Cofounder of Polaris Industries
"There was just something about
me. I had to go into business for myself."
Edgar Hetteen was a young farm boy, the son of first generation
Swedish immigrants. He had grown up on his family's 80-acre homestead south of
Roseau, Minnesota. His chores each day consisted of hours spent on milking cows,
feeding the family livestock and doing all the usual things necessary to keep a
farm running. It was there on the family farm that young Edgar developed a
lifelong infatuation with mechanical equipment.
In eight grade during 1934 he graduated from school never to
return. He began working in his uncle's machine shop in Roseau. He marveled at
the mechanic trade and problem solving strategies that go hand and hand with
this type of work.
Hetteen worked many jobs before developing Hetten Hoist and
Derrick in 1948 including the OK Welding Company, the local Chevrolet garage and
the county highway department. Hetteen begin the business with his younger
brother Allen and special friend David Johnson. The primary cash cow of the
company was known as the "Polaris Straw Chopper".
1954 the company previously known as Hetten Hoist and
Derrick would become Polaris Industries. Named after the North Star, Polaris was
the northern most company in the United States at that time.