Meneely Bell Foundry

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A Mighty Fortress Is Our God on the Meneely Bell Foundry (1901) bell set at St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina

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The first Meneely bell foundry was established in 1826 in West Troy (now Watervliet), New York,[1] by Andrew Meneely, a former apprentice in the foundry of Benjamin Hanks.[2] Two of Andrew's sons continued to operate the foundry after his death, and it remained a family operation until its closure.

The second Meneely bell foundry was established in 1870 by a third son, Clinton H. Meneely, across the river in Troy, New York. Initially he was in partnership with George H. Kimberly, under the name Meneely & Kimberly; this second foundry was reorganized in 1879 as the Clinton H. Meneely Bell Company, then later as the Meneely Bell Company. Like its related competitor, it remained a family operation until its closure.

The two foundries competed vigorously (and sometimes bitterly) with each other, and their products should not be confused. Together, they produced about 65,000 bells before they both closed in 1952.[3][4]

Bell locations[edit]

Business cards for both of the competing Meneely bell foundries appearing in the Troy Daily Times on May 20, 1891.

Below is a sample of locations where bells from one or the other of the Meneely bell foundries can be seen and heard:

  • Torrington Fire Department Headquarters, Torrington, Connecticut. Meneely & Co. 1900. Bell originally hung in the tower at the headquarters station built in 1900. The station still stands and is now private property. The bell was removed and placed in the lobby of the present headquarters station next door at 111 Water Street and is accessible for public viewing.
  • Bard College Bell Tower, Annandale On Hudson, NY. Bell Made by Meneely Bell Company, Troy, NY USA 1860 Bronze Bell
  • Millbury Baptist Church, Millbury Massachusetts. Bell made by Clinton H. Meneely Bell Company, Troy, N.Y. USA. A.D. 1884 - Bronze Bell -
  • Ovid Federated Church, Ovid, NY (Meneely & Co, 1880)
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church, Pontiac, Illinois...purchased in the late 1860s.
  • St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church Set of 10 bells cast in West Troy in 1901. Three bells added in 1966. All bells refurbished in 2008 by Christoph Paccard Bell Foundry, Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Saint Michael's Church (Rochester, New York) has two bells, cast in 1847, the larger bell weighing 1,015 pounds, the small bell weighing 525 pounds.
  • Lombard, Illinois, in the Maple Street Chapel (1870)
  • Naperville, Illinois, on display at Naper Settlement
  • St. Helena Baptist Church, Jamestown Chapel, Jamestown, island of St. Helena, South Atlantic Ocean. Bell from West Troy cast in 1852. Unsure of weight, but approx. height and diameter at bottom 70 cm.[5]
  • Downtown Athens, Georgia (copy of original liberty bell)
  • Prattville Male & Female Academy (Prattville, AL)
  • Thompson Hall, University of New Hampshire - Durham, New Hampshire
  • Columbia High School (New Jersey)
  • Bulkley Memorial Carillon in Danbury, Connecticut
  • St. Mary Catholic Church, Bethel, Connecticut (this bell was in the original church, located on Greenwood Ave. in Bethel but was taken out of the steeple and placed on display behind the "new" church on Dodgingtown Road)
  • Central United Methodist Church in Endicott, New York
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church in Madison, Nebraska
  • First Presbyterian Church of Avon, New York. Church built in 1812, 33", 700 pound Meneely Bell dated 1848.
  • First United Methodist Church of Westfield, New Jersey
  • Jamesville Community Museum, former Episcopal church built in 1878 in Jamesville, New York [6]
  • Joseph Dill Baker Memorial Carillon in Baker Park, in Frederick, Maryland
  • King Avenue United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio[7]
  • Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Chapel built in 1880 and the bell was cast in 1881.
  • Lupton Hall Carillon at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Mt. Zion Baptist Church, formerly Deutsche Congregationale Zion Kirche (German Congregational Zion Church) in Portland, Oregon
  • St Peter's Episcopal Church, Tunkhannock, PA, USA[8]
  • Newton Presbyterian Church in Newton, New Jersey [9]
  • Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack, NY
  • Residence Inn by Marriott, West Orange, NJ. The bell is located outside of the hotel.
  • Rock Island Arsenal Clock Tower in Rock Island, Illinois has a 3,538 lb bell stamped "1867 Meneelys’ West Troy, N.Y." [10]
  • Saint Andrew's Catholic Church in Norwood, New York has a 3,100 lb bell of ingot copper and East India tin in a 70-foot (21 m) tower.[11]
  • Saint Anthony's Church in Albany, New York
  • Saint Anthony's Church (Svateho Antonina) in Strossmayerovo Namesti, Prague, Czech Republic (see below)
  • Saint Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pennsylvania
  • St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey[12]
  • Saint Peter's Catholic Church, Rutland Vermont
  • San Jose State University in San Jose, California "Cast to commemorate the California State Normal School in 1881, this 3,000-pound bell was rung at 8 a.m each morning until the earthquake that stilled its voice in 1903. In 1910, the bell was re-installed in the main building of the newly constructed Tower Hall, where it was rung on special occasions. In the early 1960s, seismic concerns led to its retirement and relocation at ground level." -Source credit: plaque on San Jose State campus.
  • Second Congregational Church, Westfield, Massachusetts (cast in 1867; in 1962, moved to the church's new building but mounted on the grounds outside)
  • Wesley Knox United Church. Woodville, Nova Scotia. Canada.
  • Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, Sherman, Texas
  • Trinity Church, Newport, Rhode Island
  • University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa dedicated in 1926 [13]
  • Washington Memorial Chapel has a carillon in the National Patriots Bell Tower at Valley Forge National Historical Park
  • Washington Memorial Chapel. The permanent location of the "The Justice Bell" (aka "Women's Liberty Bell") which was forged in 1915 and dedicated to the women's suffrage movement.
  • Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina [14]
  • Eastern State Hospital Medical Library, Building No. 3, Williamsburg, Virginia is the location of a Meneely Bell carrying the manufacturer's date of 1886. It was originally utilized to signify curfews and special events at the nation's oldest psychiatric hospital, established in 1773. You may visit the Eastern State Hospital website at
  • Mattawamkeag Church of God in Mattawamkeag, Maine (Dated 1900)
  • Carlisle Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, New York
  • Roddick Gate McGill University in Montreal
  • Church of the Nativity, Menlo Park, California
  • Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Salt Lake City, Utah [2]
  • St Lawrence Hall, Toronto, Ontario. (This bell, cast in 1849, is unused and virtually inaccessible in the cupola of St Lawrence Hall.
  • Laingsburg United Methodist Church, Laingsburg MI (1881 bell)
  • Lacon Congregational Church, Lacon, IL (bell cast in 1890)
  • Wilder Center, Wilder, Vermont
  • Saugerties Lighthouse, Saugerties, NY (photo)
  • Church of the Ascension, Rockville Centre, NY. (1873 bell) Cast for Christ Church, Poughkeepsie, NY. Sold back to Meneely bell foundry and resold in 1888 to Church of the Ascension.
  • Church of St. John the Evangelist, Montreal. Dated 1917. Still in daily use.
  • Emanuel Lutheran Church, West Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • St.Patrick's Catholic Church, Camp Grove, IL. Dated 1904. Church closed in 2013, bell now property of Peoria Catholic Diocese.
  • Atlanta First United Methodist Church (Originally Wesley Chapel), Atlanta, GA. Cast in 1850, it survived the civil war while most of Atlanta's other bells were melted down to make cannons. Rings every Sunday morning at start of worship.
  • Alexandria City Hall, Alexandria VA. The inscription cast on the bell reads "Steeple, clock and bell presented to the City of his nativity by an esteemed citizen. Alexandria, VA, A.D. 1872."
  • First Baptist Church of Arlington Massachusetts ( The bell was cast in 1903 and is 5' in diameter. The bell is manually struck on special occasions only.
  • A 1919 Meneely bell located at Woodbury Elementary School, Shaker Heights, Ohio, 44120. The bell was cast in 1919 and weighs 2,000 lbs.(see: )
  • The Minneapolis City Hall contains 10 bells from 1896 and 4 more added in 1923. These bells chime automatically every quarter-hour, and liver performances are regularly held by the Tower Bell Foundation.[15]
  • First Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1886, replacing the original bell of about 1859
  • Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (now a retreat house), Hillsboro, Maryland [16]

Below is a sample of locations where bells from the Second Meneely Bell Foundry can be seen and heard[edit]

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Irwin, PA one bell installed shortly after 1880.
  • Davis County Courthouse (Maneely & Kimberly Bell Co., 1879) in Bloomfield, Iowa
  • The Phelps School's "Victory Bell" in Malvern, Pennsylvania
  • Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, Fallowfield, Ontario, Canada. ( Maneeley & Kimberly Bell cast in 1875. Still in daily use.
  • A Meneely & Kimberly bell remains in front of the Cortland Elementary School in Cortland, Ohio. The school was once named Cortland Union School as cast on the bell 1876. This bell will soon be relocated to the Cortland High School.
  • The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, Chapel Hill, NC. The twelve original bells were cast by the Meneely Bell Company [17] in the early 1930s, and supplemented by two bells from Petit & Fritsen, Belgium in 1998.
  • Sainte-Marthe-De-Vaudreuil Catholic Church, Quebec, Canada.
  • St. Andrew's United Church in Markham, Ontario [18]
  • Bell in the name of Miss Elsie Priest, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan.
  • A Meneely & Kimberly bell is in daily service in the Parish Church of San Andres Xecul, Totonicapan, Guatemala.
  • Most Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Soldiers Chapel - Schofield Barracks; Wahiawa,Oahu, Hawaii. Church steeple built 1913. Bell dated 1911.
  • Assumption Church - Staten Island, NY. Assumption - St. Paul Parish. Bells dedicated August 6, 1922.[19]
  • St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Ogden, Kansas. Bell dated 1910
  • St. Patrick Church, Lowell, Massachusetts. Bells dated 1905
  • St. Johns Episcopal Church, Kula Hawaii (Maui) Bell dated 1909
  • Monastery of Annunciation, located in West Morava Canyon, Serbia, dated 1920
  • A Meneely & Kimberly bell dated 1877 is located in and used at the First Presbyterian Church of Cadillac, MI
  • Christ Church Windermere, Ontario, Canada. Inscription on the bell- (one side)"In memory of Charles Henry Mockridge, Priest and Doctor, February 25th 1913". (other side) "Meneely Bell Company, Troy NY, 1914"
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Bell cast in 1902
  • Tower Clock of the old Parliament building, Ottawa, Canada. Damaged by fire of 1916. Meneely & Kimberly dated 1875.
  • First Presbyterian Church of York, Pennsylvania, 1861, purchased by Philip Albright Small and Samuel Small
  • First United Methodist Church of Westfield, New Jersey. A single 2,048 lb bell stamped Clinton H. Meneely Bell Company, Troy NY and dated 1886. Controlled to ring hourly, by a clock mechanism made by the E. Howard & Co of Boston, MA from the same year. It was originally in an earlier wooden church steeple and in 1910 was moved to its current stone church steeple.
  • Christs Church at Ballard Corners, Sparta, Michigan; Bell stamped Meneely's Troy, N.Y. 1869

Columbian Liberty Bell[edit]

The Columbian Liberty Bell was cast by Clinton H. Meneely's foundry for display at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The bell disappeared while on tour in Europe.[20][21][22][23]

Saint Anthony’s Church Bell, Prague, Czech Republic[edit]

The Meneely bell that hangs in St Anthony's Church in Prague was purchased by the Mid-European Union in October 1918 to commemorate the independence of Czechoslovakia after World War I and donated to the group's president, Thomas Masaryk, who became the head of the country's provisional government and, in 1920, the Czechoslovak president. The bell cost $2,000 and weighed 2,542 pounds (1,155 kg).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meneely and Company Records, 1825-1945". The New York State Library. University of the State of New York. March 5, 2014. Retrieved 10 Jan 2015.  line feed character in |title= at position 20 (help)
  2. ^ "Benjamin Hanks". Delaney Antique Clocks. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Meneely Bell Online Museum
  4. ^ Rensselaer County Historical Society. (RCHS says the financial records of these foundries are located at 1) Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway, Foot of Polk St., Troy, NY 12180; and 2) Manuscripts & Special Collections, New York State Library, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230.)
  5. ^ physically inspected bell , which is still in use
  6. ^ Meneely Bell Rings Again, Jamesville Community Museum Newsletter, 2 February 2008
  7. ^ King Avenue United Methodist Church
  8. ^ parish historian
  9. ^ Newton Churches
  10. ^ The Rock Island Clock Tower - From Ordnance to Engineers
  11. ^ Lyman, Susan C. The Story of Norwood, NY: A Nice Place to Live: 1850-1995. Norwood: Norwood Historical Association, 1995.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Tower Instruments By State
  14. ^ Wofford's Bell, From The Archives, 25 January 2008
  15. ^
  16. ^ Church records
  17. ^
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Assumption-St. Paul Church
  20. ^ Wonderful Liberty Bell - It is to Contain Historical Relics of Great Value - It Will Be Cast At Troy Next Month and Will Weigh 13,000 Pounds, New York Times 24 April 1893
  21. ^ Columbian Liberty Bell Cast - The Operation A Success, It Is Thought, New York Times, 23 June 1893
  22. ^ Columbian Liberty Bell, Liberty Bell Museum
  23. ^ Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
  24. ^ Skinner, Charles. "Bell Casting in Troy". Meneely Bell online Museum. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 

External links[edit]