Sumter businesses thrived in late 1800s

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 1/28/18

Editor's note: This is part two in a series about population and business growth in Sumter in 1894 reprinted from an article written in The Sumter Herald, which is no longer printed. The article was titled "Sumter of Forty Years Ago, or 1894 - The …

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Sumter businesses thrived in late 1800s

O'Donnell and Co. sold mostly groceries but also general merchandise. The owner, Neill O'Donnell, was an alderman in Sumter.
O'Donnell and Co. sold mostly groceries but also general merchandise. The owner, Neill O'Donnell, was an alderman in Sumter.
SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO
Posted

Editor's note: This is part two in a series about population and business growth in Sumter in 1894 reprinted from an article written in The Sumter Herald, which is no longer printed. The article was titled "Sumter of Forty Years Ago, or 1894 - The Past, Present and Future of the Gamecock City, Some of Her Citizens and Highlights in the Life of the Community - Review of Sumter Published in Sea Tide Thoughts, February 1894."

"Mr. Neill O'Donnell does business under the name of O'Donnell and Co. and is one of Sumter's successful sons. He sells general merchandise of every description but pays most attention to groceries, in which he does a large business. He is highly regarded by his fellow townsmen and has served as an alderman. Mr. Altamont Moses, the president of the Board of Trade, is a native of Sumter and displays a great interest in the city's welfare. His business is one of general merchandise and cotton. He is also agent for several first-class insurance companies. Mr. Moses is very interested in Sumter's schools, and it is due in part to his efforts that they have excelled. R. P. Monaghan offers a complete stock of general merchandise and also sells fertilizers and buys cotton extensively. He is one of Sumter's wealthiest merchants and owns a handsome block of downtown office space."

"Crosswell and Co. are dealers in family groceries and have in stock all the latest delicacies. They have been in business six years and have made money which guarantees that they have pleased their patrons. Mr. D. J. Chandler is in the clothing business and sells shoes and hats as a sideline. He is in the same store with D. James Winn, his uncle and a pioneer in the clothing business. Mr. Chandler learned his tailoring skills from Winn and constructed an in-house department which makes suits. The New Racket Store does business in the sale of shoes, hats, notions and tin ware; Mr. Geo T. Jones is the proprietor. Bultman Brothers conduct a wholesale and retail trade in shoes, leather and shoe materials, trunks and valises. They have been in business since 1871, having moved from Philadelphia to Sumter."

"The most prominent druggist in Sumter is Dr. A. J. China. In addition to operating a drugstore, he is also one of Sumter's leading physicians. The oldest drugstore belongs to Dr. J. F. W. DeLorme who began the business in 1856. Dr. I. A. McKagen followed closely, opening his store in 1858. His shop burned about one year ago. Mr. W. B. Burns opened a hardware store and sells paint and wagon materials. He moved to Sumter about three years ago and has been unusually successful. R. W. DuRant and son also opened a hardware enterprise and sell cutlery, guns, stoves and harnesses."

"Mr. H. A. Hoyt conducted the oldest jewelry store until he turned the business over to C. I. Hoyt about four years ago. His firm was noted for selling watches, clocks, jewelry, silverware and cutlery and engraving. His shop was noted for the finest watch repair. Also, one of the leading jewelers was L. W. Folsom who opened his business in 1888 though he started his career in 1875 as an apprentice. His store displays a pleasant and professional appearance."

"The restaurant of H. Manheim was widely known because of his excellent food. His fresh Norfolk oysters are always a favorite of his patrons. The Sumter Bakery was opened in 1893 with Mr. Beard as the proprietor. He was well known for his baking ability, and his products proved very popular around the city. Sumter also featured a popular bowling alley run by Mr. Morris. Winburn's Photograph Gallery was the leading establishment of its kind in the area. Mr. J. H. Winburn had many years of experience in photography and his photos helped chronicle the growth of the Sumter community."

"Mr. Horace Harby and Epperson bought and sold all classes of horses and mules through their livery stables." Numerous similar businesses saw to the transportation needs of the growing populace of the city. The hair cutting and shaving parlors of J. T. Edwards were located on Main Street and would do credit to any city as its space was nicely furnished and provided skilled employees. M. H. Fields was situated on Liberty Street; this well-kept facility for hair cutting and shaving had among its patrons many of the city's leading business men."