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American Cigar Co

1902

07 11       If the citizens of Watertown will assist in securing a suitable site for the erection of buildings, the American Cigar Co., of New York, will erect a large tobacco packing and sorting plant in our city.  Nathan P. Strauss, of Madison, the Wisconsin representative of the company, was here last week Thursday and addressed a meeting of businessmen on the subject of the city hall.  The company has large plants at Sparta, Janesville and Madison.  An option has been secured on the Heinrichs plant in this city, and if it is secured it will be enlarged and remodeled, and a new brick building with a frontage of 125 feet will be added on the south of the present.  Tobacco would be received at the plant here for sorting and packing, and about 20 hands would be employed from December until May each year, most of the labor being men.  Day labor would be paid from 7 cents to $1.75 per day, and piece workers from $4 to $10 per week. 

 

Tobacco raised within a radius of 35 miles of this city would be sorted and packed here, which would certainly attract considerable new trade to our businessmen.  If the company locates here, about $20,000 would be expended in its plant.  Our citizens fully realize its benefits, and an effort will be made to donate the site wanted.   WL

 

1904

02 19       Wm. F. Earle, Superintendent of the Watertown branch of the American Cigar Co. has been on a business trip for some weeks past through the tobacco sections of Wisconsin, and succeeded in buying the product of 800 acres of tobacco.  It will be shipped to the company's warehouses here as soon as the weather will allow the producers to strip and pack it.   WL

 

1906

               Earle occupied two buildings and employed 60 males and 140 females. [Twelfth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics, State of Wisconsin, 1905, 1906]

 

01 23       The American Cigar Co.’s, warehouse is a busy place these days.  Over two hundred and fifty men and women are engaged in sorting and packing leaf tobacco.  There are two large sorting rooms each of which is well-lighted and steam heated, comfortable and scrupulously.  There are wash-rooms and lavatories on both floors, not a single convenience being forgotten for the comfort of the employees.  During working hours everything is quiet in the sorting room, there being no talking or laughing, each sorter arriving to accomplish all the work possible, as she sorts by the hundred pound scales and some of the girls earn $1.50 per day.  The establishment is run as regular as clockwork and each hand of tobacco is so checked, that after being packed, it can be traced, should it be necessary, back to the farmer who raised it.  It is an immense concern much larger than most of the people of this city are aware and is well worth a visit.  W. F. Earle is resident manager; Donald Mclnnis superintendent; Carl Link, bookkeeper.  The writer is under obligations to Mr. Earle for showing him through the establishment and giving him information as to the work.   WG

 

1909      Tobacco Warehouse Closed

07 23       On Tuesday the American Cigar Co. closed its warehouses and sorting plant here and they are to remain closed permanently.  It appears the company is concentrating their assorting plants as far as possible to the tobacco growing districts to save cost of freight and handling.  Superintendent Earl will be taken care of elsewhere by the company.  Our people regret very much the departure of himself and family from the city.   WG

 

12 03       Tobacco Plant in New Hands—The United Tobacco Co. has leased the plant of the American Cigar Co. in this city and will in a short time put a large force of people at work therein.   WG

 

Cross References:

Tobacco—Dodge County—A few days since, in the town of Oak Grove, Dodge County, we saw a very fine field of tobacco, which we have since learned has come to maturity and proved to be a fine quality.  There is no doubt but what this crop could be successfully cultivated in this State.   Watertown Democrat, 09 16 1858