Monday, October 19, 2015

More Oshkosh Buildings, Part Seven

The turn of the twentieth century also brought to Oshkosh the expansion of manufacturing facilities.
 In 1898 Diamond Match was considering building a large factory on High Street and in 1902 The Oshkosh Logging Tool Company announced intentions to building a large new plant just south of the river adjacent to Main Street.  The tool company was started by Elmer Leach who had been employed as secretary for the A. Sanford Logging Tool Company of Oshkosh, which had been around since 1853.  Early in 1887 Mr. Leach built a small factory on Pearl Street and commenced business as The Oshkosh Logging Tool Company and by 1906 Sanford Logging Tool merged with  Leach's firm to form Oshkosh Tool Manufacturing.
 The company's quality tools made them popular and accounted for the firm's rapid growth.  A capacious, modern factory was caller for and Mr. Leach enlisted the services of architect William Water to draw the plans. The company's intention to build was first reported in September of 1902 along with the location of the parcel of land. Early in 1903 came reports of  the several buildings which would comprise the new factory.  These early reports indicated that the largest building was to three stories high next to the river but not front on Main Street.  By July of that year work was started with a four story edifice just south of the Main Street bridge.  The logging industry reached it's zenith at about this time, the last spring log run down the Wolf River took place in 1911.  The Leach Company saw that changes were coming and in 1932 began to manufacture garbage trucks.  By the early 1960's the company had out grown the aging building on the river and so built a new plant north of the city, the old factory was demolished in 1966.  The company was purchased by another firm has long since moved all production to Canada.    

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