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The Cardiff Sale

From: The Chattanooga Daily Times, 23 Apr 1890.

Greatest Auction Sale of Lots on Record.

Property Sold at Figures That Indicates the Growing Prosperity of the Chattanooga District.

Over $400,000 of Lots Sold.

A Fast Crowd of People Attend the Sale--How a Booming Town Begins Building--Incidents of the Day--237 Lots sold--Notes and Comments. Special Correspondence Chattanooga Times. Cardiff, Tenn., April 22.--The opening sale of lots at Cardiff today was one of the most notable events occurring in this section for many months. The Cardiff Coal and Iron Company, the owners of the valuable property in and about Cardiff, has expended large sums of money in grading streets, laying off and platting the property and in advertising the open sale, and the result has amply justified all their work and labor. Thirty-five Pullman sleepers arrived at the station early in the morning, filled with New England capitalists, who come down to invest their money in the booming towns of the South. One special train load of investors came from Cincinnati and Louisville and Chattanooga, Fort Payne and adjoining towns added their quota to swell that list of strangers who came to see and buy. The belated Cincinnati Southern train from Chattanooga leaving at 11 a.m., reached Cardiff at 1 o'clock and brought a hundred or more people to add to the numbers already here, and it is estimated that when the sale began at 2 o'clock fully 5,000 people were on the grounds.

Lay of the Land.

The site selected for the town of Cardiff is a capital one, and certifies to the wisdom and intelligence of its projectors. It lies between Walden's Ridge on the west and a rugged knob on the east, the lands gently undulating from the foothills of each elevation to a narrow valley through which runs the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. The streets are laid off in perfect squares, and run north and south and east and west. The lay of the land is admirably adapted for business blocks in the center of the town, while all around on gentle slopes are elegant locations for homes. Immediately through the center of the town site, running north and south a deep trench has been dug through which the water of a large creek has been turned, and which it is intended will furnish ample water for the future pity and afford drainage for all the surrounding country.

Present Cardiff.

There is nothing much of the present Cardiff to speak of except the site above mentioned. The company has erected a large pavilion on the eastern hill slope, designed for a permanent exhibit building and for the occupancy of visitors to the city. Your correspondent counted the frame-work for five or six new commodious structures, the owners of which are pushing to get them finished at as early a date as possible. Enterprising real estate men have secured lots on an avenue leading from the railroad to the pavilion and already a half a dozen temporary structures have been erected; and by the way, two of three were built entire in two hours and a half. One gentleman who was in Oklahoma during the boom in that territory said to me: "This reminds me of Guthrie the first few days after the boomers reached there, except that instead of Pullman coaches standing on the side tracks there were covered wagons scattered all over the face of the earth.

Unique Houses.

The temporary houses are built after the most unique fashion. Ground sills are laid on the four sides; the floor is nailed to these sills; the sidings are then nailed on and the rafters fastened on to the upright boards at the top; a roofing of shingles or boards is then put on, a hole is cut, in which a window frame already filled with glass is fitted and, behold, the house is finished. A handsome roll-top desk is then put in, the walls are immediately covered with maps, and within three hours from the time of startling you see a well-fitted up real estate office and all necessary equipments, and the enterprising agent offering for sale the most desirable lots in the new town. The greatest need now is residences, and carpenters are in demand. Already a large number of new homes are under contract, and within a short time the new city will begin its progressive career.

A Busy Scene.

Never a busier scene was witnessed than here today. Prospectors and investors were scattered all over the town site. Carpenters and brick masons were at work on a number of buildings, wishing to get them ready before the sale should close; lemonade venders and cider wagons were to be found on all sides. Over two hundred teams were at work grading and surfacing the streets. Men were at work all day staking off the grounds and getting ready for the erection of the magnificent hotel to be built at once, and plans were completed today for the Cardiff bank building and the Cardiff Coal & Iron Company's building both of which will be large brick structures, modern in design and equipment. The furnaces have been located. They will stand just west of the hotel site at the foot of Walden's Ridge and will be so situated as that the coal from the Ridge can be easily utilized and at the least possible cost. From the appearances everywhere the promises for the future of Cardiff are very bright, and the founders of the new city have a right to expect a great success to follow their undertaking.  

The Sale.

A mammoth tent has been erected on the summit of the knoll west of the railroad track, with a capacity of 5,000 people, and it was in this tent the sale was held. At 2 o'clock promptly Capt. T.A. FRIERSON, the auctioneer, arose and announced that the great opening sale of Cardiff was about to be begun. Fully 3,000 people were crowded into the tent all pressing forward to get as close as possible to the auctioneer. There was subdued, though visible excitement running through the crowd, and Capt. FRIERSON began his remarks by cautioning moderation on the part of every one, advising that every man make his bid after due and careful consideration. He earnestly requested that there be no excitement, and no wild bidding, stating that there was plenty of time and plenty of lots for all who wanted them. Owing to the great crowd and energy that had been displayed by the management it was feared that the town would be injured by too free bidding and the raising of prices beyond reason.

Mr. RICE Called For.

Mr. RICE, one of the projectors, and the main man who has been instrumental in drawing a large amount of capital from New England to this section, was vociferously called for. He came forward and stated that his company had the means to make Cardiff a great manufacturing town and they were going to do it. He said that the company was ready to fulfill every pledge that had been made in behalf of Cardiff and that investors need have no fear of the city's future. A large man of the town was then uncovered, showing the location of streets, blocks, etc., and the great sale began. The crowd was very orderly and when the first lot was put up a bid per front foot was called for, 500 voices called out $50." As fast as tongues could speak the words, the prices rose by "fives," until the auctioneer by force, and while bidders were clamoring for a higher price, knocked it down at $116. The bidding was the same way all during the sale, and it was rare that a lot was knocked down when there were not several higher bids cried. A bidder had to be quick to get a hearing, and it was not infrequent that several parties claimed the same bid.

An Amusing Incident.

An amusing incident occurred at the beginning of the sale, at the expense of an old gentleman who was greatly excited, and who appeared to be deaf. He bid $100 a foot for a lot, and kept raising it $2 at a time, think his opponent was raising him $1. The old gentleman was crying in a loud voice, $110, $112, $115!" and the bids in the other part of the tent were careening up nearly to $200. The old gentleman was entirely slow for the crowd he was in, and when he heard the result he remarked "the're playin' 'em too high for me," but it was noticed that he never quit bidding, and he finally secured several good bargains. The Sales. During the course of the early bidding the plan of the company of giving paid up stock to each purchaser who should pay more for a lot than asked for by the company in their printed schedule, was more thoroughly explained and the building became more lively and exciting, reminding one somewhat of the scenes witnessed in the New York Stock Exchange during the wild fluctuations of some favorite stocks. The result when the auction closed at 5 o'clock was all that the company could ask. Two hundred and thirty seven lots were sold, aggregating about $400,000, constituting the Cardiff sale the largest single day's business at an auction sale ever known in the South.  

The Sales

Below will be found a complete list of the lots sold, the purchasers and the amounts paid. The lots were each 25 feet front and the prices set down in the list are for a single front foot:


New York World, two lots, $160
J.H. MURPHY, Greenfield, N.H., lot 25, $165.
J.H. LOVE, Greenfield, N.H., lot 27, $151
George WHITEMAN, Kansas City, lots 57 and 11, $152
George WHITEMAN, Kansas City, lot 28, $130
T. WILKINSON, Cincinnati, O., two lots, $130.
E.H. OSBORNE, Harriman, Tenn., lot 12, $134
J.A. RENFROE, Atlanta, Ga., lot 14, $125
F.H. TOBEY, Fort Payne, Ala., lot 32, $126.
Samuel DENNY, lot 22, $115.
J.B. LOVE, Greenfield, N.C., two lots, $128.
J.N. RENFRO, Atlanta, Ga., lot 24, $125
W. INGLEWOOD, Harriman, Tenn., lot 26, $106.
E.L. SPRAUDLING, Fort Payne, Ala., lots 135 and 7, $150.
C.B. WHITING, Barry, Vermont, Three lots, $45.
A.E. MOCINCENY, Harriman, Tenn., two lots, $40.
H. McKINSEY, Cumberland Gap, Tenn., corner lot, $40.
Geo. LYNN, Waltham, Mass, one lot, $58.
W.C. WILLIAMS, Birmingham, Ala., one lot, $40.
H. McKINSEY, Cumberland Gap, two lots, $54.
H.T. PATTON, Cumberland Gap, one lot, $41.
W.H. WHITESIDE, Kansas City, one lot, $35.
G. WHITEMAN, Kansas City, half block, $25.
New York World, one lot $25.
E.S. CARTER, Fort Payne, Ala., one lot, $23.
Mr. O'SAWNEE, Cardiff, Tenn., one lot, $22.
M. COWEN, one lot, $25.
C.H. CALLIHAN, Louisville, Ky., one lot, $47.
Mr. O'SAWNEE, Cardiff, Tenn., one lot $46.
F. YOUNG, Pittsburg, Kan., two lots, $46.
E. HILLIS, Pittsburg, Kan., one lot, $44.
H.W. STEVENS, Boston, Mass., two lots, $40.
S.F. ROBINSON, Clyde, Kan., one lote, $40.
H. RICE, China, Me., one lot, $10.
Hollis HURD, Maine, 1 lot, $16.
Mr. ATKING, Cincinnati, 1 lot, $18.
E.S. GRAHAM, Indiana, 1 lot, $196.
E.S. GRAHAM, Indiana, 1 lot, $170.
A.C. NELSON, Greenville, N.C., 1 lot, $160.
Mr. McNUTT, 1 lot, $154.
E.A. CANNON, Ky., 1 lot, $195.
J.R. NORTHUP, 2 lots, $175.
J. HOOPER, Fort Payne, 2 lots, $80.
J. BAKER, Emory Gap, 1 lot, $61.
E.S. STRONG, Middlesborough, Ky., 1 lot, $51.
R.M. HUFFMAN, Fort Payne, 1 lot, $54.
Mr. CANNON, Carlisle, Ky, 1 lot, $51.
H.B. PIERCE, Mass., 1 lot, $55.
W. INGLEWOOD, Harriman, 1 lot, $52.
A.H. DAVIS, Nashville, 1 lot, $100.
T.E. FRIEND, Roxberry, (corner), $45.
T.E. FRIEND, Roxberry, Mass., 2 lots, $40.
A.W. BAKER, Maine, 2 lots, $9.
A.B. PIERCE, Mass., 1 lot $9.
T.H. GREEN, Fort Payne, 2 lots $8.
F. OWENS, Rockwood (2 corners), $44.
J. FULTON, Sunbright, Tenn., 2 and 4, $8.
H. STEVENS, Boston, 5, $7.
C. HURD, Maine, 7, $6.
W. HURLEY, Rockwood, Maine, 16, $6.
Mr. CRANE, Middlesborough, Ky., 18 and 19, $6.
C. HANKS, Harriman, 21, $5.
L. IRWIN, Cardiff, 1 lot; $5.
BROWN & TARWATER, Rockwood, 1 lot, $76.
BROWN & TARWATER, Rockwood, 14 lots, $50.
F. OWENS, Rockwood, 2 lots, $53.
T.E. FRIEND, Roxberry, Mass., lot 3, $52.
S.B. KING, Boston, lots 19 and 21, $27.
T.E. FRIEND, Roxberry, $26.
H. STEVENS, Boston, $25.
W. ENGLEWOOD, Harriman, Lot 1 and 2, $16.
E.T. GROOME, Lexington, KY., $42.
D. WILKINSON, Cincinnati, Ohio, lot 1 and 31, $42.
R.M. HUFFMAN, Ft. Payne, lot 35 and 37, $40.
A.H. McCORMICK, Kansas, lot 9 and 11, $40.
J.B. NORTHUP, Chattanooga, lot 21 and 23, $9.
C. CALLAHAN, Louisville, Ky., lot 13, 15, 17 and 19, $6 50 (sic).
J.M. BROWN, Chattanooga, lot 25, $8.
G.B. EVANS, Vermont, bal. block, $7.
L.T. ERWIN, Vermont, 4 lots, $34.
J.F. McNUTT, Rockwood, lot 28 and 27, $20.
A.B. PRICE, Ghent, Ky., lot 17, $20.
H. STEVENS, Boston, 2 lots, $20.
I.C. IBBY, Maine, 2 lots $49.
C.D. BAKER, Augusta, Maine, 2 lots, $19.
H. STEVENS, Boston, 2 lots, $20.
J.E. FRIEND, Roxberry, Mass, 2 lots, $20.
Mr. FIELD, Boston, 5 lots, $20.
E. ELLIS, Pittsburg, lot 20 $48.
A.P. CHILDS, Massachusetts, 5 lots $47.
A.I. GILLMAN, lot 1, $47.
B.M. BROWN, Vermont, 1 lot, $16.
N.S. MURRAY, Maine, 2 lots, $17.
TARWATER & BROWN, Rockwood, both corners, $118.
TARWATER & BROWN, 14 lots, $100
E.S. GRAHAM, Indianapolis, 1 lot, $161.
H. SCULL, Atlantic City, N.J., 1 lot, $105.
Geo. E. SMALLEY, Cambridge, Mass., lot 6 and 8, $100
E.S. GRAHAM, Indianapolis, Ind., corner (2 lots), $186.
A.W. RYAN, Rochester, N.Y., lot 41, $135.
A.W. RYAN, lot 4 and 42, $125.
A.G. GALLOWAY, Ft. Payne, lot (2 corner), $131.
R.N. GISER, Ft. Payne, 1 lot, $22.
R. HOPPER, Boston, lot 5 and 7, $20.
Mr. BAKER, Augusta, Maine, 2 lots, $40.
E.N. ATKINSON, Cincinnati, 4 lots, $48.
I.C. IBBY, Maine, 1 lot, $17.
Mr. SMALLEY, Cambridge, N.J., 1 lot $16
H.B. PIERCE, Massachusetts, 1 lot, $17.
S.A. WILDER, Ft. Payne, Ala., 2 lots, $47.
F. MULLENEUX, 1 lot, $8.
Ben THOMPSON, Emory Gap, 1 lot, $8.
H. HOOPER, Fort Payne, 4 lots, $40.
W. McCARTY, Kingsville, Ky., 1 lot $30.
J. FULTON, Sunbright, Tenn., 1 lot $22.
Mr. JOHNSON, Kingsville, Ky., 1 lot, $10.
J.E. FULTON, Sunbright, Tenn., 1 lot, $18.
J.M. STANDING, Boston, 1 lot, $17.
Chas. COPELAND, Boston, 1 lot, $46.
J.P. STANDEFER, Middlesborough, 2 lots, $47.
Wm. GARBERSON, Claire, Mich, 1 lot, $48.
J.M. WATKINS, St. Louis, Mo., 5 lots, $21.
W.K. EVANS, Winston, N.C., 1 lot, $131.
W.H. POWERS, Harriman, 1 lot, $117.
G.A. RICHFIELD, Boston, 3 lots, $121.
G.A. RICHFIELD, Boston, 2 lots, $106.
R.G. DUNN, Pleasantville, Ky., 1 lot, $122.