Friday, October 30, 2009

Cincinnati Iron Fence Co / Stewart Iron Works

I was on a quest to find out further information about Cincinnati Iron Fence Company. The cemetery iron historical sites gave mention to the company but listed them as having no corporate history available. I was afraid I had hit a dead end until I found a book in Google Books called “A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians Volume 2”bBy E. Polk Johnson, Lewis Publishing Company. In it, I found this tidbit:

“CLARENCE LeBus was born December 29 1862 near Oddville Harrison county Kentucky the second child in a family of seven children. His father Lewis Lebus born in Columbiana County Ohio came in 1855 at the age of twenty one years to Harrison County Kentucky where he demonstrated extraordinary business ability in amassing a large fortune partly in Kentucky and partly in California. His mother was Martha Cole Garnett Lebus eldest daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Garnett .


While specializing in farming and tobacco trading Mr LeBus has other large business interests. For many years he was president of the Electric Light Company in Cynthiana. He has given considerable attention to banking being the chief promoter and organizer of the Harrison Deposit Bank Cynthiana the Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company Cincinnati and the Union Bank & Trust Company Lexington. In each of these banks, Mr LeBus is a director. He is president of the Cincinnati Iron Fence Company, a phenomenally successful enterprise and a stockholder in numerous other enterprises. However Mr. LeBus is best known by his career in the tobacco world. Notwithstanding the risks and hazards that have always beset the tobacco business he has been uniformly successful. A prominent Cincinnati tobacconist and warehouseman once said of him “Le Bus never loses his head nor any of his money.””

A guy in Kentucky is the president of a Cincinnati fence company? This made more sense when I found an article about safeguarding cemetery iron. It mentioned that Stewart Iron Works, a company still in business, was the biggest fence company and supplied products to many companies, including Cincinnati Iron Fence Company and Sears & Roebuck, who simply attached their plaque to the fences.

Jackpot! I immediately navigated to their site and was beyond thrilled to see OUR fence listed in their catalog! No way!

Their website includes this history:

More than 120 years ago brothers Richard C. and Wallace A Stewart formed the Stewart Iron Works Company. From their roots as Stewart family blacksmiths they began a company that would soon produce wrought iron fence and furniture for the entire country.
This company would become known as the "World's Largest Fencemaker" and in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, it was awarded the Grand Prize and Gold Medal Merit for iron fencing and lawn furniture.

Mystery solved… and we will get a quote from them about replacement picket tops and maybe a few more posts. It will be way cheaper than having new ones cast from sand molds.

1 comment:

Tim Batross said...

We have an old cemetery here in Denmark, TN with iron railing made by this company in the late 1800's.
I contacted them to see what the cost would be to match the missing sections and it was rather pricey.