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Macneale & Urban Co

Macneale & Urban Co. was Hamilton's first safe works. It began in Cincinnati about 1855 as Urban, Dodds & Co.; became Wm. B. Dodds & Co. in 1857; Dodds, Macneale & Urban in 1863; and Macneale & Urban in 1870. In 1888 the firm sought a new location and the Edgewood Finance Co. was organized to encourage a move to Hamilton. The Edgewood group said it would raise $50,000 from local residents to buy land for a new plant. Members of the group were Dr. S. L. Beeler, W. F. Sauer, B. F. Thomas, Ed B. Rogers, John M. Long, James R. Webster, Lazard Kahn, F. W. Whitaker, George A. Miller, C. E. Heiser and William Dingfelder. Jan. 4, 1889, Webster represented the group in signing an agreement that relocated Macneale & Urban on 10 acres along the Belt Line Railroad at Millville and Edgewood avenues and Commerce Street. The $40,000 three-story, 80,000 square foot factory was built by Bender Brothers of Hamilton. Work started in the new plant June 11, 1890. At its peak, it employed 600 men and produced 50 to 60 safes a day. In a surprise moved, blamed on disharmony among stockholders, Macneale & Urban officers placed the company in voluntary receivership Jan. 20, 1903. The Mosler Safe Co. purchased the Macneale & Urban plant Feb. 27, 1907, and absorbed the business. (See Mosler Safe Co. and Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Co.)
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