William Philip Heimbach

William Heimbach caricatured by the Duluth News Tribune. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

William Philip Heimbach is one of the oldest lumber operators in the northern district of Minnesota. He was born in Walworth County, Wisconsin, July 12, 1856. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of New York. His father was an early settler and pioneer in Walworth County, developed a farm from the wilderness, and lived a life of such industry, conscientious effort and public spirit that he earned and well deserved the highest esteem of his community.

William P. Heimbach was fourth in a family of ten children. He was reared and educated in the country district of Walworth County, and at the age of twenty left the farm and served an apprenticeship at the miller’s trade, which he followed afterwards for three years, receiving a yearly salary of $3,000. Too much dust in that line caused him to change to outside work, and he entered the lumber industry. In the fall of 1881 he came to Duluth and forthwith engaged in the lumber business, and has been continuously identified with the city in the role of a lumberman now for forty years. He was one of the original officials of the Oneota Lumber Company of Duluth. In 1883 he opened a lumber yard in Jamestown, North Dakota, and personally managed that for two years. Selling out, he returned to Duluth and resumed the lumber business under the firm name of the W. P. Heimbach City Lumber Yard. This was incorporated tunder the title of the Heimbach Lumber Company in 1896. He was also owner and operated for six years a sawmill at New Duluth. Mr. Heimbach is now president of the following lumber organizations: The Heimbach Lumber Company, the Endion Lumber Company, the Gary Lumber Company and the Hazelwood Lumber Company, and with the assistance of his sons, W. P. Heimbach, Jr., and C. M. Heimbach, who own substantial interests, and who assist in the direction of these institutions, Mr.

Heimbach’s burden is lighter materially. On account of his long and active business career he is well known in Duluth and has always given a sustaining participation in affairs outside of his immediate business and affecting the growth and welfare of the city and county. Politically he is independent.

From Walter Van Brunt’s Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922. Available at the Duluth Public Library.