The Folding Bath Tub Co., North Manchester

Source: North Manchester Journal, various dates (as noted below)

November 7, 1889. Marion Swank, an inventive genius of this place, has got up a folding bath tub. Those who have seen his model think that it is a good thing. Two gentlemen of this place have taken an interest in it, applied for a patent and arranged for the manufacture of a few sample tubs at the Excelsior works. This is Swank's second invention, a broad cast seeder now having a wide sale being the first.

December 26, 1889. Swank and Grossnickle are making a sample lot of their folding bath tubs at their shop on the north side of town. The tubs are a new thing that are highly spoken of by those who have examined them.

February 13, 1890. Jonas Grossnickle went to Indianapolis yesterday with one of his patent folding bath tubs to show to wholesale dealers in such goods.

February 20, 1890. Since visiting Indianapolis last week with their bath tub, Messrs. Grossnickle, Cosner and Swank are more than ever confirmed in the belief that they have a bog bonanza. Everyone who saw it, and there were hundreds, were greatly pleased with it.

February 27, 1890. Silas Swank has quit the employ of Dan Shellers to sell bath tubs for the Folding Bath Tub Co.

March 13, 1890. When you want to take a good steam or hot water bath drop in at Harrell & Nagle's barber shop in Ulrey's block and try their tub.

March 27, 1890. P.E. Grossnickle has taken a fourth interest in the New Portable Folding Bath Tub Company. The firm has moved its factory into the Hamilton building on Mill Street and will push the business. Silas Swank, as the general agent, is canvassing the general trade with good result.

May 15, 1890. The Folding Bath Tub Company has secured the deed for the patent on that contrivance. The patent was granted May 6th and the deed covers every point and improvement on the tub since the application was first made. They are selling tubs as fast as they can make them.

Dr. H.E. Misener, of Servia, has bought a one-fourth interest in the Folding Bath Tub Company, of this place. That factory is doing a good business, its agents took nineteen orders for tubs at Logansport last week. They have orders ahead for all they can make.

July 24, 1890. The Folding Bath Tub Co., is contemplating an enlargement of their factory. They tell us that with the equipment now in use they are unable to make the tubs fast enough to meet the demand. They have had bids for the manufacture of the tubs from other places, but they prefer to have the work done at home, though some very low prices have been offered them. The town cannot afford to let such an industry slip through its fingers.

July 31, 1890. The Rex Wind Mill Co. is getting out in the rough 500 bath tubs for the Folding Bath Tub Co.

July 31, 1890. There has been another change in the Folding Bath Tub Co. Marion Swank, one of the inventors, has sold his fourth interest in the same to Jacob Misener, who traded him his residence property on corner of Sycamore and Fourth streets. The business will continue on just as it has been.

August 14, 1890. Silas Swank was in Fort Wayne this week in the interest of the Folding Bath Tub Co.

August 28, 1890. A.F. Sala is in Lafayette this week selling folding bath tubs.

September 4, 1890. A.F. Sala came home from Lafayette where he had been selling bath tubs, one day last week, having had great success.

November 6, 1890. Dr. H.W. Misener has moved from Servia to this place and occupies the Keesey property on east Third Street. He has several important business interests here that require his personal attention.

November 20, 1890. A.C. Cosner takes the road next week in the interest of the Folding Bath Tub.

December 11, 1890. A.F. Sala and A.C. Cosner are home this week from a trip through the south part of the state in the interest of the Folding Bath Tub Co.


Source: North Manchester Journal, January 8, 1891

The Folding Bath Tub Co. is preparing for an extensive run of business the coming year, and by another twelve months expect to have a well established trade. Mr. Misener, who has held a half interest in the concern, has transferred the management of the same to Jesse Arnold. The company has now on hand a stock of nearly a hundred tubs which they will put on the market, enabling them to settle up the past year's business entirely, before entering onto that of the new year, which they will do better equipped in every way than they have ever been. They have a meritorious article which recommends itself on sight and there is no reason why this industry should not work to the advantage of the proprietors and the town as well. Our best wishes for success are with them.


Source: North Manchester Journal, February 16, 1893

A PATENT RIGHT DEAL.
Which Did not Turn Out as Expected and Has Caused a Lawsuit.

Mr. D.W. Landis, a gentleman from Dayton, Ohio, who has been in the city for the past week, on Monday entered suit against P.E. Grossnickle and David Hay of this place for the recovery of $1,200, alleging a conspiracy to defraud him out of that sum. Mr. Landis was at one time the agent in Dayton for the Folding Bath Tub Co. of this place and sold a number of tubs. When Messrs. Grossnickle and Hay became owners of the patent they solicited him to buy the right of the state of Ohio, which he afterwards did, and the suit just begun is the outcome of that transaction. Mr. Landis tells a very interesting, not say an amusing tale, if true, and the story recited in his complaint and otherwise is about as follows:

Nearly a year ago Messrs. Grossnickle and Hay wanted to sell him the state of Ohio but he declined to buy at the time. Shortly afterward a man by name of Henry Stockman, representing himself to be a resident of Ohio and a man of means and influence, approached Mr. Landis and wanted to buy of him ten counties in Ohio of the bath tub right. Stockman claimed to be a traveling man with no fixed place to get his mail but said he had a number of responsible men in the deal with him and that they would pay $100 per county. He was so suave and polite about the matter and seemed so much in earnest to make a deal that Mr. Landis soon became interested and thought he saw a chance to make a neat speculation. He sought Messrs. Grossnickle and Hay and after some "dickering" took an option on the state for thirty days, the price to be $1,200. In the meantime Stockman presented his written proposition as above stated and kept the telegraph and mails hot with encouraging messages from points all over the country, and added that if things turned out satisfactorily he would take the whole state at the same rate. Mr. Landis says he was never able to reach or see Stockman in person again, but that he kept writing frequent and anxious letters about closing the deal and finally set a date on which he would be in Dayton and pay him the $1,000 for the ten counties, and he especially urged that Mr. Landis be prepared to make him a clear deed. This date happened to fall on the day next succeeding the one on which his option expired. Mr. Landis alleges that it was solely on the representations made by Stockman that he closed the deal with Grossnickle and Hay, as they pressed him for a settlement, and paid them the $1,200. Stockman failed to show up on the date fixed nor could Mr. Landis find hide or hair of him for a long time, or get any answer to his telegrams and letters. He set about an investigation and now claims that he is the victim of a well-planned conspiracy to unload the state on him. He now complains in court that Stockman was in the employ of Grossnickle and Hay, that the whole thing was a pre-concerted scheme to defraud him, and that the three divided the proceeds of the sale between them. Mr. Landis claims to have strong evidence to support all his assertions. Stockman, whose residence is now located at Valparaiso, this state, is made a co-defendant in the suit, and Mr. Landis asks judgment for the amount he paid them, together with reimbursement for the trouble and expense he incurred in the transaction, in all $2000.

This is the story of Mr. Landis, who, by the way, appears to be a man who would not be easily taken in on the kind of game he alleges was played on him. As for Messrs. Grossnickle and Hay, they are taken completely by surprise and say that it is a bold bluff to get his money back on the part of Mr. Landis, or at least to scare them into a compromise. They say that their deal with Landis was perfectly square, that he bought the state of his own volition, and that no mention was made to them of any deal with Stockman or any one else. If this man Stockman had any dealings with Landis or made him any promises they say they know nothing of it and that is a matter than he will have to settle with Stockman. Mr. Grossnickle says that Stockman had bought some tubs of them and sold them again but he was not in their employ, and there is absolutely no foundation for the statement that there was any collusion to beat Mr. Landis. They will make a strong fight and cannot see how Mr. Landis hopes to win his case. It seems likely from the amount of determination displayed on each side that it will be a hard-fought case, and we venture no opinions or predictions.


Source: North Manchester Journal, November 22, 1894

Recovered his Money.

The suit of D.W. Landis, of Dayton, Ohio, against David Hay, P.E. Grossnickle and Henry Stockman, which was tried in Columbia City last week, was decided in favor of the plaintiff. This is the bath tub suit in which Landis charged the defendants with conspiracy to defraud him in the sale to him of the territory of Ohio for the folding bath tub patent which they owned. The deal occurred in the spring of 1892 and the suit was begun in the fall of that year, now about two years ago. The story of the case is that prior to the spring of 1892 Landis had sold a few bath tubs on commission at Dayton. Messrs. Hay and Grossnickle offered to sell him the State of Ohio for $1,2000, giving him an option on it for thirty days at that price. Just after that Henry Stockman appeared in Dayton and wanted to buy a dozen or two counties in Ohio, offering $100 per county. He was persistent in his offer and kept both mails and telegraph hot urging Landis to buy the state and sell him the counties. So Landis, thinking he saw a good deal on hand, closed the bargain with Hay and Grossnickle and paid them $1,200 for the state. Then when he began looking around for Stockman that gentleman was not to be found at any of the places he reported to have been his headquarters, but he was finally located at Valparaiso, this state, where his home is. Stockman then declined to make the deal he had proposed to Landis, saying hi had changed his mind, and in fact went back on the whole business. Mr. Landis then thought he saw a good-sized colored gentleman in the wood pile and concluded he had been taken in, and on looking into the matter he decided to bring suit against the three men to recover his money, charging him with conspiracy to defraud him by unloading the state on him at a big figure. The defendants entered a general denial, claiming it to have been a straight-forward transaction, and Hay and Grossnickle denied any knowledge of any proposition or transaction between Landis and Stockman. The latter claimed that he had been in earnest about the matter but had changed his mind in regard to making the deal. having begun suit Mr. Landis set about getting testimony together from every source and when the case came to trial he had a large amount of circumstantial evidence to present. What ever it may have been it seems that it was convincing enough to the jury to win him the case. Mr. Landis sued for $1,2000 with interest, and after being out about four hours the jury returned a verdict in his favor, awarding him $1,330., the full amount sued for. The defendants have made a motion for a new trial, and failing in this, will probably appeal it.