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125 Year Company History
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After seven years at Osgood and Blodgett, Eugene moved on to Crippen Trunk Company where he became a foreman. He stayed there for two years, when his goal of starting his own business became a reality. On October 1, 1882, Eugene and Victor opened a box- making business of their own on St. Paul's West Side. Villaume Brothers, as it was called, started operations with a loan and some used machinery from the trunk company located on the second floor. Not everyone was supportive. Eugene's former employer was not pleased to see the competition. Osgood supposedly said, "We'll have you out of business in six months." Eugene is said to have retorted, "I'll be making boxes after you're dead.”

The thirty-by-thirty foot floor space that the Villaume Brothers used for their factory contained a small eight horsepower engine and all of their equipment. Because the city had several flourishing breweries, they decided to concentrate on making beer boxes and got their first order from Theodore Hamms brewery. The brothers did everything themselves, with occasional help. Victor decided to retire in 1885 and sold his interest to his brother. Eugene's brother-in-law, Albert Moosbrugger, took over many of the duties, becoming the company buyer and salesman. Eugene remained the jack-of-all-trades, repairing machinery, keeping books and doing odd jobs. He designed crates and sawed the lumber and often would put the crate together while a customer waited.


Eugene Villaume