Marsh Harvester Moves to Chicago
Eight Hundred Men
Published in the Chicago Tribune, November 15, 1880
Reprinted in the Kendall County Record, November 18, 1880
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
The Plano Marsh Harvester Works is moving to Chicago. Eighty families and the single workmen are leaving Plano.
Plano, Illinois, November 15. Today at noon, the whistle of the Plano Marsh Harvester Shops made its last echo. These extensive works were established here in 1864, under the proprietorship of Lewis Steward and Company. That year they gave employment to 30 men and built 25 machines. Their growth has been gradual: in 1866, 100 harvesters were manufactured; in 1867, 150; in 1868, 450; in 1869, 750; in 1870, 1000. Thus they have increased until today. Last year they employed 600 men and made 10,000 machines. Yet, with this enormous supply they were not able to satisfy the market. The average wages paid out here the 10th of every month last year and this have been $18,000, often running up to $24,000. Everything is now being packed, and will at once be moved to Chicago. They will be placed in new and commodious works just built by the proprietor, William Deering. The works are located on the north side at the corner of Fullerton and Clybourn Avenues, directly opposite the Fullerton Avenue Pump Works. Here he will put a force of 800 men at work immediately and soon increase it t 1,000. He takes 300 of his old employees with him, eighty of whom are heads of families. A large number of the families have already gone on. The rest will follow in the spring. The Chicago shops were erected at an expense of $50,000, which cost Mr. Deering, expects to recover on freights in two years. Here he has the advantage of competition and often has sent whole trainloads of machines from Plano to Chicago for shipment and consequently receiving a much better rate from the city than he was able to secure in Plano. The shops, which are vacated here, were erected at a cost of $30,000. Just what will be done with them is not known at this writing. Capitalists and manufacturers are here almost daily figuring on the purchase of them. It is not probable that they will stand idle a great while. Our citizens have also said much about the organization of a joint stock company. Meetings have been held, but here is nothing definite yet to announce.
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