IMPORTANT INDUSTRY WILL BEGIN OPERATIONS IN SYCAMORE ABOUT MARCH 1
The Marsh Shops Nearly Refitted For Occupancy.--The New Concern Will Manufacture Milk Wagons, Delivery Wagons and Piano Wagons.--Factory Will Be Made First-Class for the Work.--Sycamore and DeKalb Stockholders
Work has now been in progress for some seven weeks arranging the old Marsh shops for the Sycamore Wagon Works, the corporation which will begin a new line of manufacturing in Sycamore this spring.
When it was known a few weeks ago that this business was seeking a new location, the business men of Sycamore raised $5,000 to pay the expenses of removal, and the company was reorganized with a majority of the stock owned in Sycamore and the balance owned by Bradt & Shipman, who had been conducting the business successfully for ten years at DeKalb. The whole south part of the Marsh shops have been secured, the total length of the floor space which will be occupied being 480 feet. A new roof has been put on, the roof beams have been strengthened, a dry kiln has been built and the line shafts are being erected. The machinery from the DeKalb factory has been moved in, and a quantity of new machinery will be added. The management say that they will have a first-class factory for the production of their line of manufactures, and will do as good work and do it as cheaply as such work can be done anywhere. The vehicles will be nearly all made under the Bradt & Shipman patents, which vehicles have proven their value and are widely known to the trade.
It is hoped eventually to add a full line of buggies to the product. When this is done, the capacity of the factory will be greatly increased, and the force of hands greatly augmented.
The new factory will begin work about March 1 with from 15 to 25 hands, mostly skilled, as few unskilled hands can be employed in this business.
Mr. Will Smith, one of the stockholders and the manager, was for a number of years secretary and general manager of the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wagon company. He then became manager of the Montgomery & Ward Co. buggy factory and removed to Chicago Heights in which capacity be has continued five years, this big concern producing from 3,000 to 5,000 buggies and surreys annually. He learned the blacksmith trade when young and is a practical man in every part of the business carriage and wagon manufacturing.
The Sycamore Wagon company has not yet received its incorporation papers, which, however, have been sent to Springfield, and will be here soon, when the incorporators will meet and the officers will be formally elected according to law.
Sycamore True Republican 6 Feb 1904
The Joiner History Room has in its archives information about the Sycamore Wagon Works including pictures and company information.