Originally, we sold home building supplies to meet the building boom that Denmark enjoyed in the beginning of the 1900s. Then the men would go up North and log in the winter to obtain their supply of logs and timber for the rest of the year.
The second generation of Dufeck cousins, Albert and Earl, shifted manufacturing to milk, soda and beer cases and, when plastic took over, began making specialized pallets, skids, and industrial shipping boxes for local manufacturing companies.
“Cancel order we sent you yesterday — we burned down this morning.” So reads a framed letter dated August 10, 1912, which hangs in the office here at Dufeck Wood Products. It would take more than a fire to stop the company that was founded near Stangelville, Wisconsin, around the turn of the century.
Four Dufeck brothers, Albert, Jim, Martin, and Simon, sold a threshing mill to buy the business from the Albrecht brothers in Kewaunee County.
Then in 1912, they moved to Denmark, Wisconsin, to take advantage of the railroad that had built there.
A third generation family member, Paul Dufeck, started.
Paul’s son, Andy, started his career making pallets for the family business.
The fourth generation owner, Andy has become the sole owner of the company, keeping it truly a family business.
Production continues today in the two-story factory built after the 1912 fire.
Mountains of logs stacked outside await their turn to be peeled and cut into veneer, which is clipped to size, shaped, and stapled while the green lumber is still wet and pliable. The box tops and bottoms, cut from lumber, are not stapled or glued but are held together by tension making them food safe to age Wisconsin’s fine cheddar cheese or gift package your gourmet food product.