Fanny S Stone.

Racine, belle city of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement (Volume 1) online

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The Racine Shoe ]\Ianufacturing Company was organized in
1902 with Sands M. Hart as president; L. J. Elliott, secretary and
treasurer, and Fred C. Goff, general manager. The plant of the
company was located originally at the corner of Wisconsin and
Seventh Streets, but with the demand for larger quarters a re-
moval was made in 1906 to 1?.20 Clark Street. In 1914 Mr. Goff
was elected president of the company and in 1916 Jens Jensen
liecame president, with Fred C. Goff as secretary and treasurer,
and L. J. Elliott, vice-president. The plant includes 35,000
square feet of floor space, occupying a building three stories in
height. They manufacture a special line of men's Goodyear
welt shoes and the product is sold in this country and in many
foreign lands. Aliout 200 workmen are employed by this com-
pany, most of which is skilled labor.


The Arnold Electric Company was organized April 19, 1904,
as the United States Standard Electrical Works Company and
business was started in a small way on the fourth floor of the
Secor Building in Racine, in one room. They manufactured elec-
trical devices under the trade name of Arnold. This company
was the flrst to place upon the market the small type of vacuum
cleaners f(ii- household use and they were also the originators of
the ])ortable massage vibrators, electric hair dryers, electric
di'ink mixers, washing machines, electric signs and phonograph
motors. They manufacture small power motors for various uses.

On November 20, 1914, the name was changed to the Arnold


Elcctrif Company and the capital st.ick to $100,000.00. Fii 1907
the business was moved to a small building known as the Collier
Building, at Washington Avenue and the Northwestern tracks.
Tn 1909 an entire city block was purchased, upon which a three-
story building was constructed, giving them 50,000 square feet
(if tloor si»ace. They have their own tool making department and
employ about 100 people, most of whom are skilled workers. The
officers are: George C. Schmitz, president and manager, and J. A.
Schmitz, secretary and treasurer.


The business now conducted under the above name was or-
ganized al)out 1910 under the present fonn, but was established
about 1902 under the name of the Racine Novelty Company by
George W. Jagers. The business was conducted until December,
1909, when the plant was destroyed by fire, and in 1910 the com-
pany was reorganized with George W. Jagers, F. K. Bull and
Fred F. Blandin as the incorporators. Since that time several
changes in ownership have occurred. The plant, located at Sixth
and I\Iead Streets, is devoted to the manufacture of automobile
bodies, which are sold over the whole United States. The
factory contains over 500,000 square feet of working space and
there are three four-story buildings, all modern in construction.
Fully 900 employes are maintained and the plant is continually
worked at full capacity. Many of the leading automobile factories
of the country use the bodies put out at this plant.


The Racine Rubber Company was organized INIarch 12, 1910,
its first officers being: C. F. U. Kelley, president; Frank L.
Mitchell, vice-president; Stuart Webster, treasurer, and J. H.
Dwight, secretary. The work of building the factory commenced
on June 6, 1910, and was completed April 1, 1911, since which
time further additions have been made, until now the plant cov-
ers three and one-half acres. The buildings are of modern con-
struction and three stories in height. The output of the plant
includes automobile, bicycle and motorcycle tires. The "Racine
Tire" has become famous and the production of the plant now
runs about 1,300 tires per day. From 800 to 1,000 people are
employed by this firm.



The Wallis Tractor Conii)aiiy was organized about 1912, with
H. IM. Wallis as president and treasurer; H. M. Wallis, Jr., sec-
retary, and O. P. Conger as director. The company manufactures
fai'iii and road tractors and eini)loys 200 ]K'ople. The factory
was at one time located in ('leveland, Ohio.


The business of this establishment was started in 1870, when
Jens Jensen turned out work for various wagon companies. The
c(mipany was incorporated in 1883 as the Jensen Manufacturing
Company and in 1886 the interests of Mr. Jensen were purchased
and the name changed to the above caption. The immense shops
of the company were located at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue
and Prospect Streets until July 13, 1898, when the main struc-
tures were destroyed by fire. Not long afterward a site was
purchased at Lakeside, south of the city. Here an extensive
factory was built. About 300 people are employed at this plant.


This large industry, now em])loying al)out 250 men, was
started in 1899. The product of the company has a sale over the
whole United States. An entire block of land is covered by the
factory buildings, which are of the latest construction and ade-
quately protected. The first officers of this plant were: William
Tlorlick, ]U'esident; David (i. Janes, secretary and treasurer, and
Walter A. Driver, manager.


Of all the products of Racine's many factories, perhaps no
one bears more universal popularity or is better known than the
Hartman trunks. The brand of trunks manufactured by this
company bears a reputation of durability and convenience un-
surpassed. The Hartman Trunk Comi)any was incorporated in
1889, with a capital stock of $200,000.00. The present officers
of the concern ai'c: Joseph S. Hartman, president; Henry S.
Hartman, vice-president; Sam J. Hartman, treasurer, and Hugo.
Hartman, secretary. About 190 ineii ai'c <'m])loyed by this com-


There have been and are several incubator companies located


Built at the Rapids in the spring of 1S35. Dislodged by flood of 1S64 and floated down the river to
the George Wustum Farm.


ill the City of Racine. The Belk; City Iiienbator Company is one,
of tlie largest of this number, employing upon an average about
loO men, and is devoted solely to the manufacture of incubators,
wliich are sold over the entire country and abroad. Other com-
])anies are: The Kommon Sense Incubator Company, the Na-
tional Incubator Comjiany, the Progressive Incubator Company,
and the Iron Clad Incubator Company. The last named is the
yoiuigest of the group, having been incorporated in the year
1916, with a capital stock of $60,000.00. The Wisconsin Incu-
bator Company was also capitalized in 1910. Th(mias J. Collier
is president of both of the latter companies.


This manufacturing instituti(m is devoted to the making of
various iron products; it is a large, complete and extensive iron
foundry employing upwards of 400 men. The Belle City Mal-
leable Iron Company was incorporated in the year 1892 with a
(•ai)ital stock of $500,000.00. J. A. Chapman is the president;
J. II. Dwight, vice-])resident and general manager; C. S. Ander-
son, secretary and treasurer. The plant is located at 1500 Ke-
waunee Street.


The Belle City Basket Company, located at St. Patrick Street
and the Northwestern tracks, while not one of the largest manu-
factories of Racine, is distinctive. This plant manufactures
baskets of all descriptions. The average payroll comprises about
fifty men. The plant itself is modern and equipped with the latest
style machinery for the Avork.


The Hamilton-Beach Manufacturing Company is one of the
largest mamifacturers of electrical specialties in Racine. About
seventy-five men are employed. This company was incorporated
in 1910, with $16,000.00 capital stock. F. J. "Osius is the presi-
dent; M. Osius, vice-president; Albert .1. Druse, secretary and
treasurer. The plant is located at Rapids Drive and the North-
western Railway tracks.


The Ililker-Wiechers Manufacturing Company employs 350
men in the production of workingmen's clothing. The plant of


this large company is located at 1232 Mound Avenue. The com-
pany was incorporated in 1899 witli a capital stock of $10,000.00.
This amount has subsequently been increased. The following-
are the officers: William Hilker, president; William F. Hilker,
vice-president; John Wiechers, secretary and treasurer. The
equipment of the ])lant is modern and adapted to efficiency and
quality of production.


This large concern, lucated on West Sixth Street, and with
an average payroll of 125, had a small beginning in the early
'90s, but has in later years grown to its present proportions. The
company was incorporated under the laws of the state in 1897
and at that time carried a capital stock of $100,000.00. Jacob
Sehnadig is the president of the company, S. Haas the vice-presi-
dent, and D. B. Eisendrath the superintendent.


This is one of the oldest manufactm'ing concerns in Racine,
having been established in the late '70s. The company was in-
corporated as early as 1882 and was capitalized recently for $300,-
000.00. The plant is devoted almost exclusively to the manu-
facture of agricultural implements of all kinds and about 175
men are given employment throughout the year. The officers of
the company are: John Reid, Jr., president; John H. Jones, vice-
president; Walter J. Tostevin, secretary; Milton M. Jones, treas-
urei". The factory is located at Seventeenth Street and Junction


The l)usiness of this concern was started by Martin M. Secor,
a native of Bohemia, who came to Racine in 1852. He gained
prominence here as mayoi- of the city and also as one of the
largest trunk manufactui-ers in the country. The company was
incorporated in 1888. Over 100 men are employed by the com-
pany at the plant, which is located at 401 Lake Avenue. The
officers at present are as follows: A. T. Perkins, president and
treasurer; Mrs. F. E. Secor, vice-president; Charles Kristerius,
seci-etary. M. M. Secor, the founder of the business, died in
Racine on January 5, 1911.

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While not among the larger concerns of Racine in point of
the number of men employed, this company has gained national
reputation owing to the quality of the Gorton prodiicts, the in-
ventions of George Gorton. Milling machines are the staple
product and they are of luiexcelled quality. About fifty men are
employed at the plant located at 1107 Thirteenth Street. The
company was made into a corporation in 1895, with a capital
stock of $50,000.00. The present force of officers includes:
George Gorton, president and treasurer, and S. (lorton, vice-


This company represents an industry distinctive to the local-
ity. This is the canning of sauer kraut and other staple special-
ties. The tremendous yield of cabbage in this part of Wisconsin
has made the l)usiness possible and the sauer kraut industry has
grown to large proportions. About fifty men are employed by
the Gunther Company. The jjlant is located at 1715 Asylum


The manufacture of steel and alumiinmi shoes is another
of Racine's prominent industries. The Overland Shoe Company,
tlic Racine Aluminum Shoe Company and the Steel Shoe Com-
pany are representative of this work here. From twenty-five to
sixty men are employed by these factories. The Fiebrich-Fox-
Hilker Company and the Monarch Shoe Company are both large
concerns manufacturing shoes for workiugmen. Over 150 men
are employed l)y the former.


In the year 1879 the factory was the feature of Racine. There
were many of them and it was estimated that over $7,000,000.00
in ca]>ital was invested.

The principal establishment was the J. I. Case & Company.
Then came Fish Brothers & Company, manufacturers of every
variety of farm, freight, plantation, quarry and header wagons,
together with a full line of phaetons, trotting Iniggies, road
wagons and spring wagons of every descri])tion. This institu-
tion had been started in the fall of 1862 under the firm name
of Fish & Bull. The Racine Wagon & Carriage Company, which


liad been iiicoiiMiratcd in 1877, was tbt'ii building up a business,
also tlio Hello City Novelty Carriage Works, which had been
established in 1874. The J. I. Case Plow Company had been in
operation about three years. The Seaman Chilled Plow Company
was just erecting its factory plant. The Racine Silver Plate (\mi-
pany, manufacturers of gold and silver plated ware, Britannia
ware, cutlery, etc., bad been iii('oi'])orated in 1875 and were doing
a creditable Inisiness. Henry W. Wright was manufactui'ing
sash, doors, blinds, mouldings, fanning mills, etc. He erected a
factory in 1872. Thomas Driver & Son were making the same
articles as Mr. Wright on State Street, close to the Western Union
Depot. Mobn & Stecbei''s planing mill was started in 1876. The
Racine Woolen Mills, which had been started in 1865, were run-
ning at the corner of Bridge and Ontario Streets. Gunther &
Son were making post-hole angers. The Racine Cotton Batting
Mill, William Baumann, proprietor, established in 1871, was
located on Douglas Avenue. The Racine Twine & Cordage Woi-ks
was located on Chestnut Street and covered three acres of ground.
The Racine Basket Manufacturing Comi)any, which had been
opened in 18()9 by Elliott & Wetherell, was then doing a growing
business. The Belle City Soap Factory, a small concern, was
situated on Chippecotton Street. The Racine Wire Cloth Works,
formerly Charles Coebner's Wire Works, established in 1869,
Avere mamifacturiiii; on Suix-rior Street, north of State. The
Nortln\'estern Trunk & Traveling Bag Manufactory had been
started by M. M. Secor as a harness business in 1861. In 1877
the lirm was styled M. M. Secor & Company, Joseph and Anthony
Hayek having l)een admitted. The Racine Linseed Oil Works
were started in 1872 by Emerson & Company and were doing
business. The Racine Pumi) Factory, Winship Brothers, which
had been started in 1864, were rumiing at the corner of State and
St. Clair Streets. Jens .lensen was manufacturing wagon hard-
ware and malleable iron. Hodges and Mutter were making
wooden cisterns and tanks. The Racine Hardware Manufactur-
ing Comi)any were in operation at Racine Junction. Hurlburt
& ('ompany commenced the manufacture of a patent lock for
wagon ))rakes in 1870, and were then manufacturing several types
of locks. The Vinegar & Pickle Factory, George Bucher, was
eslablished in 18()7. Thr Racine Iron Works, S. Freeman & Son,


had shops located on Bridj^e Street. F. EckJiardt was a piano
inanufaetiirer on Sixth Street.

The fanniiit;- mills were represented by the firms of Blake-
Beebe Company, Haeine Agricultiu-al Fonndry & Machine Works,
Daniel Bull. E." P. Dickey, T. & N. Altrin^ei-, "llu.uhes & Williams,
Tostevin & Le Ray, Johnson & Field, and ir^'reeman & h]vans.

The breweries were those of Fred Heck, the City Brewery,
the Star Brewery, the North Side Brewery and W. H. Weber.

There were two flouring mills, those of P. A. Herzog- and
J. H. Roberts, called the Racine Star ]\Iills, and the State Street
Mill, Peter Zirbes and Lambert Weiss, proprietors.

J. Miller & Company were engaged in the manufacture of
shoes; also Anthony (i. Pcil and the L. W. Phillu'ook & Company.

The tanneries were ojjerated by F. Platz & Son, Bevier &
Reid. Jacob Kawelti, A. JNIadson, j\Iai'k Nelson and L. W. Phil-
l)rook & Company.

J. A. Horlick & Sons and William Beswick were lime manu-

Among the brick manufacturers were: Meidinger & Com-
pany, Morris Brothers and Burdick Brothers. The lumber yards
at this time were <jperated b,y Daniel Slauson, George Farns-
worth, Durand & Hill, Isaac Taylor, N. Pendleton and R. Canfield.


The United States census of 1910 gives among the more im-
portant manufactures of Racine the following, with the number
of men employed in each: E. H. Adams & Son, hardware special-
ties, 10; Advance iManufacturing Company, hardware specialties,
25; Charles Alshuler Manufacturing Company, clothing, 325;
American Seating Comijany, 200; American Skein & Foundry
Company, 200; Art Furniture Manufacturing Company, 6; Badger
Manufacturing Company, 100; Badger Foundry Company, 20;
Beffel Manufacturing Company, 10; Belle City Basket Company,
42; Belle City Incubator Company, 55; Belle City Malleable Iron
Company, 450; Belle City Manufacturing Company, 150; Belle
City Skirt Company, 25; R. R. Birdsall, 30; A. C. Bye Company,
12; Brannum Lumber Company, 20; Broecker Paper Box Com-
pany, 20; Carroll Coal Company, 25; Chicago Rubber Clothing
Company, 110; Chalmers & Company, iron foundry, 10; Case Broth-
ers, 10; J. I. Case Plow Works, 600; J. I. Case Threshing Machine


Conipany, 2,000; John Bean i\ranufa('turing Company, 10; Thomas
Driver & Sons, 40; Domestic Manufacturing Company, 20; B. D.
Eiseudrath Tanning Company, 100; Fiebrich-Fox-Hilker Shoe
Company, 200; Flegel Manufacturing & Plating Works, 15; Pos-
ter & Williams Manufacturing Company, 50; Freeman & Son
Mamifacturing Company, 300; George B. Freeman Manufactur-
ing Company, 20; Gold ^ledal Camp Furniture Company, 100;
F. J. Green Engineering Works; Grey Manufacturing Company,
soap, 10; F. W. (iunther Company, sauer kraut, 40; Hartman
Trunk Company, 190; Hamilton -Beach Manufactiiring Company,
100; Harvey Forging Company, 30; Higgins Spring & Axle Com-
pany, 150; llilker-Wiechers Manufacturing Company, 350;
Holbrook-Armstrong Iron Company, 90; Horlick's Malted Milk
Company, 500; Imperial Bit & Snap Company, 45; S. C. Johnson
& Son, 165; Johnson & Field ]\Ianufacturing Company, 30; J. H.
& F. R. Kelley, 30; Kelley-Racine Lmnber Company, 400; Kranz
Broom Factory, 20; Lakeside Malleable Castings Company, 250;
Lang Manufacturing Company, 20; N. R. Lindorff, art glass
works, 20; J. Miller Comjjany, shoe manufacturers, 275; Mitchell-
Lewis Motor Car Com])any, 2,400; ^litchell-Lewis Company,
wagon manufacturers, (iOO; McCrum-Howell Company, 200;
Progress INIanufacturing Company, 15; Pierce Motor Company,
500; Racine Auto Top Company, 35; Racine Brass & Iron Com-
pany, 90; Racine Economy Spring Compau}', 25; Racine Engine
& Machinery Company, 50; Racine General Manufacturing Com-
pany, 20; Racine Foundry Company, 50; Racine Heel Protector
Company, 55; Racine Iron & Wire Works, 20; Racine Malleable
& Wrought Iron Company, 275; Racine Manufacturing Company,
hardware specialties, 500; Racine Paper Goods Company, 60;
Racine Shoe Manufacturing Comi)any, 135; Racine Steel Casting
Company, 50; Racine Trunk Comj)any, 50; Racine Woolen IMills,
100; Racine-Sattley Company, 500; Secor, M. M., Trunk Company,
900; Dr. Shoop Laboratories, Inc., 75; Standard Electric Works,
100; Wisconsin Incubator Company, 100; Steel Shoe Company.
60; Weber-Baheman Company, 60; E. C. Tecktouius Manufactur-
ing (\»mpany, 12.

Since this time there have been added many other industrial
concerns to Racine's imposing list of manufactures, among them
being: The Racine Electric Company, American Mangle &
Roller Comi^any, Racine Tool & Machine Company, Racine Trav-



eling Bag Coinpniiy, Kar-ine Pnttyless Window Company, Racine
Auto Tire Company, Racine Carriage Company, Racine Hosiery
Company, Perfex Radiator Company, Levine Gear Company,
Ajax Auta Parts Company, Christensen Silo Company, Common
Sense Trunk Company, George Gorton Machine Company, E. R.
Harding (\im])any, Hilker Brothers Brick Manufactory, Ironclad
1 iicubator Company, Jorgenson-Clausen-Krogh Company.


Manufactni'ing in the Town of Burlington had its inception
in 1836, when Moses Smith and Sanniel Vaughan erected a saw-
mill and attached to it a mill for grinding wheat. This was the
start of the later stone mill. A large trade was done early in the
career of this mill with Scotland and Germany. A Mr. Perkins
erected a woolen mill in 1843 on the bank of Fox River. In the
year 1852 Jacol) Muth erected a large brewery. It was a frame
i)uilding and cost $2,500.00. He ran it until 1872, when he tore
it down and built a lirick and stone malt-house, which he operated
until 1877, when he sold out to the People's State Bank. This
lu'ewery, with many additions and modern improvements, is now
the Finke-Uhen Brewing Company. The old wooden mills are
now engaged in the manufacture of horse blankets exclusively.
The Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company is a leading factory of
IJui'lington, with B. and Charles R. McCanna as the officers. Here
there are also a l)rass foundry, a brick and tile works, vending
machine factory and several smaller mills.

At the former Town of Western Union, the Brown Corliss
I*]ngine Company of Milwaukee erected a large factory in 1901.
Julius Wechselberg was president of this company and W. S
Whiting, seci-etary. The name of the town was at that time
changed to Corliss. Three days after the survey the plat was
filed in the office of the register of deeds. However, for many
reasons, the undertaking at Corliss was not a success and a re-
currence of revei'ses caused the company to abandon the plant.

View I'l'um tup uf Krit- Street Hil), showing Kt'ain elevator erected in IStlT aiiii destroyeti by tire in 1HS2.




Ill all new st'ttlcmciits in this country the first thiiii; to he
(lone after the pioneer had put up his crude log cabin and ])lanted
a patch of ground with a little corn and potatoes, was to mai'k out
and construct a roadway to his neighbor's, if he was lucky enough
to have one, and then, with that neighbor and others, build a
temporary road to the nearest market town. For he must have
])rovisions for himself and family and a place to market the pro-
ductions of his farm in the new settlement. This may be said
to l)e the beginning of transportation facilities in this great
country. As has been clearly presented by the late Judge Dyer,
all the land within the limits of Racine was left by Nature cov-
ered with a dense forest. The lowland just west of the river and
bordering it was covered with maple trees in 1837, and converted
into a sugar camp. It was the abiding place of deer and prairie
wolves. These and other obstacles were but a part of the diffi-
culties overcome by the frontiersman, and amidst them he built
ills home, cleared and cultivated his farm, built highways and
blazed the trail over which thousands of hardy men and women
traveled to the new country and made this county and city what
they are today, among the richest and most prosperous localities
in the State of Wisconsin.

A class of people settled in Racine County that was frugal,
industrious and possessed of heaven-born talent for getting
somewhere. This ])e()j)le prospered, taking from the rich lands
bounteous annual crops. Others ai)plied their time and talents
ill fashioning the raw material furnished by the husbandman,
liunbei-man, miner, and the like, into various useful articles for
the markets, and to get them there the roads, and the rivers and
the lake, were utilized. Soon came the railroad t(. com])ete with
that great natural highway. Lake Michigan, and for a time it


was a struggle. But eventually the steam horse on his steel-laid
road won out.


The Racine, Janesvillc & ^lississii^pi was the first railroad in
Racine; it was finished to Burlington in 1855, and the settlers in
that village organized a celeliration of the event and the mayor
and other officers of the City of Racine were invited guests on

Online LibraryFanny S StoneRacine, belle city of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement (Volume 1) → online text (page 24 of 47)