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)
Phyllis Miller Fleming
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
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
Meloy Mfg Co, later known as
Bradley-Hall Outlet Furniture, Inc
Shelbyville Wardrobe Company (see newspaper article below)
Tindall-Gerling Furniture Co, also called
Diamond Veneer Co
Walnut and Lumber and Veneer Co
Reece-Hanley Furniture Co
Innis, Pearce & Co, Rush County, IN
The Shelbyville Daily
Home of a furniture factory strikebreaker here was stoned by a crowd of
boys and young men.
September 28, 1928
Five Years Ago Today
Contributed by Linda Allen
The Shelbyville Democrat
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.
Shelbyville, Ind., November 28, 1914
WARDROBE OFFICE IS
SECOND TIME COMPANY HAS
SUFFERED FROM FIRE THIS YEAR.
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
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.
May 9, 1899
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
An Indianapolis Newspaper
Contact the Indiana State Library for a full copy.
January 19, 1885
FIRE / Shelbyville / Conrey, Waller and Deprez furniture factory destroyed. Loss $40,000.00. N. 1-19-1885 p3 c4
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