"General James Cox Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution"
Monroe Seiberling was representative of the mid-western American values that built the early technology powering our factories at the start of the 20th century. In 1887 it was considered "cool" for young men to sit with their friends, dream, and discuss how to design burners to power machines for manufacturing the component parts for motorized vehicles. The natural gas provided by the State of Indiana was crucial for many of these early dreams to come to fruition.
Monroe Seiberling organized a company and built a strawboard works at Kokomo, Indiana, and was the first man to utilize gas as a fuel for manufacturing purposes in the natural gas-belt of Indiana. In 1889 he promoted the Diamond Plate Glass Company for the manufacture of plate glass at Kokomo, and in 1890 the same company built another factory at Elwood, Indiana. He also organized a strawboard manufacturing company during the same year at Noblesville, Indiana. In the following year he promoted a window-glass factory at Hartford City, Indiana, and he was also the promoter of the first tin-plate factory built in this country from the inception of its foundation to its operations. This factory was located at Elwood, Indiana, where two hundred and fifty men were first employed, and where by 1895 over eighteen hundred men were employed. He also built a tin-plate factory at Montpelier, Indiana, becoming its President and was promoter and Vice-president of the rubber factory at Jonesboro Indiana, for the manufacture of rubber and insulated wire. Subsequently, he organized the Peoria Rubber & Manufacturing Company, and the Prospect Heights Street Railway. In the year 1900 he was made President and Manager of the Seiberling Plate Glass Company, at Ottawa, Illinois, with a daily capacity of one hundred and forty pots, or 15,000 square feet of plate-glass, employing from eight hundred to a thousand men. This was the "state of the art" and finest glass factory in the United States at the time.
The Daughters of the American Revolution have placed an historic marker at the Seiberling Museum property. The Daughters strive to promote education, patriotism, and historic preservation to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who have made significant contributions to America.
Through oral history, I grew up hearing about Monroe Seiberling and his wife Sara Miller Seiberling from their daughter, Katherine Irene Seiberling (Mrs. Frank Lincoln Kryder), as she was my great grandmother. In the process, I learned about the extended family, their friendship with Thomas Edison, the growth of the tire industry, Goodyear Tire, Firestone Tire, Ford Motor, and the fierce friendships of the founders and their families. There is a lot that future generations can learn about how "cool" it is to share dreams, build new technology, and create jobs for America!
Please join me in supporting our heritage by making a gift to the Howard County Historical Society for the preservation of the Seiberling Museum. Let us work together to tell the story of how American industry was built through the ideas of young Americans!!