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The George Rushton Baking Company building was constructed in 1920. George Rushton, an immigrant from England, had started a small family-run bakery at this location in 1888. The bakery grew to become the largest baking operation in that state of Kansas. Designed by Ernest Brostrom, the building is one of the few examples of Prairie Style architecture for a commercial facility. It was added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1979, and continues to be used for industrial operations today.

  • The George Rushton Baking Company building
  • A fleet of the Rushton Baking Company's delivery wagons in 1898
  • A fleet of Rushton Baking Company's delivery wagons, circa 1919
  • The Rushton Baking Company featured in an ad for Goodyear Tires in 1919
  • The Rushton Baking Company featured in an ad for Goodyear Tires in 1919
  • The Rushton Baking Company building as Modern Warehouse, Inc (circa 1973)
  • Plaque on the outside of the building
  • Plaque on the outside of the building
  • A view of the building today

George Rushton was born in England in 1861. He began working in his father’s bakery from the age of eight and never attended school. He would open his own bakery by the time he was 20. In 1882, Rushton moved with his wife Jane and son Frank to New York City, where he worked as a foreman for a cracker company as well as a baker on a passenger ship. In 1885, he moved the young family again, this time to Kansas City, Kansas and started working as a foreman for various commercial baking plants in the area. In 1888, he opened his own small bakery in the Rosedale neighborhood called the Rushton Steam Bakery. In the early years of his business, Rushton and his family baked and sold everything themselves, and their baked goods were delivered by basket around the town. The business was a success, and in 1903, the George Rushton Baking Company was incorporated. [1]

By 1911, the company was the largest baking operation in the state of Kansas. [2] Rushton’s wife Jane and their three sons remained very active in the business, and the family even lived above the bakery. Jane worked as secretary and treasurer, and their oldest son Frank was the company’s vice president. In 1918, the company turned out 20,000 loaves of bread and 75,000 pies daily. A fleet of company trucks delivered the baked goods all around the Kansas City area. The company employed 130 people and sold $500,000 in baked goods annually. [1] The Rushton Baking Company would suffer two fires, one in 1901 and another in 1917. Despite these setbacks, the company rebuilt and continued to thrive, a testament to the quality of the baked goods that it produced.

A new manufacturing facility was constructed in 1919-1920 to house the company’s ever-growing operations. The building was designed by local architect Ernest Brostrom, who was heavily influenced by the Prairie School designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. The two-story building featured brickwork with stone trim and thin piers. “RUSHTON’S” was spelled out in bronze letters above the main entrance. Two figures carved by artist Jorgen C. Dreyer also originally stood at the main entrance (since removed), one holding a pie and rolling pin and another holding a measuring scale. [3] The building was one of only a few industrial buildings done in the US in the Prairie Style. [4] In response to the earlier fires, Brostrom focused on fireproofing features for its construction.

The facility has not had many alterations since it was built, with the exception of three one-story additions made in the 1920s and 1930s, also designed by Brostrom [3] In 1946, the Rushton Baking Company stopped production, and the building was sold to CJ Patterson Company, which used it for a time as a research kitchen. The facility has since been used for other industrial purposes, including as a carpeting and sheet metal warehouse.

A plaque on the site has the following inscription:

"First - 1888

A shelter, just a home.

Then - 1917

Brick and timbers,

burned to embers,

faithful hearts,

energy with industry

arising from calamity,

striving toward ideality,

this building here.

Erected, 1920

The George Rushton Baking Co"

1.      Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Vol. III. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1918. Accessed October 20, 2019.

2.      Morgan, Perl W., Ed. History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its People. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911. Transcription accessed October 21, 2019.

3.      "The George Rushton Baking Company, 1919-1920, 1930." Kansas City, Kansas, Planning and Zoning. Accessed October 21, 2019 using the WayBackMachine at The Internet Archive:

4.      Millstein, Cydney. “Historic Inventory – Phase 2 Survey.” Kansas City, Kansas: The City of Kansas City, Kansas, 1990. Accessed October 20, 2019.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

William Fischer, Jr.:

William Fischer, Jr.:

William Fischer, Jr.: