Western Flint Glass Company, Denver, Colorado

Connection to Western Chemical Company


Publication: The Denver Post

Denver, CO, United States
p. 16, col. 1 - 2



As a manufacturing metropolis this city assumes the widest importance in the variety, extent, and quality of her products, and the colossal operations of her industrial institutions has long been a matter of universal wonder and comment.

Every type of legitimate manufacture finds expression here in the highest form, and many branches which by reason of their peculiar adaptation to the conditions existing here are distinctive of this city have assumed international importance. This city has long been recognized as the manufacturers' Mecca, and in no department of its business activity has there been so marked and rapid a development as in its industries. And this is not to be wondered at when we consider the causes which bring about this gratifying effect. In the first place Denver is the metropolis of the West, the most thriving and enterprising locality on the face of the earth today.

Surrounding the city within a radius of hundreds of miles is a mining region whose richness is unequaled anywhere, and of which this city is the natural market, supply depot, and metropolis, to which its bullion is sent and from which its necessities and requisites are drawn. Then again the cheapness of fuel, the exceptional shipping facilities, and the populous and prosperous chain of cities in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah, and the contiguous territory which buy their goods from our manufacturers all conduce to make the circumstances favorable and propitious to industry, which, coupled with the fact that this line is in the hands of our best and most capable business element, is sufficient to demonstrate beyond question, even to the dullest comprehension, that Denver is unexcelled as a manufacturing and shipping point, and that her possibilities in this direction are practically unlimited.


"As the twig is bent the tree inclines," applies equally as well to Denver as a city. As inducements are offered, so are large manufactures attracted and established. It has ever been the policy of this great Western metropolis to encourage in every way the establishment of manufacturing industries, be they ever so humble, and there is a local interest felt in them until they are able to stand alone, as it were. The truth of the proverb that "great results from small beginnings grow," is exemplified in the marvelous success of the business of the Western Chemical company. This great local enterprise was established and incorporated seven years ago, under the state laws of Colorado, as the Western Chemical company, with ample capital. The immense works of the plant are located at the corner of South Seventh and Bayaud streets, and occupy seven and one-half acres of ground.

The buildings consist of the general offices and laboratory, three two-story and basement brick buildings, each containing large chambers for the manufacture of sulfuric acid. The furnace building, with seven large furnaces and two automatic rosters, which have recently been added, the blue vitriol department building, the marble dust building, the nitric and muriatic acid building, and three large buildings for the manufacture of chemically pure acids and ammonia.

The warehouse, in which 1,250,000 pounds of sulfuric acid is contained, is five immense vats. The power house, in which is located three great engines of fifty-horse power each and two boilers having a combined capacity of 160-horse power, and which operate the ponderous machinery necessary for the daily operation of the works. The original plant was destroyed by fire on the 2d of last July, but before the last ember had scarce died away the firm, with its remarkable enterprise and push, set to work to erect a larger and more complete plant than before, with the result that today the Western Chemical Co., have the largest and best equipped chemical manufactory in the West, and with an increased capacity of 20 per cent.

It required 176,000 pounds of sheet lead to replace the vast storage chambers of the works, and at present the company is expending $40,000 in the erection of additional chambers, which will greatly increase their already large capacity, but which their increased business demands. Two hundred thousand pounds of lead were used in the construction of the new chambers. More than 1,000,000 pounds of sulfuric acid are being produced monthly. The firm are manufacturers of commercial sulfuric, muriatic, and nitric acids, blue vitriol, copperas, and pure acids and ammonia. This is the only firm west of the state of Indiana manufacturing chemically pure acids and ammonia goods, and they supply all the assayers and chemists in the Rocky mountain region with these products. Their trade extends throughout the entire Western country, comprising Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and British Columbia.

In connection with the Western Chemical Company, but owned and operated by the Western Flint Glass Company, and of which Mr. F. R. Ashley is president and J. C. Skinner is a member of the concern, the company is now erecting a large plant for the manufacture of all kinds of bottles, fruit jars, and insulators, which they will shortly place on the market.

The officers of the Western Chemical Co. are: E. M. Ashley, president; C. B. Kountze, vice president; J. C. Skinner, manager; F. R. Ashley, secretary and treasurer.

The president, Mr. E. M. Ashley, is a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, 65 years of age, and a Denver pioneer, he having located here forty years ago. He is prominently interested in several valuable mining properties and well known in Masonic circles, being one of the oldest members in the state. He is a gentleman of genial and commanding personality and a citizen of whom all Denver is justly proud.

The vice president, Mr. Kountze, is one of Denver's best known financial men and one of her most public spirited citizens.

Mr. F. R. Ashley, the genial secretary and treasurer, is a native son of the Centennial state. He was born in Denver thirty years ago. He graduated at Ann Arbor university, Mich., with the degree of B. S. He is one of Denver's most popular young business men.

The manager of the company, Mr. J. C. Skinner, is a native of Vermont, 50 years of age. He has been a resident of Denver for the past seven years, during which time he has been associated with the concern in his present capacity. Previous to coming here he was connected with the Grasselli Chemical company for fifteen years.

Denver is one of the most progressive cities of the world, and it is such men as these who have placed the Queen city in the front ranks of the commercial cities of the West.


Keywords:Western Glass Manufacturing Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Mike Miller / Glenn Drummond
Date completed:July 30, 2006 by: Glenn Drummond;