Town of Eaton Early Industries
Industry Product(s) Lifespan Notes
Comb Factory combs 1808-1840 Founded by Bennet Bicknell of Mansfield, CT. Carried on
by Johnathan Gurley until 1840. (Morrisville)
Eaton Woolen woolen & cotton 1817-1845 Never a financial success despite the hard work of numerous
Manufacturing Co. millers & manuf. owners, the mill underwent massive expansion before burning
to the ground. The company was never rebuilt. (Eaton)
Monitor Mills woolen cloth c.1820-late 19th Started by Abner Isbell, the company weathered several
century owners & a disastrous fire (1852) when Green & Co. reorganized
the mills as the Monitor Mills at a total cost of $100,000)
Cotton Factory cotton products; 1825-mid 19th This was one of the 3 cotton factories which Madison County
cloth century was credited with having in the 1832 census. Founder: David
Cross Brothers or foundry; produced 1830-1899 Founded by Jefferson Cross who died (1850); it was continued
Morrisville Furnace stoves, plowpoints, by his sons, Jefferson & George, but had ceased by 1899.
wagon & sleigh (Morrisville)
Babbit & Darling saleratus (used in c.1830s Babbit & Darling used the buildings occupied by the Bicknell,
cooking) Coman & Norton distillery. (Morrisville)
Howard & Markham carriages & horse- 1835 This company, which started out grandiosely as a carriage
drawn vehicles works, ended up being merely a blacksmith shop. (Pine Woods)
Bicknell, Coman & distillery for spir- 1836-1860 Bennet Bicknell was a co-founder of this business which for
Norton ituous liquors many years shipped its products to New York City.
Torrey Machine Shop machinery 1841-mid 19th According to James H. Smith, Torrey produced the 1st
century steam engine ever built in the town of Eaton.
Pierce,Cady, Crocker cotton and 1844-1857 Founded (1844) by J.O. Pierce after whom Pierceville was
& Co. woolen goods named. After the senior Pierce's death (1850), his son took
over & at that time it received the name Pierce, Cady &
Crocker. The company fell victim to the financial crisis of
Eureka MIlls woolen goods 1845-1870s Otis Barnes & David Mitchell erected a carding mill, c.1845.
In 1862, the mills were enlarged & called the Eureka Mills,
employing 40 people & manuf. woolen cloth. (West Eaton)
B. Tillinghast & Son leather products 1830-1880s Bradley Tillinghast, from Mansfield, CT, bought out his
brother's business (1830). For thirty years Tillinghast supplied
local demand for boots & shoes. In the 1880s all leather made
here was shipped to Boston. (Morrisville)
Wood, Taber & Morse machinery for 1848-1890 Founded by the Wood brothers, Ethan & Allen N., the company
woolen & cotton successfully manufactured machinery for woolen & cotton mills.
mills; castings; ag- When these mills declined, the brothers moved to Utica. Allen
ricultural machin- sold (1859) his Utica interest, returned to Eaton & organized
ery; portable the company which, between 1859 & 1880, manufactured 3000
steam engines engines. The Utica factory existed from 1857 to 1872. (Eaton)
Silk Factory silk 1853-1862 Founded by F.F. Stevens & John F. Gurley; converted (1862)
into a cheese factory. The building subsequently burned.
W. P. Lewis & Co. harness 1860s Harness manufacturers & dealers in saddlery hardware, oak &
hemlock harness leather; owned with B. Tillinghast & Son.
Dwight Graham & Co. agricultural mid-late 19th The Graham Co. oved (1869) to Eagleville (or Eaton Center)
machinery century from Morrisville to take advantage of the better waterpower.
Morton Furniture Co. household 1880s-1930s Located on Water St., A.D. Morton purchased his bldg. from
furniture Gardner Morse who had used it for manufacturing wooden
cisterns & pump logs. (Eaton)
L. Bernstein Havana & domes- 1900 Factory & shop on Main St. "Leader" brand was one of most
tic cigars popular. Was also a jeweler. (Morrisville)
: This information provided (with permission) from the Madison County Historical Society publication Country Roads Revisited
for information publications & services the Society can provide.
Date: Monday, March 08, 1999 08:15 AM