© Photographed April 22, 2017
Valders, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin
Wm. F. Christel, Inc.
1910 100 Years 2010
On this site the first Ford dealership in the state of Wisconsin was started by a local businessman, William F. Christel, March 1st, 1910. Mr. Christel was born in a log cabin in the Town of Schleswig in 1861. He started working full time at the age of 13.
In 1882, he married Wilhelmina Lulloff and they had fifteen children, seventy-five grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Later [sic] in 1882, he and his brother-in-law, Herman Lulloff [sic] purchased a saw mill, box factory and hardware store in St. Nazianz.
In 1885, he moved to Valders and built a general store. In 1907 [sic] he built his home and tavern directly across the street from this site. He then opened a hardware implement and Ford dealership, selling both automobiles and Fordson tractors.
Mr. Christel also organized the Pioneer Canning Company in St. Nazianz and expanded with plants in Valders and Hilbert. He was the president of the Valders State Bank and the Valders-Collins Oil Company. He also owned several farms and as an inventor held thirteen patents.
The markers is located on the grounds of the Napa Auto Centre, and is accessible from southbound Calumet Drive / U.S. Route 151, just south of its intersection with Washington Street, at or near 220 Calumet Drive, Valders, Wisconsin 54245.
The marker is located in Valders, Wisconsin.