(Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer of Jefferson County, N.Y.", 1890)
Dexter & Co.---In 1880 Christopher Poor and D. E. Dexter, who were engaged in the manufacture of bent chair stock, with works located on the "island," in the village of Black River, in the building now occupied by Wolcott Brothers, as a planing-mill, commenced in a small way the manufacture of the "Dexter rocker," under the firm name of Poor & Dexter. Their operations began in the spring, and in the following fall D. E. Dexter disposed of his interest in the concern to Charles Woulf and Charles P. Dexter, and the business was continued under the firm name of Poor, Dexter & Co. With
them the business began rapidly to increase, and their chairs found a ready market it all parts of the United States and Canada. In the spring of 1884, on account of the failing health of Charles P. Dexter, his brother, Henry C. Dexter, was admitted into the firm, the name of which remained the same, and in the spring of 1885 Poor and Woulf retired from the company and were immediately succeeded by D. H. and R. Byron Scott, when the firm was known as Dexter & Scott. February 10, 1886, the Scotts retired by selling their interests to Charles P. and Henry C. Dexter, since which time the firm name has been Dexter & Co. In the summer of 1884 Charles P. Dexter's health failing, he went to Dansville, N. Y., and thence to Texas, where he remained for about a year, but
experiencing no beneficial results from that climate he went to Southern California in the hopes that there might be found a panacea for his weakened constitution. Here, also, he was disappointed, and on May 3, 1886, nearly two years after leaving home, at San Gorgonia, the highest point on the Southern Pacific Railroad, he died. As a member of the firm he developed a tact for doing business very rarely found in one of his age, and the firm's success is largely due to his management of the office work and general details of the business. Since the death of Charles P. the business has been conducted by Henry C. Dexter, retaining the same name. Soon after the business was started the company occupied the ball-room of the old McOmber hotel, at the four corners south of the river, for finishing, upholstering, and packing, and as it increased the whole building was appropriated for their use. In 1884 the main building was doubled and the barns were taken in, making a floor space of 14,000 square feet. The whole buildings as they now
stand, including the woodworking shop on the north side of the river, occupy a floor space of about 25,000 square feet. The main building of the finishing shop is 30X120 feet, and that of the woodworking shop 30X110, both of which are three stories high. The company gives employment to about 50 men, and turns out nearly 30,000 chairs annually. Their goods find a market in all parts of the world, and their business is still rapidly on the
D. Dexter's Sons.--David Dexter, a carpenter and joiner by trade, came to the village of Black River in the year 1837, from Athol, Mass., and perfected arrangements for the erection of a building in which to manufacture chairs, on a site very near the present location of D. Dexter's Sons. He then returned to Massachusetts and, with his family, in July, 1839, came again, bringing with him A. N. Brittan, a practical chairmaker. He found his shop in readiness on his arrival, and he immediately set about preparing stock, kilning, and drying, but not until the spring of 1840 did articles of his handiwork
appear upon the market. At this time about six hands were employed, with Mr. Brittan as foreman, and only a limited number of chairs were made, principally of wood seat. In 1842 Mr. Brittan sought other employment, and the care and management of the business devolved solely on Mr. Dexter. The demand for hit goods began to increase, and in 1847 he took into partnership his brother, Simeon Dexter. and the firm was known as D. & S. Dexter. By them the business was continued till 1856, when David again assumed. control, his brother retiring from the business to engage in farming. A year or two later Mr. Dexter's business had grown to such proportions that he found it necessary to enlarge his buildings and add new facilities in order to supply the demand of his increasing patronage. Thus he continued till 1864, when he took in his son, E. A. Dexter, and the partnership was known as D. Dexter & Son. In December of the following year, 1865, the entire property, the accumulation of 25 years of toil, was destroyed by fire, the origin of which was incendiary and said to be caused by Southern sympathizers. The buildings were immediately rebuilt, the size of which being very nearly double the original dimensions, and in the summer of 1866 the business again assumed its former proportions. In 1880 the death of David Dexter occurred, when the partnership which now exists was formed, the individual members of which are E. A. and D. E. Dexter. Their works, located on the south bank of the river, are at the present time equipped for the performance of all parts of the business, and the chair is started from the log and passed
through all of its varied changes till it comes from the upholstering department completed and perfect in all its parts. Their woodworking shop is 40X80 feet and four stories high; their paint shop and storeroom 40X72 feet, three stories high; and their lumber sheds are 230 feet long. They manufacture all kinds of chairs, and give employment to from 35 to 50 men. Their reputation is second to none in the country for good work, and their chairs find a market in all parts of the United States and Canada, and in Europe.
Black River Pulp Co's mill. located on road 6, on Black River, was built in 1888 by H. Remington & Son, of Watertown. The size of the building is 150 by 51 feet, and has the capacity for grinding eight tons of dry pulp per day, giving employment to 11 hands. It is the intention of the proprietors to greatly enlarge the building.
Empire Wood Pulp Co's mill, located at Black River village, in the town of Rutland, was started in 1888. It furnishes employment to seven men, and manufactures from three to four tons of dry pulp per day.
The Jefferson Paper Co., located at Black River village, in this town, was incorporated in 1887 by Frank H. Munson and William P. Herring, and their mill was erected in 1888. It has the capacity for manufacturing six tons of dry pulp per day and employs 13 men. Frank H. Munson is president of the company, and F. W. Herring, secretary and treasurer.
The Benefit Glove and Mitten Co., located at Felt's Mills, was organized as a stock company in March, 1888. The concern employs I3 hands, and does a business of about $l0,000 annually.
P. M. Paige &- Co's machine shop, at Black River village, gives employment to four men and does a general business in repairing machinery. The company also does blacksmithing.
Felt's saw mill and cheese-box factory, located at Felt's Mills, employ seven men in the manufacture of 5,000 feet of lumber per day and 30,000 cheese boxes annually.
Henry Marshalls saw-mill and cheese-box factory, located on Black River at Felt's Mills, was built by George C. Kidder in 1866, and purchased by Mr. Marshall in 1872. He manufactures about 500,000 feet of lumber and 50,000 cheese boxes annually, employing about 10 hands.
Rutland Valley creamery, Azro T. Frink, proprietor, was built by him in the spring of 1887, and is supplied with the Danish Western separators. It has the patronage of 300 cows, receives about 850,000 pounds of milk annually, from which is manufactured 36,956 pounds of butter, valued at $8,130.
Tylerville cheese factory, Byron Dickinson, proprietor, was built by his grandfather, T. Bailey, in 1871. It has the patronage of 275 cows, receives about 825,000 pounds of milk annually, from which is manufactured 82,500 pounds of Cheddar cheese, valued at $7,425.
South Champion creamery, owned by Jay W. Waldo, is situated two miles east of South Rutland. It has the patronage of about 500 cows, and receives nearly 1,500,000 pounds of milk through the season, from which rs manufactured 63,000 pounds of butter, the estimated value of which is $I5,120. The creamery was built in 1878, is fitted up with the Danish Western separators, and has all modern improvements for the manufacture of first-class butter.
Edward J. William’s cheese factory, located about a mile east of Rutland Center, was built in 1877 by C. C. Hardy. It has the patronage of 400 cows, receives about 1,500,000 pounds of milk annually, and makes 157,000 pounds of cheese, valued at $,8,750.
B. P. Smith cheese factory, G. B. Scott, proprietor, was built in 1875 by B. P. Smith. It has the patronage of 300 cows, receives about 800,000 pounds of milk during the season, from which is made 80,000 pounds of cheese, valued at $8,000.
The Cascade cheese factory, Bailey R. Mearns, proprietor, located on the west end of the South road, was built about the year 1860, by J. C. Hardy. It receives the milk of 600 cows, taking in 2,100,000 pounds of milk during the season, making therefrom 210,000 pounds of cheese, valued at $18,900.
Henry C. Eames's cheese factory, located in the east part of the town, has the patronage of 200 cows, receives 600,000 pounds of milk through the season, from which is made 60,000 pounds of cheese, valued at $5,400.
Parkinson Brothers' cheese factory, located on the Hollow road, was built by Asa Parkinson in 1870. It has the patronage of 300 cows, receives about 900,000 pounds of milk during the season, and makes about 90,000 pounds of cheese, valued at $9,000.