Croft & Culton Brickyards

     James Culton was a brickmaker in Janesville in 1851. In the gold-rush opportunity of those days, he sold his brickyard, and went to California. He made some money in mining and returned, rejoining his family in Janesville. Culton decided in 1855 that the clays of Edgerton were better for making brick than those of Janesville and bought 80 acres of land in the south part of Section 4 from Dr. Head. He took in a partner, James Croft, who stayed in the business four years. Adjacent to the "Milwaukee and Mississippi Rail Road" track that had been laid down through Edgerton village in 1854, the new "Croft and Culton" brickyard was soon making brick in large quantity. "...The brick produced are of a milky whiteness, and for beauty and durability, cannot be excelled in the state. The clay from which they are manufactured is very abundant, easily obtained, and convenient to the Railroad, affording the manufacturer a rare opportunity of transporting them at pleasure." Culton died in 1871, and his widow, Eliza carried on the brickyard. It was noted of her that she was a "...manufacturer of first class brick of all varieties."

     Eliza Culton sold the brickyard to John

Maltpress in 1879. Under Maltpress's

ownership, for a time, it was called the

"Earle and Maltpress"ard, and in the

1890s the company, probably having been

sold, was   known  as the "Parr and

Henderson Brickyard".  In 1900 it was

purchased by Lawrence C. Whittet, and

sold again in 1913 tothe Schaller-Young

Lumber Company. The Wisconsin Tobacco

Reporter noted in 1904 thatthe Whittet

 yard was planning to put up another

kiln and that over five million brick had been made that year. Despite such apparent success,

"Edgerton brick have a wide reputation and orders....consume the entire output of the season....", brickmaking was discontinued in 1915, except for occasional runs as late as the 1930s.

1. Edgerton's History in Clay by Maurice Montgomery