Heritage \ Writings \ Industry: Lumbering

Smalley Bros. & Co. (aka. Valley Iron Works)
Location: w.s. of Saginaw St., bet. 10th and 11th sts., Bay City, MI.

1883 History. - Added Aug., 2009.

History of Bay County, Michigan - H.R. Page, 1883.


These works were started in the Fall of 1866, by the firm of Like, Ellsworth & Campbell. The following Spring Mr. Bergan bought out Mr. Campbell's interest, and in May, about a month later, the entire works were destroyed by fire. There was no insurance on any of the property burned, but by July the buildings were rebuilt and the works in full blast. For some time the business prospered and gave employment to an average of fifty men. About 1871 the property passed into the possession of D. C. and William Smalley, of Seneca Co., N. Y., who were experienced and practical business men. The firm at first was Smalley Bros. & Catlin, and afterwards Mr. A. D. Catlin being succeeded by C. E. Lewis, and the firm was changed to Smalley Bros. & Lewis. About 1875 Mr. J. S. Smalley succeeded Mr. Lewis, and in 1878 he retired and was succeeded by his son, W. T. Smalley. The firm name is now Smalley Bros. & Co. They manufacture steam engines and saw mill and other machinery, and deal extensively in gas pipe, tubing, etc. They do a business of upwards of $175,000 annually, and employ on an average about eighty men. The capacity of the works has been greatly increased, and further enlargements are being continually made. The works now occupy six lots and every inch of space is thronged with activity. The proprietors are gentlemen of great business energy, and their sagacity is demonstrated in the pronounced success that has attended their operations, which contribute a liberal share to the growth and prosperity of Bay City.

William Smalley,
who gives his personal attention to the practical part of the business, is a machinist of long experience. He is a native of Seneca Co., N. Y., and for several years was superintendent of the Silsby Manufacturing Company's works, at Seneca Falls. In 1871 he came to Bay City and engaged in business as above stated. Mr. Smalley attends closely to the management of the manufacturing. He is a member of Board of Water Works Commissioners, but as a rule pays less attention to public affairs than to the interests of the firm.

D. C. Smalley
is a native of Seneca Co., N. Y., and followed farming in his native county for several years. In 1871 he came to Bay City to engage in business with his brother William. In carrying on the affairs of the establishment he has given his attention to its financial management, in which branch of the business he is particularly efficient. He has held the office of alderman from the Fourth Ward, and for several years has been a stockholder and director in the Second National Bank.

William T. Smalley
is a son of Mr. J. S. Smalley, formerly a member of the firm. He is also a native of Seneca Co., N. Y., and came to Adrian, Mich., with his parents in 1855. In 1874 the family came to Bay City, the father succeeding to an interest in the firm, and William going into their employ as book-keeper. In June 1878, he succeeded his father in the business above stated. He still has charge of the books of the firm, and is a young man of thorough business habits.

The institution of this firm is an important factor in the industrial interests of Bay City, and in amount of work turned out is one of, if not the biggest, in the Saginaw Valley.

Additional Notes:

    1896 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Smalley Bros & Co (Drawin C., Wm. and Wm. T. Smalley), Proprs Valley Iron Works, 205 to 211 Saginaw.
  • Smalley, Darwin C. - (Smalley Brors. & Co.), res 233 Adams.
  • Smalley, Wm. - (Smalley Bros. & Co.), res 210 Washington ave.
  • Smalley, Wm. T. - (Smalley Bros. & Co.), res 419 N. Jackson.


  • 1868: Thomas Munn was half-owner of Valley Irons Works (History of Bay Co., MI 1892)
  • 1900: "J. B. Smalley has purchased the interest of W. T. Smalley in Smalley Bros. & Co., Bay City, Mich., manufacturers of steam engines and saw mill machinery. The firm now consists of Wm. Smalley, the estate of D. C. Smalley and J. B. Smalley. [The Foundry, 1900]
  • 1903: "The Smalley Motor Company, Ltd., Bay City, Mich., has been organized to take over the Marine gas engine business of Smalley Bros. & co." [Water & Sewage Works - 1903]
  • 1905: Michael Garland was major stockholder in Valley Iron Works. [History of Bay Co., MI. Gansser 1905]
  • 1907: James B. Smalley, '87-'90, is treasurer and manager of the Smalley Motor Co., Bay City, Mich. He resides at 230 Adams St. [The Michigan Alumnus)
  • 1922: Bio. for Percy W. Martin states he was with the Smalley Co., from 1914 until 1920, and during that time was an engineer and vice-president.
Relate Notes & Pages

1875 Smalley Bros. Ad.

Related Pages:
Martin, Percy W.
People Referenced
Bergan, Mr.
Catlin, A.D.
Ellsworth, Mr.
Lewis, C.E.
Like, Mr.
Campbell, Mr.
Garland, Michael
Martin, Percy W.
Munn, Thomas
Smalley, Darwin C.
Smalley, J.S.
Smalley, James B.
Smalley, William
Smalley, William T.
Subjects Referenced
Adrian, MI
Bay City, MI
Like, Ellsworth & Campbell
Saginaw Valley, MI
Second National Bank
Seneca Co., NY
Silsby Mfg. Co.
Smalley Bros. & Co.
Smalley Bros. & Lewis
Smalley Motor Co.
univ. of Mich.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.