The history of Steel Fixture Manufacturing Company is closely involved with that of the Capital Iron Works Company, of which it was a subsidiary company until the 1940's when the connection was severed.

In 1868, William Tweedale, an engineer, came to Topeka, KS to superintend construction of the Kansas State Capitol Building. After construction was begun, Tweedale found that he needed a number of iron columns. After vainly attempting to secure these columns from Eastern manufacturers by the slow and doubtful transportation then available, he began to search for local support for the establishment of a local foundry to manufacture the necessary columns. The primary supporter for this venture was Col. Cyrus K. Holliday who deeded part of the farm along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way which he had received during the Topeka town site promotion. This land has been the site of the Capital Iron Works and Steel Fixture factories since that time.

An informal partnership between Holliday, Tweedale and two foundry men, R.M. Akers and I.W. Russell, operated the firm for a number of years; undertaking subcontracts for supplying the Santa Fe Railroad shops in Topeka. The financial requirements of the operation resulted in the later inclusion of a financial backer, a Mr. Martin, as a partner.

In l879 after a number of years of actual operation, a charter was applied for and received for the Capital Iron Works; a name suggested by the capitals or ornamented caps of the iron columns supplied for the State Capitol Building. Col. Holliday became the first president of the new corporation. The firm rode the boom of the l880's but very nearly did not survive the recession which followed.

In 1898 H.K. (Henry Knight) Brooks acquired Capitol Iron Works at the suggestion, and with financial backing of John R. Mulvane, President of the Bank of Topeka. H.K. Brooks was a former instructor at Kansas State Agricultural College, but at the time of the acquisition, was living in NewYork City, NY.

"H.K." continued to live in New York while his father-in-law, John Newton Harrison, managed the business. G.W. (George Weston) Brooks, a brother to H.K. was also active in the business. G.W. Brooks was an innovative, inventive person with an interest in the new and untried. The John H. Harrison/G.W. Brooks management team was apparently successful and Capitol Iron Works prospered.

In 1907, G.W. Brooks started "The Steel Fixture Mfg. Company", perhaps without his brother's knowledge, to fabricate clothing lockers for a new Y.M.C.A. building then being constructed on the Northwest corner of 9th & Quincy Streets in Topeka. This was a radical departure from the heavy casting and structural steel work done at Capital Iron, into relatively light-gauge sheet steel. The fledgling business was started at the rear of 6l2 E. 7th Street behind the Curry Windmill Company, and across the street from The Capitol Iron Works.

With this development, H.K. Brooks moved from New York City to Topeka to oversee and become active in the operation of his business interest.

"The Steel Fixture Mfg. Company" was a separate corporation, but had the same ownership as Capitol Iron Works, and operated out of the same office. Both corporations pre-date the Kansas State law that requires corporations to use "Corp." or "Inc." in their name to indicate their corporate status. Under a "grandfather" clause, both companies continue to operate under their original names.

The Steel Fixture Manufacturing Company quickly established itself as an important part of the steel furniture industry by manufacturing a wide range of steel furniture items ranging from standard items, such as desks, tables and files, to the carefully designed and manufactured custom cases for libraries, banks and public buildings, such as courthouses and customhouses.

In 1914, the State of Kansas built the "Kansas State Historical Society" building at the Northeast corner of 10th & Jackson St. This was probably the first major job for Steel Fixture. The company supplied all of the office, filing, and library equipment for this building.

In 1924-25, Steel Fixture Mfg. Company built all of the equipment (except seating) to furnish the interior of the then new Santa Fe Railway General Offices at 9th & Jackson. This job included desks, counters, shelving, roller shelving filing cabinets, and desks. At this time, a standard item in the Steel Fixture Line was a "roll-top" office desk made completely of steel, including the "slots" for the rolling top.

During this period of prosperity, Steel Fixture had 125-150 employees and an assembly line type of operation.

Until 1929, G.W. Brooks operated Steel Fixture and H.K. Brooks concerned himself mainly with the operation of Capitol Iron Works. In 1929, H.K. Brooks took over the active operation of both companies and was successful in surviving the great depression of that year. G.W. Brooks, unmarried, moved to California and resided there with a sister until his death.

In 1932, Ray Krueger, formerly with the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Kansas City, joined the Steel Fixture Mfg. Company. In 1933, he married the daughter of H.K. Brooks, Teresita Brooks Krueger. H.K. Brooks died in 1934 and active management of both Capitol Iron Works and Steel Fixture Mfg. Company passed to Ray Krueger and Teresita Brooks Krueger. The stock for both companies passed into a trust at the United States National Bank in Denver, where A.S. Brooks, another brother of "H.K." was a trust officer. The sole beneficiary of that trust was Teresita Brooks Krueger.

Through the efforts and salesmanship of Ray Krueger, both The Steel Fixture Mfg. Company and The Capitol Iron Works survived the depression of the 1930's. During this period, Steel Fixture Mfg. Company equipped a new City Hall and Municipal Auditorium in Topeka, as well as the then new First National Bank on the Northwest corner of Sixth and Kansas Avenue. Custom work for the Santa Fe Railroad Company was also a substantial source of business, primarily in high quality custom work for the interiors of passenger cars, diners, and club cars.

During World War II, Steel Fixture Mfg. Company was heavily involved in defense work in several capacities by building such items as Crew Lockers for Coast Guard Cutters; special conduit boxes, end plates, screen covers and spare parts boxes for the Navy; and equipment compartments, hospital shelving, furnaces and chain guard housings for the Army Air Corps.

Shortly after World War II, the trust in Denver chose to sell Capitol Iron Works to a group of employees. Ray Krueger continued to manage Steel Fixture Mfg. Company as President of the corporation, though control still remained in the bank trust in Denver.

Ray Krueger remained President and General Manager of Steel Fixture Mfg. Company until his death in November of 1965. After his death, Mrs. Teresita Brooks Krueger became President and Mr. J.A. Dickinson, long-time company attorney, became Executive Vice-President and General Manager.

During the 1950's and early 1960's the company relied heavily on business from the Santa Fe Railway Company. However, this field was drying up with the demise of passenger service and the need for new or revived markets was obvious. A renewed emphasis was placed on the sales of specialty courthouse equipment -- a field that the company had served for many decades. However, the standard highly-competitive office furniture lines were dropped in favor of more specialized items, such as roller shelving and document files. New emphasis was also placed on a complete line of Museum Storage Cases.

On August 31, 1998 the company was equally purchased by four management employees: Gene Barrand - (started 1990) - Accounting Department; Roger Emperley - (started 1990) – Production; Duff Tuell - (started 1991) - Product Design; Stan Hubbard - (started 1995) - National Marketing Manager. Gene retired in 2005 and Stan passed away in 2007.

Today, Steel Fixture Mfg. Company continues to produce quality-constructed Museum Storage Cases, in addition to roller shelving and document files for the Courthouse line. Steel Fixture is one of two manufacturers left in the roller shelving industry and the only one left that continues to build the "S-101 " and "S-103" series document files for plat storage. We can produce and install Custom/Special jobs which might require on-site measuring and direct consultation with our client.

Many improvements in the production area have been made in recent years which include installation of a batch bake oven and spray paint equipment to use in applying epoxy powder paint finish to our products.

Since 1995, the use of CAD has been implemented to aid the design of our products and give us the ability to build custom products with more precision and ease. Also, a CNC controlled shear, punch, laser, and press brakes have been added to help streamline our building of quality products.

Most of our cabinets have been redesigned to exceed industry standard, making them more economical to manufacture and making it possible to keep our prices competitive.