The company was the first to manufacture the adjustable buggy top in this country. The timber used in their business was selected and bought in Indiana and consisted of the second growth of ash. They cut it up with their own machinery there. The company had a steam room where the bows were bent and a drying-room, shops where the ironwork was made, enameling-room, and paint and trimming-rooms. They employed between fifty to seventy-five workers at a weekly cost of $600.
The company shipped its goods, the adjustable buggy top and the carriage extension tops, to every state and had a large trade on the Pacific Coast. Charles was in charge of the manufacturing department and his brother, L. Fockler, supervised the office and finances of the firm. In 1879 one hundred carriage tops were being made daily with fifty employees. (1) Annual earnings around 1880 were said to be $200,000. In September of 1880 they were exhibiting their products at the Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Missouri state fairs. (2) “Hoosier Hay Carrier.” Patent: Sept. 1873 Charles Fockler, Dubuque, Iowa. The business began at 42 South Main. The 1878-79 Dubuque City Directory listed the east side of Main between Jones and First. The 1880 Dubuque City Directory indicated that this business was located at 46 Main.
1. “Caught on the Fly,” Dubuque Herald, April 10, 1879, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18790410&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
2. “Caught on the Fly, Dubuque Herald, September 4, 1880, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18800904&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
Oldt, Franklin T., History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Online. http://books.google.com/books?id=u9xDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA648&lpg=PA648&dq=KEY+CITY+CARRIAGE+TOPS&source=bl&ots=0CnBDKxT6u&sig=EFlJJUsEXsKwBtE8GHLWp-2W6MI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oxmLUaTtE6vH0AHF_oG4Bw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=KEY%20CITY%20CARRIAGE%20TOPS&f=false
CHARLES KIRKPATRICK 1863 – 1927
Among the enterprising citizens of Coal Creek township, Montgomery county, who are deserving of a place in the pages of this biographical and historical record is Charles Kirkpatrick, of New Richmond, not because he has done big things, either in an industrial Or public way, but because he has done well in the humbler walks of life and has lived honorably, his neighbors finding no fault with him, and he has sought to do his full share in the prog- ress of the community of his choice, while laboring for his own advancement. Such a course always marks the good citizen in any country. Mr. Kirkpatrick was born on May 20, 1863, at Sugar Grove, Tippecanoe county, Indiana, a son of Jacob and Mandy Ann (Shewe) Kirkpatrick. The father of our subject was born on December 4, 1831, in Illinois. He was a man of courage and unusual hardihood. He made two trips to the far West across the plains in the gold fever days, making one trip around Cape Horn, South America. He is still living at an advanced age. The mother of our subject was born at Sugar Grove, Indiana, and her death occurred in 1886. They both received such educational advantages as the early schools afforded. The father devoted the major part of his active life to farming, and he became prominent in politics, being an ardent Republican, but since the campaign of 1912 he has been a Progressive.
Seven children were born to Jacob Kirkpatrick and wife, all of whom are living, namely: Laura, who has remained unmarried; Charles, of this re- view; Susan married Dr. Paul Barcus, of Crawfordsvllle ; Anna married Boyd A. McMillan, and they live on the old home place at Sugar Grove, Tip- pecanoe county; William married Attie J. Hubbard, and they live at New Richmond, Montgomery county, where he is cashier of the bank ; Edwin is also living in New Richmond ; Fanny, who married Charles B. Shepherd, is living near New Richmond on a farm.
Charles Kirkpatrick grew to manhood on the home farm and there did his share of the work about the place when a boy. He attended the common schools in his neighborhood, later entering DePauw University at Greencastle, from which he was graduated with the class of 1886. The next important step in the life of Mr. Kirkpatrick took place on November 22, 1893, when he was married to Jessie L. Washburn, who was born in Tippecanoe county. She is a daughter of George W. and Louise (Whetstone) Washburn.
Mr. Kirkpatrick started out in life for himself when he came to New Richmond, this county, and purchased an elevator, which he ran for three years, then sold it and went to Anderson, Indiana, where he was associated with William Combeck, who at that time was lieutenant-governor. About a year later our subject went into the contracting business, building streets and for two years was very successful, then returned to New Richmond, in September, 1895, he assisted in founding the present bank of New Richmond. This sound and conservative institution is known as the Commercial Exchange Bank. With George W. Washburn as a partner, these gentlemen forged ahead until they had built up one of the popular banks of the county. It was first organized with a capital stock of ten thousand dollars. Our subject at that time was cashier and Mr. Washburn was president. Upon the death of the latter, Mr. Kirkpatrick purchased the interest of his partner and organized a bank with a paid up capital of twenty-five thousand dollars under the same name of the new concern, Mr. Kirkpatrick became president, William, assuming the duties of cashier, and the wife of our subject, Mrs. J. L. Kirkpatrick, became assistant cashier. The bank continued under this arrangement with ever increasing success until 1912, when the capital stock was raised to forty thousand dollars, and the surplus was fixed at ten thousand dollars. The most approved and safest methods of banking are employed, and every device for the safety and convenience of depositors has been installed, and its prestige has constantly grown.
Since 1902 Mr. Kirkpatrick has been a potent figure in local politics. In that year he was elected as representative from this county to the legislature, where he made a most commendable record, eminently satisfactory both to his constituents and to all concerned. He has done much for the general progress of his section of the state.
Our subject and family have spent the past four winters in California and Florida, and expect to continue to do so.
While in college Mr. Kirkpatrick belonged to the Sigma Chi fraternity, and he was editor in chief of the college monthly, filling this position in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the praise of his college friends and acquaintances. He was also prominent in oratorical affairs, and was appointed by the faculty as one of the first speakers on commencement days.
Fraternally, Mr. Kirkpatrick is a Mason, holding membership in the New Richmond lodge. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias here, he having assisted in organizing both these lodges. He belongs to the Country Club at Crawfordsville. Politically, he is now a Progressive, and in religious matters belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, being a trustee of the same.
Mr. Kirkpatrick owns a fine and modernly appointed home in New Richmond, and he own large farming interests in Montgomery county. Personally, he is a pleasant gentlemen to know, genial, obliging, and a man of unswerving integrity.
Source: History Of Montgomery County, Indiana; With Personal Sketches Of Representative Citizens. Publisher A.S. Bowen. Published 1911
JOHN C. WINGATE 1851 – 1924