Going Ahead, Reidsville

From: The Greensboro Patriot, 13 April 1871

     Reidsville, in Rockingham county [sic], shows more signs of go-aheadativeness [sic] than any little place we know of. – Several new buildings have been put up there within the last year, and several more are now being erected and among them a new hotel under the direction of Dr. Smith. The new Baptist church is awaiting completion for want of funds, but when finished will be a very creditable edifice. Maj. Oaks has given out a contract for the construction of a large tobacco warehouse, which if successful will be followed by others. There is no reason why Reidsville should not become a very good tobacco market as it is accessible to all the tobacco section, with good roads and much more convenient to a large scope of country than other points which now draw the trade. If the other business men are actuated by the same pluck and energy that the Maj. exhibits they will make Reidsville a market.

Considerable sales of real estate have been made to Northern people, some fifteen families having already located about town, and gone to work with the evident determination to build up. In addition to these there are ten or twelve more families located at Oregon Hill. We are informed they are pleased with their new home and are quite as well treated by their neighbors as if they had been “to the manor born.” – Others are on the way to join them, induced to come by the flattering accounts they give their new home.

The citizens of Reidsville encourage immigration by asking moderate prices for land and giving purchasers desirable time to pay for it. The act wisely in this and the result is made manifest in the rapid growth of their little town and increase of an energetic and industrious population.

While the spirit of improvement shows itself, we hope the citizens there will use what influence they may possess with the Piedmont R.R. Co., to secure the erection of a sitting room for the accommodation of travelers, the one they have there now being scandalously filthy and unfit. Ladies particularly who take the cars there experience how disagreeable the present arrangement, or rather no arrangement is. A guano pile would not be a pleasant place to linger on, but quite as pleasant as the present contracted, filthy quarters assigned to the traveling public. We know that a company which consults the comfort of its patrons as much as the Piedmont does will not neglect a matter like this when called to their attention. Let it be done.

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Note: The above article sets the stage for the growth that occurred in the Village of Reidsville in the next few years. Major Mortimer Oaks’ tobacco warehouse was a success and soon two other warehouses were erected in Reidsville. Also within a few years, a number of tobacco factories had been built in town. Such was the growth of the village leading to the incorporation of Reidsville in 1873.

The northern families who settled in and near Reidsville in the 1870s were the Bensons, Clarks, Fillmans, Gladstones, Hitchcocks, Husbands and others. Those who settled in Ruffin Township included the Davises, Dods, Lauders, Ogdens and Stephens.

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