With the organization of the Monarch Shoe Company in 1909, Theodore C. Hegner became its first president and treasurer and has so continued to the present time, concentrating his efforts and attention upon the development of the business, which in its ramifying trade connections now covers a very broad territory, making this one of the profitable manufacturing concerns of the city. Mr. Hegner was born in Racine, May 21, 1876, the son of John P. and Angeline (`’reins) Hegner, who were natives of Germany. The father came to the United States in 1863 and was connected with the leather business in Chicago for a period, but in 1873 established a grocery store in Racine. where he carried on business for many years, becoming one of the leading merchants in his line. He was accorded a liberal patronage, which he merited because his business methods were at all times honorable and straightforward, while progressiveness and industry characterized him in all of his business relations. He died in the year 1898, having for sixteen years survived his wife, who passed away in 1882.
Theodore C. Hegner obtained a public and high school education in Racine and early in his business career became connected with the Badger Electric Company, with which he remained for several years. He was afterward with the Fish Brothers Wagon Company for eleven years and at the end of that period, in 1909, organized the Monarch Shoe Company, of which he became the president and treasurer, with Charles Bernhard as vice president and Henry Oehmen as secretary. There has been no change in the personnel of the company from the beginning. The plant was at first located at Sixth and Villa streets and in 1913 a removal was made to the corner of Hamilton avenue and Seventeenth Street, where the factory has twenty-five thousand square feet of floor space in a building two stories in height, employment being furnished to from seventeen to twenty-five people. They manufacture sporting goods of various kinds, including baseball, gymnasium and hunting boots and shoes; also shoes for bowlers, golfers, tennis players and in fact athletic shoes of every description, which are put upon the market under the Monarch brand and are of excellence that the product finds a ready sale from coast to coast. In fact the trade not only covers the United States but extensive shipments are also made to the American possessions. The business has constantly developed along gratifying lines. Every department is thoroughly systematized, the work is carried on most methodically and there is no useless expenditure of time, labor or material. In its output the company keeps in touch with modern day needs and demands and in fact anticipates the demand so that it is ready to meet the trade at the call.
On the 27th of September, 1912, Mr. Hegner was married to Miss Ella Krill, of Milwaukee, and to them have been born two children, John and Theodore. The parents are members of St. Rose Catholic church and Mr. Hegner is also identified with the Knights of Columbus. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic Party and he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but has never been an aspirant for office, as he feels that his time and attention are fully occupied by his business interests. He has worked his way upward and as the architect of his own fortunes, has built wisely and well. Within seven years he has developed an enterprise of importance in his community, its success being of a most substantial character, while its methods commend it to the further confidence and support of the public.