HISTORICAL --- Industries

the railroad brought Industry to Oregon

As a result of the railroad's entry into Oregon, an oatmeal mill, a furniture factory, and a flour mill sprang up quickly. These businesses did not last long, but others came in and did manage to survive with the help of the railroad.

The Paragon Foundry, for example, was a business that struggled early in its history. With the help of the railroad, however, they were able to improve their product distribution system and actually became quite profitable during World War I. This Oregon foundry stayed in business until the 1960's.

In 1895, Oregon witnessed the beginning of the E.D. Etnyre Company, a company originally dedicated to the manufacturing of automatic hog watering machines. By 1900, they began to manufacture container tanks to supply water and fuel for steam-operated threshing machines, as well as water sprinklers for dusty streets and roads. In the early 1910's, the company attempted to develop a motor car business; this endeavor was unsuccessful, however, as only about a dozen touring cars were produced. Etnyre went on to develop and distribute oil sprinklers, asphalt distributors, and street flushers. By the 1920's, the asphalt distributors had become their primary product. The company earned the Army and Navy "E" award in 1944, for their manufacturing performance during World War II.

Other businesses with close ties to railroad transportation in Oregon were those of local piano makers. Rice-Macey Company was the first piano maker in town. Then Frederick G. Jones began constructing pianos and took over the Ric-Macey factory. Jones expanded its facilities and became the Schiller Piano Company, producing and shipping 5,000 pianos annually. Eventually, there was a merger with the Cable Company, and the piano manufacturer became known as Schiller-Cable. After another iteration as the Conover-Cable Company, the business ultimately became part of the Aeolian Corporation, a well-known maker of pianos and organs.

National Silica photo

The National Silica Company was headquartered in Oregon; a railroad spur to the company was built in 1909. During World War I, about 20 to 25 railcars of sand and flint were shipped daily by the company.

In 1911, the Carnation Company opened a milk condensing plant in Oregon; they depended greatly on distribution of their product by railroad.

Others, including shops, lumber yards, farmers, and people of Oregon and nearby surrounding towns depended on the railroad for shipping and receiving of manufactured goods, construction materials, grains, livestock, packages, and mail.

Oregon's dinky crew was kept quite busy moving mailcars between the local yard and the Kable Printing Company in Mount Morris; all of Kable's printed magazines were being shipped by rail.