Willman Industries can trace its roots to 1899, when its Cedar Grove, Wis., foundry was established as Wisconsin Foundry & Steel Works. Over the years, the foundry went through many transformations, starting out manufacturing kitchen ranges, wagons, auto jacks and other products. When it was known as State Foundry in the 1940s, it was the first foundry in Wisconsin to produce ductile iron.
Sold to Medalist Industries and renamed Medalist State Foundry, Clay Willman was hired to run the foundry in 1971. Willman turned the company into a profitable foundry, eventually purchasing it in 1987 and renaming it Willman Industries.