Brick Company History

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Brick Company History: 1974 - Purchasing Stark Ceramic's Interests

In 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.