#41 William H. Raab Cigar Factory in Dallastown; Bronze Medalist at Louisiana Purchase Exposition
In my post Late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports Assist in Identification of an East Prospect Photo I wrote about finding these reports in the State Library of Pennsylvania. For this series on the Top 50 York County Factories at the end of 19th Century, I’m using data from the 10th Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Factory Inspection.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report is for the Department’s year ending October 31st 1899. I ranked the 479 York County factories by numbers of employees; #50 has 47 employees, on up to #1 with 510 employees. In the coming weeks, on Monday and/or Tuesday, I’m counting down to the top employer in York County at the end of 19th Century.
William H. Raab, Cigar Manufacturer at Dallastown, exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, better known as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. At the exposition they were awarded a Bronze Medal for the quality and workmanship of their cigars.
Links to other Dallastown posts include:
- When Dallastown held a New Year’s Mummer’s Parade
- Dallastown Furniture Factory was WWI Army supplier
- Dallastown Furniture float honors World War Veterans
At #41 in the count down is the William H. Raab Cigar Factory in Dallastown. If any of my readers knows where the Raab Cigar Factory was located in Dallastown, please comment. W. H. Raab began his cigar business in 1871.
UPDATE: Bill Myers e-mailed: “The Raab Cigar Factory was located in a big building along Maple Street in Dallastown. I wonder is there a connection between W. H. Raab and the local Raab Fruit Farm?”
Ancestry.com research reveals an indirect Raab family connection. William H. Raab (1853-1931) and Peter F. Raab (1854-1921) are two sons of York Township farmer Aaron W. Raab (1827-1902). Joseph Raab, who established Raab Fruit Farm in the late 1930s and operated it for over 60-years, is the grandson of Peter F. Raab.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on April 4th 1899 the William H. Raab Cigar Factory in Dallastown has 59 employees; 28 male and 31 female. Of these 59 employees, 19 are between 16 and 21-years-old.
A Dallastown Business Directory of 1901 lists the W. H. Raab Cigar Factory having a capacity of between 10-15 Million Cigars. By 1927, William H. Raab is in business with his three sons, as W. H. Raab & Sons. William’s sons are Wilmont L. Raab, Harry M. Raab and Spurgeon G. Raab. The cigar brands that W. H. Raab & Sons manufactured included:
- National Bond
- Black Diamond
- Marjorie Daw
- White Lion
- Business Reputation
- Louis Mann
This is a map of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis where the William H. Raab Cigar Factory of Dallastown exhibited and was awarded a Bronze Medal for the quality and workmanship of their cigars. The exposition was built on a massive 1200-acre site west of downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
This photo shows the elaborate Festival Hall built for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. This building featured a 3500-seat auditorium and the largest pipe organ, at that time. The exposition demonstrated the advances and progress to that day; it ran from May through December of 1904. Besides the United States, there were 62 countries exhibiting at this fair, which also celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.
The 1803 Louisana Purchase contained what now encloses all of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Ollahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The purchase also included parts of what is now Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Louisiana.
Raise your hand, if you remembered from your U. S. History class, the ruler in France when President Thomas Jefferson authorized the purchase of the French territory “Louisiane” in 1803. The ruler was Napoleon Bonaparte.
France held this vast territory from the 1600s until 1762, when they gave it up to their ally Spain, in payment for their assistance. However Napoleon took all of it back in 1800, with the hopes of establishing an empire in North America.
Napoleon’s impending war with Britian forced him to abandon those plans and make the sale of the 828,000 square miles of the Louisana Purchase to finance his armies at home. The following post card from the Louisana Purchase Exposition shows this vast area purchased in 1803 for $15-million.
In my count down of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century, there are 12 cigar related factories represented. Only one cigar factory shows up in the top 15; do any of my readers care to guess where this factory, that made cigars and also cigar boxes, was located in York County—I’ve already had readers guess, Dover, Red Lion & Dallastown; which are not the correct answer in 1899.
#41 William H. Raab Cigar Factory in Dallastown, with 59 employees, is the sixth cigar related factory in my count down of the top 50 York County Factories at end of 19th Century. Previous cigar factories that have made the list include:
- #42 Edwin Myers & Co. Cigar Box & Lithographic Works in York; 56 employees
- #43 Paragon Cigar Factory in York; 54 employees
- #46 George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor; 50 employees
- #48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester; 50 employees
- #50 David S. Detwiler Cigar Factory in Wrightsville; 47 employees