Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Technology Warren Foundry and Machine Company

Warren Foundry and Machine Company

Daniel Runkle, from The Warren Foundry and Machine Company, (1906), Page 68 William Runkle, from Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899 (1899), Page 480.

The Warren Foundry and Machine Company was incorporated in 1856 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  Daniel Runkle was one of the company's founders and was its president from 1860 to his death in 1890.  His oldest son William started as a clerk at the age of 20, became selling agent for the company in New York in 1874, and was elected president after the death of his father, a position he held until his own death in 1914.

 Statistical Tables of American Water Works (1883), page 3

The company's only product was cast-iron pipe for water and gas works.  In 1879 William Runkle decided to "devote his spare time" to building gas and water works, with his first being the Houston Water Works Company.  The company supplied the pipe for the Houston system, and Daniel and William were stockholders and directors as was New York lawyer William E. Stiger, who was closely connected with the company.  The company had supplied pipes to at least 60 water works systems by 1888 (see 1888 reference below), and the Runkles may have owned stocks and/or bonds in companies other than the ones shown below.

The table below shows the water companies in which Daniel and/or William Runkle were stockholders.  In Alliance and Council Grove they appear to have been the sole owners of the system.

Daniel and William Runkle's Water Works Experience
City State Years Projects
Houston TX 1879-1886 Investors and directors; William E. Stiger was also an initial director.
Hackensack NJ 1881- Investors
Alliance OH 1883-1897 Investors and directors
Council Grove KS 1888-1919 Investors and directors;  William E. Stiger and H.G. Runkle were also involved
Plainfield NJ 1890- Investors and directors, H.G. Runkle was also involved.

1856 An act to incorporate the Warren Foundry and Machine Company.  March 3, 1856.

1871 The Sunbury Gazette, February 25, 1871, Page 2.
The salary of Daniel Runkle, president of the Warren foundry and machine company, of Phillipsburg, Bucks county, is $10,000 per annum.

1879 The City Record (New York City, New York) 7(1,986):1,959 (December 17, 1879)
Approval of Sureties.  Warren Foundry and Machine Co., Phillipsburg, N.J., Principals.  Joseph Richardson, 110 East Houston Street, Surety

1880 History of the Lehigh Valley: Containing a Copious Selection of the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc., Etc., Relating to Its History and Antiquities ; with Complete History of All Its Internal Improvements, Progress of the Coal and Iron Trade, Manufactures, Etc, by Mathew Schropp Henry
Page 10:  Phillipsburg.  The Warren Foundry and Machine Company was incorporated in 1856, with a capital of $200,000, one-half of which was taken and is employed in carrying on the works. The buildings are very large, and were completed during the summer of 1856. They are all of stone, and of the following dimensions: Foundry 112 by 130 feet; engine house 30 by 50 feet; blacksmith shop 70 by 70 feet; machine shop 70 by 400 feet, with a railroad running through the centre, connecting with the New Jersey Central and Lehigh Valley Railroads. This company has finished heavy contracts for the Brooklyn water works; columns for Chicago building fronts, &c. &c., and are now engaged on a large contract for government thirty-inch water pipes for Washington City. Their facilities for manufacturing are equal if not superior to any establishment in the country, having all the essentials at their very doors.

1881 History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey, by James P. Snell
Page 561:  Warren Foundry and Machine Company.- This, the most important manufacturing interest possessed by
Phillipsburg, was inaugurated in 1856. The company was chartered March 6th of that year with a capital of
$200,000. The first directors were James McKeen (president), John I. Riegel, Russel S. Chidsey. D. J. Miller. Daniel Runkle, Charles Sitgreaves, and John Lander. Samuel C. Brown was chosen secretary and treasurer, and N. C. Hudson superintendent. The workshops, all of stone, were completed in the summer of 1856, and included a foundry, 112 by 130, engine-house, 30 by 50, blacksmith's shop, 70 by 70, and a machine— shop, 70 by 400. A railway-track was laid through the shop and connected with the New Jersey Central and Lehigh Valley Railroads. The works proper cover about 10 acres.  The charter provided for the carrying on of a general foundry and manufacture of stoves, steam mill-gearing, car-wheels, and machinery of all kinds. Especial attention is now given to the manufacture of cast-iron water- and gas-pipes, branches, bends, retorts, flange-pipe, etc. Superior facilities are enjoyed for the conduct of the business, and heavy contracts are often taken to supply large cities with iron columns and water-pipes.  The number of hands usually employed reaches 400.  At times the force employed aggregates 500. In 1866 the working capital was reduced to $100,000, and in 1878 increased to $250,000, at which latter figure it now stands. The directors for 1881 are Daniel Runkle, John I. Riegel, John Lander, John Ingham, Thos. L. McKeen, Chas. Stewart, and Jas. W. Long.  Messrs. Runkle, Riegel, and Lander have been directors since 1856. Daniel Runkle has been president and treasurer since 1864, Wm. R. Wilson has been secretary since 1864, and John Ingham superintendent since 1866. The sales of the company in 1880 aggregated 26,000 tons of manufactured material.

1888 Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1,  About 60 water works systems were noted as using pipes from the Warren Foundry and Machine Company.

1897 History of Union County, New Jersey, by F. W. Ricord
Pages 447-448:  Harry Godley Runkle

1890 "Death of Daniel Runkle," The World (New York, New York), November 18, 1890, Page 6.

1890 "Estate of Daniel Runkle," The Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania), December 24, 1890, Page 3.

1890 The Runkle Family: Being an Account of the Runkels in Europe, and Their Descendants in America, by Ben van Doren Fisher
Pages 107-108:  Daniel Runkle
Page 166: William, b. Nov. 11, 1845
Harry Godley, b. June 10, 1858

1899 Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899: A Companion Volume to King's Handbook of New York City, by Moses King
Page 480:  William Runkle, President Warren Foundry and Machine Co. Pres't Alliance Water Works, Dir. in many instit'ns. (with portrait)

1900 Biographical, Genealogical and Descriptive History of the State of New Jersey
Pages 423-424:  Harry G. Runkle

1906 The Warren Foundry and Machine Company, Phillipsburg, N.J., Makers of Cast-iron Water and Gas Pipe, Chartered Under the Laws of New Jersey, March 6, 1856: Historical, Biographical, Pictorial, by Charles Francis Chidsey
Page 90:  Mr. Runkle devoted his spare time to building water and gas works. For every one so built the Warren
Foundry furnished the pipe. The Houston (Texas) Water Works was the first -- in 1879.

1911 History of Warren County, New Jersey, by George Wyckoff Cummins
Page 237:  The Warren Foundry and Machine Company was chartered March 6, 1856, with a capital of $200,000, and it has operated continuously and profitably ever since. The extensive buildings are of stone, the machine shop being 400 feet long. Its specialty is the manufacture of cast-iron pipes and columns. William Runkle is president of the company, and J. Walter Ingham its very efficient superintendent.

1914 William Runkle (1845-1914) grave [Note the date on the grave stone is correct]

1914 "The Funeral of William Runkle," The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), November 3, 1914, Page 1.

1924 Pipe Hand Book, by Warren Foundry & Pipe Co

1924 "Replogle Purchase of Warren Pipe Foundry," Iron Age 114:525 (August 28, 1924)

1925 William Edwin Stiger (1845-1925) grave

1925 "William Stiger's Burial Yesterday," The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), August 17, 1925, Page 1.
He was well known in Plainfield where he spent his summers.

1927 "Charters Filed At State House," The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware), April 9, 1927, Page 14.
Dover, April 8 - Delaware Charters filed today:
Warren Foundry & Pipe Corporation.  Deal in Iron, steel copper, $10,250,000.  T. L. Crotau, A. L. Miller, T. L. Fray, Wilmington, Del.

1932 Harry Godley Runkle (1858-1932) grave

1932 "Funeral Services Held for Harry G. Runkle," The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey) February 12, 1932,  Page 6.

© 2020 Morris A. Pierce