Martin's Ferry, just opposite the upper end of Wheeling, is a busy little city of about 7,500 inhabitants, the majority being wage-earners. The city has the advantage of the Ohio river and the Cleveland & Pittsburgh railroad and the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling railroad is now extending a branch there, which in the course of a year or two will become a main line, as the Baltimore & Ohio is believed to be behind the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling. To show the importance of Martin's Ferry, it is only necessary to cite the bitter war between the two railroads for the right of way, first begun in Martin's Ferry and still waging in Bridgeport. From fifty to seventy-five cars of freight daily are handled there, which makes it a first class railroad-point. With its many and varied industries, Martin's Ferry is bound to advance rapidly in wealth and population.
Martin's Ferry already possesses numerous thriving manufacturing establishments, and has room for as many more. Besides the Laughlin Mill, which ere long will be the largest nail factory in the world, she has the blast furnace of the Benwood Iron Works, of which H.C. Meyers is clerk, and Joseph Bird, manager. It employes 50 men and produces 65 to 70 ton of Bessemer pig iron daily, which goes to the Wheeling Steel Plant. It pays out from $2,500 to $3,000 monthly, and is proportionately the best paying furnace in the Ohio Valley.
The Machine Works of George McKim are something new in Martin's Ferry. He employs usually from four to six men, pays out from $45 to $65 weekly, and values his property at $3,600. Mr. McKim works almost entirely on his recently patented self-feeding nail machine.
The Novelty Mould Works, owned and operated by S. Hipkins, jr., is a busy little factory, employing 8 men and paying out from $50 to $60 weekly. The works are valued at $5,000, and manufacture all kinds of fancy articles.
Wm. Mann's foundry and machine shops employ 20 men, and pay out about $300 weekly. He runs more especially on rolling mill, blast furnace and steel plant castings.
The Ohio Wine Company. This company of which Wm. Lipphardt is President and F.H. Eick Secretary and Treasurer, recently put up a splendid new building on the site of the old wine cellar, between Jefferson and Walnut streets. Their capacity is 100,000 gallons of the best wine yearly.
The capital stock is $50,000. They employ seven men at the cellar, and pay out from $75 to $100 weekly.
Jas. Kerr & Son's planing mill employs ten men, pays out weekly about $100, and they value their stock and works at $10,000. The firm contracts for all kinds of building and during the busy season have as high as 25 men at work.
The Ohio City Planing Mills, B. Exley & Co., do all kinds of wood work. They give employment to 17 men and pay out $175 weekly. Owing to dull times this summer, the firm has not been as busy as they usually are.
Warwood's Tool factory is a busy place, his work being known far and near. H. Warwood owns and operates the factory. The factory is now idle, receiving new improved machinery.
Spence, Baggs & Co., Stove Foundry; has a capital of $40,000, employs 26 men and pays out $325 weekly in wages. They have just finished a splendid brick molding room. The company makes a specialty of the "Counselor" cook stove, of which they ship large numbers.
The Martin's Ferry Keg and Barrel Factory; valued at $40,000; Thomas Mears and estate of D. Park, Jr., owners; employs 70 men and pays out $400 to $500 weekly. The factory turns out about 1,000,000 packages yearly, and can turn out 15,000 fruit barrels weekly.
The Hoyle-James Manufacturing Company - E.R. Jones, President; E.J. Hoyle, Secretary. Directors - E.R. Jones, E.J. Hoyle, J.S. Mitchell, Henry Helling, William Mann, W.C. Bishop, Charles H. Snediker; capital, $30,000; fifteen men employed; $125 to $150 per week paid out. Manufactures the new threshing machine invented by Rev. E.R. Jones.
The Dithridge Flint Glass Works - F.C. Winship, Secretary; E.D. Dithridge, Manager; employs 150 men; pays out $1,500 per week and can turn out 1,000 barrels of shades and globes per week, besides quantities of cut and blown ware.
Buckeye Glass Company - A.D. Seamon, President; J.F. Miller, Secretary. Directors - A.D. Seamon, James Kerr, J.F. Miller and Alex Laing; capital $65,000; employs 250 men; pays out $4,000 every two weeks. It has three furnaces and thirty-five pots, and manufactures all kinds of pressed glassware.
Elson Glass Company, W.H. Robinson, President; Ed. Muhleman, Secretary; factory built in 1883; has a 16-pot furnace, one of the largest in the world; turns out from fifty to sixty tons of glass per week, of table and all kinds of ware, and has plenty of orders ahead. It employs 300 hands, and pays out $2,000 weekly.
Martin's Ferry Stove Works; capital, $50,000; John Armstrong, President; Henry Helling, Vice President; W.R. Ratcliff, Treasurer; Joseph Medill, Secretary; employs 35 men; pays $600 weekly. The "Challenge" Stove is their specialty.
L. Spence, manufacturer of threshing machines; employs about 25 men, and pays out about $250 per week. He has a general repair shop also.
The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, September 14, 1886
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