Granite City Iron Works began its career as a modest machine shop in 1869 in the hands of J. F. Stevenson.
In its lengthy history, the firm has produced such diversified articles as potato diggers, parts for army tanks, farm implements, and stone sawing machinery, along with grey iron parts produced in the company foundry.
Pioneer industrialist Stevenson sold out at the turn of the century. Business boomed with the manufacture of the "state of the art" Colgrove potato digger.
The Allen brothers, John, George and William, bought out the company and joined with John Fox in a new corporation. The year 1906 saw incorporation of the current name.
The company moved from its original location at 19 Fourth Ave. N. to East Hwy 23 where it spent 41 years in business. In early 2014, the company made the move to Co. Rd. 43 in Big Lake, Minnesota.
A changing business climate saw the company moving away from the foundry portion of the business and toward machining and welding, which is the current crux of the business.