View of the Past: The Willard Steel Range Company

This week’s view is of the Willard Steel Range Company which once stood south of Betty Lane in O’Fallon. Founded by William G. Willard in 1896, the factory primarily made cooking stoves.  Later, it became known as the Eureka Steel Range Company and also made large heaters.  The company liquidated in 1941, a casualty of the Great Depression.  This photo, taken ca. 1903, shows one of the factory’s more interesting products.  To the far left is a home built of tin from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, presumably originally used to ship material to the fair during its construction.  The tin was used for the exterior and interior walls as well as the roof.  This house and others like it were assembled at the factory and then moved to home sites just to the east where many of them still stand today.  
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)