Colonel James A. Coffey
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History of Coffeyville
History of Bricks in Coffeyville
Due to an abundance of natural resources, including large deposits of shale, limestone and building stone, Coffeyville was home to a number of brick plants in the late 1890s and early 1900s including:
Standard Brick Company
Vitrified Brick Company
Yoke Brick Company
When Coffeyville's brick factories were operating to capacity, about 765,500 bricks were made every day. Today these bricks can be seen literally throughout the world and have become a collector's item to many.
Useful for Paving Sidewalks & Streets
In the 1900s, bricks were in great demand for sidewalk and street paving. Also, many railroads used bricks for their passenger platforms. Each factory would imprint their brick with a company name or a special design. One of the best known Coffeyville bricks is the yoke brick made by the Yoke Vitrified Brick Company.
Don't Spit on the Sidewalk Campaign
Another popular brick is the "Don't Spit on Sidewalk" brick. According to Montgomery County Historian Ivan Pfalser, this brick kicked off a health campaign that eventually swept the country. Dr. Samuel Crumbine of the Kansas State Board of Health badgered the state legislature into passing several laws in relation to public health and food sanitation inspection practices. This caused much concern with manufacturers within and outside the state.
Although Crumbine had few facts to back him up, he knew that tuberculosis carriers could transmit the disease to others through contact. He centered his campaign around the public drinking cup, roller towels and sidewalk spitting, thus the wording on the bricks.
For More Information
If you would like more details about Kansas bricks, please visit the
International Brick Collectors Association website
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