Througout the Decades


  • Morley-Murphy Hardware Company was organized in September 1904
  • Began selling hardware and related lines to the retailers of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Morley-Murphy Company was specially organized to do business as a wholesale distributor. Our early catalogs offered the modern products of the day including gas fueled irons for mom and coal heaters for your carriage, sleigh and, for the affluent customer, their automobile.


  • In 1920, a six story concrete warehouse was erected adjacent to the main plant. In the same year we opened our first branch at Wausau, Wisconsin.
  • By 1925, the addition of radios, appliances, floor covering, plumbing and electrical products had become important lines for Morley-Murphy Hardware Company. It was decided that the title “hardware” was no longer appropriate in the corporate name. Thus, in January 1925, Morley-Murphy Company became the firm’s official title.
  • 1925, a second branch was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


  • In 1950 we moved from older facility to a new single level modern operation located in the center of the city.
  • 1953, the Delta Hardware Company was purchased becoming our Escanaba Branch serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Morley-Murphy Company now had four strategic locations and over 400,000 square feet of warehouse and office space to serve its customers.


  • During the 1960’s, it became apparent that with the congestion created by our growth we had outgrown our downtown Green Bay location making it imperative that a new plant be erected. An eighty-seven acre parcel of land was purchased for our new plant site. It also became the cornerstone of our subsidiary, Nicolet Real Estate and Investment Corporation.
  • 1969, the very difficult decision was made to discontinue the general hardware business, which was our only business at the time the company was formed. New distribution methods, chain retailers and competition forced a very specialized effort to succeed in this market arena. We elected to concentrate our efforts on generators, electrical, plumbing and heating, and industrial supplies and our major appliances and floor covering.


  • 1971, Morley-Murphy Company was established in their new Green Bay home. The executive offices, accounting, computer and warehouse made up the 135,000 square foot plant. Surveys had shown that, with the improvements to the transportation infrastructure, we could better serve the Upper Peninsula from Green Bay with our own trucking system and more in-depth inventory. Consequently, we decided to discontinue warehousing in Escanaba, taking advantage of our economies.
  • 1970’s were tremendous growth years for Morley-Murphy Company. Becoming the distributor for Frigidaire-GM and with the increase of our electrical, Zenith, and other departments, our businesses continued to prosper. Looking for expansion in Milwaukee, we purchased about 8.5 acres in the Menomonee Falls Industrial Park for a future Milwaukee plant.
  • 1970’s also brought our Nicolet Real Estate and Investment subsidiary solidly in the commercial real estate business.


  • 1986 brought about our acquisition of the Onan generator territory for southern Wisconsin. The same year we moved our warehousing facility in Milwaukee to a modern distribution and service facility on Milwaukee’s north side. This new 50,000 square foot building, along with our long established Onan operation in Green Bay, gave us the most complete generator sales and service organization in Wisconsin.
  • 1987, ground breaking for our 46,000 square foot Heritage Square Office Project took place in March. This premier office building has been considered the catalyst for the redevelopment of downtown DePere Wisconsin. The city continues to express their appreciation for the investment we made in their community.


  • 1993, acquired additional Zenith Electronics territory which included Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. This new territory was handled out of Des Moines, Iowa and Edina, Minnesota
  • September 29, 1993, we signed a distributor agreement with Kohler Company to represent Kohler generators in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  • 1994 the company was to meet one of the most difficult challenges in its’ history. Zenith Electronics Corporation notified us that they were terminating our distributor agreement in June of 1995 after 58 years as their business partner.
  • Developed the trade name TOTAL ENERGY SYSTEMS, which better reflected the now full range of services provided by this division. In 1997, we continued to invest in power systems with a new facility in Milwaukee’s’ Bradley Woods Industrial Park.
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