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Printing Receipts From the Archives

Welcome to this week’s bill’s History Corner. This is the place where I talk about aspects of the business that we all lovingly refer to as the Coppes factory. Does that love come from a family member having worked at the factory, or maybe you have one of those wonderful DUTCH KITCHENETS that made Nappanee famous. Or possibility you lived close enough that you could hear the factory whistle morning, noon, and night.

Warsaw Is just down the road from Nappanee. In 1881, Warsaw was also just down the tracks. Wonder which was the faster method to travel to Warsaw in 1881: by train, or horse and buggy? In 1881, J. C. Mellinger ordered two types of cards printed at the R. WILLIAMS & SON, Dr.  -Proprietors-  NORTHERN INDIANIAN STEAM PRINTING HOUSE, INDIANIAN BUILDING, BUFFALO STREET, WARSAW, IND.

The 1st receipt is for “500 Notes (bound)”  (was this like a bound & printed note pad?)  = $3.50.                  

The first receipt is dated Aug. 23, 1881 and also signed Aug. 23, 1881. It reads “Received Payment. Reub (?) Williams & Son  BQW” (a clerk?).  Interestingly, these notes were ordered and paid for the same day. That means that likely the “Notes” were something the printing co. had on hand, maybe made from paper cut-offs that they sold to the general public. Does not seem like the printing co. had time to set up type and then print 500 notes in one day.

How did this transaction take place? Was J. C. Mellinger in Warsaw for some business and stopped at the printing co. and purchased the “Notes” on a whim? In 1881 THE NAPPANEE NEWS was in business with the News Paper and stationary supplies. Why not shop in Nappanee, why go to Warsaw?

The 2nd receipt, shown above, is from 17 days later. On Sept 10, 1881, 500 Postal Cards at $7.00 were ordered. This time the payment received was dated 2 days later, on the 12th. The same “BQW” Signed the receipt. Were the “500 Postal Cards” the stamped postcards that were to become popular around the turn of the century? Also, if they were the printed stamped postcards, who were J. C. Mellinger & Co. going to send them to? Postcards cost one cent to mail in 1881. What, if anything, was printed on the cards? We have not found any such cards on the antique market. Inquiring minds want to know.

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The Kozy-Kitch Cabinet

Hello and welcome to this week’s addition of Bill’s History Corner. Like most of you, I have been working from home, trying to stay safe and not spread the virus. Hope you and your family are safe.

Working from home for me involves spending time searching on the computer. Lately, my main search tool has been Newspapers.com. This is a word search program that will search newspapers from across the country. Old or new, doesn’t make any difference. Luckily, you can limit the search range by states, years and exact newspapers. I have found that this site usually offers a month free trial for new users and after that there is a monthly subscription. Try it out! Search for what the Yankees did in 1939, or the election news in your birth year.

I have been hunting for Coppes advertising from across the country. I have found different stores’ advertising for selling the Napanee Dutch Kitchenets from every state in the Union. The Coppes company supplied the selling stores with newspaper copy ads that the store could then put their own name on. Then I began searching for the earliest advertisements for such a store sale. In 1913-14, the Coppes Bros. & Zook Co. were beginning to spread the newspaper advertising campaign (for Dutch Kitchenets) across Indiana and then spreading farther away from the home area of Nappanee.

You may be aware that we have a list of 65 or so (it’s a growing list at the bottom of our “Date Your Hoosier” page) of other manufacturing companies that produced a kitchen cabinet that can be considered a Hoosier Cabinet. Our definition of a Hoosier Cabinet is a free-standing cabinet with a work surface and lots of storage space.

Another item that I have been searching Newspapers.com for is advertisements from all those other 65 companies. Finding an advertisement would validate their being listed with other companies that made kitchen cabinets. Well, yesterday I found a new company (new to me) from Fort Wayne. What makes this new company the most interesting is the cute names they used. The name of the manufacturing company was The ELECTRIC KITCHENET CO., with the kitchen cabinet they produced called the “KOZY-KITCH”. 

The earliest advertisement for this company was dated 1917, then on the 22th of Dec. 1919, there was a full-page ad in the Fort Wayne Sentinel touting the wonderful opportunity that people could take advantage of by purchasing STOCK in this new proposed company (No buildings yet). The advertisement explained the business plan of the company, how they were going take advantage of the exploding need for kitchen cabinets in new housing and apartment buildings.  Indeed, one of the main selling points from this company was the value of having a KOZY-KITCH  installed in new apartments. Several classified type ads listed apartments having a KOZY-KITCH as a selling point.

That Dec. 22nd, 1919 advertisement said they were planning on producing 15,000 kitchen cabinets per year with a profit of $450,000.00 per year. Wow, what a sales job that was! It’s not clear if a manufacturing building was ever constructed for this company.

Another ad recommended having the cabinets produced on contract with another firm. In 1918 this company was selling “territorial Rights” to “moneyed people only” to promote the KOZY-KITCH  in a Chicago newspaper advertisement.

It seems this company was not too concerned about selling to the individual customer. I found only one advertisement explaining where to view the KOZY-KITCH  in Fort Wayne and no advertisements from stores promoting a sale of the KOZY-KITCH  cabinets. Apparently, the company business plan was to promote the KOZY-KITCH  cabinets to builders of new apartments and new homes. Here are a couple advertisements  that uphold that idea. Notice that some of the KOZY-KITCH units had a built in refrigerator. Coppes and Zook did the same thing for their line of apartment cabinets.  

Another idea promoted by the Electric kitchenet Co. was to rent a KOZY-KITCH cabinet for $2.50 per week, then after eighteen months they would give the cabinet to you: $2.50 per week X 18 months = $180.00. Wonder how many people did that?

The final advertisement I want to show is from 1933. In the South Bend tribune was a notice to dissolve the company. This company lasted approx. 15 years, from 1918 to 1933. Sure would be fun to find one of these KOZY-KITCH cabinets. Wonder if they put their name on the cabinets?

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History Detective Help Wanted

Just wanted to say a quick hello to all my regular readers, those in the West and those back in Pennsylvania. Here is a joke intended to make you smile: Seems an old man, one-room school teacher would always say this to his class about two weeks before Christmas, “ I want to thank those of you who have sent Christmas gifts to my house, I really appreciate them.”

If you read this space on a regular schedule, you know that I enjoy hunting for new discoveries. Well, this one has me stumped. I’ve looked at everything I can think of and then some other stuff just because I didn’t know what else to do.

I purchased this tin nameplate or medallion, (whatever you want to call it) at a local antique store last year. I think it would have been soldered on the Clothing Washing Machine. The most important part is the line MNFD. by J.C. Mellinger of Nappanee, Indiana. You likely remember the J.C. Mellinger name. As a reminder, J.C. was John & Frank Coppes’s brother-in-law. He was married to John & Frank’s older sister Lucinda. J.C. Mellinger was also the sawmill owner that John & Frank first began working with in 1876. Then when the business started to boom, the brothers purchased J.C. Mellinger’s share of the business. We know of some of the jobs that J.C. had after the sawmill business. He worked as a teller at the Farmers & Traders Bank and was a partner in a local brick-making company. I’m speculating that J.C. was looking for a business where he could invest some funds. The Washing Machine Company would explain my idea. I’m just guessing here because I have no information beyond this tin medallion.

So, I’m asking for any help, or suggestions you can offer. Have you ever seen a clothing washing machine with a label like this? I searched the Patents for this date and found nothing related to these names on the label. I searched EBAY to see if anyone was selling a washing machine like this one. I did a Google search, but only found some sites that tell about the old-style hand-powered washing machines and have lists of examples. But this is not what I was looking for. In 1891 the home washing machine was the plunger-type of machine: a long handle on a sheet metal device that was worked up & down in the laundry tub. Seems like there were 100s of different types manufactured.

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Fast Forward

That was last night. As I sat here rereading this story tonight, I thought I may as well give it another shot. This time I tried Google Patents. Typed in Herrington, 1891 and voila, there was the Herrington patent for a CLOTHES-POUNDER. Now why didn’t I think of that before, maybe I did, don’t remember. So, here is a copy of the patent, which is number 460,966.

A portion of the text for this patent reads “In operation, the clothing or other articles to be washed are placed in the tub or suds box employed with the proper quantity of soap or other cleansing agent and the device lowered upon the clothes and vertically reciprocated.”  Don’t you just love the legalese and patent language that people used in the patent descriptions?

More questions. . .

Now the next task is to find out if this “Clothes Pounder” was ever actually manufactured by J.C. Mellinger. Now remember, this business did not necessarily happen in Nappanee. Nappanee is just where J. C. was living, I could see the situation where J.C. Mellinger purchased an ongoing business located in another city. But again, the existence of the name tags indicates that the “Clothes Pounder” likely, may have been produced. Something else to hunt for in antique stores. I just love this job.

During my searching for J.C. Mellinger information, I found this house picture with the caption “J. C. Mellinger House. This was a picture taken by Nappanee’s famous photographer John Keller and now in the Evelyn Lehman Culp Heritage Collection Photograph Collection. Thanks to the Nappanee center. I suppose that is Lucinda (Coppes) Mellinger setting on the porch. Anyone know where this house was located? Thanks for reading see ya next week.

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Site Beautification 1911

Hello and welcome to this week’s Bill’s History Corner. This is the place that we give up the secrets. Ha Ha, just kidding; any secrets we think we know were likely spread during the last century. What we do know, we know by studying the paper trail left by the Coppes factory. Somewhere during the last century, maybe several times, employees did not destroy (as directed) company papers. Rather, they stored them away in an unused area for someone to find in the future. Well, the future is now, and we have found boxes of company papers and company receipts from the approx. years of 1895 to 1920. Everything that the company purchased during those years is recorded in these boxes. I’ve said it before and I want to keep saying it; we owe a huge amount of gratitude to those employees who had the foresight to protect the company history the way they did.

Vaughan Seed Store Catalog

This week I want to discuss the Vaughan Seed Store, Chicago ILL. We know about this because we have found the receipts in those boxes, I was telling you about. The Vaughan Seed Store was massive. They could supply almost anything you could imagine in the plant line. Today there is still a large supply of information on the Internet about the Vaughan Seed Store. The first two scans I want to show you is from the Internet. These are scans from one of the vintage catalogs that Vaughan sent to customers. Color pages of flowers help sell merchandise.

Vaughan Store Receipts

We have several receipts from the Vaughan store during 1908-12. Here are some of the more interesting ones below. The first one is dated Oct. 21, 1911, just about this time of the year. The order was for 12 different types of flowers. I’m thinking these were bulbs to be planted in the fall for blooming in the coming year. I hope I’m correct about that. (I have been corrected, some bulbs, but some must have been live plants) To the left side is a pencil notation that says, “see Marvin” (Coppes). Apparently, Marvin Coppes planned on planting a lot of flowers. I wonder where he put them? By 1911 Marvin was 30 years old and was married for nine years, so likely he and his family had a home of their own. Two of each of these flowers would make a large flower bed.

The 2nd scan I want to show is also for Marvin Coppes but is in the following May of 1912. This receipt is for 1 Bu. (bushel) lawn grass Seed, Chicago Parks —$3.95; also   5 Lbs. White Clover (seed) —-$2.35 ; the third item is 100 LBS. V’s Lawn & Garden Fertilizer  —$3.00.  Looks to me like Marvin is making a new lawn, has he purchased a new home, maybe built a new home in the country?

The next scan I want to show was divided among Marvin, Ivan and Harold Coppes, children of Frank & John Coppes. This receipt is for red raspberry and black raspberry plants; Special offer Grapes; 12 of V’s “Best Hardy Roses”; 2 different Peach trees; three different Cherry trees; and two types of apple trees. I wonder where all these plants were intended for. Sort of gives you a different impression of these men, doesn’t it?

Early Landscaping

The last two pictures I want to show you are from approx. 1910 & 1912. The street in front of the factory was paved with brick, as was Main and the remainder of Market Street in 1909. Soon after this, the Coppes management decided to “beautify” the property. They brought in a Landscape Architect to make plans for the project. The results of that plan are shown in these pictures. First the plants are really small and planted close together and also close to the street. Later the plants (trees) are larger and there are none along the street. What happened?

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Finishing Oak Cabinets with Marietta

Good day, welcome to today’s Bill’s History Corner. We are still sorting through the boxes of receipts from the Coppes factory. I thought this might be interesting for you. Seems that the Coppes company purchased various finish products from the Marietta Paint & Color Company, Marietta, Ohio. This company advertised on their billhead as the Manufactures of PASTE WOOD FILLERS, STAINS & SURFACERS, PREPARED PAINTS, SUPERFINE COLORS, ETC. These receipts are dated 1903 and 1909, the time period when the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. was active.

Filling Oak Lumber

As you can see from this receipt the company ordered “2- Bbls. No. 666 Extra Filler – 750-788 = 1538 LBS.   4 ¾   $73.06”.  For an explanation of what that line means let’s start with the 666 Extra Filler. During these years the C, Z & M co. was producing a huge quantity of OAK furniture. Oak lumber is an open-pore type lumber, as compared to a smooth-pore lumber like Maple. When the company would put on the topcoat clear finish on the oak furniture, the finish would pool into the open pores and the surface would appear uneven and rough. To solve this problem, the company had workers in the finishing department rub “EXTRA FILLER” on the surface and into the pores of the Oak furniture. This “EXTRA FILLER” did exactly as the name implies, it would fill the pores and, when dry, would make a smooth surface for the topcoat application.  

The wood filler that I have used is rather thick, thicker than old paint for example but less thick than a bar of soap. This makes me wonder; in 190, what kind of equipment did they have to move barrels that weighted 788 pounds? Likely it would have been a wooden barrel. Inquiring minds want to know.

Graining Ink

The 2nd scan I want to show you is also from The Marietta Paint & Color Co. dated Sept. 20th, ’09. This receipt is for “5-10 lb. (containers) No1 27– graining Ink — 50 lb. —- $.15/ lb.   = $7.50 with a 2% discount of $.15. ”  During this time period, quartersawn oak furniture was the fashion rage. The Coppes companies were producing oak furniture by the thousands of pieces. In order to highlight the quartersawn oak wood that was used in the furniture, the Coppes finishers brushed on “graining ink.” You can correctly think of the “graining ink” as thin black paint that was carefully applied to enhance the quartersawn look.

I would love to see this done. Did they use small brushes, almost as an artist would paint a picture? Would the finishers ever be bold enough to do the unthinkable and enhance a surface that wasn’t there to begin with? I think that would be called faking it.

Thanks for stopping by, see ya next week.

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The Century-old Mural Uncovered During Our Renovation

I’m sure you have heard it said, “one picture is worth a thousand words.” I want to show you 4 pictures of the factory, two are before demo, and two are after. In the first set of pictures, look for the garage door and small personnel door to the right of the picture. Use the doors as your reference point for these pictures. When I look at these before pictures, I can’t help but think “what were they thinking?”

The next pair of before and after pictures will take more imagination on your part, but trust me, the camera was pointed at the same angle. It helps if you think of each building as a separate box that was placed next to the box/building that was there already. A new brick wall ( on the right) was added where the old building needed to come down. It’s hard to tell that the wall is new with all the old-style windows, but this wall has the front door leading into the bakery and ice cream shop.

The walls to the left were exterior or outside walls (what you would see when inside the buildings). These walls were constructed against the brick exterior walls of the previous building.  These walls blocked the old brick of the building that was behind them. Once the blocking wall was removed it exposed the exterior wall that had the fancy name painted on it. What a find that was!

I suppose there were building codes or at least a standard building practice that determined the way buildings were constructed. I’m thinking fire codes or fire Insurance companies would have insisted on this style of construction.

I’m going to give you a bonus picture. In one of the pictures above you can see the top of a dust collector. The bonus picture is taken a little farther around the building, about where the Quilt garden is now located. This picture was taken during the demolition. You can see the sawdust collector and silo that stored the sawdust (sometimes burned in the boilers, sometimes hauled to the landfill). You can also see the wall to the right that I was describing that blocked the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. painted sign.

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The Mystery of Carrie Birhl and the 115 lb. Ham

Hello and welcome to Bill’s History Corner, where we discuss all things Coppes. This week we are still looking at receipts from the treasure trove of company records. Sometimes we find things that make us scratch our heads and sometimes we find things that make us smile. This is one of those smile items.

I love it when we find personal items; when Frank, John, Albert, Daniel, or Charles did something that is not related to company business. For example, when Dan Zook wanted a speedometer for his fancy new car, he went to Kauffman’s in Nappanee; or if Frank wanted a new suite of clothing, where did he go to purchase it?

The receipts we found this week are for HAMS – yes, the kind of tasty hams that grow on pigs. It seems that the Coppes personelle liked ham. So far, we found ten receipts from the H. H. MYER Co. of Cincinnati, OHIO. H. H. Myers Co. is/was a meatpacking house. PARTRIDGE BRAND is the brand name of their line of products. Here is a postcard picture of the H. H. MYER Co.

The  1st receipt I want to show you, dated 8-31-1911, is addressed to Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. Nappanee, Ind. and is for 9 CANV 12 # (pounds) hams at a cost of $18.90.  I assume that is canned hams. We also have the B & O train freight receipt for this shipment which weighed 115 pounds. That’s a lot of ham. Were they planning a company party? Possibly a company picnic? Were they giving a ham to retirees?  Inquiring minds want to know.

The 2nd receipt I want to show is dated 9-15-1910 and addressed to C,Z & M Co. in, SYRACUSE, IND.  This order was for six “Burlap Partridge Hams” and one “Burlap Select Partridge Wide Bacon” at a cost of $16.25. This shipping crate weighed in at 100 pounds, as you can read on the B. & O. RR freight receipt. I’m thinking that the six Burlap Partridge Hams was a kind of smoked ham that did not need refrigeration.

If the Syracuse address is confusing you it is because of PICKWICK PARK on the lake. Several of the influential families of Nappanee, Including Frank, John & Daniel, had summer houses on the lake in Pickwick Park in Syracuse. So, this order was sent directly to Syracuse. How it was divided is unclear.

The 3rd receipt I want to show is like the others, this one is for 5 -12-pound HAMS. But someone has written on the receipt “Please pay this will find out how to divide”. This receipt is also addressed to C, Z & M Co. and at the SYRACUSE address.

The last Part of this story is this piece of paper. Sorry, it does not have a date and I cannot find a direct connection to any one of the H. H. MYER  receipts. So, there must be more order receipts somewhere. At first this paper looks like a bunch of jumbled up writing, but when connected with the receipts for hams from the H. H. Myer Co. it makes better sense.  

At some point, the company must have ordered 10 large hams and divided them between these 8 people. Carrie Birhl got 1- 11 1/2 # ham at a cost of $2.12, less .05 which was the share of the cost of freight. Who was Carrie Birhl? How was she connected to the company?

The other hams were divided among Irwin Coppes, J. D. Coppes, Frank Coppes, C. Mutschler, D. Zook, Marvin Coppes, and A. Mutschler. It appears that Frank Coppes got 3 hams, 2 @ 12 ½ # and one @ 10 ½ #. He also paid for that larger share or at least was charged for a larger amount. 

All this begs the question, what was the reason they purchased hams from a Cincinnati company instead of purchasing locally? Surely there were local butchers that could provide fresh meats, or was the purpose to purchase preserved meats that would not need refrigeration? As I said inquiring minds want to know. Boy, that is a lot of HAMS. I’m getting hungry for a nice ham sandwich. Thanks, be sure to come back next week, maybe we will find they purchased eggs from Cleveland. That was a joke. Hope it made you smile.

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Coppes Commons – the Amazing Before & After Pictures That Reveal Just Part of Our Transformation

Welcome to Bill’s History Corner. I think you will be amazed at these pictures. It is so easy to forget what the buildings looked like when the demolition was started. I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves. With the first pair of before and after pictures the camera is positioned on Lincoln St looking East. The camera is just to the West of what is now the Right Angle Steel building. You can see the corner of the building at the same position in each photo. Originally this was part of the Coppes Inc. complex. Easy to forget that we could not drive through on Lincoln Street.

The second pair of before and after pictures are also of this same area but from the other side of the buildings and pointed the other direction. With these pictures, the camera is again on Lincoln Street, but we are now looking West. The demolition had started and soon Lincoln Street would be open for traffic. How many of you tried to drive through here before the street was paved and got stuck in the mud?

We have come a long way, Baby!

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C&Z Teamsters and Shively Bros. Horse Goods

Hello and welcome to this week’s History Corner. If you have been reading my History Corners you know that we have been looking at old Coppes, Zook & Mutschler or Coppes Bros, & Zook Co. receipts. We have a treasure trove of old paper in the form of business receipts from approx. 1895 -1915. We just started sifting through the boxes, so who knows what we will find! Stay tuned, as they say, when people want you to follow along.

“All Kinds of Horse Goods”

This week I’m talking about the Shively Bros. store of Nappanee, Indiana. Their different billheads advertise “HEAVY AND LIGHT HARNESS, HORSE FURNISHING GOODS,” also “manufacturers of HARNESS, And Dealers in ROBES, BLANKETS, -Whips and All Kinds of Horse Goods.” In other words, anything you may need or want for your horse. Around 1896 the Shively Brothers, John F. Shively and Ulery J. Shively took over the Shively and Rusher Company. (M. H. Shively & W. H. Rusher) That earlier company was “dealers in HARDWARE, STOVES, TINWARE, and BUILDERS SUPPLIES. TIN ROOFING A SPECIALTY.” In  Jan. 1896, the Shively & Rusher Co. repaired Daniel Zook’s roof at a cost of $.35.

The June 1905 Industrial Nappanee paper, which was printed in Nappanee by the Nappanee News, has a full-page article on the Shively Bros. Company. A picture of the storefront and an interior picture are reprinted here.

C&Z Teamsters and the Shively Bros.

Do you think the Coppes Bros. & Zook Co. and the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. would have a need to do business with the Shively Bros.? You can bet your bottom dollar they did. Not only did the principal members of the companies have their personal horse harness repaired and horses’ health cared for at the Shively Bros., we also have learned that the company’s teamsters shopped at the Shively Bros. store. Finding the names of the group of men that had to be the company teamsters made my week. The names of the men changed a little over the six years that we found receipts between the Coppes Companies and the Shively Bros. I’m going to list the names of the men below.

Store Credit

First I want to explain how I think the system worked. I think starting in 1898, each Teamster had charge of maintaining his team and wagon, looking after the horse’s well fair, keeping them in tip-top condition, for doing the hard work of pulling heavy wagons filled with logs to the sawmill. When a teamster needed a “harness repair” piece or “gall cure” for their horse, each teamster went to the Shively Bros. and completed the purchase without prior approval, charging the cost of the item to the company. The Shively Bros. recorded each transaction on the individual teamster’s record. At the end of each six months, the receipts were submitted and paid by the company. This way the company could tell which teamster was costing the company more money, possibly by being careless with his team and which teamster was more careful of his charge.

Teamsters Roster

Here are the names of the teamsters, sorry if I got the spelling wrong. They didn’t care about first names

Starting July 1st, 1898. Edger; Hampshier; Hoffer; Reed; Smith; Lopp; Swanner; Burns; Grover; (9 names)

Jan 1 – June 31, 1900. Lopp; W. Olinger; J. Alinger; I. Swanner; Hampshier; Holderman; Neely; Williams; Gise; Ganes; Jackson; Smith; Reed. (13 names)

Dec. 1 – June 31, 1902. Lopp; Frank Smith; Swanner; Garrison; Waterman; Reed; Hampshier; Frenger;                       Peffly; Rupert; Miller. (11 names)

July 1st – Dec. 31, 1902. Scott Lopp; Ora Swanner; Chas. Reed; Jerls; Frenger; Ira Miller; J. Hampshier;      Rupert; Nixon; Joe Peffly; C. Neely (11 names)

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Early Sawmill Labor Force

This week we are looking at a picture titled Coppes “Employees, Nappanee.” There isn’t a date printed on or associated with this photo. But just look at those smiling faces, someone must have just said a joke or else they are so cold they want to get the picture over with as soon as possible.


I think these 36 men represent the Coppes Bros. & Zook sawmill crew and the company’s teamsters. Around 1899, there were as many as 13-15 teamsters bringing wagon loads of logs to the mill in Nappanee. The Coppes Teamsters worked almost like what we would call “independent contractors” today. Each man oversaw the maintenance of the wagon or sled they used and the care of the horses in their charge. And by care, I mean feeding and watering morning and night and brushing and bedding down each horse each night. They also took care of things like having horseshoes replaced when they are lost or worn down. The company stable was the brick building to the east of Coppes Commons next to the parking lots. This is where the horses were housed, cared for and looked after.


The building that these men are in front of has the shiplap siding that was used on the sawmill buildings. I think this building is the 2nd sawmill building that was located behind the Coppes Commons buildings, south of Lincoln St. The log storage yard for this sawmill was where the parking lots are now located. That’s my reasoning for this group of men being the sawmill workers.

During times when there was an abundance of logs, the sawmill was operated 24 hours a day. Other times it cut back the schedule as needed. When the sawmill was working will, I would think a single log may take approx. 10-15 minutes to be cut into boards. 


Realistically there needed to be three crews working in and around the sawmill. One crew would be operating the mill itself, controlling the machinery and setting the carriage for each new cut. Another crew would be charged with bringing logs to the staging area where they can easily be rolled onto the carriage. This crew would need to keep up with the saw operators. In a 10-hour work shift, this crew may need to drag/haul/ push/pull as many as 40-50 or more logs from the storage yards, all the while being careful not to have a log roll over them. The third crew is the men that remove the cut boards and stack them in the yards for air drying. No forklifts for this crew, every green and heavy board was moved by hand. 


Notice how some of the men are dressed. Some with gloves, some with wide-brimmed hats (keeps the sawdust off their heads) and heavy shoes. Almost all have their shirts buttoned up to their necks if not their coat also. Was it the cold or were they just trying to keep the sawdust out? Whatever, it was hard tiring work, but this was also the business that the Coppes family of companies was built upon. For that we sayTHANK YOU and extend our gratitude to all former employees of the Coppes family of companies.