Shelby  County  Indiana

The  Furniture  Industry

          In the early 1900's, Shelbyville was known as "Little Grand Rapids" because of the number and quality of our furniture factories.  Many families, including the Fleming's, were drawn to Shelbyville by the need for workers and craftsmen.  Indiana had an abundance of white oak and walnut trees.  The railroad, well established by now, brought the lumber in and took finished products to their destination.  The book  Shelby County, Indiana:  History and Families,  compiled by the Shelby Co Historical Soc and published in 1992, covers this industry and period in Shelby Co history quite well.  I have listed here the names of the companies mentioned in their article:
Blanchard Furniture Company  (see below)
Blue River Furniture Factory,  also called
      D. L. Conrey, Z. B. Waller, John C. Deprez Co.
      (or more commonly, Conrey Waller Deprez Co)
Conrey and Birely Table Company,  later known as
      Davis-Birely Table Co
Shelbyville Lounge Co,  later known as
      Shelbyville Desk Co,  whose facilities are now occupied by
            Old Hickory Furniture Co
Hodell Furniture Co
Shelbyville Cabinet Co
Shelbyville Chair Co
Stewart and Blakely Table Co
Charles H. Campbell Furniture Co,  later known as
      J. B. Hamilton Furniture Co
      Shelby Shops, Inc
          (separate section) Nukraft Mfg Co
Shelby Woodcrafters
Blanchard-Hamilton Furniture Co  (see newspaper article below)
Conrey-Davis Furniture Co
Indiana Furniture Co
Shelbyville Wardrobe Mfg Co
Conrey and Forster Furniture Co,  later known as
      D. L. Conrey Furniture Co
Charles Schmoe Co
Spiegel Furniture Co,  later known as
      Spiegel Cabinet Co
      Gregori Furniture Co
      Blaine Mfg Co
Root Furniture Co,  later known as
      Albert Furniture Co
      Henry Joseph Furniture Co
Danziger Furniture Co
Frechtling-Morner Co
Meloy Mfg Co,  later known as
      Bradley-Hall Outlet Furniture, Inc
      Jester Outlet
Shelbyville Wardrobe Company  (see newspaper article below)
Tindall-Gerling Furniture Co,  also called
Tindall-Waggoner Co
Diamond Veneer Co
Walnut and Lumber and Veneer Co
Cobb Line
Reece-Hanley Furniture Co
Innis, Pearce & Co, Rush County, IN
Phyllis Miller Fleming


The  Shelbyville  Daily  Democrat
September 28, 1928
Five Years Ago Today
          Home of a furniture factory strikebreaker here was stoned by a crowd of boys and young men.
Contributed by Linda Allen

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Shelbyville, Ind., November 28, 1914

          Troubles seem to be piling up for the Shelbyville Wardrobe company these days as the company suffered another fire loss today; the office of the corporation at 227 east Locust street being damaged at eleven o'clock to the extent of $150, or more.  Fortunately the loss is covered by insurance.  Early last September the company's plant was almost totally destroyed by fire and this is the second time the office itself has been damaged by fire.
          The fire today started from the furnace in the basement of the building and from there made its way to the roof by means of ventilation formed between two rafters and the plastering and the siding.  The roof was ablaze before the fire was discovered and the department had a twenty-minutes' fight before the blaze was extinguished.
          For a time it appeared the building was doomed and all the furniture and the records of the company were carried into the street.  But for this the damage would have been much heavier as the firemen found it necessary to use a great deal of water.
          The alarm was turned in from Box 34, South and Noble streets, at eleven o'clock, and the fire department made a good run and a quick one.
          A few years ago, the office suffered from fire in the same manner as today, the furnace being the cause, and the damage at that time was about the same as today.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelby  Republican
May 9, 1899
          This morning the Blanchard Furniture Company broke ground for a new addition to their plant, the structure to be seventy-two by 110 feet and three stories high.  This extension has been made necessary by the increase in business.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

An  Indianapolis  Newspaper
January 19, 1885
Contact the Indiana State Library for a full copy.
FIRE / Shelbyville / Conrey, Waller and Deprez  furniture factory destroyed. Loss $40,000.00. N. 1-19-1885 p3 c4

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