Danville, Virginia - Encyclopedia

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DANVILLE, a city in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, U.S.A., on the Dan river about 140 m. (by rail) S.W. of Richmond. Pop. (1890) 10,305; (1900) 16,520, of whom 6515 were negroes. It is on the main line of the Southern railway, and is the terminus of branches to Richmond and Norfolk; it is also served by the Danville & Western railway, a road (75 m. long) connecting with Stuart, Va., and controlled by the Southern, though operated independently. The city is built on high ground above the river. It has a city hall, a general hospital, a Masonic temple, and a number of educational institutions, including the Roanoke College (1860; Baptist), for young women; the RandolphMacon Institute (1897; Methodist Episcopal, South), for girls; and a commercial college. The river furnishes valuable waterpower, which is utilized by the city's manufactories (value of product in 1900, third in rank in the state, $8,103,484, of which only $3,693,792 was "factory" product; in 1905 the "factory" product was valued at $4,774,818), including cotton mills - in 1905 Danville ranked first among the cities of the state in the value of cotton goods produced - a number of tobacco factories, furniture and overall factories, and flour and knitting mills. The city is a jobbing centre and wholesale market for a considerable area in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina, and is probably the largest loose-leaf tobacco market in the country, selling about 40,000,000 lb annually. In the industrial suburb of Schoolfield, which in 1908 had a population of about 3000, there is a large textile mill. The city owns and operates its watersupply system (with an excellent filtration plant installed in 1904) and its gas and electric lighting plants. Danville was settled about 1770, was first incorporated as a town in 1792, and became a city in 1833; it is politically independent of Pittsylvania county. To Danville, after the evacuation of Richmond on the 2nd of April 1865, the archives of the Confederacy were carried, and here President Jefferson Davis paused for a few days in his flight southward.

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