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Kolbe's History

Herb Kolbe, founder of Kolbe & Kolbe

Herb Kolbe, founder

Ervin Kolbe, founder of Kolbe & Kolbe

Ervin Kolbe, founder

The chronicle of Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork, is more than a business success story, it begins with the family. Brothers Herb and Ervin built the business with the strong work ethic and family values with which they grew up on their family's dairy farm. These humble beginnings, along with Herb and Ervin’s dedication to producing premium quality windows and doors, served as the foundation for what we now proudly call the Kolbe® brand.

A brief history of Kolbe windows & doors
Kolbe history - washhouse



Brothers Herb and Ervin Kolbe began working out of their mother's wash house, repairing window frames and building sash, on the family farm in central Wisconsin.

Kolbe & Kolbe's Main Office



The Kolbe brothers purchased a 2,100 square foot building and relocated to Wausau, WI. They also hired their first employee, brother Walter. By 1955, another 1,500 square feet were added to the shop and warehouse.


Kolbe Manufacturing in 1967



Additions were made to the Wausau facility to accommodate expansion into the prehung door market. A cabinet shop was acquired, which brought several talented craftspeople onboard.


Kolbe Manufacturing Plant 1979-1984



Kolbe's manufacturing facility in Wausau grew significantly as product lines expanded and sales broadened from the Midwest to nationwide.




The main Kolbe manufacturing plant had grown to over 1 million square feet by 2003, and covered over 27 acres. By 2008, more than 1600 employees worked at our multiple manufacturing locations.




Kolbe acquires Point Five® windows and doors in Fort Collins, Colorado, which has been in business since 1981.

Kolbe Manufatruing Plant Today


Today – almost 70 years after the Kolbe brothers began their venture – premium quality window and door products bearing their family name are distributed across the country as well as internationally.



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