Paul Belden was authorized to obtain any capital needed
to operate the business. Paul Belden met with L. B.
Hartung, a well known plumbing contractor in Canton.
Mr. Belden was successful in persuading Mr. Hartung
to invest money in capital stock of the Canton Pressed
Brick Company. In 1909, L.B. Hartung became an important
shareholder owning about 30% of the capital stock.
Paul Belden was elected to the position of
General Manager in 1911 and from that time on, had a
free hand in running the company. He was known throughout
the brick industry for his accomplishments and received
One story has it that he was riding a train through
Perry County, Ohio. The train passed an abandoned brick
plant, and Paul noticed that the brick stored in the
yard was a very appealing shade of red. Paul contacted
the bank and found out the plant was in default of the
mortgage payment. He wanted the plant and obtained it
on very good terms. This eventually became the Somerset
Plant of the Belden Brick Company.
annual meeting of the Canton Pressed Brick Company in
1912 showed that Paul Belden had achieved
his goal of obtaining the badly needed capital for operations.
At the same meeting, due to P.D. Hardy’s failing
health, Henry Belden was once again elected President
of the Canton Pressed Brick Company. W.W. Irwin was
a well known Canton businessman, and the Board of Directors
believed that his election as an officer and director
would bring prestige to the Canton Pressed Brick Company.
The company filed a request with the Secretary of the
State of Ohio asking for permission to consolidate all
of their operations under a new name. A certificate
of consolidation was received on October 30, 1912 that
made it official. The company would now operate under
the name of The Belden Brick Company.
At the annual stockholders meeting in 1913,
W.W. Irwin was elected President, Henry Belden Vice
President, Paul Belden Secretary/General Manager and
P.W. Hartung Treasurer.
In 1915 the directors approved the building of two
new kilns and a new dryer at the Canton plant to handle
increased business. In 1916 the Company
had a good stock of finished brick on hand, which was
expected to be very profitable when the building season
opened up in the spring. Paul Belden then told the board
that every operation in their plants that could be done
by machinery should be done that way. The directors
backed his recommendation. At the annual meeting of
stockholders in 1918, Paul Belden described
some of the problems they were experiencing in trying
to operate their plants in wartime. Labor and material
for plant maintenance were expensive and almost impossible
to come by. Both the Canton and Somerset plants were
now closed down because the company could not get rail
cars for coal to burn brick or rail cars to ship brick.
Still, Paul remained optimistic. He believed that the
building era following the war would bring a staggering
demand for brick.
In 1918, the directors of The Belden Brick
Company realized there were financial problems at the
Belden Face Brick Company located at Port Washington.
The Belden Face Brick Company was a personal venture
of Henry Belden.
In July 1918, the directors of The Belden Brick Company
authorized the treasurer to loan Belden Face Brick Company
as much money as it needed, in exchange for bonds to
be held as collateral. Then in October 1919,
Belden Brick purchased stock in the Belden Face Brick
Company and by 1920 they held shares
in the amount of more than twice the money that they
had loaned Belden Face Brick. Now Belden Face Brick
again had a strong sales force for their product. The
Belden Brick Company now had a continuing source of
face brick on which they were paid a good commission.
They were also receiving a healthy return on their
stock investment. W.W. Irwin had been ill for some time
and retired as President. Once again, Henry Belden was
President of Belden Brick Company. His appointment was
short-lived. Henry Belden died on April 21, 1920 after
a brief illness. By late 1922 The Belden
Brick Company held a controlling interest in The Belden
Face Brick Company.