Racine County ALHN

Family Businesses

As published in
"The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879)

The Racine Gas-light Company - p. 433
The Racine Gas-light and Coke Company was incorporated, under the laws of the State, February 24, 1855. The first election of officers took place at a meeting of stockholders, held April 16, 1855, when the following persons were elected Directors: H. S. Durand, G. C. Northrop, C. Herrick, A. P. Dutton, J. G. Conroe, J. B. Rowley, G. Wustum. A. P. Dutton was made President; J. B. Rowley, Secretary, and G. C. Northrop, Treasurer. May 9, 1855, the President and Secretary were authorized to make a contract with Parkins, Harper & Co., of Chicago, for the erection of works and putting the same in operation, for the sum of $40,000. During the session of the Legislature of 1866-67, the charter of the Racine Gas-light and Coke Company was annulled, and a new charter granted to the Racine Gas-light Company, which purchased the works of the old company the same year, and began operations with a capital stock of $41,000. About 1872, the Racine People's Gas-light and Coke Company was established, incorporated and in active operation. In March, 1877, this last-named Company bougbt out the Racine Gas-ligbt Company, and have since operated and managed it under the name of the second charter (Racine Gas-light Company). The capital stock of the present company is $100,000. The following are the present officers and Directors: Albert A. Munger, President; W. D. Kimball, Secretary and Treasurer; James Barrell, J. H. Kimball. The works are located at the corner of Fifth and Campbell streets, and consist of the retort-house, purifying-room, station meter and workshop, lime house, coal-shed and gas-holder, which has a capacity of 18,000 feet. The Company also utilize the gas-receiver at the former People's Gas-ligbt and Coke Company's works, which hold 25,000 feet of gas. The works are not otherwise used. -At present, four men are employed at the gasworks, of which James Blow is Superintendent.

Racine Dredge Company - p. 458
The Racine Dredge Company was incorporated December 17, 1872, under the laws of the State, with a capital of $13,000, divided into $100 shares, with the privilege of increasing the same to $30,000. It was subsequently increased to $17,000. The first Directors were: James H. Kelley, Reuben Doud, J. M. Tillapaugh, Stephen Bull, John Vaughn. Officers: R. Doud, President; William K. May, Secretary and Treasurer. The dredging machine and several scows were built immediately after the organization was effected. The machinery was purchased in Chicago. The present Board of Directors is composed of Stephen Bull, D.A. Olin, F. M. Knapp, Secretary and Treasurer and Superintendent.

Racine Warehouse and Dock Company - p. 458
The Racine Warehouse and Dock Company was incorporated under the laws of the State, in March, 1876, by Darwin Andrews, Samuel C. Tuckerman, George A. Thompson, J. H. Herrick and J. R. Bently. The first Directors were: George A. Thompson, acting as President; Darwin Andrews as Vice President, and the names mentioned as incorporators. John Wilson was Secretary. The capital was $300,000. The present warehouse and elevator was finished in 1867, at a cost of $317,000, including land, building and machinery. It is 55 by 150 feet by 156 feet in height, exclusive of the cupola, and is located on the south dock of Root River. It was erected for the accomodation of the W. U. R. R. The last Directors elected are: C. S. Laresche, Alexander Mitchell, John W. Cary, Alfred Cary, D. A. Olin. Officers: John W. Cary, President; D A. Olin, Vice President; W. K. May, Secretary and Treasurer.

Price List of the Mitchell Wagon, 1877

Mitchell, Lewis & Co. - p. 459
The works of this company, occupying several acres of ground, are located on Washington avenue, corner of Center and Seventh streets. Their buildings, mostly brick, are substantial and commodious, the main structure being five stories high. They have a capacity for turning out one wagon every twenty minutes; their average production is 800 wagons per month. The firm furnishes employment to about two hundred and sixty mechanics, besides the unskilled labor necessary about the factory. The sales of the house amount to about $600,000 annually and extend from California through the entire West, and as far east as Pennsylvania. The firm consists of Henry Mitchell, William T. Lewis and Calvin D. Sinclair. Mr. Mitchell, the head of the firm, is a native of Scotland. His name is intimately connected with the history of wagon manufacture in the West. In 1834, he located in Chicago, where he remained till 1839, where he built the first wagon ever constructed in the place, and established a business of some importance. In 1839, he moved to Kenosha, and there started a large factory. Finding that Racine possessed superior advantages for transportation, ets., he came here in 1855, where he has since remained, and through untiring energy and business ability, built up a business of great magnitude. The concern manufacture farm and spring wagons, open and top buggies, which we find are not only sold in the territory we have already mentioned, but to quite an extent also through the Eastern States, as well as in various European countries, Africa, the West India Islands, etc.

Fish Bros. & Co. - p. 460
Fish Bros. & Co., manufacturers of every variety of farm, freight, plantation, quartz and header wagons, together with a full line of phaetons, trotting buggies, road wagons and spring wagons of every description. This institution was started in the fall of 1862, under the firm name of Fish & Bull. Their beginning was very small, the combined capital not exceeding $1,000. Their progress was necessarily slow, employing a cheap horse-power tread machine and a span of cheap horses as the initiatory motive power, that was to grow from year to year until the fame of this great institution was to be known throughout almost every country on the glode. The first year they employed from six to twelve hands, and of course could only sell in very small lots, but recognizing the importance of building good wagons, they bent their energies in that direction, until they have secured results greater than they ever anticipated. In 1864, Daniel Bull sold his interest to A. C. Fish, when the style of the firm was changed to Fish Bros. From this time forward, the concern commenced enlarging their works and spreading out, reaching for the trade in competition with the other large institutions of the kind, until in the fall of 1867, when they became so embarrassed as to necessitate a compromise with their creditors, which being satisfactorily arranged, they started again with renewed energies. The business prospered rapidly, as their reputation for making good wagons was becoming well known. In 1873, A. C. Fish, being very anxious to abandon the manufacturing business to engage in a profession more suited to his taste, sold out his interest to his brother, E. B. Fish, and John C. Huggins, when the style of the firm was again changed to Fish Bros. & Co. The firm consists of Titus G. Fish, E. B. Fish and John C. Huggins. They have been constantly enlarging their works, until now their immense factory, dry-houses, storehouses, dock property and lumber yards cover an area of about twenty acres, and their production consists of fully twelve thousand vehicles of every description. Their trade extends throughout the entire United States and territories, Great Britain, Australia, and in fact throughout most of the British possessions, Hungary, Denmark, Germany and South America.

Racine Wagon and Carriage Company - p. 460
The Racine Wagon and Carriage Company was incorporated and commenced business January 1, 1877. The first officers were: A. C. Fish, President; D. R. Evans, Secretary; Charles Comstock, Treasurer. The present officers are: Cyrus Comstock, President; Charles Comstock, Secretary and Treasurer; F. Cartwright, Superintendent. The works are located at the junction of the Western Union and Northwestern Railroads. The buildings are large, convenient and substantial. This Company manufactures all styles of spring wagons and carriages, employ from forty to fifty men, and turn out about $75,000 worth of work per annum, which is sold in all directions of the country. The capital stock of the corporation is $50,000.

Belle City Novelty Carriage Works - p. 460
The Belle City Novelty Carriage Works, McAvoy & Noonan, proprietors, were established in 1874, on a small scale. The factory is located on Wisconsin, near Fourth street. This firm manufactures a variety of fine goods, including buggies, phaetons, basket phaetons, side-bar wagons, sleighs and cutters. They employ about fifteen men, and do a business per annum of about $18,000.

Seaman Chilled Plow Company - p. 463
The Seaman Chilled Plow Company are now erecting works on the corner of Twelfth street and Western Union Railroad, where from forty to fifty men will be employed in the manufacture of Seaman's patent I X L plows, also, Seaman's patent chilled wearing-parts for plows and cultivators. The company is to be composed of five persons, with Mr. Seaman as Superintendent. The capital is to be from $50,000 to $75,000.

The Racine Silver Plate Company - p. 463
The Racine Silver Plate Company, manufacturers of gold and silver plated ware, Britannia ware, cutlery, etc., was incorporated May 8, 1875, with an original capital of $20,000, which was afterward increased to $44,000, with authority to extend the same to $100,000. The first officers were: James H. Kelley, President; B. F. Weeks, Secretary and Treasurer; Directors, James H. Kelley, B. F. Weeks, Thomas Dickinson, E. G. Huggins, John Elkins. The present officers are: J. H. Kelley, President; B. F. Weeks, Treasurer; Geroge B. Kelley, Secretary. The Capital of the company is now $100,000. The establishment employs sixty men and does a business of about $100,000 per annum. Their goods are now classed with those of Rogers & Co., and other well known Eastern manufacturers, and are sold in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

Henry W. Wright, Mnfg. - p. 463
Henry W. Wright, manufacturer of sash, doors, blinds, moldings, fanning mills, etc., erected in 1872, a factory at a cost of $7,000, to which he has added from time to time, until the value of buildings and machinery now exceeds $10,000. With largely increased facilities he at present employs an average of forty men. It may be mentioned that he sold, in 1877, on one order, to one party, thirty-five car-loads of goods, for cash. The yearly sales, which extend through Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, amount to upward of $50,000. The factory is located between Erie and St. Clair streets, north of State.

Thomas Driver & Son - p. 463
Thomas Driver & Son, manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds, and every article in the line of wood work for building, are located on State street, among the lumber yards, in close proximity to the Western Union depot. Twenty-eight years ago, Mr. Driver, Sr., was connected with Lucas Bradley in the same business, three years as workman and twleve years as foreman. May 1, 1856, he discontinued his engagement with Mr. Bradley, and started in business on his own account, by buying out Mr. Bradley's partner, Mr. Norton's interest in the property, and renting Mr. Bradley's share of the old factory, which was destroyed by fire, January 17, 1870. In February and March of the same year, the erection of the present commodious four-story brick factory was commenced and completed. The firm now employs about thirty men, and do a business of over $30,000 per year.

Mohn & Stecher's Planing Mill - p. 463
Mohn & Stecher's Planing Mill was started in the spring of 1876. It is located on the corner of North Main and Hamilton streets. The firm employs about eighteen men, manufactures doors, sash, blinds, milk-safes, fanning-mills, moldings, etc. They carry on a business of some $20,000 annually.

Racine Woolen Mills - p. 463-464
The Racine Woolen Mills, Blake & Co. proprietors, were established in 1865, the present five-story brick factory, corner Bridge and Ontario streets, being built the same year. The members of the firm were then L. S. Blake, James T. Elliott, J. M. Tillapahgh and John Hart. In January, 1877, a stock company was organized and incorporated under the laws of the State, with a capital of $100,000, and the following officers: L. S. Blake, President; James T. Elliott, Treasurer; John S. Hart, Secretary. This factory employs 136 persons. The annual production amounts to over $200,000. The cloths, shawls, blankets, etc. made by the company find ready sale in the New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago markets.

Gunther & Son - p. 464
Gunther & Son, manufacturers of post-hole augers, on Sixth street, started in this specialty in 1877, but have conducted an extensive general repair shop since 1855.

Racine Cotton-Batting Mill - p. 464
The Racine Cotton Batting Mill, William Baumann, proprietor, was established in 1871, and is located on Douglas avenue. On an average eighteen persons are employed in this establishment, and 900 pounds of batting is produced per day, of which there are three qualities made, A, B and BB. There are as yet few manufactories in the West of this staple product, and this one is among the largest, doing a business of over $25,000 per year.

Racine Twine & Cordage Company - p. 464
The Racine Twine & Cordage Company, was incorporated August 8, 1874. Directors: J. Langlois, E. G. Huggins, G. Slawson, J. Miller and A. Bettridge. Officers: A. Bettridge, President; E. G. Huggins, Vice President; J. Langlois, Secretary and Treasurer. Capital stock, $20,000. The intended purpose of manufactuing cordage, twine, etc., was temporarily abandoned until more prosperous times. But this being one of the best flax-growing counties in the Northwest, the Company decided to go into the manufacturing of upholstering tow. Suitable buildings were accordingly erected, and constructed with a reference to using them eventually in the making of ropes, twines, etc. A modern engine of from forty to fifty horse power is used. They have facilities for using up from 2,000 to 3,000 tons of flax straw. The process of manufacturing is very simple, though requiring very powerful machinery. This consists of immense brakes, containing sixty wrought-iron or steel fluted rollers, between which the raw material is passed and thoroughly broken. This process is repeated as often as necessary; by means of carriers, it is then transferred to a machine called a "picker," which separates the woody substances from the fibre, leaving a material as soft and almost as fine as silk; it is then called tow. Afterward, it is placed in the press, which is also worked by power by means of immense screws, and made into very compact bales, weighing from 400 to 500 pounds, and in so small a compass that from ten to twelve tons are put into a car. In this, for shipping long distances, they have an advantage over most factories of the kind in the United States. The works are located on Chestnut street, cover three acres of ground, and are the largest of the kind in the United States. The main shed is 400 feet long. The company have now manufactured stock on hand worth $10,000, and have bought this year, already, 1,200 tons of straw. They do an annual business of about $30,000.

Racine Basket Manufacturing Company - p. 464
This factory was first opened in 1869, by Elliott & Wetherell, with small facilities, employing only ten men. Its prosperity increased rapidly, and it was soon after supplied with the best machinery and all labor-saving appliances. In 1872, the works were materially enlarged, but, owing to the hard times, financial difficulties caused a re-organization of the Company, which was incorporated in 1875 under the present name. In December, 1878, the works were destroyed by fire, since which time the concern has been working in temporary quarters. The Company have now in course of construction a commodious brick factory building, which will be supplied with modern machinery, affording every facility obtainable. They manufacture all sizes and styles of splint baskets, have from fifty to seventy-five employees, and do an annual business of about $35,000 to $40,000. Their goods are mostly sold to wholesale dealers of Milwaukee, Chicago and Cincinnati. The capital stock of the Company is $20,000. Officers: Christ Heck, President; F. Harbridge, Vice President; George Gorton, Secretary and Treasurer.

Belle City Soap Factory - p. 464
The Belle City Soap Factory, P. E. Lichtner, proprietor, was started in 1875, on a small scale, gradually increasing the works and facilites. This firm manufactures laundry soap, potash, and renders and refines tallow. The yearly business amounts to about $12,000. The factory is located on Chippecotton street.

Racine Wire Cloth Works - p. 465
The Racine Wire Cloth Works, formerly Charles Goehner's Wire Works, were established by Mr. Goehner, March 27, 1869, on a very small scale. Wire cloth being extensively used in the manufacture of threshing machines and fanning-mills. Mr. Goehner was at once patronized by leading firms in Racine. The business increased rapidly, so that, in 1872, the factory was sufficiently enlarged to give employment to twelve men. April 29, 1876, the works, together with Mr. Goehner's residence, were destroyed by fire, which, it is supposed, originated by spontaneous conbustion. The day after the fire, preparations were made for rebuilding, and the present factory was completed and in running order in May of the same year. The change to the present firm name was occasioned by financial embarrassment, and occurred during the winter of 1879, when the business was largely increased. At present, thirty-seven workmen are employed. Articles manufactured are: Threshing machine and fanning mill cloth, foundry riddles, window-shade cloth, wire fences, flower-pot stands, and every article in the wire line. This factory turns out $60,000 worth of goods annually. Its location is on Superior street, north of State.

Northwestern Trunk and Traveling Bag Manufactory - p. 465
The Northwestern Trunk and Traveling Bag Manufactory, M. M. Secor, proprietor. In 1861, Mr. Secor started in the harness business in a small and modest way, manufacturing also a few trunks. Subsequently, he gave up harness work, and engaged in making trunks exclusively. In 1877, he associated with himself Joseph and Anthony Hayek, and the firm was styled M. M. Secor & Co. In January, 1878, Mr. Secor again became sole proprietor. At present, from seventy to eighty persons are employed in the factory. All qualities and styles of trunks and valises are manufactured, and sold in all sections of the Union, except the extreme East. One hundred trunks are turned out per day, and the yearly business exceeds $100,000. The five-story brick factory building is located on Chatham Street.

Racine Linseed Oil Works - p. 465
The Racine Linseed Oil Works was started in 1872, by Emerson & Co., the present proprietors, with a paid-up capital sufficient to carry on the business. The original building had a storage capacity of 30,000 bushels, and but two presses were in operation. In 1874, the building was enlarged, and its working capacity doubled. In 1875, it was still enlarged, until now the building is 121x84 feet, and five stories high. It has a storage capacity of 120,000 bushels of flax seed, and a tankage capacity of 100,000 gallons of oil, and a working capacity of 100,000 bushels of seed, annually. The products of these works are: Raw, boiled and refined linseed oil and linseed cake. A large portion of the oil is sold in Wisconsin and Illinois, while the market for oil-cake is England and Scotland. A large portion of the seed worked up is grown within twenty miles of the factory, the balance being bought in other part of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. This establishment employs from twelve to sixteen men, and run the works twenty three hours out of the twenty four.

The Racine Pump Factory - p. 465
The Racine Pump Factory, Winship Bros., proprietors, was established by Winship & Gilbert, in 1864, on a comparatively small scale, employing three men, and making pumps only. Subsequently, the firm was changed to Winship & Co., afterward to Winship & Parker. Winship & Co. were burndt out in 1868. A fire also occurred to Winship & Parker, in 1870, after which Mr. Parkside retired, and Mr. Winship became the sole proprietor, and built, in 1871, the present works. In 1875, Mr. Winship associated with himself his brother, when the firm was styled Winship Bros. The factory is located corner State and St. Clair street. It is a three-story brick building, occupying an entire square. The firm manufacture pumps, wind-mills, water tanks, cisterns, clothes reels, sand-papering machines, combined washing-machines and kitchen tables, etc. About fifteen men are constantly employed, and over $60,000 worth of goods are sold annually.

Hodges & Mutter - p. 465
Hodges & Mutter, manufacturers of wooden cisterns and tanks, started in business in January, 1879.

Jens Jensen, Wagon Hardware - p. 465
Jens Jensen, manufacturer of wagon hardware and malleable iron, commenced business in 1870. This establishment employs fifty-five men, a capital of $30,000, and does a business of some $75,000 annually. The goods manufactured by the concern are largely consumed in the home manufactories, but considerable quantities are shipped to other places. The works are located corner West and Milwaukee streets.

Racine Hardware Manufacturing Company - p. 466
The Racine Hardware Manufacturing Company, was incorporated in 1874, with the following first officers: I. J. Clapp. President; A. F. Durant, Vice President; E. G. Durant, Secretary, who still continue in their respective positions. This company was located in Kenosha for some three years previous to 1874, and styled the Kenosha Hardware Company. Their extensive works are at present situated at Racine Junction, where about 130 men find steady employment. Connected with, and controlled by this concern, is the Racine Hard Wood Finishing Company, started in 1878. The works of the last mentioned Company are also loacted at the Junction, but in a separate building. The articles produced by the two establishments are: Florist's goods, ferneries, aquarias, and a line of light hardware, school-seats, opera chairs, hall and railway settees, blackboards and all kinds of veneerings. They have lately also begun the manufacture of a veneer boat, a light exercise row-boat, fourteen feet in length and twenty-eight inches beam, eleven inches deep amidships, weighing about fifty pounds, including outrigger. The annual sales of the Company exceed $200,000. The capital employed is $75,000. Their trade extends throughout the United States, and their goods are also exported to some extent. A general line of machine shop job work is also done at the hardware factory.

Hurtbut & Co. - p. 466
Hurlbut & Co. commenced the manufacture of the patent lock for wagon brakes, in the year 1870. The demand for their lock has steadily increased, year after year, and they made last year over 30,000 wagon locks, which are shipped to all sections of the country. During the month of august, 1878, 4,672 locks were made and sold; twelve men are employed and over 450,000 pounds of iron consumed per annum. In addition to the manufacture of the "Hurlbut Lock" they have just commenced the manufacture of a new lock known as "the Single Lever Lock."

Vinegar & Pickle Factory - George Bucher - p. 466
This is the only factory of the kind in the city, and is doing a business large enough to use up all the adjacent cucumbers. The vinegar factory was established in 1867, and the pure white wine vinegar has always been exclusively made. The pickle department was added three years ago. The annual sales amount to about $20,000; 2,500 barrels of vinegar are manufactured, and more than 1,000,000 cucumbers pickled. The vinegar is used chiefly as a supply for pickle factories.

Racine Iron Works - p. 466
The Racine Iron Works, S. Freeman & Son, proprietors. In 1869, Stephen Freeman established a shop for repairing biolers, and the following year he found himself authorized to build machine shops and a foundry. To this, in 1874, he added a department for florists, ornamental iron work, aquaria, brackets, etc. The capital employed in the business in 1869, was $1,500; in less than ten years, it has been increased to over $80,000. The firm employ 100 men. The annual production of biolers is 350. The works are located on Bridge street.

F. Eckhardt, piano manufacturer - p. 466
F. Eckhardt, piano manufacturer, on Sixth street. The Racine manufactories are not entirely devoted to the strictly useful, and the Eckhardt Piano may be mentioned as an indication of its enterprise in the direction of fine arts. This factory was established in 1870, by Mr. Eckhardt, a practical piano-maker. He manufactures from sixteen to eighteen pianos per year and as many organs.

Flouring Mills

The Racine Star Hills - p. 468
The Racine Star Hills, P. A. Herzog and J. H. Roberts, proprietors, located corner Second and Main streets, were originally established by John P. Jones, in 1867. The property came into the hands of the present firm by purchase in July, 1876. They employ five men, and do, a business of about $75,000 per annum.

The State Street Hill - p. 468
The State Street Hill, Peter Zirbes and Lambert Weiss, proprietors. The mill was built and first operated by Thomas & Co., in 1863. After numerous chanoes, the present firm commenced business in 1878. Four men are employed, and an average of forty barrels. of flour are ground per day.

Boots and Shoes

J. Miller & Co. - p. 468
J. Miller & Co., manufacturers of boots and shoes. Mr. Miller had been engaged in manufacturing in a small way for many years, while in the retail boot and shoe trade. In July, 1872, he started in the manufacturing business exclusively. January 1, 1875, he associated with himself Charles T. Schweitzer, the firm being then styled J. Miller & Co. The grade of goods produced by this establishment is known in commercial circles as custom-made work; they manufacture the largest variety of boots and shoes of any firm in the West, where all their goods are sold. From ninety to one hundred men are constantly employed. The annual sales of the firm average $150,000. Their factory is a three-story brick building, 60x8O feet, corner Fourth and Chatham streets.

Antony G. Peil, manufacturer - p. 468
Antony G. Peil, manufacturer of peg boots and shoes for men, and ladies' and children's fine shoes, commenced business in 1868. The goods find their principal market in Wisconsin Iowa and Illinois. There are soine twenty employes, and the annual sales amount to about $30,000. In May, 1879, Mr. Pell increased his facilities and put in new machinery, enabling him to manufacture all lines of goods.

L. W. Philbrook & Co. - p. 468
L. W. Philbrook & Co., manufacturers of boot and shoe pacs, commenced business under the present firm name in 1871. Previous to that date, S. J. Philbrook had been for three years engaged in manufacturing the articles named in Racine. The firm employ fifteen men, manufacturing; about one thousand dozen boots and three hundred dozen shoes and slippers, valued at $40,000, annually, which are sold in the lumber region exclusively. Their factory is at the foot of Main street. There are few people outside of the lumber trade who know what a pac is, and to a person visiting such a factory for the first time, the clumsy but comfortable-looking boots and shoes present a singular appearance. They are in shape very much like a moccasin but are made of heavy russet leather.


F. Platz & Son - p. 468
F. Platz & Son, have one of the largest tanneries in the city, on St. Clair street. Twen men are employed in this establishment, which turns out $65,060 worth of manufactured stock annually. The firm commenced business and built their tannery in 1859.

Bevier & Reid, manufacturers - p. 469
Bevier & Reid, manufacturers of calf, boot, grain, splits, etc., started in business in November, 1878. Their tannery, located on Root River, between Sixth and Eighth streets, is supplied with steam power and all modern machinery. It is the best tannery in the city, and probably the best of its size in the State. They manufacture from $80,000 to $100,000 worth of goods, which are sold throughout the Western States.

Jacob Kawelti - p. 469
Jacob Kawelti establisbed his tannery in 1859, employing three men. His specialty is the preparation of harness leather, which is sold mostly in Chicago. Six men are employed, and goods to the value of $30,000 are manufactured annually. This tannery is located on the corner of Seventh and Howe streets.

A. Madson's tannery - p. 469
A. Madson's tannery is located on Chippicotton street. He employs six men, and makes a specialty of manufacturing sheep-skins into mitten stock.

Mark Nelson's tannery - p. 469
Mark Nelson's tannery was established in 1874, for manufacturing sheep-skins into mitten stock. He employs three men, and his yearly sales amount to about $8,000.

L. W. Philbrook Co. - p. 469
L. W. Philbrook Co. have a tannery, where they get out all the leather they use. They put in 1,500 heavy hides yearly, which are tanned with japonica and alum by a process peculiar to themselves, which makes the leather soft, yielding and water-proof.

Lime and Stone

J. A. Horlick & Sons. - p. 469
J. A. Horlick & Sons. The business carried on by this firm was established in 1853. Lime, stucco, cement, plasterers' hair, etc., are made in 1arge quantities, the amount of sales averaging about $60,000 a year.

William Beswick. - p. 469
William Beswick. This gentleman has been engaged in the business of manufacturing lime for twenty years. His lime-kilns are situated on his own lands, on Root River, about a mile and a quarter from the center of the town average amount of manufactures valued at from $12,000 to $15,000.

J. I. Case Co.

Case Company History

Case Heritage Foundation

Old Abe's News: Case Employees

J. I. Case Threshing Machine Ad, undated
J. I. Case & Co.
As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), page 459
In the spring of 1842, Jerome I. Case procured upon credit in the East, six threshing machines, and brought them West with him. Arriving at Racine, then a mere village, he disposed of all his machines but one, and with that he started off through the country threshing grain, managing the machine, and devising improvements on the same. In the spring of 1843, finding his tread-machine nearly worn out, he set to work, with the aid of such tools and mechanics as he could find, to rebuild and remodel, after some of his own patterns, his old horse-power and thresher. When finished and put in operation, the machine proved to be better than the old one, and better than could be bought in the East. His success becoming known, he discontinued threshing and turned his attention to the manufacture of machines. In the winter of 1843-44, Mr. Case succeeded in making a thresher and separator combined, after a model of his own invention, made by him in the kitchen of a farm house at Rochester, Wis. This was the first machine used in the West that threshed and cleaned the grain at one operation. In the fall of the same year, Mr. Case rented a small shop at Racine, and undertook the building of a limited number of his new machines. Constantly improving, remodeling and perfecting his machinery, in 1849, he erected his first shop, near the site of his present extensive manufactory. It was a brick building, 30 feet wide by 80 feet long, and three stories in height. As the country developed rapidly, the demand for the J. I. Case Horse-power and Thresher steadily increased. Thus Mr. Case began what has proved to be not only a wonderful business enterprise, but a life-task for himself. The business now forms the crowning glory of Racine's manufacturing interests, the center and chief of its great and busy industrial system, and is the magnet which has largely attracted the other factories and enterprises to this locality, as well as adding largely to the upbuilding of the city. This immense establishment is unanimously acknowledged to be the largest threshing machine manufactory in the world, its capacity and annual sales being fully double that of any other of the kind in the country. The factory now turns out annually 325 threshing engines, 2,500 separators and horse-powers, 300 heading machines, etc., besides doing repair work amounting to $150,000. The capital employed is over $2,000,000, the payroll foots up over $25,000 per month, and more than 500 men are constantly employed. The yearly comsumption of iron is upward of 4,000 tons; of lumber, 5,000,000 feet; of belting, 50,000. The establishment pays out annually for paint, $25,000; for freight, $50,000; for printing and advertising, $20,000; for postage stamps, $2,000. The shops and warehouses cover fifteen acres of ground. Messrs. Case & Co. have over five hundred agencies scattered over North America, and the active business of the firm girdles the world. In no case was the gold medal of the Paris Commissioners more fittingly or better bestowed. Their heding machines, which are manufactured for the Pacific coast, and to which the State Fair of California awarded the gold medal, received the same distinction at the Paris Exposition. Messrs. Case & Co. also manufacture the celebrated "Apron" and "Eclipse" separators, down and mounded horse-powers and portable and traction farm engines. The firm of J. I. Case & Co. was organized in 1863, and is composed of J. I. Case, Stephen Bull, Massena B. Erskine and Robert H. Baker.

J. I. Case Threshing Machine Ad, undated

The J. I. Case Plow Company
As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), page 460 The J. I. Case Plow Company, located on the corner of East Water and Howe streets, formerly known as Case, Whiting & Co., was incorporated November 28, 1876, with J. I. Case, President; E. G. Whiting, Vice President; G. Q. Erskine, Secretary; W. T. Bull, Treasurer. Their capital stock was $120,000, which was subsequently increased to $150,000. The first year, about thirty men were employed in the factory. The re-organization of the concern to the present corporate name occurred July 3, 1878. The present officers of the company are J. I. Case, President; George Q. Erskine, Secretary; W. T. Bull, Treasurer. This establishment now furnishes employment to about seventy-five men, turns out 1,000 plows per month, and does a business of over $250,000 annually. A patent was granted to E. G. Whiting, October 24, 1876, for the new steel plow manufactured by the Company. The steel-beam center-draft plow is the specialty of the institution. Besides this, they make old ground and prairie-breaking plows, the J. I. Case sulky plows, walking and sulky corn cultivators; also, harrows, etc. The productions find a ready sale throughout the Northwestern States. The Company's works are commodious and substantial brick structures, the main building being three stories high. In addition to their already large facilites, they have in course of construction another three-story building, which, when completed, will make their works cover two full blocks.

Fanning Mills

As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879)

Racine is headquarters for fanning-mills, more goods of this kind being manufactured here than at any other point in the United States. In fact, it is claimed that Racine sends out more fanning mills than the total amount manufactured elsewhere in our Union. Prominent among the firms in the business are:

Blake-Beebe Company, formerly Blake, Beebe & Co. - p. 466
The Blake-Beebe Company, formerly Blake, Beebe & Co., manufacturer of the Champion Warehouse and Farm Fanning-Mills. Mr. Lucius S. Blake, the founder of the house, started in the fanning-mill business in 1844, and has become so identified with this specialty that he is often called "Fanning-mill Blake." The first year, he built 100 fanning-mills, and continued to manufacture from 100 to 300 for about ten years. In 1854, the business began to increase, until, in 1858, he associated himself with James T. Elliott. They made from 500 to 1,000 mills per year, until, in the year 1872, they manufactured 2,000 mills. In October, 1872, L. S. Blake bought out Mr. Elliott's interest, and, during the year 1873, conducted the business alone, building about the same number of mills. On January 22, 1874, B. B. Blake and C. S. Beebe became associated with L. S. Blake, Sr., constituting the firm of Blake. Beebe & Co., who were succeeded by the present corporation, authorized to commence business March 28, 1878. Officers: L. S. Blake, President: C. S. Beebe, Treasurer; B. B. Blake, Secretary. The ne company employs some fifty men, and manufactures 3,500 mills per annum, which are sold from Virginia to California, from Manitoba to Texas. The San Francisco agent sends many mills to Australia; the firm also ships to Europe. The company have a paid-up capital of $160,000.

The Racine Agricultural Foundry and Machine Works - p. 467
The Racine Agricultural Foundry and Machine Works of A. P. Dickey have been in continuous operation, where now located, for thirty-three years. The prominence of the establishment is evidenced by the large sales effected, in the capital invested and by the many employes, who find constant employment throughout the year. A force of machinists, molders and blacksmiths, numbering from fifty to seventy-five men, have employment in these general departments. These, with fifty to seventy-five more engaged in the woodshops and doing roustabout duty, complete the entire force. The capital employed is $75,000, and the sales aggregate 5,000 farm and warehouse fans annually, the market for which has rapidly increased of late. Mr. Dickey received the highest award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, in 1876, and at the Paris Exposition, in 1867. Numerous articles besides are made, such as cornshellers, plows, barrows, cultivators, bob-sleighs arid a limited number of steam-engines. Sales are made throughout the United States, in Europe, Australia and India,

Daniel Bull, fanning-mill manufacturer - p. 467
Daniel Bull, fanning-mill manufacturer, started in 1867. The factory is a four-story brick building, occupying five lots. Some twenty men are employed. Twenty-five hundred fanning mills are turned out annually. and sold mostly through the West and South. The factory is located on Chatham,between Third and Fourth streets.

E. P. Dickey, manufacturer - p. 467
E. P. Dickey, manufacturer of the American Sifter and Pacific Fanning-Mills also Badger State Milk Safe and Star Feed Cutter; commenced business in 1854. His factory was formerly located where Black's livery-stable now stands, corner of Fourth and Wisconsin streets. The present factory is in the old Court House building, corner of Center and Twelfth streets. Five hundred mills, 300 milk safes and 100 feed cutters are turned out annually, and the business amounts to over $15,000 per year.

C & N. Altringer, manufacturer of the Excelsior Fanning-Mills - p. 467
C & N. Altringer, manufacturer of the Excelsior Fanning-Mills, located corner of Fourteenth and Villa streets, commenced business in 1869, making about 250 mills the first year, since then from 500 to 600, until within the last three years. They now manufacture from 800 to 1,000 mills, which are mostly sold in the West. Their average working force is six men.

Hughes & Williams, manufacturers - p. 467
Hughes & Williams, manufacturers of the Badger State Fanning-Mills, commenced business in the fall of 1877 at Racine Junction. They manufacture about 400 mills per year, which are sold through the Western States.

Tostevin & Le Ray, manufacturers - p. 467
Tostevin & Le Ray, manufacturers of the Union Sifter Fanning-Mills, comrnenced business in 1869, making 500 mills. The firm now average about 900 mills per year, and employ eight men. Their sales are confined to the West. Their factory is situated corner of Thirteenth and Clark streets.

Johnson & Field, manufacturers - p. 467
Johnson & Field, manufacturers of the Racine Fanning-Mills, located at Racine Junction, started in 1867. They employ on an average twelve men, and manufacture about 1,000 mills per year. Their sales are made in the West and South.

Freeman & Evans, manufacturers - p. 467
Freeman & Evans, manufacturers of the Centennial Fanning-Mills, located at Racine Junction, commenced business in 1876, and have built up an extensive trade.


As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879)

The First National Bank of Racine - p. 433
The First National Bank of Racine, formerly the Racine County Bank, was organized November 15, 1853, with a capital of $100,000, and commenced business in January, 1854, in the brick building on the northeast corner of Main and Fourth streets, with the following Board of Directors: John W. Cary, H. S. Durand, N. D. Fratt, Curtis Mann, L. W. Munroe, H. B. Munroe, R. M. Norton, G. C. Northrop and John Thompson. The officers were Reuben M. Norton, President; Curtis Mann, Vice President; George C. Northrop, Cashier; H. B. Munroe, Teller, and F. A. Scofield, book-keeper.
May 16, 1864, the Racine County Bank was changed to the present First National Bank of Racine, the Directors being Darwin Andrews, William H. Baker, John G. Conroe, Nicholas D. Fratt, William H. Lathrop, Horatio B. Munroe, Nelson Pendleton, John Thompson and William W. Vaughan. The first officers were: N. D.Fratt, President; William H. Lathrop, Vice President; Darwin Andrews, Cashier; H. B. Munroe, Teller, and William H. Baker, book-keeper.

This being the oldest bank in the place, has been closely identified with all the business interests of Racine, adhering to and aiding it in its adversity and financial troubles, and contributing materially to its prosperity; and although conservative and careful in its management (its present President and Cashier having been on the original Board of the Racine Couny Bank), it has led or aided many undertakings for the substantial benefit of the city.

For several years, they formed a grain association to make a home market for produce, and it was largely through this bank's influence and help that the indebtedness of the city which had so long hung over it and deadened all business activity, was finally bought up and rebonded in its present satisfactory shape.

This year (1879) they are building the substantial brick banking office on Market Square, next south of the Court House, where they are soon to be located, having the first and only burglar-proof vault in the city, in addition to the security of their modern burglar-proof safe and time-lock.

At present the capital is $100,000, and the surplus over $92,000.

The present Directors are: William H. Andrews, Thomas Dickinson, N. D. Fratt, James H. Kelley, Ch. Heck, William H. Lathrop, H. B. Munroe, William. W. Vaughan and B. F. Weeks. The officers are: N. D. Fratt, President; William H. Lathrop, Vice President; H. B. Munroe, Cashier; E. B. Kilbourn, Teller; Edward Burbeck and George N. Fratt, book-keepers.

Manufacturers' National Bank c. 1870s

The Manufacturers' National Bank - p. 434
The Manufacturers' National Bank of Racine, a bank of discount, deposit, exchange and collection. This bank was organized by some eighty of the principal manufacturers and merchants of Racine City and County, under the "National Currency Act," and opened for business March 20, 1871. The capital authorized by the act of incorporation was $500,000, and the amount subscribed and paid in at the commencement of business was $100,000. The business of the bank increasing rapidly, its capital was increased, February, 1873, to $150,000, and again, February, 1875, to $250,000. This gave the bank the largest capital of any in the State outside of Milwaukee.

The first officers of the bank were: President, Hon. Jerome I. Case; Vice President, Henry J. Ullman; Cashier, Byron B. Northup.

The bank has done a large and constantly increasing business, declaring a dividend of five per cent each January and July, and in Jul 1876, had accumulated a surplus of $50,000, thus affording the bank a working capital of $300,000. The bank owns its banking-house, a large three-story brick building, on the corner of Main and Fifth streets, directly opposite the post office and in the most central portion of the city.


As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879)
Fred Heck's Lager Beer Brewery - p. 467
Fred Heck's Lager Beer Brewery, corner Center and Eighth streets, was started in 1848, with $62. The business increasing, he gradually made additions, until now the brick brewery covers nearly four lots. Six men are em.ployed, and 5,000 barrels are manufactured yearly, which is mostly consumed in Racine, although a small portion is shipped from here.

The City Brewery, Schilling, & Klenger, proprietors - p. 468
The City Brewery, Schilling, & Klenger, proprietors. The business was started in 1868, by E. Schilling. In 1877, he formed the present partnership. The firm manufacture about three thousand barrels of lager beer per annum. The sale is confined to the city. The brewery is located on Washington avenue, and was formerly owned by Adolph Fleischer.

The Star Brewery, Engel & Hadwig, proprietors - p. 468
The Star Brewery, Engel & Hadwig, proprietors, started in business in 1879. The firm expect to manufacture 350 barrels of lager beer per year. The brewery is located on Standard street, and the building is owned by D. Lyman. George Schlenk formerly conducted the brewery, manufacturing ale instead of lager.

The North Side Brewery, Deinken & Schad, proprietors - p. 468
The North Side Brewery, Deinken & Schad, proprietors. The brewery was originally established by A. R. Deinken in 1877, and May 1, 1879, the present partnership was formed. The firm will manufacture about four hundred and eighty barrels of lager beer annually, all of which will be sold in the city. Location, Old Milwaukee road.

W. H. Weber, white beer manufacturer - p. 468
W. H. Weber, white beer manufacturer, commenced brewing in May, 1878, and has made 300 barrels, or 9,600 gallons, to date. The brewery is situated on North Michigan street, on the lake shore.


Businesses in "Racine: Belle City of the Lakes"

Horlick's Malted Milk Company History

D. P. Wigley Company

History of the Johnson Foundation (S.C. Johnson)

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