General Development of Business
The Company history dates back to 1866 when the “Keller Store” in Corydon, Indiana was established. From that time, the operation entered into various businesses, including running an electrical light plant, manufacturing spokes for farm wagons, operation in a hub-mill, farm wagon production, building barns, producing wooden porch furniture, wooden truck bodies and refrigerator boxes, as well as making end tables, magazine racks, chair parts, and, by 1933, a drop leaf table. The Company was incorporated in 1906 under the laws of the State of Indiana.
Over 300,000 wagons were built from 1901-1912. In 1942, however, the invention of the farm tractor made the Keller wagon obsolete thereby causing the Company to end its wagon production. In late 1943, the Company developed household furniture, including breakfast room suites and dinettes. In the early 1960‘s, the Company introduced its first bedroom group. A new plant was built at Culpeper, Virginia in 1965 and a third plant was built in 1973 at New Salisbury, Indiana. In 1979, the Company leased four trucks and trailers to deliver furniture directly to their furniture dealers. In 1996, the Company formed Keller Dedicated Trucking, Inc. (“Keller Trucking”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. Its primary function is to provide delivery services for the Company. Keller Trucking also transfers materials between plants, provides delivery for some purchased merchandise and provides backhaul services for other companies when available. Keller Trucking currently operates with 22 trucks delivering approximately 80% of the Company’s finished products.
In January of 2005, The Keller Manufacturing Company, Inc. announced that it was exiting the furniture business after many decades of producing quality solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture. Keller no longer sells any furniture or replacement parts.
In January of 2006, Keller announced the acquisition of Paragon Door Designs, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky. Founded in 1993, Paragon manufactures entryway products, custom steel and fiberglass entry doors and storm doors, with a variety of glass styles and finishes. Paragon sells through a network of window and door dealers, remodelers and home centers in more than 25 states.
Keller was founded in 1885 by German immigrants in Corydon, Indiana and originally produced wood spokes for farm wagons. The Company later expanded to produce the whole wagon under a contract with The International Harvester Company. With the introduction of the motorized metal farm tractor following the Great Depression, Keller converted its production to household furniture while also manufacturing walk-in ice boxes for the U.S. Army during the Second World War. Following the War, Keller expanded furniture production to become one of the nation’s leading producers of solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture. As noted above, Keller no longer sells any furniture or replacement parts.