A chemistry major with a passion for research and development, Henry “Parker” Higley, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Parker was sought after by several laboratories and became well known throughout the United States. He enjoyed much success as a consultant developing formulas and products for a variety of companies. This experience led him to start his own business in Dubuque, Iowa in May of 1923 known today as Higley Industries, Inc.
One of his first formulas was developed to clean the United States Navy ships when they returned to port during World War II. Though the government pressed Parker to develop more products for them, as a businessman, he knew the war would come to an end and he was concerned for the livelihood of his employees.
During the depression, he became committed to developing solutions for schools, the city, and the state due to the growth potential. Parker believed in surrounding himself with the best people. His first six sales people worked at Higley for an average of 35 years covering territory in Kansas City, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa with a focus on selling finishes and sealers for wood, tile and terrazzo floors.
Parker’s operating philosophy centered on one concept… QUALITY. If it wasn’t perfect, he would not sell it. His formulas were more concentrated than most of his competitors and customers loved using these superior products. During his time as a chemist and entrepreneur, Parker developed well over 1000 formulas.