Dunbar & Mathews, North Manchester

Source: North Manchester Journal, March 22, 1894

The Busiest Place in Town.
By far the busiest place in town is Scott Dunbar's heading and cooperage factory. In these days when factories generally are lying idle it is refreshing to see a place like Scott's running in full blast. But few of our people are aware of the extent and magnitude of the work done by this little factory, which is now running twenty hours out of every twenty-four and keeps forty-two men employed at fair wages. The writer chanced down that way the other day and was both surprised and gratified to see the activity around this factory, while others in the town are doing nothing, or comparatively so Mr. Dunbar took the time to show us over the yard and the walk proved to us that he was not mistaken when he said he now has a larger amount of timber on the ground than ever before at one time. There are probably 5,000 cords of stave and heading bolts in the yard and Mr. Dunbar estimates the amount of stock on hands at about $20,000. Since the first of January he has shipped out twenty cars of finished products of his factory and is now far behind in his orders, which necessitates the running of his factory day and night. Mr. Dunbar's payroll may not be as large in dollars and cents as some factories of more pretensions, but in the twelve or fifteen years he has been here he has run his mill almost steady, some times day and night, and has furnished work for a goodly number of men at fair wages. he has paid out large sums every year for timber, and taking it all around we doubt if there has ever been a factory here that has been of as much good and general advantage to the town as his. He has gone steadily and quietly along in an unpretentious way and, with one exception in the case of a fire a few years ago, has never received any public assistance, so far as we know. When some one comes along and wants a big bonus to establish a factory it might be well to remember that a small assistance would enable Scott to enlarge the capacity of his factory.


Source: North Manchester Journal, December 17, 1896

Dunbar & Mathews are building a very large shed at their heading mill for the purpose of accommodating a great increase in business. This concern is in a very prosperous way and we are informed they will branch out in other lines before long. Success should be theirs.


Source: North Manchester Journal, January 14, 1897

One of the pioneer manufacturers of North Manchester is Mr. Scott Dunbar. In 1881 he removed to North Manchester and located a factory for the manufacture of butter tubs in the "knock down" form. Mr. Dunbar's plant did not assume mammoth proportions in the beginning, but as the superior quality of its product became known and established among the dairymen and butter makers of the West the demand for it became greater and greater, calling for increased capacity and more pretentious buildings. Mr. Dunbar met these demands as fast as they were made and his enterprise has culminated in giving to North Manchester one of the largest and most prosperous manufacturing industries of its kind in the United States.

On the 9th of March, 1895, Mr. Lloyd Mathews, an enterprising and popular young business man, acquired a half interest in the Dunbar factory, since which time it has been operated under the firm name of Dunbar & Mathews, and many important improvements have been made in the line of additional machinery and buildings since Mr. Mathews was admitted to the firm.

The works cover a ground space equal to nine full lots, and when running to their full capacity give employment to forty or fifty people. The amount paid out for labor is about $20,000 annually, with at least $20,000 more expended in the same length of time for material. Every dollar of this vast sum is kept within local boundaries and used for the development and advancement of home interests, a fact which should be borne in mind and appreciated by all who feel a pride in the upbuilding of North Manchester.

Messrs. Dunbar & Mathews create a demand for the product of their factory by supplying their customers with nothing which is not first-class and fully up to their representations of the same. During the past year, while other manufacturing enterprises were stilled by dull times, and the men who had formerly found employment in them were sent adrift to experience the pain and sorrow arising from enforced idleness, the factory of Dunbar & Mathews was kept running on full time, affording employment to a large force and making happy many households in North Manchester which otherwise would have seen many dark days.

The capacity of the factory is between 4,000 and 5,000 butter tubs a day, to say nothing of the work turned out in the form of hoops and slack barrel staves, which is considerable. Machinery is now being added for the manufacture of handles, and when this department is fully equipped and running the output of the plant will be greatly increased.

The best of feeling exists between this popular firm and its employees. The latter appreciate the benefits conferred upon them by keeping the factory running constantly, and all work to advance the interests of their employers. Mr. A.C. Willis, the present foreman, began work in the factory when it was first started, sixteen years ago. Many of the other employees have been on the pay roll for a number of years, a fact which shows the mutual feeling of good will existing between employers and employees.

Without any desire to disparage North Manchester's many other important enterprises, it is a fact that not one of them contributes as much to local interests as does the factory of Dunbar & Mathews.


Source: North Manchester Journal, September 30, 1897

...Theirs was the factory employing the largest number of men of any concern in town. It has run almost steadily, sometimes day and night, for years, and has been prompt in the payment of its hands. The payroll at the time of the fire was a little over $300 a week. Besides this the mill furnished a market for a class of timber that farmers could dispose of in no other way. It has been the means of paying to the farmers of this section thousands of dollars for a class of timber that was unmarketable for any other purpose.


Source: North Manchester Journal, September 23, 1897

[Dunbar & Mathews] was the best and most important factory in town, employing at times nearly 100 men. At the time of the fire about fifty were on the pay roll.


For articles on the disastrous fire occurring in September 1897 and its impact, click here.


Source: North Manchester Journal, September 23, 1909

DUNBAR FACTORY SOLD TUESDAY
Foundry Company to Establish Plant in This City

After many months of efforts it seems that North Manchester is in a fair way to get the foundry that she is so much in need of, and for which she has worked for some time. A trade was closed Tuesday by which the Dunbar factory building and site are to be transferred to A.R. Garwood, of Garwood Brothers, of Wellsburg, Virginia. for some months these people have been in communication with the directors of the industrial association of this city, with the result that this site was picked upon if it could be secured. The property was covered by a mortgage held by Woodruff & Croy, of Iowa, and the deed executed Tuesday by the Dunbars was for their interest in the property. Woodruff & Croy have entered into a contract to sell their mortgage to Mr. Garwood, and now all that remains to be done is to close the deal between them.

The Industrial club to get this institution has agreed to help in the purchase price of the property to the amount of $2,000, to be secured by a claim on the property until the institution has run the required number of days, or paid the required amount in wages.

To start with, North Manchester has a particular attraction to foundry men in a home demand that is already developed. Few people think of the amount of gray iron castings used by the Peabody School Furniture company of this city in a year, most of which never see this city, but which are shipped direct from the foundry to the user. The business of this factory alone the castings will range between four and five thousand dollars a month, and if the Garwoods are prepared to establish an up-to-date foundry this will mean a nice little business to start with, for it will require the constant service of from thirty to forty hands to produce that much work. Added to that the Garwoods people have some special stuff of their own that they will place on the market, castings for a hot air furnace being one of their line.