Ohio Cultivator

Stahl gave his reason for the purchases in a Gazette interview:

“In the present location (in Bellevue), unless more land could be secured from the railroads, the company was practically tied up and future expansion was impossible.”

The Bellevue Gazette reporter added:

“He did not say that the company would move its plant from Bellevue, nor did he say it would not. He intimated that a part of it might go to Toledo and left the impression that it might all go under certain conditions.”

The writer concluded with:

“The proposition comes with such suddenness to the citizens of Bellevue as to disturb the equanimity of the most conservative. To move the plant or any part of it from Bellevue would be a sad blow to the business interest of this place, and to feel any likelihood of such a thing taking place is anything but re-assuring. If there is a need for more land, some means should be devised for securing it, and under no circumstances should any portion of the plant be allowed to leave Bellevue without an effort to retain it.”

The result of the announcement resulted in a flurry of activity by city and railroad officials. The city abandoned East Street between the Wheeling and Lake Erie tracks and Monroe Street. The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad also agreed to sell their lots. The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad not only agreed to sell their land but agreed to install siding tracks between the proposed warehouse and steel storage shed at their own expense.

At about the same time, the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad fell into the hands of receivers. It wasn’t until late 1909 before Stahl received the deeds to the property.

A recession that began during the summer of 1907 seemingly did not effect business at the Ohio Cultivator Co. Other local industries fell victim to the slowdown in business — the Nickel Plate, Bellevue’s largest employer, the Bellevue Pipe and Foundry began to decline and went into bankruptcy in 1909. The Conway Steel Range (now Bellevue Mfg. Co.) was rescued from a similar fate by a group of local businessmen.

In the fall of 1908, the Ohio Cultivator had 300 men working in all departments 10 hours a day. H.C. Stahl held an open house affording local citizens a chance to tour the plant. Hundreds of people took advantage of the opportunity.

A Gazette reporter described the tour:

“The visitors were cordially greeted at the office of President H.C. Stahl and other officers. Escorted by tour guides, we first visited the foundry. This was a veritable beehive of industry. Here molten metal from the giant cupola is poured into a big receptacle and thence poured by hand into numerous molds. The foundry is equipped with tracks and trolleys.

Next was the big fire-proof vault where the thousands of valuable patterns are stored.

The building is built of vitrified tile blocks with a slate roof and is completely filled from floor to ceiling with the patterns used in manufacturing of the long list of implements. The patterns are classified, indexed and listed and any one could readily be obtained without a moment’s delay.

The rattler room, where the castings are smoothed and polished in steel drums, was next visited. The deafening noise made here caused us to hasten on and the grinding room next occupied our attention.

Here, the workmen were busy at rapidly revolving emery wheels grinding the castings. Each of the machines were equipped with new dust collectors invented by H.A. Knos.

This devise does away with all impure dust which is forced by compressed air through pipes outside the building.

The electric light plant, with two big motors equipped with direct drive, was next visited. Here is installed the big motors which furnishes the compressed air for operating the big drop hammers and other machines.

The main power plant, with the 125 horsepower engine and mammoth boilers, was the next stopping place. One of the boilers is fed automatically with shavings from the woodworking department.

The woodworking and machine room where the castings are turned down, the bolt making and setting up department were the next visited. Here, we saw new machines working with almost human intelligence.”