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Many of us have been charmed by this photo of The Raleigh Times news carriers that is on display in many places around town. The newspaper they are holding is from Tuesday evening, August 31, 1915. The top story is appointment of Robert L. Gray as the new editor of The Times. Mr. Gray, who was a native of Raleigh, had started his career with The News & Observer. He moved on to other newspapers, including The (Columbia, SC) State, where he was "a writer of exceptional brilliance."

Soon after Mr. Gray took over the editorship of the paper, The Raleigh Times ran a special article by William H. Richardson celebrating the bustling growth of the city during the previous four years. The headline was RALEIGH'S RENAISSANCE IN PAST QUADRENNIUM: Period of Progress That Has Marked a Transition in the City's Industrial and Civic Life Unequalled in the Past.

The past quadrennium has dealt well with RALEIGH. The entire city has been sprinkled with improvements and dotted with additional beauty spots. It has been truly a period of renaissance. During the past four years, RALEIGH has undergone the most remarkable transition in its history. It has sprung from a large town to a city of hustle and bustle. Everybody says so.

[...]

The growth of this city during the past four years has not been confined to any one line. It has not been confined to building, nor to population, nor to methods, but has taken in all of these.

Today the business men of this city are employing metropolitan methods of carrying on their affairs. This being the case, they draw trade from a large surrounding country. It has been necessary for nearly every railroad operating trains here to increase their passenger facilities to accommodate the trade that centers here. In the stores a remarkable improvement is noted. No longer are any antequated methods employed. Everything is up-to-date.

[...]

RALEIGH has now reached the point where it is visited by close on to 50,000 people every year, exclusive of Fair Week, legislative sessions and other events and periods of State-wide interest. ... Within the past four years RALEIGH has steadily become the traveling man's mecca.

[...]

The city and suburbs reach now for a distance of about three and a quarter miles from east to west and two and a half miles from north to south. All new suburbs are reached by good streets and quick street-car service. -- The Raleigh Times, 9/7/1915

One of the signs of progress mentioned in the article was the new "banking houses" being built in town, including the Commercial National Bank, built in 1912.

(Photos Courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives)

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