The discovery of gas and oil, which produced inexpensive fuel, lured great glass and paper making factories to East Central Indiana. Although the American Window Glass Company was by far the largest plant, there were several other glass factories located in Blackford County.
Belgian and French people, excellent glass workers for many generations, were drawn to the New World by the chance to follow their own trade and the promise of good wages. These people lived mostly on the South Side of Hartford City near the American Window Glass Company factory, though not exclusively, and not all were glassworkers. There were other ethnic groups living in the area including Germans, Italians, Irish, Spanish etc.