On January 19, 1906 new advertisements began appearing in the Sylvan Valley News for Southern Stock and Farming Company of North Carolina. The company was owned by B.G. Estes of Hamburg, New York and managed locally by Charles Montegue “C.M.” Doyle. Doyle was born in Pittsburgh, PA and lived in New York prior to moving to Brevard to manage the business. Estes also moved to Brevard according to the 1910 Census, but then moved away sometime before 1920. The storefront was in the McGaha building until the end of September 1907 when Doyle moved it to the Pickelsimer building. The Pickelsimer building at that time was located where OP Taylor’s and Blast From the Past and Gravy Gift Shops are located today. Behind the building where the locally famous Pickelsimer building would be built in 1922 were a hitching shed and a number of small warehouses for vendors. Their advertisements predominantly featured farming implements, fencing, horse-drawn buggies, fertilizer, and seed potatoes. The company received its official charter of incorporation in October of 1908.
Southern Stock and Farm was not a long-lived company in Brevard. In March of 1912, Doyle was overseeing the division and sale of at least a portion of the company’s land into residential lots along what is now Broad, North Country Club, Turnpike, and Ashworth roads. Doyle himself purchased a lot located roughly where Gordon Family Pharmacy is today. The last advertisements in the Sylvan Valley News for Southern Stock and Farm appeared in April 1912. Over that summer Doyle ran a few ads in the newspaper independent of the company, advertising clover and grass seed and selling out of C.C. Yongue’s Grocery.
In December of 1912, Doyle opened Brevard Hardware in the same location. It would seem that he had purchased Southern Stock and Farm from Estes as he advertised that he was selling off their old stock and all debts previously owed to the company were now payable to him. Doyle ran Brevard Hardware until October 1919 when Harry P. Clark bought an interest in the store and took over as manager, and Doyle departed on a “business trip north.”
In July of 1920 the Brevard News reported that Doyle had returned to Brevard for a short visit after spending several months in Cuba, Florida, and Texas, and would leave for New York and other northern cities in a few weeks. The brief story closed with “While C. Doyle is as quiet as the Sphinx, at the same time we predict that he will again startle Transylvania in the way of a big business venture in the near future.” It was not to be however. By 1925 Doyle appears in the city directory for Forth Worth, Texas. According to the 1930 Census records he sold life insurance and his wife Blanche was a school teacher. The Doyles remained in Fort Worth until his death in 1961 and hers in 1962.
Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. This article was written by Local History Associate Hale Durant. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact NC Room staff at [email protected] or 828-884-1820.