#tbt - Remembering July 11, 1975 and the 75th anniversary of Armco Steel
The July 11, 1975, Middletown Journal headline said it all:
“To Armco, we say thanks”
Thus began a special, multi-page tribute to the Armco Steel Corporation of Middletown, which at the time was celebrating its 75th anniversary.
To honor the milestone, The Journal published a substantial special section titled “Armco at Seventy-Five.” It featured a detailed history of the steelmaker complete with photos, personal recollections and its outlook for the future.
The publication coincided with a big 75th anniversary celebration set to take place that weekend at Armco’s General Offices near downtown Middletown. When Armco was founded in 1900 the area was known as “Doty’s Woods,” a reference to Middletown Founder Daniel Doty.
Thousands of people, from current and former Armco employees to local residents and dignitaries, were expected to attend the 75th birthday celebration. Entertainment and tours, including an open house at the then-new Armco International Building, were on the agenda.
In its tribute edition, the Journal recalled that Armco had started out as a “bold venture in 1900” which “has grown into one of the major industries in the nation.”
“....The real key to understanding the ‘Armco Story’ is its management philosophy about people,” the newspaper stated. “It holds that a company is nothing without good people...This human approach...is directly responsible for [Armco’s] present position in the nation and world,” has “inspired...leaders in the industry” and reserved “motivation and energy to be brought to bear on community activities and problems... “
“Without this, Middletown would be a far different place to live today....”
The newspaper also praised the company for “that spirit [that] still shows itself” in institutions and projects such as the “Civic Association” concept, the YMCA, the great Armco Band, the city’s first two golf courses – Wildwood and Forest Hills – and many, many others.”
It mentioned that Armco had “provided the guidance and financial support to help build the Middletown Campus of Miami University, as well as a myriad of other beneficences.”
“Sentimental recollections” were included, too:
“The Frank Simon band concerts, the baseball games at Armco Field, the whistle at the East Works, the George M. Verity (founder) salute in 1936, the gala 50th anniversary party in Sunset Park, Easter egg hunts...
“...just plain fun in old Armco Park, tours through steaming and clanging steel-making buildings, that brilliant red glow in the sky, that illuminated ‘Armco’ sign along the Big Four tracks that train passengers watched for, the day the orange smoke over the open hearth disappeared...
“...the shimmering heat spilling from the tops of hot metal cars on the railroad at Excello and the Manchester Motor Inn and hundreds upon hundreds of major gatherings there...”
The special section also recalled Armco’s massive construction effort known as “Project 600” and the legacies of eight Armco Presidents: George M. Verity, Charles R. Hook, Weber W. Sebald, Ralph L. Gray, Logan T. Johnston, C. William Verity, Donald E. Reichelderfer, and Harry Holiday Jr.
Also included in the Journal’s special edition was an article about the search for the July 12, 1900 “Daily Signal’” newspaper. The old Middletown paper had featured a front-page story about the then-new company, its president, George M. Verity, and other officials. As luck would have it, a local woman discovered an actual copy of that 1900 newspaper in the home of her parents. (See below)
Click on the images below to enjoy the Middletown Journal’s 1975 tribute to the 75th anniversary of Armco Steel!