|City/Town: • Carlyle|
|Location Class: • Industrial|
|Year Built: • 1909 | Year Abandoned: • 1914|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • Trevor Hoag|
In January of 1908, treasurer and General Manager of the Lumberman’s Portland Cement Co., J.E. Waddell was buying plots of land in Carlyle, Kansas. Ready to dish out $10-$20 per acre for 3,000 acres of land between Allen and Neosho County. Within a few weeks, a crew of workmen would be out to the 350-acre site at Carlyle to start the $1 million+ construction of the new plant. A brick plant was also added to sweeten the deal. It was set to become a state-of-the-art facility and was an excitement for the people in the small town and surrounding areas. Because of the huge facility it promised an economic boom and would create hundreds of jobs for the small towns.
But soon thereafter the company ran into financial troubles and was forced to sell their construction site/plant. The sale took place in June 1911 for $286,000 to C.L. Hogan and Arthur W. Burns representing the reorganized company. Work was set to resume on the site within a month’s time, but once again financial troubles got in the way, neither plant became profitable. Like many of the cement plants in the Midwest around that time such as Le Hunt, Concreto, and Lehigh the Carlyle cement plant couldn’t stay afloat and closed its facility. Due to the tumultuous economy within the cement industry, this was the dying year for many plants. Charles F. Scott met before the county commissioners to get the property reappraised. The appraisal beforehand was $600,000 with Mr. Scott noting a $150,000 difference between an operating and a dead plant. While no action was taken immediately they said they would consider the matter. Lumberman’s Portland Cement Plant in Carlyle sold in 1914 for $41,000. It has since become just the bare bones of the concrete walls that once promised a thriving work community.
Article by AKS Photojournalists Trevor Hoag and Emily Cowan.
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