Kewanee Boilers

Kewanee Boiler was a manufacturer of firetube boilers between 1891 and 2002 in Kewanee, Illinois. Thousands of Kewanee Boilers still provide reliable and safe heat to schools, government buildings, hospitals, and the various other types of buildings they serve.

This section of my website is dedicated to compiling information about Kewanee Boilers. In addition to information about Kewanee Boiler, this site contains a photo gallery with photos of Kewanee Boiler installations, a page detailing the operation and components of firetube boilers, and links to additional information about Kewanee.

Kewanee Boiler memorial

The Kewanee Preservation Society, along with the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, is raising funds to construct a memorial honoring the countless workers that proudly produced boilers for more than 130 years. The memorial will be on former Kewanee Boiler property across the railroad tracks from the former factory. It will feature retired Kewanee boilers, one of which they already have acquired. (Have a Kewanee Boiler that has been abandoned in place? They might be interested… contact me and I can forward your information along.)

Kewanee Preservation Society is fundraising for this project. According to one story written by Dave Clarke in The Kewanee Voice, checks can be mailed to: Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, ATTN: Kewanee Boilermakers Memorial Fund, 113 E. Second St., Kewanee, Illinois 61443. Be sure to write “Kewanee Boilermakers Memorial” on the memo line. The estimated cost of the memorial is $100,000. A flagpole featuring a Kewanee Boiler flag was raised in December 2023.

Unfortunately, the last standing remnant of the Kewanee Boiler factory — the administration offices — at 101 Franklin St., burned to the ground in November 2023. It took four departments and 23 firefighters to put out the fire. Charges were brought against two minors who were suspected to have set fire to the building, which opened in 1915. This building appeared on a lot of postcards of the boiler plant, along with marketing materials and employee photos — many of which can be found on the Kewanee Historical Society website.

Dave Clarke, who I’ve corresponded with since discovering my first Kewanee Boiler in my high school in 2013, continues to write about Kewanee Boilers. Several of his stories for The Kewanee Voice are linked above.

Note: This section is currently in the “beta” stage and is undergoing constant improvement. Please feel free to provide your feedback by emailing me.

Last updated: March 11, 2024 • Garrett Fuller, 2013-2024