This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (January 2020)
Fred Usinger, an apprentice sausage maker from Wehen in Germany, emigrated to Milwaukee in the late 1870s. Usinger found work at a small butcher shop on Third Street owned by a Mrs. Julia Gaertner. After approximately a year, Usinger purchased Gartner's business and married her niece, Louise. The couple grew the business and, eventually, their sausage was being shipped nationally.
Usinger's produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes.
Michael Bartlett's 1984 book The Book of Bests decreed, "If we were forced to pick just one 'great' hot dog we'd probably go with Usinger's of Milwaukee. Usinger's line of cold cuts reaches heights of quality and flavor rarely achieved in this country." Former New York Times food writer Mimi Sheraton wrote in 1973, "Now, the good news. If ever I decide to move to Milwaukee, it will be because of Usinger's..."
- Fredrich, Lori (February 23, 2018). "Made in Milwaukee: Usinger's". On Milwaukee. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
- Bartlett, Michael. The Book of Bests: Exploring the world of quality: A guide to the best things life has to offer Kansas City: Andrews, McMeel & Parker, 1984
- Sheraton, Mimi. "Food/ Made to Be Sold, Not Eaten." New York Sep. 3, 1973, p. 67.