The foundry business was established by William Oliver and his father John Oliver in the 1850s. In 1862 following the death of the father, William Oliver became the sole owner and he moved the business to a greenfield site Broad Oaks Meadows, south east of Chesterfield town centre close by the main line of the Midland Railway.
In 1885 a slump in the coal and iron trades and the high overheads of the new factory and equipment undermined the firm and the following year Oliver called in the receivers.
In 1889 Charles Paxton Markham, a director of the Staveley Coal & Iron Company, purchased the premises of the failed business.
Markham & Co then developed into a highly successful business, specialising in winders and other colliery equipment.
Between 1899 and 1914 the company built nineteen locomotives. Only one of the 0-4-0ST engines were all built for a standard gauge railway. It has been suggested that Staveley Coal & Iron Company may have built some locomotives in 1880 when the Charles Markham was a director.
In 1924 the company was absorbed into the Staveley combine and in 1937 became part of John Brown. It was later owned by Trafalgar House and finally Kvaerner, which closed the Chesterfield site in 1998.
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