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About Us - Ken Michaels Furniture & Milwaukee Mattress

About Us

Ken Michaels Furniture

Kenneth W. Dethloff learned the mattress industry working for Sealy after World War II. In 1947 Ken and his wife Margaret pooled their resources, borrowed money, and bought some land and a barn in Pewaukee. They purchased used mattresss machinery from Sealy, and founded Pewaukee Mattress. From these humble beginnings Ken and Margaret grew the business - they built a new factory and store in Pewaukee, and established three retail stores in Milwaukee. During these years after the war, Ken and Margaret had four children, Ken, Frank, Michael and Margaret. In 1959 they sold this business to two of Margaret's brothers. Ken then worked for Stein's Kosciusko Furniture for a year.

However, Ken really enjoyed working for himself. So in 1960 Ken and Margaret pooled their resources again, went into debt, bought an old factory building in Milwaukee and founded Milwaukee Mattress & Furniture, Inc. As their children grew, they also began to help at the factory along with their parents. It truly was a learning experience for them from the bottom up - first working in the factory, then on the trucks delivering, working in the showrooms and finally running the business.

Ken introduced and developed numerous improvements in mattress design. When he began building his own mattresses he introduced our arch back support. This gives more support in the middle of a person's back while sleeping. It is a feature we still use today. Ken and a partner Fred Bartz also designed a new hospital mattress and a new mattress handle. The new hospital mattress design led to the first of two patents that they earned in mattress design. The second patent was for the E-Vac mattress handle. This innovation made a mattress easier to turn. This helped extend mattress life - a benefit for our clients.

Ken continued to grow Milwaukee Mattress with the help of his family. Initial growth expanded the retail mattress line to include health care mattresses. A large sofa sleeper selection was also added. Our Greenfield location was purchased in 1987 and in addition to our line of Family Direct bedding products, Milwaukee had its first specialty sofa gallery - Ken Michaels Sofa Gallery. Choose the style, fabric or leather that is perfect for your home and we will have it there in about 35 days. A business model that our clients appreciate today as well as they did close to 20 years ago. In 1988 construction began on our Brookfield location to increase service to our broadening client base. Brookfield added bedroom and dining room furniture to our Custom Order upholstery and Family Direct sleep products. At this time we changed our name to Ken Michaels Furniture to highlight that we were a full service furniture store. Mattress innovations continued during these years that have included a complete line of natural rubber mattresses and pressure relieving mattresses. Complete Interior Home Design services were also added to better serve our clients.

Ken and Margaret taught us the mattress and furniture industry from the bottom up. We look forward to serving both your home decorating needs and providing you the most comfortable sleeping experience. Welcome to Ken Michaels Furniture!