Sharpsville Steel Fabricators

Sharpsville Steel Fabricators

Sharpsville Boiler Works

Sharpsville 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 chemical industries. 

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. 

Mr. 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 [1974] 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. 

Following the 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. 

The company 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



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