100 King St | Locally Designated 06/22/1995
Notice of Designation of Historic Structure
Historical Summary of Site
Long brick surface broken by full-length brick piers into one-bay divisions with segmental arched windows with arched brick window heads with stone keystone. Twelve over twelve windows. Arched entrance doors. One-story east addition. One of the most important as well as the best preserved industrial structures remaining in the city, the John James foundry, is significant as a surviving example of the 19th century architecture typical of this industrial waterfront area. Thornby and James, Foundry and Machinists, was founded c. 1875 by Frederick Thornby and John James. By 1880, Thornby had joined with Ben Ott to open the West Wisconsin Iron Works and the John James and Co. was founded, specializing in foundry and manufacturing steam engines, turbines, etc. By 1903, the company was called the Pioneer Foundry and was owned by Alfred James son of John James. It later became known again as the James Foundry and began to become less manufacture ring and more a repairer of machinery, though the foundry remained operational. By 1915, the company was out of business. When John Jones acquired interests in the Pioneer Foundry, he had a partner named Frederick Thornby. Jones acquired sole ownership of the Pioneer after 1878. Thornby went into business with Benjamin Ott, establishing the West Wisconsin Iron Works in 1879. The company-built mill parts and carried in on extensive general trade. Associated individuals: Frederick Thornby (1875-1880); John James; Alfred James. Additional historic name: Pioneer Foundry. C.C. Smith and E.G. Smith erected two-story foundry in 1870 and sold it to Thornby and James in 1874.
-(Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory)