LaPorte Wood Mfg. Co. aka LaPorte Carriage Co. - 1880s-1920s - LaPorte, Indiana
J.J. Parkhurst, president. 506 Indiana Ave 1880s-1911?
The buildings of the LaPorte Carriage Company stood at the northwest corner of Indiana Avenue and State Street. Central Fire Station No. 1 can be seen in the lower left corner, and the sheriffs residence in the lower right corner. After making carriages and buggies for years, the company switched to making automobile bodies for several auto manufacturers, including the Haynes Automobile Co. and Apperson Bros. in Kokomo, Chalmers in Detroit, and the Great Southern Automobile Co. in Alabama.
C. H. Vorhes, (born 1852, Detroit, Michigan) superintendent and draftsman with the La Porte (Indiana) Carriage Co., was born near Detroit, Michigan, in 1852. He became an apprentice December 7, 1871, and remained nine years. Instead of going West, as was then the custom among young men, he went to New York, and was engaged by Brewster & Co., and later on by Charles S. Caffrey Co., Camden, New Jersey.
He also was employed by Holcomb Bros. and Henry Killam & Co., New Haven, Connecticut. From 1883 to 1886 he held the position of draftsman and superintendent in the establishment of L. Glesenkamp, Sons & Co., Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He also worked for the Kalamazoo Buggy Co. and for C. R. & J. C. Wilson, Detroit, Michigan. In September, 1896, he was engaged with the La Porte Carriage Co. as superintendent and draftsman, and is still there.
La Porte Wood Manufacturing Co. 506 Indiana Ave - Parkhurst & Wilkinson of Chicago proprietors, . A. C. Loomis resident manager, mfrs of carriages, sleighs, road wagon, bodies, seats, gears, tops, cushions, &c, complete or in parts (in 1890 LaPorte Directory - no LaPorte Carriage Co listed). Parkhurst & Wilkinson were a large carriage supply house located in Chicago.
506 Indiana is approximately where the corner of Indiana Ave and State St is, the same building where LaPorte Carriage Co was located.
Other LaPorte builders were (in 1890)
Eagle Carriage Works - 712,714,716 Madison (John C. Croft, C. J. Lundquist, props.)
Pitner, William C. & Son - 801 to 809 Monroe - mfrs road wagons, carriages, sleighs, &c.
Swanson, C. J. & Son 810 Monroe - wagon and carriage works
LaPorte is also the home of the Door Prairie Auto Museum
For more information please read:
Fern Eddy Schultz - La Porte Indiana and its Environs - Arcadia pub
La Porte County Historical Society & Museum at the LaPorte County Complex - 809 State Street - LaPorte, Indiana
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