“Known the World Over”

Courteen Seed,

“Known The World Over”



The Early Years

Over the years, this seed manufacturer made a name for themselves, they put pride into their work and their products.

This massive building was once home for the Courteen Seed Company in Milwaukee, WI. The business was started by a one Sydney G Courteen who haled from Wales and son of a miller. He left for Chicago in the mid 1800s and worked in various positions in the seed industry. After taking a weekend trip to Milwaukee, he decided to open his own seed company.

Courteen setup his company, referred to as “Courntens’ Dock”, in a 4story building along the menomonee river and close to the railroad tracks. The business moved along, Courteen known for his business skills was hardly a man to put all his eggs in one basket, he re-invested his money in the business or took on other investments in Milwaukee. Several successful years later it was time to expand the production.

Business is Booming

The new building, the shape of a wedge of cheese, was Designed by The Barnett & Record Co, with an emphasis on the need for structural re-inforcement. When the building was completed, it was a monster for its time, double to size of the previous and a total of 8 floors.

With the new location, Courteen branched out and sold globally. He became well known in this business and had the slogan; “Known the World Over” . The business thrived through years, a lawsuit in the 1960s slowed things a bit, but Courteem, was by then married with 2 children.

Winding Down

Fourteen saw its last days of production in the 1980s and was used for a myriad of things since. The building remained with the family and is currently slated to be re structured for condos near the up and coming “Global Water Research Park”

Personal Thoughts

Walking though the building, it is ominous with chutes and hoppers in the high floors and ceilings. At night it is daunting and somewhat scary. The smell is of soap (from a previous company) and has a way of adhering to your nose.

I am glad the developers are seeing fit to use the building, while it will more than likely be a challenge, this building, being so large, would be difficult to bring down. I suspect, if left over the centuries this building would be the last standing..