Troy Bell Foundry

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Jones & Co. Jones & Hitchcock Co. Troy Bell Foundry

History

The Jones bell foundry was started in 1852 by James Harvey Hitchcock and Eber Jones, in the industrial city of Troy, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in the state of New York.

James Hitchcock had previously worked in Andrew Meneely's bell foundry in West Troy, NY, on the western bank of the Hudson River River above the city of Albany. Hitchcock was related by both descent and marriage to the Meneely family, and at the time of Andrew Meneely's death in 1851 he was foreman of that bell foundry. It seems likely that Hitchcock's move to Troy was prompted in part by an unwillingness to work for Andrew's sons, who were younger than he was.

Hitchcock was also related by marriage to the bell founders of the Hanks family, although the nature of that relationship is not clear. One source states that James H. Hitchcock was married to Philena Hanks Meneely's younger sister Juliaette. But the various Hanks genealogies (outlined [here http://towerbells.org/data/HanksGen.html]) indicate that Philena's younger sister Julia was married to a man named Conant, and that it was their sister Abigail Irena who married Alexander Hitchcock of West Troy.

The foundry was initially located on the northwest corner of Adams and First Streets in Troy, but in 1854 it was relocated to the southwest corner.

James Hitchcock retired from the business in 1857, after which the name of the firm was changed to "Jones and Company, The Troy Bell Foundry."

Eber Jones died unexpectedly at age 51. This may be what prompted the further change in the name of the foundry to The Jones & Company Troy Bell Foundry, a rather curious nomenclature. (Some bells are known that read simply "The Jones & Company"!) Eber's son, Octavous Jones, then took over management of the company, which eventually closed about 1887. Perhaps it was unable to compete successfully with the two Meneely bellfoundries.

References

Some of the information above is taken from an article by Neil Goeppinger in The Bell Tower, V60#2, Mar-Apr 2002, p. 5

Don Rittner Troy: A Collar City History p. 92