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.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society marker series.
Location. 43° 5.523′ N, 89° 21.343′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1962 Atwood Avenue, Madison WI 53704, United States of America.
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.
Also see . . . Dane County Historical Society Newsletter (pdf). Articles on the Cooperage and the dedication of this marker. (Submitted on April 24, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,156 times since then and 22 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.