Schweiger Industries Plant III

Also known as: Foremost Buildings
138 W Candise St. Jefferson, WI

Former furniture factory designated for redevelopment

Photos 

School Overview Looking South

Photo taken by J.R. Manning May 2019

Enlarge

Map 

Description 

Schweiger Industries was a major manufacturer of high-quality, mid-range, upholstered and wood furniture. At one time, Schweiger was one of the largest furniture companies in the country, maybe the largest upholstery maker in the country

It was a family owned industry that, at one time, had facilities in Virginia, Mississippi, Utah and Jefferson, Wisconsin. In the 1970s, Schweiger Industries employed more than 1,000 people and listed sales in excess of $80 million.

By 2004, when Schweiger Industries closed its doors, in listed sales at $18.5 million and employed 130 people.

In the 1990s, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and it was purchased by K.C. Stock, owner of Green Bay, Wis.-based KCS International. When Stock retired and began to liquidate his assets, Schweiger was one of the liquidations. No one stepped forward to purchase it, so the company closed in 2004. Assets were auctioned.

Plant III in Jefferson, the subject of this listing was acquired in the 1990s by Foremost Buildings Inc. The building was subject to flooding of the Rock River in 2008 and the company moved to higher ground.

In a Press Release from the Wisconsin Historical Society, dated August 30, 2018, Kara O'Keeffe said, "Schweiger Industries Plant III, built in stages between 1916 and 1975, is representative of the important furniture making industry that thrived in Jefferson during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Schweiger Industries manufactured furniture in several different buildings in Jefferson; the other buildings from the company's historic period have been demolished.

"The subject building is where innovative furniture models were manufactured and housed production integral to the larger Schweiger enterprise making this the best representation of the company's important history.

"Owned and operated by local entrepreneur Benjamin Schweiger and his nephew successors, by the early 1970s Schweiger Industries was the largest employer in Jefferson County and ranked third in the United States in furniture manufacturing. The company manufactured lounge chairs, chair and sofa frames, sectional couches, stuffed upholstered living room furniture, as well as sofa beds and murphy[sic] beds.

"Schweiger Industries, a group of affiliated manufacturing concerns, under a single owner, together formed the largest upholstered furniture manufacturing company in Wisconsin during the post-World War II period. This building helps illustrate the history of this important industry in Jefferson."

Plant III is currently standing empty but is scheduled for redevelopment.

The property was listed on the NRHP 10/22/2018.

Update Log 

  • June 10, 2019: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • June 10, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos
  • May 30, 2019: Added by J.R. Manning

Sources