This Week in History

Posted 7/15/18

Hardwick Stove Co. and The Maytag Co. have agreed in principle for Hardwick to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Maytag. Terms were not disclosed pending ratification of a definitive agreement by the companies’ boards of directors. Hardwick, located in Cleveland, is a privately held, 101-year-old manufacturer and marketer of gas and electric ranges and microwave ovens. Maytag, headquartered in Newton, Iowa, is a leading producer of home laundry appliances, dishwashers and food waste disposers, as well as a major factor in the commercial self-service laundry field. The companies produce no competing products. With the merger, Hardwick would continue as a separate entity with no changes planned for its personnel, products or facilities. The merged sales volume would represent a significant addition to Maytag’s current volume. The announcement was made by both companies today, but officials did not further elaborate on the merger. Hardwick Stove is Cleveland’s oldest industry, having been established in 1879. It is one of America’s largest range manufacturing plants. The sprawling Hardwick plant includes about three quarters of a million square feet or over 15 acres of manufacturing area. In a report issued during its 100th year anniversary in 1979, Hardwick said that during its century of existence it had manufactured about 9,750,000 stoves, going to all 50 states of the union, to Canada, Central and South America and to many other foreign nations. The history of Hardwick is tied closely to the history of Cleveland and Bradley County. Today’s vast complex is a far cry from the little backyard foundry started in 1879. In that year, Christopher L. Hardwick and his eight sons (and four daughters) were making a remarkable recovery from the War Between the States that had impoverished them all. No stranger to hard work, though his father was a well-to-do hotel owner and one of the original commissioners of the town of Cleveland, Christopher Hardwick went to work in a local brickyard at the age of 15 and helped to build the first brick house in Cleveland. A farmer and later a merchant in Cleveland, he was on his way to a modest fortune when the guns began to rumble at Fort Sumter. The war left Hardwick penniless. His recovery was rapid. He rebuilt his mercantile business, educated his sons and by the late 1870s had accumulated enough capital to expand his business ventures. He helped two of his sons, Joseph H. Hardwick and John M. Hardwick, get a start building cast iron cookstoves in a small building in the backyard of their home. The original site is part of the Hardwick complex today. By the late 1880s, Hardwick reported a capital of $10,000 and was producing 12 stoves per day. The first large expansion of the plant was made in 1913. By 1927, the company reported 200 employees out of a total of 2,200 in the city of Cleveland. During the year 1929, it was reported that Cleveland then boasted 30 industries and the Hardwick Stove Co. was the largest foundry in the South devoted exclusively to the manufacture of stoves. In its 1979 anniversary report, Hardwick Stove was employing more than 1,000 persons and manufacturing more than 250,000 stoves annually.

This item is available in full to subscribers

This Week in History

Posted

1980

Hardwick Stove Company and The Maytag Company have agreed in principle for Hardwick to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Maytag.

Terms were not disclosed, pending ratification of a definitive agreement by their boards of directors. Hardwick, located in Cleveland, is a privately held, 101-year-old manufacturer and marketer of gas and electric ranges and microwave ovens.

Maytag, headquartered in Newton, Iowa, is a leading producer of home laundry appliances, dishwashers and food waste disposers, as well as a major factor in the commercial self-service laundry field.

They produce no competing products. With the merger, Hardwick would continue as a separate entity with no changes planned for its personnel, products or facilities. The merged sales volume would represent a significant addition to Maytag’s current volume. The announcement was made by both companies today, but officials did not further elaborate on the merger.

Hardwick Stove is Cleveland’s oldest industry, having been established in 1879. It is one of America’s largest range manufacturing plants. The sprawling Hardwick plant includes about three quarters of a million square feet or over 15 acres of manufacturing area.

In a report issued during its 100th year anniversary in 1979, Hardwick said that during its century of existence it had manufactured about 9,750,000 stoves, going to all 50 states of the union, to Canada, Central and South America and to many other foreign nations. The history of Hardwick is tied closely to the history of Cleveland and Bradley County.

Today’s vast complex is a far cry from the little backyard foundry started in 1879. In that year, Christopher L. Hardwick and his eight sons (and four daughters) were making a remarkable recovery from the War Between the States that had impoverished them all. No stranger to hard work, though his father was a well-to-do hotel owner and one of the original commissioners of the town of Cleveland, Christopher Hardwick went to work in a local brickyard at the age of 15 and helped to build the first brick house in Cleveland.

A farmer and later a merchant in Cleveland, he was on his way to a modest fortune when the guns began to rumble at Fort Sumter. The war left Hardwick penniless. His recovery was rapid. He rebuilt his mercantile business, educated his sons and by the late 1870s had accumulated enough capital to expand his business ventures. He helped two of his sons, Joseph H. Hardwick and John M. Hardwick, get a start building cast iron cookstoves in a small building in the backyard of their home. The original site is part of the Hardwick complex today.

By the late 1880s, Hardwick reported a capital of $10,000 and was producing 12 stoves per day. The first large expansion of the plant was made in 1913. By 1927, the company reported 200 employees out of a total of 2,200 in the city of Cleveland. During the year 1929, it was reported that Cleveland then boasted 30 industries and the Hardwick Stove Co. was the largest foundry in the South devoted exclusively to the manufacture of stoves.

In its 1979 anniversary report, Hardwick Stove was employing more than 1,000 staff, and manufacturing more than 250,000 stoves annually.

———

The AutoMatic TelePhone, a telephone/answering set that will enable you to “never miss another phone call” is now available in Cleveland from South Central Bell, the company recently announced.

Designed for business and residence customers alike, the AutoMatic Telephone is “more than a telephone answering device,” according to M.G. White, district manager for the telephone company. White said the instrument combines a telephone with a device that automatically records messages and gives callers a personalized, taped response 24 hours.

“The AutoMatic TelePhone records up to 20 minutes of incoming messages,” said White, “and that 20 minutes may be used for many short messages, or for one 20 minute message. Since there’s no time limit for each message, callers cannot be hung-up in mid-sentence.”

He said the AutoMatic TelePhone comes in rotary and push button dialing models and is also offered in an adjunct model for attachment to an existing telephone set. “The AutoMatic TelePhone also comes in remote and non-remote models,” according to White.

“The remote model enables someone using a special pocket coder to play back their recorded messages from any other telephone in the world. The coder also permits its user to erase old messages from a remotely located telephone.” He said the AutoMatic TelePhone is convenient for someone who is either unable or too busy to take calls personally, or whose office or business is temporarily closed.

Available in black, and trimmed with a brushed aluminum faceplate and a walnut finished base, the new set is modular-that is, it can easily be plugged into an existing modular jack in a home.

———

A bizarre finale ended races at the Cleveland Speedway Saturday night when a Chattanooga man jumped into an idle stock car and drove it into a crowd of bystanders, injuring at least 13.

Police say they’re not sure the motivation for the incident, but say they’ve arrested a 26-year-old Chattanooga man, Marion “Mike” McDaris. and charged him with 13 counts of assault with an auto with the intent to commit murder. McDaris is being held responsible for injuries to at least 13 bystanders, including one nine-year-old Cleveland girl still in serious condition, and two Bradley County officers who were clustered around the winners’ circle at the Cleveland Speedway Saturday night near 12:30 a.m.

Reportedly, Shelly Garland, daughter of Freddie and Helen Garland of Westside Drive in Cleveland, is listed in “guarded” condition at Bradley Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit this morning after undergoing several hours of surgery during Sunday’s early morning hours.

Witnesses said McDaris revved through the crowd and smashed into a track wall, coming to rest after striking approximately 20 persons. Three Bradley County police officers, working off duty at the raceway Saturday night, said a crowd of at least 200 fans were milling about in the track’s winner’s circle when “we looked around and all of a sudden he was just ploughing through the crowd,” said Deputy Steve Walker. “As many of us as we could got out of the way, but it all happened so fast…”

Sgt. Charlie Scoggins and Lt. Bob Dunn of the Sheriff’s Office said they were also on duty at the racetrack Saturday night.

Scogginssaid , “We just looked around and saw the car coming…it seemed like he slowed down as he was coming around the curve, then started going faster and faster.” Officer Andy Lockhart of the Sheriff’s Office, one of several investigators working on the case Saturday, said McDaris had jumped into a car owned by R.F. Williford, a Chattanooga contractor.

Reportedly, it had been driven to a first-place win in its class by John Jones. It was during the final award ceremonies in the 100 Classic Roadway Race, when a crowd of fans streamed onto the track’s straightaway area, that the unexpected occurred, officers said.

Lt. Bob Dunn noted that after the crash, “the crowd got almost like a mob…it could have been a riot situation, but we got it under control before anyone could get to McDaris.”

Sgt. Scoggins and Deputy Walker rushed to the smashed race car and McDaris before angered fans could get to him, shielding him from blows and screams as they attempted to take him into custody.

Hundreds of the some 2,000 fans attending Saturday night were heard screaming angrily at the 26-year-old and witnesses told Banner reporters one group of the crowd attempted to set the race car on fire with McDaris still inside it. Later that night, after McDaris was treated at a local hospital for slight injuries and then transported back to Bradley Memorial for a blood alcohol test, “they were still looking for him,” related Deputy Steve Suits, who was assigned to gather names of the more than 13 victims.

Suits said still angry members of the raceway crowd hunted Suits down at the hospital, but county officers and assisting city policemen were there to secure the hospital area. Officer Andy Lockhart said that blood alcohol tests will be important in upcoming court hearings for McDaris.

“That will determine whether he was intoxicated or under the influence of some other type of drug. We really can’t say for sure right now.”

Several ambulance crews from the local emergency service were kept busy after the crash Saturday night, ultimately transporting nine patients to Bradley Memorial Hospital and at least two to Cherokee Park. Lockhart said “several others were slightly hurt but refused treatment, and I’ve gotten unverified reports this morning that one victim has been admitted to East Ridge Hospital. There could possibly be more counts filed before it’s all over,” he said.

Other persons whose injuries were made known to officers included 17-year-old James Whisinant, who was still being treated at Bradley Memorial Hospital this morning. Other victims were Jo Ann Nelson, Charlene Walker, Peggie Lowry, Donna Goff, Gary Crawford, Jimmy Smith and Patricia and Eddie Hyde.

Off duty Cleveland Police Department Sgt. Wesley Dilbeck, watching the races with his family Saturday night, said he saw the crash from a raceway grandstand. He said the track was filled with bystanders as driver Ronnie Johnson accepted a first-place award. “There was Ronnie Johnson’s car at one side of the track and another one being torn down after somebody protested it in another race,” Dilbeck said. “All of a sudden No. 88 came from the north end of the pits and made a turn toward the flagstand. He seemed to slow down when he came around the curve, but then it was just like he floorboarded it like he was in a race.”

Dilbeck said he estimated the race car must have been going around 40 to 50 mph. Lt. Dunn later said McDaris had managed to hop into the idle race car while its driver went to collect his pay for the race. He said McDaris apparently told nearby workers he was going to help load the car onto a trailer.

Charlie Hicks, a Georgetown resident and spectator at the races early Sunday, said “I’ve been coming here for a long time and I’ve never seen anything like this before…” Another fan, who declined to be identified, said “he just sort of went crazy…maybe it was deliberate and maybe it wasn’t but either way this is a terrible thing… a terrible thing.”

———

Rescue workers and a state helicopter crew were combing the ridges of Polk County’s McFarland Mountain today in search of a small single engine plane see going down in the Smith Creek area late Monday afternoon, authorities said.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter from Nashville joined ground crews this morning to search a 15 to 20 mile radius, Polk County Civil Defense Director Bill Calhoun said, and rescue parties were to continue scouting throughout the heat of the day. Rescue squads traversed on foot through the area until after 10 p.m. Monday night when darkness and intense humidity forced them to stop.

A search of the rough terrain area was called near 5 p.m. Monday when fishermen spotted a small aircraft grazing some trees in the Smith Creek area. Polk County Ambulance Service Dispatcher Dennis Talley said he received a call at about 4:45 p.m. from an unidentified individual who said he heard a “mayday” being called by the aircraft.

Talley said Monday night that several other people in the area, mostly fishermen, reported they saw the plane go down. Polk County authorities have made contact with the Federal Aviation Administration, learning the downed plane has been identified as one which left a Nashville airport Monday en route to Spartanburg, S.C.

The small plane is reportedly a privately owned craft and is believed to be carrying two women and a man. Officials say they’ll withhold positive identification of the passengers until the plane is sighted.

CD Director Bill Calhoun, in a telephone interview with The Banner from the Chilhowee Gliderport late this morning, said he’s expecting additional scouting aircraft to arrive from the Civil Air Patrol if needed. He said about 30 rescue workers had arrived this morning to help search for the plane. The searchers include men from the Sequoah Trails Rescue Squad, the Greasy Creek Rescue Squad, Bradley County and Polk County Civil Defense, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the U.S. Forestry Service.

Captain Glenn Picklesimer of the Sequoah Trails squad, directing his men in searching Monday night, said rescue efforts are going to be difficult and time consuming. “It’s rough country out there and a lot of it.” He and his men left for the night around 10 p.m. Monday after they said it was “just about hopeless” to search in the dark.

This morning, Bill Calhoun said even air crews are having a hard time with visibility in the thickly vegetated area. “There’s sort of like a smog haze over the mountain, it’s so humid,” Calhoun said. He also said workers were scouting in over 100 degree weather as of 11 a.m. today “and it’s going to get hotter.”

———

“Cry of the Owl,” an historical drama reliving the plight of the Cherokee Indians in the 1800s, will premiere in the amphitheater of Red Clay State Archeological Area on Friday at 8 p.m. The drama, with a 40-member volunteer cast, was written by Col. James F. Corn and adapted and dramatized with music by Phyllis Whitehead.

Under the direction of Connie Cox, Bradley Central drama teacher, the production will be seen Friday and Saturday evenings, July 18 through August 2. Col. Corn, who is credited with preserving the historical site where Red Clay is now located, will portray the actual cry of the owl during the production.

The musical dramatization relives the years in 1800 when the Cherokee Indians lived and conducted government affairs on the Red Clay site in Bradley County. It depicts the removal of the Cherokees when they began the infamous “Trail of Tears” to Oklahoma. John Wilkinson, who once played the role of a chief in the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” is narrator for “Cry of the Owl.”

Red Clay opened last year and since that time has seen over 80,000 visitors tour the park. The welcome center features a theater which offers a film describing the purpose of the state park — to pay tribute to the Cherokee Indians who once lived on the land. “Cry of the Owl,” is the state’s newest outdoor historical drama in the state’s newest park. It marks this area’s first season theatre outdoor production and is hoped to become an annual summer performance at Red Clay.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE