Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Some time ago the Garold Horricks, of Warsaw, gave us a book published by the Indiana Department of Statistics for 1907 and 1908. This publication is undoubtedly the forerunner to the Indiana Yearbook which is now published annually. A careful study of this book reveals many interesting facts about our county at that time.

Syracuse was the leading Kosciusko county industrial town of 1907. The factories located there produced Portland cement, steam and hot water radiators, boats, launches, flour, lumber, drain tile and brick. They employed 250 men with an average payroll of $4,000.

Warsaw was second in industries, her factories employing 80 men. Hay cars, ladders, swings, flour mill machinery, castings, handles, chairs, cement blocks, shingles, brick and flour were manufactured in Warsaw plants. The weekly payroll averaged $800.

Pierceton factories hired 50 men and 20 women and manufactured hardwood lumber, catsup, pickles and kraut. At Milford there was a saw mill, two grain elevators, and factories that produced stock food and leather and electrical appliances. Thirty-five men and 10 women earning a total of $375 weekly worked there. Factories at Mentone manufactured stoves, sewer tile, cement blocks, flour and automobiles. These factories, together with a grain elevator, employed 40 men. Silver Lake had a saw mill and heading factory; Leesburg reported a saw mill, flour mill and grain elevator. Claypool listed a saw mill as its only industry. No other towns in our county reported any factories.

Most communities were trying to induce factories to come to their towns. From Syracuse came this statement: "New industries seeking a location will find a favorable sentiment. Free sites and financial aid will be given through the Syracuse Improvement Association." Warsaw, Mentone and Pierceton also had items in this book stating that financial aid would be extended to any legitimate factory wishing to locate in their town.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Dec. 12, 1953