Millville Improvement Company

Millville Improvement Company
Item# 4722

The Millville Improvement Company was incorporated in Millville, New Jersey in 1897. The company’s offices were located at 9 Oak Street.

Millville's recorded history goes back to the early 18th century. A sawmill was believed to have existed at Leaming's Mill at around 1720. The area also had a public road, a boat landing, and even a bridge-like structure. From this time until the late 18th century, only a few residents lived in this area.

In 1776, Joseph Smith and Henry Drinker purchased 24,000 acres of land known as the Union Mills Tract. They also formed the Union Estates Company and built lumber mills along the Maurice River and established a dam to power these new mills.

Even with the Union Estates Company and the business that it had in the area, Millville had not grown to a very large size. In 1795, however, Captain Joseph Buck (his military title is disputed: most sources list him as a captain; however, other titles such as colonel and major have been attributed to him), an American Revolutionary War veteran who served under General George Washington, recognized Millville's potential and drew up plans for a community in this location. In the next few years, lots began to sell, and in 1801, Millville was first recognized as a township. Buck, however, died in 1803, before he could see his dream come to fruition. When he died, fewer than twenty houses had been built.

In the early 1850s, the Smith and Wood Iron Foundry and New Jersey Mills were constructed. In 1860, a bleachery and dye house were added to New Jersey Mills, which then became Millville Manufacturing. David Wood then constructed a dam, forming the largest man-made lake in the state, which powered the entire manufacturing organization. By 1870, the mill had 600 employees, and in 40 years this number doubled.

Millville was officially incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 24, 1801, from portions of Fairfield Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Landis Township on March 7, 1864. Millville was reincorporated as a city on March 1, 1866, based on the results of a referendum passed that same day.

This piece is signed by Edward R. Wood as the company President. Wood was the son iron magnate R. D. Wood, who founded R. D. Wood & Sons. He was also a politician, First Vice President of the Philadelphia Board of Trade, charter member of the original Committee of 100 in Philadelphia, and a member of both the Penn Club and Manufacturers Club, Philadelphia.

Close Up of Vignette:

Certificate: Debenture Gold Bond, issued in the early 1900’s

Printer: Not indicated

Dimensions: 15” (h) x 10 1/4” (w)

State: NJ-New Jersey

Subject Matter: Real Estate and Related | Land Development

Vignette Topic(s): Eagle Featured

Condition: Horizontal fold lines, no cancels and toning and edge faults from age. Low serial numbers!

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