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Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949

Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949 | Wisconsin Historical Society

manufacturer, politician, governor, b. Duesmond-on-the-Mosel, Germany. He migrated to the U.S. and Wisconsin with his parents in 1881, settling in New Berlin. At the age of 14 he began work as a drill-press operator for the Milwaukee Harvester Co. and later worked for the Falk Corporation of Milwaukee, traveling extensively throughout South America installing welded steel track for street railway systems. In 1901 he formed his own company, the Heil Rail Joint Welding Co., which in 1906 became the Heil Co., and eventually grew into a major manufacturer of dump-truck bodies, storage and transport tanks, road machinery, and home heating units. In 1933 Heil was appointed by President Roosevelt to head the state advisory board for the N.R.A. A Republican, he was elected governor in 1938, defeating incumbent Progressive Philip F. La Follette. He held this office for two terms (1939-1943), and during his administration sponsored the enactment of the state employment peace act, reorganized the welfare and tax departments, created the department of securities, and modernized the state's accounting system. He also directed the liquidation of frozen assets of building and loan associations to pay shareholders. Defeated by Progressive Orland S. Loomis (q.v.) in the gubernatorial election of 1942, he returned to his business interests and was chairman of the board of the Heil Co. until his death. F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Wis. Blue Book (1942); Madison Wis. State journal, Dec. 1, 1949.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Julius Peter Heil Papers for details.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

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[Source: Blue book]