Scio, OH Pottery Factory Destroyed By Fire, Dec 1947

Scio Pottery photo from View Of Factory After Fire


Scio, O. -- (AP) -- L. P. REESE, who turned a dilapidated plant into the world's largest producer of plain white pottery -- and then saw it destroyed by fire yesterday, promised rebuilding would start today.
REESE said the plant, the Scio Pottery Co., carried no insurance because of the high premium rate for concerns using kilns with explosive gases. He estimated the loss at $2,000,000.
Fire departments from seven communities fought the blaze and finally were forced to pump water from nearby Conotton creek when the Scio supply became exhausted.
Cause of the fire was not determined immediately, but it was believed to have started in a "mangle" where flat ware passed for drying on a conveyor.
Altho all manufacturing divisions were destroyed, the master dies were saved and most of the one-story unit.
REESE took over the concern in 1932 after he and a group of other unemployed pottery workers stumbled over a broken-down pottery plant while hunting. It had failed shortly before at a loss of $85,000 to Scio residents.
When the first kiln was lighted it was reported he had 11 cents and owed $19,800. A sympathetic customer who paid in advance allowed him to meet his first payroll.
REESE began paying Christmas bonuses the year after the company started. The first was a 39-cent box of chocolates to each worker.
Last year at a Christmas party he distributed $705,286.
He had planned a similar party this year, but it was not known today whether it would be held.

The Coshocton Tribune Ohio 1947-12-12


Scio history

Wonderful stories abound around Scio area family heaths regarding that fateful night and the 60 days which followed.