Elgin-Butler Brick Company

The Elgin-Butler Brick Company manufactures structural ceramic glazed masonry products at a plant northeast of Austin, Texas, United States. The company enjoyed regional market dominance in structural brick and other ceramic products for much of the 20th century, until Acme Brick Company overtook its position.

The company was entirely family-owned and operated until the early 21st century, when lack of growth, heavy debt, and family infighting spurred the involvement of outside parties.

History

Originally called Butler Brick Company, the firm was founded in 1873 five miles east of Elgin, Texas. Irish immigrant bricklayer Michael Butler discovered clay pits at the site shortly after the Texas and New Orleans Railroad arrived there in 1871. The community that grew up around it came to be known as Butler, a company town with a company store and brick houses for employees who farmed on the side.

The town's population reached about 150 and the company also mined clay from a site now in the Zilker Park soccer fields in Austin. The clay was transported in buckets hung from mule-drawn lines to kilns on the site of the present-day Austin High School. Another plant was located farther down the Colorado River at the site of the Zachary Scott Theatre. In 1912 the firm acquired the Austin Brick Company, and in 1965 it acquired its chief competitor, Elgin Standard Brick Company. The company supplied bricks for the Texas State Capitol, 80 percent of the brick structures at the University of Texas at Austin, fireplaces in many Austin residences, and many other brick buildings in Austin. Brick from the firm was also used for the façade of the United States Embassy in Mexico City.

Elgin-Butler Brick Company website

Acme Brick Company website

References


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