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View Full Version : Studebaker once got enticed to relocate to Kalamazoo



Michidan
01-18-2019, 08:48 AM
I've been reading a book on the history of my town, Kalamazoo MI. It was written in the 80's by 2 local historians / college professors.
I happened across a mention of Studebaker, and was surprised to see it was in regards to luring them out of South Bend!
This would have been in the 1870's. It's in a section of the book regarding the growth of the town, and how it compared to growth of the rest of Michigan. Apparently the 2 local newspapers at the time (the Gazette and the Telegraph) felt Kalamazoo was lagging behind.

From the book:
"The Telegraph editor said that "if we would make this a good business point, we must encourage MANUFACTORIES. This will bring in men and enhance the value of our property." Yet the Michigan Central repair shops went to Jackson with 1,000 workmen, and the Singer Company located in South Bend with hundreds more. Grand rapids won a rail-road-car factory and the Studebaker Wagon Works failed to move to Kalamazoo, even after a $100,000 stock offer. The Telegraph took to calling the village "Sleepy Hollow" and complained that local people coldshouldered visiting businessmen."

in all my Studebaker reading I don't think I'd ever heard of this.

sweetolbob
01-18-2019, 10:52 AM
Interesting comments on Studebaker. From what my son tells me, it worked out for the best as Pfizer is expanding and Stryker is also increasing their presence which should help the local economy.

Bob

8E45E
01-18-2019, 01:32 PM
Is that from The Kalamazoo Automobilist by David O. Lyons?

https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/books/477/

Craig

STEWDI
01-18-2019, 01:54 PM
Craig - just a thot. l wonder if there is a family connection between David Lyons and Former SDC prez Terry Judd. He is related, as you likely remember, to the Lyons family that supplied hub caps and wheel discs to much of the auto industry, including Studebaker.

Just a thot that would be an interesting connection if it were true.

6hk71400
01-18-2019, 03:24 PM
I can remember over 50 years ago there was a thought of Studebaker opening a plant in Tucson. I have never been able to find anything about it other than it was mentioned in our Phoenix paper either the Arizona Republic or Phoenix Gazette. My dad mentioned it as we had a new Lark at the time.

Bob Miles
Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator

56H-Y6
01-20-2019, 07:27 AM
One of the major reasons Studebaker would have decided to stay in South Bend in the 1870's was being on the main line of the New York Central railroad. Be it materials in or finished goods out, the railroads were the primary means of shipping everything in the 19th century.

Steve

Michidan
01-21-2019, 07:46 AM
Is that from The Kalamazoo Automobilist by David O. Lyons?

https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/books/477/

Craig

Nope, this book is called "Kalamazoo, the place behind the products"
Larry B Massie and Peter J Schmitt

Michidan
01-21-2019, 07:56 AM
Interesting comments on Studebaker. From what my son tells me, it worked out for the best as Pfizer is expanding and Stryker is also increasing their presence which should help the local economy.
Bob

Yeah, we are indeed Ok and those 2 companies have meant the world to this city. Although we never lured in Studebaker, we did have Checker! Gotta love em.

8E45E
01-21-2019, 08:22 AM
Nope, this book is called "Kalamazoo, the place behind the products"
Larry B Massie and Peter J Schmitt

You are no doubt correct. I checked my copy of The Kalamazoo Automobilist later when I got home from work, and their history only covers motorized vehicles from 1891. There is no reference to horse-drawn vehicles of any kind.

Craig

rkapteyn
01-21-2019, 12:40 PM
David Lyons restored an "Economy Motor buggy that was built in the automobile factory my son owns in Joliet Ill.
Dshbrd SPRING2018 Complete.pdf

sweetolbob
01-21-2019, 12:50 PM
Yeah, we are indeed Ok and those 2 companies have meant the world to this city. Although we never lured in Studebaker, we did have Checker! Gotta love em.

Checker sure but you also had Blood, Cannon, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Truck, Kalamazoo Motors, Lane Truck, Mighty Michigan, Pennant Club, States and Wolverine plus Roamer and Dort. You folks were the veritable auto manufacturing power of the state.;)

Bob