Before the decision to move the Plant was actually made we discussed the project with the next largest stockholder of the American Cigar Box Lumber Company, although it was not necessary since my father and I owned 73% of the stock, and could have done as we saw fit. We found that this stockholder did not care to participate in the venture, preferring that the Company be liquidated and his stock paid off. This suited us perfectly, as we preferred to "go it alone". We therefore bought he Company's machinery and proceeded with its liquidation.
The new Company was incorporated as the Uptegrove Lumber Company, of which my father and I were the sole owners. Here I should say that my father was not interested for himself in suggesting and participating in the creation of a new corporation, relocating the mill and introducing a new wood for cigar boxes; in other words, starting a new business. He was then (1933) 81 years of age and had withdrawn completely from all active management. He had by now moved to Maplewood, and motored in to the Brooklyn office only a couple of times a week. His sole idea was to leave a business for me, and the prospects appeared better with a lower cost lumber in the West than with the high cost Poplar in Tennessee and neighboring States. So with the decision to move West he became an interested observer while the direction of the new Company and the liquidation of the old one devolved upon me.
In 1934 we moved the office to Newark, N.J. For a while he visited it more often there, but he was beginning to fail. Early in the next year he became confined to his bed, and finally passed away June 26, 1935 at age 83.
Thereupon ended 14 years of as close association between father and son as I can imagine. We were together in business, and in the Summers when my family were away on vacations, I moved over to his apartment in Brooklyn and lived with him there. He was a frequent visitor in our home where he was loved by all. In business circles he was admired and respected by all with whom he had dealings. Never will I forget the first trip I made to visit our customers and be introduced to them by Mr. Sturges his old and faithful right hand since 1894. Again and again when I was introduced the response was "So you are W.E.'s son. Sit down here. I want to tell you what your father did for me." Then would follow a recital of aid given to help over hard spots, even up to the point of saving the speaker's business. This occurred not once, but often.
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