The Kasier Buggy Company

Imaging a time when there were no cars and trucks. The main modes of transportation were walking, riding a horse, or riding in a wagon or buggy. Wagons and buggies became the idea way for families to travel. Just like today with cars, buggies could be used to show a person’s wealth and station in the community. In addition, like today, certain companies were known for their quality and were sought after.
In 1868, a name by the name of Henry Kaiser founded a wagon company in Kenton. The shop was located on Main Street. The business started out making farm wagons and doing blacksmith work for the community. As his business grew, Kaiser was able to expand his business from wagons into carriages. By 1878, the company was able to devote itself exclusively to manufacturing and repairing carriages and buggies. Because the business was expanding, the shop was moved from Main Street to the corner of Carroll Street and Columbus Street where the Kenton Times is today. A portion of the original structure is still visible today.
In 1885, disaster struck and a fire destroyed the building. The fire was believed to have started from a stove in the blacksmith shop in the southeast corner and spread to the dryer. Once the fire reached the dryer, it exploded, spreading the fire through the building. Only four for the carriages could be saved. Located in the building was a safe made by McNiel and Urban. All of the company’s papers, books, and insurance policies were in the safe and were saved. Kaiser immediately rebuilt the company and in 1887, 65 new vehicles were turned out in addition to repair and job work. As the company continued to expand, an addition for a repository was added in 1890 and a second addition was added in 1895.
As times changed and people began to move away from carriages and buggies and moved towards automobiles, the company needed to shift its product. In 1915, the name was changed to the Kaiser Motor Company and was operated by John and George Kaiser. In the late 1940s, Kaiser would be a dealer for the “Tucker” automobile. The company closed its doors in the late 1940s-early 1950s.
The museum currently has two items made by the Kaiser Buggy Company. The first is a buggy made in the 1890s. The buggy has a flip down windshield with a mica window and a rain apron. The second item is a beautiful red sleigh. Both of these items are on display at the Burnison Barn. They will be able to be viewed during fair week when the barn is open for visitors.