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Marshall's Mills - across the Atlantic in the 1880s?


Guest Joanna Layton
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Guest Joanna Layton

Greetings Kearny!

I'm writing from Shrewsbury in Shropshire (England), where we have a Flax Mill (a flax-spinning mill built in 1796) which was the first iron-framed building in the world. The technology developed first in this building means that our mill is known as "the ancestor of skyscrapers"! An entrepreneur named John Marshall had the mill built, together with others in Leeds (in the north of England). Three generations of the Marshall family were involved until the business closed in 1886.

I found a reference in an archive over here that suggests that Marshall's moved employees and machinery over to the US, probably in the 1880s. On this webpage about the history of Kearny http://www.kearnynj.org/History there's a corresponding mention that fits that suggestion.

I'm intrigued about this and would love to follow up by trying to find out for certain whether 'your' Marshall's is the same firm as 'ours', or whether this is a coincidence. If it is the same firm I would love to find out more about Marshall's in the US, the move to Kearny, what machinery was brought over and what the mill was like. Most of all I'd like to find out about the people who travelled from England to Kearny as skilled worker employees, if that happened as the archive note suggested. It would be fantastic to track down some descendants and perhaps match up some family members across the water.

I emailed Kearny Library & Museum service in an attempt to verify the story of the move and find out some more information a few weeks ago but have not yet had a reply. (They may of course be researching or have referred the query on elsewhere and be planning to get back to me.)

I am a Trustee/Director of the Friends of the Flaxmill-Maltings: http://www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk/front We are a community group, members of a partnership aiming to repair, conserve, and bring the old mill site back into active use; and to research and share its history. It would be great if anyone in Kearny (individuals? a group?) were interested in researching Kearny's links with Marshall's, or in telling me what is known already in Kearny in more detail. Together we could fill in some gaps in our knowledge of our shared histories, including potentially some family history links if employees from Marshall's in England did indeed travel over the ocean to work at their new mill in Kearny.

I can be contacted direct on joannalayton@yahoo.co.uk - and I very much hope to hear from someone who is interested in exploring this with me!

Thanks & regards

Joanna

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Greetings Kearny!

I'm writing from Shrewsbury in Shropshire (England), where we have a Flax Mill (a flax-spinning mill built in 1796) which was the first iron-framed building in the world. The technology developed first in this building means that our mill is known as "the ancestor of skyscrapers"! An entrepreneur named John Marshall had the mill built, together with others in Leeds (in the north of England). Three generations of the Marshall family were involved until the business closed in 1886.

I found a reference in an archive over here that suggests that Marshall's moved employees and machinery over to the US, probably in the 1880s. On this webpage about the history of Kearny http://www.kearnynj.org/History there's a corresponding mention that fits that suggestion.

I'm intrigued about this and would love to follow up by trying to find out for certain whether 'your' Marshall's is the same firm as 'ours', or whether this is a coincidence. If it is the same firm I would love to find out more about Marshall's in the US, the move to Kearny, what machinery was brought over and what the mill was like. Most of all I'd like to find out about the people who travelled from England to Kearny as skilled worker employees, if that happened as the archive note suggested. It would be fantastic to track down some descendants and perhaps match up some family members across the water.

I emailed Kearny Library & Museum service in an attempt to verify the story of the move and find out some more information a few weeks ago but have not yet had a reply. (They may of course be researching or have referred the query on elsewhere and be planning to get back to me.)

I am a Trustee/Director of the Friends of the Flaxmill-Maltings: http://www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk/front We are a community group, members of a partnership aiming to repair, conserve, and bring the old mill site back into active use; and to research and share its history. It would be great if anyone in Kearny (individuals? a group?) were interested in researching Kearny's links with Marshall's, or in telling me what is known already in Kearny in more detail. Together we could fill in some gaps in our knowledge of our shared histories, including potentially some family history links if employees from Marshall's in England did indeed travel over the ocean to work at their new mill in Kearny.

I can be contacted direct on joannalayton@yahoo.co.uk - and I very much hope to hear from someone who is interested in exploring this with me!

Thanks & regards

Joanna

I don't know a thing about it but this is a very cool topic to have on KOTW.

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