Miles & Manufacturing

In reading Augusta Ryall's History of Brodhead, I found the following information according to her account ...

"The Norwegian Plow Co. operated by C.W. Mitchell and M.M. McNair was the largest manufacturing enterprise here at that time, turning out more than 2000 plows a year which were sold mostly in Iowa."

In regards to the early days of the company:

"Beginning in a small blacksmith shop in Orfordville, Wisconsin, H. H. Sater began manufacturing plows on a small anvil. Business was so good that in 1874 an extensive shop was erected at Brodhead, Wisconsin. This attracted the attention C. W. Mitchell when the process became mechanized."


And excerpt from "Woodburners to Diesels," brings more light to the history of the company:

"Brodhead has, however, been above average in the number of manufacturing concerns it has had for the size of the community. Among these was the manufacturer of the celebrated plows and cultivators that made known the name of the city and its works far and wide.

This industry was established by the Norwegian Plow Company in 1873 later transferred into hands of Brodhead Manufacturing Co., and in 1887 Mr. G. M. Pierce became sole owner of the plow and agricultural part of the plant. He manufactured a large quantity of plows and other implements and large numbers of the Glow Tobacco Transplanters."

Piecing together Miles' Business

In tracking information discovered Miles' obituary,  I have found one local article so far regards to his furniture store here in Brodhead (in this 1885 article). 

From Augusta's papers, I learned of his involvement with the Norwegian Plow Co.

I also have a few news articles mentioning Miles' involvement with McCormick Reaper, an entertainment hall, the McNair Block, establishing Greenwood Cemetery, and a recreation center (with roller skating) in downtown.

It strikes me Miles' philanthropy and businesses were notably diverse. He seems to have been an investor, and moved on in selling his interests in companies he either built or partnered with when they made their early success. He strikes me as a businessman who confidently sold, and moved on to the next emerging opportunity.

Stay tuned as I work further to research all these interesting ventures.


  • Woodburners to Diesels via the Brodhead Historical Society
  • via Encyclopedia Dubuque