March 12, 1831 – Clement Studebaker is born

Clement Studebaker and his older brother Henry founded H&C Studebaker Company in 1852 in South Bend, Indiana to build wagons and provide additional blacksmithing services. Clement, who was born on this day in 1831, was a skilled blacksmith by age 14 after apprenticing under his father. Henry sold his interest in the company to their younger brother John in 1858 when the business was busy building wagons for the U.S. Army. This was likely a conflict of interest for Henry who was a Dunkard, which meant he was a committed pacifist. The younger two brothers were joined by two more brothers to further develop the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. The company became the world’s largest wagon manufacturer and the only manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles to successfully switch to automobiles, which they began to do in 1897. Portrait of Clement StudebakerPortrait of Studebaker brothers. Left to right, (standing) Peter and Jacob; (seated) Clement, Henry, and John.

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