When Fredrick Masury moved to Brookfield Township in 1903 to build a factory to make explosives for the coal mining industry, coal mining was already on its way out in the township.
“He was a little late for that here,” said Lois Werner, archivist for the Brookfield Historical Society. “Coal mining died in the 1890s.”
Maybe that explains why Masury only stayed in Brookfield until 1914. In any event, the Masury name stuck.
A Columbia University graduate and former Dupont employee, Masury built the Masurite Explosive Co. in the southeastern part of the township. He and his wife, Olive, lived in Petroleum, just down the road in Hubbard Township, Werner said.
Once Masurite Explosive was established, other industries followed, including Standard Tank and General American.
“That’s when Masury exploded, you might say,” Werner said. “The Brookfield part remained pretty rural.”
Masury became a player in local politics and community development, and was a deputy sheriff, but began dismantling his operation in 1911. He eventually moved in California, where he was an explosives consultant for the Army.
Largely upon the efforts of Olive Masury, the burgeoning industrial section of Brookfield and the “mill village” that sprouted up around it became known as Masury, Werner said.
“She was very much involved in recognizing her husband,” Werner said of Olive Masury.