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Our History

Prince Corporation was originally founded in Marshfield, Wisconsin as Banner Mills in 1886 by William H. Upham. Upham, a decorated civil war veteran and early Governor of Wisconsin, built the town’s first general store and saw mill (1878), furniture factory (1882), and mill (1886). Prince Corporation has survived four fires throughout its history. The first fire occurred in 1887 and destroyed much of the city. Upham, the principle employer, developer, and mayor, decided to rebuild and keep his businesses in Marshfield. Had this not occurred, Marshfield may not have rebounded from the fire.

In 1922 H.C. Koenig traded his grocery store in Marshfield for the mill and renamed the company Marshfield Milling. In 1934 when H.C. died, his son Walter “Prince” Koenig took over and began to expand the company. Marshfield Milling developed and produced a full line of animal feeds and minerals. Under his leadership the company became a full service distributor of feed and agricultural supplies throughout central and northern Wisconsin. In the 1970’s a wild bird seed manufacturing plant was added and the company branched into providing wild bird seed and outdoor feeding supplies. Also at this time, the company began distributing its line of tools, seeds, and fertilizers to the garden and landscape industry. In 1980 the company survived its second fire and in 1981 the name of the company was changed to Prince Corporation in honor of W.J. “Prince” Koenig. Prince Koenig’s sons, John and Mike, ran the company and expanded the company’s delivery area to include most of Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. In 1997 the company was purchased by Jay Emling, John Silseth, and Dennis Wessel – the company’s former General Manager.

Under the new ownership, the company set-out to transform the company from primarily a supplier of hardware and bagged items, to a full-line agricultural, wild bird, pet, and lawn and garden supplier. Since 1997 the company has grown to service much of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and parts of Ohio. A second location was added in 1999 in Kingsbury, Indiana to serve customers in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. On July 4, 2000 the company suffered its third fire. The fire destroyed approximately 20% of the company warehouses. On Wednesday, July 5th the company opened for business with a commitment to rebuild and grow the company.

In the fall of 2013 Prince Corporation took its next big step in expanding the business by purchasing a southern Illinois based company, Siemer Enterprises. Siemer Enterprises had a very similar operating philosophy based upon serving the retail customers in agricultural, lawn and garden, pet and wild bird supplies. This added a third operating location in Teutopolis, Illinois and gave the company a chance to sell products further into the St. Louis, Missouri area and far-reaching service areas in Indiana and Illinois.

On June 2, 2016 the fourth fire occurred in the Marshfield Feed Pellet Mill but was contained and put out within hours of starting. A complete rebuild of the pellet mill followed that summer and in November 2016 was reopened with state of the art manufacturing equipment.

Throughout history, the company has always maintained a focus on their customers, vendors, and employees. Because of the company’s sincere desire to help its customers succeed, and its desire to work with reputable vendors and quality products, and focus on being a family-oriented, family-friendly company, Prince Corporation has managed to not only survive major adversities, but to grow throughout the years.