Manufacturing enterprise in Racine finds a representative in Willis L. Cahoon, who became one of the organizers of the American Mangle & Roller Company. He was born in this city in 1860, a son of Lyman H. and Cordelia L. (Tague) Cahoon, the former a native of New York, while the latter was born in Kingston, Canada. They were married in the Empire state and about 1850 came to Wisconsin, establishing their home in Solon, where they lived for five years, removing in 1855 to Racine. The father had learned the trades of shoemaking and harness making in early life and gave his entire attention to industrial activity along those lines throughout his remaining days. He passed away, however, in 1868, being survived by his widow, who died in 1899.
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Willis L. Cahoon was but eight years of age at the time of his father’s death. He was reared by his mother in this city and as he mastered the branches of learning taught in consecutive grades he won promotion until he became a high school pupil. His start in the business world was made as clerk in a shoe store and to that work he devoted his attention for several years but was ambitious to engage in business on his own account and carefully saved his earnings until he was able to establish a coal and wood yard, which he conducted until 1903, when he sold out and became interested in the American Mangle & Roller Company. He aided in its organization and has since been active in promoting its success. The business is now one of considerable volume and the trade connections of the company insure a substantial income. They have ever recognized the fact that satisfied customers are the best advertisement and by giving general satisfaction they have won a liberal and well deserved patronage. They manufacture mangles and laundry rollers and in fact handle all kinds of laundry machinery and today their output is widely sold over the country.
Mr. Cahoon attends the First Baptist church and he gives his political allegiance to the Prohibition Party. He has long been interested in the cause of temperance and does everything in his power to further its adoption, believing this to be one of the most vital questions before the country today.