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Pittsburg Sewer Pipe & Conduit Co. 826 E. Fourth
Founded in 1899 as the Pittsburg Paving Brick Company, later Dickey Clay, today it is known as Mission Clay

Pittsburg Paving Brick Company, Pittsburg, KS - postmarked 1911
Photo - Prosperous Pittsburg, Pictorially Portrayed: 1915
Sewer Pipe & Conduit Plant, Pittsburg, KS - no postmark
Pittsburg Sewer Pipe & Conduit Co. Plant - postmarked 1908
Pittsburg Sewer Pipe and Conduit Co.
photo - Pittsburg Kansas Yearbook, 1909
"The largest Sewer Pipe Works in Kansas. Annual output 2000 cars."
Dickey Clay Plant - no postmark
circa 1950's

Charles Loose and W. L. Taylor, both from Terre Haute, Indiana, founded the Pittsburg Paving Brick Company in 1899 with a local group of businessmen, locating the plant east of Pittsburg on Fourth Street, where the Mission Clay plant is today. Loose & Taylor came to the Pittsburg area in search of shale that could be used in the production of vitrified hollow bricks and paving bricks. They found that the Pittsburg area contained one of the largest and best clay beds in the United States. The two gentlemen agreed to build a plant in Pittsburg with a start up of $25,000 if local aid was supplied in the amount of $9,000. The Pittsburg stockholders, J. T. Moore, J. B. Smith, C. A. Miller, F. V. Howell, A. O. Blair, O. K. Dean, A. L. Graves, A. K. Lanyon, C. C. Henderlider, J. R. Lindburg, H. B. Kumm, W. J. Watson, E. F. Porter, E. C. Hodd, F. C. Werner, C. S. Smith, A. E. Maxwell, A. H. Shafer, A. H. Schlanger, George Biles, Paul Biles, J. A. Gibson, A. Besse and J. L. Taylor put up the required local contribution while Taylor and Loose put in $16,000.

The Pittsburg Paving Brick Company was formed with Loose and Taylor owning 60 percent of the stock and the group of Pittsburg men the other 20 percent. The plant wasn’t able to produce any payouts because all of the initial investment went for the building of the plant and kilns. After a year or so, it was decided to sell the plant to Robert Nesch for $25,000, the amount of the initial investment. Nesch already was the owner of the Pittsburg Vitrified Brick Company in the area that today is just north of the Walnut Street entrance to Lincoln Park.

At that time, the Pittsburg Paving Brick Co. plant covered 15 acres with the company controlling 150 acres of land around it, which supplied the raw material, clay. The name was changed to The Pittsburg Sewer and Conduit Pipe Company and it began to make clay sewer pipes. Nesch found that running two plants were too much so with a strong recommendation from A. H. Schlanger, he sold the business to Walter S. Dickey around 1910.

W. S. Dickey had formed the Dickey Company in 1885 in the Kansas City area making clay sewer pipes. The company eventually made Dickey the largest producer of clay pipes in the country with 26 plants in 12 states and offices in Chicago, Mexico City, Atlanta and Georgia. In the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Dickey lost his entire fortune, dying of a heart attack in 1931 greatly in debt. In 1970, the company’s headquarters were moved to Pittsburg from Kansas City.

copyright 2008