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 North Manchester, Indiana

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Warner Brooder Corp.




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Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section

Warner Corporation Building Well-Known Landmark

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 company.

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 auction.

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.



Warner Galvanized Sign




Source: Aurora (1949) Ad:

THE WARNER ELECTRIC BROODER
like Manchester College, is "Tops"
THE WARNER BROODER AND APPLIANCE COMPANY
N. MANCHESTER, INDIANA



Source: Ravelings (1952) Ad:

The Warner Brooder & Appliance Corporation

ELECTRIC BROODERS       GAS BROODERS
FEEDERS AND WATERERS        STOCK TANK HEATERS
HOG FEEDERS AND TROUGHS
"You Are the One We Want to Satisfy"

Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 2002

The Warner Brooder Building

Now that the building is no more it seems appropriate to review the life of this building.

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 piece.

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

   
 

 
 

the chilly cold. His sympathy was aroused and the Warner Electric Brooder was the result. Possessed with a good appetite for fried chicken Arden Strauss became interested with him, and 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 building and the old Syracuse factory building was bought. Business continued to grow, so in about 1943 when the Northfield building came on the market it was purchased by the Brooder company and made into one of the most complete factory plants in this section. As the business continued to grow Wendell Scheerer and Robert Stauffer came into the organization and a more complete line of supplies for poultry growers was prepared. During its lifetime this company was a main supply source for poultry equipment in many States.