudolph Krause,  President; John J. Goss, Vice President ; W. H. Managan, Secretary and Treasurer; J. J. Walsh,  Asst. Secretary; C. H. Collamer, Asst. Treasurer, and R. E. L. Sherard.

 

Water Transportation

 

            At the present time the only companies operating steamers in and out of Lake Charles upon a regular schedule are the ones which run the Steamer Borealis Rex between Lake Charles and Cameron, situated at the mouth of the Calcasieu, and the Steamer Hazel, running upon an hourly schedule between Lake Charles and Westlake. 

 

Davis and LeBleu 

Confectionery, Fruit and Produce

 

            The firm of Davis and LeBleu is the only one of any consequence operating in their line in this section.  The business was established in 1907, and by industry, well-directed business effort and straight-forward methods, they have developed a business aggregating $100,000 annually and have extended its scope to all parts of this section. 

 

            Their warehouse is 44 x 90 feet, has side tracks and is equipped with a cold storage plant for the keeping of fruit and produce at any desired temperature. 

         

            They handle confectionery, fruits and produce in a wholesale way exclusively, making a specialty of both foreign and domestic fruits and a full line of fine candles.

 

            The business is directed by Messrs. Collen Davis and Ambroise LeBleu.  The cold storage department of this plant is worthy of especial mention.  It has a capacity of five cars daily, which places it in a position to handle anything that comes to the market during the season.  The equipment is of the latest improved type, built in separate compartments and arranged so that different temperatures may be had in each compartment.  This is considered one of the most complete cold storage plants in the State.  

 

Lake Charles Rice Milling Company

“Largest Rice Milling Plant in America”

 

            No institution in Lake Charles or vicinity is of greater importance to the city and this section than the Lake Charles Rice Milling Company. The business was first established here in 1892, and incorporated at the same time for $200,000 under the laws of the State of New York. 

 

            Sixty people are given employment and $20,000 is annually distributed throughout this section in wages. 

 

            They handled last year 200,000 sacks of rice, each sack containing 200 pounds, marketing their product in every portion of the United States through brokers.

 

Lake Charles Rice Mill "Largest in the World"

 

            The milling plant has a daily capacity of 3,500 barrels of rice utilizes 120,000 square feet of floor space in its operations and is equipped with every possible convenience for the proper storage and handling of their product. 

 

            Their warehouse has a storage capacity of 150,000 sacks of rough rice and 25,000 sacks of cleaned rice.

 

            A car load of rice bran, a car load of ground rice hulls and half a car load of rice polish are manufactured every day that the mill runs, their by-products, with the exception of the rice hulls, being sold for stock feed, and the ground hulls exported to foreign countries.

 

            The business activities of the Lake Charles Rice Milling Co. at Lake Charles are directed by Mr. J. A. Foster, in the capacity of Treasurer and General Manager.

 

Lake Charles is one of the most important lumber centers in this section of the South.

 

 

 Louisiana Grain and Milling Company, Ltd. 

 

            The above named concern is one on the largest and best equipped grain and feed mills in Southwest Louisiana.  The business was established here as the Louisiana Grain and Feed Co., Ltd., in 1900 and incorporated in 1906 for $25,000.  The mill is splendidly equipped with bins, grain carriers and a large amount of warehouse room, and has a daily capacity of 3,000 sacks of feed. The mill is located on sidings of the Southern Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads, and in respect to car load shipments is especially well provided to handle any character of order promptly and efficiently. The elevator is four stories and with the warehouse has 11,500 square feet of floor space.

 

            They handled last year 7,000 tons or its equivalent of 150,000 sacks of feed.

 

            They make a specialty in the manufacture of two grades of mixed feed, the “Acme Mixed Chops" and “Acme Bran,” which is conceded by those who use these two commodities, that they contain the highest percentage of feed values and lowest percentage of fiber of any on the market.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. M. P. Erwin, President; Charles Gilstrap, Vice President, and W. R. Jordan, Secretary and Treasurer.

  

Lake Charles has a business college.

 

"Volunteer Pumpkin" in a cantaloupe field in Calcasieu Parish.

 

Gulf Coast Soil

 

            In the forest areas there is a great diversity of soils the extremes as to fertility being a light sandy upland and heavy black bottom lands along the streams.  The predominating soils are the grey and dark sandy loams (“Norfolk Loam”) and the chocolate, dark sandy and red lands, known as the “Orange-burg Loams.”  The soils produce all of the standard field crops common to Louisiana and are famous as commercial orchard, truck gardening and tobacco lands.

 

 

 E. W. Channell 

Manufacturer Picket Fencing

 

            This is one of the Lake Charles substantial manufacturing institutions.  The business was established four years ago by its present owner and director of its mechanical and business activities, Mr. E. W. Channell.

 

            It is splendidly equipped from a mechanical standpoint with all necessary machinery of modern make and design, well situated with reference to prompt shipping facilities, having two side tracks adjacent to the plant for easy handling of car load shipments.

           

            Mr. Channell manufactures the “Channell Red Fence” which is sold all over this section of the South through the W. H. Norris Lumber Co. of Houston, Texas, who are the sole distributors.

 

            The plant proper covers three and one-half acres and has a railroad frontage of 400 feet. Twenty people are given employment and $12,000 is annually distributed in wages. 

 

            The “Channell Red Fence” is manufactured in 75 foot rolls and last year 17,849 rolls were turned out of this plant. 

 

            Mr. E. W. Channell has had a long and varied experience in the manufacture of this product, having been associated with another similar enterprise before embarking in the business for himself.

 

Lake Charles has two steam laundries.

 

Lake Charles has two express companies.

 

There are thousands of acres of raw land adjacent to Lake Charles suitable for truck growing, fruits, rice, etc.

 

Lake Charles-Westlake Ferry 

Steamer Hazel

Captain A. W. Wehrt, Proprietor

 

            In June, 1888, Captain A. W. Wehrt established the ferry between Lake Charles and Westlake, Louisiana and with the growth and development of the ferry has increased proportionately, until today.  It is absolutely indispensable to the citizens of this section in their intercourse between the two places. 

 

            The Steamer Hazel, which is the largest boat upon Lake Charles, and Calcasieu River, is a well-built double hull craft, 89 feet long, with a 37 foot beam, and in addition to the two cabins and lower deck, has a beautiful and spacious upper deck, which gives the traveler a commanding view of the city, lake, river and surrounding territory. 

 

            The Hazel is especially well-equipped for the transportation of heavy and package freight as well as passengers, being operated upon a regular winter and summer schedule on her trip of two and one-half miles across the lake and return. 

 

 

            Twelve round trips in summer and ten in winter are made daily without regard to weather conditions and during the twenty-one years that Captain Wehrt has been operating his ferry, he has never had an accident of any kind.

 

             The boat is now navigated by Captain Wehrt's son, Mr. G. Ed. Wehrt, who is following in his father’s footsteps in regard to promptness in schedules and the general efficiency in the management of the enterprise. 

 

            Captain A. W. Wehrt has always been one of the substantial citizens of this section, always contributing towards its industrial and agricultural development by reason of his association with various other large enterprises with which he has been connected.

 

Powell Lumber Company 

Manufactures Calcasieu Long Leaf

 

            This is one of the large lumber manufacturing concerns which have helped to make Lake Charles a great lumber center.

 

            The Powell Lumber Company was established and incorporated in 1906, with a capitalization of $125,000.

 

            They are manufacturers of the famous “Calcasieu Long Leaf Yellow Pine” lumber, making a specialty of railroad and mining timbers, and having mills for the purpose situated upon the Southern Pacific, Colorado Southern, Missouri Pacific and Kansas City Southern systems, with headquarters in the Viterbo Building in Lake Charles.

 

            This mill is one of the oldest in the city and has a daily cutting capacity of 75,000 feet, with ample dry kilns, planers, etc.  The company owns a large acreage of the best long leaf yellow pine, and has its own standard gauged railroad twenty miles long running into the heart of its holdings.

 

            In 1907 the company found it advisable to erect a mill at Edna, which has a daily cutting capacity of 100,000 feet and is one of the best equipped mills in the timber belt.

 

            With their two mills, the Powell Lumber Company has a daily cutting capacity of 175,000 feet, which makes this concern one of the largest companies doing business in this section.

 

            As an evidence of their importance to the city of Lake Charles we cite the fact that they employ 400 men in operations and distribute over $200,000 annually in wages, handling about 30,000 feet of rough and dressed lumber annually and shipping it to all parts of the United States and Mexico.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. W. P. Weber, President; D. A. Kelly, Vice President; and George M. King, Secretary and Treasurer.

         

Sugar Cane

 

            From five hundred to one thousand acres of sugar cane are grown every year.  The Calcasieu cane is rich and gives a high percentage of saccharine substance.

 

American Feed Company, Ltd.  

Wholesale Feed

 

            While the American Feed Company, Ltd., is only approximately one year old, having been established December 1st, 1908, and incorporated March, 1909, for $25,000, it has become a most important factor in the distribution of feed throughout this section. 

 

            The firm deals in their products only in a wholesale way exclusively, making a specialty of car load lots for prompt delivery in Southwest Louisiana.

 

 

            The plant occupied is thoroughly modern in equipment and appearance, has side tracks for the expeditious handling of their products and every necessary appliance which could in any way contribute towards the safe storage and prompt delivery.

 

            The building has 7,200 feet of available floor space, containing offices and storage rooms on inside and car platforms on outside, and is splendidly adapted for the purpose to which it is put.  Five people are given employment in the house and one traveling salesman covers portions of Southwest Louisiana and Eastern Texas.  Officers of the company are Messrs. A. Thompson, President; S. Hebert, Vice President; D. Z. Thompson, Secretary and Treasurer and C. H. Prater, Manager.

 

Kelly, Weber and Company, Ltd.

 Wholesale Grocers

 

            The concern which is one of Lake Charles most important wholesale institutions was established in 1896, incorporated in 1902 with a capital of $50,000 and at the present time transacts a business aggregating over $600,000 and has a treasury surplus of  $25,000.

 

            They occupy a thoroughly modern building with adequate railroad trackage facilities for the proper and expeditious handling of their commodities, utilize 22,600 square feet of floor space, employ twenty-one people, of whom three are traveling salesmen and distribute their products to all parts of Southern Texas and Louisiana.

 

            They handle a complete line of staple and fancy groceries and grain, and by well directed business effort and straightforward methods developed a most substantial business connection. 

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. D.A. Kelly, President; W. P. Weber, Vice President; George M. King, Secretary and Treasurer; T. B. Hutchins, Assistant Treasurer, and A. L. Gayle, Manager.

 

There is an abundance of hardwood timer in the vicinity of Lake Charles for manufacturing purposes.

 

 Hodge Fence and Lumber Company

 

            In telling the story of the rapid growth and commercial advancement of Lake Charles, one should not forget to give due credit to the men whose business foresight and unflagging energy have made it possible; who have month after month, and year after year, poured thousands of dollars in a golden flood through the channels of trade.  If the other resources of the country surrounding Lake Charles were as fully developed as the lumber industry, Lake Charles would now be the city she hopes to be ten years hence. 

 

            The business known as the Hodge Fence and Lumber Co. succeeded the old firm known as the Hodge Fence Co. about eight years ago.

 

            Mr. N. D. Pope, the president, associated with himself in the active management Herman W. Rock and Mr. L. J. Bell, who had entered his employ about six years before and had earned rapid promotion by unusual business capacity and knowledge.

 

            The saw mill was built and given splendid mechanical equipment and has since turned out lumber at the rate of 100,000 feet a day.  The mill started with ten years supply of lumber in sight, and although it has run for eight years, it has still many years sawing ahead.  The company in preference to using its own standing timber buys largely from log men and individual timber owners up the Calcasieu, thus putting into circulation a large amount of money in addition to its weekly pay roll of thousands of dollars.

 

Lake Charles Planing Mill Company, Ltd.

 

            The Lake Charles Planing Mill Company, Ltd., was established here in 1894 and is practically the only institution located here manufacturing all kinds of mill work, such as fine office fixtures, counters, show cases, store fronts, stair work, sash, doors, blinds, cisterns, mantels, shingles, etc. 

 

            The business is one of paramount importance to the city from an industrial standpoint, as twenty-five people are given employment and $18,000 is distributed annually in wages. 

 

            The plant is modern in equipment, utilizes 26,000 square feet of floor space and has had provided for it every appliance and device necessary for the manufacture of high grade products in their line.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. G. Mutersbaugh, President; N. D. Pope, Vice President; Edgar Ervine, Secretary; and L. J. Bell, Treasurer.

 

 

 Lake Charles Carriage and Implement Company, Ltd.

 

            The Lake Charles Carriage and Implement Company, Ltd., was established in 1884, incorporated in 1894 for $50,000 and at the present time transacts a business in farm implements, buggies, carriages and wagons that extends to all parts of Southwest Louisiana.

 

            The display rooms located at the corner of Ryan and Mill Streets are housed in a two-story modern building, and with the various warehouses utilized throughout the town, has 18,600 square feet of floor space.  Seven people are employed who receive an annual wage approximating $7,440.

 

            In addition to a most comprehensive stock of the very highest grade of wagons, buggies and implements, a varied line of wagon and buggy material, belting, hose, windmills, pumps, hay presses, threshers, engines, boilers, saw mills, gin stands and grinding mills are carried.  A large stock of harness, saddles, and all kinds of strap work and leather goods are repaired. 

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. F. B. Caffall, President, and W. E. Patterson, Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager.

 

Lake Charles is a rice center.  

 

Gill and Trotti, Ltd.

Transfer Company

         

            The largest and most important company operating a transfer and baggage business in Lake Charles is the Gill and Trotti, Ltd., Company.  While the business has been established for the past twenty years, it has only been run under its present management for the past two years. 

 

            This company is especially well provided with equipment for properly handling business of any character or magnitude in their line.  They have contracts with every railroad company operating in and out of Lake Charles for the transfer of baggage and passengers, and operate a high class livery in connection.

 

            Carriages, automobiles, buses for trains and pleasure can be furnished promptly upon the shortest notice.  In addition to the above named business, Messrs. Gill & Trotti operate an undertaking establishment in connection with their transfer and livery business. 

 

            The business is directed by Messrs. O. J. Gill and J. A. Trotti.  

 

Lake Charles had two boat-building plants.

 

Stock Growing

 

            One of the most promising industries of the parish for the farmer and stockman is the raising of graded domestic cattle.  There has been a notable improvement in the grade of Calcasieu cattle and while the agricultural value of land is becoming too great for it to be given over to the native animals, the introduction of improved varieties is now a paying industry.  

 

Reiser Machine Shops 

Mill, Locomotive, Marine and Irrigation Work

 

              Lake Charles, though not a large city, has the best equipment as to foundries and machine shops of any city in Southwest Louisiana or east of Texas.  The concern to which this statement has direct reference is the Reiser Machine Shops, situated on Pine Street, near the Lake front.  This business was established here in 1889 and incorporated for $150,000 in 1904.

 

            They give employment to 65 skilled men and distribute a large amount of money annually in wages, maintain one traveling representative and transact a great volume of business through Southwest Louisiana and east Texas.

 

            The Reiser Machine Shops are probably the best equipped between New Orleans and Houston, Texas, and have turned many castings which would have been difficult for either place to handle. 

 

            They make a specialty of mill, locomotive, marine, and irrigation work, guaranteeing that all work turned out of this shop shall have incorporated into it the best of modern mechanical thought, materials and workmanship.

 

            Officers of the company are Messrs. H. Reiser, President; J. Reiser, Vice President, and C. Reiser, Secretary and Treasurer.

  

Interior View of the Reiser Machine Works

 

Lake Charles has two wholesale implement and vehicle dealers.

 

Uneeda Laundry

 

            Lake Charles has in the Uneeda Laundry a concern that has been well provided with modern up-to-date laundry equipment, and is furnishing their patrons with prompt and efficient services.

 

            Mr. O. E. Moor who directs the operations of the Uneeda Laundry established this business in March, 1907, and by well directed business effort and straight forward methods, has built up a business extending all over the parish, handling over fifty thousand packages annually, employing thirty people and paying out $8,000 in wages.

 

            They do a fine quality of work, employing only skilled people and have equipped the plant with reference to sanitation in the handling and finishing of material.

 

            The plant is located at 508 Ryan Street, Phone 632.

 

Lake Charles has two book binderies.

 

Lake Charles has a chemical plant.

 

Lake Charles has a turpentine plant.

 

 

 

Southern Pacific  

Sunset Route  

M. L. & T. R. R. & S. S. CO. and L. W. R. R.

 

    The information contained in this booklet relating to the City of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish,

Louisiana, has been carefully compiled, the object being to give as wide publicity as possible to the

advantages and opportunities which this city and parish affords, and by illustrations showing what

has been done indicating further possibilities ….

 

ADDRESS INQUIRIES TO

J. H. R. PARSONS, General Passenger Agent,

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

 

 

Materials in Archives and Special Collections Department do not circulate.

Library Home Page | Archives Home Page | Archives Collection Page

Copyright 2004 McNeese State University