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This factory building was originally built in 1914 for $30,000 for use by the Kaut-Reith Shoe Company based in Saint Louis, Missouri. It was the first of many shoe manufacturers in Carthage, Missouri, during the 1910s and 1920s when the Carthage Chamber of Commerce was encouraging that particular industry. Juvenile Shoe Corporation moved to this building by 1919-20 and operated a few years before adding another plant at 100 South Main. All Juvenile Shoe operations in Carthage ceased around 1926. In Carthage, this factory is more commonly known as the Steadley factory from the building's history as a bed springs manufacturer. This association began shortly after the death of F. W. Steadley when his son Kent reorganized the Carthage Superior Bed Spring Manufacturing plant formerly located on North Main and moved into this River Street facility under the name of the Steadley Company. This company operated for many decades before being acquired by Leggett and Platt, Inc., in 1996.


  • Former Kaut-Reith and Steadley Company building, 2017. Above the main door was a limestone tablet that read "Steadley Company," but it has been removed.
  • Former Kaut-Reith factory building, circa 1920-25, when Juvenile Shoe occupied the site.
  • "National Park" hiking boots, circa 1920-25, made by Juvenile Shoe Corporation. Whether these boots were made at this factory building or at another factory Juvenile occupied at 100 South Main is unknown.
  • Interior of Steadley factory, circa 1950s, as taken from a company brochure from the Powers Museum archival collection.
  • The manufacturing facilities at Steadley grew to be an extensive complex on River Street as seen by this 1950s aerial view. Several decades later, Leggett and Platt acquired the company.
  • Digitization on CLIO is part of Powers Museum's "Digital Carthage" project in honor of Carthage's 175th Anniversary Celebration (March 28, 2017 through March 27, 2018).
  • Funding for the Walking in the Wards tour was made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2017.
Hansford, Michele. Images of America: Carthage Missouri. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.

Powers Museum Vertical Files: Kaut-Reith, Shoe Industry in Carthage, Steadley Company


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