The Glass Plant Move


The Glass Factory Moves from Tyro to Sand Springs

I’ve been hunting around in vintage newspapers again online. Today I found a tidbit in the December 15, 1912, Tulsa Daily World. It fills in some details about the glass plant where my grandfather worked in his younger years.

Here’s the story, which is quite short.

Sand Springs Items

The J.C. Kelley Glass Company, formerly of Tyro, Kansas, will begin breaking ground tomorrow for their plant. A half dozen cars of machinery and other supplies have been received. The plant will employ at first about 100 hands, but later on they expect to employ 150 to 175 men in the manufacturing of lamp chimneys, lantern globes, and street lighting globes. The site consists of a plot of ground 300 feet square.

Sand Springs, Oklahoma, was the choice for the plant when the Tyro site ran out of the high-quality sand used in the glass manufacturing. My great-grandfather, Samuel Newton McGhee and his sons helped with the hauling of the wagon loads of supplies to the new location. When the news article refers to “cars,” it is talking about rail cars.

This shows the glass plant in Tyro. It’s from a Tyro promotional brochure that my mother had.

My grandfather, Clarence Oliver McGhee, would have been 17 when the glass plant moved to Oklahoma. The family lived a short time in Sand Springs but by 1915 had returned to Tyro, Kansas.

My mother wrote about his work at the plant and a treasured glass whimsy the family kept. The story is called Our Family’s Glass Chain.

Tyro, Kansas Glass factory - Clarence McGhee standing on pallet

My grandfather, Clarence McGhee, is the one standing on the pallet.

1910 tyro glass plant from bob harlan

This 1910 photo of the Tyro Glass Plant is in the collection of my cousin, Bob Harlan.


This post is week 13 of the 52 Ancestors Blog Challenge. Click here if you want to read any that you missed.

5 thoughts on “The Glass Plant Move

  1. Very interesting post! I’ve read a number of posts about nineteenth and early-twentieth-century occupations recently, and they add so much to my understanding of the time period my own ancestors lived in. (I tried to read your mother’s story but got a page not found error.)


  2. I believe Sam left the glass plant because he felt it wasn’t good for their health (him and Clarence, maybe Roy?) Sadly ironic that he ended up dying in an oil derrick accident. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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