Innis, Pearce &
Furniture Factory ---
This was organized in 1883 by W.W. Innis, W. M. Pearce, David Graham,
George H. Puntenney and Robert A. Innis. At the termination of the first year G. H. Puntenney sold his interest to Paul Kerr.
They manufactured a general line of bedsteads and chamber suits. At first they gave employment to fifteen hands, but with the yearly increase in the volume of their business they have increased the number employed until now they give constant employment to sixty workers.
Their manufactures are now shipped by the car load to nearly every western and southern State. Everything would seem to indicate that it will still increase its output and go on in the high road of success.
The management is careful and prudent.
History of Rush County, Indiana, Brant & Fuller, 1888, pages 652 & 655
Contributed by Barb Huff
The furniture manufacturing firm of Innis, Pearce & Company, founded in 1884, was the first manufacturing plant of any consequence to start in Rushville.
The company began as a planning mill and later added furniture manufacture as an adjunct to the planning mill business.
As its reputation for quality work became established, the Innis, Pearce Company devoted more and more time to furniture until finally it abandoned entirely the planning mill business.
The company specialized in bedroom suites, which were produced in numerous styles out of walnut, elm, quartered oak, mahogany, birdís-eye maple, shell maple, Hungarian ash, and various other woods.
The firm employed about 120 persons in a handsome four-story brick building where they produced about fifty complete bedroom suites per day.
ďAt one time the Innis and Pearce Company was one of the biggest furniture companies in the state. Very few people know that for a number of years it owned 50 percent interest in the company that made the Louisville Slugger baseball bat.
It also owned a large plant in Paoli, Indiana, that made handles for garden tools.
At one time it owned the Indianapolis Veneer Company. It was also the Pure Oil Company distributor for ten or twelve counties, including Rush, Henry, Shelby, and Hancock.
The big oil tanks, which sit behind what is now the Farm Bureau building, were put there by Innis and Pearce in the late 1920ís.Ē
ďInnis and Pearce made furniture considered expensive in that time.
When the Depression hit, it had debts, just like other companies, but it was never able to recover.
Finally it ended up in receivership, and the receiver tried to operate the plant, but that didnít work out.
It had to be liquidated.
A Rush County Retrospect, Rush County Historical Society, 1984, Volume 1, pages 148-151
Contributed by Barb Huff