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THE ALBION MALLEABLE IRON COMPANY
The Albion Malleable Iron Company was founded in December 1888 by Warren S. Kessler (1845-1933) and a group of twenty investors. It began operations in the former Gale Manufacturing Company complex located on this site and originally produced castings for agricultural implements. Assisting Kessler in the operations here was his stepson, Harry B. Parker (1871-1936).
Ten years later the Malleable purchased 67 acres of land along North Albion Street and erected new facilities there. The Malleable began producing castings for the automotive industry in 1902 and business greatly increased. The Albion plant became one of the largest of its kind and produced castings for millions of automobiles though the years.
Hundreds of workers from Europe were recruited to work at the Malleable before World War I and a "foreign settlement" was established on the west end of town. Beginning in November 1916, black workers from the South were also recruited and placed in company housing here. Mexican workers were likewise recruited in the 1940s. These and other groups established their own churches, businesses and homes as they became assimilated into the Albion community and helped give Albion its ethnic mix.
As a gift to the City of Albion, Harry B. Parker donated the land for this City Hall in 1933 on the site where the Malleable had begun operations years earlier. It opened in 1936.
During the mid-20th century the Malleable was headed by Collins Carter (1906-1983) who served as president beginning in 1938 and vice president Thomas T. Lloyd (1912-1978). Both men believed that industry should be involved in community life and actively participated for the betterment of Albion. The company was merged with the Hayes Corporation in Jackson in 1967 and became known as the Hayes-Albion Corporation. In 1986 it was acquired by Harvard Industries and operated until it closed on Friday, June 28, 2002. The Albion Malleable Iron Company was one of the communityıs largest employers for 114 years.
This aerial view of the Albion Malleable Iron Company was taken in the early 1950s. The scene faces west looking towards N. Albion Street. On the left is the new finishing and shipping facility that was erected in 1951. On the far right is the site of former company housing that had just been removed. It is presently the site of McAuliffe Park.
This photo hung in the Malleable offices for many years and was acquired for the City of Albion by Mayor William M. Wheaton, a long-time Malleable employee. This picture was dedicated and hung at Albion City Hall on June 26, 2003.
This page last updated 6/19/02.
All art work and text © 2003 Maggie LaNoue / Albion Design.
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