William Banfield


WILLIAM BANFIELD, a prominent manufacturer of Irondale, Jefferson county, received his first introduction to metal working in which he has been so successful as an emplye of a tin mill in Monmouthshire, England, where he was born in 1854. Hi father, Charles Banfield a native of England came to America in 1872 and is now a resident of Leechburgh, Penn. In the fall of the same year, William joined his father, and the two became engaged in starting the first tin mill operated in the United States. This institution, which was located at Leechburgh, was soon compelled to suspend operation on account of a reduction of the tariff on tin plate, and it was then devoted to the manufacture of fine sheet iron. It was operated under the name of Siberian Iron WOrks, by Rogers & Burchfield, afterward Kirkpatrick, Beal & Co., Limited. Here Mr. Banfield worked for thirteen years, and at the end of that period he came to Irondale, in October, 1885. The Pioneer Iron Works, for the manufacture of galvanized sheet iron, had been started at Irondale in 1868, and were first operated by Morgan & Hunter, with Pittsburgh partners, but the works changed hands several times, and when Mr. Banfield arrived, the plant was purchased by the Irondale Rolling Mill company, composed of Wallace, Banfield & Co., Limited. This company is engaged in manufacturing fine grades of black and galvanized sheet iron and soft sheet steel, and have at this time about $100,000 invested and employ about 175 hands. The plant has been doubled since they took charge, and they now have a lease to a vein of coal and enjoy in all respects the wonderful natural advantages of the site. J. C. Wallace, the senior member of the firm, was born near Belfast, Ireland and came to America when a small boy. He was a clerk at Pittsburgh for several years, and then embarked in merchandise for himself. He went into the iron business at Leechburgh, Penn., in 1876 as the partner in Kirkpatrick, Beal & Company, and is still interested in the works there. His home is at Leechburgh.

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