Historical Places

Marble & Shattuck Chair Company

10200 Forster Avenue
Marble & Shattuck Chair Co.
Marble & Shattuck Chair Co.

Brazilla Marble purchased a small plant for manufacturing furniture under the B. L. Marble Chair Company’s name in 1895. He was joined a short time later by Mr. Shattuck. The B. L. Marble Chair Company gained a national reputation for quality chairs and expanded until 1901 when the company incorporated.

A fire wiped out the plant and all its finished stock in 1901. They immediately reorganized and acquired a five-acre lot on Foster Road from Erasmus Burton and Darius Adams. They moved to their new three-story, red-brick factory located at 10200 Foster Road, bringing thirty families with them.

The factory’s south side was along the railroad tracks with a siding for staging coal hoppers to unload coal for boiler fuel and boxcars to unload lumber and load the manufactured furniture.

Marble & Shattuck developed a national reputation for the manufacture of quality chairs and was perhaps the best known in the business along with the Taylor Chair Company, the oldest manufacturing company in the Western Reserve. Thirty families moved with the Marble & Shattuck Company, many of whom occupied homes on Burton and Foster Avenues.

Marble & Shattuck expanded its product line in 1910 from making household chairs to also producing office furniture.  Marble sold the business in 1913. The company expanded further by contributing to the war effort in 1914 by manufacturing wooden aircraft propellers for military use.

On  March 9, 1934, three men were dangerously burned by an explosion in a factory’s wood dust collection pipe. Tongues of flame leaped from the pipe opening behind two sanding machines and the clothing of two workers who were working at the machines.

Both men ran, shouting with pain, toward the elevator. Another, working nearby, attempted to put out the two’s flames, and the fire caught his clothing. Other employees got fire extinguishers and put out the fire of all three’s clothing. The three were admitted in critical condition to Glenville Hospital. One of the workers died five days later. The others recovered from their burns.

Company officials reported to Bratenahl police that the explosion, which did no other damage, seemed to have occurred in the furnace and backed up through the wood dust collection pipe.

The Lakeland Freeway project took possession of the Marble & Shattuck property in 1947.  The company moved to a facility in Bedford, Ohio. The freeway project demolished the Bratenahl factory except for a wooden garage building and lumber sheds that Bratenahl Village acquired as a service garage.

Barzilla Levi Marble was born on February 6, 1851, to Levi and Mary Marble. He received only a typical school education, supplemented with outside reading and study. Brazilla attended night schools and demonstrated an aptitude for mathematics. At the age of thirteen, he began work at the Purdy Chair Factory. He later went to the Wheelock Chair Factory Company. In 1871, he was given a position with the Taylor Chair Company and was quickly promoted to superintendent in 1880.

He married Mary Mathews in 1873. They had three children: Bessie Lou (Walling), born on June 2, 1876, Lloyd J., born on January 20, 1879, and his twin sister Lynn was born January 20, 1879.

Mary died on December 27, 1901. Barzilla remarried Ellen Nelson, who had two children from her first marriage.

Ellen died on February 20, 1920. Barzilla died on January 3, 1932, and was buried alongside Mary and Ellen in Bedford Cemetery in Bedford, Ohio.