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Manufacturers Index - Keck-Gonnerman Co.

Keck-Gonnerman Co.
Mt. Vernon, IN, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

History
Last Modified: Jul 3 2014 8:02PM by joelr4
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

This company began as Woody & Keck. The principals were John C. Woody and his nephew, John Keck. After Woody retired in 1880, John Onk became a partner and the name became Keck & Onk. Onk then left and William Onk and Henry Kuebler each became partners. The name changed to Keck-Gonnerman in 1884; they employed 300 people, making steam engines, threshers, mining equipment, and portable circular sawmills.

John Keck's brother, Louis H. Keck, bought out Kuebler's interest in 1885. In 1901 the name became Keck-Gonnerman Co. Manufacturing continued until 1955 when the company was dissolved. The sawmills are known to have been made from 1884 until at least 1936, and probably for longer.

Information Sources

  • A history at KeckMotorCompany.com provided the information on the early history, such as the names of the principals and the predecessors to Keck-Gonnerman Co.
  • Listed in Wendel's "The Circular Sawmill".
  • A table of serial numbers at Steam-Tractors.com gives an early date: serial number 676 was made in 1900.
  • A posting at SteamTraction.com says that the company was liquidated in 1953, which contradicts the 1955 date given at KeckMotorCompany.com. The SteamTraction site provides born-on dates for a particular model of steam engine, the earliest date being in for serial number 1088, made in 1908.
  • The U. S. Forest Products Laboratory published a booklet dated March 1936, Operating small sawmills, methods, bibliography, and sources of equipment by C. J. Telford. A table lists the makers of various types of equipment, including circular sawmills, band sawmills, edgers, and planers. Keck-Gonnerman was listed as a maker of circular sawmills.
  • A patent search from 1920 onward failed to turn up any patents assigned to Keck-Gonnerman.
  • From the Seventh Annual Cooperative Tractor Catalog, 1922, this firm is listed as a maker of "wood sawing machines".
  • Steam Power on the American Farm by Reynold M. Wik, 1953 page 252
  • The Steam Tractor Encyclopedia by John F. Spalding & Robert T. Rhode, 2011 pages 219-222