LOCAL NEWS

History of the Toluca Garment Factory
(It was torn down in December 2018)
By Terri Taylor 
Prior to 1925 a building stood on the East Edge of Toluca the American Radiator Company. When they closed Robert Granert, purchased the unfinished building for a  good price and opened a factory for clothing. Many people at this time believed it saved the town of Toluca, with the mine closing and the great depression. R.O. Granert’s gave local residents a job. With the city’s help he was able to finish the building and started his business, the R. G. Clothing Factory. To finish the building he deducted 2 cents from each employee’s salary. The salary was $1.00 a day and the days were 10 1/4 hours and the employee’s only received 98 cents a day. The factory made clothing and merchandise for a big Chicago mail order house. When he opened he started with 8 women working in the factory. In 1933, The National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) eventually  ordered that wages be set at a starting rate of 48 cents an hour. At one time he employed 150 employees. Early on Sunday, December 23, 1945 the plant burnt down.  After the fire he continued working but in 2 small buildings. In 1947 Robert Granert moved to Minonk and opened a Hemp (rope) factory. In February 1948 Anton Hanus opened Toluca Garment Company and the city gave him the land free at 604 E. Santa Fe. When opened he employed 50 people. Mr. Hanus had very good years in the 1960’s and 1970’s when he employed over 200 employees. They specialized in “Made To Measure” garments for customers all over the United States, including Hawaii. They made uniforms for well known schools as Marmion  Military Academy, Culver Military Academy and  various airline uniforms. They also made suits for well known people such as: Lyndon B. Johnosn, Glen Campbell, Robert Michaels, Shaquille O’Neal, Johnny Bench, Deon Sanders, Hulk Hogan, Branford Marsalis, William Perry, and Dominique Wilkens. In 1967 Toluca Garment Company had done over $1,400,000  worth of business. The payroll for a year was over a million dollars. With the success of the business the building had to be enlarged 5 times through the years.  As time went on, the business world became more leisurely in they’re clothing. At this time he employed about 130 employees with many being part time. During this time they were making uniforms for airlines and police departments. On September 1, 1988,  Toluca Garment Company was sold to Louis M. Magliano, Jr., of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Louis Magliano’s father, Louis M. Magliano, Sr. taught his son the tailoring business. The elder Mr. Magliano has owned and operated Magliano Pants Company in Cincinnati since 1933. One very special suit that they made was for Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench for his induction into the baseball hall of fame in 1989. The suit, charcoal gray with red pinstripes, looked classy. If you looked close at the suit the pinstripes were not solid but was scripted with repeating  letters that read Johnny Bench, Johnny Bench. The suit had a price tag of $4,000. At the peak of the company they employed around 150 workers. Approximately 125 people were employed in the 1990’s. In 2006 Michael Magliano took over the business after the death of his father, Louis Bud Magliano Jr. At this time there was around 80 employees. On Friday, September 21, 2007 the employees went to work and was shocked with the announcement Friday morning that the factory was closing effective immediately. The employees knew there was some hard times and earlier in the week Michael Magliano told them he was in some financial problems and was trying to secure a loan. Today, 2018 a building that has been empty since 2007 has become an eyesore and possibly life safety issues is being torn down in sections. Tolucans and surrounding communities, especially the elderly that worked  their for most of lives have many, many memories of a clothing factory that brought “Made To Measure” garments for many gentlemen and women that loved to look their best in custom clothing, for the hard to fit, military and airline uniforms, and the rich and famous. Another building of Toluca’s history will be gone forever, except memories.