Heritage \ Writings \ Industry: Lumbering

Bousfield Wooden Ware Company (1875-1916)
24th & Harrison Streets, Bay City, MI.

1883 History. (Added Jan., 2005)

History of Bay County, Michigan with Illustrations & Biographical Sketches
Published 1883 by H.R. Page & Co.


Bousfield & Co. manufacturers of wooden ware, at South Bay City, have the largest works of the kind in this country. The original buildings were erected about 1868 by the firm of Braddock & Co., for a planing mill, and operated by them two or three years. The property then passed into the possession of Braddock, Hood & Co., and they began the manufacture of pails. Afterwards it was operated by the Portsmouth & Bay City Wooden Ware Company, and in 1875 the present firm purchased the property. The works have been almost entirely rebuilt, and now run twelve lathes, having the largest capacity of any wooden ware manufactory in the United States, giving employment to nearly 200 hands. In 1881 a stock company was organized with a capital of $125,000. The officers of the company are as follows: A.E. Bousfield, president and treasurer; R.E. Bousfield, vice-president and secretary.

A.E. Bousfield is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and for sometime was in the same business in that city. His father is one of the oldest wooden ware manufacturers in this county. The works here were brought to their notice and were purchased in 1875, and at that time Mr. A.E. Bousfield came here to operate the business which he has done with marked success.

R.E. Bousfield is a brother of Mr. A.E. Bousfield, and came to Bay City in 1879 to assist in the management of the business.

James Potter, foreman of the works, is a native of Lapeer County. When about six years of age his parents settle in Portsmouth Township, where they still reside. In 1869 he began work in the wooden ware works, and has held the position of foreman for the past seven years. Most of the works have been rebuilt under his supervision, and, although only about thirty years of age, his judgment and ingenuity have much to do with the success of the business. In 1881, he had the misfortune of losing one of his hands while fixing a machine. He has a wife and four children.

N. Howell is a native of Canada, and settled in Bay City in 1866. The first three years in saw mills, and in 1869 went into the wooden ware works, and has remained there ever since.

Patrick McCrickett, engineer at the wooden ware works is a native of Ireland. In 1869 he emigrated to this country from England, and remained four years in Detroit. In 1873 he came to Bay City to take his present position.

Subject Notes

Bousfield Factory
(click to enlarge)

The company closed in 1916 and the property was sold to the Hanson-Ward Veneer Co. (See: Bio. of Franklin Ward)

Related Pages:
Factory Fire 1881
Bousfield, Alfred E.
Bousfield, Charles J.
Bousfield, Edward F.
Bousfield, Robert E.
News Article 1937
People Referenced
Bousfield, Alfred E.
Bousfield, R.E.
Howell, N.
McCrickett, Patrick
Potter, James
Subjects Referenced
Bay City
Braddock & Co.
Braddock, Hood & Co.
Cleveland, OH
Detroit, MI
Lapeer Co., MI
Planing mill
Portsmouth & Bay City Wooden Ware Co.
Related References
Description from Gannser's Bay County history book (1905): Bousfield & Company’s woodenware works, the largest in the world, is located on six squares on the river front, south of Cass avenue. The company employed 632 men and boys in 1904. It ships its product all over the country and is one of our oldest and best manufacturing institutions.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.