A Short History about Washington Iron Works
As Stated on the Historical Marker
Presented By The State Of Texas
Solon Totten (1847—1932) came to Texas from
Quincy, Illinois, looking for better conditions for the family blacksmith
business Finding stage companies operating out of Sherman which required
blacksmith services, he persuaded his father and family to move here. In
1876 Solon and his brother Levi Totten
(1844—1915) opened ''Totten Bros.
Blacksmith" on Cherry
Street. The business produced wheels for
stagecoaches and freight wagons and repaired the vehicles.
L. L. Rousel, Max and Adolph Seisfeld,
Noah Swain, Levi and Solon Totten were the
original stockholders. The name changed in 1881 to "Washington Iron
Works''. After moving North
Walnut Street, the firm settled at the current
site. By 1893 the Totten Brothers and their
father Joseph (1821—1906) retained full control. By 1904 Joseph and Levi Totten had each sold his interest. Solon, active until
1922, and his sons Harry (1877—1964) and Jesse (1880—1946) operated the
company for the next 50 years.
foundry section closed in 1938. During World War II. the
Iron Works made gun barrel molds. Since then, this industry, the oldest in Sherman, has expanded
to include turbine engines and compressors. It services petrochemical
plants, oil and gas refineries and marine interests throughout this
318 East Lamar Sheet
1983 the company reopened a modern nonferrous foundry for the production of
bronze and aluminum permanent mold castings.