Phenix Origins

Welcome to the Phenix Marble blog page. We plan to use this space to highlight the rich and fascinating history of the Phenix Quarry and stone as well as feature current projects and historic installations.

Image courtesy of TACNET/Henry Country Public Library http://tacnet.missouri.org/history/railroads/KCCS_1916.jpg

What better place to start than the discovery of the quarry. We have the railroad to thank for Phenix Marble, specifically the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Railway - "affectionately" known as The Leaky Roof. In 1884 a large vein of limestone near the Phenix site was discovered during blasting for a new KCC&S line to Ash Grove. Patrick Dugan, a lime manufacturer, took note and purchased the land that would become the quarry.

Construction of the second kiln (Image from private collection)

 

Dugan built a large kiln (which can still be seen from the road outside the quarry) and primarily manufactured lime for farm and household use. It wasn't until he later discovered a large ledge of stone that he began cutting the limestone for building stones. C.R. Hunt of Kansas City formally organized the Phenix Stone and Lime company and it was incorporated in 1890. Business continued for almost two decades until W.J. Grant realized the potential of the stone. Grant was a marble finisher from Milkwaukee. He was the first to discover that the Phenix stone could take a high polish and be used as a fine marble. He approached Hunt and marble quarrying and finishing soon began at Phenix.

From there the company was sold to new owners, Mastin Simpson and W.C. Scarritt of Kansas City, and became the Phenix Marble Company. They went on to distribute the stone all across the country for use in some of the most distinguished buildings. None of which would have been possible without the railroad.

We're proud to carry on the legacy of Phenix and look forward to sharing it with you.