About Us

Frankenmuth’s Early History of Power & Light

Franz Ranke was born in 1855 and arrived in Frankenmuth with his parents in 1856. He was educated at St. Lorenz. Known as an “Idea Man” – a “Visionary,” Franz became a business entrepreneur in his early 20’s.

After Franz founded the Frankenmuth Milling Co. on the banks of the Cass River, the Village of Frankenmuth received electricity, provided by the company’s water power. This allowed the old oil street lamps to become a thing of the past. 

In 1912, Franz became the Founder and first President of Frankenmuth Power and Light Company. Fred Nuechterlein, who had previously worked as a teller and cashier at the bank, was hired as a clerk to collect light bills, be treasurer, and keep books. From 1912-1918, Fred was on the company’s Board of Directors. In 1919, the Power and Light Company relocated to their new office at 146 S. Main Street, at which time they started to develop the appliance business. Fred continued to operate the power company until 1926, when Frankenmuth Power and Light Company was sold to Consumers Power Company. 

Fred also owned his own business while working for Frankenmuth Power and Light Co., operating as Fred G Nuechterlein- Electrical Contractor. In addition to electrical service, he also operated an appliance store. In 1952, he sold the business to his employee, and nephew, Lawrence Nuechterlein.

Lawrence Nuechterlein

The History of Nuechterlein Electric, Inc. 

Lawrence Nuechterlein, Founder/Former Owner – 1952-1970
Lawrence Nuechterlein attended Arthur Hill Trade School, where he received his formal electrical and wiring training in 1938. In 1940, he received his training in radio and electronics through correspondence school, and in 1942 went to residence radio school in Detroit.

Lawrence joined the army in December 1942 and was discharged in 1945. Shortly after, in January of 1946, he went to work for his uncle, Fred Nuechterlein, as a radio repairman at his appliance business. Lawrence worked for his uncle until 1952, when Fred sold the electrical contracting and appliance business to him, and he began operating under the new name of Nuechterlein Electric.
Lawrence Nuechterlein

Tom Fechter, Former Owner – 1970-1997

In 1970, Lawrence Nuechterlein decided to sell the business, and Tom Fechter became the new owner of Nuechterlein Electric. However, Lawrence still worked at the business. Tom decided to restructure the business to add change and increase growth. Tom built the first half of The Midtown Shops. After this the appliance and electrical side of the business started to grow, and so did the number of employees.
In 1973, Tom Erdman started working for Nuechterlein Electric as an intern. After obtaining his Degree in Electrical Technology from Michigan State University, he came to work full time for Tom Fechter.

Tom Fechter had added Frankenmuth TV & Appliance to the corporation and sold the appliances under that name. He sent Tom Erdman to Whirlpool Appliance Repair School to allow him to repair appliances, in addition to wiring. Tom continues his education at MSU, and received his State of Michigan Journeyman’s License in 1976 and his Master’s License in 1978. 

In 1980, Tom Fechter sold Frankenmuth TV & Appliance to Grant Engel. At the same time, Tom Erdman became a stockholder of Nuechterlein Electric. For more than 10 years, Lawrence Nuechterlein, Tom Fechter, and Tom Erdman worked together and saw the electrical contracting business grow tremendously. In 1986. Lawrence Nuechterlein retired from Nuechterlein Electric, with more than 30 years in the electrical business.
Tom E

Tom Erdman, President/Owner Nuechterlein Electric, Inc.

After more than 25 years of owning Nuechterlein Electric, Tom Fechter decided to retire. He sold the business to Tom Erdman, who had worked at Nuechterlein for 24 years, the last 10 as partner. Since then, Tom Erdman has served on the Frankenmuth Rotary Club Board of Directors, Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Frankenmuth DDA Board, Michigan Fire Safety Board and the State of Michigan Electrical Administrative Board.

The traditions that Lawrence Nuechterlein started in 1952 are still ongoing today. Our company continues to grow stronger and now provides commercial, industrial and residential services throughout the state of Michigan. 

Nuechterlein Electrics focus is the same now as it was in 1952….to get the job done on time, within budget, and with the highest quality in wiring.

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