South Deering's first development was in 1875 when the Joseph H. Brown Iron and Steel Company opened near Lake Calumet. Irish, Welsh, English, Swedish, and German immigrant laborers came to the area for factory jobs. The prevalence of steel mills in the area ensured it was known as Irondale. International Harvester purchased Brown's mill soon after 1900 and then constructed Wisconsin Steel. Other companies opened factories, and the local economy boomed during this period.