The hills east of Arkansas City, Kansas are rich in history and filled with limestone. Silverdale Limestone Quarry and Cut Stone dates back to 1874. In 1874 the John Algoe family was granted the land by the State of Kansas and began quarrying Silverdale Limestone. They passed the business on to the Hockenbury family in 1937. The Hockenbury family continued to make improvements to quarrying and cut stone methods until 1962 when the Born family purchased sole ownership and quarrying rights. HJ Born was a visionary in the natural stone quarrying and cut stone business. HJ Born and the Born family built the present-day Silverdale Limestone Cut Stone plant as well as the finest Silverdale Limestone quarry in the area. Quality cut stone was never spared in 144 years. Quality, a customer base from all over the country has come to appreciate.
The Summer of 2018 marked another changing of the guard for the Silverdale Limestone quarry and cut stone plant. The Born family decided it was time to pass the tradition of quality and rock-solid relationships on to the Nick and Jake McClure families. Silverdale Quality Stone was started.
At Silverdale Quality Stone we do not take for granted the hard work and determination the families have put into this business of the past 144 years. We share the same values of family, hard work, and relationships. It is our goal to maintain existing relationships as well as start new relationships. The visionaries before us have laid a solid foundation for us and we plan to expand beyond that by being on the cutting edge of the natural stone business. We are employing various quarrying methods to increase efficiencies as well as safety. We are using that same mentality in the Silverdale Quality Stone cut stone plant. We are constantly looking for avenues to increase quality, efficiencies, and most importantly safety. Our staff of highly trained stone carvers understand our customers expect the highest level of quality in every piece purchased from Silverdale Quality Stone. We supply the homeowner, home builders, and commercial projects the same Silverdale Quality Stone no matter the size of project. From our family to yours we truly appreciate your interest in Silverdale Quality Stone. We look forward to helping you with your next project.
When it’s built for permanence…
“Builders recognize that Silverdale stone, in its natural state, is a high-quality building material. Over 56 years of cutting and fashioning that stone assures you of the very best in beautiful, economical wall facing or trim for every use- from a modest residence to a large commercial building.
We are proud of the fact that a large share of the finest homes and business buildings in Cowley county- as well as all other areas in the midwest- contain Silverdale stone--- and each day sees trucks leaving our mill loaded with fine Silverdale stone for buildings all over this section of America.”
Silverdale Limestone Progress covers 100 Years
The Silverdale Limestone company is located about nine miles east of Arkansas City and is the oldest plant of its kind in the state of Kansas.
The land was given as a grant by the U.S. Government to John Algoe. In 1874. In the late 1800s, members of the Hockenbury family went to work in the quarry. The Silverdale Stone Company purchased the land in 1888.
The first sawmill was a wooden frame building on the site of the present mill. The name was later changed to the Silverdale Quarry Company.
The process of extracting the limestone is a complicated one, but the quality of the company’s work is second to none.
Silverdale Limestone dated back to…
The Silverdale Limestone Company located nine miles east of Arkansas City is the oldest plant of its kind in the state.
The land presently owned by the company was given as a land grant by the U.S. Government to John Algoe in 1874. It was first leased for quarrying purposes to Charles Heller and Thomas H. Fitzpatrick in 1888. In 1897, William Harvey Hockenbury and son, C.H.Hockenbury went to work in the quarry.
The Silverdale Stone Co. purchased the property in 1899. Charles Pfeiffer and Sam Blevens were co-owners o f the company. In 1900, the first saw-mill was built. It was a wooden frame building located on the site of the present mill.
In 1907, a partnership was formed between Gilkey and Bert Lester, Silverdale, and the name was changed to the Silverdale Quarry Co. Ben McCullough and Sam Blevens purchased the firm in 1909 and in 1915 Mr. Blevens sold his interest and McCullough changed the name to the Silverdale Stone Company.
The company changed hands several more times, and is now owned by Mrs. C.H. Hockenbury and her three sons, J.C., Ed and Hayden. J.C. Jr. is a part-time member of the company.
Many improvements were made. The old frame mill was replaced by a stone structure. A new office was constructed and the stone houses were remodeled and beautified. A Blacksmith shop was built and another gang saw was added. A hydraulic stone splitter is also in constant use at the mill.
Some 300,000 tons of stone is shipped from the plant yearly. The Hockenburys see that only top quality stone is shipped from the plant. Silverdale limestone can be seen in buildings such as the State Office Building at Topeka, the Courthouse in Lawton, and Oklathe Fine Arts Center at Southwestern College, Winfield.
Silverdale limestone used in area construction…
The Silverdale Limestone Company no longer is in operation, but monuments to its existence are numerous. The company is deserted now, but still stands in the Silverdale community, nine miles east of Arkansas City. The 202-acre site is owned by the Hockenbury family. The land was originally given as a land grant by the U.S. government to John Algoe.
The land was first leased for quarrying purposes to Charles Heller and Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1888. All of the hauling, lifting, and quarrying done by the company around the turn-of-the-century was done by large draft horses, the drilling of the rock was done by hand In 1899.
Charles Pfeiffer and Sam Blevins bought the company to form The Silverdale Stone Company. In 1907, new owners renamed It The Silverdale Quarry Company.
Bulldozers were used to clear the ledges and blasting powder was used to break the ledges of rock into six to 15 tone chunks. The blocks were then hauled to the mill where they were cut into slabs the slabs were then trucked to building sites throughout the area.
The company employed as many as 50 men at its peak. The advantage of Silverdale Stone was that when mined, it was relatively soft and could be cut-to-size easily.
Many fine homes, courthouses, churches, and other large buildings in Arkansas City and throughout the state are beautified by Silverdale limestone.
Silverdale Rocks On...
The old Silverdale Limestone Company is located 9 miles east of Arkansas City. It has been shut down for several years, the last stones passing through its doors is 1971. This marked the end of an era, as the company had been birthday in 1874. The Hockenbury family was the last to operate the company, and they were sole owners from 1937-the closing. Though this ended a certain era in Kansas history, it led to the birth of another; the Silverdale Stone Cut division. This was an enterprise owned by H.J. Born, who purchased sole ownership of the quarrying rights in 1962. Today, the Silverdale company produces everything from stones for building to intricate sculpture work. Presently, the company processes between 20 and 25 thousands of tons of stone per year. The time-honored process continues stone after stone, year after year, and is now in its 90th year.