Our History

Welcome to the history of Keck Furniture, a family-owned business that has been serving the communities of southern Wisconsin for over 170 years.

 

The story of Keck Furniture began in 1853, just 17 years after the settlement of Watertown by Timothy Johnson. The first issue of The German Press carried a card advertisement announcing the opening of John Keck’s cabinet-making shop at 314 Main Street. Watertown was a thriving frontier town with a population of 4,000 and was home to a variety of businesses including dry goods stores, groceries, meat markets, hardware stores, clothing stores, and boot and shoe shops.

 

 

Keck Furniture moved twice before settling in its current location on Main Street in 1897. This character-rich building still boasts tin ceilings and floor joists made of tamarack logs cut during the early days of settlement in Wisconsin.

In 1924, Keck Furniture underwent a major renovation executed by George, Fred, and William Keck, the grandsons of the founder and one of America's leading architectural teams of the mid-20th century.

 

During the Great Depression, Keck Furniture was able to persevere and continue serving the Watertown community due to its early commitment to providing personal service.

From 1938 until his passing in the mid-1950s, Keck Furniture was run by John Keck, the grandson of the founder. Ken Beyer, who was employed as a delivery and salesperson during this time, was later chosen to lead the store after John's passing. Under Ken's leadership, Keck Furniture experienced a period of growth, leading to a major expansion in 1989.



Upon Ken's retirement in the late 1990s, the store was handed over to his son, Tom Beyer, and daughter, Lyn Quinn. Under the leadership of Tom and Lyn, Keck Furniture has seen a modern renovation while still retaining its historic charm. They have implemented the latest technology and streamlined processes to improve the shopping experience for their customers, while still maintaining the personal touch that has been a staple of the business since its founding. They have also expanded the product offerings to include a wider range of furniture styles, from classic to contemporary. Through their passion for excellence and commitment to quality, Tom and Lyn have taken Keck Furniture to new heights, making it a destination for furniture lovers from near and far.

 

Tom's family plays a crucial role in the success of the business. Joan, Tom's wife, is a valuable member of the decorating team and contributes greatly to its success. Ryan, William, and Hannah are the future of the business, each with their own roles and responsibilities. 

 

Today, Keck Furniture continues to provide the same service and value that was established in 1853, making it the oldest continuously running furniture store in the state and the second oldest in the nation.

 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the history of Keck Furniture. We are proud to be a part of the Watertown community and look forward to serving you for generations to come.

Furniture Today July 2021 - Keck Furniture Marks 168 Years in Business