Joseph Watt and son James H. started a small foundry in 1862 making plow points, window sash weights, and heating stoves. Later, brothers Stewart, Ross, and John W. joined and the name became J.H. Watt and Brothers. Securing a patent for a self-oiling mine car wheel, the business expanded to this 27-acre site. In 1891, Ohio gubernatorial candidate, and later U.S. president, William McKinley, dedicated the buildings. By 1901, over 135 were employed by Watt Mining Car Wheel Company producing mine and rail cars for U.S. and foreign markets. The Watt Car and Wheel Company was sold in 1966 to German interests and closed in 1996, ending an era of employment for generations of local people.