In 1875, Solon Totten came to Texas from Quincy, Illinois looking for better conditions for the family blacksmith business. Finding stage coach companies operating out of Sherman which required blacksmith services and plentiful supply of oak tress which made the best wheel spokes, he persuaded his father and family to move to Sherman.
In 1881, the company name was changed to Washington Iron Work in honor of George Washington, the Father of Our Country. During World War II, Washington Iron Works produced large gun barrels for use in the war effort. Since then, Washington Iron Works, the oldest industry in Sherman, has expanded to include reconditioning compressor and engine components used in the natural gas and petrochemical industries.
In 1938, the foundry closed. In 1983, the foundry was reopened and is now known nationally for producing custom and high quality aluminum, bronze, and bronze with babbitt backed bearings. Washington Iron Works also has some of the largest lathes in the country operating in the heavy machine shop here in Sherman. Compressor and engine components are shipped from around the world to be reconditioned at Washington Iron works right here in Sherman, Texas.
In 2015 after six generations of family ownership, Washington Iron Works was purchased be Metallenium, LLC, a company located in Lubbock, Texas. Metallenium owns and operates The PROS Company in Lubbock, Texas, the largest screw compressor rebuild facility in the country. The PROS Company rebuilds all makes, models and brands of screw compressors, serving the natural gas, industrial air, air drilling and ammonia refrigeration industries. Metallenium also owns and operates Chrome Machine and Casting (CROMAC) in Amarillo, Texas. CROMAC is a large machine shop that specializes in reconditioning natural gas compressors and engine components back to the original equipment manufacturers’
The combined companies offer a one stop shop for the natural gas and petrochemical industries, including field machining services, screw compressor rebuilds and sales, and almost any type of machine that is required. The companies also service the power generation, food packaging, lumber and marine industries.