Ohio Calcium Company

Ohio Calcium Company

President: Carter Abel

“The Ohio Calcium Co. plans an expansion program which will increase capacity five times. Two new calcining kilns will be built. Carter N. Abel ls president and treasurer.”

Source:  “Iron Trade Review” – January 25, 1937

Violent Strike at Ohio Calcium Company in 1938

The Board found that respondent discriminated against Elroy Dinnen, Fred Martin, Harry Bare, John H. Ervin and John McCorkle, by not employing them from February 8th to 9th, 1938, and ordered respondent to pay to each of them a sum of money equal to the amount he would have earned during that period had he not been discriminated against. On February 7, 1938, before a labor organization existed at respondent’s plant, thirteen kiln employees asked respondent’s president for an adjustment of some matters they thought were inequitable and he told them he would investigate. The same night an A. F. of L. organizer went to the kilns while the employees were working on the night shift and talked to them about joining the Union. Perry Bailey, assistant superintendent of the kilns, ordered the organizer off the premises. He left and the thirteen kiln employees that night signed up with the A. F. of L., among them the five above mentioned. About eleven o’clock that same night Bailey called respondent’s president over the telephone and told him the boys were organizing a union and “raising hell” on the property and that Dinnen was drunk. Respondent’s president testified he told Bailey not to interfere with the organization of the Union but told him to cease firing the kilns, and when the midnight shift came on Bailey informed the workers respondent’s president was coming out to shut down the kilns. He did come out at 12:30 and ordered them to let the fires go out. Respondent’s president testified that the lime burned in the kilns to make Calsifer is perishable and that he shut down this portion of the operations to prevent a loss in case a strike was called.

At 6:00 o’clock p. m., February 8th, operations were resumed, but Chester Bridges, general foreman at the kilns, released Dinnen, Martin, Bare, Ervin and McCorkle. On inquiry that night of respondent’s president, organizer Aubin was told that the men were transferred to other shifts and respondent’s president testified that was what he had ordered Bridges to do because of some drunkenness and disorder. Carter M. Abel, Jr., vice president of respondent, testified he told Aubin the transfers were made because of disorderly conduct and drunkenness and that Aubin said that was satisfactory. Respondent’s president also testified he was endeavoring to sandwich the poorer workers and drinkers with the better workers and men who did not drink, in an effort to improve the standard of work and he thought the men lost no work by the change. The Board found, however, they lost one day’s work. Aubin did not testify and Bridges was not asked about the shifting of these five men. Roy Abel, superintendent of respondent, testified there was a discussion about this change before it was made and that it was done for the purpose of increasing the work because there had been a lot of drinking and loafing on the job. There is evidence in the record that respondent’s assistant superintendent of kilns stated at the time this incident occurred that respondent would not continue to operate with a union in the plant.

An examination of the record shows that of the forty striking employees ordered reinstated by the Board with back pay, ten had rocks in their hands and were in the picket line, although each denied he threw any rocks. Ten were in the picket line while rocks were being thrown and while disorder was going on. One admitted he had a gun and might have shot it. Sixteen did not testify. One refused to work on May 22, saying he did not care to “scab.” Another who was not working at the time of the strike, being off because of seniority, refused to return to work May 22 on account of the strike.

Carter M. Abel, president and general manager of respondent, testified without contradiction that he saw Perry Alridge, who did not testify, with Dan Cameron, Roy Justice and Roy Kelly attempting to stop a loaded car of lime that the railroad crew was taking from the plant siding. He said they tried to flag the train and that Dan Cameron and Roy Justice were running alongside it with sticks of wood four or five feet long threatening to throw them under the wheels. Cameron, Kelly and Justice all testified but none denied Abel’s statement. Abel also stated that Willard Carmon (who did not testify) went with Carl Shope, John Ervin and Charles Ervin and others not identified, to intercept a truckload of material going to Ashland, after Abel stated he had heard Shope say that the “truck would never get to Ashland.” Respondent’s president also testified he saw Brooks Goodwyn and Freer Goodwyn throwing rocks and Harry Bare and John F. Ferguson with rocks in their hands. Abel also testified he was informed by reliable persons as to violence by all of the ten remaining strikers who did not testify, with the exception of Perry Willis.

Although the ten striking employees who admitted they had rocks in their hands, testified they did not throw them, the uncontradicted evidence shows that rocks were thrown continuously by strikers at new employees and officers of respondent and that these ten strikers were members of the group who were throwing the rocks.

The Board brushes aside the testimony of Carter Abel as to his personal knowledge of the violence of some of the strikers and also the reliable information he said he had received as to the conduct of all the others except one, on the ground that his statement was general, but in considering his testimony it must be borne in mind that each of the striking employees was an available witness although sixteen of them were not called. The well-known rule is applicable to Abel’s testimony that when a party produces such evidence as it is in his power to produce, its probative effect is enhanced by the silence of his opponent and also where the party on whom rests the burden of evidence as to a particular fact has the evidence within his control and withholds it, the presumption is that such evidence is against his interest and insistence.Those whom he stated he saw doing violent acts testified, but they did not refute what Abel said and some of them were not asked about their specific acts of violence as testified to by him. There being nothing improbable about the testimony of Abel, and it being substantially supported by other evidence, there is no legal justification for its rejection.

The Board found that the refusal of respondent to reinstate the striking employees was not due to their violent conduct but rather due to their union affiliation. However, respondent in its answer states that the striking employees engaged in various specified acts of unlawful violence upon and adjacent to its plant, and the Board found that from the time of the entrance of the outside workers into the plant on May 24th until it closed that night there was sporadic rock-throwing by the striking employees and perhaps by some onlookers. It also found that two employees sustained head injuries and that cars of two or three of the company officials were hit with flying stones and that the kilns were closed around 8:30 or 9:00 o’clock that night because of the disorders. It found that after the non-striking employees and officers left the plant, persons whose names are undisclosed in the record, stoned respondent’s offices breaking most of its windows and damaging office furniture. The Board found there “was a great deal of shooting at and from the kilns without damage to persons or property” and that some shooting continued around the plant through June and that occasional shots were fired in the direction of the automobile of respondent’s president while he was driving it. It also found shots were fired into the residence of Roy Abel and into the residences of some of the strikers who lived near the plant. The Board nevertheless relieved every striker of responsibility for the disorders and lawlessness.

The Board found as a fact that the strike was not called because of any unfair labor practice of respondent and it further found that at all times after April 27, 1938, the respondent had bargained with its employees’ representative until the date the strike was terminated.



IRONTON, O., June labor dispute at the Ohio Calcium Co. plant where a volley of shots was exchanged by strikers and workers, neared
settlement today as union representatives reached an agreement to call off the strike. No violence has been reported since Tuesday night where 25 workers attempted to operate the plant and shots were exchanged. Approximately 100 men have been out on strike, due to a dispute over work assignments. Carter Abel, president of the company, who previously expressed his intention to continue operation of the plant, said a conference was planned with the National Labor Relations board.

From: “Lima News” Thursday, June 02, 1938 – Page 10


A practical business man and professional expert in matters relating to electrical and engineering feats, Carter Newton Abel, principal stockholder of the Abel Magnesia Company, is one of the most substantial factors in the life of Greene County. He was born at York, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1885, a son of David and Mary Test Abel. David Abel was an engineer and manufacturer of wood pulp. He built half a score of pulp mills in various sections of the country, including those of Maine, New York and Pennsylvania. Subsequently he was superintendent of construction of a hydro-electric plant of 110,000 horse power in Pennsylvania, and built forty miles of canal connecting Schenectady and Canajahorie and other points in New York. Still another of the achievements which gave him so high a reputation as an engineer was the construction of three hydro-electric plants of 30,000 horse power each in Tennessee. He and his wife had four children born to them, the others besides Mr. Abel of this review being: Roy, who was superintendent of construction of Muscle Shoals during the World war, and who is now engaged in the work as superintendent of construction at Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Wilbur, who was associated with his father in hydroelectric development, met with so serious an accident as to halt him in his career ; and Virginia, who married George Callahan, an engineer who has constructed several gigantic irrigation projects in Idaho. During the World war Mr. Callahan was commissioned a captain and assigned to duty at the Air Nitrates Plant at Toledo, Ohio.

The Abel family is of Dutch descent. The grandfather, David Abel, was a farmer and a man of magnificent physique, and his father, also David Abel, was prominent in the City of York, Pennsylvania, following the Revolutionary period, and was engaged in the manufacture of pumps. On the maternal side of the house Carter Newton Abel is of Scotch-Irish descent and is connected with the Nichols, Hoopes and Carters, all well known families of Pennsylvania. His maternal grandfather served in the Eleventh Army Corps of the Union army, and lost his life on the battlefield of Antietam.

After attending preparatory school and the York Collegiate Institute at York, Pennsylvania, Carter Newton Abel was graduated therefrom in 1904, and from the Pennsylvania State College in 1908, as an electrical engineer. In order to acquire a broad and practical experience he associated himself with the following plants in rapid succession: Southern Power Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was electrical engineer; Pennsylvania Steel Corporation, Sparrow’s Point, Maryland; the Illinois Steel Company, where he was special electrician and assistant electrical engineer; and the John Deere Plow Company, where he was efficiency engineer. Subsequently he was consulting engineer for coal mines in Central Pennsylvania, and did some work in settling disputes between municipalities. Thereafter he became engaged with the Bethlehem Steel Company at Sparrow’s Point, Maryland, where during a period of the World war, acting as superintendent, he directly supervised millions of dollars worth of work. Still later

Mr. Abel was with the Miller Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, with a view of making a technical study of the properties of magnesia as applied to rubber, and subsequently organized the Abel Magnesia Company.

Mr. Abel is now located at Cedarville, where the company which he represents is engaged on a very large scale in the manufacture of lime and crushed stone, Mr. Abel being the controlling stockholder. He is president and general manager of this concern, and enjoys the confidence of those associated with him. Within the first year the business showed such phenomenal expansion that a new plant was erected, with a capacity of forty tons of lime daily and 600 tons of crushed stone in the same time. Plans are now being perfected for trebling the capacity of the plant within the next three years. The company is receiving orders for lime from Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other points. During the early part of 1924 -Mr. Abel made an extended tour of 2,800 miles in the interest of this company with the most satisfactory results.

On August 22, 1909, Mr. Abel married at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sara Martha Winters, a daughter of George and Elizabeth Thomas Winters. Mr. and Mrs. Abel have two children, Sara Martha, who is attending the Cedarville High School, and Carter Newton, Jr., who is attending the graded schools of Cedarville.

Since coming to Cedarville Mr. Abel has done much to advance the general prosperity of the county, although he is not one to actively participate in public affairs. Having decided to make this locality his future home, however, he is greatly interested in its progress and can be depended upon to give an effective support to those measures which in his judgment will be of permanent benefit to the city and county.

He is a thirty-second degree Scottish-Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to a number of engineering societies and to the Ohio Lime Association, in all of which he takes a determining part, for he is a firm believer in fraternal affiliation and cooperation.

Source: “History of Ohio, 1925” by Charles Galbreath – Read it online HERE

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