When you put us to work on a project, you put 125 years of innovative spirit, dedication, integrity,
loyalty and a legacy of unmatched customer service to work for you. The positive, long term experience
of customers like you is an asset Villaume has proudly carried on our books from the first day Eugene
Villaume sold his first Villaume wooden box.
"If It Can Be Manufactured of Wood, We Can Make It".
Toting a collection of dry goods, seeds and other items, Joseph Villaume boarded a steamboat in
1847 and ventured up the Mississippi from New Orleans to the northwest frontier. Branching
out from St. Paul, he sold in the small communities in the Minnesota River valley. Joseph was born
in a small town in France in 1812 and had been a government employee and a police officer when he left
for the United States. After living for two years in New Orleans, he decided to settle down in St. Paul
in 1849. Although the city was small, it was a growing community. On March 3, 1849, Minnesota became a
territory. Within three weeks,the village doubled in size and in a few months, tripled.
St. Paul was a stopping off point for immigrants on their way to other parts of the state and
people were constantly looking for lodging. Joseph decided to cater to their needs and opened a
combination hotel and stable. In a few years it would house three of his nephews. The first was
Victor Villaume, who came from France in 1866. He worked for a time with steam engines in Cottage
Grove and at a sawmill. Later Victor got a job working in the Minneapolis mills while living with