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Early 1900s auto factory in Kokomo being demolished

July 30, 2015

Demolition crews are tearing down a former factory in Kokomo that once housed the operations of early automobile pioneer Elwood Haynes.

The Haynes Automobile Co.'s four-story brick building dates to 1916 but has largely stood as a relic since the company's bankruptcy in 1925.

Haynes, who was born in the Indiana town of Portland in 1857 and died in Kokomo in 1925 at 67, is recognized for creating the earliest American automobile design that was feasible for mass production.

City Board of Public Works President Randy McKay told the Kokomo Tribune that officials worked for a year to find ways to save the building but it needed to be torn down after inspection reports found it in dangerous condition.

McKay said the demolition and cleanup should be finished within the next few weeks.

Retired Chrysler employee Keith Johnson said he was disappointed to watch the demolition and wished that part of Kokomo's history could've been saved, possibly as a museum.

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