Brick Company History

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Brick Company History: 1958-1970 - New Generation of Management

In 1955 the Belden management showed their confidence in their company’s future by starting construction of a new plant at Sugarcreek. It would be the largest plant in the country for the production of face brick and building tile. The plant went into operation in 1957. It is now known as Plant 6. Paul Belden found Sugarcreek to be a community of fair and cooperative people. The supply of raw material was plentiful and of excellent quality. Transportation facilities were good; in addition to rail shipments there were two trucking companies that served their plants. They had a good working force, and the Company’s policies toward their employees were well received by the community.

Following his graduation from Bowling Green State University in the spring of 1958, David L. Hartung, the younger son of Paul W. Hartung, Sr., was employed by The Belden Brick Company as a kiln foreman at the Canton Plant in Waco working under the direction of Bill Hallas, plant superintendent. In 1960, he moved into the headquarters office in Canton and began to assist in the customer service department where he posted inventory and spoke with customers regarding orders for Sugarcreek Plants 6 & 4.

Building upon the abundance of raw material and an outstanding labor pool, Belden’s plant No. 8 went into operation in May of 1968. It was the largest brick plant ever built under one roof. Paul Belden Senior died on February 13, 1970. He had been Chairman of the Board of The Belden Brick Company since 1946. In April 1970, the Board of Directors held an organizational meeting. The directors elected the following officers: Paul B. Belden, Jr., Chairman of the Board; William H. Belden, Sr., President; and Paul W. Hartung Jr., Vice President. David Hartung was elected Assistant Secretary for the corporation and continued in that role until 1996 when he was elected as Corporate Secretary succeeding Bruce Strouse, who retired in January that year. In the customer service area, he became the Production and Service Manager for Sugarcreek Plant 6, a position he currently holds.

Dan and Richard were the two youngest sons of Paul B. Belden Sr. In 1973 The Belden Brick Company acquired the assets, properties and manufacturing facilities of the Moomaw Brothers at Sugarcreek. The Shepfer-Moomaw plant was designated as plant No. 9 by Belden although they only had eight operating plants. Canton plant No. 1, which was the original Belden plant was closed down in June 1970.