Class of 2010

Richard Baseman, Sr.
Richard Baseman, Sr. was born in Rib Falls, Wisconsin in 1902 and grew up on a farm learning the values of hard work, responsibility of completing a task and a job well done.  As a teenager Baseman, Sr. started sanding floors in the Kaukauna area for a gentleman named Art Nemmer.  He sanded all types of floors throughout the area and carried his own power generator because many places did not have electrical power.
 
Mr. Baseman, Sr. had developed quite the reputation as a “craftsman” and started bidding sanding jobs beyond the area covered by his employer.  Upon winning his first project to the north, he asked to rent equipment from Nemmer, but Art would not agree to rent the equipment.  That’s when Baseman, Sr. quit and started his own business, Richard Baseman Surfacing.  Through the depression years he managed to stay busy and also start a family.  Richard had six children who all learned the sanding trade and worked in the business at various times through those years.
 
In the late 1950’s, Baseman, Sr. started toying with the idea of a “rider sander”, an idea that many thought was impossible.  By 1960 he had fully developed a functional riding sander and applied for and received a patent for his invention.
 
Baseman, Sr. sold the “riders” too many other businesses and used them himself in his business until he retired in 1967.  Even after retirement he would come north from Florida in the summer to work with his sons and grandsons on jobs.
 
Richard Baseman Surfacing eventually became R. Baseman & Sons, Inc. in the 1960’s and then transformed into Baseman Floors, Inc. in 1990.  Baseman Floors still operates out of Appleton, Wisconsin.
 
Mr. Baseman, Sr. used to say, “he would wear out several pair of shoes on each sanding job.  The development of the rider paid for itself in shoes alone!”
 
Through the years Baseman, Sr. hired and trained many people in the art of floor sanding.  At his retirement party he was surrounded by over 35 peers that had learned the trade from him.
 
Mike Baseman, his grandson shares a story that Baseman, Sr. had built him his own rider when he was just learning the trade in 1968 and he loved to use that rider.  Unfortunately Mike lost that rider in a warehouse fire in 1999 or he says he would still be using that machine today.
 
Richard Baseman, Sr. was laid to rest in 1986, but the tradition of fine workmanship lives on and the rider sander has become common in the industry.
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