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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Truman G. Bugbee

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 623 - 624

Truman G. Bugbee, of Sheboygan, is proprietor of one of the important manufacturing interests of that city, the articles he manufactures being table-slides and leaf-supports. He established this business in June, 1886, and was first located on Ontario Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. One year later he removed his business to George Spratt's factory, where he remained until April 1, 1888, thence going to Mattoon's brick factory, and on November 1, 1892, removed to his present commodious quarters at the Elwell Roller Mills. There is but one other factory of the kind in the State of Wisconsin, and that is located at Watertown. This is a very important industry, and Mr. Bugbee expects to turn out from thirty to thirty-five thousand per month in 1893, in value amounting to $1,200 per month.

Our subject was born in Chelsea, Vt., November 2, 1854. His father, Erastus Bugbee, is also a native of the Green Mountain State, and still a resident of Chelsea. Mr. Bugbee's mother's maiden name was Sarah Couch. She died when her son was about six years old. The father was previously married, and has also married since the death of our subject's mother.

Mr. Bugbee remained at home until twelve years of age, when he worked on a farm in the vicinity of his old home until he was fourteen, and was then a resident of Winthrop, Mass., for a year. In 1870, when but sixteen years of age, he went to Springfield, Ohio. He then engaged to work for the Champion Machine Company, and later for Whitley, Fassler & Kelly, manufacturers of the same kind of machinery. After continuing in this occupation for a considerable time, he entered the employment of Hennessy & Michael, manufacturers of table-slides. This was his first experience in the business in which he is now engaged. A few months later he removed the business of the above-named firm to Chicago. He remained with that company for some time longer, when the business was sold to other parties, and the name of the firm became The Champion Table Slide Company. Mr. Bugbee continued in charge of the business until his removal to Sheboygan, in 1886.

Our subject has effected a number of important improvements in the articles he manufactures, and upon three of these he has received patents, the first of which was issued November 9, 1886. The object of the patent is to counteract the shrinking and expanding of table-slides. This is, of course, an extension table-slide, having on the outer side a recess containing a spring, to be compressed by a set screw extending through said spring, and to slide into a tongue fitted to the groove of the slide, whereby said tongue is made adjustable. The second was issued July 30, 1889, on a table-leaf support, and relates to a certain new and useful improvement in table-leaf supports. The claim for this improvement is as follows: In a table-leaf support, the combination with the leaf of a clip secured thereto and having a recess in one side, a spring-actuated arm pivoted in the clip, the free end of which is bent to one side of the clip and has an opening adjacent to said recess in the clip, and a bar pivoted to a fixed portion of the table, extending through said opening to the arm, and having a lateral projection at its outside end, adapted to engage the recess in the clip to support the leaf in a horizontal position. The third patent was granted Mr. Bugbee March 25, 1890, and is on a woodworking machine, for working the tongues used in the slides much more accurately and rapidly than by any other means. He has also made other improvements of much value not patented. As will be inferred, Mr. Bugbee possesses an inventive mind. His ingenuity is a sort of heredity, as other members of the family have exhibited this quality of mind in quite a remarkable degree.

Mr. Bugbee was married in Springfield, Ohio, April 26, 1880, to Miss Virginia Dudley, a native of that State. They have three children: Alvie Thomas, Lena May and Inez Bertha. They lost their eldest child, Alsa Eva, at the age of about one year.


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