Look Back: Woodward a business pillar | News, Sports, Jobs

Woodward Mfg. Co. was once a very important industry in downtown Parkersburg. Although the item below refers to the “Woodward pony”, it appears to be a horse in the image. (Image provided)

Downtown Manufacturing Industries

Woodward Manufacturing Company — One of the most flourishing and important industries of this city, and one of which Parkersburg is most proud, is the Woodward Manufacturing Company. It occupies the whole of a large, handsome and spacious building, situated on the busiest part of the busiest street — the Market — which it fronts impressively with its four-story facade. In the shop window, with its magnificent plate glass, are conspicuously displayed to the public eye the many novelties, in the line of vehicles and harnesses, which have been introduced into this city by this enterprising firm. On one side of the spacious entrance stands the vivid and life-like image of a pony on whose form the latest in harness and saddles is displayed with a striking effect that no other device can match. Every man, woman and child in town knows “Woodward’s Pony.”

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The building is 20×100 feet and the store room attached is 40×60 feet. In this spacious structure an immense business is conducted by the Woodward Manufacturing Co. Here they carry on the wholesale manufacture of Harnesses, Saddles, Collars, &c., of the very best workmanship, put together in the most durable manner, and after the latest and most approved designs. Fine saddlery is an art and it is an art that this company and their many employees have thoroughly mastered. In addition to the manufacturing branch of this important business, the Woodward firm carry on an extensive and steadily growing trade in prams, wagons, carts, and all kinds of vehicles. These are always of the most modern design and the most durable manufacture. This company was the first to introduce here the tricycle package for easy delivery. That portion of the four stories of this palatial establishment not devoted to the manufacturing department, is now filled with their present large and varied stock — nine carloads of prams, wagons, etc. Fifteen employes are constantly kept busy in doing the high class of saddlery done by the company , who employ none but the very best workers.

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The personnel of this enterprising and up-to-date firm is as follows: The Woodward Manufacturing Company consists of JB Woodward, senior partner; HL Woodward, General Manager; ME Woodward, Bookkeeper and ME Woodward. They are shrewd, upright business men and are classed among the solid citizens of Parkersburg. JB Woodward, senior partner, is a West Virginian by birth, as well as residence, and is proud of his connection to the little mountain state. He was born in 1825 and has lived in West Virginia all his life.

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The establishment of the Woodward Company is an excellent example of what enterprise and sound business methods will accomplish, and is a business institution of which Parkersburg may well be proud. This company bought fifty bicycles from Mr. SM Jones, Vice President of the Dauntless Bicycle Company, fifty Dauntless wheels—and are therefore prepared to make incentives when doing business directly with the manufacturer.

The [Parkersburg] State Journal, Industrial Edition

April 1896


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: [email protected], or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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