| May/June 1959

  • M. Rumely Company Traction Engine
    The M. Rumely Company Traction Engine of the year 1904. Meinard Rumely passed away March 31st of that year.

  • M. Rumely Company Traction Engine

'Meinard Rumley was born in Adelsburg, near Zell, Baden, Germany, Feb. 9th, 1823. He was 25 years old when he concluded to come to America to join his brother, Jacob Rumely who was then engaged in the manufacture of pumps at Canton, Ohio, at which place he had located in 1847. After remaining for a time at Canton, the ambitious young man preceded to Massillon, afterwards went to Piqua and later on secured a position in Pittsburgh. He had learned the machinist trade and his positions were in plants where mechanics were employed. His desire was to go further west, so he went to Chicago, but did not like it and pushed on to Milwaukee, later on going to St. Paul. He then visited Lafayette, and while there was induced to come to La Porte, Indiana. This was in 1853 when the place was but a small town. Shortly after his arrival in La Porte, Meinard Rumely induced his brother, John, to come to La Porte. John hat' come from Germany and was working for his brother in Canton, Ohio. The two brothers opened a machine repair shop. As the business increased the brothers took up manufacture of horsepower's and sugar cane crushers. The firms name was M & J Rumely. In 1857 the making of threshing machines was commenced and from that time on the plant grew and flourished. Its products became known in every clime where grain was harvested, and where steam engines are used, for the goods bear the stamp of stability and thorough workmanship up on them. In 1882 Meinard Rumely purchased the interest of his brother John Rumely, who died February 9, 1894, when M. Rumely Company was incorporated for a quarter of a million dollars, with Meinard Rumely as president and general manager. These positions he filled until his death. Previous to his illness he devoted much of his time to the management of the large plant and every day found him at the works carefully noting all that transpired and giving directions. No change or improvement was undertaken excepting under the direction of the president whose heart was in the institution that he had watched grow as a father would a child.

'Had Meinard Rumely survived another year and twenty days more he and his wife would have celebrated the golden wedding anniversary of their marriage, for on April 19, 1855, at Canton, Ohio, Rev. Father Arnold united in marriage Theresa Fierstos and Meinard Rumely. It was a union blessed with all that was noble and good. Of the nine children that were born to the couple, eight, all of whom are an honor to their parents, survive, with their mother.

'Mr. Meinard Rumely was a deeply religious man. He was one of the few remaining charter members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He was always liberal in his gifts to the parish. He took an active part in the establishment of the Holy Family Hospital.

'The beginning of his career also marks the beginning of the manufacture of threshing machinery and hence he was a pioneer in that industry, which has become one of the largest and most important in the United States. He belongs to the same industrial era which produced a J. I. Case, a Hiram Birdsell, a Cornelius Aultman, an Abram Gaar, a Frederick Robinson, a John Nichols, an A. W. Stevens, a George Frick, and an Edward Huber.

'The large plant was operated throughout with Rumely boilers generating the steam.

'Three hundred and fifty men were their average employees.


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