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The commercial. (Union City, Tenn.) 190?-193?, March 12, 1915, Image 8

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:i: A iVery Practical and Compre
hensive Statement.
? The system of main line macadam
ized roads which it is hoped will soon
be be built in Obion Couuty connecting
the various towns, civil districts and
neighborhoods, includes roads aggre
gating in length about 225 miles.
Mr. W. C. Kelly, civil engineer, and
Mr. C. H. Jenks, civil engineer, and
others who are more or less familiar
with this kind of road work, have esti
mated that the 225 miles of road can
be built at a cost of $300,000. Some
parts of this system of roads would have
to be constructed so as to carry heavier
traffic than other parts of the system.
The road leading west from Obion to
Glass is perhaps the most traveled road
in the county and of course it would
have to be wide and be built upon
solid foundation. This piece of road
would perhaps cost more per mile than
any other in the county, mere are
other important roads which constitute
a part of the system of roads proposed
to be built which need. not be more than
10 or 12 feet wide and of very much less
thickness than the Obion and Glass road
In some places there will be a lot of
grading to do and in others very little
We have in Obion County several gravel
pits which will afford a great deal of ma'
terial from which to build the roads
We have two pieces of road leading west
to Union City that have stood for many
years, which were built entirely of native
gravel; so that the civil engineers have
taken all these matters and others into
consideration and have estimated that
the system of loads proposed can be
built for $800,000 as before stated
A general description of the system
: of main line public roads proposed to
be built is as follows:
Beginning at Obion and following the
main road west to Glass, Elbridge, Min
nick, and on west to Gratio. Another
road leaving the above mentioned road
west of Glass a quarter of a mile and
running south and west through what is
known as the Frog Level country to
Lane's Ferry. , Another road running
from about a mile of Glass in a north
erly direction toHornbeak; from Horn-
beak to Webb's store by the main road.
From Hornbeak to Samburg and from
Hornbeak to Troy by the main road.
From Samburg eastward through Pro
temus to Union City. From Obion
southeastward across the Obion and
Trenton levy to the old Pierce place
southwestward toward Trimble to the
county line; from the old Pierce place
running eastward through Mason Hall
to Kenton ; from Kenton eastward cross
ing Rutherford Fork, passing the old
Wade place and following the main
road through the seventh civil district
to the Martin and Union City road and
thence eastward with the Martin and
Union City road to the Weakley County
line, and west with the said Martin and
Union City road to Union City. From
Kenton north about one mile up the M.
& O. E. K. ; thence west to Jim Foster's
and north and west to the Bingham
place on the Mason Hall and turnpike
levy road; from the Troy and Trenton
road to Polk; from Troy toEives; from
Hives eastward to the Kenton and Union
City road before mentioned, from Eives
south and southeast by the G. W. Sto
vall place to the said Kenton and Union
City road; from Pleasant Valley church
-south to intersect the road leading east
from Eives above mentioned, from Troy
northeastward to the old Herring place
.intersecting the road from Samburg to
Union City, from Eives west and north
intersecting the lake road at tbeJtlor
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The 2 in 1 Shin Brings the Smile of Satisfaction! Quick, Brilliant,
casting, in me ttasy-upemng " jbox.
gan place; the road leading from the
Weakley County line on the eastern
side of the sixteenth civil district, west
ward through McConnell, Harris Sta
tion, by Will Adams' place and Union
City, by the Dr. Park place, Judge
Caldwell's, to Clayton; from Judge Cald
well's north through Crystal to the State
line; from Union City north by the
Baylor place and via Mount Zion to the
State Line road; from the Naylor place
via Woodland Mills to the State line to
-the N., C. & St. L. E. E.; from Union
City north by the W. M. Warterfield
place to the old Cloys place; thence east
with the old Hickman and Dresden road
and north by Herbert Naylor's to the
State line at the old Chambers place;
from W. M. Warterfield's eastward by
Dixon Corum's to the W. C. Barham
place; from Harris to South Fulton
and the three main line roads running
south and southeastward from South
Fulton and through the sixteenth civil
district. , .
The above is a general description of
the system of roads which would serve
all ' x 6 role .-'of Obion County, the
length of these roads aggregating, as
fcefore stated, about 225 miles. It is
estimated that these roads could be
shortened several miles by straighten
ing the curves and cutoffs in various
places. As before stated, it has been
estimated that this system of roads can
be built for $800,000. Some of the advo
cates of this system of roads hope that
under the new State Highway Law one
half of the cost of about 50 miles of
these roads will be refunded to the
county. This is not at all improbable,
and in that event the system of roads
would cost less than $800,000.
To build this system of roads it will
be necessary for the Legislature to pass
an act authorizing Obion County to
issue and sell $800,000 worth of,-,5 per
cent bonds. These bonds would be
easily sold for the reason that such
are always in demand by capitalists who
deal in this sort of securities.
Quite a large number of the best peo
ple and the most intelligent people and
the tax payers and business men and
farmers of Obion County are strongly
in favor of proceeding promptly with
the matter of building this system of
roads and it is believed that the same
can be done at the price mentioned and
that it would be the greatest enterprise
that the people of Obion County could
ever enter into. On the other hand a
number of the citizens have strongly
urged the objection to the building of
this system of roads; that the roads
would cost too much; that $800,000 is
so great a sum that the people of Obion
County could never pay it; that to issue
and sell this amount of bonds would
be placing a debt upon the county which
could never be paid. In the language
of one of these objections, it would be
'saddling a debt upon the unborn gen
erations that they could never pay
The people who make these objections
say that, of course, these roads wou!
be fine to have but it would be a bad
policy to go into debt for so large a sum
of money for the reasons stated. If
these objections . are well founded, of
course the roads should not be built
Eight hundred thousand dollars would
be a small debt for Obion County to
owe. It would be a very small debt
compared to the value of the property
in Obion County. The assessed value
of the property in the county is approx
imately $12,000,000; its actual value
is three and one-third times what it is
assessed at, or $40,000,000. These are
big figures, but Obion County is a big
county, and a rich one. The real value
of the property in Obion County is
easily $40,000,000, so that an $800,000
debt would only be 2 per cent of the
value of the property in the county. A
citizen who owns a farm worth $3,000
would owe a debt in the same proper
tion if his indebtedness amouted to $60;
the owner of alarm worth $5,000 would
owe a debt of the same proportion if
his indebtedness amounted to $100; a
man owning a $10,000 farm would owe
a debt in the same proportion if his in
debtedness amounted to $200. Eight
hundred thousand dollars sounds large
to an individual, but to the great rich
county of Obion it is a small debt
amounting to only 2 per cent of the
real value of the property. That we
line macadamized roads for the unborn
generations which are yet to come, when
the cost is so small, may be wrong.
This is not an individual matter, it is
a county proposition, and the size and
magnitude and the wealth of the whole
county must be considered in determin
ing whether the cost of the proposed
roads is large or small. The absolute
truth is that an $800,000 debt to Obion
County would be a very small debt, and
one that could be easily paid.
Within the last year a few concrete
bridges have been built in Obion County
which will last for many years, and with
this exception there has been no perma
nent road improvement made in Obion
County within the memory of the old
est citizen. '
From year to year and from gener
ation to generation for nearly one hun
dred years temporary improvements
have been made, cheap bridges have
been constructed and dirt roads have
been made, and this work has been
done each year only to be done over
the succeeding year. Cheap bridges
have been built that in a year or two
would be destroyed by Father Time,
From year to year the road contractors
and road hands have piled up dirt in
the middle of the roads to make pas
sage ways for travelers, knowing that
as soon as the winter rains, snows and
freezes and thaws were over they would
have to go back again and do the same
work over. This looks like child's play.
Children build play houses, and when
they have built them they knock them
down and build again. I believe we
should quit this child's play and build
some permanent rock roads in Obion
County and leave them here for the
"generations that are yet unborn" to
travel over and incidentally to travel
over ourselves while we are yet in the
land of the living.
The objection that the debt could
never be paid at first seemed to be a
strong one, but when it is considered
in the light of past events and what
will likely occur in the future, it will be
seen that this debt can be easily paid.
The past events referred to is the in
crease in the value of the property in
the last thirty years, and what will
likely occur in the future is that the
property in Obion County will continue
to increase in value for the next thirty
years in the same proportion or perhaps
more rapidly than it has in the past.
Just how these matters will affect the
paying off of the bonds will be seen
from the following statement:
lo begin with, I will say that, of
course, a special road tax sufficient to
pay for the upkeep of the roads and to
pay interest on the bonds will have to
be levied. The present assessed value
of all the property in the county being
approximately $12,000,000, a special
tax of 40 cents on the hundred dollars
worth of all the property would pay the
interest and upkeep for the first few
years, and after the first few years it
would more than pay the interest and
upkeep and the surplus could be saved
and put into a sinking fund for the pur
pose of retiring the bonds when they
fall due. ,
The interest on $800,000 at 5 percent
would amount to $40,000 per annum
or $8,000 more than enough to pay the
interest, said $8,000 to be used for the
upkeep if neededor go into the sinking
fund. Four dollars on the thousand is
what this tax would amount to. A farm
or a piece of city or town property val
ued at $1,000 would have to pay an ad
ditional tax of $4.00; property valued
at $1,500 would pay an. additional tax
of $6,00; property assessed at $3,000
would pay $12.00 additional tax. There
is hardly an individual in the county
who would not receive each year ben
efits worth largely more than this tax
amounts to by reason of having a sys
tem of macadamized roads over the
county; tire amountof travel and haul
ing and marketing of produce and the
benefit to the children in going to and
from school any year would more than
offset this expense, to say nothing of
the pleasure that everyone would de
rive from the roads and many other
Now with these preliminary state
ments I will endeavor to show how the
bonds would be paid off with the ' 40
cent tax in addition to paying the inter
est and keeping up the roads, and to
show this it isv necessary to go back
thirty years and come forward and show
what the result would have been had a
40 cent tax been levied thirty years ago
for road purposes ' and collected each
year from that time till the year 1914.
The assessed value of the property in
the county for the last thirty years is
as follows:
1885..$3,675,603 1900..$ 7,855,659
1886.. 3,647,196 1901. 9,203,058
1887.. 3,639,357 1902.. 9,164,764
JL888.. 5,300,439 1903.. 9,150,221
1889.. 5,110,225 1904.. 8,619,216
1890.. 5,336,558 , 1905.. 8,925,642
1891.. 5,480,516 1906.. ,9,251,711
1892.. 6,543,239 1907.. 9,406,494
1893.. 6,604,347 1908.. 9,425,749
1894.. 6,512,800 I960.. 10,081,227
1895.. 6,182,763 1910.. 10,681,084
1896.. 6,230,492 1911.. 11,207,521
1897.. 6,445,719 1912.. 11,564,513
1898.. 7,073,407 1913.. 11,626,718
1899.. 8,120,507 1914.. 11,879,121
The total value of all property assessed
during the thirty years is $233,845,866,
which, divided by the number of years
(thirty), would give an average annual
assessment of $7,461,000; so that if we
1 1 1 - .1 . . ..
uau icvieu a laxoi w cents on the nun
dred dollars worth of property and col
lected the same for the year 1885 and
each year since, including the year 1914,
the average amount of property on
which this tax would have been levied
each year would have been $7,461,000
instead of $3,675,603, the amount the
property was assessed at in 1885.
On this basis, if we had issued an
amount of bonds in 1884 which would
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have required a 40 cent tax to pay the
interest, we would have issued nearly
$300,000 worth of bonds the assessed
value at that time being, as stated, $3,-
675,603, forty cents a hundred on which
would have amounted to $14,702.41, or
a few dollars less than enough to pay
the interest. By this time, without
counting any sinking fund interest, we
would have collected enough as a result
of the 30 cent tax to have paid off the
$300,000 worth of bonds, and we would
have had left about $145,320. As stated
above, the average assessed value of the
property for the thirty years has been
$7,451,000, a 40 cent tax levied on
which would bring in $29,844; the in
terest on the $300,000 at 5 per cent
would have amounted to $15,000.
which, taken from the $29,844, would
leave each year $14,844 surplus, which
in the thirty years would amount to
$445,320, or $145,320 more than enough
to pay off the bonds; and if the surplus
each year was placed in a sinking fund
at interest it is safe to say that there
would have been at least $250,000 more
than enough money on hand at the end
of the thirty years to have retired the
There is but one way to judge the
future and that is by the past. This is
an accepted and approved rule in judg
ing the affairs of men. Applying this
rule, the experience of the past thirty
years shows a gradual increase in the
assessed value of the property of the
county to the extent that it has trebled
in value with nearly a million dollars
over; so that according to this rule the
assessed value now being $12,000,000
in the next thirty years it will increase
three times that or up to $36,000,000,
and subtracting the $12,000,000 the
property is now assessed at, would leave
an increase of $24,000,000, which
would make an average yearly assess
ment for the next thirty years of $24,
000,000 per annum on which the 40
cent special good roads tax would be
collected, the amountof which would
be $96,000 per annum. Subtracting
from this amount $40,000 per annum
for interest "on the bonds would leave
$56,000 per annum average yearly in
come from the 40 cent tax to go into
the sinking fund to retire the bonds,
and this amount multiplied by thirty
years would show an estimated amount
in the sinking fund at the end of thirty
years of $1,680,000, not counting any
interest on the sinking fund, or enough
money to pay off the bonds and $880,-
000 in addition, or enough in addition
left over after paying the bonds off to
build another system of roads like that
now proposed to be built. This tax of
40 cents could be reduced from year to
year so as not to accumulate more
money than is needed, or the surplus
could be used to extend the system of
main line roads over the county.
Thirty years ago I was nine years of
age. The principal thing here at that
time was the lumber business and log
hauling. Forests of fine timber abound
ed. Later on we had furniture factories,
saw mills, spoke factories and the like,
and I remember that it was predicted
that when the timber was all cut and
disposed of the country would be ruined
and the day of its passing was looked
forward to" as a time of dire calamity
to come.
Just what the future has in store for
us no one can foretell with precision;
but for one I believe that the spirit of
progress is alive in the land; that his
tory will repeat itself; that in the next
thirty years as marked improvement
and increase in values will occur as in
the last; that as a part of that improve
ment and progress will come the build
ing of permanent roads, culverts and
bridges, houses, barns, silos, and fine
homes; improvement in the cultivation
of the soil and breeding of live stock;
improvement and progress of educa
tion and church work; and at this time
I believe that we should do our part in
this system of progression by stopping
our dirt road child's play and proceed
ing promptly and in a business like
manner to build a system of permanent
roads for our own use, happiness and
pleasure, and for our own financial ben
efit aud as a fine heritage to be left td
our children and the "generations yet
The tax rate now is $1.30, of which
20 cents is used for public roads, to
gether with the work of the road hands
of the county. .After macadamized
roads are built this fund should all be
used to improve the other roads of the
county, and with this all the other roads
could be madeas good as the best roads
are now.
It has been said that the building of
this system of roads would bankrupt
the county. As shown above, this is
not true. On the contrary, it would be
the greatest financial blessing that could
come to us at this time. If we could -start
buslding this system of reads this
fall after crops are laid by it would be
the means of putting in circulation in
the county among the people who need
it most a large sum of money for haul
ing and labor of the kinds required for
building roads, and the amountof this
money so put in circulation would be
equal to the profits from a bumper crop.
I have said it before and I say it again,
the building of this system of roads
would dispel the gloom caused by crop
failure,' drouth and war. Prosperity
would be in the land; a fresh flow of
immigration would come to Obion
County; property would increase in
value; no home seeker would pass Obion
County by who could find a home here
to purchase; Obion County would con
tinue to be the finest and richest county
in the State and perhaps in the nation.
I have faith that the roads will be built,
for I hear many expressions of approval,
and T have faith that they will be built
for the reason that f know it is right -they
should be, and in the end the right
will prevail.
Card of Thanks.
We desire to thank each of our deat
friends who were so kind durine the ill
ness and death of our dear son and
brother, and especially Dr. Adkerson.
who was so kind and readv to come at
any time and do all in bis power. May
the richest blessings rest upon each and
every one.
Mrs. A. A. Barnes. f
O. E. Barnds. ' i
H. T. Barnes and family.
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