I've been working on this for a while so I feel it is pretty accurate, but if you have differing information, dates, etc please post it. This concerns only the hat manufacturing. If you have history of the Stetson felting plant, please post it. I trust if this needs to be merged into an existing thread the Bartenders will find one. **** By the late 1960's the Stetson Philadelphia plant was outdated & experiencing labor union problems. The Stetson St. Joseph, MO plant was down to just making a few Western hats. For several yrs Stetson had been under the control of two New York financiers, Ira Guilden and Phillip A. Roth (Ramco Enterprises, Inc). By Dec 1970 Stetson's President Phillip A. Roth had started looking for someone to license the manufacturing rights & the Stetson name to. He came to terms with the Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co in St. Joseph, MO (~1971, exact date unknown?). Stetson already had licensing agreements with companies in 14 other countries starting in 1968 after signing a 3 yr union labor agreement. The Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co. was a 3rd generation 2-family owned company manufacturing hats, caps and gloves. It was started as The St. Joseph Hat & Cap Co by 2 cousins of John B. Stetson, Hyman Rosenthal and Simon Pitluck in 1917, changing the name a few yrs later. All of the equipment & a few manufacturing employees were moved from Philadelphia to St. Joseph. The Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co. purchased the Paisano Hat Co, a manufacturer of Western straw hats in Laredo Texas & moved it to St. Joseph (exact yr unknown?). In 1983 the Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co purchased all the Stetson stock outstanding to control the company. The John B.Stetson Hat Div of Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co goes into bankruptcy on June 22, 1986. Mr. Irving Joel (1928-1994) founded the AJD Cap Corp in 1960. It was renamed to Hat Brands Inc in 1973. Hat Brands Inc was sold to Colgate-Palmolive in 1978 & Irving Joel remained on as President. He was able to buy back Hat Brands Inc from Colgate-Palmolive in 1981. Hat Brands Inc was able to acquire Miller Bros Hats in April 1984, Resistol Hats from Levi Strauss in Oct 1985, acquires the Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co in the 1980's (exact date unknown), & the John B. Stetson Hat Div out of bankruptcy in March 1990. The assumption must be then that Hat Brands Inc did not yet own Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co. on June 22, 1986 at the time of the bankruptcy filing of John B. Stetson Hat Div. Nov 1985, as President of Hat Brands Inc, Resistol Hats & AJD Cap Company Irving Joel sends Mikhail Gorbachev several white & black Western hats similar to the one President Reagan wore at his ranch, a fedora like the one Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry wore, & several Chicago Bears caps after seeing Gorbachev on TV, & thought "his hats looked like hell." 1992 Hicks, Muse & Co, a leverage buyout firm bought 80% interest in Hat Brands & signed Irving Joel (64) to a 5 yr contract to stay with Hat Brands Inc as Chairman & CEO. Irving Joel was forced to resign in 1993 due to health reasons (cancer) but Joel retains 20% ownership. 1994 Hicks, Muse & Tate bought Irving Joel's interest in Hat Brands Inc after his death, & moved full operations from St. Joseph, MO to Garland, TX within a couple of yrs. After relocation to Garland, TX, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst renamed the company to Hat Co. The umbrella company remained Hat Brands Inc to include eight recreational headgear and Western jewelry manufacturing companies. By 1996 Hat Co was $100M in debt. From Lucchese Boot Co they hired John Tillotson as CEO. Tillotson consolidated the company's eight subsidiaries into three groups and renamed the parent company Arena Brands Inc. He grouped Stetson and Resistol with Charlie One Horse hats under the Hat Co. name, and based that company in Garland. He grouped the Denver-based Imperial Hat Co., AJD Hat Co. and Corsicana companies under the Imperial name, and based that subsidiary in Denver. His last group was the company's Montana-based Western jewelry manufacturer, Montana Silversmith. Each group has a President. That's how things stood as of 1998. St. Joseph, MO plant stops all manufacturing in June 2004.