Portrait of Kawneer founder Francis Plym and his son, Lawrence.
Kawneer founder Francis J. Plym’s patented invention of large metal window frames revolutionized the construction of storefronts and the appearance of downtowns everywhere. The Kawneer Manufacturing Company opened in Niles in 1907 and expanded to produce automobile and airplane parts across the country. Kawneer Industries moved their operations to Atlanta in the 1980s and still operates globally.
Francis Plym and his wife, Jennie, were local philanthropists. In the early 1920s, they purchased a section of land near the Kawneer factory and headquarters for use as a public recreation center. The park was formally presented to the City of Niles in 1922. Plym Park provided facilities for a number of outdoor sports, including a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and a baseball diamond. The park is still actively used in the community today.
Mrs. Jennie Plym also funded the new Niles library building, which opened in 1963.
Postcard of Plym Park Golf Course and Clubhouse