A look back at industry
This year’s Depot Days Down Memory Lane program was “Hartselle: City of Industry.” The program correctly emphasized that, while Hartselle was widely known as a prosperous farming town, it also has had highly successful industries that frequently operated at full capacity and provided many much needed jobs. This week’s column looks back at some of these firms.
Aug. 27, 1918 – The plant of the Fly Manufacturing Co., which has been closed for some weeks, will resume operations Wednesday, it was announced today. The plant has booked large war orders and will be in constant operation.
April 7, 1939 – A series of classes designed to teach Hartselle music lovers how to play the Hawaiian guitar began today. The classes are offered at the Black Music Company by instructors from the Honolulu Conservatory of Music of Birmingham. This firm manufactures guitars that students are taught to play.
June 30, 1942 – Local board number 2, Hartselle, Morgan County, announced today that the Black Music Company will be a site for the fifth registration in its territory. At this time all men born on or after Jan. 1, 1922, and on or before June 30, 1924, are required to register.
Jan. 7, 1954 – Mrs. W.A. Mitchell died. She was the mother of Hubert R. and Billy Don Mitchell of Mitchell Industries. She was born on April 5, 1878, in Lawrence County. In 1896, she married W.A. Mitchell, a master craftsman in the trade of harness manufacturing. Mr. Mitchell had a leading harness-making business in Hartselle for many years.
Dec. 16, 1954 – The Black-Baker partnership is dissolving. Ray Baker will continue the box plant business, which has just received a big new order.
Jan. 11, 1955 – Final action aimed at improving residential and industrial areas of the community was taken here tonight when the Hartselle city council voted unanimously to adopt a zoning ordinance.
Sept. 1, 1955 – Black Furniture Company is going out of business. Monte Black, the present owner and a former co-owner of the box manufacturing firm, is completing a 40-unit inn at Destin, Fla., the Motel Capri.
Dec. 22, 1955 – The Christmas spirit found expression at Baker Manufacturing Company today when Christmas hams were distributed by owner Ray Baker to every employee.
Sept. 10, 1959 – The location in Hartselle of a garment plant to employ eventually 250 persons was made certain this week with the signing of a 15-year lease contract in the home office of Fly Manufacturing Co., Shelbyville, Tenn. Hartselle signers were W.H. Stewart, president, and Horace W. Broom, secretary-treasurer, of the Hartselle Industrial Development Board, the agency which is representing Hartselle in having the plant building erected.
July 8, 1965 – Metco, a subsidiary of Baker Manufacturing, announced a major expansion today.
July 31, 1969 – Site work will begin soon at the location of Phillips Industries.
Sept. 12, 1974 – Unfortunately, Phillips Industries is going to have to shut down due to the eroding market for mobile home doors and windows in the present depressed economy.
July 19, 1977 – Monte Curtis Black died at age 60. He was at this time owner of the Motel Capri in Destin, Fla. Prior to this time he was a co-owner of the former Black-Baker Manufacturing Company.
April 26, 1979 – Copeland Corporation, the large Hartselle plant that manufactures second-generation compressors for residential heat pumps, held an open house today. The firm presently has 200 employees.
April 17, 1980 – Hartselle’s Tommy Ed Roberts is implementing several innovative programs in his role as the new executive director of Morgan County’s industrial development organization.
Feb. 1, 2001 – Hartselle native Don Logan, chairman of Time, Inc., received the magazine industry’s highest award today at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.