View of Memphis, Shelby County,
T.N., 1887 / drawn & published by H. Wellge.
This perspective print of Memphis, Tennessee was drawn and published by Henry Wellge & Co. in 1887. Memphis was established along the high banks of the Mississippi River in the early 1800's. Memphis was an important cotton and lumber trading center in its early years. In 1854, Cincinnati railroad men contemplated investing in lengthening their Ohio line and instilling Memphis as their southern hub.
About the town the railroad journal stated:
“We visited it (Memphis) in 1850, and were struck with the superiority of its position over any other place in the southwest. It is destined, in our opinion, to be the largest city in the southwest, not excepting New Orleans. Memphis will probably contain more than 25,000 people at the census of 1856. Its high position has secured its health so far that neither cholera nor yellow fever have visited it in the several forms in which they have prevailed in almost all the southern cities. This immunity is likely to continue, for it lies on both high and dry ground, and has purer and better air than any other place in that region. Nearly one-fourth the population of Memphis are slaves, and the country back of it is a cotton planting section. Hence, Memphis, as the port of that region, will be chiefly a commercial town. But if it would grow to be a really large place, it must seek manufacture, and this it may. By railroads through Tennessee and Kentucky it may be supplied with coal and iron, and there iron factories, and steam machinery, and cotton mills may be readily carried on. If Memphis would be great she must make railways and build factories.”
The Memphis & Charleston Railroad was completed in 1857. In the 1870's, Memphis finally fell victim to the yellow fever epidemic that was so prevalent in southern towns during that era. The epidemic grew to epic proportions in and around Memphis prompting many to leave; and leaving two thousand dead. Memphis lost its city status as a result of the lack of population.
Memphians were busy positioning themselves, in the 1880's, to recover as a business and industrial trade center.
The map includes labeled streets, buildings and railroad route. Steamboat activity is portrayed in the foreground. It features inset illustrations of the following:
• The Livermore Foundry & Machine Co.
• Chickasaw Cooperage Company.
• Zellner & Co., Boots and Shoes. 300 Main St.
• Wm. R. Moore & Co., Wholesale Dry Goods. The largest establishment of its kind in the south. Dimensions of buildings, 115 x 325 Ft. running from Main to Second St.
• Gayoso Hotel.
• The Peters Co., Crackers, Cakes, Bread and Candies. “Moss Rose Brand”. T. J. Latham, President. I. F. Peters, Manager. 16 & 18 Union St.
• Smiley Smith & Co. Pratt Gin Co. 98-104 Poplar St.
• Memphis Mill Company, Merchant Millers.
• H. Wetter Manufacturing Company.
• Woodruff Lumber Co. “K. D.” boxes a specialty.
• Jet Palace. 301 Main St.
• Jno. L. Norton, F. H. White, Dealers in Stocks, Bonds and Real Estate.
• Memphis Merchants Exchange.
• Cole Manufacturing Company Office, Union & Second Sts.
• Christian Brothers’ College.
• Railroad Key, Memphis Transportation Facilities.
• Prospect Park at Chickasaw Land Company’s Land.
• Southwest End of City, Fort Pickering. Chickasaw Land Company.
• Location of Chickasaw Land Company’s Land. 3,175 acres of high rolling lands, long wharf frontage, two railroads and belt line to place cars. Motor St. Railway to the heart of the city. Free sites for factories and homes for operatives, with unlimited free water.
Features references to the following locations:
County Court House.
Fire Engine Houses.
Christian Brothers College.
First Methodist Church.
First Baptist Church.
Central Baptist Church.
Linden Street Church.
Vance Street Church.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Grace M. E. Church.
Asbury M. E. Church.
Chickasaw Land Co. Office.
Wm. R. Moore & Co., Wholesale Dry Goods.
H. Wetter Manufacturing Co.
Cole Manufacturing Co.
Memphis Mill Co.
Chickasaw Cooperage Co.
Woodruff Lumber Co.
Chickasaw Iron Co.
Pratt Gin Co., Smiley Smith & Co.
Livermore Foundry & Machine Co.
The Peters Co. Mfg. Confectioners.
Zellner & Co., Boots & Shoes.
The Jet Palace. J. Roesher, Proprietor. 301 Main St.
S. Roescher, Agent. Schlitz Brewing Co. Milwaukee.
E. W. Fischer, Dealer in Furniture & Carpets.
Overton & Grosvenor Real Estate. Court and 2nd Sts.
Memphis Grain Elevator Mfg. Co.
Bingham & Hilliard, Photographers. Main and Jefferson Sts.