Sutphen began in 1890 as a dream of C.H. Sutphen. His son, Harry, took an interest in the business and carried it on until his death.
Harry's two sons, Thomas and Robert, joined the business after World War II. They gained experience and job responsibility over the years, with Robert becoming Chairman of the Board and Thomas President of the Company.
Sutphen has over 120 years of operation; making it the oldest continuously owned and operated fire apparatus manufacturers in the country. Never reorganized, owned and operated by anyone other than a Sutphen, family atmosphere is apparent.
The fourth generation of the Sutphen family is at the helm. Bob's son, Drew Sutphen, is President of the Sutphen Corporation; son Dan Sutphen and grandson Harry Sutphen are in sales, and daughter Dareth Fowler is overseeing the new Sutphen Service and Refurbishment Center. Drew's wife, Judi Sutphen, heads up Contract Administration. Tom's daughter, Julie Sutphen Phelps, is President of Sutphen Towers and Vice President of Sutphen Corporation. Tom Sutphen's grandsons also are actively involved, Scott Herb is the Western Regional Sales Manager and Andy Herb is in sales. Robert and Tom Sutphen, although retired, are still involved with the business.
The first official offices of Sutphen were in the Brunson Building in downtown Columbus. Later, the offices were moved to the Lincoln-Leveque Tower, a stately "skyscraper" which is today a landmark in Columbus, Ohio. The very first Sutphen fire truck was built in an employee's garage.
Along with their success, came a need for larger quarters, and the offices were moved to Grandview, Ohio on Dublin Road, where they had three large bays in which to work. In 1958, two additional bays were added to accommodate the expanding business. In 1964, another move relocated the company to the present site of the "Corporation", a new plant at 7000 Columbus-Marysville Road in the hamlet, Amlin, now a suburb of Columbus.
Today, Sutphen is comprised of five factories. The main office, Sutphen Corporation, is the Amlin location. The SP 95, SP 100, SP 110, and SPH 100 Aerial Platforms are manufactured at this plant, as well as Custom Extruded Aluminum Pumpers and Walk-Around Rescues.
Hilliard, Ohio, located 6 miles south of the main plant, is the home of Sutphen Towers. This plant manufactures the SP 70 Aerial Platform, SA 75, SL 75, and SL 104 Aerial Ladders. The bodies of these units are manufactured of stainless steel. Customers who specify stainless steel pumpers will also have their apparatus built at Sutphen Towers. Repairs, refurbs, and commercial pumpers round out the product line at this plant.
In Springfield, Ohio, 45 miles west of the main office, is Sutphen Chassis Division. This is the start of the Sutphen line. Sutphen Custom Chassis are assembled using name brand components. Everything from the frame rails to the drivable chassis is handled here.
The newest location is the Sutphen Service and Refurbishment Center located adjacent to the Chassis plant. Minor repairs to major restoration, and everything in between is done here.
Monticello, New York is appropriately named Sutphen East. This facility manufactures both aluminum and stainless steel pumpers as well as commercial pumpers. Sutphen East handles repairs and service for the local market.
While looking back over the past 120 years, Sutphen looks forward to an exciting future of continued growth and change with the fire service.
Please take some time and check out these photos of Sutphens around the country.