Fairfield, St. John’s, and Manor Mills, Enniscorthy - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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THE firm which owns and works the Fairfield, St. John’s and Manor Mills, Enniscorthy, was established in 1858, by Messrs. Samuel and Abraham Grubb Davis. It began its career with the first-mentioned concerns, and had its town office on Mill Park Road. The building of a store 130 feet long, 28 feet wide, and four stories high, opposite the then office, was one of the extensive improvements which followed. The office is now in the new store, adjoining which is the Manor Mill, a building about 60 feet long and six stories high. It has five pairs of stones, driven by a mountain stream, and is devoted to flour manufacture and coarse grindings. Some of the machinery has modern improvements. Fairfield Mills are situated in a picturesque valley, one and a-half miles, Irish, to the west of Enniscorthy. Their driving power is procured from a pond half an acre in extent, which impounds the waters of the river Urrin and a tributary streaM. The mills are five stories high, and have a store 150 feet long and three stories high, There are two water-wheels, one abreast and the other nearly overshot. The Fairfield Mills were originally iron works of considerable size. In the next stage of development they became one of five distilleries operated in different parts of Ireland by the Jameson family. The buildings were ultimately converted into flour mills, and continued in that way by Messrs. S. & A. G. Davis until 1879, when they were exclusively devoted to the grinding of Indian corn. St. John’s Mills are situated at a distance of half an Irish mile from Enniscorthy, upon the Urrin, which has a tidal connection with the Slaney to the mills of about 150 yards. This is most convenient for shipping purposes by means of 25-ton boats. There is also a siding specially made in connection with the Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford Railway. One of the mills, five stories in height, is driven by an iron breast water-wheel about 18 feet in diameter, 16 feet in breadth, and with a four-foot fall. The second mill is five stories in height, and is driven by a 70-horse-power engine. It was built by the firm in 1863. Both mills are employed exclusively in flour manufacture, and have the improved German and American machinery.

The senior partner of the firm was Mr. Samuel Davis, who died in 1884. The members of it now are Mr. Abraham Grubb Davis, Mr. F. W. Davis, Mr. Albert S. Davis, and Mr. Francis H. Davis. The counties supplied by the products are Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, and Kilkenny. There are branch stores in Wexford, at Paul Quay, formerly part of the extensive steam mill premises of the late Mr. Richard Devereux.

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