The History of McHenry Brass

McHenry Brass is the oldest continuously operating plant in Ohio County, nestled in a small hamlet in Western Kentucky. It survived the great flu epidemic of the early 1900s, World War I, the Great Depression, the 1937 Flood, World War II, and all the mining strikes when the mines were the company’s sole source of income.

Changes Throughout the Years

McHenry Brass was founded and established as McHenry Manufacturing and Machine Company in 1894 by seven men. Cast iron wheels and miscellaneous parts were produced for the underground mining industry. In 1917, Ed Nelson purchased the company and began to pour copper and bronze castings.

In 1921, Nelson moved the company from a small building by the railroad tracks to its present location, a vacant opera house that was home to many traveling opera productions at the turn of the century. Nelson’s son-in-law, Frank Lawrence, took over the company in 1944 and continued to operate it for 30 years.

In 1975, Sammy Levinson purchased the business with the encouragement and endorsement of Peabody Coal Company. Levinson reorganized, reincorporated, and renamed the company McHenry Brass.

Shifting to Other Industries

Coal mining comprised 95% of the company’s revenue in 1975. As business from the coal mining industry began to diminish, McHenry Brass was remarketed to attract business from other industries across the United States. Today, coal mining accounts for less than 5% of that income.

Continuing to Grow & Evolve

In the early 1990s, McHenry Brass received a facelift. Its existing facilities were renovated to accommodate increasing business demands and to comply with OSHA/EPA regulations.

The Company Today

McHenry Brass is now a state-of-the-art brass and bronze foundry providing brass and bronze parts to companies nationwide. Because we specialize in getting parts repaired and manufactured at record speed, our foundry is recognized nationwide as your one-stop source for brass and bronze custom-manufactured replacement parts. We also carry a full range of tube and plate stock made of brass and bronze.

Emergency breakdown service is our specialty. We have the fastest turnaround time in the industry.

McHenry Facotry Site