David S. Shor established the Duro Bag Manufacturing Company in Ludlow
in 1953. Both the offices and manufacturing plant were located in Ludlow
for many years. Originally, the company produced only paper bags and
sacks. Over the years, new product lines have been introduced.
The main paper storage facility and plant were located on the south
side of the alley behind the two hundred block of Oak Street (Cedar
Alley). This building had previously housed the Southern Railroad machine
In the early morning of March 1, 1964, a major fire broke out at the
Duro plant. By the time the fire department arrived, the entire block-long
building was fully engulfed in flames. The fire quickly spread to a
number of nearby homes. Before it could be extinguished, over a dozen
homes had been damaged and several were completely destroyed. More than
fifty Ludlow residents were left homeless. Property damage was estimated
at over $2.1 million.
The main Ludlow plant was not rebuilt. Instead a large plant was constructed
in Covington. The offices of the company, however, did remain in Ludlow.
The company purchased the First Church of the Nazarene at the southeast
corner of Oak and Linden Streets, and remodeled the building for office
use. Later, the old Ludlow School on Linden Street was acquired for
additional office space.
In February 1977, members of the United Paper Workers International
Local 832 went on strike. At 11:00 p.m. on May 28, 1977, a fire broke
out at the Ludlow warehouse. Many large rolls of paper stored at the
facility were totally engulfed by the time the fire department arrived.
Large pieces of burning paper began to rain down on Ludlow. Burnt paper
drifted as far north as downtown Cincinnati. Many Ludlow residents near
the warehouse doused their roofs with lawn hoses to stop the spread
of the fire. Six fire companies brought the fire under control by midnight.
The fire occurred on the same evening as the tragic fire at the Beverly
Hills Supper Club in Southgate where over 160 people lost their lives.
During the last three decades, Duro Bag Manufacturing Company has experienced
steady growth. In the 1970s, new plants were constructed in Brownsville,
Texas; Mexico; Hudson, Wisconsin; and Tampa, Florida. The 1980s witnessed
the completion of a large plant in Richwood, Kentucky.
More recently, Duro has expanded by acquiring similar companies. In
1995, the assets of the Union Company in Richmond, Virginia were acquired.
Four years later, Duro purchased the Equitable Bag Company of Florence.
In 2001, the company employees 1,400 people in the United States and
News Enterprise, March 5, 1964, p. 1, March 12, 1964, p. 1, June
2, 1977, p. 1; Ludlow Centennial Souvenir Program, 1864-1964, p. 63;
Promotional Literature of the Company.