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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Nappanee Furniture Nappanee Furniture

Nappanee Furniture

Location: 452 East Market Street, Nappanee. (Elkhart County, Indiana)

Installed: 2005 Indiana Historical Bureau, City of Nappanee, Nappanee Historic Preservation Commission, Nappanee Public Library, Elkhart County Historical Society, Nappanee, E. Newcomer and Son Jewelers

ID# : 20.2005.2

Text

Side one:

Nappanee platted 1874 on Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line. Sawmill opened 1873 produced ties for railroad construction. Coppes and Mutschler brothers were partners in lumber, milling, and furniture business, 1902-1913, becoming significant part of local furniture industry. By 1919, Indiana's furniture industry ranked fourth in nation.

Side two:

As separate companies, Coppes focused on kitchen cabinets and sideboards, the sawmill and flour mill, and Mutschler on manufactured tables and porcelain top kitchen tables. Coppes and Mutschler families continued to manage the companies, adapting to changing times. In 1969, outside corporations acquired both companies, ending local ownership.

Keywords

Business, Industry, and Labor, Transportation

Annotated Text

Nappanee platted 1874(1) on Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line.(2) Sawmill opened 1873 produced ties for railroad construction.(3) Coppes and Mutschler brothers were partners in lumber, milling, and furniture business, 1902-1913, becoming significant part of local furniture industry.(4) By 1919, Indiana's furniture industry ranked fourth in nation.(5)

As separate companies, Coppes focused on kitchen cabinets and sideboards, the sawmill and flour mill, and Mutschler on manufactured tables and porcelain top kitchen tables.(6) Coppes and Mutschler families continued to manage the companies, adapting to changing times.(7) In 1969, outside corporations acquired both companies, ending local ownership.(8)

Notes:

(1) James Weygand, They Called It Nappanee: A History 1874-1974 (Nappanee, Ind., 1974), 9 states the plat is dated December 12, 1874; on photocopy of plat, date cannot be determined. October 29, 2004 spoke with Christopher Anderson, Elkhart County Recorder's Office, Goshen (574-535-6756). He said the plat is stuck in the Deed Record Book between pages for December 12, 1874. Normally when a document is stuck into the book, the next page is left blank; that is not the case here. Wakarusa Weekly Sun, March 5, 1875 describes new town of Nappanee.

(2) Weygand, 6-7.

(3) Levi Ulery Diaries, October 24, 1872, Heritage Center, Nappanee Public Library; H. S. K. Bartholomew, Stories and Sketches of Elkhart County (Nappanee, Ind., 1936), 194.

(4) Coppes Bros. & Zook, Confidential Sales Manual: For Wholesale and Retail Salesmen (Nappanee, Ind., 1924), 5, 6, 7; Nappanee News, May 7, 1902, December 12, 1913.

1890 Coppes Brothers & Zook Inc. began. Coppes Brothers & Zook, Confidential Sales Manual (Nappanee, IN, 1924), 6.

1902 Coppes, Zook, & Mutschler began. Nappanee News, May 7, 1902. Coppes Brothers & Zook, Confidential Sales Manual (Nappanee, IN, 1924), 6

1914, January 1 Coppes, Zook & Mutschler will be dissolved. Nappanee News, December 12, 1913. Nappanee News, January 9, 1914 states that Mutschler Brothers were incorporated January 1, 1914

1924 Coppes Brothers & Zook. Coppes Brothers & Zook, Confidential Sales Manual (Nappanee, IN, 1924), cover.

1936 Coppes Brothers and Zook name changed to Coppes, Inc. Nappanee Advance-News, September, 28, 1939.

(5) According to the United States Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census (1920), VIII, Manufactures 1919 (Washington, 1923), Indiana's furniture industry ranked fourth by "Value of Products, " 195 and fifth by "Capital, " 382-85. See also, Clifton J. Phillips, Indiana in Transition: The Emergence of an Industrial Commonwealth, 1880-1920 (Indianapolis, 1968), 293-96.

(6) Nappanee News, December 12, 1913; September circa 1920 reproduction of Porce-Namel Advertisement in Good Housekeeping, Heritage Center, Nappanee Public Library; Nappanee News, January 9, 1914.

(7) Coppes, Inc., History (Nappanee, Ind., 1979), 1-8; Nappanee Advance-News, October 9, 1969.

(8) Nappanee Advance-News, February 6, October 9, 1969. Coppes Nappanee is still in business today. We are waiting for further information about Mutschler.