In 1881 the Grey Iron Company was organized in Mount Joy, PA by Henry S. Stauffer, in company with his brother-in-law S. N. Eaby for the manufacture of his patented post support and Sholl’s reversible blind and shutter drop-hinge. They carried out the business together for a short time when Mr. Eaby withdrew. H.S. Stauffer then conducted affairs under the name of the Grey Iron Casting Company.
In February 1891 H. S. Stauffer sold the business. He remained in the capacity of the manager of the plant until at least 1894 when left to manage the Columbia Grey Iron Company in nearby Columbia. PA. The organization of the new Grey Iron Casting Company was: T. B. Himes, President; John. W. Eshleman, Secretary and Treasurer; Reuben J. Myers, Superintendent. At that time they employed 60 men, although the capacity of the mill was 125.
1901-1907 ERA POSTCARD
In July the National Novelty Corporation was incorporated in New Jersey with $10,000,000 planned in Capital Stock with the intent of consolidating toy production in the United States to compete with Germany. They anticipated as many as 30 companies would be included, but peaked at 16. The Grey Iron Casting Company was one of the 16.
In December 1906: the National Novelty Corporation went into receivership. It was succeeded by the Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Company which was organized in 1907 for the purpose of taking over the assets of the National Novelty Company, in which they were interested as stockholders and creditors.
In February 1908: the Kenton Manufacturing Company went into receivership, closed their doors, and transferred many of their patterns and dies to other companies within in the Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Company. Their largest Stamping Mill was transferred to the Grey Iron Casting Company along with many of the patterns for safe banks previously produced by the Wing Manufacturing Company. When Kenton reopened in 1910 the patterns and stamping mill were returned; however, the Grey Iron Casting Company continued to produce several of the safe banks, but with minor modification.
In early 1912 the Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Company failed and the Assets Realization Company was appointed as the receiver. They were authorized to sell the company assets at public auction in April 1912. Prior to the public sale on April 20th, agents of the Asset Realization Company entered into a private agreement to sell the Grey Iron Casting Company plant in Mount Joy to the Wrightsville Hardware Company for $35,000.
After the public sale the Asset Realization Company defaulted on their agreement with Wrightsville Hardware and sold nine properties – including the Grey Iron Casting Company plant to George E. Shaw and Campbell Carrington. In March 1913 William A Coventry (President) and I.R. Stewart (Treasurer & Secretary) of the Wrightsville Hardware Company went on to sue the Assets Realization Company over ownership of the Grey Iron Casting Company plant.
In August 1913 letters of incorporation were filed for the Grey Iron Casting Company listing John W. Eshleman of Mt Joy PA, John S. Jenks of Philadelphia and John E. Snyder as officers. Later, in January 1914 the Assets Realization Company was directed to turn over all physical property and patents of the Grey Iron Casting Company to Wrightsville Hardware.
John W Eshleman alleged that on June 26, 1914 he entered into an oral agreement with W. A. Coventry, G. Ellsworth Higgins and I. R. Stewart to buy, sixty-two and a half shares of the capital stock of the Grey Iron Casting Company which represented one quarter of the total stock. Stock appears never to have exchanged hands. Coventry was in Lancaster, but Higgins and Stewart were in New York. As of 1921 this issue was still tied up in the courts due to questions surrounding jurisdiction.
In 1941 the Grey Iron Casting Company suspended the manufacture of iron toys. Their contribution to the war effort was the manufacture of munitions.
In 1968 the Grey Iron Casting Company was acquired by the Donsco Corporation headquartered in Wrightsville, PA. On February 10, 1979 – Fire broke out in the Grey Iron Casting Company. Damage to the structure and contents exceeded $1.5M. All original company records were lost. The cause was later found to be arson.