Our History Timeline


The two and a half story, red brick, Italianate Fricke House is built by Henry Fricke. Fricke is known as the first person to harness the Rib River successfully, making it possible to settle in Marathon. Today, the house, later known as the Fricke-Menzner house, houses the offices for Menzner Hardwoods.


Philip Menzner Sr., born in Rhinepfalz, Germany in 1866, immigrates to the United States.


Philip Menzner Sr. arrives in Marathon City after spending a few years working around the area at various lumber camps. Philip would go on to serve as the postmaster of Marathon City for 16 years, a member of the school board for 30 years, and the president of the village council.


Philip marries Helen Fricke, daughter of Henry and Veronica Fricke


Philip Menzner Sr. becomes a partner in the family business with his father-in-law, Henry Fricke, and builds a saw and planning mill alongside the Rib River named Menzner Sawmill and Lumber Yard - Flour and Grist Mill. Several years after the partnership began, Philip took over as the sole owner of the business. During the early years of operation, logs are cut in logging camps up north and put on large blocks of ice freed up by the spring thaw to float downriver to the Menzner sawmill. This same sawmill stood until 1972. Four generations later, the Marathon City plant still stands on the original site.

1905, 1915, and 1919

Although the business was very successful during this time, there was also much adversity caused by multiple fires that burned the business to the ground. On December 12th, 1919 the Marathon Times wrote an article stating, "Mr. Menzner picks up new courage and starts up again with renewed energies, determined to win out in the end in spite of all his misfortunes by fire losses."


With the advent of the railroad throughout Wisconsin, logging and lumber become a much more profitable business.


On April 11th 1924, Philip Menzner Sr. incorporates the business and changes the name to Menzner Lumber and Supply Company. This decision is made so the business could sell lumber directly to consumers. During this time, they also began selling items such as building supplies and barn equipment.


After Philip Menzner Sr.'s death in 1924, his sons Fred and Philip Jr. take over operation of the company and, as their father had before them, continue to research the lumber market for innovative ways to capture business. Philip Menzner Jr. oversees the retail lumber yard. His brother Fred Menzner is given control of the sawmill operation. Philip Menzner Sr. remained active in the business until his death.


Due to the tremendous growth of the logging industry, prime timber become scarce in Northern Wisconsin. Menzner began buying timber in bulk, ensuring a constant supply of timber despite increasing scarcity of area lumber resources.


Menzner Lumber and Supply Company is among the first businesses in Marathon County to purchase the new crawler tractor. Production is greatly increased because the tractor can manage 6,000 board feet of logs per trip, compared to the 1,000 board feet loads horses previously hauled.


Recognizing a growing market opportunity, Fred and Philip Jr. begin producing mouldings on a limited scale.


Robert Menzner, son of Philip Menzner Jr., joins the company after his military career.


Robert Menzner becomes president of the company, representing the third generation to operate the company. Under his direction, the sawmill operation is discontinued in favor of manufacturing finished products such as window and door mouldings, chair rails, handrails, and stair treads.


Robert's son Philip Menzner II joins the family business.


A lumber receiving and drying facility is purchased in Weir, Mississippi, marking the first expansion of company operations outside of Wisconsin. At the time, this facility was the lone location that kiln-dried lumber before it was shipped to the Marathon mill. Today, Menzner Hardwoods Co. has 3 kiln-drying facilities and two mills.


A second lumber receiving and drying facility is purchased in West Union, South Carolina.


Robert Menzner retires, and his son Philip Menzner II takes over the company as President, marking the 4th generation to run the business.


A large millwork facility is purchased in Somerset, Kentucky. This facility greatly increased production and capacities.


On July 19th, 2019 Menzner Lumber and Supply Company celebrated 125 years in business.


The company undergoes a rebranding, changing their name to Menzner Hardwoods Co., and updating their logo and overall look.


An additional facility is purchased in Marathon City. This new facility will house the profile wrapping operation, as well as begin the kiln drying process in Wisconsin in an effort to supplement the current kiln drying facilities in Mississippi and South Carolina.