Our History

Our History

Proud Past. Current Growth. Exciting Future.

  • A Timeline of Significant Events in Kusel History

    1848 - Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the union.

    1849 - Daniel Kusel Sr. immigrates to the U.S. from Grabow, Germany and settles in Watertown, Wisconsin.


  • June 23, 1849 - Daniel Kusel Sr. opens a tinware business in Watertown, Wisconsin.

    1863 - Daniel's son, Captain Fredrick Kusel, serves in Watertown's Company E, 20th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

    1864 - Daniel Kusel Sr. helps establish Northwestern College in Watertown, known today as Luther Preparatory School.

    Daniel Kusel Sr. retires from family business.

    Daniel's sons, Fredrick and Daniel Jr., take over business and rename the company D. & F. Kusel. They expand with a focus on manufacturing and hardware sales.

  • 1897- D. & F. Kusel incorporates.

    1905 - Daniel Kusel Sr. passes away.

  • 1938 - The company separates into two entities, the hardware store, Kusel Hardware, and the manufacturing business, renamed Kusel Dairy Equipment.

    1949 - Kusel Hardware and Kusel Dairy Equipment celebrate 100 years in business.

    1960 - In response to a booming food processing industry, Kusel Dairy Equipment begins to provide sales and service to businesses within this channel.

    1973 - The Kusel family sells Kusel Dairy Equipment to Robert Elfline and Gary Smith.

    1975 - Kusel Dairy Equipment becomes Kusel Equipment Co.

    1976 - Gary Smith becomes President of Kusel Equipment Co.

    1977 - Gary and Jan Smith acquire 100% ownership of Kusel Equipment Co.


  • 1978 - Kusel Equipment Co. moves to its current location at 820 West Street in Watertown, Wisconsin.


  • 1970's & 1980's - Kusel Equipment Co. is awarded numerous patents for its A-Frame and Longhorn Pressing cheese-making equipment.

  • 1984 - Kusel Equipment Co. introduces its stainless-steel floor drain product line.

    1985 - Kusel Hardware closes its doors after 136 years in business, the longest operating hardware store in the state of Wisconsin.

    1994 - Kusel Equipment Co. acquires food processing equipment manufacturer Starr, Inc.

    1998 - Gary and Jan's son, David Smith, joins Kusel Equipment Co.

    1999 - Kusel Equipment Co. celebrates 150 years in business.

    2003 - Kusel Equipment Co. acquires meat smokehouse manufacturer Vortron Smokehouses.

  • 2006 - Gary Smith named Chairman and David Smith named President of Kusel Equipment Co.

    2008 - Kusel Equipment Co. divests from food processing product line.

    2009 - Kusel Equipment Co. divests from the smokehouse product line.

    2014 - Kusel Equipment Co. Chairman Gary Smith passes away.

    2016 - Kusel Equipment Co. Chairman Gary Smith is posthumously awarded the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association's Distinguished Service Award for his significant role in building the success of the U.S. Dairy Industry.


  • 2018 - Kusel Equipment Co. completes brand and logo refresh.

    TODAY - Kusel Equipment Co. celebrates its 174th year in business with two prominent business lines:

    • Cheese-Making Equipment
    • Stainless-Steel Drains

    Guided by our brand pillars of honesty, responsibility, service, and quality Kusel Equipment Co. is ready to provide you with trusted solutions for any of your project's needs.

  • Why Kusel?

    Why Kusel?


    Our manufacturing process includes welders that have an average of 20 years of experience, not only welding but working within both of our product lines.

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  • Why Kusel?

    Why Kusel?


    Stainless steel is our material of choice. Whether its 304 or 316L, stainless has been proven time and time again to be the best performing material to use in the cheese-making process or when sanitation is priority one.

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  • Why Kusel?

    Why Kusel?


    We have some of the best lead times in the industry, and you can rest assured your order will be on site at the time we’ve committed to.

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