THE WESTERN TERRA COTTA COMPANY. - Kansas City, Kansas is rapidly pushing her way onward in regard to the establishment of important and profitable industries, prominent among those that have been inaugurated within very recent years being the Western Terra Cotta Company, which owes its origin to the enterprise, energy and far sightedness of two able business men, William Timmerman and Paul C. Baltz.
This company was organized October 12, 1906, in Kansas City, Missouri, but as no suitable location for the necessary plant could be secured in that place a site for it was found in Kansas City, Kansas, in December of that year. It is a close corporation, capitalized at twenty-four thousand dollars, and has as its officers William Timmerman, president and manager; Paul C. Baltz, vice president and treasurer; and A. Wiegers, secretary. This company, which was the first to do business of this kind in the state of Kansas, makes a specialty of manufacturing high enamels and glazes of terra cotta and building ornamentations of all kinds, the work produced being distinguished as artistic in design, form and color and noted for its durability. The firm began business on a modest scale, starting with but one kiln, and now having five in working order. The first year's output of $15,000 was doubled in 1908. In 1909 it was increased to $48,000, and in 1910 it amounted to $66,000, the increase being correspondingly as large each year. In 1911 the firm began its operations with a force of seventy men, nearly twelve times as many employes as it started with, the number when the plant opened having been but six.
William Timmerman, president of the company, and its genial and able manager, was born November 6, 1867, in Chicago, Illinois, where he grew to manhood. An artist by nature and by talent, he subsequently spent ten years with the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company, in Chicago, and having learned the trade of an architectural designer and modeler was for four years employed in making models for architectural bronze work. Locating then in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Timmerman became head modeler and designer for the Winkle Terra Cotta Company, a position that he filled most satisfactorily. Desirous of still further perfecting himself in his art, he attended the Boston Art Institute for a year, and for three years thereafter, in search of practical experience in his profession, worked as a journeyman. Prior to that time, however, Mr. Timmerman, during the ten years that he was learning his trade, had spent his evenings studying in the Chicago Art Institute. In 1906 he was influential in organizing the Western Terra Cotta Company, of which he has since been president and manager.
Mr. Timmerman married, In[sic] Kansas City, Kansas, November 19, 1910, Emilie, daughter of George and Barbara (Herthel) Baltz. Fraternally Mr. Timmerman is a charter member of Clifton Heights Lodge, No. 520, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, with which he united at St. Louis, Missouri, in 1906. He is of German ancestry, his parents, Henry and Christiana (Lau) Timmerman, having been natives of Germany and people of culture, his father being an educator.
Paul C. Baltz, vice president and treasurer of the Western Terra Cotta Company, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, March 24, 1879, and received his preliminary education in the graded and high schools of that city. Entering the St. Louis Art School when but sixteen years of age, he took up the terra cotta work in that institution and was afterwards employed in the St. Louis and the Winkle Terra Cotta Works, and for two years was employed in the manufacturing department of the Laclede Christy Clay Products Company, of St. Louis, during his eleven years of work in these various companies becoming an expert in the manufacture of terra cotta productions. He likewise added to his knowledge of the industry by spending several months abroad, visiting the more important art centers of the old world in the interests of his professional career.
Mr. Baltz married, November 1, 1910, Cecilia Frendenstein, a daughter of John and Elise (Kehrmann) Frendenstein. Fraternally Mr. Baltz is a Scottish Rite Mason of Kaw Valley, having joined the Masonic order originally in St. Louis.
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