Oil City Iron Works
Historical Marker
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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Oil City Iron Works

This modern plant grew from the small machine shop and foundry started on this site in 1866 by John Winship (1826-86) to make parts for his cotton gin. He sold the operation in 1886 to businessmen Joseph Huey (1827-1904), James Garitty (1842-1925), and J. E. Whiteselle (1851-1915), who named it The Corsicana Manufacturing Company. In 1898, the factory was leased to William Clarkson (1858-1941), A South Carolina native who came to Texas after the Civil War. He renamed it the Oil City Iron Works, because this area was then in the midst of an oil boom. He bought the company in 1908 and became president after it was incorporated in 1921.

In addition to parts for cotton gins, the plant began making castings for the oil and building industries. It was converted to defense production during World War II (1941-45). When the importance of cotton declined here after the war, Oil City Iron Works diversified its operation to provide castings for the oil field, road building, farm machinery, and other industries. In 1960 it pioneered in certain uses of ductile iron and today supplies major companies around the United States with a work force of 325. The plant not ranks among the three largest employers in Navarro County and in the top ten per cent of the Nation's foundries.

Location: 819 South 12th Street, Corsicana, Texas

The text of the historical markers have been posted here with the permission of the Texas Historical Commission

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox