Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Industry

Albion Malleable Iron Company, 1888
    Closed 2002


Warren S. Kessler, founder, 1888

J.C. Eslow, President, 1889
John G. Brown, President, 1892-1896
Warren S. Kessler, President, 1896

Harry B. Parker, 1920s

Collins Carter, 1938-1967
Hayes-Albion Corporation, created in 1967.
Collins Carter, President Hayes-Albion, 1967-1972

Thomas T. Lloyd, Vice President, 1938-1960
Executive Vice-President, 1960-1967
Vice president, Hayes-Albion Corporation, 1967-1969
Executive Vice President, 1969-1974

Malleable Interactive Map
Place your mouse over the date below to see changes made to the factory building.
1900  |  1907  |  1918  |  1931  |  1947

The Albion Malleable Iron Works was started by Warren S. Kessler in the year 1888. It occupied the factory building situated on the corner of Cass and SuperiorSt., which had been vacated by the Gale Manufacturing Company. As is usually the case in all new enterprises,Mr. Kessler soon found that the growing business demanded a corresponding increase in working capital and on June 4, 1889 a corporation was formed, known as The Albion MalleableIron Co. The following well known Albion residents were stockholders of the new concern: Samuel V. Irwin, Horatio Gale, Samuel Hodges, Nate Davis, R.J. Emery, Frank F. Cole, R. Elwood,A.J. Gale, James C. Eslow, John G. Brown, Austin & Smith, John G. Fox, E.P. Burrall, G.F. Bunday, C. Howard Daskam, W.S. Kessler,F.E. Palmer, E.L. Parmeter, W.O.Donoghue, R.J. Frost.

At the first meeting of the stockholders the following were chosen as directors and officersof the company: James C. Eslow, President; R.J. Frost, Vice-President; W.S. Kessler, Sec. and Treas.; John G. Brown and Horatio Gale.

In the early eighteen nineties the names of H.B. Parker and M.B. Murray were added to the list of directors and both of theseremained active members of the organization. In 1892 John G. Brown succeeded Mr. Eslow as president and held that office until 1896 when he was succeeded by W.S. Kessler who has held the office continuously. Mr. Brown remained on the board of directors until his death which occurredOctober 25, 1909. He was succeeded on the board by B.D. Brown, who is still an active member. In 1902 Washington Gardner was chosen as director and held that office until his death when his place was taken byhis son R.H. Gardner.

The company continued to operate in the old Gale plant for a period of ten years. During that time an addition was built to the plant, 35 feet in width and extending over the entire length of the block. It soon became apparent that, in order to take care of the rapidly increasing trade, other buildings would have to be built and in 1898 ground was purchased and a modern, up-to-date factory was erected on thepresent location. Into this they moved on December 16th of that year.

From an acorn a great oak has grown and the buildings now in use cover a space of ten acres. Thecompany originally employed ten men and prior to the present industrial depression 800 to 1000 people were employed with a pay roll of a million to a million and a half dollarsannually. The product of the company is used in the manufacture of automobiles, wheels, wagons, and buggies, stoves, agricultural implements, railway equipment, steam and boiler fittings, trucks and trailers, tractors, engines, electric motors, and many other lines. K71

The Malleable recruited black workers from Pensacola, Florida in 1916, and from other southern communities. Albion’s black population traces its origins to this period.The Malleable provided company housing just north of the plant, but as tenants improved their economic status, they moved into homes of their own. The houses were moved in 1949 to Jefferson St. and the land was developed into McAuliffe Park. P43

The local plant became the Hayes Albion Corporation in 1967 and a division of Harvard Industries in 1987. P41

The Albion Malleable Iron Company was founded in 1888. It moved to this plant from its location in the old Gale plant downtown, in 1898. The Malleable played a significant part in the economic and social development of Albion.

The Malleable recruited black workers from Pensacola, Florida in 1916, and from other southern communities. Albion’s black population traces its origins to this period. Pictured on the left is Willia Whitehead, operating a squeezer molding.

This picture was taken as a Lee-Wilson hood was being lowered into position on its base in the annealing room at the Albion Malleable Iron Company in 1947. The men in the picture are Alonzo Howell, Perry Bradley, Aaron Bowen, Clarence Wheeler, and Gus Woods.

This huge sign, erected in 1949, was a familiar site which was visible for several miles around Albion.

These are the faces of immigrants, who came to America and finally to Albion from such places as Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and other European nations. The Albion Malleable Iron Company actively recruited workers, and this 1913 photo donated by Kenneth Stone shows the variety of Albionsethnic mix at the Malleable. Only a few persons have been identified. Front Row (L-R): Emil Hahn, Fred Baerman, Ballard “Skinny” Bennett; No. 7 is Frank Tech; No. 8 is Stephen Horosko (with mustache). In the center row, No. 7 with the sports coat, after the man with the folded arms is Fred “Happy” Bieske.

Albion Malleable Iron Company supervisors, circa 1940. Front row (L-R): unidentified, Frank Jasienski, Harold Soules, Glen Kemler, William Pasick, Harold Winchell, George Cachmar. Second row: Edward Kotz, Lloyd Putnam, Max Linn, Emil Holtz, George Schumacher, Anthony Klimek, Ernest Kabel, George Overy, Ross Green, Fred Kopp. Third row: Al Bascom, Steve Pasick, Paul Knop, Albert Stone, Kenneth Sanders, Harry Kline, Harold Ford, Steve Buinowski. Top row: Louis Dobson, Floyd Murray, Paul Sawchuk, unidentified, Lawrence Morris.

Working at the Albion Malleable Company about 1945.

Source: M.B. Murray in Krenerick, Miriam. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.

Source: Frank Passic. A Pictorial History of Albion, Michigan; From the Archives of the Albion Historical Society. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation. 1991.

Source: City of Albion. Annual Report. 1951.

1 Comment

  1. I was born in Albion. My Dad was a Police officer there in the 50’s and 60’s, including Chief of Police. We moved to Marshall MI in 1968. I just acquired a brass lion paperweight with the company name on it. Do you know how old it would be? Carl C Hatch lll.

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