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Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899

A brief history of the Wisconsin Chair Company Port Washington, Wisconsin,   pp. 1-10

Page 1

By: Fr. Kevin J. Wester
The Wisconsin Chair Company, which operated in Port Washington from 1888 to 1954,
can rightfully be considered the premiere industry and employer in the history of Port
Washington. The formation of the Wisconsin Chair Company dates back to 1888 when
John M. Bostwick, a respected businessman and resident of Port Washington, acquired
the factory building of the old Port Washington Sash and Door Company which had
gotten into financial difficulty and was bankrupt. The factory building had already been
sitting idle for one year when Bostwick purchased it.
At the same time, Fred A. Dennett, an entrepeneur from Sheboygan, Wisconsin,
was looking to expand his large furniture manufacturing operation which was based in
Sheboygan. Bostwick offered the former Sash and Door Company building to Dennett
and successfully convinced him to expand his operation to Port Washington. This was
the beginning of the Wisconsin Chair Company. Dennett began this business venture
with $10,000 of capital and an extraordinary degree of determination. The Wisconsin
Chair Company was officially incorporated on October 13, 1888.
Fred A. Dennett (1849 - 1920)
Founder of the Wisconsin Chair Company

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