By the early 20th century the city of South Bend and Mishawaka were the leading industrial manufacturing centers of the Midwest. One of the main reasons factories started or were founded in South Bend was because of the East and West Races.
Although the idea of digging a mill race was put forth in 1835 it was not until 1843 that a dam and the East and West Races were construction along the St. Joseph River downtown South Bend. These races provided water power for factory machinery prior to steam, electricity, and petroleum based power sources.
Below is a listing of just a few businesses that called South Bend and Mishawaka home.
The company started by James Oliver, the creator of the Oliver Chilled Plow.
Started by South Bend resident Andrew Anderson.
One of many woolen mills located on East Race in South Bend.
The world-famous wagon and car manufacturer.
World famous for braking systems and automobile starting systems.
What is a clover huller? Click Read More to find out.
Makers of cardboard and wood shipping boxes and labels.
Suppliers of paint, wallpaper and interior decorating supplies since 1872.
This local power company was started by a former school superintendent.
Founded by G.E. Meyer, a native of Germany.
Established in 1878 by Mishawaka’s own Wallace Dodge.
One of the more popular breweries in St. Joseph County.
Eventually renamed Ball-Band Rubber Company.
Creators of the first successful airless blast cleaner.
Yes, there was another car manufacturer in St. Joseph County.
A local brewery that was taken over by a Canadian brewer.
Patrick O’Brien was a carriage painter for Studebaker.
Makers of industrial drills and machining equipment.
Singer’s cabinet manufacturing plant was located in South Bend.
Another brewery in South Bend producing Hoosier brand beer.
Believe it or not, there were two chilled plow companies in South Bend.
Not to be confused with Stephenson Woolen Mills of South Bend.
Makers of the famous Bass-Oreno artificial fishing lure.
Makers of the finest feed mills money could buy!
Several paper mills were located throughout St. Joseph County.
Developed into much more than a simple wagon company.
Early manufacturer of croquet sets and other children toys.
Makers of South Bend and Studebaker pocket watches.
One of the earliest department stores in downtown South Bend.
One of the favorite department stores in downtown South Bend.
The first U.S. company to produce a catalog for bearings.
Started as the Malleable Steel Range Company.