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Royer Manufacturing Company (1908-) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Royer Manufacturing Company (1908-)
Variant Name: Henke Manufacturing Company; Hawkeye Maintainer Company

Historical Note:

Jesse R. Royer founded Royer Manufacturing Company in Janesville, Iowa, in 1908. The firm was incorporated in 1910, and re-incorporated in 1928.

Royer’s initial product was a horse-drawn patrol grader, and he developed a motor grader conversion for wheel tractors circa 1925 which was termed the first motorized snow removal system to be built in America.

At the time of the re-incorporation, Royer established Hawkeye Maintainer Company of Waterloo, Iowa, as its Road Machinery Division, and the first Hawkeye Motor Patrol, a conversion of a wheel tractor, was offered in the late fall of 1928. Hawkeye offered these conversions for several makes of tractors. The Hawkeye operation continued as late as 1931, and Royer – which eventually came to concentrate on snowplows – offered graders as late as 1937.

Royer also developed a line of snowplow attachments for trucks and tractors, a sweeper for removing sleet and ice accumulations and, during World War II, machine gun parts and engine mounts for the M-4 Sherman tank.

Martin Henke purchased Royer Manufacturing in September 1946 and renamed it Henke Manufacturing Company. Edward Green purchased the firm in 1967 and established Henke as a leading supplier of snow removal attachments for Deere & Company equipment. Henke relocated to Waverly, Iowa, in 1978. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 1992 and was sold in 1993 to investors who re-established it in Leavenworth, Kansas.

Sources: Sales literature; corporate history published by Royer; http://www.henkemfg.com/henke_history.html;
Note Author: Thomas Berry

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