Steel Fabricators, Inc.
After 114 years this company continues as a vibrant, going concern
renowned for the quality of its products throughout the country and
overseas. Through its pioneering efforts, it has made major
contributions to the growth of the American oil, steel, automobile and
The company was
originally founded by two local families — Post
and Hawthorne in 1860 and operated under
the name of Sharpsville Boiler Works. With the successful drilling of
oil by Colonel Drake at Titusville, the
Sharpsville Boiler Works soon became closely identified with the
construction of metal tanks and kindred fabrication for use in that
rapidly growing industry. It supplied Colonel
Drake his first iron tank.
The Civil War and
the expansion of the iron and steel industry enabled the company to
further diversify it products, producing boilers, blast furnaces and
casting houses for many of the iron makers of the Shenango Valley, as
well as a large number of the iron bridges in this area.
Matthew Gemmill, who had purchased Mr.
Hawthorne’s interest in the company, perfected a steel buggy
for the hauling of coke, ore and dolomite. Later Gemmill’s
son James, took over the management of the
firm. James was also one of the original stockholders of the Iron
Banking Co., now  the Sharpsville branch of the McDowell
National Bank. In 1907 he sold his interest in the business to F.W.
King, treasurer of the Valley Mould and Iron Company.
In 1915 the
company was reorganized by the new owners, Mr.
Hugh J. Garvey, Mr. J. W. Considine and Mr. King. At this time, Charles
D. Fagan was brought from Pittsburgh to operate the business. In
1919 Fagan became the operating manager with Garvey
and King the remaining active
partners. Mr. King sold out his interest in
the early twenties.
The growth of the
automobile industry necessitated the building of storage tanks for
refineries, bulk and service stations, and tanks for transportation of
petroleum products. It was in this area of tankage and fabricated
platework to meet every requirement that the company became renowned.
Among its development were the manufacture of the first motor driven
meter pumps now found in all gasoline stations.
in 1938 the
Sharpsville Boiler Works became known as Sharpsville Steel Fabricators,
Inc. In 1955 the Fagan family became major stockholders of the company.
About this time the company changed the emphasis of its products from
petroleum tanks to general plate fabrications, including pressure
vessels, storage tanks, etc., along with its continuing construction of
field tanks, truck tanks and mobile fire apparatus.
death of C. D. Fagan, Sr. in 1965 the
management succeeded to three sons and two sons-in-law. Charles,
Jr. was elected to the presidency and the other four filled
important managerial positions.
In 1966 the
company purchased additional land from the Shenango Furnace Company and
began a major expansion program and also established a new subsidiary
named Sharpsville Steel Equipment Company which markets the parent
company’s truck tanks and serves as a distributor and installer other
truck bodies and equipment.
employs approximately 100 people and is today a major fabricator for the
steel industry, much like its predecessors, fabricating blast furnaces
and basic oxygen components. It also does carbon and stainless steel
plate work and continues to be a major factor in field erected tanks.
Plans are to
remain in Sharpsville where they have always found the community to be
cooperative and understanding.
Sharpsville Centennial Commemorative
Booklet, 1974, pages 29-30