The small town of St. Joseph, Missouri was once home to the Mead Products Company, which made a variety of items from children’s toys to kitchen appliances. Founded in the 1950s, this family-run business thrived for many years until it finally shut down in the 1990s. In this blog post, we’ll take you back in time and explore the fascinating story of Mead Products and how it came to be such an important part of St. Joseph’s history.
Introduction to Mead Products
Mead Products began in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1914 as a manufacturer of writing tablets. For generations, the Big Chief Tablet was one of the most popular and widely used writing notebooks for children. Over the years, Mead Products expanded and added other product lines, such as paper, stationery, and office supplies. The company also grew to include manufacturing plants in other locations across the United States.
Steve Foutch, a developer, has finished the first of 258 loft apartments in the building that used to be occupied by Mead Products. This project is expected to bring new life to the area, as well as restaurants and retail stores.
The union that represented Mead Products employees merged with the steel workers after the company left the area. This impacted many workers who had to find new jobs.
The legacy of Mead Products lives on in St. Joseph, Missouri. It is remembered fondly by locals as the home of the Pony Express and the site of the 7-story Dannen Feed Mill. Martin Brothers Winery, one of the largest employers in St. Joseph, has also benefited from its association with Mead Products. Sealed Air, another large employer in the area, continues to add locations adjacent to its original facility.
History of Mead Products
Mead Products was founded in St. Joseph, Missouri, by J.M. Mead in the late 19th century. It quickly became a major manufacturer of writing tablets, paper, and other school supplies. The company grew in popularity and soon their products were being sold in stores across the United States. By the mid-1900s, they had become one of the largest paper companies in the country.
The products produced at Mead’s St. Joseph plant were popular with generations of young children, with their Big Chief Tablet being the most popular of all. The tablet was used by students in classrooms all over the nation. The company also provided employment to hundreds of local people, with the Graphic Arts Union, Local 529 being one of the unions representing their workers.
Unfortunately, after years of success, Mead eventually closed down the St. Joseph plant in 2004, leaving hundreds of workers without jobs. This had a major impact on the local economy, with many businesses closing or facing financial hardship due to the loss of Mead’s presence. Despite this, the legacy of Mead Products lives on in the memories of those who worked there and those who used their products.
Popular Mead Products
Mead Products was a popular manufacturer of various writing products, most notably the Big Chief Tablet. This popular product was widely used by many generations of young children for writing purposes. It was also known for its quality, as the company employed a high level of precision in the manufacturing process. The Big Chief Tablet was one of Mead Products most successful products and was produced for many years at its St. Joseph, Missouri plant. The company also manufactured other writing products, such as pencils and erasers, for customers around the world. With its high quality products, Mead Products had a great reputation in the industry and was known for providing excellent customer service. As the company grew, it employed more workers in the St. Joseph plant, reaching up to 900 people in the early 1980s.
The Manufacturing Process at Mead Products
Mead Products was a major employer in St. Joseph, Missouri for many years. The manufacturing process at Mead was highly automated, with a single plant employing more than 900 people at its peak. It was well known for producing popular writing notebooks for young children, known as the Big Chief Tablet. The company also manufactured a variety of other products, including stationery, greeting cards, and school supplies. The plant operated 24 hours a day and had a strong safety record. Sealed Air, one of the larger employers in St. Joseph, Missouri, recently added a location adjacent to the Mead plant to take advantage of the advanced manufacturing techniques that Mead had developed.
Mead Products Contribution to St. Joseph Missouri
Mead Products had a major impact on the local economy of St. Joseph Missouri. The manufacturing plant employed over five hundred people, many of whom had worked there for years. The union of the Graphic Arts Union, Local 529, was made up of these employees. Not only did Mead Products provide jobs and stability to those who worked there, but it also provided a steady stream of revenue for the city. The Big Chief Tablet, which was a popular writing notebook for many generations of young children, was one of the most popular products made by Mead. In addition, the company created other products, such as envelopes and stationery, that helped to bring in revenue to the city. The closure of the St. Joseph plant in 2004 left a considerable void in the local economy, but the legacy of Mead Products still remains.
The Legacy of Mead Products
Mead Products has left a lasting legacy in St. Joseph Missouri, where it operated its manufacturing plant for many years. The Big Chief Tablet, which was a popular writing notebook for several generations of young children, was produced by Mead and has become a symbolic representation of the company. The company also contributed to the local economy, providing jobs for over 500 people and helping to create a strong union presence in the area. Even after the closure of the St. Joseph plant in 2004, the union merged with the steel workers and many former employees were able to find other work.
Today, the building that once housed Mead Products is being repurposed into a vibrant residential and commercial area. Steve Foutch completed the first of 258 loft apartments in the building, which he hopes will also include restaurants and other amenities. This major redevelopment project is expected to bring new life to the area and provide economic opportunities for many in the community.
The Decline of Mead Products
By 2004, Mead Products had to make the difficult decision to close their St. Joseph Missouri plant. This closure had a great impact on the local economy as over 500 union members found themselves out of work. While the closing of the plant was certainly a blow to the city, many of the employees were able to find union jobs elsewhere.
Despite the closure of the plant, the legacy of Mead Products still remains in St. Joseph Missouri. The Big Chief Tablet was a popular writing notebook for several generations of young children, and was a staple of the manufacturing process at Mead Products. In addition, the company’s contribution to the local economy was significant, as it provided jobs, taxes, and economic activity to the city. In recent years, the building that housed the Mead Products plant has been transformed into a multi-use development.
The Future of Mead Products
The future of Mead Products is uncertain. After closing their St. Joseph plant in 2004, the company has focused on other ventures. They currently manufacture packaging and protective products, with facilities around the world. However, the legacy of Mead Products still remains in St. Joseph Missouri, with the Big Chief Tablet being a popular writing notebook for several generations of young children.
Mead Products’ impact on the local economy has been significant. After the company left town, the union merged with the steel workers, and many of the employees found other union jobs. Sealed Air, one of the larger employers in St. Joseph, Missouri, is a result of the former Mead Products plant, adding a location adjacent to its original facility. Martin Brothers Winery in Hermann is another business that has benefitted from the former Mead Products, as customers have tried their product.
The future of Mead Products is still unknown, but the impact it has had on the local economy and community will be remembered for many years.
Mead Products’ Impact on the Local Economy
Mead Products had a significant impact on the local economy in St. Joseph, Missouri. When the company was in its prime, it was one of the largest employers in the city and provided thousands of jobs to the local community. With the closure of the St. Joseph plant in 2004, the union representing the workers merged with the steel workers and many of the employees were able to find new jobs. Additionally, when the plant closed, it left a large empty building in the area. The building was eventually purchased by Steve Foutch who is close to completing the first of 258 loft apartments in the building. The building is also expected to include restaurants and other businesses, providing a much needed boost to the local economy. While the decline of Mead Products has been a setback for the local economy, it has also paved the way for new businesses and opportunities in the area.
In conclusion, Mead Products has had a long and rich history in St. Joseph Missouri, starting in the early 1900s and lasting through the 2000s. From its iconic Big Chief Tablets to its commitment to the local economy, Mead Products has left a lasting legacy on the city of St. Joseph. While the company is no longer in business, its legacy will continue to be remembered by generations of St. Joseph locals. The impact of Mead Products’ contribution to the local economy cannot be overstated, and hopefully, its former employees and customers will continue to be proud of the positive mark it left on the city.