Biography of Freeman C. Noxon

Noxon Brothers Manufacturing Company, the most extensive industry in the manufacturing line at Ingersoll, is composed of five brothers, Freeman C., James, Samuel, Stephen, and Thomas H., sons of Samuel Noxon, senior, who was born and spent his days in the County of Prince Edward, Ontario, and grandson of James Noxon, a United Empire Loyalist from Duchess County, N. Y. The grandfather settled in Prince Edward at the close of the American Revolution. The mother of these five sons was Rhoda White. They received a business education in the public schools of their native county, James, the second son, adding a few terms of study at the Jefferson County Institute, Watertown, N. Y.

Samuel Noxon, senior, owned a large farm and saw mill, and as his sons had a mechanical turn of mind, he built a shop for wood work expressly for their use. In that shop they made anything to which they applied their skill farm wagons, buggies, cutters, threshing machines, &c., &c. Their hands seemed to gain the mastery, almost by intuition, of nearly every kind of mechanics tools, this being particularly the case with Freeman, James, and Samuel.

In 1855 James and Samuel Noxon came to Ingersoll, Stephen following in 1865, and Freeman C. the oldest, and Thomas H. the youngest, in 1869. At first the two pioneers in this town started a foundry, and made plows and stoves only. After a while they dropped stoves and commenced the manufacture of mowers and reapers, and grain drills, still making them a specialty. They usually turn out about 1,500 reapers and mowers, and 1,000 grain drills, doing a business from $230,000 to $250,000 a year; and employing, in inside work, about 120 men, and a large force outside. No other manufacturing establishment in town has done, or is doing, half so much to build it up, though there are several large factories and mills in the place.

Their buildings cover four or five acres, the main building being 460 feet long, and the greater part 125 feet wide, and one and two stories high. The location is on Thames Street, directly between the Great Western and Credit Valley Railway tracks, with the station of the former road joining on the north, and that of the latter on the south, thus having the best conveniences possible for shipment of machines. In the large office (25 x 65 feet) are branches of the Dominion and Montreal Telegraph offices, and a branch of the American Express office.

The reapers and mowers manufactured in these shops include the Standard Combined, the Standard Single Reaper, and the Standard Light Mower, and are second in quality to nothing of the kind manufactured in the Province. The graindrills made by Noxon Brothers, are the celebrated Hoosier, which attracted so much attention at the International Centennial Exhibition, held at Philadelphia in 1876. It is manufactured also as a combined drill and broadcast seeder, and includes in its make up, all the best points found in the latest and best machines of the kind. This company also manufactures hand and power feed cutters, cultivavators, horse sawing machines, &c., but nothing that is cheap and frail. The best timber and iron is put into these machines, and their durability as well as excellence keep the price at fair remunerative rates. Their reapers and mowers are found in every part of the Dominion where grain and grass grow, and are very popular.

The Noxon Brothers Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1872. James being President; Samuel, Secretary and Treasurer; Freeman, Superintendent, the other two brothers having particular charges outside. All have families but Stephen. All have managed to keep out of office except James, who has had responsibilities in the municipalities of the town and county quite as often and quite as long as he has desired them. As head manager of these great manufacturing works, his labors and responsibilities are all, it is evident, that he covets.



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