In 1859 RB Schilling came to La Crosse, Wisconsin, from the Black Forest region of Germany and started a successful soap factory featuring the brand “Sweet Home” soap. Old settlers remembered “Sweet Home” from those days when “the Saturday night tub bath was a ritual and mother scrubbed the laundry by hand.” When RB passed in 1872, his brother Isador arrived to manage the business.
Isador eventually sold the soap factory in 1890 and purchased an interest in a meat packing plant. He sold meat and sausage to the retail trade of La Crosse, during the gaslight era. Isador also invested in several grocery stores, which developed into a wholesale flour and feed business. A big seller was flour made in Galesville, Wisconsin, called “Valley Queen.” The company also distributed Pure Gold and Pillsbury’s Best brands of flour.