Rumor's of gas failing at Muncie not true; Hemingray re-built following fire


Publication: The Muncie News

Muncie, IN, United States


Short Sketches of Our Recently Acquired Manufacturies.


What Will be Done. A Few Notes Relating to The Banner City of The Indiana Gas Belt.

Although often reviewed, yet a sketch of Muncie’s recently acquired manufacturing industries never grow old and scores the purpose of keeping all posted on the prosperity of the banner city of the Indiana gas belt. With the raising of the $200,000 factory fund, an era of greater progress was at once noticed, citizens seemed to take a fresh hold, while it was like the fabled “found of perpetual youth,” to the dirt dealers in this city.

Among the many industries located can be found some of the best in the West. Muncie has more iron industries than any two cities in the State. Foremost among them is the

Indiana Iron Company.

This mammoth institution was located by Col. Conger and the Citizens Enterprise Company. They saw the advantages offered an iron manufacturing institution and as a consequence they are today a permanent industry in Muncie. They are not yet in complete operation, yet hundreds of skilled workmen are now in their employ. They operate at present 22 single muck iron furnaces with the necessary rolls, an eight and ten inch mill, while the gigantic sixteen inch mill will soon be ready for operation. The buildings for the nut and bolt department are just in the course of construction. When the whole is running they will employ 700 workmen. The directors that advisability of erecting twenty more muck furnaces, thus nearly doubling the mills capacity.

Midland Steel Co.

Just west of the location of the above factory is located the plant of the Midland Steel company. This is conceded by all to be one of the finest of its kind in the nation. Nothing but the latest and improved machinery is placed there in. It is composed of a number of sheet and plate rolls and a blooming mills. The engine, which propels the rolls is a giant of its kind being a Corliss, of 1200 horse power capacity. The fly wheel alone weighs 52 tons. In connection with this plant is the McVoy Corrugated Iron Works. Both plants will employ at the least estimate 600 workmen. Owing to the superior quality of the machinery they may be considered one of the best institutions yet located in Indiana. They will probably make their first start in a few days a which time the sheet rolls will be brought into use, followed latter by the other departments.

White River Steel Company.

Not being satisfied with their location in Anderson, Ind., owing to several circumstances, the Anderson Rolling Mills were removed to this city during the early spring. They changed their name after their removal and are now sailing under the name of the White River Steel Company. They have in operation a 9 and an 8 inch mill, with all the required heating furnaces shears and other equipments. They now give employment to 200 workmen. With this concern, there can be no better example of what natural gas will do than to point out the growth of this company. When they first came to this city, they had but the 8 inch mill to operate, the 9 inch rolls were then added and now comes the doubling of the capacity. They will put in 30 single puddling furnaces with the rolls and all requirements making their capacity nearty [sic] nearly 500 workmen.

Common Sense Engine Company.

A three story brick structure can be found in Congerville just North of the Indiana Iron Company’s works. Here will be turned out all descriptions of farm implements, by the Common Sense Engine Company. They are now busily engaged in . . . [illegible text] . . . their machinery and expect to start in the very near future. They will employ at the onset 175 skilled workmen.

Glass Houses.

It has been reported through resources that can not be traced and are entirely unreliable that gas was failing in the Indiana gas belt and especially at Muncie. A clincher is given to this lie by the actively in glass circles. Ball Brothers were first to locate a factory in Muncie. They have continually increased their capacity from a small concern employing 125 workmen until the present time when by September first they will have on their pay roll 700 employes. Does any sane person think for an instant that they would invest their money in Muncie in this manner if gas was failing? They are at the present time completing a continuous tank furnace that will invest between $12,000 and $15,000. Would they spend this money in this manner if gas was failing? Another instance is the Hemingray and Over glass factory conflagration, in which $250,000 was consumed or destroyed by fire. They have both rebuilt with greatly increased capacity. Would they have done this if they had been afraid of the supply of natural gas exhausting soon?

Maring, Hart & Co., the large window glass manufacturers who at the end of last fire employed 125 workmen, will on the first Monday in September, given employment to 250 men doubling their capacity. They have erected one of the largest continuous tank furnaces in the whole of the United States. This caused an expenditure of over $15,000. Does this look like gas was giving out? Almost every industry in the city is increasing its capacity, and the owners of the plants would not invest money in natural gas appliance [sic] appliance when that great article was on the verge of exhaustion. By careful computation there is and will be employed in and about this city when the Whitely plant is in operation, fully 7,710 workmen in the various industries. More is being added almost every day. Yes Muncie will be a city of 30,000 inhabitants within a year or eighteen months.


Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Roger Lucas / Bob Stahr
Date completed:March 11, 2014 by: Deb Reed Fowler;