From page 51.
It is now all established fact that one of our most important branches of industry is the manufacture and production of fire-brick, and the various other products of fire-clay, such as tile, retorts, pipe, etc. For the last twenty years the general demand for these products has been on the increase, not alone in the West, but throughout the entire Union. During this period, several manufactories of these articles have sprung up in and around St. Louis, so that to-day the products of St. Louis in this line may be found in every leading market of America. As one of the oldest and most extensive establishments of the kind west of the Alleghanies, we would speak of the Cheltenham Fire-Brick Works, situated at the flourishing suburb of the same name, about five miles from the city, on the line of the Pacific Railroad.
These works, of which Messrs. Evens & Howard are the present proprietors, have a history extending as far back as 1837. The early days of the works have but little of interest, but in 1855 they were in possession of Mr. Chas. P. Chouteau, who established them on a firm basis, and made a success of them. The present company was incorporated in 1867, when Messrs. Evens & Howard took possession. As the demand for their products increased, these gentlemen kept adding to tile works, as well as increasing the variety of their products, until they are the most extensive in the country, and with a reputation which is only bounded by the length and breadth of the Union; and so well and favorably known is the quality of wares manufactured by these gentlemen, that they find their way to the markets of Quebec. Montreal, and other important points in the British dominions. From the iron district of Lake Superior, and the mines of New Mexico, come orders for their products; while Salt Lake City, the Pacific Slope, and the Gulf States are supplied principally from the same source.
In January, 1875, Messrs. Evens & Howard met with a severe loss in the destruction of their entire works and contents, but their enterprise and energy were equal to the trying circumstances - circumstances which would have daunted almost any others; and in an incredible short space of time, new buildings arose from the ashes of the old ones, filled with new machinery of the most improved patterns, and, if anything the business was on a more prosperous footing than before. The new factory is pronounced one of the most complete and convenient buildings of its class in the West. In fact, the Cheltenham Fire Brick Works are not only new, but perfect; and the facilities of the company for the manufacture of their various productions, in machinery and location, are unsurpassed by any similar establishment in the western country. Messrs. Evens & Howard have their works running, winter and summer, on the different articles which they manufacture, and the machinery is of the most approved labor-saving character, that the ingenuity of man has as yet invented. The works have connection, by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, with the entire railway system of the country, so that goods can be carefully packed in cars on their private switches, and shipped to all points without breaking bulk; thus delivering their customers their goods in as good order as when at the works, and at reduced cost.
The productions of their works consist of fire-brick, of all sizes and shapes, for iron works, gas houses, glass works, lead furnaces, lime kilns, grate tile, boiler settings, bake ovens, sugar houses, tanneries, green houses, etc., sewer and water pipe, from one to thirty inches calibre, with branches, elbows, and traps for all sizes of pipe, fire-clay chimney tops, chimney flues, hot air flues, floor tiles, etc. An experience of twenty years in the manufacture of fire-clay goods, and using only the clay from their own names, enable Messrs. Evens & Howard to insure uniformity in the quality of all their wares, and to guarantee the utmost satisfaction in every respect to those who may favor them with orders.
The company own about seventy acres of land in the vicinity of their works, which take up about four. The buildings are all brick, large, roomy and admirably adapted for the purpose for which they are used. The capital employed amounts to about $200,000. The officers of the company are: L. J. Howard, president; James Garvin, vice-president; R. J. Howard, secretary. The offices are located at No. 910 Market Street.
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