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125 Year Company History
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Introduction
Coming to America
Hard Work
Persistence
Second Generation
Great Depression
Home Front
Postwar World
Big Flood
Turning Point
Rebuilding
New Location
New Technology
Leadership for the Future
Persistence, Innovation, and Resourcefulness
On July 3, 1897, the brothers incorporated their company. Eugene decided to diversify into additional lumber-related services, such as panel work, interior trim for commercial buildings and elaborate residences. At the same time they changed the company's name to the Villaume Box and Lumber Company, which reflected some of the new directions. The incorporation papers stated that the "the general nature of [the company's] business shall be the manufacturing of boxes, lumber, mouldings, interior finish, sash, doors and blinds." The officers listed were Eugene Villaume, president; Frank X. Moosbrugger, vice president; and Albert Moosbrugger, secretary. As the population of St. Paul and the surrounding area increased, the need for beer boxes continued to grow and over the years the company made hundreds of thousands of them for the Hamm's, Grain Belt, Schmidt, Yoerg, Schell, and other breweries. In addition, it solicited business from commission firms in the city and soon had a profitable business making boxes for bananas and onions and other vegetables. Just before the turn of the century, there was a major breakthrough leading to large-scale production. A Colorado melon grower was in town and was very impressed by the Villaume Company's quality and speed in manufacturing its boxes. This grower ordered sixteen rail carloads of crates. In some cases, the Villaume Company would invest in existing businesses and occasionally take them over. One such acquisition must have been especially satisfying. In April 1917 Eugene was installed as the new president of Osgood and Blodgett, three decades after its owners had vowed to drive him out of business.

Villaume Bros. Box Factory
1889