Merchants and Businesses

The first attempt at tavern keeping was made by Lewis Kirk, who entertained the justices and officers of the court at his house during the sessions of court in 1810 and 1811. Richard Scott was the first merchant in Pulaski. He opened a small store near Kirk's house, on Richland Creek, in about 1809. In 1810 Scott sold his store to John G. Talbott and William Ball opened a grocery store in the same vicinity. At that time the above were the only houses in Pulaski. The first merchants to do business after the town was laid out were Richard Scott, David Martin, John G. Talbott, James Doren, John MeCrackin and Henry Hogan. The taverns of that day were kept by Capt. Thomas Smith, on the northeast corner of the Public Square and by James Alexander, on the southeast corner of the Public Square; the latter being afterward kept by ____ Kennon and was known by that name. The physicians of Pulaski who practiced between 1809 and 1815, and. probably later, were Dr. Gilbert D. Taylor, Dr. Shadrack Nye, Dr. David Woods, Dr. Alfred Flournoy, Dr. Elisha Eldridge and Dr. Charles Perkins. The first tan-yards established in the town were those of James Hanby and Lewis and James Connor. The first comfortable residence erected in Pulaski was built by German Lester.

The Legislature declared Richland Creek navigable as far as Pulaski in 1809, and for thirty years thereafter the produce of the county was shipped from Pulaski in large flat-bottomed boats, which were made in the town, and frequently small keel boats and pirogues were made, which were loaded and taken to New Orleans. where merchandise was purchased and brought back in the boats. From three to four months were required to make the trip. Goods for the first merchants were hauled in wagons from Baltimore, Md., whither the merchants themselves would journey once each year with cattle, cotton, etc., which they would exchange for dry goods, groceries and other commodities.

In November 1815, the Legislature appointed Tyree Rhodes, Ralph Graves and John Hicks commissioners to build a bridge across Richland Creek, at Pulaski, the bridge to be paid for out of moneys derived from the sale of town lots. The bridge was built near the depot, and was the first one in the county. A substantial covered frame bridge was subsequently erected in its place, which is in use at the present.

The manufacturers of Pulaski, between 1818 and 1825, were as follows: John E. Holden, cabinet-maker; James Lynch, turning-lathe; William Holden, woolen-factory, afterward converted into a steam saw-mill; Robert Hamby, tannery; George Everly, hattery; Thomas Wilkerson, gunsmith; Adam R. Farres, silversmith; Henry Cowper, saddlery; Henry Piden, blacksmith; Samuel Anderson, cabinet-maker. During the same period Capt. James Patteson kept a hotel, and William Willis a livery stable.

The merchants of Pulaski in business between 1820 and 1830, were Thomas Martin, James Perry, Nathaniel G. Nye, Andrew M. Balentine, Andrew Fay, Samuel Kercheval and Toggert & Christy. Between 1830 and 1840 the merchants were Edward Rose, Keenan, Walker & Guy, James McConnell, H. E. Lester, Lester & Hoag, P. H. Brady, Andrew Fay, Joseph C. Ray & Co., Brown & Ezell, Block Bros., Bell & Mason, Litherman & McNairy, Simonton & Oliver, Jones & Armstrong, J. W. Carpenter, Riddle, Smith & Robinson and Butler & Story. Between 1840 and 1850: Balentine & Gough, J. H. Taylor, M. Nassau, H. C. Lester & Bro., Martin & Tapp, Booker & Shepperd, W. H. Lime, Samuel Kercheval, Bell & Mason, Yerger & Shawl, Balentine, Ezell & Co., Mason & Ezell, Martin & Ray, Benjamin Carter, J. C. Carter, B. F. Carter & Sons, A. M. Carter & Co., and May and Neil. Between 1850 and 1860: Ezell & Bro., May & Neil, Martin. Ray & Co., A. M. Carter & Co., May & Bros., Mason & Ezell, P. R. Ezell, Balentine & Son, Batts & Patteson, Martin & Amos, Armstrong & Nassau, Fuller & Abernathy, J. P. Skillerm, Davidson & Allen, Brannon & Carson, Martin & Stacey, John Kounts and Ray, Harris & Co. There were no merchants in business during the war, all stores, save an occasional sutler's stand, being closed. Between 1865 and 1870 the merchants were R. A. Gordon, Sheppard & Son., Ezell & Edmonson, Balentine & Ezell, Taylor & Son, May Bros., Cox & Reynolds, John B. Ezell, Flautt, Martin & Co., Rosenau & Bros., and A. Lazeress. The merchants of 1870 and 1880 were Arrowsmith & Brannon, H. Abrams, Dickenson & Co., J. R. C. Brown & Co., J. H. Cannon & Co., P. H. Ezell & Son, Flautt, Martin & Co., Heins & Hannabiirgh, R. B. Gibson, Erwin & Lindsey, George W. McGrew, J. P. & A. E. May, James T. McKissack & Co., L. Nassau, Pullen & Childress, Pope & Toller, L. Rosenau & Bros., J. P. Rankin, Rosenau & Loreman, Sumpter & Lacy, S. P. Sternau, Robert Shepperd & Co., and H. O'Lenskey.

Business of Pulaski at present: W. H. Abernathy, clothier; Brannon & Smith, Abernathy & Lightfoot, L. Rosenau & Bros., A. E. May & Son, Solinsky & Feinburgh, F. Arrowsmith & Co., W. S. Rose & Son and H. G. Brown, dry goods; Nelson, May & Martin and Carter & Buford, hardware; H. M. Grigsby, Anderson & Arrowsmith, Craig & Co. and Pope & Gordon, drugs; P. M. Burch, W. J. Nance & Son, J. S. Reynolds, T. J. Wells, J. S. Childress & Co., R. W. Woodward, Spear & McGrew, D. E. Spear & Son, James Davis, J. P. Rankin, Barrington & Lewis and R. S. Williams. family groceries; W. R. Craig, grain dealer; John West and James T. Oaks & Co., undertakers and furniture dealers; Walter Moffitt, merchant tailor; J. H. Cannon & Co., boots and shoes; T. H. May and W. B. Smithson, books and stationery; B. S. Cheek and G. N. McGrew, confections; Miss M. A. Smith & Co. and Mrs. F. M. Rudd, milliners; John Matthews and H. Rosecrans, saddles and harness; P. M. Ezell and J. C. Young & Co., tinware; W. H. Rose and I. H. Rainey, livery stables; Maclin & Robinson, meat market; hotels- Linden House, J. A. P. Skillern, proprietor, and the St. Giles Hotel, Bledsoe & Brown, proprietors; Jones & White, real estate agents; W. B. Smithson, E. Edmonson, Will S. Ezell, James R. Crow and George T. Riddle, insurance agents; Edward F. McKissack, J. T. Grant, G. A. McPeters, dentists; Drs. C. C. & C. A. Abernathy, Dr. J. C. Roberts, Dr. William Batt, Dr. W. E. Wilson, Dr. Gordon and Dr. Millhouse, practicing physicians. The Giles National Bank, S. E. Rose, president, John D. Flautt, cashier, was established in 1872, and the People's National Bank, J. P. May, president, George T. Riddle, cashier, was established in 1883. Both banks do a general banking business. The town has one of the best opera houses to be found outside of the cities. The building is 42x84 feet, with an arched ceiling, beautifully frescoed, and has a seating capacity for 800 persons.

The manufactories of Pulaski are as follows: W. N. Webb & Son, general machine shops; Webb & McGrew, woolen factory; McCord & Co., flouring-mill; T. W. Pittman & Co., planing-mill; Williams & Watson, planing and saw-mill; Graham & Son, carriage factory; McGrew & Son, J. B. Childress, tan-yards; Leon Godfroy and J. A. Casey, silversmiths; Morris & Bro. and Woodring & Sullivan, marble works; Bradley Bros. and D. E. Spear, blacksmith; Owen Callihan and W. A. Manning, boot and shoemakers. There are two newspapers in Pulaski, the only ones in Giles County, both of which are excellent papers with fair patronage, and both belong to the Democratic party in politics. The Pulaski Citizen, of which McCord & Smith are proprietors and L. D. McCord is editor, was established in 1858, and the Pulaski Democrat, J. G. Ford, editor and proprietor, was established in August, 1886. In addition to these two papers, there is a job printing office in Pulaski, of which Charles F. Carter is proprietor.