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Indiana Match Company

Source: Indianapolis Journal 1 Jan 190 p 3
A rumor to the effect that the Indiana Match Company of Crawfordsville will be absorbed by the trust is denied by officers of the company, who say they are having a good trade, and have no desire to sell out.

Source: Indianapolis Journal 17 Jan 1902 p 7
OM Gregg, one of hte proprietors of the Indiana Match Company located at Crawfordsville was at the Denison last night. Mr. Gregg was one of the owners of the Indiana Wire Fence Company which sold out to the trust four or five years ago.  He and three others interested in the business signed an agreement to keep out of the wire fence manufacturing business for ten years. It is not believed that one of these contracts would stand if attacked by law, but Mr. Gregg says he has no inclination to go into the business as his connection with the match company keeps him reasonably busy. The factory at Crawfordsville gives employment to about 250 people. They manufacture form 30,000,000 to 40,000,000 matches a day.  The Crawfordsville company is not in the trust, but is an independent concern.  Mr. Gregg says there is no talk of selling out to the trust. This company manufactures the ordinary parlor match and a few "safety" matches. The safety is a match that cannot be lighted unless brought into contact with an especially prepared surface. The company is also prepared to make sulphur matches, but is not doing so now. A great many sulphur matches are sold in New England near the coast. They are made so they can be lighted in the wind.  Mr. Gregg sasy the board of directors of the Indiana Match Company has adopted the rule of refusing to admit strangers into the factory. There are two reasons why visitors are not allowed, one of which is rather unique. One is because some preparations are used in making matched that are not meant to be investigated by the public. Another is because the presense of visitors in the place interferes with the work of employees. "For instance," said Mr. Gregg, "We have, perhaps 100 women working in one room. Let a stranger enter the room and how quick those women would turn around to see who he was. I don't say the men employees would not, but I think it is a settled proposition that women display greater curiosity in this particular than men. But suppose a strange women should enter the room where these 100 women will look at another one to see how she is dressed. This would be the case in our business.  All those 100 women would want to see what the visitor was wearing and consequently each woman would lose some time. It would amount to a great deal in a year. WHile we pay our people by the piece we are anxious for them to do as much work for us and themselves as they can and we feel that the rule of keeping strangers out of the establishment is not only beneficial to us, but to our employees."

Source: Weekly Republican 4 Sept 1902
Crawfordsville, Sept 1 - After one of hte most spiritied voting contests ever held in this city Miss Cassie Neal, a young lady employed by the Indiana Match Company was Saturday elected Queen of Labor Day, having received a majority of 1,400.

Source: Indianapolis Star Fri 26 June 1903 p 5
Crawfordsville June 25 - Cupid is playing havoc among the women employees of the Indiana Match Company.  Unless he is corralled in short order the big institution may have to close for want of nimble-fingered girls to pack matches.  "I am having no end of trouble," said Charles Burk, the man that hires the girls. "Lydia Elmore got married last night. 25 have married in the last six months."  Not satisfied in getting away at this rate, the girls are writing their names and addresses on slips of paper and sending them out in boxes of matches they pack.  Several have got good correspondents this way. "It looks as if the factory will have to keep Cupid out of the match business or he will close us down!"  

Source: Richmond Indiana Item 8 Oct 1903 p 5
Crawfordsville Oct 8 – The girls employed in the packing department of the Indiana Match company drew the color line. The scarcity of help caused the management of the concern to employ several colored girls in the department. The white girls resented this action and an indignation meeting was called. It was resolved to wait on the manager and inform him that unless the colored girls were at once released a strike would be ordered. As such a movement would seriously embarrass the factory, the management acceded to the demand and the colored help was dismissed.

Source: St. Louis Missouri Post-Dispatch 19 Nov 1904
Crawfordsville, Ind June 18 – This city has become the greatest match-making center in the state. Two varieties are made, parlor matches and matrimonial matches. The parlor match industry has, within the last few years, grown to enormous proportions and the matrimonial matches in the same time have exceeded all former records.  The two sorts of matches evidently have gone hand in hand. Before the match factory was located in Crawfordsville the town girls experienced the same difficulty in making suitable matches as girls in most towns without match factories usually have. But with the coming of the factory and several hundred good looking, eligible young men the matrimonial market was glutted with excellent match-making timber and that the girls of the town were quick to size up the value of the timber is evidenced by ...

Source: Indianapolis News 13 Jan 1910 p 10
Crawfordsville Jan 13 -- Fred M. Gregg, age 37, a prominent young business man of this city died yesterday afternoon at Culver Union Hospital following an operationi for peritonitis. Gregg was associated with his father, OM Gregg in the manufacutring business, being secretary and treasurer of the Indiana Match Company, secretary of the Crawfordsville Wire Bound Box Company, treasurer of the newly organized Central States Life Insurance Company and president of the Young Men's Christian Association. He was an alumnus of Wabash College with the class of 1893.  He is survived by a widow and one child, less than a year old; his parents and one brother, Charles M. Gregg, a manufacturer of this city. Another brother, Mills Gregg, died suddently about a year ago from pneumonia.

Source: Crawfordsville Daily Journal Wednesday, 12 January 1910

The community was greatly shocked this afternoon to learn of the death of Fred M. Gregg, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. O.M. Gregg and one of the most prominent young business men in the city. For only a few knew of his illness. Death occurred at Culver Hospital aobut half past two o'clock only a couple of hours after the operation from which he never rallied. Mr. Gregg was taken ill rather suddenly Monday morning about half past 9 while at work in the office of the Indiana Match Company of which he is secretary. He suffered intense pain in the abdomen and went home. Physicians were called and on Tuesday a nurse was employed, but he steadily got worse. This morning Dr. Thomas B. Noble was called over from Indianapolis and an operation was determined on. This occurred at the hospital just before dinner but he did not rally and at half past two the report went out that he was suffering from a very peculiar and rather rare ailment. A sack had formed on the ouside of the intestines in which a stone had developed. This caused an abcess which in time had leaked into the intestinal cavity, producing the serious condition that made the symptoms so alarming. No arrangements have been made for the funeral as yet. Fred Marshall Gregg was born in Crawfordsville, Jan 23, 1873 and would have 37 years old in a short time. He was educated in the public schools of which his father was a trustee for many years and then spent 4 years in Wabash College graduating in 1893. He immediately went into business with his father who was at the time manager for the Indiana Wire Fence Company and became secretary of the company before it dissolved. Since the organization of the Indiana Match Company he has been its efficient secretary and treasurer. He was also secretary of the Crawfordsville Wirebound Box Company treasurer of the Central States Life Insurance Company and was considered one of the most reliable young business men in the city. He has been a director of the YMCA and has just retired from the presidency of that insitution. He was also a Mason and since his boyoood has been an active member of Center Presbyterian Church. On June 14, 1904 he was married to Miss Minnie Smalley and to them was born about a year ago a little daughter, Julia Caroline. The family and especially the parents will have the sympathy of the community to an unusual degree in their bereavement as only a couple of years ago they lost another son, Mills Gregg. - kbz

Source: Indianapolis Star 25 Feb 1911 p 6
Crawfordsville Feb 24 - At a meeting of the managers of the principal facotires in this city held today for the purpose of discussing the issues of the coming "wet" and "dry" campaign there was a unanimous feeling in favor of keeping this city saloonless. Every man present expressed himself freely and all gave one or more specific instances showing the advantage of having no saloons. In almost every factory there used to be workmen who spent most of their wages Saturday night over the bar, not only to the detriment of themselves and families but also affecting their efficiency in their work, for the following two or three days. SInce the saloons have gone all this has been done away with.

It is the intention of the factory managers to issue (wet and dry campaign) a signed statement in the near future so that the voters may know the facts in an authortative way. Among the men in the conference were OM Gregg of the Indiana Match Company and C'ville Wire and Nail; Frank  Warner, Standard Brick; Loyd Waugh, Poston Paving Brick; Henry Meister, Crawfordsville Wire & Nail; GB Luckett, Crawfordsville Shale; Dr. IA Detchon and PO Rudy, C'ville Corrugated Sewer Company.  The committee of temperance workers which will wage the fight against the return of saloons to this city will do its work without a chairman. It will work as a whole with subcommittes to attend to certain phase. Emerson Ballard of the committee was selected to manage the publicity end today.

Source: Indianapolis Star 28 Dec 1913 p 43
(by Myron W. Green) -- While all of these factories are new and as yet small in the number of men employed, the business man of the city believes that all the companies are manufacturing producs that will find a ready sale and it is the general belief that the companies will have a steady growth and that they will prosper. There have been few business failures in Crawfordsville, and there is no reason to believe they will be numerous in the future.  Among the industries of the city, the making of matches ranks second in the number of persons employed. The Indiana Match Company organized about 12 years ago, sends its products to all parts of the country. About 125 person are employed in the plant.

Source: Richmond Palladium-Item 20 March 1914 p 9
OM Gregg, President, Indiana Match Company, Crawfordsville - When Crawfordsville had saloons, that class of factory employees included to drink, even though to a limited extent, would draw their pay on Saturday, come down town, one treat another until they would be under the influence of liquor and their efficiency greatly decreased for the next two or three days.  Since the saloons have been closed this trouble has largely been done away with.

Source: Columbus Republic Wed 20 Dec 1916 p 6
Crawfordsville Dec 20 - The Indiana Match Company announces that it will increase the wages of all of its employees Saturday. The increase will affect 75 persons and will amoun t to about 6 per cent of the wages now paid.

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