Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage / Frank J. Hess, Cooper
1904 - 1966 / 1870 - 1958
The Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage became Wisconsin's largest independent family-owned cooperage, manufacturing quarter-sawn white oak beer, wine, and whiskey barrels. The two factory buildings located near the railroad tracks were behind the family home, which stood at 1952 Atwood Avenue. At its peak, the Hess Cooperage could manufacture 40 barrels a day. When it closed in 1966, it was the last factory in America that manufactured white oak beer kegs.
Frank J. Hess, born in southern Bohemia, entered an apprenticeship at the Pilsen Brewery at age 14 to become a cooper (barrel maker). In 1889 Frank immigrated to America. First employed as a cooper in Chicago, he later set up his own shop in Prairie du Chien manufacturing white oak beer kegs for local breweries. In 1904 Henry Fauerbach persuaded Frank to start an independent cooperage business in Madison to supply beer kegs for Fauerbach, Hausmann, Breckheimer and other breweries.
Erected 2008 by Dane County Historical Society. (Marker Number 44.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1952.
Location. 43° 5.523′ N, 89° 21.343′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is on Atwood Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1962 Atwood Avenue, Madison WI 53704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hoffman - Kennedy Dairy Horse Barn (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burr Jones Field (approx. ¼ mile away); Yahara River Parkway (approx. 0.3 miles away); Steensland Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); East Side High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Steensland Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Yahara River Parkway (approx. half a mile away); Anton F. and Mary Kubicek Duplex (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,514 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.