Buckeyes and Grain Separators: Aultman Miller & Co. and Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co.
Let's Talk Rusty Iron: Sam Moore discusses the successes of the various Aultman & Taylor companies and the mowers, reapers and steam engines they produced.
Aultman, Miller & Co, trying to rescue implements from the fire.
Editor's note: In this second of a three-part series, Sam Moore tells the story of the 19th-century Aultman companies. You can read part 1 here and part 3 here.
Aultman companies enjoy period of prosperity
C. Aultman & Co. of Canton, Ohio, had become highly successful, and its majority owners, Cornelius Aultman and Lewis Miller, comfortably wealthy by the beginning of the Civil War. The innovative engineering of Aultman and Miller with the Buckeye mowers and Sweepstakes threshers, which became industry standards, helped the company rise to prominence.
Increased demand on the railroads as a consequence of the war caused freight rates to soar, though, posing special problems with the company's lumber supply. Aultman bought most of its lumber from John Buchtel of Akron, Ohio, who convinced his customer that the Erie Railroad, which served Akron, would offer better rates and service than the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, & Chicago Railroad, which served Canton.
In 1863, with demand for implements already outstripping Aultman's Canton facilities, a new factory was built in Akron.
The new facility was named Aultman, Miller & Co., although the name on the main building said "Buckeye Mower and Reaper Works." Meanwhile, C. Aultman & Co. in Canton continued, and as projected, business flourished. In 1865, the two factories generated 8,000 Buckeyes and 500 Sweepstakes.
Henry H. Taylor had been a salesman for C. Aultman & Co. before going to work for Nichols & Shepard Co. in Battle Creek, Mich. At Nichols & Shepard, Taylor secured the Ohio rights to manufacture John Nichols' new vibrating-type separator and then returned to Mansfield, Ohio, where he apparently interested Aultman in his project. In 1865, Aultman moved to Mansfield and a year later he and Taylor formed Aultman, Taylor & Co. and started building Nichols' vibrating threshers, and later horse powers, steam engines, clover hullers and saw mills.
As of 1891, the company was called Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co., and its line of machinery was completely different from that of the other two Aultman companies; the only common denominator between the three firms seems to have been Cornelius Aultman.
In 1867, Aultman returned to Canton, leaving Taylor and Michael Harter in control of the Mansfield business. The Harter family had provided most of the financing and management for the new company, and George D. Harter was married to Aultman's daughter, Elizabeth. The Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. went on to be extremely successful and was the longest-lasting of the three Aultman companies.
By the end of 1867, with the three factories all making a profit, Aultman built a mansion in Canton and Miller did the same in Akron; both men were pillars of their communities, involved in civic, church and charitable activities.
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