Kiblinger and McIntyre Company
W. H. Kiblinger founded the Kiblinger Company in 1887 to manufacture buggies. He was a Civil War veteran, farmer, and businessman who ran the company until his death in 1894. Upon his death, the company was purchased by W. H. McIntyre and S. C. Snyder who expanded into automobile manufacturing with commercial availability in 1907. McIntyre eventually bought out Snyder in 1901 and seven years later would rename it, the W. H. McIntyre Company. The McIntyre company had five different buildings or plants around the city of Auburn. They also built its own ½ mile racetrack south of Auburn, Indiana to test and race cars since doing so on normal streets in town created a hazard.
McIntyre was known for helping to launch the cycle car craze in 1912 with a vehicle called the IMP. A narrow, low to the ground, two seat vehicle with the passenger sitting directly behind the driver, it was considered one of the first economy cars built cheap enough for the average person to be able to afford. As automobiles were a large expense, a lot of people couldn’t afford a more standard looking automobile. This type of automobile was built with affordability in mind. It was also quite light, with advertisements showing 2 people being able to carry the car around easily. The craze lasted until 1915 with the McIntyre company building around 50 per month in one of the plants.
The owner of the company, William H. McIntyre, was known to be actively involved in the city of Auburn, gave generously to the city, and was very popular. He was president of the National Carriage Builders Association in 1911.
The company was forced into bankruptcy in August 1915 by the Northern National Bank of Toledo, Ohio and the Hamilton National Bank of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The reason for this is no longer known. Much of the bankrupt company was purchased by the DeKalb Manufacturing Company. One of the buildings in Auburn went on to house the Rieke Corporation which still exists today.