Places in Licking County
The Wehrle Stove Co.
Compiled from various sources at the Newark Public Library System, Newark, Ohio, March 2002 [See sources below]
The Wehrle Stove Company was at one time the largest industry in Licking County. In fact, one historian has called it the largest industry in the world. It employed up to 3000 workers and produced sixty-five styles of stoves in three sizes. It cranked out between 900-1400 stoves per day. The company also manufactured other kitchen utensils and eighteen models of fire-proof office safes.
The company was founded in 1883 by immigrant, J. C. Wehrle and John Moser. It acquired the Atlas Safe Company of Fostoria, Ohio in 1904 and moved that operation to Newark, Ohio. It changed its name to Newark Stove Company in 1939 and was purchased by Sears in 1944. Sears sold it to Roper Corp. in 1964, and Roper closed its doors in 1975.
The Newark Public Library has some information on the company from printed sources [below], but no specifics on their products. You may wish to contact the industrial museum in Newark, called, The Works, at 55 South 1st Street, Newark, OH 43055 [740-349-9277]. It has some old catalogs. It also has a web site at www.attheworks.org/. The Licking County Historical Society may also have additional information, at 6 North 6th Street, Newark, OH 43055 [740-345-4898], and a web site at www.lchsohio.org/index.html.
1. Centennial History of the City of Newark and Licking County, Ohio. Vol. 1, by E. M. P. Brister, 1909, pp. 523-524.
2. In the Works (newsletter of the Institute of Industrial Technology [now called The Works], Winter 1998), 2 pp.
3. "The Remarkable Wehrle's," in the Licking County Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer 1991. 3 pp.
4. "Wehrle was once the world's largest industry," Newark Advocate (newspaper), 22 Nov. 1978, written by Licking Co. Historical Society. 1 p.
5. "World-famous stoves; Wehrle Company helped to shape Newark history," Newark Advocate, 6 March 1988. 2 pp.
6. Clipping of photo of workmen in early 1900's from the Newark Advocate, 6 July 1994. 1 p.
7. Clipping of photo of stove, in the Newark Advocate, 14 May 1998. 1 p.
8. Clipping of photo of factory from a distance along the canal, in the Newark Advocate, 25 Nov. 1998. 1 p.
9. "Former stove foundry will be leveled," Newark Advocate, 3 Oct. 1996. 2 pp.
10. Clipping of photo of factory after a 1909 fire, in the Newark Advocate, 25 May 1995. 1 p.
11. Clipping of photo of factory from a 1907 postcard, in the Newark Advocate, 29 May 1997. 1 p.
12. Clipping of photo of a postcard sketch of factory, in the Newark Advocate, 2 Nov. 1996. 1 p.
13. "Demolition crews wreck former stove works plant," Newark Advocate, 5 Nov. 1996. 1 p.