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.
By R.L. HEMINGER
When the Citizens Executive committee, which was memorializing Congress in 1892 for funds with which to build a post office in Findlay, presented its pamphlet petition to the House of Representatives and the Senate, there was included a statement about manufacturing in Findlay.
The gas and oil boom had brought a big industrial development in Findlay and this had caused the postal business to flourish to such an extent that new quarters for the post office were felt necessary.
Here is what the pamphlet said about Findlay in 1892:
“Our manufacturing interests are large and varied. As a glass manufacturing center, we are second in America only to Pittsburgh. We have 13 glass factories who products embrace window glass, flint glass, bottles, table wear, incandescent light bulbs, lamps, etc., which are shipped to all parts of the globe. They give employment to over 2,000 people and have an aggregate output approximating $3,000,000 per year.
“Among the other extensive factories may be named:
The Kellogg Seamless Tube Co.
The Adams Bros. & Co. steam engine manufactory and foundry.
The Bell Pottery.
The Salem Wire Nail Co.
The Findlay Table works.
The Shull and Parker planing mill.
Child and Murray, brick manufacturing company.
The Hydraulic Pressed Brick works.
The Standard Pressed Brick works.
The Standard Furniture Co.
The Briggs Tool Works and rolling mill.
The Wetherald Rolling Mills.
The Brilliant City Brewing Co.
“These 14 have an aggregate capital of over $2,000,000. The annual output is over $3,000,000, with labor and products of labor in proportion.
“In addition to these we have flouring mills, machine shops, brass works, steam boiler works, wagon and carriage shops, elevators, pot factories, clay pigeon works, oil refinery, chain works, paving brick works, church furniture factory, lumber mills, excelsior factory, lumber mills, handle factories, mask factory (the only one in the United States), lime kilns and many others all doing a profitable business. Also grounds have been purchased and large commodious buildings already built where extensive steel car wheel shops are being established.
“Every wheel is turned, every furnace heated, every room and building lighted and heated, every residence warmed with natural gas of which we have a large and bountiful supply. The natural gas plant, at a cost of about $700,000, belongs to the city and gas is furnished at a nominal price cheaper than any place on earth,
“From the city lines there is consumed about 40,000,000 cubic feet per day and from private wells to run certain factories and mills about 20,000,000 cubic feet per day. We also have a reserve force of 19 wells, with a capacity of 50,000,000 cubic feet sealed up for future use. We anticipate no failure of gas for many years, but should the supply be diminished, we are in the center of a very large oil field, embracing a large part of our county and a portion of the adjoining counties of Allen and Wood, from which petroleum is produced at 35 cents a barrel.
“With this oil to fall back upon as a fuel, there can be no backward movement to Findlay. Its price already makes it a strong competitor with gas as a fuel in manufacturing.”