The Big Car Database


Photo credit:

In September, 1905 the Forrest City Motor Car Company was organized in Cleveland, OH, known as the Forrest City. 

A prototype was built and investors were sought. The chief investor was Herbert Croxton a steel manufacturer from Massillon, OH and the company was moved to that city. The name of the car was to be the Jewell.

It was a typical high wheeler with rope drive. The body was hinged to the chassis at the rear so one could tilt it to do maintenance work. The "L" was dropped from the name. There was nothing else to distinguish it from other high wheelers and sales suffered.   Early in 1909, the firm's name was changed to Jewel Motor Car Company and another new car was added to its line by the name of  Breeze that last for less than a year. In August of that year The name was changed again with new owners.

'Massillon, O., Aug. 16—The Jewel Motor Car Company, of this city, will in the future be known as the Croxton-Keeton Motor Company, with a capitalization increased from $250,000 to $500,000. H. A. Croxton, whose name now appears in the designation of the company, will continue in his former position of president and treasurer. He is also connected with the Massillon Iron & Steel Company, the Massillon Bridge & Structural Company and the Massillon Foundry & Machine Company, and has been designing and constructing machinery and machine tools for the past fifteen years. F. M. Keeton has been in the automobile business for ten years, serving in various capacities with the Pope-Toledo and De Luxe companies, and for the past two years has been making a close study of the taxicab situation.

For 1910, the Croxton-Keeton line will consist of eight models, built on three chassis of 30, 45 and 60 horse-power. The 45 horse-power cars will be practically duplicates of the two Jewel cars which passed creditably in the Glidden tour. The smaller chassis will be particularly adapted to town-car use, and may possibly be built as a taxicab.

The Croxton-Keeton Company will produce 600 cars in 1910. It has purchased the factory which it has leased for the past three years, and, although the capacity has already been doubled, is designing another additional building 160 by 380 feet, of sawtooth construction. Work will be begun during the next month. The company has also secured an option on seven acres of ground across the street from the present factory for future enlargements. Distributing branches have already been established in New York, Pittsburgh, Pa., Cleveland, Chicago and Boston, and in the near future Minneapolis, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, and Atlanta, Ga., will also be covered. The car made by the Croxton-Keeton Company will be known as the Croxton-Keeton, instead of the Jewel." 

Because the production had not been completely halted, the Croxton-Keeton cars became Croxton models with a couple of new ones added. The company was reorganized as the Croxton Motor Car Company.

Croxton Motor Car Company merged with the Royal Tourist in 1911 to form a holding company known as Consolidated Motor Car Company, but it wasn't too long before they split and Croxton was once more on his own with his Jewel Carriage Company

The Keeton

The Keeton was manufactured for two years in Detroit by Forrest M. Keeton. He had been in several previous automobile ventures, one of which was the “French” Croxton-Keeton, that appears to have been a Renault copy. He then started producing both the four and six-cylinder Keeton with the inital production doing quite well on a small scale. In 1913 Bob Burman, the well known and hard charging driver, entered a Keeton four in the Indianapolis 500. By later in 1913 the company, like many under capitalized firms was in trouble and was bailed out by Charles S. Shaffer, president of the Car-Nation company, but both ultimately failed.