The Butler Company

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Notch 8
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The Butler Company

Post by Notch 8 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:16 am

The Butler Company burned a couple years ago and I have found a couple of my pictures that I taken while in Butler Indiana with it standing in the background. wish now I had taken more. Butler & Butler was served by the Eel River Railroad on the very eastern end of the railroad.
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RDJ
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Re: Butler & Butler Company

Post by RDJ » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:55 pm

What did the company make?

RD

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Notch 8
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Re: Butler & Butler Company

Post by Notch 8 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:13 pm

The Butler Company, Butler, Indiana


In October 1894 seven men, only three from Indiana, invested in a plant to manufacture wind engines and bicycles.

The partners included Roscoe Bean, A. G. Jones, T. C. Munger, T. J. Knisley, D. L. Murche, E. W. Catlin, and D. C. Henry. They placed their building strategically between the Wabash and New York Central Railroad lines, using the Eel River railroad depot as a shipping station for their goods.

The men employed the latest technology, using the telegraph extensively after 1876 to conduct

their business. The partners had purchased the assets of the Butler Manufacturing Company, which incorporated in 1888 and failed in 1899. They adapted their firm to the times and began manufacturing buggies shortly after organizing the company.

The automobiles they made were marketed under the name “star,” but the company was probably better known for their Butler Bicycle. The bicycle was made with wooden handlebars and wheel rims, had metal spokes, but had no coaster brakes. By 1914 the company had three hundred employees and made cypress tanks, metal tanks, pumps, valves, and other accessories, as well as windmills and automobiles, which were traded throughout the world.

The company continually tried to adapt to the changing needs of the time, producing an experimental airplane named the “Yellow Jacket” in 1930. During the Great Depression the partners made only windmills and water storage and handling equipment. L. C. Harding, a Steuben County native and president of the firm since 1896, saw the company through the economic calamity. By 1941 the company was producing water pumps, windmills, water tanks, and well supplies but was no longer crafting bicycles or airplanes.

In 1958 the Butler Company building burned but was later rebuilt. In the 1990s

the company dealt exclusively with plumbing supplies and wholesale electrical goods.

This building was destroyed by Arson. 2015.

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RDJ
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Re: The Butler Company

Post by RDJ » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:31 pm

Thanks for the info.

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cjberndt
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Re: The Butler Company

Post by cjberndt » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:19 pm

The Butler Company was a prolific manufacturer of windmills, water pumps and buggies. Bicycles were a smaller product line. It also assembled one airplane, the "Yellowjacket," and allegedly built one or two automobiles, photos of which have yet to be found.

The first photo is looking southeast across Broadway at the Butler Company in 1907. LS&MS's (NYC) Air Line tracks are at lower left. The Eel River (Vandalia in 1907)/Wabash RR runs through the middle of the photo. The Eel River is on the right (west) side of Broadway, and the Wabash tracks are on the east side of Broadway. The division point was in the middle of the street.

The 1958 photo is looking east from Broadway at the former Wabash mainline along the north side of the Butler Company. All Eel River RR track west of Broadway was gone by then, but the track in Broadway and east to Wabash's Detroit-New Haven mainline was intact, though unusable as seen here. The Wabash main was about 1/4 mile behind the Butler Company.

Wabash served the Butler Company with two spurs from the east, behind the buildings. One ran between the small wood buildings and the big brick building in the upper photo. The other one ran along the south side of the complex, just off the right side of the photo.

To date I have found only one business directly served by the Eel River in Butler, a sawmill at the west edge of town in the early-1900s.

Craig
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Butler Co lk SE 1907.jpg
Butler Company, looking southeast, 1907
Butler Co N side lookout tower 09-xx-58.jpg
Butler Company north side 1958

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