A SHORT HISTORY OF FULLER & JOHNSON COMPANY


| May/June 1967



John A. Johnson

John A. Johnson 1832 - 1901, Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie Du Sac, Wis. 53578

Verne W. Kindschi

Route 1, Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin 53578

A year ago I acquired the existing engine records of the old Fuller & Johnson Company, Madison, Wisconsin. (In this article I shall refer to this company as F & J.) After studying these records and looking up a number of engines I became quite interested in the history of F & J; so I started asking questions and finding out all I could about the company. As others have asked questions about F & J, I thought perhaps the readers of GEM would be interested to know what I have been able to find out so far.

For the information I have been able to collect so far, I would like to thank Mr. Sever Thingstead, who was final inspector for F & J; Mr. Fred Stelter, who was production foreman; and the Gisholt Machine Company, Division of Gidding and Louis, Madison, Wisconsin.

Gisholt was once affiliated with F & J. Today they are known for their machine tools, such as automatic lathes, threading machines, balancing machines, etc. Most of the pictures are from their files.

F & J was founded in 1840, but was then known as Fuller & Williams. This firm engaged in selling farm machinery and was carried on until 1870, when Mr. John A. Johnson came into the company.

John A. Johnson was born April 15, 1832, on a farm in the Southern part of Norway. In 1844 John and his family immigrated to the U.S.A. They settled in Walworth County, which is in the Southern part of Wisconsin. In 1852 the Johnson family moved to Dane County, Wisconsin, to continue their farming. In the meantime, John had worked very hard to put himself through school, as the Johnson family was very poor. During the summers he worked for $3 a month, plus his room and board; during the winter he went to school and worked for his room and board. When the Johnson moved to Dane County, (the county Madison is in), it was to be John's last move.