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In 1886, J. A. Cooper established a small carriage manufacturing plant in Owosso which would eventually develop into the Owosso Carriage and Sleigh Company. Ten years later, Cooper's business was purchased by The Owosso Carriage Works, and it became one of the leading manufacturers in Owosso.
In 1905 Stewart's Bank failed because it had overextended itself to the carriage company. As a result, the Owosso plant was purchased by Jackson Sleigh Company of Jackson, Michigan in 1906 so that the bank's creditors could be paid. At this time the name was changed to The Owosso Carriage and Sleigh Company, and production was moved to Owosso.
By 1908 the company was manufacturing more than 60 styles of carriages and about 30 styles of sleighs and cutters. It employed about 125 men and made about 10,500 carriages and sleighs per year.
Based upon listings in city directories, the carriage company probably went out of business between 1915 and 1921 as the automobile became more popular as a means of transportation. The building on Milwaulkee Street which had originally housed the carriage company was later occupied by the Field Body Corporation, the Weatherproof Body Cooperation, and finally by Burwood Products. It burned in December 1932.
The library does not have any catalogs of products from the Owosso Carriage & Sleigh Company nor any pictures of carriages or sleighs which they produced.
"About August 15." The Evening Argus: June 20, 1906, pp. 1-2.
"Carriage Company Sold." The Evening Argus: June 7, 1906, p. 1.
"Files a Petition." The Evening Argus: April 18, 1905, p. 1.
"Good Showing." The Evening Argus: June 9, 1906, p. 1.
"Old Field Building is Doomed." Argus Press: December 12, 1932, p. 1.
Souvenir of Owosso. Belding, MI: Chas. J. Seely, 1908. (Reprinted in Souvenir of Owosso, Michigan: 150 Years of Owosso Highlights, 1836-1896.)