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Manufacturers Index - Berner, English & Over
Last Modified: Jan 4 2015 11:50PM by Jeff_Joslin
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Berner, English & Over, a partnership of Frederick Berner, Joseph King English and Ewald Over was established in 1871 and disbanded in 1873. They manufactured woodworking machinery, although we have not been able to learn anything specific about their product line. The dissolution of the partnership was messy: English and Over bought out Berner for $8,000, and then Over bought out English. Berner owed $300 to the company, and Over, who was unaware of the debt until after Berner had been bought out, wanted to deduct that $300 from the money he owed Berner for the buyout. The resulting lawsuit went to the Supreme Court of Indiana, with Berner prevailing.

Jacob King, who had had his own woodworking machinery firm, was apparently a machinery designer for this firm.

By 1887 the firm of Hetherington & Berner was in business and manufacturing Byrkit's patent shingle and lath machine.

Information Sources

  • Jacob King of Indianapolis was granted an 1873 patent for a grain drill, which was assigned to himself and Berner, English & Over.
  • Swartz & Tedrowe's Indianapolis Directory for 1872-73 lists "Berner, English & Over, 244 S Pennsylvania", as a machine shop, a woodworking machinery maker, and a founder.
  • In 1879, the case of Over v. Hetherington was heard by the Supreme Court of Indiana. The case mentions the names of partners in a machine and foundry business: Frederick Berner, Joseph K. English and Ewald Over. In October of 1873, the other partners bought out Berner's interest for $8,000. Over gave Berner a note for $4,000 for his share of the payment. Berner was indebted to the firm for $295, and Over, who was not involved in the business except as an investor, was unaware of that fact. Over subsequently bought out Berner, and so the entire $295 was owed to Over. Over asked that his $4,000 be offset by the $295 that Berner owed, and ultimately sued to that effect, alleging that Berner had fraudulently concealed the debt. Case law clearly indicated that the offset should not be allowed (the two debts should be treated separately), and since Over produced no evidence showing that a fraud had occurred, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision denying Over's demand.
  • From a 1914 edition of National Painter's Magazine
    Joseph King English, father of the present owner of this business, was born in Frederick county, Maryland, in 1824, and moved to Indianapolis in 1840. When he was twenty-four years old he learned the painters' trade under G. B. Staats, and in 1852 formed a partnership with his former instructor, under the firm name of Staats & English. This business continued until 1860, at which time the firm was dissolved, and in 1861 Mr. English was elected city treasurer, which position he held four years. He was appointed by Governer Morton to look after the sick and wounded Ohio soldiers at Gettysburg, and after returning from this duty he purchased a farm in Center township, where he lived until 1871, when he returned to Indianapolis and became a member of Berner, English & Over, in the machine and foundry business. In 1876 he again went back to the painting business...
  • Besides the above-mentioned Jacob King patent, we have not found any patents assigned to this firm. Fredrich Berner, Jr. (sometimes "Frederick Berner, Jr."), of Indianapolis was granted several patents, including at least one that was assigned to the Art Embossing Machine Co.; we suspect that this is the son of the "Frederick Berner" who was partner in this firm.
  • In 1877, Ewald Over of Indianapolis was assigned a patent for a hoisting-jack. In 1885 he was granted a patent for a lock nut In 1893 he was granted a patent for a soil pulverizer and roller. In 1896 he was co-assigned a patent for a machine gun.