Mid-20th Century History of Oak Creek

Delco Electronics was an automotive electronics design and manufacturing subsidiary for General Motors Corporation.  And for years, the largest employer in Oak Creek.  The company traces its roots to Dayton Ohio in 1909.  Early innovations include the first reliable battery ignition system and automobile self-stater.

The company was acquired by GM in 1918.  By 1936, Delco pioneered the first dashboard radio installations.  In 1957, Delco came to Oak Creek, occupying a mammoth one million square foot facility.  Employment at the site would grow to 5,000 workers and by 1960, Oak Creek had grown in population to 9,372 residents, nearly doubling in size since 1950.

Eventually, Delco fell victim to the Great Recession in 2008 and closed operations in Oak Creek in 2009.  The site was idle until 2013 when it was redeveloped into Drexel Town Center, home to the Oak Creek City Hall, library and numerous shops and apartments.

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