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British Industrial History

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Enoch Horton

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Enoch Horton (1829-1905)

of Alma Works, Darlaston, near Wednesbury. - Horton and Son


1905 Obituary [1]

ENOCH HORTON was born at Darlaston on 10th April 1829, and was educated at a local school.

Having lost his mother at an early age, he commenced to work when he was seven years old, earning a meagre wage by making waxed hemp threads for the use of shoemakers. After corking at that industry for some time he became a blower of bellows for a Darlaston gun-lock forger. Then be obtained employment at a foundry in Spring Vale, near Wolverhampton, where he worked for three years, afterwards going to the Darlaston Green Works for a short time.

Subsequently he assisted his father, as a nut and bolt forger, with whom in 1849 he entered into partnership, and thus was laid the foundation of a business which has since become one of the largest of the trade in the United Kingdom.

The first works were situated in Bell Street, Darlaston, and the firm so prospered that larger premises were taken, the Old Alma Works being turned from a wire-drawing mill into a bolt and nut manufactory.

The partnership was dissolved in 1864, and in 1870 the first portion of the present Alma Works was erected; the New Britannia Works, which were adjoining, were subsequently added. At the present time more than 600 hands are employed.

He became a director of several industrial firms, and was chairman of the West Gloucester Water Co.; in local affairs he took a prominent part, being actively engaged on the Darlaston Highway Board, and after it was merged in the Local Board he became its chairman. He occupied the position of chairman of the School Board, and represented the town of Darlaston on the Staffordshire County Council; he was also a Justice of the Peace.

Latterly his health had been indifferent, owing to weakness of the heart, and an attack of pneumonia supervening on a relapse caused his death at his residence at Bescot, near Darlaston, on 15th May 1905, at the age of seventy-six.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1868; and was also a Member of the Iron and Steel Institute.


1905 Obituary [2]

ENOCH HORTON died on May 16, at his residence, the Grange, Bescot, Walsall, in his seventy-seventh year, after having been ill for about twelve months. He was well known in South Staffordshire, and took a prominent part in the social and political life of the district. At the age of twelve he obtained employment at the Darlaston Green Ironworks, where he subsequently passed through all the departments. He started in work as a nut and bolt forger, and ultimately joined his father at the Alma Works, Darlaston. The business was carefully fostered, and grew to be one of the largest single-banded concerns in the nut and bolt trade, and was converted into a limited company in 1902 as Horton & Son, Ltd. He was chief proprietor of the new works, and was chairman and managing director until his death.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1894.


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