- - - INDUSTRIES - - -


The Daily Globe, Industrial Edition – April 2, 1906
A Booming Industry That Promises Great Things -
Will Employ 125 Men By The Middle of This Month and Promises Still Greater Things.
"The Shelby Foundry Company is a hustling young infant. It has developed by leaps and bounds and is brim full of lusty life and vigor. There isn't a fraction of the people of this town who realize what this concern is doing and how they have grown. Being located so far away from the business district, there is not a great many people who visit them, but those that do are astonished to find them employing such a large number of people. It is certainly a gratification to know that this concern is so prosperous, as their prosperity means so much to Shelby, because of the large pay roll and it's resultant effects upon the business life of the community."

Shelby Daily Globe Photos
"The Shelby Foundry Co., is a corporation organized two years ago (1903) with a capital of $10,000. Originally the company consisted of six molders from Cleveland, but about two years ago Mr. Greer bought them out and reorganized the plant on its present basis. The officers of the company are Robert Greer, president; Philip Rosskopf, vice president; and Wm. Wise, secretary. Mr. Greer is the large stockholder in the factory and to his genius and efforts is due largely the great strides which the company has made in its onward march of progress."
"The product of the company consists of light and heavy grey castings, and the extent of their business operations extends in all directions from this city. They get business from all the surrounding country, and so crowded are they with orders that they have been compelled to decline further business on account of the great rush they have had from their regular line of customers."
"At the present time they are employing over 70 people and have under construction a very large addition to their works which will double their capacity. When the new addition is completed they will have a foundry floor 170 X 60, besides core room, cleaning room, pattern house, and a main building three stories high. They will also add two monster steel cranes which will be located in the new addition.."
Their pay roll now is $3500 per month, and when the extra force is put on which they will do this month, them amount disbursed for labor will amount to almost $7000 monthly, giving employment to almost 150 men. And be it remembered that these men are nearly all skilled mechanics drawing good money. When it is considered that two years ago when Mr. Greer took charge of the place, there was nothing at the shop in the way of business, it will be clearly seen that he has accomplished wonders, and produced a grade of work which had to be satisfactory in order to get the immense business which he has secured during this period of time."
"During the past year the company has added a number of new additions, among them being two new core ovens, and with the new $4000 addition to the plant now in course of construction, they will be admirably fitted to handle an immense business."
The Shelby Foundry photo c. 1906
" During the winter they have been shipping on an average of nine tons of product daily, and this output will be doubled before the month is out. As showing the confidence in which this concern is held by its patrons it is only necessary to state that one of their customers stands ready to give them sufficient business to take the entire capacity of their addition."
" The management have gone on the principle to send out nothing that is not first class. To see that every piece of product is perfect, and to use none but the best materials in the work. This has given them a reputation which has brought many thousands of dollars worth of business to their doors unsolicited ."
" We are frank to say that so far as we could see there is a great future for this business - a future that will make them one of the big institutions in this section and will eventually pay out more money to labor than any other place in town. This may be putting the case a little strong, but everything indicates it, if past growth counts for anything. Their prospects are most glowing - they have all the business they can possibly handle - their goods are first class, and with all these elements in their favor they are sure to go ahead by leaps and bounds. The Globe congratulates Mr. Greer and his associates on the splendid showing which they have made, and the great good which they have done and are doing to Shelby."

The following are excerpts from an article appearing in July 17, 1918 issue of the Daily Globe:
Planted burned To The Ground Last Night During Electric Storm.
Factory Insured For $16,500 . Undecided as to Whether Company will Rebuild.

"The worst fire which has occurred in Shelby since the Brightman Manufacturing plant burnt to the ground took place this morning at about 3 o'clock when the Shelby Foundry Company, one of the largest, manufacturing concerns in the city, together with many valuable patterns was burned. The plant was struck by lightning at about 1:30 o'clock, during the severe electric storm which passed over this community, and the fire was not discovered until more than one hour afterwards. It is estimated that the property loss will reach $60,000 with only $16,500 insurance on the building and contents. More than one hundred men are thrown out of employment, and the loss to the city will be heavy, since this was one of the principal industries here."
"The fire started in a large exhaust pipe, which was constructed of wood in the blacksmith department, where the ball of lightning seemed to have entered. The fire was discovered by William Chapin, night watchman at the foundry, in the room where the blacksmith shop is located. After Chapin gave the alarm of fire, in a few minutes the remainder of the employees rushed to his side, and the small hydrant, to which was attached a small rubber hose was turned on. In a instant the flames broke out in various parts of the building, and in five minutes the entire factory was a mass of flames. The night force consisting of W. F. May, Ted Pfeifer, Victor Simon, foreman of the machine department were at work when the lightning struck the factory. William Chapin, the night watchman was also on duty. Dale Yarnell and a man by the name of Keller who was employed on the night shift had returned to their homes shortly before 2 o'clock, and were not at the plant when the fire broke out."
"When lightning struck the plant a dense smoke arose in the blacksmith department and after a careful investigation made in all departments by Mr. Chapin, he was unable to discover the least sign of a blaze. It is thought the fire from the lightning kept smoldering in the dust and timbers of the building until it became so hot, causing fire to break out in various parts of the building. It seems that the fire first originated in the frame part of the plant."
"Several times prior to this there had been small fires in various parts of the plant and the night watchman was able to extinguish them. He tried to do so this morning, but failed. The building which was largely constructed of wood, was very dry, and thoroughly saturated with oil. There were several dust explosions after the flames were under headway. When the night employees realized they could not cope with the situation, Chapin turned in an alarm and the fire department and hundreds of citizens rushed to the plant, located along the Big Four railroad tracks in the northern part of the city. Although the men fought hard the blaze was not placed under control until 4 o'clock. The moulding and machinery departments lay in ruins at that time. The entire structure is a total loss."
"Just before the fire department responded to the call the large air tank, located outside the engine room exploded and the report was heard very distinctly in all parts of the city. Shortly before the explosion the night men had left the building. The night employees rushed for their tools and only a few of them were able to remove them before the roof fell in. The fire started so quick that the men did not have time to remove any of the contents, that were valuable."

photo - July 18, 1918
"The plant was devoted largely to the manufacture of Greg iron castings, road graders and machinery castings, and the company did an immense business shipping their products to all parts of the United States and South America. The employees were kept busy all of the time and only half of the orders could be filled. The business had grown to such an extent that a number of salesmen were kept on the road continuously."
"When the fire occurred there was a light wind from the east and the sparks went to the west. The east side of the Thomas Manning residence in Irish town was badly damaged by sparks and it was thought by the firemen that the building would burn to the ground. The fruit trees in the rear of the Manning residence were badly scorched, and when the firemen attempted to put water on the small blaze an objection was raised by members of the family thinking the water would damage the building."
"The fire laddies did an excellent work. Six strings of hose were attached to two hydrants and the members of the department worked hard for more than two hours in order to prevent the flames from spreading. A number of cans containing oil were located in the plant, and loud reports were heard when these exploded. This is the first big fire which has occurred in Shelby for the past seven years and the destruction of the Shelby Foundry means a heavy loss to Shelby."
" All the iron and grader patterns which were taken from the pattern room to the foundry Monday were burned. The Shelby Foundry company did not own any of the patterns, they being shipped here by the different concerns who had their work done at the local plant. A box car containing grey iron castings and other castings, loaded yesterday and prepared for shipment was located on the side track near the foundry and one side of the car caught fire damaging it considerable. The fire was easily extinguished before much damage was done."
"The oil shed, pattern room and the main office which are located close to the plant were not threatened by the flames. Several hundred gallons of oil and some dynamite was harbored in the oil shed. If the building had caught fire considerable damage might have been done and probably lives would have been lost."
photo - July 18, 1918
"About ten years ago, when the stove factory burned to the ground considerable damage was done to the Shelby Foundry Company. The latter plant at that time did not burn to the ground, but it required considerable money to make the necessary repairs. Some time afterward the Foundry Company purchased the ground for the purpose of enlarging the plant."
"The Shelby Foundry Company had in its employ several expert molders all of them at present residents of this city. The greater part of them went to Plymouth and New London this morning in search of work. A number of the employees also applied at local factories today for work, and it is very probable that most of them will remain in Shelby if work can be secured."
"Mr. Greer is the largest stockholder in the factory and to his genius and effects was due largely the great strides which the company has made. Robert Greer, the present president and treasurer of the plant and William Wise owned all the common stock, and had controlling interests in the concern. A few years ago the company issued $10,000 of preferred stock, and at that time a number of new stockholders were added. At present the company is composed of about thirty stockholders."
"Mr. Greer, when asked by a reporter, whether the company expected to rebuild the plant, replied that he did not know, until a meeting of the stockholders would be held for the purpose of determining the question."
"The payroll at the foundry was between five and six thousand dollars per month. Nearly all of the men employed were skilled mechanics drawing good money."
"During the past few years the company had added a number of new additions, among them being two new core ovens, and with the $4,000 addition erected eight years ago to the plant the company admirably fitted to handle an immense business."
"The prospects for the plant were glowing, and had all the business they wanted to handle. Their goods were first class and with all these elements the concern was sure to succeed. It is hoped that the stockholders will get together and consider the proposition of rebuilding the plant. Shelby cannot afford to loose this industry because it means much to the city.

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