Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.]


CHAPTER XXXIX.

MID-CONTINENTAL INDUSTRIAL CENTER.

Part 2


THE BEGINNING OF FLOUR MILLING - ELEVATORS - THE LIVE STOCK MARKET - MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY - GREAT SOAP MANUFACTORIES - COOPERAGE AND BOX FACTORIES - FOUNDRIES AND MACHINE SHOPS - IMPLEMENT FACTORIES - THE COTTON INDUSTRY - MANUFACTURE OF COTTON PRODUCTS - THE CEMENT INDUSTRY - AN OIL DISTRIBUTING CENTER - A GREAT STEEL PLANT - UNITED ZINC & CHEMICAL COMPANY - WHERE FIRE ENGINES ARE MADE - BAKING COMPANIES - ICE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES - OTHER MANUFACTORIES - FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.

COOPERAGE AND BOX FACTORIES.

The live stock and packing industry has brought numerous other establishments which are located along the Kansas river valley in Kansas City, Kansas. Among them are several large cooperage and box factories. The Hauber Cooperage Company, with a capital of $29,000, gives employment to a force of twenty-five to fifty men. John R. Kelley, operating a large cooperage plant in the city, has a capital of $125,000, employes between fifty and one hundred coopers and has an annual output of $125,000 to $150,000.

The Kansas City Packing Box Company has a large plant operated on a capital of $100,000, employing 236 persons and an annual output, in 1910, of $575,000.

The Creamery Package Manufacturing Company and the N. A. Kennedy Supply Company are manufacturers of butter tubs, each employing thirty-five men.

The Koch Butchers Supply Company, with a capital of $40,000, is an extensive manufacturer of butchers furniture.

The Kansas City Box and Basket Manufacturing Company is a large producer of berry-boxes and baskets, and crates for fruits and vegetables. It has forty-five employes and $18,000 capital invested.

THE RAILROAD SHOPS.

In addition to the large shops of the Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific and Rock Island at Kansas City, Kansas, is the extensive plant of the L. J. Smith Company on Central avenue. The plant was formerly the Riverside Iron Works, but was purchased in 1910 by the L. J. Smith Company, builders of railroads, for locomotive repairs. It is one of the largest concerns of its kind in the central west and carries a large force of employes.

The Griffin Wheel Company, with $50,000 capital, operates a large plant in Kansas City, Kansas, for the manufacture of car wheels, employing one hundred and fifty mechanics.

FOUNDRIES AND MACHINE SHOPS.

Among the institutions that for years have contributed to the upbuilding of Kansas City, Kansas, as an important industrial center, are several large foundries and machine shops. One of the oldest of these is the Armourdale Foundry, located at Kansas avenue and Adams street, which has been in operation for twenty-five years. Iron castings are moulded there and twenty-six skilled men are employed.

The Kansas City Foundry Company's plant employs eleven moulders. Others are the West Side Foundry, the West Side Machine Works, The Kaw Boiler Works and the Missouri Boiler Works.

IMPLEMENT FACTORIES.

The Eagle Manufacturing Company of Kansas City, Kansas, is one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural implements at this point. It has a capital of $200,000 and give employment to fifty mechanics.

The Western Wheelbarrow Manufacturing Company employs thirty-six men in its wheelbarrow and truck plant. It has a capital of $75,000.

The H. N. Strait Manufacturing Company, with a capital of $200,000, has one of the oldest and largest concerns in Kansas City, Kansas. The company manufactures engines, hay presses and scales, employing one hundred and sixty men.

The Western Steel and Wire Company also manufactures hay presses. It has a capital of $15,000.

The Hume Manufacturing Company is a manufacturer of machinery.

A. B. Clippinger and Son employ twenty-five mechanics in their Kansas City, Kansas, plant.

The Viking Refrigerator Company's output of refrigerators in 1910 was $45,000. The company has $25,000 capital.

THE COTTON INDUSTRY.

When, on the 21st day of February, 1907, the first loom was placed in operation in the Kansas City Cotton Mills, at Eighteenth street and Kansas avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, there entered the tip end of the wedge which is to open in this section an industry of great proportions. Many were the predictions that the mills would not be completed, due to the unreasoning belief that cotton textiles could not successfully be manufactured without the English fogs. The New Englanders were also sanguine in the belief that the New England fogs were indispensable to the manufacture of cotton in this country. All of this has been exploded, however, by the successful operation of mills in the South, and with modern machinery and intelligent handling it has been demonstrated that here in the central west is a great field for the cotton industry. With the local, southwestern, western and north-western markets accessible, even with an unprecedented development of the textile industry in the central west, it will be some years before Kansas need concern themselves seriously about foreign markets for cotton goods. With trunk railway lines reaching directly twenty-four large wholesale dry-goods markets, without going east of Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis or New Orleans, Kansas City possesses unequalled shipping facilities for marketing the product of textile mills. In the natural order, cotton should be manufactured in the central west and the product passed on direct to the northeastern states and across the Atlantic.

The Kansas City Cotton Mills, representing an investment of more than 500,000, were largely the result of the energy of the late Witten McDonald. The first operation of the mills started with 10,000 spindles employing about two hundred persons. The manufacture was confined chiefly to white cotton ducking and the coarser fabrics, but experience demonstrated that the finer cotton fabrics could be successfully manufactured. The death of Mr. McDonald, in 1909, caused an interruption to the operation of the mills. Early in 1911 a reorganization was effected by which the manufactory was purchased by a new company connected with the cotton industry of the south and east. The purpose is to enlarge the capacity to 100,000 spindles and eventually increase the force of employes to 1,700.

MANUFACTURE OF COTTON PRODUCTS.

Along with the cotton textile mills has come a large mill in Kansas City, Kansas, for the manufacture of cotton seed oil and other edible cotton products, as well as cotton seed meal cake. The mill, located near the Kansas City Cotton Mills, is now operated by Frank G. Kinney & Company of Birmingham, Alabama, which firm has several large mills in the south. The company began operating in Kansas City, Kansas, early in 1911, and is making this the principal distributing point for these products in the territory west of the Great Lakes.

THE CEMENT INDUSTRY.

The discovery, in 1897, of deposits of shale and cement rock in the hills north of the Kansas river, one mile east of the city of Bonner Springs, led to the building of the Bonner Brand Portland Cement Company's great mills. They are among the largest, best equipped and most distinctively modern plants in the United States. The deposits were such as are seldom found, not only as to their value in the manufacture of a superior quality of cement fit for all the manifold uses to which it is put, but also for the fact that the quantity is considered by experts as sufficient to keep the mills running at full capacity for one hundred years. The fact of these mills being almost in sight and sound of this great city in which hundreds of thousands of barrels of cement annually are used or distributed, with the Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Rock Island railroads and the Kansas river making cheap transportation sure, was another incentive to the building of this great plant and the making of Kansas City an important manufacturing and distributing point for this very necessary commodity.

A number of wells were already producing gas near Bonner Springs and the Cement Company, on entering the field, immediately began sinking other wells, which are today producing sufficient gas to furnish fuel and light in Bonner Springs, to run what is known as the Gray Brick plant and to furnish the fuel for the operation of the cement plant. This gas is of sufficient pressure to more than supply the before mentioned consumers and the fuel needs of the cement mill.

In the manufacturing of cement, under this system, every improvement known to mechanical science is used, even the force of gravity being harnessed to bring the raw material from the shale beds on the hillside. Gravity-force alone is employed, no hoisting or drawing being necessary. This not only lessens the labor and cost of maintenance, but also decreases the operating expenses. In the crushing and other departments nothing but giant machinery is used. The kilns are all rotary, the kind introduced in the western cement manufacturing districts with great success.

The Bonner Springs plant originally was built with a capacity for manufacturing 2,500 barrels of cement daily, employing a large force of men. The company's capital stock is owned almost entirely by Kansas men, and the original corporation was organized in 1907 by W. H. McCaffrey. The plant was finished at the time of the financial depression, and its successful operation at first was impaired. But even at that time, when the old company's affairs were put in the hands of Henry McGrew as receiver pending a re-organization, the plant was operated at a profit of from $8,000 to $9,000 a month, and under the re-organized company, composed of Kansas men who built the plant with their own money, it has been highly profitable.

AN OIL DISTRIBUTING CENTER.

The proximity of Kansas City, Kansas, to the great oil fields of Kansas and Oklahoma has made Kansas City, Kansas, an important oil center. Not only are large quantities of refined oils and the by-products of refineries sold and distributed there, but the city is made the base of supply for many million gallons of fuel oils which contribute largely to manufacture, as well as to use in the furnaces of many buildings for power and heating.

The Kansas City Oil Company, capital $1,000,000 has its refinery at Second street and Troup avenue. It employs forty-eight men and has an annual output of $200,000.

The Great Western Oil and Refinery Company, owning many oil wells in southern Kansas and Oklahoma, in 1911 established a large house in Kansas City, Kansas, for the distribution of its products.

The Uncle Sam Oil Company began, in 1909, the erection of a refinery at Eighteenth street and Osage avenue, and the laying of a pipe line from the oil fields to Kansas City, Kansas. The plant is not in full operation, although the company is handling large quantities of oil for the local trade.

The Standard Oil Company, which has a large refinery at Kansas City, Missouri, has an extensive distributing plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The National Oil Company and a number of smaller concerns are also operating distributing stations.

A GREAT STEEL PLANT.

One of the most important industries that has been established in Kansas City, Kansas, recently, is the plant of the Kansas City Structural Steel Company, located in the Argentine part of the city in the old plant that once was operated by the Consolidated Kansas City Smelting and Refining Company. The company was organized in 1906 and began the manufacture of structural steel with a force of one hundred and fifty employees. The great demand in the central west for steel for buildings, bridges and viaducts gave the company an advantage in its trade. It has made a remarkable record in Kansas City and other cities in the rapid construction of the steel work for "skyscrapers."

The Western Terra Cotta Company built a large plant on the Missouri river front at the foot of Franklin avenue, in 1906, and is engaged in the manufacture of architectural terra cotta. It has a capital of $24,000 and fifty employees.

The Waggener Paint and Glass Company, manufacturers of paints and oils, is a new concern with a capital of $10,000. Its output for 1910 was $53,000.

The Kansas City Cut Stone Company and the Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company have large plants and contribute largely of materials for buildings. The former employs fifteen men and the latter forty.

The Ellis Planing Mill, one of several of its kind in Kansas City, Kansas, employs twenty-eight men.

UNITED ZINC & CHEMICAL COMPANY.

This concern, situated in the Kansas river valley above Kansas City, Kansas, is one of the largest chemical works in the United States. The plant has been in operation several years with a capital of $300,000.

Its employees number ninety and the wages paid in 1910 amounted to $65,000. The output of chemicals was valued at $250,000.

WHERE FIRE ENGINES ARE MADE.

The Anderson Coupling Supply Company, manufacturing fire engines, couplings and fire department supplies, has a large plant in Kansas City, Kansas, and gives employment to a force of fifty skilled mechanics. The company's products go to nearly every city in America and Europe.

BAKING COMPANIES.

The George Rushton Baking, Company, capital $50,000, employs forty-two men and had an output in 1910 of $100,000.

The Nashold Baking Company has a capital of $20,000 and employs fourteen men.

ICE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES.

Aside from the packing companies that manufacture ice, there are several companies engaged in this industry for domestic and public uses. They are the Crystal Springs Ice Company, capital $100,000; George C. Newland Ice Company; Rock Springs Ice Company, capital $20,000; the Santa Fe Car Icing Company, capital $125,000; the Kaw Valley Ice Company, capital $35,000.

OTHER MANUFACTORIES.

Kansas City, Kansas, Rosedale, and Bonner Springs are favored with many other important industries. Among these are the following:

The Pintch Compressing Company, capital $25,000; product, gas for railway car illumination.

Kimball Fowler Cereal Company, Rosedale, capital $25,000; employees, twenty-three; wages $13,000; output $200,000.

Blacker Grain Company, manufacturers of chops and feed.

Wyandotte Tent and Awning Company, manufacturers of awnings; capital, $7,000; number employed, seven; wages during the year, $4,800; output, $40,000.

J. Rashbaum. & Company, manufacturers of garments; capital, $8,000; number employed, forty-three; wages during the year, $13,000; output, $50,000.

Wyandotte Egyptian Burial Vault Company.

The Wyandotte Carriage Company.

Myers Sanitary Milk Company, milk and ice cream; capital, $30,000; number employed, thirty-three; wages during the year, $6,000; output, $150,000.

The Indiana Silo Company, plant in Rosedale.

DeCoursey Pure Milk Company, butter and ice-cream; capital, $12,000; number employed, sixteen; wages during the year, $6,000; output, $65,000.

F. S. Edwards, cigars; number employed, five; wages during the year, $4,000; output, $8,000.

George Grubel Bottling Works, carbonated water; capital, $25,000; number employed, eight; wages during the year, $7,000.

FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.

The possibilities of Kansas City, Kansas, Rosedale, Bonner Springs, and the Kansas and Missouri river valleys, for a further increase of their industrial interests are promising. Railway and river transportation for raw materials and finished product, together with the abundant supply of coal, gas and oil for fuel, give this community a decided advantage over competitive cities.

Already Kansas City, Kansas, leaving out Rosedale and the rest of the county, shows this advantage over the rest of Kansas and of Kansas City, Missouri, in the figures presented in the official reports. Taking 1909 for example, the Kansas commissioners of labor and statistics, in his report, shows that Kansas City, Kansas, employs in its industries twenty-four per cent of the total of persons employed in the industrial plants of the entire state; pays twenty-two per cent of all the wages distributed in the state, and also turns out almost one-half of the value of the entire product of all manufactories. The figures follow:

City Reporting Employees Wages Paid Value Product
 
Kansas City, Kansas 72 12,618 $7,054,880 $124,224,508
Topeka 137 3,973 2,532,967 15,708,599
Wichita 101 2,824 1,343,244 17,706,846
Pittsburg 41 3,149 1,914,570 3,455,230
Leavenworth 59 2,079 1,154,947 4,963,798
Iola 24 1,510 986,803 2,028,019
Parsons 18 1,159 822,308 1,550,961
Coffeyville 37 1,434 842,527 3,992,581
Atchison 23 S32 442,628 3,721,415
Independence 23 S57 550,200 2,028,016
 



    All Kansas 1,918 51,628 $31,338,827 $264,133,757

The above table only represents those industries located in Kansas City, Kansas, for which full reports were made to the state office. Many other industries that have been inaugurated since 1909 are also not included in the figures of the report.

 


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