Source: North Manchester Journal, May 20, 1897
Wool has been coming in at a pretty lively rate lately and much of it from
long distances. The price ranges from 16 to 20 cents a pound, owing to the
quality. Farmers who bring their wool to this market are getting all it is
Last Saturday had the appearance on the streets of a busy day. Quite a large amount of wool was brought to market, some of it coming a long distance. The competition was pretty warm and the result was that every farmer who had wool to sell went home highly pleased.
Source: North Manchester Leader, May 28, 1897
YOUNG AND WOOLLY
North Manchester Merchants Twenty Years Ago
VIED WITH EACH OTHER IN BUYING WOOL.
Sheep Raising Not Profitable Now in Indiana
During the recent cool days the newly sheared sheep have hovered close to the old straw stacks and shivered with cold. While they chilled their owners were in North Manchester selling their wool to the highest bidder. the price which the North Manchester merchants pay for wool ranges from 14 to 18 cents, a higher price than Wabash merchants pay. More wool is bought in North Manchester than in any town in northern Indiana. Farmers, however, say that it does not pay them for their trouble. One man said to a reporter for the LEADER:
"The only time it paid to raise sheep for the wool was along in the 50s. We then received as high as 30 cents per pound for it, but every year since the war the price has steadily gone down. Even when wool was at that price farmers did not get enough for their trouble. A few sheep on a farm is a good thing. They keep the weeds and briars cut down from the fence corners, but if a large flock is turned out in a pasture it ruins it. Other stock will not graze where many sheep have gone. I have a few sheep and I sell the wool from them, but I do not make a cent."
Some 30 years ago, when Lawrence & Whistler conducted a general store in North Manchester, the wool market was very lively. At that time D.W. Krisher, now president of the Bank of North Manchester, was a clerk in the store. During those days, Mr. Krisher says, the custom of the buyers of wool was to send men out on all the roads leading into town. When wool began to come in, these men would stop the sellers and, if possible, buy it before the farmers could get into town, where the less enterprising merchants were waiting.
Those were good old times, says Mr. Krisher. Tons of wool were shipped from this market then. At that time woolen mills thrived in the Indiana towns and wool did not have to be shipped far. Along in the early days of North Manchester, Wallace & Rogers ran a woolen mill on the spot where Enyart & Son's blacksmith shop now stands. While it was a small concern, it did a thriving business and turned out yards of woolen goods. Now, however, there are but few woolen mills in the great state of Indiana. The large concerns belonging to the trust have driven them to the wall and wool is all shipped east.