History of Bangorville by A.J. Baughman

Richland Co., Ohio


Historical Information

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source:  Mansfield News, 27 June 1903


Submitted by Jean and Faye


History of Richland County


By A J. Baughman





The student of history is interested not only in events, but also in a study of the causes which lead to the prosperity or adversity of a locality.  Cause precedes effect.  Two towns may be platted and start to build up with seemingly equal prospects of attaining size and importance.  But conditions may change, beneficial in the one and detrimental to the other.  New towns sometimes supplant older ones.  But there are always causes for such changes, although they may not be so apparent that “he who rums may read” and understand the reasons for the same.  Situations, conditions, commercial industrial, must be studied and analyzed to determine the cause of either decadence or prosperity.  The fundamental principle that the greater force overcomes the lesser is as true in history as it is in science.  This force may be of attraction or propulism.  The result is called “fate” or “destiny,” which is so remorseless that it neither rejoices at the prosperity nor weeps at the adversity of either towns or individuals.


Bangorville, situate on the west line of Jefferson township, a mile north of Knox county line, was through the prosperity period in the “forties,” and now has but little to point to with pride, except its past history.  The location is upon high land and commands a fine view of the country surrounding it.  The little village stands on the Lexington and Fredericktown road, about midway between the two towns.  This road intersects the New State road about a mile south of Palmyra  Another road runs east from Bangorville, crossing both the new and old State roads, four miles south of Bellville.  A road also runs due north along the township line, and another, from a half-mile south of Palmyra.  Another road runs east from Bangorville, crossing both the new and old State roads, four miles south of Bellville.  A road also runs due north along the township line, and another, from a half-mile south of the town, leads through the Lost Run region to Waterford, on the Owl creek.  These roads diverging from the village seemed to place it in an advantageous relations with the surrounding country, which fact was one of the reasons why Bangorville was as a location for “Moore’s foundry,” a manufacturing plant of large capacity and of larger possibilities.


Four miles south of Bellville, on the new State road, there was a settlement of Maine Yankees, and the locality was called Yankeetown.  And among these Penobscoters was one William Moore, the founder of “Moore’s foundry” at Bangorville.  The name “foundry” did not fully cover the scope of the plant, but as foundries were not numerous in this part of the state at that time, the name was not given in a special, but in a general sense, and nearly all shops where casting was done, were thus designated.


These Moore works were quite large for that period.  The main building was two stories high, with molding room and blacksmith shop as annexes.  The business was quite extensive the machinery, implements and articles made and manufactured were threshing machines, wind mills, cider presses, with automatic presses, cheese presses, plows, cultivators, stoves and stove utensils, mill gearings and all kinds of custom work.  Much of the output was of Mr. Moore’s own inventions.


The threshing machine was of the “knocker” style, somewhat like that of the Aultman & Taylor machine of today, and competed successfully with the “endless apron” variety.  The plow was called “the Grasshopper,” and was quite popular.


The shop started with a force of about twenty-five, which was increased until the pay roll for five years averaged about fifty men.  The town grew and increased and the people prospered and were happy.


William Moore was a born mechanic, and was competent to capably fill the place of the most skilled workman in any department of the shop.  He was an inventor and draughtsman as well as a skilled mechanic.  In addition to these, he was a business man of marked ability, with a foresight of the needs of the country and of the possibilities of the future, at least so far as farmers’ supplies were concerned.  He knew that thereafter grain would be threshed by machines, instead of being pounded out with flails; that the wooden mould-board plow would be supplanted by one of cast-iron, and that the lug-poles and trample hooks of the pioneer days had served their time and that cooking was thereafter to be done on stoves.  He saw that the country was in a state of transition from the old to a new order of things, and took the tide at its flow.  His mind could grasp what was needed, and his inventive genius could supply the article.  His inventions were not only numerous, but covered a wider scope than those of any other man perhaps in the world, and were made at a period when inventions were but “few and far between.”


Salesmen canvassed the country for the sale of Moore’s machinery, farm implements and the other products of his foundries, and wagons conveyed the same to the farmers’ homes.


But, when the plant was on the highway to a still greater success, one night flames were seen to shoot from the foundry up through the dark pall that hung ominously over the village, and the people were aroused by the cry of “fire! fire!  Moore’s foundry is on fire!”  But the flames had spread throughout the building to such an extent that it could not be saved, nor its contents taken out.  And thus went out in smoke and in flames, one of the earliest and most promising manufacturing plants of Richland county.  The factory was never rebuilt for want of means.  And with the destruction of the foundry, “Othello’s occupation” so far as Bangorville was concerned, was gone, and the town went into decadence, and now barely holds a place upon the map of the county.  “What would have been if things had been otherwise,” is often asked, but an answer can only come from the speculative realms of fancy.


A new condition of affairs came on soon after the Moore plant was destroyed that would of itself have operated against building at Bangorville.  A railroad was built - was extended from Mansfield to Newark, and, like , and, like the priest and the Levite, it went by on the other side - left Bangorville five miles away on the uplands to the west.


Mr. Moore removed to Mt. Vernon, where he later connected with the Cooper works, and contributed much to the success of that firm.  He is now dead, but his inventions place him in the list of a benefactor of the period in which he lived

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