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C.S. Bell Historical Bits:


  • Hillsborough Iron Foundry began operation on Jan. 1, 1858                                                          by Charles Singleton Bell.

  • The idea of making bells happened when a piece of metal accidentally dropped on the floor, giving off a ringing sound.

  • Began manufacturing bells in 1875.                                                                                           

  • First year sold approximately 1,000 bells, in 1890 sold over 20,000 bells a year.

  • Bells made included church, school, alarm, fog, farm (dinner), and mission bells.

  • Farm (dinner) bells weighed from 40 to 100 pounds.                                                             

  • The largest bell ever made weighs 3,500 pounds and is 48” across.In WWII the bell was carried by truck through the streets of Hillsboro.Currently the bell is located in front of the                  Highland House Museum.

  • In 1890, 15 sizes of bells were made – up to 1,600 pounds.                                               

  • Bells were made with a steel alloy, this was not as cheap as iron bells, but cheaper than brass and just as durable.

  • In the late 19th century the foundry was one of the largest producers of bells.

  • During WWII they produced bells for battleships, cruisers, flattops, and landing craft.

  • The last iron bell was poured on Feb. 2, 1990 and was a #1 farm bell.

Bell Family                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Charles Singleton Bell was the founder of Bell’s Foundry.                                                   

  • The family home, located on Oak Street, was built from 1882-1885 and contains                  over 8,000 sq. ft. of living and work space.

  • In 1895 the family built Bell’s Opera House.                                                                                

Information was obtained from Highland County, Ohio, A Pictorial History, 2004.

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