Lurgan Business Directory 1901
From the Directory of Belfast and Ulster
Page 1

Lurgan is a prosperous and flourishing manufacturing town in the north-east of County Armagh. It is situated twenty miles S.W. from the City of Belfast, on the line of the Great Northern Railway, and a mile and a half south from Lough Neagh. The population of Lurgan, according to the last census, was 11,447. The correctness of these figures has been often questioned, the general belief being that the present population in over 14,000. The annual valuation of ratable property amounts, according to the last official information, to 25,190 13s, and the township is increasing in value. In the year 1831 the population of Lurgan was 3,760, and the ratable property was then 5,578, and since that time both the population and valuation has almost quadrupled.

The municipal affairs of Lurgan are managed by an Urban Council, incorporated under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, and the general cleanly appearance of the streets is evidence of the fostering care of the Municipal Council. The town is not picturesque, but its fine, open main streets, particularly from the Church to High Street, is a very observable feature in its formation. Fairs are held on the second Thursday of each month, and markets every Thursday. The market and fair are improving, and though the main street is very wide, it is taxed to its utmost, particularly on the days that the fair and market are held together. An unlimited supply of pure water is now obtained from Lough Neagh, the intake being at Castor Bay, on the south-east of the lake. The new works were opened in 1894, and in point of modern perfection they are pronounced to be second to none in the United Kingdom. Brownlow House and demesne (some 500 acres in extent), being now in the hands of a local syndicate, increased building accommodation has been provided, and desirable improvements are expected in the near future.

Lurgan may be said to be the cradle of the Irish cambric industry, and to the success and skill of its inhabitants and those of the surrounding villages in the fine linen and damask manufacture, and in later years the handkerchief hemstitching and finishing business, is to be attributed the onward progress of the town, many individuals engaged in these industries having accumulated fortunes. Among the industrial centres in Lurgan are the extensive power-loom weaving factories of Mr. James Malcolm, D.L.; the Lurgan Weaving Company, Ltd.; Messrs. Johnston, Allen, & Co.; and the manufacturing concerns of Messrs. Robert Watson & Sons, John Douglas & Son, Samuel A. Bell & Co.; Mathers & Bunting, John Ross & Co.; James Clendinning & Sons, Richardson, Sons, & Owden; John S. Brown & Sons, Joseph Murphy & Co.; and the hemstitching factories of the Lurgan Hemming and Veining Company, John Ross & Co., Faloon & Co., James B. Hanna, J. Maxwell & Co., Murphy & Stevenson, Mercer & Brown, James Clendinning & Sons, Johnston, Allen, & Co.; Searight & Co., and Mathers & Bunting. The banking companies represented in Lurgan are the Ulster, the Northern, and the Belfast, each establishment having a branch office. The Church of Ireland, standing in the centre of the town, is a large and commodious Gothic structure, and has a fine peal of eight bells, in addition to an illuminated clock, which, from its commanding position, is visible from a long distance. An excellent Parochial Hall has been recently erected in Church Place, and there is also a handsome and spacious Church of Ireland Mission Hall and schoolhouse in John Street. There are, besides Lurgan College and the Model School, a large number of National schools, two of these being in immediate connection with St. Peter's Church and St. Joseph's Convent. There is also commodious houses or worship for Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and Society of Friends, the Salvation Army and Plymouth Brethren.

The Town Hall is in Union Street, and contains an Assembly Hall, with platform and footlights; the Council Chamber and Town Office are located on the top floor; and the basement is devoted to the Free Library, the Newsroom, and Amusement Room, which are highly appreciated by the working men. The Mechanics' Institute is a handsome structure, situate at the corner of Market Street and Union Street, and adjoins the Town Hall. A new Masonic Hall has been opened in Windsor Avenue, the site of the former avenue to Lord Lurgan's castle. In connection with the institute there is a billiard room and a well equipped reading room and library. The petty sessions are held in the County Courthouse on the first and third Tuesday of every month, the district embracing what was formerly the Waringstown petty sessions district of County Down. The quarter sessions for the northern portion of the County Armagh are also held in Lurgan. A very handsome new railway station was recently opened, and the Urban Council are engaged in the carrying out of an extensive improvement scheme, by which a new central business street will be opened, and the construction of a thoroughfare between market Street and Hill Street commenced.


Church of Ireland, Parish Church, Church Place - Rev. R. S. O'Loughlin, D.D., rector; Rev. George Foster, B.A., and Rev. W. McC. Kerr, B.D., curates; Mr. A. H. Livock, organist, Parish Church
Presbyterian Church - First, High Street - Rev. W. B. Sproule, B.A. Second, Hill Street - Rev. C. W. Kennedy
Methodist Chapel, High Street - Rev. Gabriel Clarke and Rev. R. Morris. Queen Street - Rev. John Whitla.
Baptist Chapel, Windsor Avenue - Fenton E. Bury, pastor
Friends' Meeting-house, Queen Street
Salvation Temple, Union Street
Roman Catholic Chapel, North Street - Revs. M. B. McConville, P.P.; P. McConville, C.C.; and Daniel McAllister, C.C.


Lurgan College - This splendid school (under Watts endowment) stands off Lough Neagh road. Head master, Mr. James Cowan, M.A.; trustees, John Johnston, J.P.; James Malcolm, D.L.; J. H/ Vint, and Wm. Crawford, J.P.

George's Street National School - Patron, Rev. C. W. Kennedy; teachers, W. Shields (boys), Miss Pollock (girls)

National School, North Street - Patron, Dr. R. S. O'Loughlin; teachers, Mr. Hill and Miss Evans

School Attendance Committee - Rev. Dr. O'Loughlin, chairman; officer, H. English; secretary, John W. Pollock. Meets in the council chamber, Town Hall, third Wednesday every month at four o'clock p.m.

St. Peter's National School, North Street - Patron, Rev. M. B. McConville, P.P.; teacher, John McConville

Model School - Head master, Joseph Harrison; first assistant, W. J. Keatley; head mistress (girls' school), Elizabeth Collins; first assistant, Julia Greer; head mistress (infants' school), Miss Greer; first assistant, Mrs. Anderson

National School, High Street - Patron, Rev. W. B. Sproule, B.A.; R. A. Shields and Miss C. Geddis, teachers

National School, John Street - Patron, Rev. Dr. O'Loughlin; teachers, Mr. Sloan and Miss Fleming

National School, Victoria Street - Patron, Mr. James Johnston, J.P.; teachers, Mr. Kyle, Miss Mercer and Miss Drummond

National School, Queen Street - Mrs. Herbert

National (Methodist) School, Queen Street - Teachers, Mr. McCann and Miss Stevenson

Banks -
Belfast, High Street - J. H. W. Hamilton, manager.
Northern, High Street - H. Magarry, manager.
Ulster, Market Street - N. G. Leeper, manager

Gas Works, William Street - W. Tallentire, manager; Fred. W. Megahan, secretary. Board of Directors meet on the first Monday of each month

Railway Station, William Street - J. McAlister, station master

Mechanics' Institute, Market Street - President, James Malcolm, D.L.; secretary, C. Johnston; librarian, Wm. Carson. Reading room open from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m. daily, Sunday excepted

Free Library - C. McGuigan, librarian; Wm. White, secretary

Shankill Buildings - Parochial rooms and refreshment rooms, Church Place; Church of Ireland Young Men's Society meet every Monday night during the session

Constabulary Stations - There are three constabulary stations in Lurgan, the principal being situated in Union Street, and the others in Queen Street and Edward Street. They are occupied by a force of about thirty men, commanded by District inspector T. E. Galt Gamble, and Head Constable John McCabe

Union Workhouse - Clerk, Edwin J. Donaldson; master, James Calvert; matron, Mrs. Calvert; rate collectors, Robert Jones, John Taylor, and C. Stevenson; medical officer, Dr. Darling. Board of Guardians meet every Thursday at eleven o'clock

Post Office, Market Street - Mr. T. J. Uprichard, postmaster

Courthouse - This is a very commodious building in William Street, erected by the County Armagh at a cost of 4,000. Mrs. Malone, caretaker

Petty Sessions Office, Courthouse - F. W. Magahan, clerk

Rural District Councils - There are three Rural District Councils in this union, viz :- Lurgan, Moira, and Aghalee. Lurgan and Moira Councils hold their monthly meetings at Lurgan, and Aghalee Council meet at Aghalee. Their respective chairmen are - Thos. Faloon, J.P., Lurgan; James L. Douie, J.P., Moira; and F. L. Turtle, J.P., Aghalee

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