Back in the 1880’s or 90’s a group of individuals decided they wanted to put up a modern, large furniture plant in Rushville. They purchased a lot of land in town around 7th and Oliver for their project. They wanted, and in reality, did make this plant a show case for the industry. It was three story all brick with heavy wooden beams and floors and most modern equipment available. They called their puppy Innis and Pierce Furniture Company.
It was to be something that the city and county would be proud of and would bring a lot of jobs to town. I think they were the impetus behind International Furniture, Park Furniture and Rushville Furniture companies of later years. I believe International came to town in the 30’s and Park and Rushville were here already. Today, none of them are in town any more.
The Innis and Pierce plant was one of beauty and expanse. They had three ponds with fountains in a park like setting in front of the plant itself. They had a brick and wrought iron fence along 7th street and a rail spur in front and back of their beautiful plant. The offices were situated on the east end of the building with two cement coal bins on the west end. They used coal to fuel and power their plant and used a lot of it.
They had a huge drop crane on steel rails that went from the furnace room over the coal bins. It would pick up a clam full of coal take it in the furnace room and dump it in the furnace. They had train cars of coal delivered when needed. The furnace also supplied the steam to power many of the machines they used. It was, I understand, a lot like the old Metzger Lumber Company and the steam would power heavy long rods from one end of the plant to the other. They would then have leather belts run from this column down to the machine and off they would go.