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Stephen F. Briggs

Stephen Briggs
Stephen F. Briggs

Distinguished Engineer

Hometown: Watertown

Electrical Engineering,

Stephen F. Briggs was best known for the experimental gasoline engine he designed in the engineering laboratories while a student at South Dakota State College. His industrial career began with the opening of the Lempke-Briggs and Stratton Co. (now Briggs and Stratton Corp.) in 1909 where he continued the development of engines along with other products. He served as president and later as chairman of the board of the company until 1948. In 1929, he took part in organizing the Outboard Motor Corp., which developed and produced the well-known Evinrude boat engines. In 1936, the firm was merged with Johnson Motor Co. to form the Outboard Marine Manufacturing Co. and Briggs served as chairman of the board until 1963. He also served as chairman of the board of the Beach and Arthur Paper Co. and the Continental Diamond Fibre Co. Briggs was a great supporter of scholarships and established the Stephen F. Briggs Family Scholarship at SDSU. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by SDSC in 1956 and was recognized as a SDSC Distinguished Alumnus in 1961.