Gone but not forgotten

Third Saturdays program recalls companies, products no longer here


Henry Jung Shoe Co. manufacturing floor (above), circa 1920, is one of the companies and products no longer around which will be remembered at the Sheboygan County Historical Society Museum’s Third Saturdays program Saturday. The Hayssen cellophane wrapping machine (below) is being used by a Penn State Cigar Co. employee in 1957. Clarence E. Garton (bottom), son of Garton Toy Co. founder Eusebius B. Garton, posed with a high-wheeled Garton bicycle at the turn of the 20th Century. — Submitted photos Henry Jung Shoe Co. manufacturing floor (above), circa 1920, is one of the companies and products no longer around which will be remembered at the Sheboygan County Historical Society Museum’s Third Saturdays program Saturday. The Hayssen cellophane wrapping machine (below) is being used by a Penn State Cigar Co. employee in 1957. Clarence E. Garton (bottom), son of Garton Toy Co. founder Eusebius B. Garton, posed with a high-wheeled Garton bicycle at the turn of the 20th Century. — Submitted photos Companies and their products that “came and went” will be the “Third Saturday” program Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Sheboygan County Historical Museum, 3110 Erie Ave., Sheboygan.

Throughout the history of Sheboygan County, there have existed several companies throughout its history. Those companies manufactured and supplied a wide array of products, some common and some not so common. To manufacture these items, these companies relied on the ingenuity of their owners as well as the hard-working citizens of the county making manufacturing the backbone of the county’s economy for several generations.

 Similar to other Midwestern areas, Sheboygan County became a large manufacturing location. The year 1845 saw the first ship built in Sheboygan. Later, the Riebolt and Wolters Shipbuilding Co. continued this important early industry until its closure in 1897. Along with ships, the vast forests of the county also supplied lumber to the chair/furniture industry, another important early industry of the county. Plymouth Furniture Company, Schram Chair Company in Sheboygan Falls, and Phoenix Chair Company, American Chair Company/ Thonet and Mattoon Manufacturing/Northern Furniture Company/R-Way in Sheboygan all were instrumental in building our county into an early manufacturing center.

The county has seen a fair amount of apparel companies as well. Companies such as Lakeland Manufacturing, Jung Shoe Company, Leverenz Shoe Company and Musebeck Shoe Company in Cedar Grove existed for several decades. They were the results of the early tannery companies that had located in the county.

Not only was the county known for these common goods, it had its share of unique products as well. Falls Motor Company produced automobiles. Garton Toy Company still brings back memories of childhood for many people. The county has also produced ice (Orth Ice House), instruments (Miller Piano Company), cookware (Polar Ware), and beverages (Kingsbury Brewery, Jolly Good Soda). The list could go on and on.

Some of the companies mentioned above, as well as others, will be represented during this month’s program.

Joining us in sharing information on the furniture industry will be Conrad Barrows representing Dillingham Manufacturing and Ed Lutze representing Superior Parlor Frame. Joining them will be Don and Jerry Bauman representing R-Way Corp.

Sharing information on the shoe industry will be Henry Jung representing Jung Shoe Co. and Jon Keckonen representing Leverenz Shoe Co. Joining them will be Marilyn Price sharing her memories of working at Musebeck Shoe Co.

We will also be joined by Reggie Busse representing Optenburg Iron Works and John Posewitz who will represent Gilson Manufacturing. You will also be able to visit with Don Van Engen, who will be sharing information on Sheboygan X-Ray Company. Bill Reiss will be sharing on the C. Reiss Coal Company, which is synonymous with Sheboygan and Sheboygan County history. We will also have representatives from Hayssen and Garton Toy Company in attendance. Finally, city historian Bill Wangemann will be sharing a power point presentation on past companies and the products they supplied and Gene and Phyllis Smith will share some of their personal items on the topic as well. Please join us all in celebrating these companies and the products they produced.

“Third Saturdays” start at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Guests are welcome any time throughout the day. Lunch is available.

The admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 7 to 12. Children ages 6 and under are free. Members and their guests are free.

The event is sponsored in part by H. C. Denison, Kohler Foundation Inc, Sargento Foods Inc, Windsor Family Foundation, Sheboygan Press, Alliant Energy Foundation, Great Lakes Blue Printers and Radio 1420 AM The Breeze. “Third Saturday” programs extend from January through October.


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