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Jackson Iron & Steel Company-1948 by Raymond Booth


Jackson Iron and Steel Company 1917

Jisco under construction c 1903
Jackson Iron and Steel Company 1906-1969

The Jackson Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) was organized in 1906. Capital stock was $150,000. The principal owners were Moses Morgan, John F. Morgan, David D. Davis, John J. Thomas, and Henry Hossman. Moses was a well known businessman, coal operator, and Vice-President of the First National Bank of Jackson. John J. Thomas was a leading capitalist in the Oak Hill, Ohio area and was a director of the Citizen's Savings and Trust Company, with stock holdings in the firebrick and coal industries of that area. John F. Morgan was the former secretary of Tropic Furnace and was associated with the Aetna Fire Brick Company. Henry Hossman was a structural engineer from Portsmouth and had built both Star and Globe furnaces. D. D. Davis was known for his development of the brick industry in Oak Hill.

The furnace was built on the Hunsinger Farm and Givens Run, located southwest of Jackson, Ohio. The Jackson and Muncie Coal Company was purchased, which included their lease on 175 acres of coal. The initial site included one metal stack and three hot blast ovens. The furnace was completed in 1908. The Sharon #1 coal was mined on site, although in later years a mixture of local coal, West Virginia coke, and Lake Superior Ores were utilized manufacture pig iron. Railroad switches were constructed with the B&O and D.T.&I railroads. The first expansion occurred in 1914 when two more boilers and stove among other things were installed. As time progressed, both furnaces continued to make improvements which allowed there survival during challenging economic times. In 1923, the furnace at JISCO was remodeled and more extensively in 1928, when the cast house was enlarged.

During the first World War, the company added a fourth hot blast stove, two boilers, and a second steam engine. A labor strike occurred in 1919, and then on September 25th, 1920, an explosion occurred at the furnace. Molten iron broke through and came into contact with the water which surrounded the foundation. Superintendent George Louden was incinerated in the molten iron, along with employees Frank Osborn, Sr., and John Clewers. James Osborn, Frank Osborn, Jr., and John Kauffman were severely burned, and James later died from his burns.

Great Depression brought difficult times but was erased by 1940 because of the increased demand of pig iron on the eve of World War II.

The original furnace was dismantled in 1942 and replaced with a larger furnace and a new hot blast stove. The construction was completed in a record time of 70 days by the William Pollock Company of Youngstown, Ohio.

The furnace was purchased in 1947 by Fred Jones of Columbus, Ohio. Other principals included Charles F. Bruny (V.P.), J.W. Potter (Secretary and General Manager), and James W. Jenkins (Treasurer). Between 1952 and 1953, capacity was increased by 15%, and JISCO became well known for its silvery iron. To ensure adequate supply of water for furnace operations was made possible with the purchase of 562 acres of hill and valley land less than a mile from the plant and constructed a dam, that was completed in 1952. It created a mile-long, seventy acre lake, now known as Lake Williard, honoring Williard Potter, a long time employee, director, and secretary of the firm since 1924.

JISCO closed May 20, 1969, when the furnaces of Jackson County were silenced once and for all. It was purchased by Banner Industries of Cleveland. After an failed attempt to implement an electrical furnace operations, the site was dismantled in 1983.

Jackson Iron and Steel Company (JISCO)

Jackson Iron and Steel Company March 25, 1909

Jackson Iron and Steel Company Stock Certificate
Jackson Iron & Steel Co. engine # 1

Jackson Iron & Steel Company card printed in 1930 as a sales promotion

Inside Jackson Iron and Steel Company

Jisco Engine # 3 a 0-6-0 switch engine

Pictured is Jerry Jacobson and the crew that worked to restore the Baldwin Steam Locomotive No. 3 at Jisco. It is now at Steamtown USA National Park, Scranton Pennsylvania, renumbered 26, and operates to this day.

Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works, March 1929 Builder's Number: 60733

Cylinders (diameter x stroke in inches): 20 x 24
Boiler Pressure (in lbs. per square inch): 180
Diameter of Drive Wheels (in inches): 50
Tractive Effort (in lbs.): 29,375

Weight on Drivers (in lbs.): 124,000

Locomotive No. 2-The Jisco "Dinky"