Shaping Wausau: Wausau Iron Works
One of the first effective and most popular snowplows used across the Midwest was produced here in Wausau. And for much of the 20th century, you could stumble upon a Wausau Snowplow in use to clear the snow off highways and city streets, from Maine to Montana.
Wausau Iron Works originally found success fabricating bridges and boilers from their facility on West Ave (just south of Marathon Park). But in 1922, they started to produce the “Wausau Snowplow” after a few years of development with help from Ed Drott. The use of new hydraulics equipment to mount the plows allowed the Wausau Snowplow to be easily repositioned in the field, to clear piles of snow without damaging the roads being cleared. WIW discontinued the product in 1981.
Shaping Wausau: Silbernagel & Sons
In 1925, George Silbernagel set off with his sons to start their own wood door and window sash factory. From their factory on Lemke Street, Silbernagel and Sons helped provide the building materials for homes and businesses across Wisconsin. After a fire burned it down in 1934, they purchased the old Wausau Novelties Company factory, and moved operations to Rosecrans Street on the west side.
After George died in 1936, his sons sold to Harris Brothers of Chicago, who would further develop the small window company, which was eventually renamed to Crestline.
More Information on Silbernagel & Sons can be found here:
In addition, you can learn about the Window Exhibit and other window companies here:
Shaping Wausau: Wausau Insurance
Years ago, a group of lumbermen joined together to pay the claims of injured sawmill workers under Wisconsin's new workmen's compensation law. The group came to be known as the Employers Mutuals of Wausau, now known as Liberty Mutual.
View the following video from the Marathon County Historical Society to view the history of Wausau Insurance, along with newspaper articles from years ago.
Shaping Wausau: Wausau Homes
Wausau Homes has been in the Wausau, WI area for over 50 years. Wausau Homes originated as a dairy route in rural Marathon County Wisconsin. The Schuette Brothers used profits from that modest milk route to purchase a sawmill, where raw timbers were processed into framing lumber.
Watch the following video from the Marathon County Historical Society to learn more about their history:
For more information about Wausau Homes, visit their website here.
Posts are updated weekly regarding local Wausau, WI businesses.