A Transportation Entrepreneur Begins His Life’s Journey in Pennsylvania

March 12, 1831

Clement Studebaker, a wagon and carriage manufacturer who helped establish and nurture a formidable family legacy when it came to surface transportation, was born in Pinetown, Pennsylvania. He learned the blacksmith trade as a teenager in his father’s shop and later worked as a teacher. In 1852, he and his older brother Henry formally launched a blacksmith and wagon-building business in South Bend, Indiana. They named their company H. & C. Studebaker and not only made metal parts for freight wagons but also manufactured many of those vehicles themselves. 

This company’s services were widely used as more and more Americans migrated out west. By the time the Civil War broke out in 1861, the company was providing wagons to the U.S. Army. Henry, a committed pacifist, dropped out of the company at that time. His interest in the business was bought out by another brother named John. 

A few years after the Civil War ended, Clement, John, and another brother named Peter reorganized the company as the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. Another brother, Jacob, eventually participated in that family enterprise as well. The company ultimately became the largest wagon manufacturer in the world.  “Always give more than you promise,” proclaimed the official Studebaker motto. 

In the 1890s, the Studebakers branched out into creating motor vehicles. Clement died in 1901 at the age of 70. A decade later, the company that he did so much to foster was reorganized as the Studebaker Corporation. The company would go on to produce and sell a number of fondly remembered automobiles – including the President, Champion and Commander Starliner.

For more information on Clement Studebaker, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_Studebaker

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