”The following interesting history of the Shelby furnace and rolling mill, and of the part taken by them in supplying the Southern Confederacy with iron for its military operations, was sent to us in 1888 by the assistant secretary of the Shelby Iron Company, Mr. E. T. Witherby.
The first blast furnace erected here went into blast in 1848. Horace Ware was its proprietor. In 1854 Mr. Robert Thomas made iron in a forge near here. This iron was sent to England and returned in razors and knives. In 1859 Mr. Ware began the erection of a rolling mill. It was completed and started in the spring of 1860. In 1862 Mr. Ware sold his property to the Shelby County Iron Manufacturing Company, which erected a new furnace, the one which we have recently torn down, and on whose site we are erecting a new stack.”
History of the Manufacture if Iron in All Ages, Vol. 3, by James Moore Swank, 1892 page 294