Saturday, August 01, 2015

George C. Matthes Coal and Supply Company

The postcard above was sent to customers as a reminder to order coal from the George C. Matthes Coal and Supply Company in Sandusky, in order to stay warm in the winter months. The company was founded by George C. Matthes in 1900, and was located at 642 North Depot, at the Hayes Avenue Subway. The Matthes Coal and Supply Company dealt in both wholesale and retail coal. Because of the popularity of coal as a fuel for businesses and homes, in 1916, there were six wholesale coal dealers in Sandusky, and ten retail coal distributors. 

In 1921, Matthes Coal was one of several Sandusky coal dealers that shipped their coal on the New York Central Railroad. Four huge silos for storing coal were built at the Matthes coal yards. The four new silos, along with another smaller silo, the company had the capacity for 1,250 tons of coal. You can see the coal silos at the Matthes Coal and Supply Company in this aerial picture, taken by photographer Thomas Root in 1955.

In 1929, Matthes Coal and Supply provided the enamel brick for the new swimming pool at Jackson Junior High School. Mr. Matthes was active in the National Retail Coal Merchants’ Association and in state coal organizations as well. The advertisement below appeared in the September 9, 1940 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

This receipt from the Matthes Coal and Supply Company dates back to the 1950s.

As the demand for coal declined, when more modern methods of heating became popular, Matthes Coal and Supply branched out into more types of supplies, such as patio brick, cast stone, and parking blocks. 

George C. Matthes died on May 21, 1973. The Matthes Coal and Supply Company continued for a time in Sandusky, under the leadership of Alvin W. Beverick, vice president and treasurer of the company. By 1976, the Matthes Coal and Supply Company was no longer listed in the Sandusky City Directory. Though the George C. Matthes Coal and Supply Company is no longer in existence, for many years, the company helped keep “the home fires burning” in the Sandusky area.


GenKnit said...

The advertisements, especially the post card, are great! Too bad businesses these days don't do such imaginative things. I'd far rather get a post card like the one in the ad than a fancy flyer with fake photos flittering and flailing about! ^_^

Ed Daniel said...

Our dad, Cyril Daniel, was Vice-president of Matthes Coal Co. Dad was in charge of the building supplies end of the business, which over time grew in importance as the residential and commerical use of coal greatly diminished. Through dad's efforts, Matthes supplied most of the brick, cement, concrete block, sewer pipe, and other "hard" components of construction for most of the schools, commercial buildings and other construction projects in the Erie County area during the post-war building boom of the 1950's. Besides Mr. Matthes, dad, and Al Beverick, the office was staffed by "Woody" Bauer, who had been in the WWII invasion landing in Italy, and Marie Lamprecht. One of our dad's Sunday chores, after attending church, was to drive to the post office, open the Matthes Company postal box, and take its contents to Mr. Matthes at his home on E. Washington Street. We sons (4 of us) took turns taking the mail up to the Matthes' front door, for which Mr. Matthes would always give us 10 or 25 cents and tell us to "treat yourself to an ice cream cone." (Usually at Tofts) At Christmas time, we boys also helped dad deliver hundreds of boxes of coconut candies that were Mr. Matthes' annual gifts to residential customers. (70 years later,I can still taste those candies!!) In the 1960's Mr. Matthes converted his home heat from coal to gas, and Dad felt it was then OK for us to do likewise at our house at Fifth and Buckingham Street.

Anonymous said...

So interesting to hear about these recollections about Matthes Coal!