Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mogul Wagons Revisited

A short history and advertisements for Mogul Wagons

Mogul Wagon ad

Yesterday, I did some research in the genealogy section of the Hopkinsville library for a Pennsylvania lady who is writing a book. A portion of the plot is set in Hopkinsville around 1890-1910, and the rest takes place elsewhere.

While I was looking through the 1897 and 1899 editions of Meacham's City Directory of Hopkinsville, I came across a couple of ads for Mogul Wagons. I photocopied and scanned them, and here they are, for visitors who are seeking information about Mogul Wagons.

Mogul Wagon Company history

Forbes Brothers of Hopkinsville, KYA short summary of the Mogul Wagon Company's history appears in Gateway From The Past, Volume II: A Pictorial History of Hopkinsville and Christian County, Ky. Since 1865 by William T. Turner (published in Hopkinsville by Southern Printing, Inc., in 1981). I came across this while doing research for the lady's book, also!

Mr. Turner, our city/county historian, included the following facts in a caption he wrote for a 1909 photograph of the Mogul Wagon factory in Hopkinsville:

  • The Mogul Wagon Company was organized in 1871 by J. K. & M. C. Forbes.

  • The original factory was located on South Virginia Street between 10th & 11th .

  • In 1906, a new factory opened on 21st Street between Harrison and Railroad Beltline.

  • The Mogul Wagon Company was incorporated in 1908.

  • The types of Mogul wagons included: "farm, log, mountain, platform, spring and dead axle coal and ice wagons, drays, floats and gun carriages." (According to Mr. Turner.)

  • A fire on December 28, 1925, destroyed the large factory.

  • The remaining inventory of wagons and spare parts were sold by the Forbes Hardware Company through 1951.

  • After the factory was rebuilt, the Eastern Dark Fired Tobacco Growers Association purchased it, and it was finally dismantled in 1981.

The original Mogul Wagon factory must have been either on the lot now occupied by BB&T Bank or on the site of the medical building, just north of the War Memorial building on Virginia Street. The 1906 factory must have been located on 21st Street on property that is now owned by the Pennyrile Rural Electric Coop, just across the railroad tracks from Hopkinsville Milling.

Ghost paintings on an old building in Hopkinsville, KYThis advertisement for Mogul Wagons can still be seen
on the back of an old building on Main St. in Hopkinsville.

Fire risks at a wagon factory

A wagon factory surely faced a high risk of fire. In the process of manufacturing, a great deal of sawdust and wood debris would have been created. In addition, quantities of lumber would have been warehoused waiting to be used. There was also bark debris from sawing logs, I assume.

The factory would have been as vulnerable to fire as any modern lumberyard or woodworking plant, but it would not have had the benefit of sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, or modern firefighting tools.

Read more about Mogul wagons on this blog:

Hopkinsville's Fire Station and Transportation Museum
More About Mogul Wagons
Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1907
Mogul Wagons

(Or, just click the Mogul Wagons label at the end of this post.)

Updated to correct a possible error about the building that currently occupies the site of the original Forbes Mfg. Co.

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John Ruberry said...

Good post. Lots of stuff nearby to blog about for any blogger.

Genevieve said...

Hi, John. Yes, every place has its stories, and Hopkinsville has its share and more. The Forbes Brothers and Mogul Wagons are one of the nicer things that was happening in Hopkinsville in this time period.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Great post and amazing blog!!!


Genevieve said...

Thanks, JJ. You have a great blog yourself.

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