Gas Engine Builders of Eau Claire, Wisconsin


| September/October 1995



Crew

Crew at Northwestern Steel & Iron Works, Eau Claire, WI. Note the Casey Jones engines in. the foreground. (Circa 1912.)

21321 County X Cadott, Wisconsin 54727

This article was originally supposed to be about just one engine builder of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. As I was doing the research for it, I found a couple others and decided to include them.

I've been an engine collector for several years. I don't have a large collection, but what I do have I am very proud of. I have three sons and two of them are interested in old iron too, and hopefully, the third one is coming around.

I was born and raised in Eau Claire and still live only 20 miles away. I've always found its history very fascinating and quite colorful.

The Northwestern Steel & Iron Works began business in 1905 and was to manufacture cement mixers, marine engines, farm engines and various other products. They were capitalized at $50,000 and were in the hands of Messrs. Kim Rosholt and Peter J. Holm. Kim Rosholt was born in Scandinavia, Wisconsin, on December 27, 1864. He came to Eau Claire from Thorp, Wisconsin, and opened up land offices. With the acquisition of cut-over land that he got from the logging companies, he was able to sell the land and bring in many new settlers. As he disposed of these lands, he gradually got into banking and the manufacturing business and at this he was most successful. He became president of the Northwestern Steel & Iron Works from the beginning and remained so until his untimely death due to a diabetic condition on January 5, 1920.

Peter J. Holm was born in Sweden September 19, 1851. He came to the United States in 1880 and to Eau Claire in that same year. He was a resident for 22 years and was a foreman and pattern maker for the McDonough Mfg. Co. for 14 years. He also was connected with the Holm Concrete Manufacturing Company (also known as Holm Concrete Machine Company), of Minneapolis, Minnesota.