Gedney had already signed up with his Ball Club for the season, and it was agreed between him and me that he should carry out his contract and to turn over his receipts to the business, which was done. The great panic of 1873 had caused a business depression which had affected practically all lines of business, but up to that time of our taking over the mill it had really affected the mill business very little. In about three months, however, we began to feel the depression, and it finally necessitated our putting the mill on for half time. We rang along as best we could for 14 months, and then on August 1, 1876 we took an inventory, closed our books and ascertained that we had made a small loss. Added to my share of the loss there were sums that I had withdrawn from time to time for living expenses, so that our balance sheet showed that I had remaining $800.00 of the $3,000.00 I had invested.
To go back a little, after launching this business enterprise, on June 1, 1875, and being imbued with the idea of success, I assumed other responsibilities, for on November 10, 1875, the young lady back in Middletown, Miss Minnie Mills, and I were married. Until the Spring of 1876 we boarded with Mrs. U's cousins, Mr. And Mrs. Henry R. Mayette in South Fourth Street, Williamsburg, when we took a second floor at #55 Christopher Street, New York, and commenced housekeeping.
Mrs. U's Mother, Mrs. Mills, sold her house in Middletown and came to live with us, and it was there that I passed many a sleepless night because of the dull business and the thought of my indebtedness to my father and my roommate, as well as to my Uncle William. In the Fall of 1877, however, there was a business boom, and it seemed as though everyone had awakened to the fact that there were very small stocks of goods to be had and everyone wanted to buy. Prices advanced rapidly. Our stock of lumber doubled in price, and by the end of the year we had made good our loss—and something more. For the next ten years we did a steady, profitable business.
In the late Summer of 1877 I bought a new two-story and basement frame house at 215-1/2 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., into which we moved and we lived there until 1880. I paid $3,200 for the house.
In the Fall of 1878 I bought out my partner, Gedney, paying him cash, and assuming our indebtedness to his Father, which I paid in installments within the next six months. The sign was again painted out and WM.E.UPTEGROVE painted in.
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