Research: 1988-Donald Keith Osborne
State Library, Richmond, Virginia
Article Photocopied from
THE HENRY Bulletin
June 1, 1917
A New Town
For Henry County
An Immediate Outlay of
One Million Dollars
There has been considerable talk and speculation as to the proposed
operation of Marshall field near Waller's Ford, but nothing definite was learned
until a few days ago when Mr. W. B. Lynch, Manager in charge of construction
of the Marshall Field Industry, disclosed their intention. Previous information
published was not authentic as it was gathered from various sources, some of
which were not reliable, but what is about to be written comes direct from the
general Manager, Mr. W. B. Lynch.
The Location of the mill will be on the hill close to the old Dan Morris Home
and the homes of the mill hands will be grouped around it. This mill will be
run by electricity, generated by steam, and will be modern in every particular.
Mr. David Linsey of the Draper Mills will be Superintendent of the mill and
will soon be on the grounds to supervise its construction. the machinery to
be used for excavating and constructing is now on the road somewhere between
Philadelphia and Waller's Ford, and immediately upon its delivery work will
be started. Henry County labor is given preference over any other so if there
is anyone desiring to secure work with this new business they should go to see
Mr. David Linsey who they will soon find encamped on the proposed site.
It is thought that this new town was to be called Marshall Field but such is
not the case. The new town is named Fieldale. This town will be up to date and
will be a credit to the state from the time the first shovel full of dirt is
moved. The streets are all mapped out and will have both a sidewalk and a roadway,
which will be kept in good condition.
The town is also to be electrically lighted and will have its own water and
sewerage system, of modern type. Mr. W.R. Lynch, who besides his many other
accomplishments is manager of the Welfare and Health Department, will supervise
Right here it may be well that Mr. Lynch has been a North Carolinian, but we
are glad to learn he is to become a Virginian by adoption. Martinsville in particular
is glad to welcome Mr. Lynch as one of its future residents and will throw the
door of Virginia hospitality open to him. He has purchased the house recently
built by Mr. Husky on Starling Street, and will move with his family from Spray.
Fieldale is also to be equipped with schools, churches, and young men and women
Christian Associations. It will be connected with Martinsville and the surrounding
county by the Franklin County Telephone Company's line. A new up-to-date Post
Office is to be built and Fieldale will also be equipped with a new union depot
to be used by both the Norfolk & Western and Danville & Western.
The Norfolk & Western Railroad is going to use the Danville & Western
Railroad tracks in its approach to the mill and will not put in a spur track
from Payne's Siding as previously published. A Short witch will be built connecting
the two roads where the track's run close together and almost parallel. A short
spur will be built further up on the Danville & Western right of way leading
from the main line to the mill. The new union depot will be built at the point
where the Danville & Western leave the Norfolk & Western at almost right
This is a gigantic business for Henry County and represents and immediate outlay
of one million dollars. Mr. Lynch was very conservative in all of his estimates,
and he said that within the space of two years there would be at least three
thousand souls living where there is now nothing but one house surrounded by
Marshall Field III came in person to see the location of this new industry and
town in the early spring and he was carried away with the scheme as evidenced
by his willingness to invest a million dollars in the venture. All of the directors
of Marshall Field and Company of Chicago inspected the site and were unanimous
in their approval of it. this new mill is a branch of the Spray systems of mills,
which include those of Draper, and is only twenty-eight miles from Spray. Mr.
Lynch living in Martinsville will be in close touch and have general supervision
Mr. H. A. Ford, real estate representative for Marshall Field and Company receives
no small credit for the location of the plant in Henry County. He has shown
much energy and ability in handling the enormous undertaking and has guarded
the secret long and well. There have been times when he was sorely tired and
vexed with inquiries of inquisitive persons and would to tell almost a direct
falsehood in order to ally suspicion. He was directed to keep all transactions
and that he did so is plainly known by all, and especially by newspapermen.
Mr. Ford has clearly shown that he is fully capable of handling big business
as Marshall Field and Company purchased through him forty thousand dollars worth
of real estate alone.