Back to the Past: Tyrone Town For Hire

42 years ago today, something happened that put the tiny town of Tyrone PA on the Wall Street Journal, and then ABC World News.

On March 14, 1971 one of Tyrone’s biggest businesses closed. The American Paper Mill closed its doors, laying off almost 550 people. The mill whistle fell silent. In response, Tyrone placed an ad in the Wall Street Journal titled “Town for Hire.” ABC World News picked up the story on May 14th 1971.

When the company MeadWestvanco, built the American Paper Mill in Tyrone it overcame the railroad systems as Tyrone’s main industry. The mill workers had a diverse pool of talent including woodworkers, electricians, and machine operators among others. However after the shut-down, all workers went unemployed.

The American Paper Mill shut down after falling behind on the latest technologies of the time. However, in 2003 a group of local organizations, past mill managers, and business leaders came together with a plan to repopen the paper mill. They re-named it the American Eagle Paper Mill, and the whistle blew again that same year.

Tyrone Mayor Pat Stoner States that, “This is a emotional time, it’s more than about starting the presses, and the machines, this is about going to the heart of the people. And that’s where my concern is, the effect it had on the people of Tyrone when it happened and how it has to lift our spirit and lightened our hearts now. That’s what is important to me.”

Now the mill strives to soar for a “New Dimension of Green.” Focused heavily on sustainability, the mill has invested $8 million dollars to replace their 1957 coal fired boiler with a highly efficient natural gas boiler, they’ve also upgraded the plant’s power distribution system, reduced greenhouse gasses and water intake, among many other achievements.

Now the American Eagle Paper Mill produces about 300 tons of recycled paper products daily. The mill now employs over 240 people, 40% more than the start up in 2003.


ABC World News response to Wall Street Journal ad for Tyrone PA.