#46 George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor; Top 50 York County Factories at End of 19th Century
In my post Late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports Assist in Identification of an East Prospect Photo I wrote about finding these reports in the State Library of Pennsylvania. For this series on the Top 50 York County Factories at the end of 19th Century, I’m using data from the 10th Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Factory Inspection.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report is for the Department’s year ending October 31st 1899. I ranked the 479 York County factories by numbers of employees; #50 has 47 employees, on up to #1 with 510 employees. In the coming weeks, on Monday and/or Tuesday, I’m counting down to the top employer in York County at the end of 19th Century.
At #46 in the count down is the George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor. Page 282 from A History of Windsor Borough, York Co., PA 1905-2005 contains information and three photos related to the George W. Gable Cigar Factory. The photocopy of George W. Gable, at the beginning of this post, is from that reference. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA has this to say on page 923 & 924 of Volume I:
George W. Gable began the manufacture of cigars on an extensive scale when Windsor was a small village. He gave employment to many people and prospered in this business. In 1907 he owned a large factory and employed one hundred workmen in the manufacture of cigars. It was largely through his enterprise that the prosperous town came into existence.
On June 5, 1905, the town previously known as Windsorville, was incorporated as the Borough of Windsor. George W. Gable was chosen first burgess. Members of the first council were: S. L. Tschop, W. H. Snyder, E. E. Shindler, S. P. Shearer, Henry Creek, George Ellis and B. F. Arnold. In 1907 there were 180 voters in the borough which contained a population of 750.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on May 3rd 1899 the George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor has 50 employees; 27 male and 23 female. Of these 50 employees, 14 are under 21 years-old, of which 1 female employee is between 13 and 16-years-old. The following photocopy shows the early factory building before additions and walkway. If one looks closely, “G. W. Gable Cigar Manufacturer” can be seen lettered on the factory.
Page 282 from A History of Windsor Borough, York Co., PA 1905-2005 contains the following information about the George W. Gable Cigar Factory:
Mr. Gable’s factory was a large two-story frame clapboard building, which was built about 1870. It sat off of Gay Street by the ball field. The building has been demolished. The factory was started in 1872 by George W. Gable and employed 100 workers. Adam Baker was employed as the foreman in 1905. Brands manufactured were Masteretta and Lobby. In 1905 fifty-four lights were installed and in 1915 an elevator was installed.
When the original factory was demolished, a cement block and frame board sided building was erected. This was used as a cigar factory for a while until it was leased out to J. Pearson Gable as a service garage. The building was eventually sold to Denton Orwig in 1957.
In my count down of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century, there are 12 cigar factories represented. Only one cigar factory shows up in the top 15; do any of my readers care to guess where this factory, that made cigars and also cigar boxes, was located in York County.
#46 George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor, with 50 employees, is the third cigar factory in my count down of the top 50 York County Factories at end of 19th Century. Previous cigar factories that have made the list include:
- #48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester; 50 employees
- #50 David S. Detwiler Cigar Factory in Wrightsville; 47 employees