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ickelman Mfg Co.

Joseph L. Dickelman was born in Germany in 1840. When he came to the U.S. is unknown but it was prior to the beginning of the Civil War. The Dickelman Manfacturing Company began business in Forest in 1868. Information was found that during the Civil War Joseph L. Dickelman was a captain in charge of Federal troops. Other information indicate that Joseph was a sergeant, first sergeant, and first lieutenant. during that time. While a First Sergeant he was with the 4th Ohio Infantry. As a lieutenant he was with the 179th Ohio Infantry. Upon his return to Forest he started the company. Throughout the years it had many owners, but to locals it was always The Dickelman Mfg. Co. Established in the late 1860s it operated until the early 1940s.

There is a recorded marriage between Joseph L. Dickelman and Mary A. Worley on 18 Nov 1868. The children of that marriage were Lawrence Dickelman (30 Jan 1886, Louisville, KY), Maud M. Dickelman (3 Dec 1872, Patterson, OH), Lawrence later married Lulu May Craven (15 Feb 1888, De Smet, SD), daughter of Edwin and Amy May Craven.

Dickelman Manfacturing Co.
October 27, 18_9

The Dickelman offices are visible in the photograph on the right. The building was later destroyed when a wreck occurred on the Pennsylvania railroad trackage. In the photograph are Gurney Hune, __, Harry Jenkins, Bill Dice, Henry Hagerman, Reese Craglow, Guy Musgrave, Lloyd Mark, Pat Garver, and Elmer Burk. In the middle are __, Dick Baker, Pat Curtin, Clarence Hune, Pat Chase, Martin Holmes, John Wheatly, Grif Lockard, Elmer Hagerman,and Frank Talbert. And in the back are John Lobert, Cliff Spoon, Henry Harman, Earl Harman, Harry Jenkins, __, __, Elijah Hebler, Todd Goling, __, and Dess George.

Dickelman Article

Workers for Joseph Dickelman gathered October 27, 18?9 in front of the Dickelman Mfg. Co. offices. Original names were written on the reverse of the photograph. One name is Henry Hagerman listed as fifth from the left in the back row. Another is Harry Jenkins listed as third and fifth in the front row, but the name for the fifth position is scratched out and Henry Hagerman written in place of it. There was a Henry Hagerman who was listed as 21 years old on the 1910 census and the individual in the photograph looks about that age, but there is a discrepancy about which is Henry Hagerman and which is Harry Jenkins.

Dickelman Manfacturing Co.
Work Crew

Therefore, Henry Jenkins and Henry Hagerman could be any of three different individuals in the photograph. The assumption is that the original names were correct and have been entered as such. All the other names are assumed accurate. You might compare the facial features of Elmer Hagerman (second from right middle row) with the facial features of both Henry Hagerman and Harry Jenkins plus the individual sitting fifth from the left front row.

Joseph L. Dickelman can be seen in the left photograph standing in the doorway with many of his workers around him. The individuals listed on the photograph include (front) __, Clarence Hune, Gurney Hune, Pat Case, John Wheatly, __, Martin Holmes, Elmer Hagerman, and Frank Talbert; (middle) Pat Curtin, Todd Goling, and Dick Baker; (back) __, Joseph L. Dickelman, __, and __; and (unidentified) Fred Haner, Will Ewing, James Curtin, Charlie Unkard, Clyde Eckelberry, Jake Cooper, Tom Derringer, and John Kachley.

Dickelman Mfg. Co.

A Joseph W. Dickelman died of tuberculosis in El Paso, Texas on December 2, 1903. His body was shipped to Forest for burial in Hueston cemetery. Joseph L. Dickelman died 5 May 1917.

Dickelman envelope

Dickelman distributed his products throughout the United States. One individual, a Mr. Wm. Kinderman, of Boonville, Indiana and probably a farmer who purchased a Dickelman product, was sent a letter on July 30, 1900. The substance of that communication can only be speculated, but from the return address on the envelope, The Dickelman Mfg. Co. was being marketed as The Dickelman-Bowers Mfg. Co.


In November, 1905 Lawrence Dickelman (age 20) of Forest, Ohio was working as a salesman. He is listed for Wells, Indiana as having married a Miss E. Cornbuck on 3 Nov 1905. His father was Joseph Dickelman and he was listed as having been born in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1918 Dickelman Mfg. ran this advertisement in the "Prairie Farmer's Reliable Directory."

A Mr. John H. Smick was vice president and a member of the Board of Directors for the company in 1925.

In 1926 Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hetzel Dickelman, Joseph's second child, patented a brooder," a heated house (next stage after incubation) for rearing chicks without the mother birds. Her patent provided a multi-purpose small farm building, specifying a Frame with adjustable sash for convertible grain bins and brooder houses."

Elizabeth Dickelman

Lizzie had three patents attributed to her:

#US1219267 (15 May 1917) grain storehouse construction
#US1226477 (5 May 1917) metal building plate
#US1328132 (13 Jan 1920) ventilated storage warehouse.

Brooder with a sign attached

By 1927 it had distributed product to thirty states; west to California, north to North Dakota, east to New Hampshire, and south to Florida. In December of that year the company received from the Kentucky Hatchery in Lexington, Kentucky an order for four Brooder Houses to be shipped to Spain for use on the farm of the King of Spain.

Dickelman sign

The sign on the fence to the right was found under a house in western Ohio. The sign measures 18" x 24" and was probably attached to a brooder at one time. The brooder on the sign is similar to the brooder in the 1891 similar to the house to the right.

Inside a new brooder house

Dickelman distrbution was nationwide. One individual, a Mr. Wm. Kinderman, of Boonville, Indiana and probably a farmer who purchased a Dickelman product, was sent a letter on July 30, 1900. The substance of that communication can only be speculated, but from the return address on the envelope, The Dickelman Mfg. Co. was being marketed as The Dickelman-Bowers Mfg. Co. To see a brochure on Dickelman Mfg. Co. metal brooder houses, click here (7.2 megs).

G.L. Cowell letter
Tell Hopkins letter, p2
Tell Hopkins letter, p1

These are advertisements, letters, and photographs of some of the structures built by the Dickelman Manfacturing Company, Forest, Ohio. Joseph L. Dickelman was inducted into the Hardin County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dickelman Chicken Coop
Inside a Dickelman Chicken Coop
Building a brooder house by installing walls & windows