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In Stone & Webster Localities
The managers of the companies operated by Stone & Webster, Inc., write to the Management Division of Stone & Webster about the first of each month with reference to business conditions in their respective localities during the preceding month. A digest of these letters is published each month in the Stone & Webster Journal.
BATON ROUGE, LA., NOVEMBER 8
During October, 1921, building permits amounting to $85,454 were issued against $74,370 last year. The average number of employees of the Standard Oil Company during October, 1921, was 3,128 against 3,454 last year.
There is no apparent change in the general business situation. Baton Rouge has not experienced as much financial depression as has been felt throughout the North and East, so the upward trend in business conditions is not as noticeable here as elsewhere.
Our October railway light and power and gas receipts all show increase over last year.
BEAUMONT AND PORT ARTHUR, TEX., NOVEMBER 15
Bank clearings at Beaumont for October, 1921, amounted to $4,346,699, against $6,217,980 last year.
During October, 1921, there were issued at Beaumont, 147 building permits amounting to $135,767 against 307 permits amounting to $141,218 last year; at Port Arthur there were issued 197 permits amounting to $91,313, against 86 permits aggregating $59,601 last year.
The imports for the Sabine district were $1,270,897 for October, 1921, against $802,875 last year.
The exports amounted to $6,728,575, against $12,721,499 for October, 1920.
Local business has shown a slight stimulation during October, but is still quiet.
The Beaumont Shipbuilding Company, which has been inactive for approximately a year, has contracted with the Southern Pacific Railroad for repairing a large number of freight cars.
Improved oil prices have stimulated drilling activities in the oil fields, which has been reflected in increased business on the part local manufacturers and distributors.
BELLINGHAM, WASH., NOVEMBER 12
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $2,165,096.27, against $2,891,839.12 last year.
Post office receipts for October, 1921, amounted to $8,860.95, against $9,984.17 last year.
During October, 1921, there were issued 70 building permits amounting to $27,585, against permits aggregating $22,519 last
Although business in general is quiet, merchants are optimistic and are looking forward to a fairly good seasonal trade.
Conditions in Skagit County, while not of the best, are improving somewhat and the fairly good oat and potato crop will help very materially.
Approximately 1600 teachers attended the Washington State Convention of teachers held here in October.
Service of the Pacific Steamship Company, which was suspended last summer because of insufficient business, will be resumed and a weekly steamer from San Francisco will make Bellingham a port of call in the future.
The "Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen" report, that in Bellingham, the average cost of foodstuffs is the third lowest of any city in the state.
Lighting receipts show an increase of three per cent on the Bellingham Division and two per cent on the Northern Division. Interurban passenger receipts show an increase of six per cent and freight receipts of 45 per cent.
BROCKTON, MASS., NOVEMBER 7
Savings bank deposits for October, 1921 amounted to $18,908,160, against $18,849,079 last year.
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $18,145,219, against $19,179,524 last year.
During October, 1921, there were issued 119 building permits amounting to $103,075, against 60 permits amounting to $37,835 last year.
October shoe shipments totaled 44,313 cases, bringing the total for the first ten months of the year to 491,021 cases, a decrease of 14,517 cases from the same period in 1920.
The forty-eighth annual fair of the Brockton Agricultural Society was held during the month, with a total attendance of 223,000, the largest in the history of the Fair.
The latest addition to Brockton's industries is the Logan Company which will manufacture a new article in shoe findings-a felt box toe. They expect to employ a large force and will start at capacity production.
COLUMBUS, GA., NOVEMBER 23
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $4,166,458, against $5,007,280 last year.
Post office receipts for October, 1921, amounted to $11,824, against $10,848 last year.
In October, 1921, there were issued 16 building permits, amounting to $119,400, against 14 permits amounting to $37,860 last year. Retail business is very quiet and merchants appear to feel rather pessimistic about Christmas trade.
There is comparatively little unemployed labor, all cotton mills running on full time, many of them overtime.
The smaller manufacturing industries, such as foundries, and cotton gin manufacturing plants are running on part time and in some cases are completely shut down.
The building of small dwellings continues, but at a more moderate pace, there being a slowing up in the demand for houses.
DALLAS CITY, ILL., NOVEMBER 9
General business conditions in Dallas City have shown no important changes the past month.
The Western Illinois Utilities Company established a new high maximum demand of 280 kw. on October 10.
The new pumping station was put in operation during the month, and is now furnishing the entire water supply for the city.
EL PASO, TEX., NOVEMBER 4
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $20,725,766 against $28,340,016 last year.
During October, 1921, there were issued 160 building permits amounting to $405,883 against 85 permits amounting to $189,605 last year.
Exports for September, 1921, amounted to $1,116,841 against $1,298,811 last year.
Imports for September, 1921, amounted to $75,901 against $287,747 last year.
General business conditions continue quiet.
Building is still brisk. In addition to several apartment houses now being erected, it is estimated that there are 150 bungalows under construction in the city.
Our October railway receipts show an increase of 13.8 per cent last year.
The lighting department gained 201 meters during October. Various agreements between the Building Contractors' Association and the local labor unions provide for an average wage reduction amounting to one dollar a day.
EVERETT, WASH., NOVEMBER 2
In October, 1921, there were issued 42 building permits amounting to $16,585 against 41 permits amounting to $24,640 last year.
The lumber industry is continuing to improve, production for the past three months having increased at the rate of about 3 per
At the present time the majority of shipments are cargo shipments and from this particular district a large amount is going through the Panama Canal to yards in Baltimore, Md. Also many heavy orders are being shipped to Japan, China, Great Britain and her colonies.
In the shingle industry, three of the cedar mills have been closed on account of the shortage of logs, due to the fact that the Japanese are buying cedar logs and shipping them through whole to Japan where they are being sawed up into building materials, this owing to a subsidized building campaign of the Japanese government. They also have recently placed large orders for hemlock, which has not previously been used for building purposes in that country. Retail merchants report a slight improvement in trade and in collections.
Light and power business remains unchanged. Railway receipts show an improvement.
FALL RIVER, MASS., NOVEMBER 5
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $8,624,239 against $8,429,401 last year.
In October, 1921, there were issued 90 building permits amounting to $180,700 against 64 permits amounting to $215,535 last year. With the mills all running, except three, the general business outlook for the immediate future is fairly satisfactory.
FORT MADISON, IA., November 9
Business conditions in Fort Madison remain about the same as in the months immediately preceding, and, while not as good as desired, they can be considered as reasonably satisfactory, in view of the general depression.
On October 7, the entire plant of the Big Farmer Corporation was destroyed by fire. The reconstruction of a part of the plant has already been commenced.
The Chamber of Commerce has recently, after a successful membership drive, perfected plans for the establishment of a traffic bureau and credit association.
On October 24, the City Council executed a contract with this company for furnishing energy for a "White Way" system. This consists of approximately one hundred single light standards covering the entire business district.
Approximately $125,000 worth of property, almost wholly in residence tracts, was transferred in the month of October, making
this one of the biggest real estate months in Fort Madison's history. Approximately fifty new houses are under construction at the present time, though real estate commands as high prices as during the war.
FORT WORTH, TEX., NOVEMBER 4
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $57,010,731 against $85,126,118 last year.
During October, 1921, there were issued 252 building permits amounting to $472,427 against 135 permits amounting to $502,201 last year.
The increase in number of building permits coupled with the decrease in value of same, reflects the fact that the activity in building is largely confined to residence building and repair work. This is being undertaken in connection with the campaign to improve the unemployment situation.
Business generally has shown considerable improvement for the last two months, due principally to higher price for cotton, increased prices of fuel oil, extensive road work and the improved outlook for the cattle industry, due to funds made available for its relief by the War Finance Corporation. This improvement has gone a long way toward creating a better feeling and more opti
mism in business circles.
Stockyards receipts for October, 1920 and 1921, were as follows:
The largely increased number of calves placed on the market at this time is attributed to the extended drought over the western section of the state.
The Agricultural and Livestock Corporation, capital $1,500,000, has been organized to handle the funds made available by the War Finance Corporation for the relief of the cattle industry. Its stock is being sold principally in Fort Worth and its trade territory, and is being taken almost entirely by individuals. The Fort Worth banks, though not solicited for subscriptions, have unanimously approved of it as a first-class investment. Fort Worth's quota of $750,000 has been oversubscribed.
GALVESTON, TEX., November 9
Bank clearings for October, 1921, amounted to $33,187,535 against $47,276,459 last year.