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Champion Iron Company letterhead, 1907


  • Kenton, Ohio.


  • 1876-1910-?
Engraving of the Champion Iron Company works (ca 1907)
Click for 600DPI: JPG above or PNG


"Champion Iron Fence Company -- Incorporated as Champion Fence Company in 1876 by William L. Walker, James Young, William H. Young, B. G. Devoe, and Henry Price with a factory on Franklin Street in Kenton, Ohio. The works moved briefly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1877, returning to Kenton in 1878. In 1878 it was incorporated as Champion Iron Fence Company. Date of dissolution not know, but is post 1884. (History of Hardin County, Ohio). Chicora Resources: copies of 1884 Illustrated Supplement Catalog; ca. 188_ Miniature Catalog No. 12." --See Cemetery Ironwork (Chicora Foundation)
"The Champion Iron Company of Kenton, started out in December, 1875, as The Champion Iron Fence Company, and was founded by B. G. Devoe, Henry Price, William Walker, James Young and W. H. Young. Its purpose was the manufacturing of a patent iron fence, and the first quarters contained 1,500 square feet of floor space it occupied in a frame structure in the west part of Kenton, across [from] the Big Four railroad. On February 13, 1878, the company was incorporated under the name The Champion Iron Fence Company, with a capital stock of $100,000. The following men were interested in the enterprise at that time: Edward Crawford, W. H. Young, James Young, Henry Price and Benjamin G. Devoe. The following officers were elected: Edward Crawford, president; W. H. Young, vice president; James Young, treasurer; Henry Price, secretary, and B. G. Devoe, superintendent. On May 1, 1899, owing to the desire of the company to manufacture other lines of work besides fence, the name of the company was changed to The Champion Iron Company, and under that name it is still doing business. The old plant, which had grown until it covered all the space between Franklin and Columbus streets west of the Big Four to Leighton street, was destroyed by fire April 23, 1902. This was the largest and most destructive fire the city has ever experienced, and help was asked from Bellefontaine, as a high wind was blowing and for a time it seemed as if the flames could not be confined to the company's buildings. The loss to the firm was $180,000.
Work was commenced on the new plant which is located south of the Erie railroad, in South Kenton, and fronting on Steiner avenue, on April 23, 1903, just one year after the old plant was destroyed. At present the company has a building more suited to its needs than the old group in the west part of the city, with plenty of space to grow, and in every way the plant is a credit to the city. The floor space covers 89,500 square feet, and the number of employes is about 275. The Champion Iron Company is the largest manufacturing concern in Hardin county, and its work is known all over the United States. The capital stock is $500,000. The work has greatly changed since the formation of the company, in the early history iron fence being the chief product, whereas now that forms the smallest part of the business. Structural work, such as light houses, prisons, jail work and ornamental iron work constitute the main products, and at present this firm is engaged in constructing much work for public buildings, government light houses, county jails, churches and large manufacturing concerns. The present officers are: George J. Carter, president and treasurer; William J. Armstrong, vice president, and L. D. Carter, secretary.
A Twentieth Century History of Hardin County, Ohio by Minnie Ichler Kohler · 1910
"As of August 2011 this site is demolished. The former King Ohio Forge site is generally triangular and consists of four parcels totaling 8.65 acres. The Property was first developed in 1902-1903 as [Application for Clean Ohio Revitalization Funds] the Champion Iron Company, consisting of a foundry and structural iron works. Champion Iron initially manufactured architectural iron railings and fences, then cranes, shears, and scissors. From 1947 to 1986, it was known as the Phillips and Davies Company. It was then purchased by Broderick Forging Company, Inc., which manufactured flood gates. King Ohio purchased the property out of a bankruptcy in 1993. King Ohio sold off most of the equipment and has not used the property for manufacturing since acquiring it." —Flickr
Champion Iron Co 1884 catalog
Illustrated Supplement Catalogue
Champion Iron Fence Co,
Kenton, OH, 1884, 30p.
Winterthur Museum Library via
The Internet Archive
~2MB: pdf

1887 invoice from the Champion Iron Company
1887 invoice

1907 letter from the Champion Iron Company to J. W. Penney & Sons
1907 letter to J. W. Penney & Sons

Postcard of the Champion Iron Company factory

Postcard of the Champion Iron Company factory

Postcard of the Champion Iron Company factory (postmarked 1909)


  • 20" × 24" double-sided broadside, undated:

    Iron Fences · Structural and Ornamental Iron Work · Jail Work


    Iron Fences, Gates, Entrances for public grounds Crestings and Finials, both malleable and gray iron, Weather Vanes and Tower Finials, Gas Pipe Railings of all kinds, Galvanized and Painted Pipe Ornaments, Tree Guards, Window Guards, Carriage Steps and Hitching Posts, etc. Structural and ornamental iron work, such as: Steel Buildings complete, Plain and Ornamental Stair Work painted or plated, Iron Fire Escapes, Store Fronts, Columns, Lintels, Girders, Joist Hangers, Stirrups, Anchors, Iron Verandas, Iron Rostrums, Veranda Railings, Bank and Office Railings, Wrought Iron Grille Work, Hammered Leaf Work, Cast and Wrought Iron Area Gratings and Plate Doors, Vault Doors, Cast and Wrought Iron Brackets, Fire Proof Shutters, Prismatic Sidewalk Lights, Plain and illuminated Coal Hole Covers. Jail Work: Jail Buildings Complete, Iron and Steel Cell Work, City Lock-Ups. Gray Iron Castings of all kinds. Also the following: Iron Settees and Chairs, Flower Vases, Yard Ornaments, Hat Rack and Umbrella Stands, Street Lamp Posts and Lamps, Iron Bedsteads, Stable Fixtures, WIRE WORK, etc.

Frank Cessna Dougherty:

Frank Cessna Dougherty
"Frank Cessna Dougherty, lawyer, of Kenton, Ohio, was born in that place, September l4th, 1851. His parents are William and Helen (Cessna) Dougherty-the former a native of Steubenville, Ohio, and the latter a native of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. They are still living in Kenton, his father having been a clothing merchant of that place for the past thirty years. Frank C. enjoyed the privileges of the Kenton public schools. In the fall of 1867 he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, and was graduated from the classical course in 1870. Though but nineteen years of age, he was at once called to the principalship of the Gabon, Ohio, High School, which he ably filled for the two succeeding years. In the fall of 1872 he entered the Law College at Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1873. Having a love for, and interest in, educational work, he, the following fall, accepted the proffered position of principal of the Wooster High School. After two years of successful work in this capacity, he was elected by the School Board as superintendent of their public schools; the duties of which position, however, he was not permitted to assume. At about the same lime he was promoted to the superintendency of the Wooster schools he was nominated by the Democratic party of Hardin County for Prosecuting Attorney, and was elected by a handsome majority. He resigned his new position of superintendent to accept the one, which had been so unexpectedly bestowed upon him. This recognition of his ability and integrity inaugurated a most successful career. He performed the duties as Prosecuting Attorney in a most satisfactory manner for the two years of his office, establishing himself in the meantime in the practice of the law, in which he has since become distinguished. In 1878 he formed a partnership with a younger brother, J. W. Dougherty, a promising young lawyer, who is still associated with him. Mr. Dougherty was the nominee of the Democratic Party, in 1881, for Attorney-general of Ohio, and shared in the defeat of the ticket. Mr. Dougherty's career in the legal profession is a most exceptional one, and his success is the best testimony that can be offered as to his ability and integrity. Though but thirty-two years of age and with but eight years' experience, he has already attained to the leading place at the bar of Hardin County, is recognized as the ablest advocate and a learned counsel, and has the largest and most lucrative practice. He has made a special study of the law on corporations, and is the attorney for the leading corporations in Kenton. He is vice-president of the Champion Iron Fence Company, of Kenton, one of the largest institutions of its kind in the country. He is also one of the three executive financial officers of the Kenton Savings Bank, and is one of the enterprising men of his city. He has been a member of the School Board for four years, and since 1882 president of the same. Mr. Dougherty is a young man of education and culture, and in the practice of the law takes a broad view of all questions. He studies his cases thoroughly and conducts them in a manner characteristic of marked ability. He was married September 15th, 1875, to Miss Luella Merriman, daughter of Mr. Lewis Merriman, a wealthy and influential merchant and citizen of Kenton."