History of the Rice-Stix Factory

Joan Hart

Joan Hart


If you had been driving down Adams Street  or West Commercial in Lebanon in the summer of 1943, you might have seen a very slender young teenager washing the outside windows of the Rice-Stix factory building by standing on the ledge of a window and grasping the edge of the next nearest window with one hand while washing the window with the other.  There was no scaffolding nor ladder in sight although this was the same three story building that you can see on that corner today.  This was not an early day spider man.  It was Clyde Berg of Lebanon, by his own admission weighing barely 100 pounds.  He was 16 years old and a recent graduate of Lebanon High School.

I talked with Clyde this week as he shared his memories of that first job out of high school.

In the years leading up to 1925, some of Lebanon’s most forward thinking businessmen were talking about Lebanon’s need for a manufacturing business.  

This group of Lebanon leaders sent a delegation to St. Louis to meet with officials of the Rice-Stix Manufacturing Company about building a factory in Lebanon, and a search was made for the appropriate location. They found what they needed on the corner of Adams and Commercial where Dr. Al McCombs had built a square two story house. Jess Easley, in his book on the history of downtown Lebanon, tells how Ward Owen bought the McCombs house and moved it to the corner of Third and Washington Streets where it was made into an apartment house.

For the column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131