year 1946 was an important year for
Belden Brick. At a meeting of the Board of Directors,
the following officers were elected: Paul B. Belden,
Sr., Chairman of the Board; Paul B. Belden, Jr., President;
P.W. Hartung, Sr., First Vice President in charge of
sales and service; and William H. Belden, Treasurer.
Paul Belden Sr.’s sons grew up with the brick
business. They could have no superior mentor to their
father. The continual growth of The Belden Brick Company
shows how well they learned their lessons. Paul Belden
had his plants back in operation by the end of 1946.
His goal was to re-establish the company as soon as
possible to gain the post-war market. At this critical
time in the Company’s history, once again opportunity
Now the war was over and the Finzers were faced with
a major rehabilitation job. Plant No. 2 needed extensive
repairs. Charles Finzer and Paul Belden were close friends.
In 1945, Charles Finzer met with Paul Belden to discuss
the possibility of Belden Brick taking over the Finzer
Brothers Company. The Finzers wanted their plants to
go to a reputable company that would have the best interests
of their employees and of the people of Sugarcreek at
heart. Charles and Ed Finzer knew The Belden Brick Company
was the ideal choice if the details could be worked
out. Paul Belden liked the idea and in May of 1946 Belden
took possession of the Finzer Brothers Clay Company.
The newly acquired Finzer Plant (No.2) had
two very high stacks, surrounded by 20 large beehive
kilns that were intended to cycle in rotation.
Theoretically, some kilns would be charging, some burning,
and others cooling at any particular time. This would
create maximum production with a minimum labor force.
One benefit in purchasing The Finzer Brothers Company
was a vein of coal, and large deposits of very good
clay. The coal seam supplied fuel for the kilns and
Finzer Brothers had also sold coal locally, a practice
that Belden continued for several years. By putting
these plants into operation as quickly as possible the
company began to see immediate results.