11/08/2022

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Editor’s be aware: This is the initially in a sequence of columns on auto production...
The Murray motor car was the first of three automobile brands produced by the Church Manufacturing Co. in Adrian in the early 20th century. Pictured here is an image of the “Runabout” model with the rear seats removed.  The Murray, which had a chain drive and a steering tiller — rather than a steering wheel — went into production in 1902. One of the very few remaining examples of this early car is on display at the Lenawee Historical Museum in Adrian.

Editor’s be aware: This is the initially in a sequence of columns on auto production in early 20th century Adrian.

The concealed possible of the vehicle market was seen by a quantity of early Lenawee County investors and businessmen. 

The Church Manufacturing Co., situated in Adrian on Church Road in close proximity to the Wabash Railroad line, experienced been “studying the mysteries of the gasoline engine” considering that at minimum the middle of 1899. In reality, A. L. Arner was hired by Church in May 1899 exclusively for this function. 

In January 1902, the Michigan Motor Co. announced that it was poised to just take around the Church Manufacturing plant for the goal of manufacturing an auto. The new firm was headed by Walter Clement, Charles G. Hart, W. H. Burnham, W. G. Murray and E. S. Hamilton, all of Lenawee County. In addition to developing a new auto, they meant to continue to create the Church gasoline engine, which had been in manufacturing for about two years. In excess of the future various decades, the Church Producing Co. would attempt its hand at developing three distinctive, and progressively a lot more high priced and high-class, manufacturers of vehicles.

Bob Wessel is vice president of the Lenawee Historical Society and can be contacted at LenHist51@gmail.com.

The Murray motor motor vehicle, the namesake of its designer Mr. Willis Grant Murray, had now been perfected at the Church facility, and the influx of funds from Michigan Motor Co. would present the option to take the Murray into whole production. In an energy to catch the attention of investors and raise the desired capital, Michigan Motor Co. bragged that within 30 times they could safe adequate contracts for the car or truck to “tax the capacity” of the manufacturing facility for two many years. The plan was to change out about 200 cars and trucks for every year. 

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