Iowa Malleable Iron Company was a venture led by the Louden Machinery Company and Dain Manufacturing (later John Deere) of Ottumwa.
These industries were unable to find suitable iron at a suitable price. The flip of a coin is said to have made the decision to locate the foundry in Fairfield.
This complex of industrial buildings illustrates how progressive leadership brought related lines of manufacturing to early twentieth century Fairfield. Iowa Malleable was the first malleable iron plant in Iowa, the second west of the Mississippi.
Some of the worker's houses near the factory were moved here from Perlee (6 miles northeast) when the coal mines shut down, as the Belgian workers wished to remain a community. Apparently the houses were carried on flat cars on the Rock Island railroad.
All of the complex (except the office building) was torn down in March-April 2005.
History and more photos are here, courtesy of the Prairie Architects Inc.
Click here for the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form and photos for this building, which you can download.