JACKSONVILLE, Fla., chief city of the State, and seat of Duval County in the north eastern corner, on the west bank of the Saint John's, 24 miles from the ocean by water, 14 direct. It is an important trading port and one of the chief southern railroad centres, five great lines converging there, three of them trunk lines; the Southern Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Georgia Southern and Florida, Florida East Coast and Jacksonville and South western. It is 138 miles south of Savannah, 212 north of Tampa and 165 east of Tallahassee, 'and about 1,000 from New York, with train service of 25 to 28 hours. It is also connected with all the Atlantic roast cities by the Clyde, Merchant and Mines and Miami Steamship lines, and with the picturesque Saint John's and its tributaries by six daily and tri-weekly lines of steamers, over 3300 vessels enter and clear the port annually. 'the fascinating rivers,' lakes, everglades, etc., of Florida, the best hunting and fishing grounds east of the Mississippi, with Jacksonville's mild and healthful winter and even summer climate, make it one of the leading tourists' resorts in the country, some 80,000 to 100,000 stopping annually at its numerous large. and well-equipped hotels.
Jacksonville's position makes it the business key and metropolis of the peninsula, the great shipping point of Florida's exports and the dis tributing point for its purchases. Of the former the chief are lumber, shingles and ties, mainly yellow pine from the great Florida forests; next come naval stores — for which it is the largest market in the world— turpentine, rosin and oil; phosphate and cotton have also increased and a heavy element is the shipping of fruit oranges, pineapples and a great diversity of tropic fruits, (for which see FLORIDA) — and garden vegetables to the North. The total for eign exports in a recent year were valued at $1,371,300; the imports at $1,527,475. In a sub urb of the city is the largest ostrich farm in the United States, and the only one east of California, whose products form part of the shipments; these also include great quantities of phosphates and fertilizers and kaolin. As a jobbing centre for interior trade it has the immense advantage of having practically no competitor in the State, and is rapidly becoming one of the foremost in the South; there are numerous large wholesale grocery houses and the annual volume of wholesale business done in- the city of Jacksonville under normal con ditions is as follows: Groceries, hay and feed, $23,000,000; dry goods and notions, $1,750,000; boots and shoes000, $500,000; machinery and mill supplies, $1,750,; hardware, $600,000; paints and oils, $250,000; fertilizer, $8,000,000; drugs, $1,250,000; miscellaneous, $10,750,000; total, $47,850,000. This business implies large banking facilities; and there are now four national and six State banks in the city, besides a savings bank with over $3,241,000 of capital, $2,578,610 undivided profits and $22,883,223 deposits.
Jacksonville has large and diversified manu facturing interests, having sonic 200 plants en gaged in various lines of manufacture. Its chief specialty is lumber and timber products, which amounts to about one-fourth of the entire output of $6,500,00D; there are 10 large saw and planing mills. Of the other industries the most considerable was the manufacture of ice. There were also three large shipbuilding plants, 'building both steel and wooden ships, foundry and other iron products, steam engi neering works, brick and tile, paving and roof ing materials, wooden ship and boat building, carriages, saddlery, mattresses, and palmetto fibre products, pulp, patent medicines, confec tionery, cigars and other articles.
As a port it had long been hampered by shoals in the river and the bar outside the Saint John's. The river is a magnificent estuary, a mile wide for many miles up, and with a chan nel deep enough for the largest ocean vessels; but it was not until 1896, by combined govern ment and local efforts, that a channel 19 feet deep was obtained from Jacksonville to the ocean, admitting vessels of 3,800 tons. The na
tional government in 1991 appropriated $1,300, 000 to deepen it to 24 feet all the way, with a permanent system of jetties and dredging. It has over seven miles of water front. The Na tional River and Harbor Act of 1906 made further appropriations of $409,750 for the work and in 1907 set aside $100,000 for maintenance. By 1910 a 24-foot channel, now deepened to 30 feet was completed and from vessels of 637 tons in 1870 to vessels of 2,027 tons in 1907, vessels of 5,000 tons were entering the port in 1914. • It has the largest dry dock facilities ,in the entire southeast, and ships are brought a long distance for repairs and other work. Five of the largest oil companies in the world make this one of the principal points of import for crude and refined petroleum and its by-products. The increase of oil-burning ships is bringing many of them to Jacksonville for their fuel supply, all of which adds much to the import ance of the port. The freedom of the city from storms, it never having had in its history storm serious enough to injure shipping, makes it particularly attractive as this is an advantage that many of the southern ports can not boast. The city 7.6 square miles in area, is handsomely laid out, and its business section Is almost entirely new, having been practically ob literated by a fire on 3 May 1901, which de stroyed 148 blocks, covering 455 acres, and in cluding 2,361 buildings, a property loss of over $15,000,000. With astonishing energy new buildings were erected, and greatly improved ones. Among the finest buildings are the Union station, United States post-office and custom house, Masonic temple, Saint Lukes Hospital, National Bank of Jacksonville (which were spared by the fire). Among the public build ings since erected are the Windsor Hotel, Semi nole, Elks, Women's and Wheelmen's club houses, Mercantile Exchange Bank, Board of Trade and Duval High School. A $50,000 Car negie free library was erected. The religious denominations built a number of fine churches. Notable among than are the Congregational, Baptist, Christian, McTieire Memorial (M. E. South), Snyder Memorial (M. E.), Presby terian, Saint John's Episcopal, Church of Good Shepherd, Episcopal and three fine churches for colored folk. There are fiveparks of 57 acres in all, ((Hemming) having a Confederate monu ment ; and 14 miles of shell streets and drives, besides a general macadamising of paving with vitrified brick. The ocean beaches 18 to 20 miles off, are among the finest on the Atlantic Coast. The sanitation of the city is perfect. After the yellow fever epidemic of 1888 it in stalled a fine thorough system of sewerage, drained and filled in the swampy tracts around, and replaced the water supply with one almost chemically pure. drawn from 500 to 1,000 feet deep. Its death rate has sunk to 10 in 1,000, one of the lowest in the country. There are 20 miles of trolley tracks, and the city owns electric light works and waterworks; both light and water are extremely cheap. The finances of the city are in the best condition. It has never defaulted its bonds, which are for the waterworks and electric plant, amounting to nearly $1,500,000 10 years ago, and now re duced. There is no floating debt. Assessed valuation 1914 was $59,274,580; tax 16 mills on the dollar, or 11 mills if beyond the hydrants. Jacksonville was settled in 1816 by Lewis Z. Hogans, whence Hogan's Creek, dividing the city, is named. In 1822 it was laid out and named after Andrew Jackson, the first territo rial governor of Florida. It was incorporated in 1833. The Seminole War prevented its de velopment, but it revived in 1842 and has grown steadily since. Its population in 1850 was 1,045; in 1870, 6,912; 1890, 17,201; 1900, 28,429, of whom 16,271 or 57 per cent were colored; 1910, 57,699; 1915, 70,173, and including suburbs, 92,160.