Description: Illinois-native George Mansfield Dilley, the prominent railroad-building contractor who played an instrumental role in the expansion of railroads throughout Texas and the South, established this foundry in 1873, one year after the railroad arrived in Palestine. The George M. Dilley & Son Foundry, located adjacent to the I&GN tracks, at one time contained more than ten buildings. The enterprise manufactured some farm equipment and machinery, but its primary output was gray iron and brass castings for Texas railroads. The elder Dilley moved to Dallas in the 1880s, but the foundry continued to be run by his son, George Edward Dilley – one of Palestine’s most prominent citizens of the late 19th century. G.E. Dilley continued operations at the foundry until his death in 1932; his son Clarence V. Dilley then took over until his own death five years later. In the mid-1930s, the plant had an average payroll of about twenty thousand dollars, for a workforce of twenty to twenty-five men. The foundry ceased operations in the late 1930s. All that remains today are the frame office building, the nearby brick brass furnace building, and a lengthy iron fence which borders the property and faces May Street (which local historians believe was named after G.M. Dilley’s infant daughter, Edna May Dilley, who died in 1872).
Item Type: Photograph