Evidence of old factories is still around

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier. This is the last of eight articles dealing with evidences of the past that still existed in the community in 1971.

 

There still remain evidences of some of Findlay’s manufacturing plants of other days. The plants were torn down many years ago, but foundations and other aspects of their early existence are still to be observed.

The old Kellogg Seamless Tube Co., a Findlay manufacturing plant of the boom days, has left behind very tangible evidences of its existence in the form of building formations. The plant, consisting of two buildings, stood on a site north of Findlay, just east of the Penn Central railroad tracks and directly east and a little south of where Whirlpool’s plant is now situated. The location is in Allen Township, where the company owned 13 acres of land.

Still to be seen are foundation stones on which the iron framework of the plant rested. Still fastened to the stones are large iron bolts which held the buildings down.

The Kellogg Co. was in business here for some 11 years, after starting operations in 1891. The firm shipped large volumes of projectiles to the U.S. Navy.

On County Road 215 there is a dwelling which was used by the Kellogg firm as a combination office and boarding home for officials.

IN WEST PARK, on Findlay’s southwestern edge, there are to be found yet some evidences of the industrial activity that took place there during the boom days.

Some of the foundations of the plant of the old Window Glass Co. are to be observed.

There also are evidences of the old Findlay, Fort Wayne and Western Railroad. This line had Findlay as its eastern terminus, with Fort Wayne as the western end of the line. There was a roundhouse at West Park and other facilities in connection with the road, which was known as the Tangent Line because of its straight route.

The railroad tracks across South Main Street at Sixth Street belonged to the line. They now belong to the Penn-Central. They were kept to serve the National Lime and Stone Co.’s quarry.

It is easy to follow the right of way of the railroad through parts of western Hancock County. At the point where the present Ohio 12 crossed the railroad a couple miles east of Benton Ridge, the old right of way is very clearly seen.

Stone quarry operations were maintained by the railroad in West Park, the railroad transporting large quantities of crushed stone to Fort Wayne. The quarry sites still exist.

WILLIAM D. HUMPHREY’S “A Brief History of Gas and Oil In Findlay,” tells an interesting story of a plant that was scheduled for West Park, but never materialized.

“One if the most interesting industries which announced its decision to locate in Findlay in 1887 was the LaGrange Rolling Mills,” says the volume. “It was interesting because it was definitely a speculative project to sell real estate in West Park. A group of ingenious real estate men in Findlay went to LaGrange, Mo. and purchased the defunct LaGrange Rolling Mills in that place. The name was brought to Findlay. A company was organized and with favorable publicity began erecting a large brick building on the west side of the Lake Erie and Western Railroad, somewhere in the vicinity of Shank’s quarry. The cornerstone was laid with proper ceremonies on the morning of June 8, 1887. Second-hand machinery was placed in position, and reports that the plant was to employ 800 men were circulated. However, the plant never turned a wheel and was sold in 1888 to the Aluminum Products Co., of New York. Reorganization plans called for a capital of $5,000,000 with the employment of between 1,500 and 3,000 men. The plant, however, never opened.”

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