Historic Structures

Connersville Furniture Factory, Connersville Indiana

Date added: March 29, 2016 Categories: Indiana Industrial

The site of the Connersvilie Furniture factory was initially occupied by a coffin factory. The coffin company, organized in 1869, expanded as a joint stock company in 1875 and built a five story 40' x 80' brick factory building on Illinois near Mount Street. The factory building and several thousand coffins were destroyed when fire engulfed the building in 1879. The coffin company was unable to rebuild, and three years later, in February 1882, the Connersvilie Furniture Company was organized and bought the property.

In 1882, the Connersvilie Furniture Company built a six-story 50' x 150' brick building on the banks of the Whitewater Canal, the site formerly occupied by the coffin factory. The choice of the site is significant, since the company's first product, black walnut bedroom suites, was machine produced using water power drawn from the canal. The building was erected on the east side of Illinois Avenue near the intersection of Mount Street. A second building was erected on the west side of Illinois Avenue in 1892.

During its years of operation, the Connersville Furniture Company received contracts for their products from John Wanamaker and Marshall Field, two major department store chains, and in 1925, the company received contracts from 12 distributing firms to produce radio cabinets.

The company went into receivership on 6 April 1927. On 3 January 1929 the McQuay-Norrts Company, a firm specializing in the production of machine parts, bought the building on the west side of Illinois Avenue.

The original building on the east side of Illinois was occupied by the Connersville Cabinet Company between 20 June 1928 and 5 August 1931. A casket manufacturer occupied the east building for about a year in 1932. On 30 December 1933, the McQuay-Norris Company bought the entire east building and occupied it for approximately 25 years. In the 1950' s the building was sold to the Roots-Connersvilie Blower Company to house its pattern shop.