History of Wes tern Stoneware
In 1906, five Illinois potteries, one Missouri pottery and one Iowa pottery were purchased and became Western Stoneware. Western Stoneware then had 7 plants which were: MaComb Pottery Co. & MaComb Stoneware (began in 1880, plant 4 & 3), Monmouth Pottery Company (began in 1892, plant 1), Weir Pottery (1899, plant 2), White Hall Pottery (AKA AD Runkles & Sons; D. Culbertson Stoneware Co.of White Hall (1863, plant 5), Clinton Stoneware Co. of Clinton, Missouri (1898, plant 6 and Fort Dodge Stoneware of Fort Dodge, Iowa (1859, plant 7 :Known by various names).
Though the buildings of plants were sold or destroyed by fire, to date these potteries were never sold off and remain owned by Western Stoneware since their merger in 1906.. Plants 1, 2, and 3 are still around today. Plant 1 is now owned by a dog food company and Plant 3 is owned by the Royal Haeger Lamp Company which is still in production today.
All plants produced various lines and are the sole intellectual property of the company which still includes their names, items, and various logos.
The company has had several set backs, but has always had a standing order and never has stopped production for very long.
Fires occurred in 1907,1941, 1961, & 1994. Plants burned down in 1907, 1941 & 1994. A disgruntled salesperson threatened to burn down WS in 1964, but no fire occurred. Plant 2 in 1963 was hit by a tornado.
Sleepy Eye Pottery: AKA Indian Head Pottery
Western stoneware has produced the Sleepy Eye collections for over 100 years and is known as the 'Home of Old Sleepy Eye'. The only exception has been a couple of mugs produced at the RedWing Pottery in Minnesota.
The Sleepy Eye Line was made at plant 2/Weir Pottery Co. The Weir plant was known as the Artistic Division of WSC and produced various lines for the pottery. All authentic pieces are original artwork produced by WSC.
Why we spelled Kollectors Klub with the 'K'
Karl, Anna, Margot, & Ursel were all from Germany and fled the county as Hitler came to power. Ursel Wade had started working at Western Stoneware in 1950. From 1967-1973 Ursel & Gene Wade owned WSC (they had married in 1954). In Germany they had groups called the Kugel Klubs for bowling or playing pool. Thus, in honor of our family history we decided to spell Kollector Klub with a 'K' instead of the 'C'.