Business: American Hominy Company (formerly Cerealine Manufacturing Company)
Year of this Advertisement: 1907
Location: 18th Street and Gent Avenue (near 16th Street and Harding Street)
Neighborhood: Northwest side
What they did: Manufactured food stuffs
Years of operation: 1867 – 1922
Notable: Cerealine Manufacturing Company was founded in 1867 in Columbus, Indiana, by Joseph Gent. The company moved to Indianapolis in 1892, and merged with nine other Midwestern mills in 1902 to form the American Hominy Company. The original Cerealine building in Columbus, Indiana, is now a part of the Cummins Engine Plant.
Additionally: There was once an Indianapolis suburb named, “Cerealine-town” located near the Cerealine plant. It was not uncommon for early Indianapolis suburbs to be named for businesses or landmarks near them. Do you know of any that still exist today? Did any of your ancestors live in any of these early suburbs?
I’m not sure if it counts but my Father was born and raised in Brightwood. My Mother lived on the edge at 30th and Forest Manor ( called School St. back in 1920’s). The old elementary school is still there vacant. So many areas that were once thriving ..now only shells of decay.
Regarding the Cerealine Manufacturing Company — My late brother-in-law, Tom Roberts was born in the area — and lived at 14th and Montcalm as a child with his parents and sister, Pattie. For many years after the families moved to other areas in/out of Indianapolis, or out of state, they still kept in contact thru a yearly reunion picnic held in Indianapolis. They began in 1979. Those went on for over 25 year, and were revived a few years ago again. Currently, a get-together party/pitch-in is held in the fall. This year’s event will be 9/20/14.
Because of the on-going stories from the Roberts family, I self-published a book called “Memories of Cerealine Towne” in 2000. (378 pages) Many former residents of Cerealine Towne sent me stories about their lives, some from the early 1900s to the 1950s living in “Cerealine Towne.” The book includes the resident stories, photos of classes that graduated from School 44, businesses that were in the area during the period mentioned, as well as a number of pages of obituaries of former residents. A few copies of the book are still available for sale.
Thomas Gaff, a wealthy businessman who was part owner of Cerealine had a stately home located in Aurora, IN near the Ohio River Today it is a Historic Landmark. There is an area in the home with displays relating to the Cerealine Mill.
Some of the cereal produced at the mill early on was shipped to Germany and used to make beer. (reason for the move to Indianapolis was the closeness of the railroad to expedite the movement of the food.) A plant history noted that in 1913 Cerealine Towne plant manufactured feed; closed during the late 1930s. Purchased by Glidden Co., in the mid-1940s. They were involved in soy processing, grain merchandising and feed manufactuering. Leased Plant to Central Soya, September 1, 1958. In a 2000 visit I was told Central Soya had about 5 employees still at the plant. The main office was located then in Morristown, IN.