Source: News-Journal, August 16,
1973, Centennial Section
Warner Corporation Building
The Warner Corporation building, 802
West Main Street, is a well known landmark for area
residents. However, few remember it in the days when it
was the home base for the S.S. Cox Show Case factory and
the Northfield Furniture Company.
The S.S. Cox Showcase company came to
North Manchester from Bryan, Ohio in 1911. Local
commercial organizations and investors helped build a
new building, now the Warner Corporation site, for the
S.S. Cox was head of the factory and
Cecil Shelly was plant superintendent. The cases
manufactured there were of first class quality but the
business was never profitable.
Eventually the plant went into the
hands of a receiver with Joe Wetzel being left to look
after the building. Most of the machinery in the plant
was then sold piece by piece.
The Northfield Furniture Company came
from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1935 to occupy the
building vacated by the Cox company. The furniture
company had a profitable business in Wisconsin but was
seeking a more central location.
Ernest W. Schultz was company
president and sales manager. A.F. Henckel was factory
superintendent. Death took Mr. Schultz and his son was
voted in as superintendent. The old management was
ousted and the business went to pieces. Shortly
thereafter the equipment was sold piecemeal at public
The next operation to claim the site
for manufacturing purposes was Warner Brooder. Boyd
Warner devised the Warner Electric Brooder and Arden
Strauss became interested in the project.
The factory was started in a small
room on the south side of Main Street. Electric light
bulbs were first used under the hovers, but later a more
efficient heating element came into use.
The business soon outgrew the Main
Street location and the old Syracuse factory building
was bought. When the Northfield Furniture building
became available in 1943, the Brooder company purchased
it and the business grew into one of the most complete
factory plants in the area.
Source: Notarized Certificate of
Persons Conducting Business Under Assumed Business Name
of “The Warner Company”, Wabash County Partnership Book
1 (1941-1985), p. 32, October 11, 1943:
Robert M. Stauffer, Boyd W.
Warner, D.A. (Arden) Strauss and Wendell M. Scheerer,
being each duly sworn, separately and severally, upon
oath says that they are individuals conducting or
transacting a business at 802 West Main Street, North
Manchester, Wabash County, Indiana, as a co-partnership
and under the assumed business name of “THE
WARNER COMPANY” and as such will engage in
holding and renting real property and of acting when it
seems desirable as sales agents for industrial supplies
and equipment and manufactured articles of all
descriptions and for such further commercial business as
may be mutually agreed upon by all of the partners any
time after its formation.
Source: Aurora (1949) Ad:
WARNER ELECTRIC BROODER
like Manchester College, is "Tops"
BROODER AND APPLIANCE COMPANY
N. MANCHESTER, INDIANA
Source: Ravelings (1952) Ad:
Warner Brooder & Appliance Corporation
FEEDERS AND WATERERS
STOCK TANK HEATERS
HOG FEEDERS AND TROUGHS
"You Are the One We Want to Satisfy"
Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 2002
Now that the building is no
more it seems appropriate to review the life of
In 1911 The S. S. Cox Show
Case company came from Bryan, Ohio. By help of
the local commercial organization and local
investors what was later the Warner Brooder
building was built new for this company. S. S.
Cox was head of the company and Cecil Shelley
was factory superintendent. The product was
strictly first class and was pointed to with
pride in many mercantile establishments and
offices in which it was installed, yet the
business was never profitable. Soon it went into
the hands of a receiver, Joe Wetzel being left
almost alone to look after the big building from
which the high grade machinery was sold piece by
The Northfield Furniture
Company came from Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1935
to occupy the building which had been vacated by
the Cox Show Case company. This company had
enjoyed a good business in Wisconsin but was
seeking a more central location. Ernest W.
Schultz was the president and sales manager. A.
F. Henckel was the very competent factory
superintendent. Death took Mr. Schultz, and the
majority of the stock voted his young son in as
superintendent. The old management was ousted,
business went to pieces and in a few months the
equipment was sold piecemeal at public auction.
The building was put on the market about 1943.
Years before Boyd Warner saw
some little chickens shivering in