Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A lot of Gasport residents don't know that our community once had a handgun manufacturing plant, Streling Arms, whose guns were well-known throughout America.

Here's a brief history of the gun maker...

E&R Machine Inc. was incorporated in the state of New York in April of 1961 with Eugene Sauls as President and Robert Lindke as Treasurer, each owning 50% of the company. The company' s first place of business was a small 900 sq ft building in Lockport, NY. By 1963, the business had outgrown the original building and they rented 5,000 sq ft of floor area in Gasport, NY.

Their business continued to grow and late in 1971, they contacted Sterling Arms in Buffalo, NY, about becoming the licensed manufacturer of their products. Sterling had been in business about three years and were having trouble with machining. E & R set up a plant at 4436 Prospect Street, Gasport, NY, to handle the manufacture of firearms for Sterling in 1972.

In December of 1973, E & R purchased all the stock of Sterling Arms Corp. making Sterling a wholly owned subsidiary of E & R. In 1975, Eugene E. Sauls, President, bought the 50% ownership of Robert Lindke and became sole owner of E & R Machine. In April of 1978, both E & R and Sterling were moved from Gasport to the new facility in Lockport.

Sadly, the former owner of the plant, Eugene Sauls, passed away on Sunday. Here is his obituary...

Eugene E. Sauls, of Lockport, NY, passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2010 in Medina Memorial Hospital. Born on September 3, 1930 in Buffalo, NY, he was the son of Clara Esthimer Sauls and the late Theodore Sauls. He and his wife, the former Nancy L. Litchard were married on December 14, 1968. Gene owned and operated E & R Machine, Inc., here in Lockport from 1961 until 1991 when he retired and sold the business to his son, Garry. He also owned Sterling Arms Corporation from 1972 until he closed the handgun manufacturing business in 1984. He enjoyed building and physically built two homes.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Litchard) Sauls; his mother, Clara Sauls; his children, Cindy (John) Donaldson, Linda (Don) Penwright, all of Lockport, Garry (Shirley) Sauls of Gasport, Jennifer (Patrick) Parmenter of Illinois and Anthony (Heather) Sauls of Lockport; seven grandchildren, Jason Donaldson, Laura (Steve) Weber, Chris (Lori) Sauls, Emmi Sauls, Joseph Sauls and Grayson Parmenter and several great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Elaine Schultz and great- granddaughter, Madeline Sauls.

Friends may call on Tuesday 7-9 PM and Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at Lange Funeral Home, Inc., 186 East Ave., Lockport, NY, where funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11:00 AM. Interment in Huskey Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.

Condolences may be offered to the family at: