History of Law Tanning Co. LLC

Copyright 2016. Law Tanning Co. LLC. All rights reserved.


​Milwaukee, WI

Law Tanning Co. LLC

Law Tanning Co. History, American Success Story

Founder – William Bancroft Law, Jr. – Lynnfield, Mass. worked in tanneries before enlisting in the service in 1917.  He went to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York after discharge to attend leather-tanning school. 

Employed by Pfister & Vogel, Milwaukee, in 1920, he met and married Lydia Willms, Pfister & Vogel office employee in 1922.

He founded Law Tanning Co. in 1936, with long hours of hard work; Lydia kept the books at home. From the beginning there was success and Law Tanning was profitable and expanding. Purchased the Cudahy Tanning building in 1942. Leather was tanned for army boots and gloves in WW2 and Korean wars.

William L. Law entered the firm on discharge from 42nd Infantry Division, in 1946 and on the death of WBL. Jr. took over management and founded the Cudahy operation. In spite of the low wage foreign competition, which saw the liquidation of 80 per cent of U.S. shoe and leather industries, the quality and efficiency was such that the Law and Cudahy operations both prospered and grew.

The toughest and best leather buyer William L. Law had to work with was Maurice Squire from Wells Lamont Glove Corporation.  In 1950 he was hired to become General Manager of Law Tanning Company.  Maury was perfect for the tannery. He instituted profit sharing in January of 1952 and ran it successfully until 1986 when his son Tom Squire became General Manager.  Tom graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1977 and worked at Cudahy Tanning Company learning the ropes until 1983 when he began full time at Law Tanning.

William R. Law (BJ) joined the family business in 1976 after graduating from Southern Methodist University and managed Cudahy Tanning Company until it was sold in 2007.  His son Ryan Law graduated from University of St. Thomas and joined the business in 2003.  He is currently a managing member.