Portland Body Works - 1910s-1920s - Portland, Indiana


Sydney PAUL, manager of the plant of the Portland Body Works, manufacturers of automobile bodies, at Portland, is an Englishman by birth but an American by adoption and choice and has never had occasion to regret the decision which prompted him to come to this country not long after he had attained his majority. Mr. PAUL had been thoroughly trained in the details of his craft in his home country and the additional experience gained by practical service in some of the big body building plants of this country after his arrival here has given him a facility in that form of industrial operation that has long caused him to be regarded as one of the leaders in his line. He has been a resident of Portland since 1915 and has from the very beginning of his residence there been recognized as one of the important factors in the industrial life of the town. Mr. PAUL was born at Petersborough, in Northamptonshire, England, April 22, 1886, son of Stephen and Harriet (AYTHORPE) PAUL, and completed his schooling at St. Peters College in that city. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed under the English system, for a period of five years with the firm of Brainsby & Sons, coach and auto body builders, at Petersborough, and upon completing his apprenticeship went to Coventry, the automobile center of England, and there became employed in the enclosed body building department of the Daimler Motor Car Corporation. So thoroughly had the young man learned the technicalities of his craft that his skill was at once recognized by his employers and within a month he was put in charge of the landaulette department of that corporation's great plant. For more than three years Mr. PAUL remained with this concern and then he went to Southport, where for a time he was employed as superintendent of the enclosed body building department in the plant of the Vulcan Motor Car Corporation. As a means of widening his knowledge of his craft he then rendered service in various other plants in England until he was twenty-three years of age, when he determined to come to America and enter the automobile industrial field here. On November 24, 1909, he sailed on the American Line steamer "Freisland," which on account of rough seas was thirteen days in making the passage, the unwonted delay causing the vessel to be reported lost in maritime offices. Mr. PAUL landed at Philadelphia and straightway proceeded to Kalamazoo, Mich., where the position of superintendent of the auto body department of the plant of the Michigan Buggy Company was awaiting him. The conditions there did not prove satisfactory and he only remained a month, going thence on January 1, 1910, to Muncie;, Ind., [Delaware Co.] where he became employed as mechanical engineer and designer in the plant of the Glasscock Bros. Manufacturing Company, builders of auto bodies. In the following August, Mr. PAUL went to New York to meet the English girl to whom his troth had been plighted before he left his native land, and he was married there. Returning to Muncie with his bride, he established his home in that city and there remained connected with the Glasscock Bros. plant until November 1, 1915, when he moved to Portland to take the position of mechanical engineer and assistant manager in the office of the Portland Body Works. On January 1, 1921, he was promoted to the position of manager of the plant and has since served in that important capacity. When operating at capacity the Portland Body Works employs about 300 men and is regarded as one of the city's leading industrial concerns. The company's products are in wide demand and have been used in the manufacture of a long line of typically representative cars. While the' company's chief contract is for bodies used in the manufacture of the Aubum car, other contracts have included bodies for such cars as the Elgin, the Haynes, the Apperson, the Brisco, the Argo, the Jackson, the National and the Pilot, Mr. PAUL's technical skill as a designer and engineer thus having found expression in an interesting variety of forms. Mr. PAUL is a Republican and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and of the Country Club. He also is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the Elks Club at Portland and in the affairs of these several organizations takes an interested part. It was on August 26, 1910, at the Hotel Earle in New York City, the Rev. B. M. Nyce, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Muncie, officiating, that Sydney PAUL was united in marriage to Edith RICE, who had come from England to meet him there. Mrs. PAUL was born at Southport, England, daughter of George Henry and Elizabeth (GOWEN) RICE, and was reared there. To Sydney and Edith (RICE) PAUL have been born three children, two daughters and a son, Edna RICE PAUL, Evelyn AYTHORPE PAUL and Sydney Reginald PAUL. The PAUL's have a very pleasant home at Portland and take an interested part in the general social activities of the city.

Milton T. Jay, M.D., History of Jay County Indiana, Historical Publishing Co., Indpls. 1922, Vol. II, pp.344-345



For more information please read:

Milton T. Jay, M.D., History of Jay County Indiana Vol II, Historical Publishing Co., Indianapolis, IN 1922

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