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C. E. Bogard & Sons

The Bogard Co.


Cairo, West Virginia

1971 – 1983

Cairo, West Virginia and Nutter Farm, West Virginia

1983 – 1986

Reno, Ohio

1986 – 1987


Clayton E. Bogard and sons James, Jack, Jerry and Joseph incorporated as C. E. Bogard & Sons in 1967.  This business arrangement seems to have been prompted by news that the Heaton Agate Co. was for sale.  The Bogards purchased Heaton in 1971.  Jerry and Jack became sole owners in 1983 and changed the name to The Bogard Company.  Eventually Jack would own the company outright.


The Heaton purchase included the marble-making equipment and about 100 boxes of old stock.  Some the marbles were already in bags ready for sale.  The Bogards printed up their own labels and stapled them right over the Heaton labels. 


Bill Heaton had advised them that concentrating on industrials would not be profitable so they made Chinese checker marbles and experimented with various types of cat’s eyes and a machine-made onionskin. They would continue to make the cat’s eyes and Chinese checkers marbles for a few years but Jack thought the prospects in the industrial marble business looked better since there was less competition there than in the toy marble market.  The problem was that there wasn’t yet a large demand for industrial marbles.  Jack Bogard virtually had to create his own market but he did it.   He was a major force behind convincing aerosol can makers to use glass marbles for agitators instead of metal balls. 


Bogard sometimes bought cat’s eyes from Marble King to package under their label, and made millions of industrial marbles for Marble King to use in filling orders.  At some point the 3/8” machine Heaton had used to make peewees was traded to Marble King.


Like Bill Heaton before him, Jack Bogard had difficulty with the availability of natural gas in Cairo.  In the mid-80’s gas prices more than doubled, leading Jack to move his marble machines to an old farm in Nutter, WV.  The farm had its own troubles though, such as freezing pipes, so Jack tried again to bear with the prices in Cairo.  He took inventive measures to make his operations more fuel efficient but that wasn’t enough.  In December 1986 he relocated to Reno, Ohio, where gas was significantly more affordable. 


In 1984, one of Jack’s friends had suggested that a certain successful accountant in Parkersburg might be a good person to help him deal with his finances.  The accountant’s name was Joanne Argabrite.  While working on Jack’s accounts, Joanne learned about the marble business and became interested in the potential she saw for profit.  She and Jack formed a partnership. Her job would be to handle the finances.  His would be to oversee all things related to actual marble production.  In 1987, JABO, Inc. was born. 


The Bogard equipment was officially purchased by JABO and the old Cairo property was sold at auction in 1988 to settle past Bogard Company debts. 






More information:


American Machine-Made Marbles, 2006, Dean Six, Susie Metzler and Michael Johnson



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