Our Story

Over the Years

1900 - Founded

Having migrated from Russia, seeking social freedom and opportunity, Myer J. Franklin started collecting obsolete textiles and iron products for resale and reuse.  Myer (18) had started the Franklin Iron & textiles company.

1937 - Post Great-Depression

Almost 40 years later,  Myer and family battled the Great Depression, the most ravaging economic disaster in modern history.  The company  had now ventured into non-ferrous metals and this was the year Franklin Iron & Metal Inc, was born.

1943 - WWII Breaks out

As WWII erupted, Richard Franklin (2nd generation), then 25 years old, had to leave his position at Franklin’s to fight for his country.  Myer’s wife Grace Franklin would go on to run the company for nearly 20 years.  Both Richard and Myer passed away due to war related illness.

1966 - The Business Boom

In the mid 60’s the automotive sector was booming.  Detroit, better known as the Motor City, was pumping out hundreds of thousands of automobiles a year.  Louis Boorstien, husband of Mildred Franklin, took on the challenge of leading the family business and spearheaded the purchase of a Richards Shear.  At the time, the Richards Shear was the most modern and efficient piece of scrap processing machinery on the marke

1975 - David Spearheads Progress

David R. Franklin (3rd generation) is elected president of the company.  David spent his whole adult life and most of his childhood working at the company.  Paired with his business degree from Western Michigan University, David was ready to take the company to new levels.  One of his first orders of business as president was a D&J hydraulic press baling machine.  This machine was capable of crushing an entire car in less than a minute.  It was the largest baling machine between Detroit and Chicago.

1980 - Recycling Demands Increase

In the early 80’s David Franklin saw the demand increasing for recyclable non-ferrous metals.  He constructed a state-of-the-art non-ferrous warehouse complete with scale systems, sorting areas, metal balers, and briquetting machines.

1985 - Susan Joins the Team

Susan J. Franklin, 4th generation, and the younger daughter of David Franklin joins the business after graduating from The Florida State University. In the late 80’s, Susan began researching the recycling of plastics.  With positive feedback and a couple large automotive injection molders locating to Battle Creek, Franklin found itself in the plastics business. With a matching fund grant from the State of Michigan the first granulator was purchased in 1988. In the early nineties,  Susan would go on to become President of the Company and currently holds that position.

1990 - Franklin Plastics is Born

Susan recruits her sister Beth Franklin Devoll to help run the newly formed Plastics division.  They go on to expand their customer base and acquire more equipment. Together, they decided to construct a state-of-the-art plastics processing facility in the Fort Custer Industrial Park. One of the first such processors in the state.  Inside the facility, plastics shredders and grinders are capable of processing over a 100,000 pounds daily.  This material is then sold back to injection molders and compounders to keep millions of pounds of plastics out of the landfill every year.  Franklin Plastics has since expanded and processes tens of millions of pounds a year.  The plastics division is currently run and operated by the Vice President of Plastics Travis Mumy.

2016 - David Joins the Team

David S. Behnke (5th generation) has joined the family business.  His main focus is modernization of equipment and facilities, as well as expansion of industrial business.  With his degree in International Business & Entrepreneurship from the University of Tampa, David also plans to set up exporting and international trading of all scrap materials. 

2020 - The Future is Now

Franklin Iron and Metal Co., Inc. remains a family business for 120 years and five generations. Surviving multiple societal and economic crashes.  Under the current leadership of Susan Franklin Behnke (President) and David Behnke (Vice president), the mother son duo hope to continue recycling and making the world a cleaner, more sustainable place one pound at a time.

120 South Ave.
Battle Creek, MI 49014

Hours of Operation

Sunday - Closed
Monday - 7:00 to 16:30
Tuesday - 7:00 to 16:30
Wednesday - 7:00 to 16:30
Thursday - 7:00 to 16:30
Friday 7:00 to 16:30
Saturday - Closed