Winfield Foundry


March 13, 1879 - We regret to learn of the death of Mrs. Clarke, wife of Samuel Clarke, of the Southwestern Machine Works. Mrs. Clarke, although having resided in Winfield but a short time, had won the respect and esteem of the entire community.



July 31, 1879 - Mr. Dysert, of the Southwestern machine works, returned from Indiana last week, bringing with him an experienced boiler maker. This will enable the works to turn out all kinds of boilers of their own make.


Nov 6, 1879 - Messrs. Clarke & Dysert, of the Southwestern Machine Works, are making arrangements to build an addition to their shops, which will be used as a foundry. It is to be 30 x 60.

Dec 11, 1879 - Clark & Dysert have the foundry addition to their machine shops almost finished, and will be ready to do casting in about two weeks. The outer part of the furnace is already up. It is intended to hold 2,500 pounds of molten metal. They have orders ahead for several thousand pounds of castings.

JANUARY 29, 1880. - By special invitation we dropped into the Southwestern Machine shops last Thursday afternoon. It was the time set apart for casting in the new foundry, and Mr. Clarke concluded to call in the newspaper men to see the thing go off. ABout four o'clock the "blast" was turned on, and in less than half an hour the molten iron began to trickle down into the great iron ladle prepared to receive it, while men with metal dippers carried the sputtering, sizzling mass around and poured it into little round holes made in boxes of mud. A large number of people were present and seemed to take great interest in the process of casting iron. Clarke & Dysert have expended considerable money in putting in this foundry, mostly upon a venture, as they did not know whether they would be able to get enough work to pay expenses. The experiment has so far proved a success. They have orders for all the work they can do for some time, and we have no doubt that when people learn that they can get their repairs done at home as well as abroad, the Southwestern will be overrun with work.

March 25, 1880 - Clarke & Dysert have put in a bid against the Atchison foundry for funishing the columns, etc., for the new four-story union building now being erected at Wichita. They propose to furnish better work at the same price than any foundry in the state, and they can do it.

MARCH 25, 1880. - This institution is becoming the special pride of our citizens. Messrs. Clarke & Dysert have gone on quietly, with an abiding faith in the town and country, putting in new appliances and machinery, until the excellence of their work begins to bring our citizens to a realization of the fact that Winfield can successfuly compete with Leavenworth, Atchison, or Kansas City, in anything made of iron. The columns and plates just finished for the Morehouse-Baird building are far ahead of anything yet furnished here. The columns are firm, solid, of elegant design, and weigh 550 pounds each. The plates for the doorsills bear the imprint of the foundry, and are lettered "W. S. M." and "Baird Bros., 1880." After the contract for the columns had been let to Clarke & Dysert, parties representing the Atchison foundry scoffed at the idea of our foundry being able to complete the job, and asserted that "it took them six months to turn out their first columns."

This somewhat shook the faith of the architects, and the fear of being delayed troubled them greatly. But Clarke & Dysert knew what they were doing, and the discouraging words only made them redouble their efforts to turn out work that would prove what they themselves knew, that they could compete with any foundry in the country both in quality and cheapness. The result has fully demonstrated their ability to do this; and where our citizens have heretofore doubted, they are now thoroughly convinced that the Southwestern Foundry and Machine Shops are no myth. We sincerely hope that they will lend all the help possible, in the way of work toward building up and sustaining this institution, thereby encouraging other manufacturing interests to center here.

March 20, 1880 - The firm of Clarke & Dysert has been dissolved and Mr. Dysert assumes the responsibility of the business. Mr. Clarke will remain, however, and superintend the machine shops. This firm has from a small beginning built up a flourishing business, and one that is a credit to the town.

June 17, 1880 - Mr. Dysert, proprietor of the Southwestern Machine Works, unceremoniously skipped out last Sunday, leaving his property here mortgaged heavily, and many of his creditors unsecured. He had leased the shop to Mr. McGill, a former employee, with the provision that the rent be applied toward paying off the indebtedness of the concern.

Jan 13, 1881 - Courier - Mr. Clarke is taking steps to oust J. B. McGill from the foundry and take possession himself. He claims rights under Dysert, and that McGill has violated the terms of his lease.

October 18, 1882 - Traveler - Geo. W. Abbott has purchased a half interest in the Winfield Machine works. He is a mill wright, and is the gentleman who built Ayres' Mill at Arkansas City. Courier.