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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Harris-Boyer: A Brief History

Harris-Boyer Company began in 1894 as a partnership between Clement Harris and his brother O.C. Harris. The partnership was barely off the ground before it was dissolved the same year. 
The next year, E.H. Boyer began working as an apprentice for Harris at their plant on Boyer Street in Coopersdale. The building was sold in 1898 and the bakery business moved to 519 Franklin Street.
Two years later in 1900, Harris moved back to the West End and started a bakery at 220 Broad Street. He formed a partnership with W.E. Rager in 1891. This partnership was later expanded to include Boyer and the business was incorporated in 1903.

Rager retired from the business in 1904 and sold his interests to the remaining partners - Harris and Boyer. In the meantime - the bakery made its fourth move in 1902 by setting up shop at Fairfield Avenue in Morrellville.
Fire destroyed this first plant on Fairfield Avenue on September 1, 1906. Rebuilding on the same site - additions were made to the bakery in 1913, 1923 and 1927 along with the 1950's.

Back in 1894, Harris-Boyer had only two employees. By 1925 there 102 and by the 1950's, there were close to 300. They had a fleet of 88 trucks and delivered throughout Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair Counties along with parts of Westmoreland County.

There were two branch offices - one in Bedford and the other in Roaring Springs.

An average of six freight car loads of flour were used each month. At the peak of their production - one bread baking oven had the capacity of making 2,750 loaves of bread per hour. The pie-making machine was able to put out 5,000 pies an hour.

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