Then and Now: Russell T. Bundy property


By Sherry Virts - Champaign County Historical Society



This ca. 1914 photo post card shows the “old wollen mill” in the East Water Street building that now is home to Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc.


Postcard from the collection of Sherry Virts

Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc. is headquartered on East Water Street, Urbana.


Postcard from the collection of Sherry Virts

Editor’s note: The Champaign County Historical Society is sharing with readers a collection of “Then and Now” photos of the area.

Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc. is headquartered in a well-preserved old brick manufacturing building dating back to 1881. The company has closed the East Reynolds Street entrance, created an entrance from East Water Street and updated the newer annex buildings. Bundy’s story was recorded by the museum staff at its July 17 program and is available for viewing on DVD.

Then

John Reynolds bought this land from brothers, John and William Ward Jr. (sons of Urbana founder Col. William Ward) as early as 1814 and together with Elisha C. Berry built a grist mill for making flour. Next the wooden framed building was enlarged and changed into a carding and woolen factory. Messers. Henry Fox and Co. turned out textiles that competed with the finest mills of the country and replaced the wood framed building with a brick structure in 1881, while a stone addition was added in 1883.

Beer’s history says “This handsome factory building is considered one of the permanent fixtures of the city.” Unfortunately by 1912, the business climate had changed and the mill closed. That same year 1912, James K. Cheetham Company was attracted to this building to produce tools, dies and auto parts.

George P. Stelzer was the last president and general manager of this business, which later became known as Urbana Tool and Die. Until 1972 they produced steel and carbide lamination dies and special machinery. The building’s impressiveness is mentioned in Beer’s Champaign County History of 1881. The author writes “On the southeastern portion of the city, the ‘woolen factory’ always catches the eye of the stranger.”

This ca. 1914 photo post card shows the “old wollen mill” in the East Water Street building that now is home to Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc.
http://urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_old-wollen-mill.jpgThis ca. 1914 photo post card shows the “old wollen mill” in the East Water Street building that now is home to Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc. Postcard from the collection of Sherry Virts

Russell T. Bundy Associates Inc. is headquartered on East Water Street, Urbana.
http://urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_bundy.jpgRussell T. Bundy Associates Inc. is headquartered on East Water Street, Urbana. Postcard from the collection of Sherry Virts

By Sherry Virts

Champaign County Historical Society

Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.

Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.

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