C. H. Dexter & Sons (1876)

January 2nd, 2013 Posted in Industrial, Italianate, Windsor Locks


Located along the canal on South Main Street in Windsor Locks, is the former factory complex of C. H. Dexter & Sons, paper manufacturers. A brief history of the company appeared in The American Stationer of July 25, 1914 (Vol. LXXVI, No. 4) as follows:

The Dexter paper mill is one of the oldest landmarks of Windsor Locks, the business dating back nearly eighty years. From a grist mill, built by ancestors of the present owners over one hundred years ago, there developed the manufacture of paper that has grown to large proportions. The old mill was operated by Seth Dexter, 1st, and later by his son of the same name. When the latter died, his son, Charles H. Dexter, took possession of the mill, and in 1835 Mr. Dexter began making paper out of manila rope in the basement of the old grist mill. In 1840 a mill for the exclusive purpose of manufacturing paper was erected on the opposite side of the canal. The nucleus of the present plant was built in 1876, after the original mill had been destroyed by fire.

Charles H. Dexter died in 1869 and was succeeded by Edwin D. Dexter and Herbert R. Coffin. In 1886 Mr. Dexter died and the business passed into the hands of Mr. Coffin, who continued it under the old name. He increased the size of the plant and began the making of high-grade specialties and tissues. On the death of Mr. Coffin in 1901, his sons, Arthur D. and Herbert R., continued the business, maintaining the plant under the old name, C. H. Dexter & Sons.

The Dexter Corporation (as the company was known after 1966) was dismantled in 2000. The company’s nonwovens production facilities in Windsor Locks were sold to the Finish company, Ahlstrom Paper Group.



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