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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter  34 - Eau Claire Industries

The McDonough Manufacturing Company

(-as transcribed from pages 478 - 479)


In 1863, there came to Eau Claire a man by the name of Frank McDonough, who, when still a young man, learned the trade of blacksmith and carpenter.  For some time after his arrival in Eau Claire he followed the occupation of millwright, and finally became superintendent of the Eau Claire Lumber Company.  In those days lumbering was the chief industry of Eau Claire and northwestern Wisconsin, and in order to manufacture lumber successfully it was necessary to have the right kind of machinery, being located in the heart of the lumber fields, with no institution for the manufacture of mill supplies.  With the knowledge of the lumber business which he gained while associated with the Eau Claire Lumber Company, he conceived the idea of establishing a plant for the manufacture of sawmill machinery. Associating himself with Emmett Horan and Peter John Holm, he organized the now famous McDonough Manufacturing Company in 1888, with Frank McDonough, Sr., president and treasurer; P. J. Holm, vice-president, and Emmett Horan, secretary.  The company commenced business with a capital of $100,000, was incorporated in 1889, and employed thirty-five men.  The company manufactured then, as it does now, sawmill machinery, engines and transmission machinery.  The first year the output of the factory amounted to $85,000 in finished product, which found a ready sale in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.  Mr. McDonough was the active manager and under his direction the institution grew to large proportions, and in 1892 sixty men were employed and the building had been enlarged.  The main building, 75 by 200 feet, the foundry 90 by 100 feet and the woodworking department 75 by 150 feet.

This institution has continued to grow, the plant has been considerably enlarged, the capacity increased, and now (1914) the shops are equipped with the most modern, up-to-date tools in every respect.  The capital has been increased to $150,000 and the company furnishes employment for one hundred and twenty people.  Mr. J. W. Hubbard is now the general manager, secretary and treasurer, and under his guidance the annual manufactured product amounts to $250,000, and is sold in all sections of the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Russia, Australia, Holland, New Zealand, Bahama Islands and other foreign countries.

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