Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Washington Iron Works, Inc. in Sherman, Texas. Text: In 1875 Solon Totten (1847-1932) made two horseback trips to Texas from Quincy, Illinois, searching for better conditions for the family blacksmith business. Finding stage companies operating out of Sherman which required blacksmith services, he persuaded his father and family to move here. In 1876 Solon and his brother Levi Totten (1844-1915) opened "Totten Bros. Blacksmith" on Cherry Street. The business made wheels for freight wagons and stagecoaches and repaired the vehicles. L.L. Roussel, Adolph and Max Seisfeld, Noah Swain and Levi and Solon Totten were the original stockholders. The named changed in 1881 to "Washington Iron Works". In 1890 the firm moved to East Lamar Street and settled here. By 1893 the Totten brothers and their father Joseph (1821-1906) gained full ownership. It remains in the Totten family. After 1904 Solon operated the company with his sons Harry (1877-1964) and Jesse (1880-1946) until he retired in 1922. Harold Totten (1900-1969) ran the company with his father Harry after Jesse's death. The foundry section closed in 1938. During World War II, the shop made gun barrel molds. This industry, the oldest in Sherman, has expanded to a worldwide service for oil and gas processing, petrochemical plants, power generation and marine interests.
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
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Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West