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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > The Rumely Companies The Rumely Companies

The Rumely CompaniesThe Rumely Companies

Location: NW corner of Madison Street & Lincolnway, La Porte. (La Porte County, Indiana)

Installed: 2003 Indiana Historical Bureau and Rumely Historic Recognition Committee

ID# : 46.2003.1

Text

Side one:

Meinrad Rumely (1823-1904), a German immigrant, founded a blacksmith shop here 1853, which grew into a dominant company through reorganizations and acquisitions. Rumely companies in La Porte benefited from available rail transportation plus German and later Polish immigrant laborers. Products included a wide variety of agricultural machines.

Side two:

Rumely's prizewinning thresher later became one of the earliest powered by steam. Thousands of OilPull tractors sold worldwide 1910-1930. Rumely companies were at the forefront of mechanization of American and world agriculture and had significant impact on La Porte. Allis-Chalmers acquired the firm 1931 and closed La Porte plant 1983.

Keywords

Business, Industry, and Labor, Immigration and Ethnic Groups, Agriculture, Science, Medicine, and Inventions

Annotated Text

Side one:

Meinrad Rumely (1823-1904), a German immigrant, founded a blacksmith shop here 1853, (1) which grew into a dominant company through reorganizations and acquisitions.(2) Rumely companies in La Porte benefited from available rail transportation(3) plus German(4) and later Polish immigrant laborers.(5) Products included a wide variety of agricultural machines.(6)

Side two:

Rumely's prizewinning thresher(7) later became one of the earliest powered by steam.(8) Thousands(9) of OilPull tractors(10) sold worldwide(11) 1910-1930.(12) Rumely companies were at the forefront of mechanization of American and world agriculture(13) and had significant impact on La Porte.(14) Allis-Chalmers acquired the firm 1931(15) and closed La Porte plant 1983.(16)

Notes:

(1) [Sixty Years of the Rumely Organization (c.1912-1913)], [1, 2]; Note: there is no title page available to confirm information, original located in La Porte County Historical Society Museum Archives]; Philip Morehouse McGarr, "The Autobiography of Dr. Edward A. Rumely: The Formative Years, 1882-1900, " Indiana Magazine of History, 66 (1970): 8, 10; La Porte Daily Herald, March 31, 1904.

(2) [Sixty Years of the Rumely Organization (1913)], [4]; Indiana Farmer, August 11, 1911, advertisement headed "The Rumely Complete Line."

(3) Richard S. Simons and Francis H. Parker, Railroads of Indiana (Indianapolis, 1997), 12, 99.

(4) Phillip Morehouse McGarr, "The Autobiography of Dr. Edward A. Rumely, " Indiana Magazine of History, 66 (1970): 12-13.

(5) Edith J. Backus, ed., LaPorte, Indiana, History of First Hundred Years, 1832-1932 (n.p., n.d.), 1; 1913–1963, 50th Anniversary, Sacred Heart Church (Sunday, June 2, 1963), a commemorative program, [6].

(6) Indiana Farmer, August 11, 1911.

(7) Charles H. Wendel, The Allis-Chalmers Story (Sarasota, Florida, 1988), 17.

(8) Lynn K. Grooms, Vintage Allis-Chalmers Tractors (Stillwater, Minn., 2000), 78.

(9) Antique Power, November/December 2000, includes a listing compiled by Allis-Chalmers company circa 1948; William H. C. Higgins, Power from Oil (Phoenix, Arizona, 1988), 282.

(10) Company advertisements in Indiana Farmer, August 19, 1911, January 13, March 2, April 13, November 23, 1912.

(11) Toiling and Tilling the Soil (La Porte, Ind., 1912), 4, a company publication about the Rumely OilPull tractor.

(12) Antique Power, November/December 2000, 32-33; Higgins, Power from Oil, 282-83.

(13) Indiana Farmer, October 21, 1911; Edward A. Rumeley, "The Passing of the Man with the Hoe, " The World's Work, 20 (August 10, 1910); 13247.

(14) [Sixty Years of the Rumely Organization], n.p.; Indiana Farmer, November 23, 1912; La Porte Daily Herald, March 31, 1904.

(15) "Thresher Co., LaPorte, Ind., " article in C[harles] H. Wendel, Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, (Sarasota, Florida, 1979), n.p.

(16) Grooms, 79.