Look Back: Woodward a business pillar | News, Sports, Jobs

Woodward Mfg. Co. was once a very important industry in downtown Parkersburg. Although the item below refers to “Woodward’s pony”, in the image it appears to be a horse. (Photo provided)

Manufacturing industries of the center

Woodward Manufacturing Company: One of the most prosperous and important industries in this city, and one of which Parkersburg is most proud, is the Woodward Manufacturing Company. It occupies the entirety of a large, beautiful and comfortable building, located on the busiest part of the busiest street, Market, which it faces imposingly with its four-story facade. In the window, with its magnificent glass pane, the many innovations, in the line of vehicles and harnesses, that this enterprising firm has introduced in this city are strikingly displayed to the public’s gaze. To one side of the spacious entrance is an energetic and lifelike effigy of a pony in the form of which the latest in harness and saddlery is displayed to an eye-catching effect that no other device could match. Every man, woman, and child in town knows “Woodward’s Pony”.

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The building is 20 ft by 100 ft and the attached storage room is 40 ft by 60 ft. In this spacious structure, the Woodward Manufacturing Co. conducts an immense business. Here they do the wholesale manufacturing of harnesses, saddles, collars, etc., of the best workmanship, assembled in the most durable manner and after the latest and most approved patterns. Fine saddlery is an art, and it is an art that this company and its large body of employees have thoroughly mastered. In addition to the manufacturing branch of this important company, the Woodward company conducts an extensive and ever-growing trade in buggies, wagons, wagons, and all manner of vehicles. These are always of the most modern design and the most durable manufacture. This firm was the first to introduce the tricycle parcel carrier here for light deliveries. That portion of the four floors of this palatial establishment that is not devoted to the manufacturing department is now occupied with its current large and assorted inventory: nine carts full of buggies, wagons, etc. Fifteen employees are constantly busy doing the high grade saddlery made by the Company, which employs but the best workers.

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The staff of this up-to-date, entrepreneurial firm is as follows: The Woodward Manufacturing Company consists of JB Woodward, Senior Partner; H. L. Woodward, General Manager; ME Woodward, accountant, and ME Woodward. They are smart and sensible businessmen and are ranked among the solid citizens of Parkersburg. JB Woodward, the senior partner, is from West Virginia by birth as well as by residence, and is proud of his connection to the small mountain state. He was born in 1825 and has lived in West Virginia his entire life.

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The establishment of The Woodward Company is a splendid example of what sound and entrepreneurial business methods can accomplish, and is a business institution of which Parkersburg may well be proud. This company purchased fifty bicycles from Mr. SM Jones, Vice President of Dauntless Bicycle Company, fifty Dauntless wheels, and is therefore prepared to do incentives as it does business directly with the manufacturer.

the [Parkersburg] State Newspaper, Industrial Edition

April 1896


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Preservation and Historical Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back articles, please contact him at: [email protected], or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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