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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 10

superintendent since 1908, was then elected vice-president. When John M. Bostwick
died in 1935, he willed that his stock be divided between his six children with the
provision that it should be passed on to their children. The company was then operated as
a trust with Otto Moeser serving as president.
Production did slow down after World War II and because of other factors beyond
the company's control profits diminished. In December of 1953, Morrie Chaitlen, a
Chicago businessman and former manufacturer, bought the Chair Company from the
Bostwick heirs. Production continued to decease. There were a number of layoffs and
production officially stopped on September 10, 1954, leaving the Chair Company
buildings vacant. A bitter court fight among the company's principal stockholders
marked the end of the Chair Company in 1959. While some of the Chair Company's
buildings had already been sold and demolished, the remaining buildings became city
property and were sold to Arthur Krueger, founder of the Mold-Craft Corporation. In
1964, after a foreclosure, these buildings were sold at sheriffs auction to the Thill-
Altendorf Investment Company for $73,500.
In November of 1968, the city again became the owner of the property buying it
for $35,000 from the Altendorf Investment Co. Later that year the buildings were torn
down and the area was developed into a parking lot. Although the Wisconsin Chair
Company and its buildings are no longer a part of Port Washington, the impact of this
corporation and its founders on the life and prosperity of the city of Port Washington can
never be forgotten.
The Dennett Brothers
John R. Dennett, vice-president of the Wisconsin Chair Company
Fred A. Dennett, president of the Wisconsin Chair Company

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