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PRITCHETT NEWS

This weather has proven to be bad as of late with sleet, snow, and ice.  It will get better.
 
Our condolences go to the family of my sister, Emma Warren, who is survived by her four sons and their wives, Maurice and Tricia, Tom and Lil, Bill and Brenda, and Jerry and Darlene.  Emma’s husband, Earl Warren, passed away January 29, 1998 .  She is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as a brother, Buck Denton, and two sisters, Carol Pate and Brenda Johnson, and a sister-in-law, Ruby Denton.  Emma was the matriarch of her family and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
 
There was no quilting this week  due to the bad weather.
 
WORDS OF WISDOM:  Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,”...we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter.
 
Friday, all of my family went to a play in Longview that Gillian was in, put on by home school children by the Artsview Theater.  They had 24 hours to put it together and did a very good job.  They are collecting bears for the Truman Smith home and for firemen and policemen to give to children.  
 
Please have your pets spayed and neutered and have them a warm place to stay when cold.
 
Thought for the day:  If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign of?  Albert Einstein
 
Other businesses in Pritchett from the records of Myra Watts:  The Gilmer Mirror had an article titled the “Big Pritchett Fire” of 1908.  The business listed that burned were; The McIntosh & Carlisle Drug Store, W.A. Bouknight Store, Eastman and Walker Store, Mings & White Store and the Woodmens Hall.
 
While searching the deeds at the court house I found that McIntosh & Carlisle sold their lot to W. S Bouknight in 3-15-09.  Other businesses I found are:  The Eye Opener Printing Shop; Pritchett Lumber Co., 1898; Cox & Gaston, 3-21-1901; Albert Maberry, 10-8-13;  John E. Hail Blacksmith Shop 1904; E. B. West horse lott.  He was a drayman (sort of like a taxi today) and would carry people who came in on the train to their destination and he rented horses.
 
My step great-grandfather, H. H. Bauman, who married Barbara Steelman Parsons, sold his blacksmith shop to D. Webb Gage on 8-16-1907.
 
Mrs. Annie and F. N. Buie deeded a lot to the deacons of the Methodist Church, T. M. Mathis in 1908.  It was located just north of the Pritchett Community Center.
 
In the 1910 census the general merchandise stores listed were:  William and Kate Maberry; Garfield Murrey, groceries; William H. Bouknight; William & Fannie Blackstone; James & Mattie Humphreys; William Walker, merchant - drugstore; George McIntosh and John Nelson, artist & photographer.
 
Pritchett had a Farmers Union Warehouse beside the railroad tracks.  In the 1930’s it was used as a tomato packing shed.  After packing the crates they were loaded on box cars on the switch and the Blue Streak freight train would stop and pick the cars and take them to market in larger cities.  They also packed strawberries the same way.  Congressman Lindley Beckworth, who went to school at Pritchett when his father taught here said, “During the depression, there was nothing more discouraging to people than loading strawberries on the train to Dallas and having them returned because they did not sell.”
 
Pritchett had a newspaper called “The Enterprise” owned and operated by W. M. Satterwhite & Sons.  Subscription cost per year - 50 cents.  Joe Dell Snow has a copy that had an article re: his great-great—great uncle Col. Oran M. Roberts, once governor of Texas.  The 1910 census lists J.R. Nalls -– Publisher - weekly paper.  This was before the Pritchett Enterprise Newspaper.
 
On May 23, 1914 J.L. Mathis sold a lot to the Smith Bros. Bob and Quince were partners.  Another brother, Sid Smith, ran a barber shop in Pritchett.  Guy may have worked there, he later operated a service station in Gilmer.  Lizzie Smith, bob’s wife, ran the switch board for the Pritchett Telephone System in her home.
 
Dorothy Cowan and Cleo Snow remember some of the business in Pritchett in the 1930’s.  They are: J.L. McClain grocery & restaurant; Carl Reed Drug Store; Lee Mings, General Merchandise; Pritchett State Bank; Post Office;  Tweet Richardson’s Boot Shop.
 
Cleo remembers the drug store, McClain grocery store and the barber shop were connected and the bank was a separate building west of those stores.  They were located near where Etta’s Cafe is now, before Highway 155 was built, on the south side of the rail road tracks.
 
Edgar Gaston’s merchandise store and filling station was located north of the tracks on the east side of what is now Holly Lane.  Further north on the south west side of Holly and Aspen was a grocery store owned by Henry Davis.  He later moved to Gilmer.  Going west on Aspen on the north east side of Aspen and Lemon was the “Jot-em-down” store owned by Alvin Robertson.  My grandparents, Leon and Jettye Johnson, ran this store when I was a child in the 1940’s.  I have a picture of it.
 
James C. Humphreys is listed in the 1930 census as a Farmer & Private Loan business.  My daddy, Joel Johnson, told me that his grandfather, Lannes Johnson, and Frank Mitchell wrote a bogus check for one million dollars and asked Jim Humphreys if he could cash it.  He said he could cash it, but that he would have to go back to the house  to cash one that large.  They told him that was alright, they were going to Gilmer later and would cash it there.  He called their bluff.  It was told that he carried a suitcase full of money with him for his loan business.
 
Joe Roberts also had a grocery and feed store and in 1940, he built a new brick store just west of the rock school.  He later went to work at the Gilmer National Bank and sold the store to Bob Davis, father of Tom Davis of Gilmer.
 
Loyd Crabtree of Gladewater said Pritchett had a cotton yard at one time.  It was located where Monaque and Doris Gage built houses.  John Plant operated the yard.  Don Plant told Loyd about loading bales of cotton into the box cars.  He would fix a gang plank and take two cotton hooks and squat down and pick the bale of cotton up on his back and carry it up the gang plank and put it inside the box car.  (continued next week)

 

Entrepreneurial America

By Dr. Ray Perryman

Every year, hundreds of thousands of new businesses are launched across the United States, generating an important source of jobs and economic activity. While many of these don’t survive, the constant introduction of new firms, new ideas, and new opportunities is vital to continued economic success. However, recently released data indicate that the rate of business formation has slowed.

One study from The Brookings Institution described the decline of entrepreneurial activity in America, noting that it was affecting virtually all geographic areas and industries. Researchers looked at business dynamism (the ongoing process of firm creation, failure, expansion, and contraction) and found that it is decreasing. Over the past 20 years, they found lower firm entry rates and less job reallocation based on an analysis of data maintained by the Census Bureau.

The firm entry rate is simply new firms (those less than one year old) as a percent of all firms. That rate fell by nearly half, the authors note, between 1978 and 2011. There are two things I’d like to point out about this dataset and timeframe, however, which help explain this alarming decrease. Naturally, as the US economy has added firms over three decades, it takes more new entrants to keep the proportion the same. In fact, a chart of actual firm entrants by number (not percentage) shows a fairly predictable pattern: up when the economy is growing and down when it’s not, but bouncing around 500,000 per year. This chart, located in the appendix to The Brookings Institution study, also illustrates another point about the dataset; it ends in March 2011.

The effects of the recession on firm creation are very clear (and, again, not surprising) with Census Bureau figures indicating a large drop in the number of new establishments from a peak in 2006 at nearly 831,700 down to just over 609,300 in 2009. By 2011, new establishments were back up to almost 682,800. (As a side note, these statistics differentiate between firms and establishments. If a company has operations in more than one site, it counts as one firm, but multiple establishments.)

Unfortunately, since 2011 is the most recent data released by the Census Bureau, the extent of recovery in firm creation over the past few years remains to be seen. I would suspect that, if it is anything like other statistics, it’s been on the rise of late, but may not have reached the level prior to the recession quite yet. While the numbers of new establishments were down virtually everywhere, some geographic areas (including Texas) were doing better than most.

A different index of entrepreneurial activity is tracked by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This index also uses data from the Census Bureau, but focuses on the Current Population Survey which is released monthly. The Kauffman Index looks at data for all individuals aged 20 to 64 who do not own a business as their main job. The following month, they look at whether these individuals now own a business and work at it 15 hours per week or more. Advantages of this index are that it is more timely (the latest release is for 2013), includes more types of businesses, and provides more information on the people creating them. Moreover, it differentiates businesses started by people who are already employed (who presumably see an opportunity and act on it) from those coming out of unemployment (who may be starting a business because they can’t find a job).

As note, the Kauffman Index values reflect the number of adults who have created a business since the last month’s observation. Since 1996, the index has bounced about 0.30%, meaning that 300 people of each 100,000 in the Current Population Survey have created a business. The highest measured rates of entrepreneurial activity were during the recession, reaching 0.34% in 2009 and 2010. For 2013, the index stood at 0.28%. Also, the share of total business creation by people who have jobs (and are taking advantage of opportunities) rose sharply in 2012 as the economy improved.

Another interesting thing about entrepreneurial activity as tracked by the Kauffman Index is that the highest rates of business creation are found in the lower end of educational attainment. People with less than a high school diploma created businesses at a far higher rate (0.48% in 2013, down from a peak of 0.59% in 2010) than college graduates (0.28% in 2013). Note that there are fewer people falling into the less-than-high-school group, so these higher rates don’t necessarily translate into higher absolute numbers.

Many new business ventures are prompted more by a lack of other options than by a desire to seize an opportunity. As the economy improves, it is natural for the rate of formation for such reasons to decline. The Kauffman Index, which is based on survey responses from individuals, reflects that fact; 2012 and 2013 creation rates are down from the recessionary years. The Brookings Institution study looks at entrepreneurial activity from a business standpoint, and found that the proportion of new firms has been falling. However, the data The Brookings Institution researchers rely on ends in 2011, when the recovery was still very weak. Entrepreneurial activity is essential to long-term prosperity, but recent gloomy headlines may not reflect a truly damaging long-term problem.

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Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com). ; He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.