In 1918 when James Hamilton Stitt (1880-d. before 1945) and Roscoe Conkling Howell (1881-d. after 1946) registered for the World War I draft they were both employed by Stephen Sanford & Sons, 130 Fifth Ave. In 1929 Stephen Sanford & Sons would merge with the Bigelow-Hartford Carpet Co. to form Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co. (For more on Bigelow-Sanford, see their sign at 136 Madison Ave.)
Stitt and Howell formed their own carpet company in the early 1920s. Stitt was an immigrant from Ireland. According to his passport application in 1922, James H. Stitt was born in Belfast, Ireland, 25 Sep. 1880; he emigrated from Liverpool, England, 14 Dec. 1902; and he became a naturalized citizen in Hackensack, N.J., 18 Nov. 1921. During the 1920s and 1930s Stitt lived in Montclair, N. J.
Howell was born in New Jersey and lived most of his life in Chester, N. J. (Historic Chester, settled 1736, has a website describing its history and amenities at Historic Chester, NJ.) He can be traced through the four successive U. S. Census reports from 1900 to 1930. In 1900 he was a 19-year-old carpet salesman, living with his father, George W. Howell, a farmer, in Chester, N. J. In 1920 he lived on Hillside Road, Chester, with his wife, Lydia, and their children, George, 11, and Ellen, 8. In 1930 the Howells lived on Budd Ave., Chester, when George was 21 and Ellen 19.
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