Bullitt County History

Quiry & Tyler - Iron Manufacturing

The following excerpt of testamony, while given in a matter unrelated to the Quiry & Tyler iron business in Bullitt County, does give some insight into one aspect of that business, including the time in which the business failed.

James E. Tyler (the Tyler of Quiry & Tyler) had given testimony, in part regarding the character of S.H. Ford, and the following is the transcription of Mr. Ford's cross-examination of Mr. Tyler.


Q. Are you a member of the Walnut Street Baptist Church and a deacon?

A. I am.

Q. Where did you reside before you came to Louisville?

A. In Cincinnati.

Q. Were you not engaged in business there, and had you a partner? If so, who? and what business were you engaged in?

A. I was engaged there as clerk in an insurance office.

Q. Were you not also in business for yourself, and did you not have a partner? Will you please answer this?

A. I was in business in Middletown, Ohio, about forty miles from Cincinnati, and had a partner.

Q. Did you not meet with a misfortune of a disastrous character just before you came to Louisville?

A. I was unfortunate so far as to fail in mercantile business.

Q. What was your condition pecuniarily when you came to Louisville?

A. I was without means, and was owing a small amount of money, which has been since paid, and mostly with ten percent interest.

Q. What business did you engage in after you came to Louisville?

A. I immediately engaged in the insurance business, and that only. Some time afterwards I commenced the exchange business, in connection with a Mr. Bell, Agent of S. & M. Allen, said Bell finding all the means for the business.

Q. Did you not engage in the broker's business? and who-furnished the capital?

A. The exchange business and broker's business are synonimous terms with me, and my answer is already given.

Q. Do you mean to say you furnished no capital?

A. I do.

Q. Were you not engaged in the iron business in Bullitt county? and who constituted that firm? Were not Charles Quiry and Nathanial Hardy members of that firm? and did not you know that they were men of large means?

A. I was engaged in the iron business in Bullitt county, in connection with Chas. Quirey, under the name of Quirey & Tyler.

Q. Were they not men of large means when you engaged with them in that firm?

A. Mr. Quirey possessed considerable means.

Q. Did not the firm fail? and if so, when, and how long after you went into it?

A. The firm met with very heavy losses, and finally assigned their stock in the Shepherdsville Iron Manufacturing Company for an amount larger, I think, than their entire indebtedness.

Q. What become of N. Hardy, and did he die insolvent?

A. Mr. Hardy was a merchant in Louisville of excellent standing, and, I believe, as honest a man as I ever knew. Under the delusive promises of John H. Baker, he made him large advances, and was finally compelled to purchase the stock, &c., of a furnace in Bullitt county. This he carried on for several years, at great loss, I believe, and finally caused him to suspend payment. After several years of subsequent pecuniary embarrassment, he was one morning reported missing, and his body was afterwards found in the Ohio river.

Q. Did not Hardy, Quirey, and yourself fail in that operation?

A. I have already said that Quirey & Tyler made an assignment, and that Mr. Hardy suspended, both acts being "failures" in ordinary parlance.

Q. Did you not keep the books of that firm? and who made the settlement after the failure?

A. I did not keep the books. The settlements by Quirey & Tyler were sometimes made by Mr. Quirey and sometimes by myself, both parties always concurring; and so far as I now recollect, there never was the slightest disagreement between Mr. Quirey and myself up to the day of his death.

Q. Was not Chas. Quirey the day of his death insolvent and poor?

A. After the assignment of Quirey & Tyler, Mr. Quirey was elected sheriff. Of course, in that capacity he had the handling of considerable money. During this period we both paid various sums of money, in equal proportions, in settlement of debts against the firm, held by parties that had declined taking the assigned property. I believe Mr. Quirey died insolvent.

Q. Did you, or one of your family for you, purchase and sell property to a large amount while you were insolvent? If so, what? and to whom was the property deeded?

A. No.

Q. Has no property been purchased by you in the names of members of your family or friends, which property was yours in fact, but not in law, during your insolvency?

A. As agent for my mother, I purchased property which was hers in law and in fact.

Q. Did or not you furnish out of money collected by you, the money to purchase said property?

A. No.

Q. Did you claim no interest nor ownership in fact in the property yon purchased in the name of these members of your family? and was the property purchased by you theirs in fact, as well as in law?

A. As already said, the property was in law and in fact my mother's. I claimed no ownership.

Q. Did you not while insolvent claim and cover the property of your brother while he was himself insolvent?

A. No.

Q. Did you own no property three years ago in fact--that is, real estate? and could a debt be made out of you at that time by law?

A. I did not own such property. As to making such debts, the officers of the law are the best judges. During that period I have, however, paid a large amount of the old debts of Quirey & Tyler voluntarily.

Q. Did you not, or some one, engage in purchasing you debts at a very heavy discount?

A. The debts of Quirey & Tyler, and those of N. Hardy, for which they were security, existing at the time of Mr. Quirey's death, I have myself paid since that event, and principally in Louisville and Nashville Railroad stock at par.

Q. Did you not pay those debts, dollar for dollar, in stock, with not more than from twelve to sixteen cents to the dollar at the time you thus bought up your debts with said stock?

A. The debts referred to, Quirey & Tyler had once provided for in their assignment in stock of the Iron Company, that cost them the full amount of said debts. Some of the creditors declined taking this stock, and after we had thus paid them in full once, as a firm, or provided the means to do so, I afterwards paid them individually in the railroad stock, as stated--the stock being at the time worth from twenty to twenty-five cents on the dollar.

Q. Did you not, or some one for you, purchase of the assignee of the late J. Rutherford, a debt of some seven or eight thousand dollars for one thousand, or thereabouts?

A. There was a debt belonging to the estate of J. M. Rutherford against N. Hardy, for which Quirey & Tyler were security. The amount I do not now recollect, but it was discharged by me individually, and, I think, for the sum of one thousand dollars, the holders being offered at the time railroad stock at par, and in full of principal, interest, and cost.

Q. Have you not during your insolvency dealt in notes--that is, shaving paper--at a heavy discount? and have you not during that time loaned moneys to Baptists, or a member of your own church, as well as others, at from eighteen to thirty-six per cent?

A. I have the control of money, and have some of my own, and am in the habit of using it as I think legitimate and profitable, and, in so doing, I often discount notes, and for Baptists as well as others. I have some notes now, and of Baptists, too, that I will gladly sell at a heavier discount than you name.

Q. Do you consider yourself solvent at the present time? If so, how long have you been so?

A. I pay all the debts that I contract, snd I believe that I have pretty good credit for fulfilling my promises--am solvent, as I believe.

Q. Were you solvent two years ago?

A. With the exception of the old debts of Quirey & Tyler, and those for which they were security, I was.

Q. Did you or not give thousands towards the building of the Walnut Street Church, the purchase of a bell, and the like?

A. I did contribute largely, the purchase of a bell being a part of such subscription.

JAS. E. Tyler.


From Testimony in Full in the Case of Ford Against Everts For Slander, and Hord Against Ford For Immoral Conduct, Together with a Synopsis and Review of the Same, and Protest Against the Precedent and Action of the Frankfort Council, published by the Walnut Street Baptist Church, 1859, pages 65-67.


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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 13 Jul 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/qtironmanufacture.html