Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Nordyke & Marmon Company Marmon Motor Car Company  

The sons of Daniel W. and Elizbeth (Carpenter) Marmon - Walter Carpenter Marmon and Howard Carpenter Marmon are identified with the business to which Marmon was one of the greatest names attached not only in Indiana history, but in American automotive history.

Nordyke & Marmon Company

The company was founded in 1851 by Ellis Nordyke, who for many years previously was a prominent millwright engaged in building flour mills, the machine being made by hand in the building in which it was to be used.

In 1851 under the name of Nordyke, Ham & Company, the manufacture of milling machinery was first begun in a small shop in Richmond, Indiana.

In 1858, Addison H. Nordyke was taken into the business which was carried on as E. & A. H. Nordyke until 1866.

The business began providing buhr stones for grinding grains. These stones were imported from France and the finished products installed in small mills in the area. A Nordyke and Marmon mill that had a 18' French stone buhrs mounted in a heavy cast iron frame. sold for $172 in the 1900's. The patent date on it is August 1, 1871.

In 1865 Daniel W. Marmon, an orphan raised by an industrialist uncle, in 1865, after his graduation from Earlham College, entered the firm and it was renamed the Nordyke, Marmon & Company in 1866, branched out into other machinery in the late 19th century. A new factory was built a few blocks from the original site in Richmond, but soon this new facility became crowded, andit became necessary to look for a larger quarters.

By 1871, it had become one of the most prominent concerns in its field and occupied substantial brick factory buildings constituting what was then considered quite a large plant.

In 1874, the present company was organized and incorporated under the laws of the state with Mr. Addison H. Nordyke, president; Mr. Amos K. Hollowell, treasurer, and Mr. Daniel W. Marmon, secretary,
    Addison H. Nordyke remained with the company in an active official capacity until 1899 and as a stockholder and director until 1904.

    Daniel W. Marmon continued his active official connection with the company until his death in 1909

    Amos K. Hallowell entered the company in 1875 and continued with it in an unofficial capacity until 1895.

In 1875, owing to the growth of the business and in order to obtain better manufacturing and shipping facilities than was afforded in Richmond, it was decided to move to Indianapolis. The "Quaker City Works", located in West Indianapolis adjoining the I. & V. and Belt Railroads, was purchased in 1876.

Since then the manufacturing facilities have been increased and the trade extended. The plant of the company covers fifteen acres of ground on the line of a railroad in West Indianapolis, with which it is connected by side tracks. The buildings are one and two-story structures, substantially built of brick, the group comprising foundries, machine shops, iron and wood-working shops, finishing shop, store and warehouses and handsome offices. There is also a spacious yard for the storing of material. A 250 horse-power steam engine drives the machinery.

The new facilities accommodated about 500 employees. The company continued to expand over the next 25 years becoming a major producer of milling machinery. The firm grew in this location to what was then considered pretentious proportions and became known as "America's Leading Mill Builders".


In 1891, the Nordyke & Marmon Company was a flour and corn roller mill equipment manufacturer located in Indianapolis, Indiana. (click image for large view)

From the Indianapolis illustrated : the capital city of Indiana : its growth, resources....(1893)
    The annual output aggregates $1,000,000 in value, and the business is steadily growing in volume and importance each succeeding year.

    The company manufactures all kinds of flour mill and elevator machinery, corn mills and rice mills, also machinery for handling grain, the latest improved roller mills, portable mills, centrifugal bolts, pulleys, hangers, shafting, etc., and also deal in buhr mill stones, silk bolting cloth of all grades, and woven wirecloth, leather and rubber belting and flour mill supplies.

    The special features of the various machines and appliances manufactured by the Nordyke & Marmon Company are simplicity in construction, rapid adjustment, convenience of operation and accurate workmanship.

    They are fully up to all tht is claimed for them, and are in every point of actual value superior to any others in the market.

    All the officers are well and prominently known in this city in business and financial circles, and active members of the Board of Trade and the Commercial Club.

    A handsome exhibit of the Nordyke & Marmon Company at the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, can be seen at the Machinery and Agricultural Buildings

Marmon's sons, Howard, began to spend a lot of time at the factory experimenting with a variety of mechanical devices relating to the milling business. He officially joined the company in 1899; after graduatining from the University of California in Berkeley, in mechanical engineering. At the age of 23 he was named the chief engineer of the family business, not because he was a member of the family but rather because he was a mechanical genius. His older brother Walter, also an engineer, managed the business assuming a role in the management facets while Howard was concerned with the engineering aspects.

The Nordyke and Marmon Company got into the automobile business in a unique way. Howard began developing a car of his own design almost immediately after he purchased an automobile for his own use but found it lacking in durability and dependability. Nordyke, Marmon & Company officially began automobile production in 1905

The original Nordyke and Marmon Plant 1 was at the southwest corner of Kentucky Avenue and West Morris Street. Plant 2 was at the southwest comer of Drover and West York Street. Plant 3 was a five-story structure measuring 80 x 600 feet parallel to Morris Street (now Eli Lilly & Company Building 314). The Marmon assembly plant was built adjacent to the Morris Street property line with Plant 3 behind and parallel to it (also part of the Eli Lilly complex).

Walter Marmon continued to run the Nordyke and Marmon Company until they sold sold the milling equipment part of the business to the Allis-Chalmers farm implement company in 1926, and since discontinued making mills.

Nordyke and Marmon Company Mmilling Machinery Price List 1620
In 1926 the name of the company was changed to the Marmon Motor Car Company. The Marmon automobile was manufactured from 1902 to 1933.

Sources: Various internet sources.

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