Muskego Historical Society website

William Boldt


William C. Boldt of Tess Corners in Muskego, is credited with inventing the first barn cleaner. His patent, dated April 14, 1931, featured a continuous conveyor that traveled through the gutter behind a row of dairy cows as they stood in their stancheons. It carried away the refuse from the barn to a deposit pit or parked spreader for removal to the fields. The patent said, "a dairy can be kept in a very sanitary condition and the refuse cleaned out several times a day so that it will not remain standing in the barn any length of time".

Boldt also invented a special method of laying stone walls so that the mortar was not visible. Several of these buildings have been built of native fieldstone in the Muskego and Prospect HIll areas.

One of Boldt's plant specialties was his Carpathian Walnuts, the first to be planted in this area. He sent to Poland in the 1930's for the seed at $4 per pound. Directions were to soak the seed a week, then plant them two inches in the ground. He did, and they grew, taking 20 years to produce nuts with thin shells and husks that burst as they ripened.

(Source: Landmark Magazine Summer 1978)

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