Iola in Waupaca County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
R. I. Anderson Machine Shop
Rhinard I. Anderson began operating a garage and battery service station business here on April 14, 1914. By 1930, it transitioned into the R. I. Anderson Machine Shop.
Rugnar (Rhinard) Isidor Andersson (Anderson) was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 14, 1882, immigrating to the United States as an infant in 1883. First settling in Symco, the Anderssons relocated to Northland in 1900. He was schooled in blacksmithing and machining by his father, Charles (Carl).
Having focused on machine shop activities through the 1930s, in the early 1940s Anderson commenced gaining area renown as a fire truck builder and firefighting equipment parts
producer. This was a chance development, he having offered to equip a new fire truck for the Iola Fire Department, it was the first of 25 he crafted from then until the late 1950s for small towns nestled around central Wisconsin.
Built on a 1938 REO Speedwagon chassis in 1942, that first fire truck was outfitted with the necessary structure and custom-made specialty parts, cast and machined in his small foundry and shop. These and similar parts – featuring his “A (circled)/R. I. ANDERSON/IOLA, WIS.” trademark – were also crafted and sold to other firefighting equipment builders as late as 1969
Erected 2017 by Iola Historical Society. (Marker Number 10.)
Location. 44° 30.431′ N, 89° 7.796′ W. Marker is in Iola, Wisconsin, in Waupaca County. Marker is at the intersection of East State Street and Chet Krause Drive, on the right when traveling east on East State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 170 E. State Street, Iola WI 54945, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Iola’s Early History (within shouting distance of this marker); Iola’s Dr. Loope (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Krause Publications (about 300 feet away); 1999 Father's Day Fire (about 300 feet away); The CWEC Electrified Rural Iola in 1939 (about 400 feet away); Birthplace of Numismatic News (about 500 feet away); The “Spud Alley” Era (about 700 feet away); Iola Veterans Memorial (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Iola.
Additional keywords. Fire Departments
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.