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Pottery Factory Will Shut Down

Monmouth, IL – The Western Stoneware pottery factory in Monmouth will close in a few weeks. The move will put about 40 employees out of their jobs. Owner Jim Hutchins says most pottery comes into this country from overseas. He says labor costs are part of the reason. In addition, he says where are fewer small stores which will sell his wares. He says fewer bulk purchasers are already used to going overseas for shoes or apparel or other items. Thke firm was formed in 1906 with the consolidation of seven smaller pottery makers. Hutchins says through the 1990s it employed about 135 people before demand fell. The pottery from the Monmouth factory was popular with collectors. It also made the pottery with a native American figure called Sleepy Eye Pottery.