History

A legacy of innovation, focused on the future

Patterson has always upheld a simple philosophy to help build our customers’ success: providing the most innovative products at competitive prices, delivered with personal service and satisfaction guarantee.
 
This rich history started in 1877 when John Patterson and his brother Myron Fayette (M.F.) Patterson purchased a Milwaukee drugstore. The young, enterprising brothers soon added dental and surgical supplies to their regular stock of medicines, extracts, toiletries, brushes, perfumes and soaps.
In his horse and buggy travels, M.F. Patterson became impressed with the business potential in the rapidly growing Northwest territories. In agreement with his brother, M.F. acquired the dental interests of their drugstore in 1891, and then moved the Company to St. Paul, Minn. In 1938, John F. Patterson was elected president of the M.F. Patterson Dental Supply Company. By 1959, Patterson operated 40 branch locations. Five years later, W.O. Patterson was named chairman and chief executive officer.
Peter L. Frechette joined Patterson in 1982. As chief executive officer, he led the Company in a series of purchases to broaden its operation base. The 1987 acquisition of D.L. Saslow Co. sparked a series of market consolidating activity which focused on strengthening the Company’s national position as well as diversifying product and technology offerings.
 
The early 2000s saw the Company reach $1 billion in sales through continued acquisitions of privately held family-run businesses like that of Guggenheim Brothers Dental Supply Co., as well as its diversification into a broader set of healthcare-driven markets, including veterinary supplies. James W. Wiltz was named chief executive officer in 2005.
 
Patterson is still proud to be headquartered in St. Paul and is currently led by CEO Scott Anderson. The Company continues expanding its market presence through acquisitions and internal startups, as well as by bolstering the value-added capabilities of both Patterson Dental and Patterson Animal Health.