History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

Shute Brothers

...from 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County
Images are from the book.

Old Opera House
Henry Abel Shute 1851-1921
John Ray Shute 1855-1945
James Thomas Shute 1857-1935
"The firm of J. Shute & Sons is composed of H. A. Shute, J.E. Shute and J. T. Shute, sons of the late John Shute. During the year 1856 Mr. John Shute [1834-1896] moved to Monroe from [Lancaster] South Carolina and engaged in farming on a limited scale on the land where Shutes' brick yard now stands, near the cotton mill, and at the Darling Broom place near the city. In 1866 he began merchandising in Monroe. In 1870 Mr. Shute started a gin, run by horse power, where the passenger depot now stands. By the industry and economy of himself and his boys, the business soon began to enlarge and expand. In 1875 they added another gin and a wool carding machine, run by a small steam engine.

"About the same time they started a flouring mill in connection with their gin. In 1880 they purchased the Winchester & Morgan gin, on Lafayette street, where their present gins are situated, and added four more gins to the plant. During the year 1898 they added a planing machine and began to manufacture doors, blinds, sash and all kinds of building material.

"Their present large brick-making plant had its genesis in a small mud mill, started up in 1885 and run by a horse. Their present mill is run by a 50-horse power boiler and engine and has a capacity of 30,000 brick per day.

"In the year 1896 the father, Mr. John Shute, died and the business passed into the hands of his three sons, H. A., J. R. and J. T. Shute. In order to better manage their varied interests and enterprises, they have allotted to each a particular branch of the business. Mr. J. R. Shute has control of the mercantile department, keeps the books and settles with their numerous employes. Mr. J. T. Shute superintends the ginning, planing and brick-making plants. Mr. H. A. Shute looks after their fanning, stock raising, etc.

"In addition to the fore-going, this firm owns in Monroe about sixty dwelling houses, shops  and stores, which they rent to other people besides a large brick ware house for storing cotton and the splendid livery stable building-now occupied by Shannon & Co. They also own the Central Hotel, the Opera House and the elegant new structure at present occupied by the Monroe Hardware Co., photographs of which are herein printed. Messrs. J. Shute & Sons pay more taxes than any other person, firm or corporation in Union county. Every dollar they own is an honest dollar and earned by there own labor. What they buy they pay cash for and what they own is all paid for.

"These gentlemen have done much for Monroe. For years they have furnished employment to a very large number of laborers and they have given to Monroe many of its most substantial and beautiful buildings. In their business transactions they are "as straight as a shingle," dealing justly and honestly with every one and expecting the same sort of treatment. They are regarded as among the city's finest business men and richly deserve the success which they have achieved."

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