Historical Places

Marble & Shattuck Chair Company

Brazilla Marble purchased a small plant to manufacture furniture under the name of B. L. Marble Chair Company 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 in 1901 it was duly 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 on which coal hoppers were placed for boiler fuel and boxcars were staged for unloading lumber and loading 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.

The principal problem in preparing to form a new village was to settle on some agreed method of structuring the new community to prevent the intrusion of unwanted types of land use. Although Marble & Shattuck was quiet and did not break the harmony of the village, the founders did not want any more businesses moving into the area.

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 producing wooden aircraft propellers for military use.

With the proposal of a possible new highway through the Village in 1938, the council adopted an ordinance to provide for the appraisal of real estate. Marble & Shattuck was a necessary property to be acquired. The Lakeland Freeway project took the Marble & Shattuck property in 1947.  The company moved to its existing facility in Bedford, Ohio. Their Bratenahl factory was demolished except for the wooden garage building and lumber sheds that the Village acquired.

Barzilla Levi Marble was born on February 6, 1851, to Levi and Mary Marble. He received only a common school education but supplemented it with outside reading and study. He 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. About the year 1871, he was given a position with the Taylor Chair Factory 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 who was born January 20, 1879. Mary died on December 27, 1901. Barzilla remarried to Ellen Nelson, who had two children from her first marriage.

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