John Spangler was the son of German immigrant parents. He bought 60 acres of cut over stump land North of Jefferson in 1877. He raised a family of eight children on this farm. The present Spangler family is still farming those original sixty acres today.
John Spangler’s youngest two sons were Albert and Linus. They returned to farm the homestead. In 1920 they started the firm Spangler Brothers to grow open pollinated corn. They relied on the advice and support of the Wisconsin Experiment Association, which later became Wisconsin Crop Improvement. Some of the early varieties they grew were called Golden Glow, Silver King and a red corn known as Northwestern Dent. There were hundreds of seed companies at the time in Wisconsin with eight alone in the Jefferson area. Business was good and Spangler Brothers opened an office in an old hotel in Jefferson that served as their headquarters for close to forty years.
Spangler Brothers began selling hybrid seed corn in 1937. They were to raise Wisconsin Public Hybrids for the next quarter century. They were also one of the first seed companies in the state to build a “Wright” dryer.
Dr. Andy Wright was a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He published the first design for a commercial dryer for seed corn production. The Wright dryer used a slatted floor design and allowed hot air from a furnace to be forced through the corn still on the ear. It greatly improved seed quality and hundreds of them were built in coming years by seedsmen all over the Midwest.
Albert Spangler’s sons John and David became the second generation to enter the business in the fifties. John and David moved out of downtown Jefferson building the present day office at the farm in 1961. The brothers also slowly moved away from marketing Wisconsin Public Hybrids. They started a research effort and began developing their own proprietary corn hybrids.
The company also began marketing public variety soybean seed in the mid sixties. It came in two-bushel bags and soybeans were still a minor crop in the area at the time. But demand increased and by the early seventies the company began its present day lineup of proprietary seed.
John Spangler’s son Jeff became the third generation to work at the firm in 1986. David Spangler passed away in 1989. Spangler Brothers changed their name to Spangler SeedTech in 1997. The company celebrated their ninetieth birthday in the year 2003.
Now John and Jeff along with their employees are leading the company into untold changes in the 21st century. But one thing hasn’t changed at all. The company’s mission is still to provide the best seed products to Wisconsin farmers at reasonable prices.