History

Marshfield Utilities originated in 1904 when the City of Marshfield purchased the generating facilities from Mr. W. H. Upham. A city ordinance had been passed in 1892 authorizing C.E. Gray, Jr. & Co. to operate and maintain the waterworks. The company was given 60 days to comply with the conditions but when he failed to do so, it was then granted to Mr. Upham. In August 1892, he incorporated and named it the Water Works, Electric Light and Power Company. After the City of Marshfield purchased the utility from Upham, W.D. Connor took the City to Circuit Court declaring the sale null and void because the purchase was done without the vote of the people. Connor won but the City fought back and the case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared the purchase valid and the sale was approved.

At the time this utility was purchased, very little electricity was being used and very few homes had appliances, resulting in a low demand for electricity. Most of this was used during the early evening hours when lights constituted the major portion. As the use of electricity grew, the plant itself had to increase in size to keep up with the growth and in 1915, a 500 KW Corliss engine was added to the original plant.

Timeline

  • 1922

    In 1922, the first steam turbine was installed at the plant and two of the smaller units that had been in the original plant were removed from service. In 1926 with the load growing, it was necessary to add a 1,500 KW steam turbine and the last remaining Corliss engine was taken out of service. This was followed in 1935 by the addition of a 2,500 KW steam turbine. The waterworks was also busy during this period. The first well was struck on October 5, 1923 and by the end of 1932, there was a total of six drilled wells.

  • 1934

    1931 Employee PhotoThe first Water and Light Commission was formed in 1934. There were five commissioners representing the utility. Today, there is still a Commission that governs the utility.

  • 1944

    A rather slow growth of the utility was noted until approximately 1944 when an upward trend started and a 4,000 KW turbine was added. Consumption increased to over eight million KW hours and the utility was serving 3,327 customers. The growth increase continued and in 1950, it was necessary to add the 6,000 KW turbine giving the plant installed capacity of 14,000 kilowatts. In 1956, a 12,000 KW transformer was added at the McMillan Substation and the first transmission line tie to Marshfield was added. This tie went from this new transformer at McMillan Substation up to Stratford where it tied into a line owned by Wisconsin Public Service. Also, the first step-up transformer was added at Wildwood Substation which stepped our voltage from 4,160 volts to 13,200 volts. These projects brought on the first use of 13,200 volts as a distribution voltage in Marshfield.

  • 1965

    2000 South Central Avenue OfficeBy 1965, normal consumption was at 93 million KW hours and the customer base was at 6,292. Another year to note in our history was 1966 when the utility moved their office, warehouse and garage location to 2000 South Central Avenue. Hume Ave. Pumping StationTwo more wells (#19 & #20) were installed in 1968/69 and a three million gallon reservoir was constructed at the Hume Ave. Pumping Station.

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Our Mission & Vision

  • Mission: Marshfield Utilities is a progressive, customer-focused organization providing value and resources to the community.
  • Vision: Marshfield Utilities will remain a competitive and stabilizing presence in the community by anticipating and innovatively responding to changing customer needs and desires as well as to new technological opportunities.
 

Employee/Commissioner Access

Contact Us

Marshfield Utilities
2000 South Central Avenue
PO Box 670
Marshfield, WI 54449, USA
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

To contact us, click here.

After Hours Emergencies:
Call +1 (715) 384-8515

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