March of 1974 Belden Brick had purchased Stark’s
interest in the jointly owned Detroit Sales Office.
The company was also negotiating with Stebbins Manufacturing
the sale of the Urichsville Plant. Stebbins was the
major customer of that facility. In mid-1977, the Company
was approached by Stark Ceramics with regard to the
purchase of Stark’s equity in the Belden-Stark
Brick Corporation of New York.
In January, Fred Morrow retired after 55 years of service.
Bruce Strouse was elected Secretary of the Company shortly
after Mr. Morrow’s retirement. At the time, only
Paul B. Belden, Sr., served the Company longer than
Fred Morrow. In April, the Company purchased the old
Claycraft Plant plus 140 acres on the south side of
Route 39 on the east end of Sugarcreek.
The Board of Directors approved the construction of
a new plant featuring a deBoer B-11 brick machine capable
of producing 42 million standard brick equivalent annually
in a simulated handmade molded brick configuration.
This plant is now known as Plant 3.
On September 12, 1974,
The Belden Brick Company acquired the Strasburg Brick
Company of Strasburg, Ohio. Their principal product
was face brick in red and other colors. The Belden Brick
Company added a packaging machine and considered adding
another tunnel kiln if needed. Belden’s sales
organization and agents gave Strasburg’s products
a widening distribution.
In December of 1976, the following
directors comprised the board of Belden Brick: Paul
B. Belden, Jr., William H. Belden, Sr., Daniel M. Belden,
Richard F. Belden, Paul W. Hartung, Jr., and Burke B.
Wentz. Larry Myers, whose family had owned the Strasburg
Brick Company, was named Assistant General Superintendent
to Burke Wentz.
At the Annual Meeting in April, Paul B. Belden III
and William H. Belden, Jr., were elected to the Board
of Directors for the first time. They were the first
representatives of the fourth generation of the family
elected to the Board. In November, Ed Harter, Treasurer,
passed away. D.E. Engelbach was named Treasurer effective
November 24, 1979.