Barnes Manufacturing’s Innovative Designs Earned Patents 100 Years Ago

100 years ago, local inventor and manufacturing expert J. C. Gorman started the year off right by patenting two new inventions for the Barnes Manufacturing Company.

The Barnes Manufacturing Company was started by T. R. Barnes in 1895 for the manufacture of water pumps. In the early days of the company, the facilities were relatively simple: a foundry building for preparing the metal and a machining and painting shop for shaping and putting final details on pumps and other parts. Over time the operation became more complex and expanded its purview into enameled ware and a broader array of pumps, including designing its own schemas for new kinds of pumps.

A group of workers, likely in Barnes Manufacturing. Sherman Room Photo File 480.

By 1917, one James Carville* Gorman had begun working for Barnes Manufacturing. Apparently quickly finding place as a leader in developing innovative designs, Gorman received his first patent for the Barnes Manufacturing Company in 1919, for a diaphragm pump. That same year, when the Mansfield Daily Shield wrote a profile expounding the methods and processes of the Barnes facilities, Gorman was listed as the mechanical engineer for the company [1]. The plans and patterns for the pumps and operations of the facility, including his patented designs, were important and valuable enough that in 1908 Barnes had built a fireproof building specifically to house its patterns, which were under the care of Anthony Fuessner. Continuing his climb in the company, in 1922, Gorman was elected as a member of the board of directors after the death of a previous member, John Krause [2].

Apparently undeterred by the added responsibility of becoming one of the directors, Gorman received two patents for his designs in January of 1923. The Mansfield News announced that patent was granted “on a convertible power diaphragm and plunger trench pump of unique design. This new pump is much more simple and practical for draining excavations, trenches and the like, and is extensively used by bridge and sewer contractors”[3]. Within two months, Gorman had received another patent, this time for “a convertible open spout and plunger force pump” [4].

The Barnes Manufacturing Company closed due to bankruptcy in 1933 (although it would re-incorporate in 1934 as Barnes, Inc.), but Gorman was not yet finished with the field of pump manufacturing. He partnered with H. E. Rupp to create the Gorman Rupp Company, which was incorporated on April 20th, 1934 and manufactured power pumps [5]. The first factory space was in Alta, but the offices were at 330 East First Street in Mansfield.

Barnes Manufacturing Company Facilities Over Time

Click through the following galleries to compare how the Barnes Manufacturing facilities looked in 1897 and 1921.



*Carville was spelled several different ways in different sources. Carville, Carvil, Carval, etc.


  1. Mansfield Daily Shield, 25 May 1919
  2. Mansfield News, Jan 11 1922, page 3
  3. Mansfield News, 08 January 1923, page 12
  4. Mansfield News, 26 February 1923, page 18
  5. Mansfield News-Journal, 20 April 1934, page 8

A Goddess is Crowned in Mansfield: The Feast of Ceres

115 years ago around this time of year, as October became November, Mansfield was the scene of a unique and spectacular multi-day event called the “Feast of Ceres.” The idea of “a colossal exposition of the industries and possibilities of Mansfield” was the brainchild of the Mansfield Mercantile Association early in 1907, and it took months of labor and innumerable people to plan and execute, beginning with involving the whole community in choosing just the right name for the grand event [1].

Naming a Festival

The Mercantile Association decided to host a contest to determine the name of the planned festival, its “hope and pride.” As advertising went, this was apparently a good strategy, because name suggestions came “flooding” in to the offices all in search of the perfect name that would earn the recognition of the Mercantile Association. None of the unsuccessful suggestions have survived, but the winning name “Feast of Ceres” was sent in by one Miss Anna Snyder of Wood Street, who was a teacher in Mansfield. Miss Snyder won the ten dollar prize for her suggestion, and her suggestion was praised for its appropriateness in the newspapers:

“The name is particularly appropriate for the great street fair to be held in Mansfield next fall. The name is in honor of Ceres, the goddess of harvests, loved and honored by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ceres was the daughter of Saturn and Rhea and dwelt in Olympus till she was incensed by the abduction of her two daughters. She wore a garland of corn [grain] and held a sceptre in her hand. When the people received her hospitably she smiled on them and brought them bounteous harvests. The Mansfield Mercantile Association will erect a temple in which they will have an altar where they will lay their costly sacrifices and pray the goddess, Ceres, to send a bountiful harvest and a big crowd to the fair.”

Mansfield Daily Shield, 23 May 1907, page 2.

Different images of the goddess were created and used by advertisers around Mansfield to tie into the theme of the festival, like this depiction of the goddess from an ad by the A. C. Lantz Company on Fourth Street.

Mansfield Daily Shield, First Feast of Ceres Edition 26 October 1907, page P04.

The Festivities

The Feast of Ceres involved many different opportunities for revelry. The highlight of the Feast was to be the industrial parade, featuring the manufacturers and businesses in the city and county, but other activities planned included a band tournament, a horse parade, a parade of the German societies of Mansfield, free shows with acrobats and trapeze performances, and a masked carnival.

Mansfield Daily Shield, 08 October 1907, page 2.

Black and white photograph showing Main Street in Mansfield. Large crowds of people line both sides of the street, some even standing on the balcony of the Foresters building, while a parade passes through the street The parade includes people on horses and hors-drawn wagons.
Parade of the Feast of Ceres. Sherman Room Photo File.

The Goddess is Crowned

The biggest event at the Feast of Ceres was the crowning of the goddess, who was selected by popular vote. Several Lutheran pastors were “bitterly opposed” to the crowning, and published a resolution that the crowning was “heathenish in its whole bearing and utterly out of keeping with this enlightened age and the name of this city of churches” [2]. Despite the objections, a lavish ceremony was planned to begin the final afternoon of the Feast. It was intended that the queen would be paraded to Central Park with her maids of honor and flower girls. In Central Park, there was a large platform that she would be enthroned upon, and she would be serenaded by 400 schoolchildren singing harvest and patriotic songs.

Unfortunately, as one newspaper put it, “the goddess of rain and the Goddess of the Feast clashed and the latter was vanquished,” and the grand reveal of the Goddess was dampened by rain. Even though the expected thronging crowds did not appear, the procession and performances were held, and in what was apparently a great surprised, the Goddess who had won the vote was revealed to be Miss Nellie Lawrence of Daisy Street, “one of the city’s handsomest young women” [3].

After the Feast

Although there was speculation that the Feast of Ceres would become an annual event, it was never held again. This may have been a result of the timing. In 1908, the city was very busy with planning the celebration of the city’s centennial. For whatever reason, the Feast of Ceres was a monumental event that occupies a unique space in Mansfield history, as a grand celebration of the manufacturing and industry of the city and county.


  1. Mansfield Daily Shield, 26 October 1907, page 2
  2. Mansfield Daily Shield, 28 October 1907, page 2
  3. Mansfield Daily Shield, 08 October 1907, page 2


Newspapers from the Feast of Ceres

The Baxter Stove Company Comes to Mansfield

Thomas Baxter first arrived in Ohio in 1843, being persuaded to move from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by his friend, grocery store clerk, Charles Atwell.  Upon his arrival in Hanover Township, Columbiana County, he started a tin and stove business.  He later sold that business to Vineca & Pritchard and moved to Salem, Ohio in 1859.[1]  In 1867, with the firm Baxter, Boyle & Co., Thomas Baxter started the Perry stove works in Salem, Ohio.  The company was incorporated in 1870 as the Perry Stove Company with $60,000 in capital.  On August 12, 1872, a disastrous fire would destroy the plant.  It was rebuilt that year and added to over the following years.[2]  This would not be the last time fire played a role in Baxter’s business affairs.  Thomas and his wife, Isabella, had 9 children, all boys, while in Columbiana County: John (b. 1841), James (b. 1843), Robert (b. 1845), William (b. 1847), Thomas (b. 1850), Emmett (b. 1853), Cassius (b. 1856), Edwin (b. 1858), and Asberry (b. 1860).

Around 1882 the Perry Stove Works began looking to move their operation to a city where there would be room to expand.  Canton, Ohio was considered and the company requested four acres of land be donated near the railroad[3]  This never materialized and Mansfield, Ohio jumped at the opportunity.  On March 8, 1882, a letter arrived in Mansfield from the Perry Stove Works offering a proposition.  If the city could furnish $3,000 or $4,000 and 3 or 4 acres of land, the company would move to this city and begin operations as soon as possible.  A few hours later, a telegram was sent to the company saying that this could be arranged.[4]  Two weeks later, John and Emmett Baxter arrived in the city to check out the available land.  They were impressed with what they saw[5] and returned to Salem to make a decision.  In August of 1882, John, this time with brother Asberry, or Berry as he was called, visited Mansfield again to select a site.  A site on the Hedges property was selected and donated by the Hedges’s heirs to the company.[6]  The works would be located on Bloom Street, today East Fifth, past the tracks once the street was extended.  In September construction began.

The entire Baxter family, minus brother’s Robert and William who died in 1861 and 1873 respectively, would move to Mansfield to work for the new Baxter Stove Company, which was incorporated May 31, 1883, with a capital stock of $60,000.[7]  Thomas, head of the family, remained president of the company; Berry, vice president; John, secretary; Emmett, treasurer; Edwin, superintendent; Cassius, traveling salesman; James, foreman of the warehouse, and Thomas Jr. was assistant foreman of the moulding room.  About 75 or 80 men were initially employed, many of whom followed the Baxters from Salem.  Moulders would make $3 to $4.50 per day, mounters $2 to $3.50, pattern makers $2 to $3, and other laborers $1.25 to $2 per day.[8]  In August of 1883, the company sent its first shipment, containing 62 stoves, to Fort Wayne, Indiana.[9]

Fires would continue to plague the factory.  On Thanksgiving Day 1890, the first occurred and another happened in 1893.  John L. Baxter, then head of the company after his father’s death in 1892, rebuilt the factory after the disastrous 1899 fire, only to have another one nearly destroy the factory in 1910.  They never fully recovered from the 1910 fire and, by 1916. the decision was made to close the plant.  Two years later Westinghouse would move into the former Baxter factory.

To read more about the 1899 fire check out this previous blog post.


[1] History of Hanover, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1804-1908, p. 76-77.

[2] History of Columbiana County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, edited by William B. McCord. P. 142.

[3] The Stark County Democrat. [volume], March 02, 1882, Page 5

[4] Page  6 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, March 9th, 1882

[5] Page  6 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, March 23rd, 1882

[6] Page  3 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, August 31st, 1882

[7] Page  3 of Ohio Liberal, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Wednesday, June 6th, 1883

[8] Page  2 of Richland Shield and Banner, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday, August 4th, 1883

[9] Page  3 of Richland Shield and Banner, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday, August 18th, 1883

The Davey Brothers Arrive at the Steel Mill

The Davey name was well established in the steel industry before a group of 8 brothers arrived in Mansfield, Ohio in 1914.  Their father, John Davey, began his apprenticeship in the mills of Wales around the age of 18. When his sons came of age, the elder Davey would make them his helpers and teach them the trade.  In 1888 Davey came to America and entered the mills here.  A short time later his family joined him and his oldest sons, who were already skilled laborers, entered the mills as well.  They were first employed at McKeesport, Pennsylvania at the Demmler Bros. Sheet Mill.  After six years, they went to Niles, Ohio working for the Falcon Tin Plate Co.  William H. Davey would return to McKeesport to become superintendent, with a substantial pay cut, but he felt the experience would be well worth it.   William would eventually go to Canton, then Massillon, Ohio where he became associated with A. B. Clark and helped with the construction of the Massillon Rolling Mill Co., where he remained until 1914.[1]  It was in Massillon where all the brothers reunited after working in different mills and talks of opening their own plant became serious.


The Davey Brothers in the Mansfield News, 24 SEP 1914

On June 18, 1914, John Davey Sr. died after spending 47 of his 65 years in the steel business.  It was his wish that his family would stay close and work together for the common goal of owning their own plant.  It wasn’t long before the dream was realized and, on September 24, 1914, it was announced in the Mansfield News that W. H. Davey and brothers were to purchase the former National Rolling Mill Co.  They had the support of the Chamber of Commerce, in particular secretary Edwin G. Slough, who was determined that the Davey brothers should run the Steel plant in Mansfield.  The brothers mortgaged their homes and scraped together every cent they could.  Their mother, though not thrilled with the idea of being located in Mansfield, risked her last cent as well.  The National Rolling Mill Co. had gone bankrupt a few years prior and was currently owned by the American Steel Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The plant was originally built in 1908-09 and formally opened in June of 1909 as the National Sheet Steel Co.  A few months later, the company was reorganized as the National Rolling Mill Co.[2]

davey brothers1918

From The Iron Trade Review, Vol. 62, 1918

The brothers were involved in every aspect of the operation.  Their father said they should “know [their] trade thoroughly,” and at the dedication ceremony of the Mansfield Sheet and Tin Plate Co., the brothers took their stations at the mill and put the first heated steel bar through the rollers.  The business expanded quickly and a year later it was a “rapidly growing concern that is making good far faster than even the most sanguine of its backers anticipated.”[3]  In September of 1916, it was decided to expand the mill.  The company sold $300,000 in stock certificates to raise money.  The stocks were quickly secured by residents, with many making this their first venture into investing.  Construction began the following year of a new building which was designed by one of the youngest brothers, Frank Austin Davey.  At this time, William H. Davey was president and general manager of the plant, Albert I. Davey was secretary, and Samuel Davey was assistant general manager.  John Davey was superintendent of the old plant and Harold Davey took charge of the new plant.  Frank A. Davey was the construction engineer and James and Thomas Davey were employed in the hot mill department.[4]

hot millcoldroll

Tragedy struck on October 17, 1918, when Thomas John Davey, the oldest brother, died of pneumonia after influenza.  The firm continued to grow and, by the end of 1919, they had done $20,000,000 in business and were expected to do $10,000,000 in 1920 alone.  The company wasn’t only lucrative for the brothers; they were also pouring one and half million dollars into the local economy in wages to their employees.  It was said the brothers were healthy, vigorous, and proud of their skills.  They never drank or smoked and demanded respect, but were still approachable.  During the steel strike of 1919, the Mansfield plant continued in operation without losing a single man, while other mills closed.  This speaks highly of the character of the brothers and their ability to settle grievances.[5]


The plant continued to grow and, in December or 1927, a merger was completed involving six plants in Mansfield, Ashtabula, Niles, and Cleveland.  W. H. Davey remained president of the new corporation, which was named Empire Steel.[6]  Davey would resign as president of Empire Steel on July 18, 1930, but remained as chairman of the board of directors in an advisory capacity.  A few months later, Davey would buy the Falcon Tin Plate Co. in Canton, Ohio.  The mill was renamed the Canton Tinplate Company and was headed by William with his brother Samuel as vice president.  A few years later in 1933, W. H. Davey purchased the Empire Rolling Mills plant in Cleveland and renamed it the W. H. Davey Steel Company.[7]  It was around this time that William and his family moved north settling in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  They sold their Mansfield mansion dubbed “Gwenwilmar,” the first home built in Woodland at the intersection of Marion Avenue and Woodhill Rd. William would retire in 1937 and would die in his Shaker Heights home on March 3, 1960, after an eight-month illness.[8]  William and his wife Gwendolyn are interred in Knollwood Mausoleum in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.  William’s parents, five of his brothers (Samuel, John, Albert, Harold, and Thomas), and his four sisters (Elizabeth, Thurza, Agnes, and Mary) are all buried in Mansfield Cemetery.  James Garfield Davey was buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, and Austin is buried in Florida.


[1] How Eight Brothers Run Big Steel Mill. The Iron Trade Review, Volume 62, Penton Pub., 1918, p. 52-56.
[2] Directory of Iron and Steel Works of the United States and Canada, Volume 18, American Iron and Steel Institute, 1916, p. 224.
[3] The Mansfield News.  29 NOV 1915, p. 6
[4] How Eight Brothers Run Big Steel Mill. The Iron Trade Review, Volume 62, Penton Pub., 1918, p. 52-56.
[5] Mother Davey – And Her Seven Sons, The American Magazine, August 1920, p. 66.
[6] The Mansfield News, 29 DEC 1927, p. 1.
[7] The Mansfield News-Journal, 04 NOV 1933, p. 1.
[8] The Mansfield News-Journal, 05 MAR 1960, p. 7.