Robert Hutchins Jeffrey II (of Jeffrey Mining fame) died last week, so it is fitting to post this interview with him that Andy Klein did back in 1997. TJ refers to his nickname “Tad.”
AK: Am I correct that your father was Robert Jeffrey?
TJ: My father was Robert, and my grandfather was Robert. Joseph Andrew was my great-grandfather, that’s the guy who’s portrait’s on the wall. And his oldest son, Robert H. Jeffrey, for whom I’m named, was a mayor of Columbus from 1903 to 1905, and succeeded his father as president of the company in the 1920’s. My father, Robert Kilbourne Jeffrey, his mother was a Kilbourne of Kilbourne & Jacobs, he became vice-president of engineering. He died in 1942. I worked there starting in summers of 1949, 51 and 52, and continuously from 1956 to today. This is the original company; the Jeffrey Company is the old Jeffrey Manufacturing Company; our charter is the 1877 charter.
AK: One of my themes in looking at the history in Italian Village is the role that families have played. It seems there was a very close-knit industrial community there.
TJ: I think that’s true, but that was true if you looked at the south end, the west side or whatever, you’d find the same thing. The businesses were all family owned.
Click to read Tad Jeffrey obituary