BEAVER FALLS BOROUGH
THIS busy manufacturing center is situated in the valley of the Big Beaver Creek, about three and a half miles
from its mouth. The town occupies mainly a plateau some fifty or sixty feet above the creek, and has thus excellent
natural drainage. The hills on either side, especially to the west, rise boldly to a height of perhaps two hundred
feet, with immense perpendicular cliffs, making very wild and picturesque scenery. The high ground here was formerly
covered with those blocks of granite known to geologists as "erratics," which are supposed to have been
transported hither from the Canadian highlands by icebergs and deposited as the bergs melted
Very early the immense water power afforded by the Falls of the Beaver at this point, and the consequent possibilities
of successful manufacturing being carried on here, impressed themselves upon all visitors. Among those who perceived
these advantages at an early period was General Daniel Brodhead, who, while commandant at Fort Pitt (1779-1781),
became well acquainted with this locality, and on the very day that the celebrated Land Act of April 3, 1792, was
passed by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, offering for sale the vacant lands within the Commonwealth, he,
being then Surveyor General of the State, took out two warrants of four hundred acres each for lands lying on Walnut
Bottom Run, opposite the great, or Middle Falls 1) of the Beaver, on which the town of Old Brighton (now part of
Beaver Falls) was afterwards located. In August, 1801, Brodhead sold these two tracts of land to David Hoopes of
Chester County, Pa., for three thousand dollars. Previous to 1800, Dr. Samuel Adams, spoken of in our chapter on
the medical history of the county, had settled at the Upper Falls of the Beaver on a tract of four hundred acres,
and had built a dam, erected a sawmill, and made other improvements. His land extended from what is now Seventeenth
Street, Beaver Falls, north to what is known as Twenty eighth Street, College Hill borough; and west including
what is now called Mount Washington. The place was later named for him, "Adamsville."
1) In early times there were three general divisions of the Falls of the Beaver. namedrespectively the "Upper
Falls," the "Middle Falls," and the "Lower Falls." They were situated about as follows:
the Upper Falls, were near the present Fetterman Bridge; the Middle Falls, near the present Tenth Street Bridge,
and the Lower Falls near the Fallston Bridge. Day's Historical Collections says (page108): "The Beaver river,
within five miles of its mouth, fans 69 feet. 'The Palls' originally consisted of a succession of rapids for about
two thirds of that distance. By individual and state enterprise the stream has been made to assume a succession
of pools and dams. Five miles from the mouth is a dam of 15 feet: a mile below, another of 20 feet - a mile below
that two others, giving together a fall of 19 feet; and near the mouth another, with a fall of 15 feet at low water."
The date of this publication is 1843. The darns are today about the same, except that at the point where it is
said there were two which is at Fallston, there is now but one, and the second one named in the excerpt ("so
ft.") has been built higher. This was done by the Beaver Falls Water Power Co., which supplies by mans of
it extensive manufacturing establishments.
In 1801, David Hoopes, who, as stated above, had purchased from General Brodhead two four hundred acre tracts at
the Middle Falls, took possession of the same, and, with others, began to build mills. Hoopes, Townsend & Co.
erected a sawmill, which was shortly afterwards burned, but soon rebuilt, and later a flouring mill, the second
of its kind in the valley, was added. They soon began also the erection of a forge near the mills, but before it
was finished the entire property was sold to Isaac Wilson. The latter took hold of the plants in 1805, and completed
the forge the following year, and commenced soon to build a charcoal furnace. September 13, 1808, Mr. Wilson sold
a half interest in the whole property to Messrs. Barker & Gregg for $16,000, and the firm was then known as
Isaac Wilson & Co.
In 1806 a town plot was made by this firm and lots were sold, and a brisk business began to be built up. In 1808,
Wilson, Barker & Gregg were operating their iron blast furnace, and manufactured for several years stoves,
pig iron, hollow ware, etc., using the kidney ore found on the ground. In April, 1812, Barker & Gregg purchased
from Wilson for $15,000 the other half interest in the property. The plants later became the property of Oliver
Ormsby of Allegheny County, who actively operated them under the able management of John Dickey and James Glenn
until x818. The financial depression then became so great that the furnaces could not be worked profitably, and
the whole property was allowed to go down. When David Hoopes came on from Chester County to take possession of
this property at the time referred to above, he had found several settlers seated on the lands and claiming them
under the provision of the law of 1792, relating to securing title by "settlement and improvement." General
Brodhead had instituted suit in the United States Court of Equity against these persons and had secured judgment
in his favor, but Hoopes had trouble with them also and had to buy from some of them fifty acres at one time and
fifty at another. Had it not been for this trouble about the title, the Harmony Society, which later did so much
for the development of the business interests of Beaver Falls, would have located here instead of going to Posey
County, Indiana. Shortly before their removal thither they had tried to purchase these two tracts, with the improvements
thereon, for $32,000, but were discouraged from the purchase by the difficulties in the way of securing a clear
title to a large part of the property.
We have said that in 1806 a town was plotted on this property by Isaac Wilson & Co. The survey for this was
made by two brothers, named Constable, from Brighton, England. As a favor they were allowed to name the new town,
and they chose the name of their home town for it, calling it Brighton. This name was retained for some years,
but when a town was laid out on the east side of the Beaver, which was first called East Brighton and afterwards
New Brighton, the town on the west side came to be generally known as "Old Brighton," and continued to
be so designated until the time when the Harmony Society became the owners of the property on the west side. The
latter place was thereafter called Beaver Falls, though that name is said to have been sometimes applied to it
in the earliest days of its existence.
After the suspension of activity in the industries at this point of which we have spoken, the property remained
idle until 1829, when it was bought from Mr. Ormsby by James Patterson of Philadelphia. Mr. Patterson acquired
by this purchase 1300 acres, and the same year brought his family and some machinery to the place and began to
improve the property, building a flouring mill with a capacity of 200 barrels a day, and a cotton factory which
employed thirty five hands and yielded 3000 pounds of yarn per week. Mr. Patterson did much by his various enterprises
to revive the trade of the whole region.
In 1829 Archibald Robertson built a steam paper mill in Brighton, which was operated successfully until 1849, when
Mr. Robertson becoming convinced that water power was more economical, built another paper mill at the head of
the falls. Mr. Robertson manufactured an excellent quality of printing and wall paper, employed a considerable
number of hands, and did much for the general business interests of the valley. This second mill was in 1876 under
the control of Frazier, Metzgar & Co.
Harris's Pittsburgh Business Directory for 1841 gives the following showing of the business occupations of the
people of Brighton:
Laborers - David Ames, Jeremiah Maid, Emory Maloy. Millwright - James B. Angel. Paper makers - John Baker, James
C. Fulton, James Roberts, H. Woods. Jessie Zeigler. Innkeepers - Luke Bland, Widow Sutliff. Blacksmith - David
Boiles, William J. King. Farmers - John Boiles, Robert McGaughey.
Engineers - William Carter. Daniel Loomis. Carpenters - Robert Calhoun, Joseph Reeves. Calico printer - William
Clayton. Clerks - J. K. Dean, C. H. Gould. William Harrison. Coal diggers - Charles Day, Nathan Dillon.
Machinists - James M. Greig and James Wilson. Canal boat captain - George Hemphill. Tanner - John R. Hoopes. Foreman
flouring mill - H. Huggins. Sign painter - Samuel Kennedy. Cabinet makers - Horatio Large, Henry Sims, Sr., Henry
Sims, Jr. Forgemen - John Martin, James Richards.
Tailors - Ephraim Martin, William Wallace. Brick maker - Robert Moffit. Teamsters - Joseph Mahaffee, John Murrell.
Cooper - Peter W. Maltby.
Foreman cotton factory - Andrew Nelson. Storekeeper and flour merchant - James Patterson. Shoemaker - William B.
Platte. Wheat agent - Ira Ransom. Paper mill owner - Alexander [Archibald] Robertson. Soap manufacturer - Isaac
Warren. Saddler - David Whitla.
During the ownership of the lands here by James Patterson a town had been plotted by him, July 4, 1849, the plan
of which was acknowledged before William Richardson, J. P., on the 4th of August following. The names of the streets
starting with the creek were - Water, Front, and Second; those running at an angle of forty five degrees with the
former were - Tank, Main, and Cedar; those at a right angle with the latter - Factory, Mill, Race, Mulberry, Linden,
In 1859 the Harmony Society, which held several mortgages on this property, purchased it at sheriff's sale for
the sum of $34,500, the deed being dated September 14th of that year. In 1866 the Society made a new survey of
the town, and greatly enlarged its limits, extending it along the Beaver Creek nearly three miles, and began actively
to carry on and to aid various manufacturing and other enterprises. The growth of the town in population and business
became as a consequence very rapid, and in 1868 it was felt by the citizens that they should have the advantages
of a borough incorporation.
Accordingly at the September sessions of the court in that year application was made for incorporation as the
"Borough of Beaver Falls," under the provisions of the Act of April 3, 1851, and, November 9, 1868, the
decree of the court was made granting the application.'
In 1822 the United States Government sent engineers to examine the water power afforded by the several falls of
the Big Beaver, with a view to establishing here a national armory. The report of the engineers favored this site,
but it was not adopted owing to opposition from other sections. After the destruction of the arsenal at Harper's
Ferry, efforts were made in the two sessions of Congress, 1861-2 and 1862-3, to have the Government purchase the
Brighton property for the same purpose, but these were also unsuccessful.
Under the wise and generous policy of the Harmony Society Beaver Falls grew to be one of the most active manufacturing
centers of western Pennsylvania, and we shall now give a brief account of the most important concerns of the town
either in successful operation in the past or still running.
The Beaver Falls Cutlery Company was organized in 1867 by Dr. C. G. Hussey, General Thomas M. Howe, and James
W. Brown of Pittsburg, the last named gentleman being now (1904) member of Congress from Allegheny County and president
of the Colonial Steel Company of Monaca. A charter was obtained, October 13, 1867, and the plant was started on
a small scale in Rochester, Pa., but it was shortly afterwards removed to Beaver Falls, where operations were begun
in 1868 on the extensive premises in the lower end of the town, familiarly known as the "cutlery property."
In 187o the concern was changed to a joint stock company, the ownership passing largely into the hands of the Harmony
Society. The capital stock of the company was $400,000, and during the height of its prosperity its plant turned
out over 1200 dozen of finished cutlery products. Labor troubles arising, the company tried the experiment of employing
Chinese as workmen, having at one time four hundred of them in its shops. In 1886 the business having ceased to
be profitable, the works were closed.
Metric Metal Works. - This concern, whose principal production was gas meters, occupied the cutlery buildings from
1888 until about 1892, when it was removed to Erie, Pa.
Eclipse Bicycle Company. - After the premises of the cutlery works were vacated by the last mentioned concern,
they were occupied by a company from Indianapolis, Ind., which was organized in 1892 with a capital of $200,000
for the manufacture of the Eclipse Bicycle. In 1896 this plant was moved to Elmira, N. Y.
McCool Tube Company. - This was the next firm to occupy the buildings of the cutlery property. It was organized
in 1896 for the purpose of manufacturing iron and steel and other material into tubes. In 1901 it was absorbed
by the Shelby Steel Tube Company.
The Shelby Steel Tube Company was in 1901 made one of the constituent companies of the United States Steel Corporation.
Soon after its passing to the control of that corporation the buildings were all destroyed by fire, with the exception
of the one used by the New York-Pittsburg Company. (See below.)
Beaver Falls Car Works. - This enterprise was started in 1878 under the management of Hon. Henry Hice, president;
John Reeves, secretary; Jacob Henrici, treasurer; and John Corbus, superintendent. The company manufactured all
grades of cars, and did general repair and foundry work. January 15, 1886, the plant was destroyed by fire, with
a total loss, except a little machinery. One week later the company secured room in the old cutlery works property,
and began anew in a general machinists' business, which they continued for about a year after the Eclipse Bicycle
Company came into the premises; they then moved to a building almost opposite, in which they had operated a foundry
since the fire. Mr. John Corbus bought the machine shop and foundry at the time the former was moved, and ran the
business until 1897, when it was given up.
Beaver Falls Iron Company. - Originally J. S. Craft Iron Works, which was succeeded by McKee, Anderson & Co.
The latter firm was succeeded by the Beaver Falls Iron Company, organized in October, 1885, under the management
of N. E. Whittaker, president, and E. C. Ewing, secretary. The works of this company were quite extensive, and
gave employment to about one hundred and fifty men. The product was exclusively sheet iron. November 19, 1888,
the plant was burned down and was not rebuilt.
Co-operative Foundry Association. - This was organized January 1, 1872, with the following officers: A. J. Sennett,
president; I. Armor, secretary, and H. Dufford, treasurer. The capital stock was 25,000, and the product was stoves,
hollow ware, and ranges. The concern did a good business, and was later known as the Paisley Foundry. It is not
now in existence.
J. H. Knott & Company. - This firm owned a flouring mill, which was built in 1882 on the site of the old Patterson
mill, which burned the year before. The members of this firm were John H. Knott, Joseph Wilson, F. K. Brierly,
and M. Shaner, who was the miller in charge. The company did a general milling business for the local market. They
sold out in 1896, and the building has since been used for other purposes.
The Old Brighton Paper Mill Company was started about 1835. The present Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway
freight depot at the west end of Fifth Street is on its site. Robertson, Lee & McElroy were the original owners
of this plant and operated it by steam. About the year 1840 it changed hands and was called the Pittsburgh Wall
Paper Company, and under the new management was built the old paper mill at the Adamsville dam, where water power
was used. In 1876 Frazier, Metzgar & Company operated this mill in the same building in which the Beaver Falls
Paper Company was afterwards located.
The Beaver Falls Paper Company was organized in 1883. The mill was merely a branch of the New Castle establishment,
and was owned by Dillworth Brothers of Pittsburg. It is no longer in operation.
Wagner's Brewery was established in 1880 by Henry Wagner, and had a yearly capacity of about five thousand barrels
of beer. The plant stood on what is now known as Bridge Street, about one hundred yards from the overgrade bridge,
and is not now in operation.
Spring Water Brewery was established by James Anderton in 1869, and is now the Anderton Brewing Company, which
was incorporated in 1891 with a capital of $50,000, and with the following officers: James Anderton, president;
Jonathan Anderton, vice president; and W. H. Anderton, secretary and treasurer. The brewery stands at Twenty fourth
Street and the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway.
Whitla Glass Company, Limited, was organized in June, 1887, to make a general line of glassware. The officers were
J. C. Whitla, president; J. P. Stone, secretary and treasurer; directors: Simon Harrold, John M. Hughes, F. G.
Tallman, Stephen P. Stone, and J. R. Harrah. The plant was located in a large building on the east side of Seventh
Avenue, near the present overgrade bridge, was equipped with the best modern machinery, and employed about 150
men. April 25, 1890, this concern was incorporated as The Valley Glass Company, with J. C. Whitla, president; J.
P. Stone, secretary and treasurer; and Wm. Breitenstein, W. A. McCool, Simon Harrold, J. C. Whitla, J. P. Stone,
John A. Ferguson, and Ernst Woelfel, as trustee of the Harmony Society, directors. The works were burned April
9, 1892, and were not rebuilt.
The Beaver Falls Gas Company was organized in 1871, with Hon. Henry Hice, president; J. H. Conway, vice president;
F. S. Reader, secretary; George S. Barker, treasurer; and John Reeves, J. M. Fessenden, W. W. Keyser, James Edgar,
and M. Naylor, directors. The capital stock was $75,000. The company manufactured illuminating gas, and supplied
the towns of New Brighton and Beaver Falls, but finding it difficult to meet the competition of the companies supplying
natural gas, they ceased to operate in 1902.
Keystone Chemical Works. - In February, 1887, Mr. C. C. Beggs began to manufacture silicate of soda for making
soap, stiffening prints, etc., using for his works quarters in the rear of the Mayer pottery building. Mr. Abraham
Green was the manager, seven men were employed, and a large daily output was shipped to all parts of the country.
The works are no longer in operation.
The Pittsburg Hinge and Chain Factory, operated by Reiter & Armor, was founded in 1870, and was succeeded by
the Pittsburg Chain Company, and they by the Baker Chain and Wagon Iron Company. While operated by the latter,
this plant was burned down, October 25, 1885, and was not rebuilt.
Beaver Falls Glass Company, Limited. - This company was organized January 1, 1887, under the following officers:
George E. Smith, chairman; C. T. Mustin, secretary and treasurer; J. H. Ohnsman, superintendent. In addition to
the officers named, James M. May, H. W. Reeves, F. F. Brierly, and George W. Coates constituted a board of managers.
The firm employed about two hundred men, and manufactured all varieties of pressed glassware, which they shipped
to every part of the country. This concern went out of business some years ago, but their premises are now occupied
by the Imperial Glass Company, mentioned below.
Algeo & Sons' Coffin Works were removed from Rochester, N. Y., to Pittsburg, and fifteen years later (about
1879) located in Beaver Falls, where they were operated successfully for a number of years.
Hartman Steel Company, Limited. - This company was organized in January, 1883, and in March of the same year the
buildings, which had been begun in October preceding, were occupied, and the wire department put in operation.
The property of the company consisted of twenty acres, situated on the "Marginal Railroad," which was
operated by them. Nine hundred men were employed, and an immense daily output of all kinds of wire was made. Branch
offices were maintained in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, and Chicago. The officers of the company
were: H. W. Hartman, chairman; G. H. Wightman, secretary; R. A. Franks, treasurer; and F. G. Tallman, general superintendent.
This company has been succeeded by the following: Carnegie, Phipps & Company in 1892; Carnegie Steel Company,
Ltd., in the spring of 1895; Consolidated Steel & Wire Company in the fall of 1895; American Steel & Wire
Company of Illinois in 1898; and the American Steel & Wire Company of New Jersey in 1899, absorbed in 1901
by the United States Steel Corporation. Since 1899 the works have been shut down.
Emerson, Smith & Company, Limited. - This concern was organized under the firm name of Emerson, Ford &
Company, in 1871. In February, 1877, a change in the membership of the firm gave the new name of Emerson, Smith
& Company. This name was retained until July 16, 1884, when a dissolution of partnership occurring, a reorganization
under the Pennsylvania limited partnership laws was effected, with the present title and with a capital of $250,000
of stock paid in. The officers were then: James E. Emerson, chairman; Julius F. Kurtz, Sr., vice chairman and treasurer;
and Edward L. Hutchinson, secretary. The present officers are: J. F. Kurtz, Sr., chairman and treasurer; and E.
L. Hutchinson, vice chairman and secretary. The company has agencies in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Atlanta;
and its products, which are saws of all kinds and sizes, and saw tools and apparatus connected with mill saws,
are in demand in all portions of the world.
Nicholson File Works. - The works of the Great Western File Company, Limited, were built in 1869 by David Blake
and James M. Fessenden. Four years later the capacity was doubled. In 1875 the firm was changed to a limited company,
with James M. Fessenden, chairman; E. L. Blake, secretary; and F. F. Foshay, treasurer.
On the 19th of April, 1880, the entire works were destroyed by fire, with an almost total loss, but in eighteen
weeks they were rebuilt on a much larger scale and were again in active operation. In 1883 Hon. Henry Hice became
chairman, and George W. Morrison, secretary and treasurer.
In 1899 the Great Western File Works was absorbed by the present company, under the style of the Nicholson File
Works. The firm is composed of Eastern capitalists. At present (1904) the plant is not in operation.
Penn Bridge Company. - This concern was organized by T. B. White & Sons in 1868, and the plant was located
in New Brighton. Ten years later the works were removed to their present site in Beaver Falls. The firm was reorganized
and incorporated in 1887 as the Penn Bridge Company, and was then composed of the following members: S. P. White,
T. S. White, J. F. Miner, J. F. Mitchell, and F. Degner. Its capital is $50,000, and the present officers are Hon.
Samuel P. White, president; T. S. White, vice president; and J. F. Mitchell, secretary and treasurer.
The products of this company consist of wrought iron, steel, and combination bridges, iron sub structures, buildings,
roof trusses, plate, box, and lattice girders, and general architectural ironwork. In 1902 they made, and they
are still making, large additions to their plant.
Crucible Steel Company of America. - This company is the successor of the Beaver Falls Steel Works, which were
estabfished in 1875 by Abel, Pedder & Company, and, three years later, bought by the Harmony Society, and operated
by them in the manufacture of tool and file steel, iron center cast steel, soft steel, finished rolling coulters,
patent cutlery steel, and cast and special plow steel, etc. About eighty hands were employed, and the products
were shipped throughout the United States, into Canada, and occasionally into Mexico. The superintendent was Mr.
James M. May, who had been connected with the enterprise since its origin. In August, 1881, the works of the Beaver
Falls Steel Company were burned, but they were soon rebuilt, and, April 6, 1893, they were purchased from the Harmony
Society by J. M. May, J. F. Merriman, G. W. Coates, and John T. Reeves, who operated them under the same name until
July, 1900, when the company was absorbed by the Crucible Steel Company of America.
American Axe & Tool Company, formerly Hubbard & Company. - These works were established in 1870 by Joseph
Graff & Company, and were operated by them until 1879, being known as "The Empire Axe & Hoe Works."
March 16, 1875, the works were burned down, but were promptly rebuilt, being ready for operation again May 16,
1875. Later they were again burned.
In 1879 the firm name was changed to Hubbard, Bakewell & Company, these parties securing the works as a branch
to their extensive plant in Allegheny County. Later the firm was known as Hubbard & Company, and consisted
of the following members: Charles W. Hubbard, S. A. Rankin, D. M. Long, Charles Lockhart, W. W. Frew, and S. D.
Hubbard, the last named gentleman managing the works.
In 1893 this company was absorbed by the American Axe & Tool Company. The present superintendent is F. T. Powell.
The axes made here are sold in the whole of the United States, in Canada, and in South America.
Ames Shovel & Tool Company, formerly H. M. Myers & Company, Limited. - In 1869 the "Economy Works"
were established by Myers & Armor, and in 1875 the firm of H. M. Myers & Company, Limited, was formed,
with H. M. Myers, chairman; Joseph M. Morrison, secretary, and John Reeves, treasurer. Its products were shovels,
spades, and scoops of all kinds, and it gave employment to a large number of men. Its market was the whole Union.
In 1902 this company was absorbed by the Ames Shovel & Tool Company. Mr. C. H. Myers is the general manager.
Imperial Glass Company. - This company, which occupies the premises of the Beaver Falls Glass Company, Limited,
was incorporated in 1900 with a capital of $50,000 for the manufacture of glassware.
Co-operative Flint Glass Company, Limited, succeeding the Beaver Falls Co-operative Glass Company. - The latter
concern was organized February 7, 1879, under the management of John Stoehr, chairman, and George K. Brown, secretary
and treasurer. At a later date the firm was composed of the following officers: William Scheffier, Sr., chairman;
C. C. Vogely, secretary and treasurer; Philip Scharf, foreman. The company manufactured general glass tableware,
etc., and found a market in all parts of the United States and in portions of South America. This company was succeeded
by the Co-operative Flint Glass Company, Limited, organized in 1889, with J. H. Ruhlandt, chairman, and Charles
W. Klein, secretary and treasurer.
Howard Stove Company. - The works of this company were formerly controlled by A. F. Wolf, who started a stove foundry
in 1868, and after suffering two losses by fire, sold in 1883. The present officers are Jacob Ecki, manager; and
James D. Perrott, secretary and treasurer; with Howard D. Perrott and Frank C. Perrott, traveling representatives.
The products of this company are all kinds of stoves and ranges, and a good market is found for them everywhere.
Knott, Harker & Company organized in 1884, and operated for a few months in New Brighton, where they bought
the property of the American Grate & Fender Company. They then removed to Beaver Falls. The officers of the
company are: Joseph Wilson, president; J. W. Knott, secretary and treasurer; and W. G. Harker, superintendent.
F. F. and F. K. Briefly are also members of the firm.
The company has a capital of $50,000. They are founders and machinists, and manufacture and deal in mantels, grates,
and all kinds of fireplace goods, and are doing a large business.
Keystone Driller Company. - In 1880 Mr. R. M. Downie invented and patented a steam drill, and in 1882 a company
was formed to put it on the market, with Mr. Downie, superintendent, and Rev. H. H. George, D.D., chairman of the
board of directors. The company operated successfully in Fallston for several years, and then removed to Beaver
Falls. The company's title was at first the Keystone Portable Steam Driller Company, Limited, but in 1891 it was
incorporated under its present name, with a capital of $300,000. The present officers are Rev. D. M. McAllister,
D.D., president; R. M. Downie, secretary and manager, and R. G. Forbes, treasurer. In the fall of 1902 the plant
was almost entirely destroyed by fire, but has since been rebuilt.
Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company. - This company was organized in 1878 by Simon Harrold, who had conducted a general
planing mill business until 1877, when the concern passed into the hands of S. N. Douthitt and Simon Harrold, who
styled themselves the Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company. In April, 1886, George C. Wareham and Frank Pearson were
admitted into partnership; and in September, 1887, the c0mpany became a limited concern, with the following officers:
G. C. Wareham, chairman; Frank Pearson, secretary; and S. N. Douthitt, treasurer.
In 1893 the company was incorporated as the Beaver Falls Planing Mill Company, with a capital of S50,000, and the
officers as follows: Frank Pearson, president; and Charles F. Ross, secretary and treasurer. About five or six
years ago this company absorbed the firm of Wilson & Briefly, which was itself a reorganization of the old
firm of Waddle, Wilson & Company. The firm last named, Waddle, Wilson & Company, deserve mention as having
built in 1866 the first lime kiln opened near Beaver Falls. The first switch laid in the city was one from the
railroad track to this kiln. This same firm also made the first purchase of real estate sold under the new corporation
of Beaver Falls.
J. S. Mitchell & Sons. - This firm is composed of James S. Mitchell, Fred S. Mitchell, and David J. Mitchell,
who, in 1898, came to Beaver Falls and bought the property formerly used by the Steam Planing Mill Company. The
latter company had been organized June 25, 1887, as the successor of L. E. Pierce. Mitchell & Sons deal in
rough and planed lumber and in general planing mill products.
The Beaver Falls Chemical Company was organized in 1884 to manufacture general chemical products. The company is
composed of Cleveland men. Mr. W. C. Bailey is superintendent.
Mayer Pottery Company, Limited. - This company was organized in 1881, with Joseph Mayer, chairman, and Ernest Mayer,
secretary and treasurer. The plant is large and complete in all its details, and manufactures as its specialty
under glaze printed dinner, tea, and toilet ware. The factory was entirely destroyed by fire in 1896, and the new
one is a modem plant in every respect. This firm does a large business throughout the United States. It manufactures
yearly $150,000 worth of ware, and employs 175 hands.
On the site of the Mayer pottery a cooper shop was operated by James Patterson until 1859. At the same place Chapman
& Company later made stoneware, crocks and jugs, and still later Elijah Webster had here a stone china pottery.
With him was afterwards associated Benjamin Nowling. The plant was then run for a short time by the Harmony Society,
who sold it to the Mayer Pottery Company.
The Beaver Falls Art Tile Company, Limited, was organized February 1, 1887, with the following officers: John Reeves,
chairman; F. W. Walker, Jr., secretary and treasurer, and L. Roden, superintendent. The products are a superior
quality of artistic decorative tile, including stove, fireplace, and mantel tiles. The present officers are J.
M. May, chairman, and F. W. Walker, Jr., secretary, treasurer, and general manager. Capital, $47,500.
The premises used by this company were originally occupied in the fall of 1868 by Isaac A. Harvey, who made "Liverpool
Ware." Later, Elijah Webster manufactured door knobs, and still later Joseph Graff manufactured yellow ware
in the same place. While the latter was in business, the plant was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by the Beaver
Falls Art Tile Company.
A. S. & R. W. Hall Carriage Works. - This firm began operations in Beaver Falls April 1, 1874. It is the only
one in this line in the town, and turns out a fine make of buggies, phaetons, barouches, buck and spring wagons,
and general carriage goods.
The Valley Ice Company was incorporated in 1897, with a capital of $30,000. The officers are Frank Pearson, president;
T. M. Adams, secretary and treasurer, and J. K. Fleming, manager. This firm manufactures pure ice and deals in
ice, coal, and coke.
The Union Drawn Steel Company was incorporated in 1889, with a capital of $200,000. Its works and general offices
are located at Beaver Falls, Pa. It manufactures high grade cold die rolled steel shafting, pump rods, piston rods,
and special shapes of cold finished steel on a large scale, employing steadily between four and five hundred men,
and has the heaviest payroll in the town. Its product is marketed in all parts of the world, and the company has
warehouses in New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Chicago, where a large stock of bright, finished steel in
rounds, flats, squares, and hexagons is carried at all times. It is also represented exclusively in all the principal
American cities, which gives it exceptional distributing facilities. The manufacturing is done under patents covering
machinery and appliances, by a process superior to anything known for producing work mathematically accurate as
to size, of absolute straightness, and of a perfectly polished surface.
The company is fortunate in being located so as to have the service of two railroads - the Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt
systems - and these roads haul annually for it nearly one hundred thousand tons of steel and iron. The officers
are F. N. Beegle of Beaver Falls, president, and Frederick Davidson of Pittsburg, treasurer and secretary.
Finished Specialty and Machine Company. - This company is controlled by the Union Drawn Steel Company. It was organized
in the fall of 1902, purchased the old nail mill property, and employs about fifty men.
The Standard Gauge Steel Company was incorporated in 1892. Its capital is $600,000, and its officers are as follows:
A. Rasner, president; J. Wylie Forbes, vice president; J. A. B. Patterson, secretary; F. Dinger, treasurer, and
S. Moltrup, superintendent. The firm manufactures finished machine keys, machine racks, square, flat, round, and
special shapes in finished steel; also compressed steel elevator guides.
The Hartman Manufacturing Company, which formerly occupied these premises, removed to Ellwood City, Pa.
The Douglas-Whisler Brick Company was incorporated in 1898. Capital, $75,000, increased to $100,000. The officers
of this company were as follows: W. C. Simpson, president; Abelard Whisler, secretary; and J. A. Douglas, superintendent
(Douglas deceased, December 8, 1900); they are now W. C. Simpson, president and treasurer; J. R. Douglas, vice
president; and Abelard Whisler, secretary. This company moved their offices to the Masonic building in Beaver Falls
in the spring of 1902, at which time they began the erection of a plant for the making of brick at Eastvale. The
offices are now at Eastvale, and the plant is in active operation.
The New York-Pittsburg Company. - This company was organized in 1902 for the manufacture of typewriters and an
attachment for sewing machines for blind stitching. It is located in the remaining building of the property familiarly
known as the cutlery works.
The Standard Connecting Rod Company was incorporated in 1902. Capital, $30,000. They are manufacturers of connecting
rods, strap joints, finished crank shafts, and special rods. The officers are: A. Rasner, president; W. Moltrup,
vice president; Arthur Ball, secretary, and S. Moltrup, treasurer.
Commercial Sash and Door Company, J. M. Hastings, president; Frank Pearson, secretary and treasurer. This company,
which has its general offices in Pittsburg, built here in the summer of 1902 a large mill which stands over the
race near the Tenth Street bridge.
McLean Bros. & Company operated a steam laundry under the name of the Mutual Laundry. The company was incorporated
in 1902. Capital, $15,000. Officers: J. L. Kirkpatrick, president; D. H. A. McLean, vice president, and J. P. McLean,
secretary and treasurer. This plant was shut down November 1903, and in February, 1904, was leased by the assignee,
Mr. B. F. Dunkle of Bedford, Pa., who will operate it.
The Beaver Falls Supply Company was incorporated in 1902, with a capital of $15,000; officers: A. M. Jolly, president,
W. S. Morrison, secretary and treasurer; and S. L. Adams, manager. The company produces natural gas pressure regulators.
The Mound Brick Company was incorporated 190 2, with a capital of $15,000, and its officers were H. E. McLain,
president; H. W. Reeves, secretary and treasurer. They are manufacturers of red brick.
The Beaver Valley Boiler Works manufactures boilers, stills, tanks, plate and sheet iron work. Charles Miller is
Beaver Falls Manufacturing & Fuel Company. - This concern is owned and operated by the Messrs. Hileman, who
handle coal and manufacture coal drilling machines.
The Keystone Store Service Company was organized for the purpose of manufacturing computing scales. About the first
of 1902 the concern was absorbed by the National Computing Scale Company.
The Keystone Wire Matting Company, on Seventh Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, are manufacturers of wire
netting. T. C. McPherson is superintendent.
Max Solomon, dealer in scrap iron, has large yards near the west end of Tenth Street bridge. He employs thirty
or forty men.
Ham, Ow & Company's foundry and machine shop was operated only a little while and was destroyed by fire.
J. Bell & Sons were manufacturers of kegs and barrels. The concern is not now in existence.
R. A. Bole, formerly in the flour and feed business, has been succeeded by John G. Allen.
Paper Box Factory. - This was a factory operated for some years by A. P. Bryson, upon whose death it was discontinued.
Walker & Hillman's Brush Works was on Fifth Street, where it crosses Walnut Bottom Run. It has not been in
operation for some time. The brush works was succeeded by the plow factory of the Brown Manufacturing Company,
now of Zanesville, Ohio. Later, a son of Mr. Walker of this firm established a brush factory in which Mr. Walter
Foss was afterwards interested. It also has not been in operation for some time.
The Beaver Valley Brush Works. - This plant was at first operated by Stauffer & Pfeffer on the present site
of the First National Bank. Later, George E. Smith and J. E. Kirchartz went into it. It was moved from the place
above named to the old Masonic block, and from there to Fallston. Another brush works was operated by a man named
Potter on the present site of Pfaff Brothers' store.
The Beaver Valley Trunk Works was established in 1893, and operated for a while. Their premises were in 1897 occupied
by the Roberts Manufacturing Company, which ran about one year.
Beaver Valley Water Company. - This company owns the water works of all the towns in the valley except Beaver
and Monaca. It has its offices in the Masonic building, Beaver Falls (see Chapter VII.).
Patterson Heights Street Railway Company. - Incorporated 1895; capital, $6000. Officers: John Reeves, president;
James F. Merriman, secretary; John T. Reeves, treasurer.
The road operated by this company connects Patterson Heights with Beaver Falls, its terminus in the latter place
being near the Penn Bridge Works.
Beaver Valley Street Railway Company and Beaver Falls Bridge Company are mentioned in Chapter VII.
Wholesale houses: Armour & Company; Cudahy Parking Company; McHattie Bros. (wholesale fruits, produce, butter,
eggs, cheese, and grocers' specialties); Beaver Valley Produce Company; The D. L. Clark Company (manufacturing
and wholesale confectioners, cigars, tobaccos, and grocers' sundries); Joseph B. Lytle (wholesale confectioner,
dealer in tobacco cigars, cakes, crackers, and novelties).
[Continued in Beaver Falls history part 2.]