George B. Adams

George B. Adams, dry goods and carpets, Nos. 62 and 64 Water Street. The Newburgh store of George B. Adams is one of three owned by him. The other two are at Middletown, N.Y., and Olean, N.Y. The store in this city was opened in 1879 at No. 80 Water Street. In the Fall of 1890 Mr. Adams leased the buildings Nos. 62 and 64 Water Street, and after they had been re-modeled and fitted up at an expense of $10,000, he moved his business thereto on April 1, 1891. The premises are very attractive. They have a handsome oak front, with two great plate-glass windows, one thirteen feet and the other eleven. The main floor is thirty-six feet in width and eighty-five in depth, with five long rows of shelves and counters. Near the center of the floor is the cashier’s department, from which radiates a system of cash railways. The woodwork is finished generally in its natural colors. This floor is used exclusively for general and fancy dry goods and an immense stock is carried. In the basement are the domestic and cloak departments. The second and third floors are used for the carpet departments, and for curtains, rugs, window-shades, and such like. The building is heated by steam and lighted by electricity.

The spacious salesrooms are metropolitan in all their appointments. The stock is large and comprehensive, and everything properly belonging to the carpet and dry goods trade can be found there. Foreign as well as American goods are freely carried, and Mr. Adams has all his arrangements perfected for securing the freshest and choicest novelties as soon as they are ready for trade. With three large houses to supply, and with ample resources, Mr. Adams is one of the heaviest buyers in the retail trade, and for that reason he can both buy and sell on the most reasonable terms. This year, for instance, he purchased personally in Europe and imported directly in the name of the firm, many thousand dollars worth of goods. The purchase of 1,600 dozen of plain, printed, embroidered and initial handkerchiefs alone, in Belfast, amounted to £500 or $2,500. At Dumferline he purchased £600 or $3,000 worth of linens, besides laces and lace handkerchiefs at Brussels, and dress goods and trimmings at Paris. Mr. Adams’ Newburgh store has a great patronage, not confined to the city alone, but drawn from all the surrounding country. The managers of the Newburgh branch are Alfred H. Lyon and J.C. Hanford.

Mr. Adams was born in Wantage, N.J., in 1843. His father, a Baptist clergyman, died when George was two years old, leaving three sons. George attended school until he was fifteen years old, and then found a place in the dry-goods store of Wallace & Hemmingway, at Goshen, N.Y. In 1863 he came to Newburgh and engaged as clerk for Stephen Hayt & Co. For years later he formed a partnership with Nathaniel B. Hayt, and opened a dry-goods store at Middletown. The enterprise was successful from the beginning. After five years Mr. Hayt sold his interest to T.A. Weller, and shortly afterward the firm erected and moved to the large business block, Nos. 33 and 35 North Street. Later, when an auspicious opening was presented for a branch in Newburgh, the store No. 80 Water Street was leased and stocked with forty thousand dollars’ worth of goods. At first the firm occupied one floor, but afterwards took in the basement also. In 1886 Mr. Adams became the sole proprietor of both stores, Mr. Weller retiring. In 1887 Mr. Adams bought the large dry goods and carpet establishment of N.S. Butler & Co., at Olean, N.Y., and since then has conducted the three stores. Middletown is his place of residence. He is a trustee of the Middletown Savings Bank, a director of the First National Bank, a director of the Middletown Street Railway Company, and a member of the Board of Directors of the First Presbyterian Church. He married Lottie E., daughter of Edward Mapes, of Newburgh, and has two daughters.

Source: Nutt, John J. 1891. Newburgh: Her Institutions, Industries and Leading Citizens. Newburgh, N.Y. Ritchie & Hull.


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