The former Peters Cartridge Factory in Warren County is a target for redevelopment in plans that include a new $9.5 million bridge nearby.
The factory, in Kings Mills, has a fascinating history. Here’s what you should know:
1. Founded in 1887. The Rev. Gershom Moore Peters, a former preacher who invented a process for manufacturing shotgun shells, founded the Peters Cartridge Company in January 1887. It was positioned near the King Powder Company, founded in 1877 by Joseph Warren King (Peters’ father-in-law) and Joseph’s nephew, Ahimaaz King.
2. Known nationwide. The two businesses combined to be among the most productive of their kind in the entire country.
3. Famous explosion. In July 1890, a collision involving a train car and containers of ammunition caused an explosion that killed 11 people and could be heard from miles away.
4. Building a village. The village of Kings Mills was built up, mostly, as a place to house and serve the employees of the King Powder and Peters Cartridge companies.
5. Storage space before abandonment. The Peters Cartridge Co. sold the factory to the Remington Arms Company in 1934, and after it ceased production it was used as storage space for, among others, Columbia Records and Seagram Distillers. The property was abandoned in 1968.
Sources: Report on history of the Ahimaaz King house prepared for Deerfield Twp. and Dayton Daily News archives