W.H. Kiblinger Company

131 West Seventh Street

East 7th Street Kiblinger Plant Historic View

As the Eckharts and Zimmermans were just getting their start in the wagon, carriage, and automobile industry. Another operation beginning in 1880 started churning out these products on a larger scale. William H. Kiblinger was a hardware owner in downtown, and he partnered with S.C. Snyder and William H. McIntyre to build a company that once boasted of numerous large manufacturing facilities around the city. The Kiblinger brand of carriage and wagons were known around the country, and it maintained a distribution network that reflected their industrial girth. At the heart of the Kiblinger operation in Auburn were two factories downtown along the corners of South Jackson Streets, and occupying half the blocks between East Seventh Street, Eighth Street, and East Ninth Street. The Kiblinger factory buildings located here were identical in size and appearance, distinguished by their mansard style roofs, and connected by a metal bridge spanning above 8th Street that allowed employees and products to pass easily between the two structures. The handsome Kiblinger home stood diagonally from the surviving building until in recent years.

The only remnant of the mighty W.H. Kiblinger Company manufacturing operation, aside from the Kiblinger Hardware store structure, is this building located at 131 East Seventh Street. This was one of the main Kiblinger production facilities that would be remodeled in later years for other commercial purposes. William Kiblinger died before the age of 50, at the height of the company’s production. The company moved in the direction of creating automobiles also like the Eckharts and Zimmermans. William McIntyre particularly would play a hand in the Kiblinger Company’s transformation. He would buy out the interests of Snyder by 1901, and assumed control of the Kiblinger Company, and re-branded the business under his name.

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1600 Wayne Street
P O Box 6019
Auburn, IN 46706
P: (260) 925-3600
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