Strenuous Days in Real Estate

by Laurel | April 6th, 2010

One assumes the John H. Woods mentioned in the real estate debacle below is the same company still in the real estate business today!

W.B. Reid, is William B. Reid, at the time aged about 42, born in Canada but of Scottish ancestry. He lived at 226 Walnut Street, according to the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census, with his wife and three children. I have no evidence to indicate whether he was successfully able to purchase the neighboring property. Perhaps $600 doesn’t sound like much to us now, but remember in 1906 it was a lot of money. Running a relative value indicator, results display a huge range but it would have been probably a the very minimum a $20,000 difference in pricing to have set off Reid. A significant sum even by our standards today.

April 6, 1906, page 10

There is a two-tenement house next to the residence of Architect W. B. Reid on Walnut street and it occurred to him a few days ago after hearing that it was in the market that he would like to possess it. “How much do you want for it?” he inquired of Williams & Montgomery, who had advertised the place for sale. The figure was placed at $5500 and Mr. Reid concluded that he would take it. Work was sent to J. L. Gillette of Atlanta, Ga., who owns the place. Shortly afterward Architect Reid was stunned to read that the Real Estate Agent C. P Lockwood was offering the same house for $4900, representing a Philadelphia real estate firm. The prospect of paying $600 more to one real estate man than another stirred the tranquil mind of the architect to boiling wrath. He hastened to the Lockwood agency and deposited a sum to take the property. Mr. Gillette thereupon, being apprised of the Lockwood deal, telegraphs back furiously that the Lockwood deal is no good. Meantime Real Estate Agent John H. Woods secures a customer for the property and wires $50 to Gillette to bind the sale and receives his receipt for it. Then attachments begin to appear — one from the Lockwood agency, one from the Philadelphia concern, and one from W. B. Reid. John H. Woods then wires attachments on and and finally getting a bit alarmed bethinks himself that an attachment ought to be secured to protect his commission and so he places one on. Then comes a wire from Mr. Gillette to “employ counsel and get attachments released.” Lawyer James O’Shea comes in and the work of mowing down the attachments is now under way. There seem to be more complications about this piece of property than any in Holyoke for a number of years.

From the Springfield Republican.

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