William Frederick Howat.

A standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) online

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manufacture and rebuilding of locomotives, cars, steam shovels and
general railway equipment. The main shop is 300 by 160 feet and the
pattern shop about the same size. There are many other smaller build-
ings. The appliances include a compressed air plant, which enables
the company to use extensively a variety of air tools, and a com-
plete electric lighting system.

Northern Indiana Gas and Electric Works

The Northern Indiana Gas & Electric Company supplies gas, electric
light and electric jjower to the entire^ Calumet region, with the exception
of Gary, in fact, with that exception, to the entire territory of Northern
Indiana from the Illinois State Line to South Bend. Its property at
Hammond includes the gas plant on Hohman Street and the Calumet
River, with a capacity of 2,500,000 feet daily, and the electric power
plant on the Chicago Terminal Transfer Railway near North Hohman
Street, with a capacity of 2,500 k. w. Some two hundred employees are
identified with the various operations of the Hammond plants, in which
fully $1,000,000 has l)een invested. It is stated that throughout the
entire Calumet region the company supplies electric power, or gas and
electric lighting, to 60 factories, 10,000 homes and 2,000 business houses.
The company has large interests at East Chicago, which will be noted
in the proper place. It supplies electricity for 7,000 horsepower of
motors, and at such rates that the inducements to manufacturers to
locate within the territory covered by their operations have been of the
most substantial character.


F. S. Betz Manufactory

One of the largest of the Hammond niauufactories which has beeu
founded within the past ten years is that operated by the F. S. Betz
Company, north of the Calumet River and northeast of the Simplex
establishment. Since its establishment in 1904 the plant has expanded
to four massive buildings, one of them a four-story structure of rein-
forced concrete and steel, and does an annual business of nearly two
million dollars. Over one million dollars has been invested in the manu-
factories, which constantly employ from five to six hundred people. The
output of the Betz Company comprises hospital supplies, surgical, dental
and veterinary instruments, orthopedic apparatus, including wooden
limbs and all kinds of braces, as well as hospital and office furniture.

American Maize Company

The magnitude of the manufacture of food products is well shown
in the operations of several of the Hammond factories. The corporation
known as the American Maize Company has a plant at that point on
which about one million dollars has been expended and the possibilities
of corn in all its manufactured forms wonderfully illustrated. Some
six hundred employees are engaged in making that exposition, and over
six hundred thousand dollars is expended by the management annually
to support them.

Food Products op Re;d, Murdoch & Company

In 1905 the wholesale grocery firm of Reid, Murdoch & Company.
Chicago, established a factory at Hammond, with complete facilities for
receiving raw materials and shipping the finished products. Tons upon
tons of fi-uits and vegetables are received from auxiliary stations in
Indiana, Michigan and other neighboring states, and are shipped to the
central establislnnent in Chicago as preserves, jams, jellies, pickles,
sauces, vinegars and other table condiments. It is one of the big Ham-
mond industries, and expends over a third of a million dollars annually
among some four hundred employees.

Champion Potato Machines

The Champion Potato Machinery Company is peculiarly a home
product. The plant manufactures machines which plant and dig pota-
toes, and its products are the invention of the founder and president of


the company, Otto Knoerzer. He was born on a farm just south of the
city limits, and learned the trade of wagon making and blacksmithing in
Hammond. Then he patented a potato machine and a peanut digger,
interested some of the moneyed men of the city and finally built his fac-
tory on the north side of the Calumet convenient to the belt lines. The
plant now covers four acres and about two hundred thousand dollars has
gone into the property.

Staube Piano Plant

The Staube Piano Company has a factory covering five acres at the
Monon and Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville railways. The plant, which
was moved from Chicago in 1904, manufactures about three-quarters of
a million dollars' worth of pianos evers' year, employs about one hun-
dred and fifty men, pays them .$125,000 yearly for their services, and
turns out twelve complete pianos every working day of the year.

The Hammond Distillery

Since December, 1901, the Hammond Distilling Company has oper-
ated a modern plant on the Indiana Harbor Belt and Michigan Central
railroads, on the northern banks of the Grand Calumet. Its capacity is
about fifty thousand gallons daily and its annual business $6,000,000.
The distillery covers about an acre and a luilf of the six acres owned by
the company. The property is valued at .$475,000, and some $250,000
is annually paid to 100 employees.

The Hammond Elevator

Adjoining the Hammond Distillery on the east is the large grain
Avarehouse of the Hammond Elevator Company, with a storage capacity
of more than a million bushels. For some time previous to the com-
pletion of the canal through East Chicago and Indiana Harbor, thi^
locality marked the head of navigation. The Hammond Elevator Com-
pany was organized in December, 1902, and the elevator was completed
in the following year. It has a transfer capacity of fifty cars a day and
is by far the largest structure of its kind in the state. Its location on the
Michigan Central, the Indiana Harbor Belt and the Elgin, Joliet & East-
ern lines, with its long dock frontage on the Calumet River, gives it fine
facilities for handling grain.


Enterprise Bed Company

The Enterprise Bed Company conducts one of the largest establish-
ments in the United States given over exclusively to the manufacture
of bed springs. Its large plant on Marble Street covers three acres and
gives steady employment to about two hundred men. Some two hundred
thousand dollars is invested in the factory and the employees receive in
wages and salaries more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars
annually. The specialty of the business is the well-known Hygeia spring.

East Chicago Founded

Some time in tlie early "60s Jacob Forsythe, an official of the Erie
Railroad, built a sawmill at Poplar Point, now^ the Lake Michigan gate-
way to Indiana Harbor, and also purchased several sections inland
toward the Grand Calumet. George W. Clarke, of Chicago, his brother-
in-law, had also been investing in Calumet lands, and it was probably
through his exploitation of the region that Gen. J. T. Torrence, of that
city, became impressed with the future importance of the Forsythe
lands. At all events, in tlie late '80s the general approached Mr. For-
sythe with his plan to found a city around the splendid harbor at Poplar
Point, a small settlement called Cassella having already been formed

General Torrence next interested M. M. Towle in the enterprise.
Mr. Towle was then a wealthy man, thought well of the scheme and,
with his characteristic promptness and enthusiasm added capital to Mr.
Forsythe 's land and the general's plan to found a city. In brief, these
were the steps M'hieh brought to life East Chicago, which ]\Ir. Towle
succeeded in organizing as a town in 1889. The details of its slow growth
for the succeeding dozen years do not belong here ; the founding of the
modern municipality and the great industries which have so added to
the fame of the Caluijiet region falls within the past twelve or thirteen

The Inland Steel Company's AVorks

In 1901 the Inland Steel Company, one of the largest independent
plants of the kind in the world, located at Cassella and commenced to
build their mills. The harbor improvements commenced at the same
time ; in fact, comprised a necessary sequence to the founding of this
first great industry. In 1901-02 the dredging and breakwater-building
or the first work on the outer harbor, were pushed along, but operations



on the canal were not commenced until 1903, and little progress was made
until 1906. The most remarkable development in the East Chicago and
Indiana Harbor district has l)een accomplished since that year.

Indiana Harbor Industries

K^ince 1901 the portion of the corporation of East Chicago east of the
canal has been called Indiana Harbor. Although the division is arbi-
traiy, it is still popular, and the industries to be noted will therefore be
grouped accordingly.

Starting from the mouth of the harbor east of the main canal, the
first great plant is that of tlie Inland Steel Company, whose docks, coke

View of Indi^strial Section

ovens, furnaces and innnense mills cover 120 acres of ground, employ
4,000 men, supply the employees with $1,000,000 annually in wages and
salaries, and represent an investment of $20,000,000. The chief prod-
uct of the plant is sheet and structural steel. Bolts and spikes are also
manufactured in immense quantities. The company owns its own mines
and boats, and has direct railroad connection with nearly all the trunk
lines which pass through the Calumet region.

American Steel Foundries

In 1904 the American Steel Foundries located between the canal and
Michigan Avenue, on the northwestern outskirts of Indiana Habor, and


have since expanded into the largest and best equipped plant for the
production of open-hearth steel castings in the country, ranging in weight
from a few pounds each to twenty-tive tons. The shops, mills, furnaces,
cranes, moulding machines, testing laboratory, and all the other build-
ings and appliances which go to make up this noteworthy industry now
cover a 50-acre site and give employment to 1,200 hands. The plant
has an annual capacity of 25,000 tons of finished castings ; the estimated
yearly payroll is $1,800,000 and the total investment $8,000,000.

Other Steel Plants

South of tile Inland Steel Company is tliu plant of tlie McCliutic-
Marshall Construction Company. It occupies fifty acres and is engaged
in bridge building and nmiuifacturing structural steel.

Southeast of the American Steel Foundries ai-e the liuildings of the
Standard Forgings Company, spread over twelve acres of ground. That
industry' gives employment to 450 men, to whom is paid $480,000
annually on a capital investment of $500,000.

Going still southward, and keeping east of the canal, out' may visit
the workshops of the l^uckeye Steel Castings Company (a Colninbus
concern), the yai-ds of the Indiana Harbor Belt Line and the plants of
the Indiauci Cai- and Equipment Company and the German- American
Car Company, car builders and repairers. The latter two factories are
spn^atl over twenty acres of ground.


South of the Buckeye Steel Castings Comi)any"s works are the shojjs
of the Green Engineering Company, situated at Kennedy Aveiuie ami
the Foi't Wayne tracks. The executive offices are in Chicago. The plant
employs .'>()() people and comprises a foundiw. pattern and machine
shops, warehouses and a laboratory for testing fire brick and analyzing
iron and coal. The chief products of the plant are chain-grate stokers
and i)iicuinatic ash handlers. On an average of 300 men are employed
in the shops and foinidry. at an annual payroll of $240,000. the fatal
investment being computed at $3(10, ()()().

A L r .M I N r M Facto r y

Still south of this plant is that of the I'nited States Reduction
Company. emi)loying fifty men upon an investment of $100,000. and
producing aluminum bullion.


Refining Companies

In the southwestern section of the Indiana Harbor manufacturing
district is an interesting group of industries comprising the manu-
factories of the International Lead Refining Comj)any, Goldschmidt
Detinning Company and the United States Metals Refining Company.
The refining companies are natural and keen competitors. The Inter-
national Lead Refining Company, the latest eomer. owns sixty-three
acres at the canal and One Hundred and Fifty-first Street, employs
125 hands, disburses about $120,000 annually and values its property
at $750,000 ; the United States ^letals Refining Company occupies over
eighty acres in a bend of the Calumet, west of the Grasselli Chemical
Works, employs some 200 men, pays them annually nearly $190,000,
and estimates the value of its plant at half a million dollars.

Utilization of Tin "AYaste. "

The troldschmidt Detinning Company employs 150 skilled mechanics
and chemists at its large manufactory on One Ilundretl and Fifty-first
Street, between the International and United States refining plants.
It is one of many present-day illustrations of that commercial and
industrial wisdom which realizes wealth through the scientific manipu-
lation of what the average person would call "waste." At this i^lant,
tin from old cans and other refuse tinware is. by chemical process,
subtracted from the metal which it covers and molded into bullion
form. The metal is also saved and disposed of for commercial pur-

The Grasselli Chemical Works

The seventy buildings covering nearly two-thirds of a square mile
along the northern banks of the Grand Calumet, between the United
States Metals Refinery and the Dutch Cleanser plant of the Cudahy
Packing Company, represent the Grasselli Chemical Company and one
of the great industries of the region. The company located its first
factory in the spring of 1893, three or four years after the Standard
Oil Company had founded the great Whiting plant, to which, from the
first, quite a large portion of the Grasselli output has been sold. The
chemicals manufactured are necessities to many industries throughout
the United States, not to confine the statement to the special needs of
the Calumet region. They include chemically pure acids for labora-
tories and drug stores; silica of soda, sold to soap and paper manufac-


turers; muriatic and sulphuric acids, used by iron and steel manufac-
turers and oil refiners; chloride of ammonia, purchased by tin-plate
factories; chloride of zinc, used by the railroads to preserve their ties;
acetic acid, a form of vinegar; salt-cake, for the manufacture of glass;
battery zinc, bought by telegraph and telephone companies, and other
products required in various manufacturing processes. The territory
for the sale of such products is virtually unlimited. The latest infor-
mation indicates that the Grasselli Chemical Company is employing
about eight hundred people, at a wage and salary expense of more than
$525,000. and that fully $5,000,000 is invested in the property.

CuDAHY Products

Although one of the newer industries, that of the Cudahy Packing
Company, in the southeastern corner of the Indiana Harbor district,
between the Gary & Interurban line and the Calumet River, the prod-
ucts of the plant comprise the Old Dutch Cleanser, washing powders,
soaps, hair materials and glycerine. The company also maintains a
large car repair shop. Altogether, 400 men are employed in these
operations, $375,000 is the estimated payroll and $700,000 the amount
invested in the ])ui]dings, equij^ment and real estate.

Pennsylvania Company 's Car Repair Shops

The Lidiana Harbor Car Repair Shops are located on the northeast
of the main line of the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railway, just
west of the canal at Indiana Harbor, and cover an area of approximately
forty-six acres. There are twelve buildings, among which are an oil
house, tool house, office and storage building, rest house, hose house,
blacksmith shop, machine shop, planing mill and power house. These
are all modern fire proof buildings with plenty of light and are equipped
with the latest lockers, sanitary plumbing and fire protection apparatus.
There is also a 100,000 gallon steel water tank which supplies water
through a system of pipes to all buildings where necessary and to
numerous fire hydrants about the yard.

There are about eleven miles of track in the yard and when the plant
is running full capacity, it will provide employment for about three
hundred men. The plant will be completed about January 15, 1915.


East Chicago Docks

Most of the territory in East Chicago west of the main canal, and
between the east and west branch and Lake Michigan, is given up to
the great docks of H. C. Prick and the Standard Oil Company and
various railway tracks. South of the waterway projected to Lake
Greorge is a district well lined by the belt roads and containing the
city docks.

Interstate Iron and Steel Plant

Below this to the south is the first large industry west of the main
canal to the Grand Calumet. Reference is made to the Interstate Iron
and Steel Company's plant between One Hundred and Forty-first and
One Hundred and Forty-fourth streets. It occupies a site of about
fifty acres, employs approximately 1,000 men, has an annual payroU of
$840,000, 'and a yearly output of 125,000 tons of iron and steel bars,,
bands and plates.

Hubbard Steel Foundries

Directly south of the Interstate plant are the Hubbard Steel Foun-
dries, covering about thirty acres; the latter include one open-hearth
furnace, three air furnaces and two annealing furnaces, the entire
"battery" being employed in the production of other air furnaces, iron
eastings and chill and sand rolls for rolling mills. The capacity of the
plant is about 800 tons of steel castings and 500 tons of iron monthly.
The number of employees will average 200 and the annual payroll
$190,000, while nearly a third of a million dollars is invested in the
entire property.

The Limbert Works

Southwest of the Hubbard Steel Foundries, on the other side of
Railroad Avenue, is the foundry of the George B. Limbert Company,
which turns out pipe fittings and cuttings. In that line of manufacture
125 men are employed.

Republic Iron and Steel AVorks

The Republic Iron and Steel Company conducts one of the oldest
manufactories of the kind in East Chicago, iron and steel bars being
the specialty of its plant. The works cover sixteen acres and employ


1,000 men, whose wages and salaries will average $1,000 apiece; the
capital invested in the business is placed at half a million dollars.

Makers of Steel Tanks

Southwest of the Republic Iron and Steel Works and the factory
of the American Conduit Company are the Graver Tank Works and
the establishment conducted by the Famous Manufacturing Company,
builders of hay presses, auto trucks and agricultural implements. The
former, manufacturers of steel tanks, is by far the larger industry, "
employing 125 men.

Asphalt Electric Conduits

Near the works of the Republic Iron and Steel Company, further
to the south, is rather a small plant operated by the American Conduit
Company for the manufacture of asphalt electric conduits.

Electric Power Plants

The power plant of the Northern Indiana Gas and Electric Com-
pany, at East Chicago, is located between the Indiana Harbor and
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern belt lines, the Grand Calumet River and the
canal. It has a site of nineteen acres and represents a property valu-
ation of $1,000,000.

Rivet and Bolt Manufactory

Adjoining the belt lines on the north and northwest of the electric
power plant is an area of nearly fourteen acres occupied by the works
of the Champion Rivet Company, manufacturers of rivets and bolts.
The property is valued at $800,000, and the industry contributes $100,-
000 yearly to the snpi)ort of its 125 employees.

Coming Industries

The Baldwin Locomotive Works. Schlesinger Steel Plant, Buckeye
Steel Castings Company and McClintie-^Iarshall Construction Company
have all purcha.sed sites at East Chicago and Indiana Harbor.

The Baldwin Works, in addition to this, have fenced their entire
property in the southern part of Indiana Harbor and during the .year
1913 built a heavA- concrete foundation readv for ste(^l construction for a


building approximately six liundred and fifty by twelve hundred feet.
This work was finished during the early part of 191-1 and there were also
laid side-tracks connecting with all the belt lines in the locality, but
owing to general conditions of the preceding year, nothing further has
been accomplished.

Regarding the Schlesinger plant вАФ the East Ciiicago Company at the
time it sold the land to that concern agreed to extend the waterway
west to their purchase. This work has practically been completed and
two lift bridges have been built over the west l)ranch of the canal, but
nothing has been done toward the construction of the plant itself.

A Large Sub.ject

The foregoing is but an attempt to give a running picture of the
chief industries of the East Chicago and Indiana Harbor district ; it is
impossible to mention all and, unintentionally, some of greater impor-
tance than those included in these sketches may have been omitted.
Such statements, admitting the magnitude of the subject, apply also
to Hammond, Gary, AVhiting and the region as a whole. The industries
of the Calumet region certainly constitute a sul),]ect almost ])ewildering
in detail.

Standard Oil Plant at Whiting

When tile holdings of tile Standard Oil Compaii}- at Whiting have
b(^en explained and described, virtually the industrial life of the place
has been traced. More than a square mile is covered by the refinery
proper, huge storage tanks, can manufactory, acid works, boiler shops,
pipe shops, brass foundry and large shops for the construction and
repair of oil tank cars. At the present time the mammoth industry at
Whiting, second only to the interests of the United States Steel Corpo-
ration at Gary, represents an annual payroll of $2,100,000 and a $50,000,-
000 investment. The Standard Oil Company employs from 2,000 to
2.800 people at Whiting. Its output is some 30,000 carloads per month.

Historical and Descriptive

Dr. R. p]. Humphrey, the head chemist of the Standard Oil Com-
pany, has written the following sketch of the Whiting plant, incorpo-
rating much which is of interest, both from the standpoint of history
and condensed description :

''After the discovery by Herman Frasch of a method of desulphur-


izing the Ohio crude oils, the Standard Oil Company purchased his
patents and initiated them at Lima, Ohio, and afterward at its new plant
at Whiting. The erection of the Whiting works began in the year 1889,
and the refining petroleum was begun in the fall of 1890. The con-
struction embraced 80 600-barrel crude stills, which number was after-
wards increased to 150. The Frasch method of 'sweetening' the Ohio
crudes was to pass the hot vapors of petroleum over copper oxide con-
tained in chambers and stirred with cylindrical brushes during distil-
lation. Afterwards it was discovered that the oxide served a better pur-
pose if put directly into the still and the oil distilled over it. Four
sweetening stills were erected and afterwards added to until the number
became 34. The entire plant was gradually increased and at
present covers 640 acres, and besides the refinery apparatus proper, it
embraces large car shops for the construction and repair of oil tank cars,
pipe shops, brass foundry, boiler shops, can manufactory and acid
works. Mr. George France was the first superintendent. He was suc-
ceeded by Dr. W. M. Burton, the present incumbent.

"The Whiting plant is considered the largest and most modern oil
refinery in the world. One million eight hundred thousand gallons of
crude oil can be charged to the stills daily, and the monthly shij^ments
of kerosene oils have reached the enormous total of 24.000,000 gallons.
At first only a small quantity of gasoline was manufactured, 6 or 7 per
cent of the crude being a large production. The demand was very light.
At the present time gasoline, naphthas and spirits have become the chief
portion of the production. The demand for motor spirits became so
pressing that the natural supply was not sufficient. During the last
year there was perfected at the Whiting laboratory a method of con-
verting the heavy oils, which were of no considerable value, into light,

Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 44)