The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 18.


Home Ice Company Formed In 1920 After Move Begun By Student; Growth Rapid

Carl F. Mason, student at Valparaiso university, was responsible for instigating the movement which led to the formation of the first artificial ice company in Valparaiso, the Home Ice company. Having studied engineering at the local university, he was interested in establishing an ice and ice cream plant that would fill a marked need in the community.

Soon there were others whose interest became aroused in this project, prominent among them being Edgerton W. Agar, who acted as secretary and attorney for the company; William B. Wasser, John B. Ross, and William Schleman. These five men formed the board upon the formal incorporation of the Valparaiso Home Ice company on July 19, 1920, Mr. Mason being elected as president.

Following this installation a stock-selling campaign was begun, which resulted in the following subscribers: Franklin Mead, Edgar G. Osborne, Thies C. Bornholt, Mike Saves, Henry Pahl, Thomas J. Wilson, the Newhouse brothers, Mrs. Alice Sawyer, Mrs. Ada L. Patton, Calvin S. Hoover, Samuel E. Shideler, Mrs. Mary Putnam, Michael Putnam, Robert and Lula M. Sandy, James A. McNay, Herbert Schleman, and Don L. Richards.

The erection of a modern ice and ice cream plant was the next concern of this newly-formed company, and for this purpose they purchased the quarter-block at the corner of Lafayette and Monroe streets. The old building on the corner lot was torn down, and plans begun for the new establishment.

Among the first employees of the new company were Harry Dunn, who acted as ice cream maker, and Herbert Schleman, now president of the firm, who held the humble position of "pulling ice" on the ice tank.

By June 1, 1921, the plant was in full operation and doing well. An office was installed next door to the plant. For the first year or two, E. W. Agar took active charge. Following him, the business was managed by Mr. Ross, and later Mr. Sawyer. Before long the original promoter, Carl Mason, sold out his interest in the company. Business increased to the point where it was necessary to employ thirty-five or forty people, and to operate eighteen delivery trucks. Outside of Valparaiso, the territory was expanded to include Chesterton, Porter, Hebron, Wheatfield, North Judson, San Pierre, Wanatah and LaCrosse.

At the height of prosperity, in 1929, the Home Ice company bought out the Lytle Ice company, which had been marketing natural ice. Since that time, Valparaiso's citizens have been supplied with nothing but artificial ice. About this same time, the company also expanded to include the dairy business.

The greatest growth of the company occurred during the managership of Mr. Ross and Mr. Sawyer, the latter of which served from 1925 to 1934.

In 1930, Herbert Schelman, who had left the employ of the company, resumed work under the managership of Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer resigned in 1934 to take up law practice in Chicago, and Mr. Schleman became manager and secretary-treasurer of the board. At this time his father, William Schleman, was president, which place he held for a number of years.

William Schleman, who until recently had maintained an active interest in the corporation, disposed of his entire stock to his son and daughter, Herbert and Helen, in December, 1935. Following this action, a meeting of the board in January, 1936, made Herbert Schleman president; Helen Schleman, vice-president, and Ralph E. Schenck, secretary-treasurer. Other members of the board at present time are F. W. Alpen and Howard D. Clark.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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