The earliest reference to a paper mill product plant in Morris was the Allen Paper Car Wheel Works 1881. Paper Car Wheels were composite of railway carriages. It was a steel rim bolted to an iron hub with an inter layer of laminated paper. They were able to damp rail/wheel noise resulting in a quiet and smooth ride. Unfortunately, over time, it was found that the wheels would fail faster than the all metal wheel.
The Allen Paper Car Wheel Works operated until 1890. The plant in Morris subsequently was operated under many names during the next two decades including the Morris Box Board Company.
In October, 1915, the company was reorganized under a new name Morris Paper Mills. The business flourished and by the 1920’s, it was one of the largest employers in the town of Morris. It produced cardboard boxes of various sizes and shapes. It shipped its products throughout the United States.
In 1956, stockholders approved the merger of Morris Paper Mills with Federal Paper Board Company. The Morris plant was to operate as a division of Federal Paper Board. Federal produced paper and paper board products. The plant closed in 1980.
This area has been in the news lately due to a fire burning for days. Apparently, the abandoned building that in the past was Morris Fiber Board company and the Federal Paper Board Company was being used by a company called Superior Battery. They apparently had been storing thousand of lithium batteries unknown to officials of Morris, Illinois.