Our History

The Wahlin Foundation’s history begins with its Founders, Don and Carol Wahlin of Stoughton, Wisconsin.

As a young couple from Madison, Wisconsin, Don with an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, took a job as an engineer for Moe, Parley and Corporation, (MPM) formerly Stoughton Cab and Body while Carol worked as a legal secretary for a law firm in Madison.  Six months into Don’s new position, MPM filed for bankruptcy.  Don was determined that the company could be profitable and with help and support from family and friends, Don and Carol bought MPM and renamed it Stoughton Truck Body which built regular and refrigerated trucks. The year was 1961.

In 1962, Don and Carol moved to Stoughton, Wisconsin and struggled to make the new business a success.  In addition to working for the company Carol focused on raising their growing family.  Don flew fighter jets for the Air National Guard out of Truax Field in Madison to help make ends meet and keep the family afloat.  The beginning years of starting a company were difficult for the two.  In 1965, the company was renamed Stoughton Trailer, Inc.

As the business started to move forward a disastrous fire burned the old MPM plant to the ground.  Don and Carol had to consider if they should start again from the beginning or count their losses and move on.  Thankfully they decided to continue with their business plan and the company bought the Academy Street Plant from the city, added on to it and continued to grow.  Additional Plants were built in Stoughton and in the ‘90’s manufacturing plants were built in Evansville and Brodhead Wisconsin.  In all we have over 1,000,000 square feet of manufacturing space located on over 80 acres of property.  Today, Stoughton Trailers LLC, focuses on the manufacturing of a variety of over the road semi-trailers and intermodal transportation equipment.  Products include; sheet and post dry freight vans, chasis, grain haulers and railroad containers. 

Over the years Don and Carol grew attached to the community of Stoughton and fostered deep friendships and respect for the employees of the company.  The Foundation was incorporated in 1999 to formerly address the charitable needs of the community.  But Don and Carol’s generosity did not begin there.  Throughout the decades Stoughton Trailers is and was very involved with the community.  Many large community projects where made possible by the involvement of the company and Don and Carol.  Some of these projects funded prior to the start of the Foundation would include the construction of the Mandt Community Center, the refurbishing of the Stoughton Opera House and support with additions to the Stoughton library as well as sponsorships for several community events such as providing flatbed trailers for the annual local Syttende Mai parade and festivities.

Having established the Wahlin Foundation, Don and Carol intend to continue their legacy of giving to the community into perpetuity.  Their hope is to provide opportunity for the community where they prospered for years to come.