Banker saved Niles 1870's carriage industry

Today many businesses are in serious trouble. We think of it as a 2009 problem; however; throughout history a variety of issues like wars, poor economies and even progress has threatened the livelihood of many of Niles' citizenry.

Such was the case with a business begun in 1872 by gentlemen named Rice, Lambert and Griffith. They erected a building in which they manufactured wagons, buggies and carriages. The team had invested $28,000 in real estate, buildings and machinery.

The History of Berrien, Van Buren Co's MI by D.W. Ensign &Co. in 1880 says "the financial difficulties of 1873 caused a discontinuance of the business."

In a New York Times article of October 14, 2008 writer Jennifer S. Lee wrote: "In trying to make sense of recent events, a historian at the College of William and Mary has argued the crisis is not unlike the Panic of 1873, when rampant real estate speculation culminated in a credit crunch, and banking failures that led to broad panic in the stock markets. That crash lasted more than four years."

Click here to read the full article at Niles Daily Star
Published May 16th, 2009