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Comments about Kelly Axe and Tool Company

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Charles Barrett says...

On 09/03/14
at 11:26 AM


I believe that my great grandfather, William Thompson, might have worked at Kelly’s Axe and Tool in Dunbar, WVA. My mother and my grandmother (his daughter Hartzel Mae Dywer (Thompson) told me that he worked as an axe handle maker. They lived in Cabin Creek, WVA at the turn of the 20th century.

Query: Was that too far to go to Dunbar where the factory was located? If so, might he have worked for an axe handle supplier of Kelly’s (if this is the case does anyone have a list of suppliers from the east side of Charleston WVA?).


Phillip Stalnaker says...

On 04/24/16
at 04:55 PM

My father Walter Whitman Stalnaker worked at Kelly’s AXE for 15 years in the Tempering room starting at the age of 13 years. His mother Rosa and father Russell also worked there at the same time. Later on in life my fathers health was seriously affected by the high lead content in his system from the work in the tempering room . His job consisted of dunking the axe and hammer heads in to tubs of hot lead to harden them to make them stronger and more durable. His pay most of the time was seven dollars and fifty cents a week for six 10 hour days. He and his parents were glad to find the work.

He started with them around 1924 and left for a job at Carbide around 1940. We moved from Kelley addition to Little Page terrace now that he was considered a Federal worker due to the war effort. We lived at 708 Carrins Court apt. 49. and my mother Mildred (Millie) joined the Air Raid Wardens in Charleston.


Mike Miller says...

On 04/21/20
at 06:45 PM

This article/post is not quite accurate. Kelly Axe Mfg Co was originally founded by William Kelly, born 1811 in Pittsburgh, Pa. He passed away in 1888, after starting the company in Kentucky in 1874. His son, W.C. Kelly born in 1849 then ran the plant and overall operations after his father passed with the help of his brother JP Kelly. W.C. Kelly passed away in 1933. The operations started in Kentucky, then moved to Alexandria Indiana in 1894. Then in 1904 the operations moved to Charleston, where they were in operation until 1982. Hope this helps! #axeking

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