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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Sheboygan Press April 29, 1927

Sheboygan Falls Businesses

Progressive Business Men Of Falls Building Up A Prosperous City


The steady and substantial growth of Sheboygan Falls during the last decade is due, in no small degree, to the progressive merchants and professional men who have kept pace with modern times, and co-operated in an aggressive movement to increase the prosperity of the community.

Among the most prominent of these are those whose names appear in the following review of the business and professional section of the city.

Brickner Woolen Mills

In point of continuous years of operation no other manufacturing industry is more intimately connected with the early history and development of Sheboygan Falls than is the Brickner Woolen Mills, ideal successor to one of the oldest manufacturing concerns in this region.

The name of Brickner became associated with this enterprise in 186? when George H. Brickner bought a half interest in what was then known as the Falls Woolen Mills from William Prentice, and formed a partnership with B. F. Heald, under the firm name of Brickner & Heald. Four years later Mr. Brickner bought Mr. Heald's interest and thus became the sole owner of the property.

George H. Brickner carried on the business alone until 1887, when the increased volume of business made it necessary to expand the facilities for manufacturing. Accordingly, in May, 1887, the Brickner Woolen Mills was incorporated with a capital stock of $?????.

Factory Built In 1879

In the summer of 1879, the (????) section of the present factory building was constructed. It is a one-story brick, 200 feet long and ?? feet wide, known as a six-set (???) and is operated by water power owned by the company. The building was completed during the (????) of 1880 and the machinery was moved from the original building on the east side of the river into the newly erected brick structure.

The business continued to increase until it was deemed necessary to add to the floor space. In 1884 the north addition was built and in 1920 another large addition was attached to the south end of the main building.

In 1882 a new warehouse was constructed on the west side of the river adjacent to the railroad tracks. This was made necessary by the increased volume of business and the resultant congestion in the main building. This warehouse was used for the storing of wool and finished cloth, but since the present office building was completed, wool has been stored in this section of the plant.

The building in which the office is now located was erected in 1883. Prior to that time the office was located in a portion of the main (???) building, but the noise produced by the machinery compelled the company to erect a building removed from the confusion. During the (???) of 1883-1884, while building was in progress, for several weeks the temperature did not rise above twenty-five degrees below zero. Four box stoves were kept going in order that the men employed might finish the interior of the building.

Started As A Custom Mill

This was originally a custom mill and farmers brought wool which was exchanged for finished cloth, cash or other commodities. (???) however, the demand for woolen cloth having increased, Mr. Brickner added a wholesale department to the business. He made regular trips to ports on the west side of Lake Michigan, selling finished cloth and also buying wool from the centers located in the various towns.

During the recent years William Brickner, son of the late George Brickner, founder of the present company owning an operating the mill, has been guiding head of the industry which manufactures and deals, both wholesale and retail, in a general line of woolen goods, particularly suiting the overcoat cloths for men's wear. In addition to the main building located on the west side of the river, the Brickner Woolen Mills own the old foundry building which is on the north side of the street near the west approach to the bridge, which is utilized as a warehouse, and also the original mill building which stands on the east side of the river opposite the present mill. The latter building is classified as Warehouse No. 1.

Falls Bank

The Falls Bank was established in 1874, originally as a branch of the former German bank of Sheboygan. In 1902, to conform with the state law governing banking institutions, the bank was taken over by local stockholders and the name changed to that of the German Bank of Sheboygan Falls. Later there was a re-organization and the name was again changed, and since then has been known as the Falls Bank.

Abner O. Heald, now president of the bank, has been identified with the institution since 1886. Other officers are W. C. Brickner, vice-president; A. L. Leavens, cashier; E. G. Roehl, assistant cashier.

H. F. Mallmann

The leading hardware dealer in Sheboygan Falls is H. F. Mallmann, who started in this business during the year 1913. He soon won the confidence of the people residing in that section of the county, which resulted in a steady increase in the volume of business.

This increase called for expansion and also for more modern conveniences. Accordingly, in 1920, extensive alterations were made to the building which he occupies, including a very attractive store front having ample window room for the display of merchandise.

In addition to a general line of hardware, Mr. Mallmann installs heating systems, plumbing, electrical work, tinning and sheet metal work. Five competent men are employed at this work.

Kehl Cigar Co.

The Kehl Cigar company was started in 1881 by Jacob Kehl. One year later he moved from the city and the business was purchased by his brother, Frank, who has carried on the business ever since.

The Kehl Cigar company occupies the building located on the east side of Broadway directly north of the railroad tracks. Among the leading brands of cigars made by this company are La Carma, Marguerite, Frogs, Mascot and Casper Dane.

William C. Kutzback

The name of Kutzback has been identified with the custom tailoring business in Sheboygan Falls for three-quarters of a century. William C. Kutzback followed the trade of his father, beginning to learn the trade on February 7, 1879. In 1888, under the firm name of Kutzback and Thomas, he started in business in a small building located on Pine street. Since that time he has moved on two different occasions, the last time in November, 1923, to the building he now occupies on the east side of Broadway, a few doors north of the railroad tracks.

Besides custom tailoring and taking of special orders for garments, Mr. Kutzback specializes in cleaning and general repairing of men's and women's clothing.

The Stroub Pharmacy

Frank A. Stroub, sole owner of the Stroub Pharmacy, served his apprenticeship, in the store he now owns, with W. H. Barrager, from 1908 to 1911. Later he entered Marquette University, graduating from the pharmacy department of that institution with a Ph. G. degree on June 1, 1913. Immediately he accepted a position as prescription clerk in a drug store at Kenosha where he remained until April 1, 1916, when he returned to Sheboygan Falls and purchased the drug store of his former employer.

When he took possession, he had the store remodeled and many improvements made to the interior, including electric lights, a steam heating system, and a modern plate glass front. In 1918 new fixtures were installed, adding greatly to the appearance and convenience of the store.

The business has steadily increased and to provide for further expansion, in the fall of 1924, an addition fifteen by twenty feet was built on the rear and fitted up as a music room for the proper display and handling of phonographs and radio sets.

This drug store had been equipped so as to compare favorably with similar stores in much larger cities, when on February 9, of this year, a fire almost completely destroyed the building. While rebuilding is in progress, Mr. Stroub occupied temporary quarters in the Dean building, but is now back at his original store.

Fessler's Store, Inc.

Fessler's Store, Inc., was established in Sheboygan Falls in November, 1917, as a branch of the B. A. Fessler store at Sheboygan. The building occupied is located on the west side of Broadway directly south of the railroad tracks, and is one of the few buildings on the west side of the river which is linked with the earliest history of the community, dating back almost to the first settlement of the village.

This store deals extensively in dry goods and groceries, the energetic business spirit of the Fessler store in Sheboygan being carried on at the Falls store by Ernst Wuestenhagen, the aggressive manager of Fessler's Store, Inc.

Falls Beauty Shoppe

While this is a new enterprise, it fills a long-felt want in Sheboygan Falls. The "shoppe" was established and opened on September 1, 1926, and has enjoyed a liberal patronage from the start. Competent operators are in charge and give painstaking service in all things connected with a place of this kind.

Never The Tailor

In 1866 John Never opened a custom tailoring shop in a small frame building which formerly stood on the site now occupied by the Mallmann hardware store on the east side of Broadway. A few years later he moved to another building near where the office of the Brickner Woolen Mills now stands. After a fire in 1879 destroyed two buildings on Pine street, Mr. Never erected the two-story brick building located at the southwest corner of Pine street and Broadway, where he opened a gent's furnishing and tailor shop.

After his death, Mrs. Never continued the business with her son, Henry, managing the establishment up to the present time. The fact that this business has been successful for more than sixty years, while competitors have come and gone, Mr. Nevers attributes to the policy of giving dollar for dollar in all business dealings with customers. Fair and square dealing was the motto of John Never and this has ever been the motto of his son, Henry, who now has the management of the business.

Herber's Confectionery

This business was started by Louis J. Herber in July. 1917, and has enjoyed the liberal patronage of the community since it was first established.

The building in which this place is located stands on the west side of Broadway near Pine street, in the heart of the downtown business district. Mr. Herber was born in Sheboygan Falls and has resided there all his life.

In addition to an excellent line of confectionery, ice cream and sodas, inviting lunches are served.

J. Roska And Son

In May, 1897, John Roska started this business by buying out Otis Trowbridge who had taken over the old Louis Wolf boot and shoe store at 105 Pine street. In 1916, Mr. Roska took his son, Herbert C., into partnership and the business was continued under the name J. Roska and Son. At the time this partnership was formed, the old building in which the store was located was remodeled, a new front built in, and the building made modern in every respect.

When Herbert C. Roska returned home after the World war, in 1919, he bought his father's interest, continuing the business alone under the name of J. Roska and Son.

This is now one of the leading exclusive shoe stores in Sheboygan Falls. A large and diversified line of men's, women's and children's shoes and hosiery are always carried in stock, giving to the people of that vicinity a choice of selection equal to that offered by similar stores in much larger cities. A first class shoe repairing department is maintained in connection with the store.

L. A. Pierce

One of the rising young business men of Sheboygan Falls is L. A. Pierce who, in 1922, started in business for himself by opening a grocery store on Pine street.

Mr. Pierce was born in Sheboygan Falls and has lived there all his life. He has been engaged in the grocery business for many years and is well known throughout the city and vicinity.

Although he has been in business for himself for only four years, Mr. Pierce has succeeded in building up a lucrative trade which is steadily increasing in volume.

Guy Melendy

Prominent among technical workmen in Sheboygan Falls is Guy Melendy, a leading electrical contractor in that community.

In July, 1923, he purchased the electrical business established by Philo Dean and since that time has carried on the business in the building located on the south side of Pine street west of Broadway.

Mr. Melendy is a careful and expert electrician, and does all kinds of electrical work, including the care of storage batteries.

He deals in all kids of electrical fixtures, as well as selling and installing radio sets.

Pine Street Meat Market

On August 26, 1908, E. H. Blust and G. J. Ter Maat entered into a partnership and established the Pine Street Meat Market, located at 203 Pine street, in the building erected many years ago by a man named Brush. This has since become the leading meat market in the community and under the competent management of E. H. Blust, work is now in progress to make the market more inviting. A five-ton ice machine with cork insulation is being installed, together with two ice-boxes, also corked. One of the ice-boxes will serve the market and the other will be used in the curing room of salt meats and also for the sausage kitchen.

When these appliances are installed, the market will be supplied with up-to-date refrigeration and will permit the giving of better service to the customers.

The Hussman counter in the shop is to be connected with the ice machine.

In addition to the retailing of meat, Messrs. Blust and Ter Maat are extensive buyers and shippers of livestock.

A. W. Rauschert

One of the most progressive and aggressive business men in Sheboygan Falls is A. W. Rauschert, who started in the retail furniture business in July, 1923. About a year ago he opened what is known as "The Furniture Home," located on Giddings avenue. This was formerly the George A. Robbins home, and Mr. Rauschert inaugurated the unique plan of arranging the interior of this house in such a manner as to show the various designs of furniture and other house furnishings. The furnishings in this home are changed from time to time, in order to give customers different ideas in regard to styles of furniture, floor coverings and draperies. This has proved very popular.

In his store located on the south side of Pine street, Mr. Rouschert carries a stock of furniture and floor coverings.

Sheboygan Falls Merc. Co.

One of the rapidly growing retail establishments in Sheboygan Falls is the Sheboygan Falls Mercantile company, which was organized in 1921 by Al. E. Koeppe, Leon Pierce and Lee Limberg.

These three enterprising young men took over the business which, for about thirty-eight years previously, had been conducted by Wachter Bros.

One year after the mercantile company was organized Koeppe and Leonard Kalk bought Pierce's interest in the business, and since that time they have had supervision of the store, which is located on the south side of Pine street, near Detroit street.

Recently the store was remodeled and greatly improved in appearance. This was made necessary on account of the increasing business and the urgent need for additional space for the handling of a larger stock of dry goods, fruits, groceries and notions, which form the lines carried by the company.

H. W. Schlichting & Sons

In point of continuous years of business, the H. W. Schlichting & Sons Cash and Carry Grocery is the oldest establishment of its kind in the city. It was started in 1896 by H. Schlichting, Sr., in a building 40 by 95 feet, erected by him at the northwest corner of Pine and Buffalo streets.

In 1923 a new policy for conducting the business was adopted by changing the original method to that of cash and carry grocery, which proved a decided success and resulted in almost trebling the sales.

In 1927 the store was again remodeled and enlarged, giving the store a modern appearance and making it the largest cash and carry grocery store in Sheboygan county.

At the present time five hands are employed in handling the sales.

The firm includes H. W. Schlichting, F. H. Schlichting, Paul F. Schlichting, and Carlos Schlichting.

Lindner Shoe Store

Among the many progressive young business men for which Sheboygan Falls is noted, none stand out more conspicuously that does L. L. Lindner, sole owner of an exclusive shoe store located on the north side of Pine street.

This store was established about thirty-five years ago by R. A. Lindner. In 1912, the son, L. L. Lindner, became associated with his father in the business. After the father's death in 1916, L. L. Lindner took over the business and since then has been the sole owner.

Mr. Lindner carries a large stock of stylish footwear and maintains a department for high class shoe repairing.

Falls Theatre

In 1911 Ernest Wibben opened a motion picture theatre in a building located next door to the City Hotel. This form of entertainment becoming popular, in order to obtain greater seating capacity, Wibben moved to the Hertzberg block on Pine street the following year. In 1913 R. B. Guyett bought the motion picture house and after one year removed the equipment into the building which had been occupied by the Sanford Tire Shop, where it was known as the Rose Theatre.

Mr. Guyett remained at this location until the present new building was completed in 1916, when he took possession and continued operating the theatre until 1917, when it was purchased by Ed. Kirtcher. The latter conducted the theatre until 1921, when it was taken over by P. M. Cain, the present owner. Mr. Cain aims to please the public, and to this end high class films are shown.

J. P. Schneider

One of the most popular and painstaking blacksmiths in the vicinity of Sheboygan Falls is J. P. Schneider, whose shop is located on Pine street where Detroit street intersects with that thoroughfare.

Mr. Schneider began his apprenticeship twenty-eight years ago with John Reichert in the old Benedict shop which was located at the north end of Broadway. Two years later he started in business for himself, and since that time has been the leading blacksmith in this vicinity. Eight years ago he took possession of the shop which he now occupies.

Twenty-seven years ago Mr. Schneider became an active member of the volunteer fire department, and during the past fourteen years has been acting chief of the department.

R. H. Thomas

The name of R. H. Thomas has been identified with the business development of Sheboygan Falls for many years. He was associated with the firm of R. H. Thomas & Sons, which rebuilt and newly equipped the flour mill later known as the Falls Roller Mills.

In 1916 he was elected county clerk of Sheboygan county and after serving his term, in 1919, he purchased the lumber yard which for a number of years had been owned and conducted by H. E. Boldt on Buffalo street north of the railroad tracks. In addition to a large supply of lumber of all kinds, R. H. Thomas deals extensively in other building materials.

Hugo Vowinkel

Hugo Vowinkel, general plumbing contractor is a new addition to the business circles of Sheboygan Falls, having established a shop on Pine street about a year ago.

Prior to that time, he was associated with his father and brother in the plumbing business in the city of Sheboygan for a number of years. Mr. Vowinkel's experience in this line of work qualifies him to properly install the most exacting nature of plumbing.

Falls Auto Company

In 1916 Jacob Buhler started a garage and began dealing in automobiles in a building located on Buffalo street. In 1919 he moved into a building on the north side of Pine street, west of Broadway, which he now occupies as a sales room and service station.

Under the name of Falls Auto company, Mr. Buhler is sales agent for the Chevrolet and Buick automobiles.

The service station, which is open day and night, is in charge of careful and competent mechanics, who are ready at all times to give prompt and efficient automobile service.

Otto Hering

Otto Hering, the genial wood, coal and ice man, started in this business in 1914, when he bought out Peter Kwekkeboom, who previously had carried on the business which was established many years ago.

The main office is located in the building at the northeast corner of Buffalo street directly north of the railroad tracks. This building originally was the barn of the old Guyett House. Cal. Jones started the business to which he was succeeded by Louis Weisse.

In addition to wood, coal and ice, Mr. Hering does general trucking.

John Bauernfeind

One of the most alert and enterprising business men in Sheboygan Falls is John Bauernfeind, who in May, 1895, organized the Sheboygan Falls Mutual Fire Insurance company of which he is general manager.

This company was incorporated in 1899 with the following officers: Otto Ballschnider, president; Joseph Oethelder, vice-president; J. H. James, secretary; H. E. Boldt, treasurer; John Bauernfeind, manager.

At the present time the officers are: Joseph Osthelder, president; R. H. Thomas, vice president; John Bauernfeind, secretary and manager; H. E. Boldt, treasurer; L. W. Schlieder, assistant secretary.

The main office of the company is located in a convenient office on the west side of Buffalo street adjacent to the R. H. Thomas lumber yard and office building.

Sheboygan Falls Creamery

The Sheboygan Falls Creamery company is the outgrowth of one of the first cheese factories in Sheboygan county. The men now associated in this company have been identified with the dairy business for more than thirty years.

The present company was organized on June 1, 1920, and incorporated as the Sheboygan Falls Creamery. Butter and cheese were the exclusive products of the company for the first year, but in 1921 the building was remodeled and a large addition built in order to provide space for the proper handling of milk and other dairy products.

On November 1, 1921, the company operated only one wagon, while at the present time twelve wagons and motor trucks are required to deliver milk , butter, cream, cooked and cottage cheese to the host of patrons in Kohler, Sheboygan Falls, and the city of Sheboygan. When the company was incorporated only four men were employed, whereas at the present time thirty-six men are required to carry on the business.

The officers at the time of incorporation and now are as follows:

O. A. Damrow, president and general manager
Henry Blanke, vice president
Ernst C. Boll, secretary
R. P. Dassow, treasurer

Falls Lime And Stone Co.

The quarry now owned by the Falls Lime and Stone company has been operated for about sixty years, during which time it has changed ownership several times. During the earlier years hundreds of loads of stone for building purposes were hauled from this quarry, but during the recent years the hauling includes stone, sand and cement for the construction of walls and walks.

The main yards and office of the company are located on Monroe street directly east of Chicago and Northwestern railway station. From a comparatively small beginning, this enterprise has grown to be one of the largest of its kind in this region.

The company now deals extensively in retailing and wholesaling hydrated lime, plasters, fire brick, fire clay, flue lining, rock lath, building materials, wood and coal.

The present officers of the company are:

William F. Schissler, president
William E. Hildebrand, Sr., vice-president
William Hildebrand, Jr., secretary
Louis Hildebrand, treasurer and manager

Kroeger Wagon Shop

In point of continuous years of operation, the Kroeger Wagon Shop is the oldest one of its kind in Sheboygan Falls, having been established by Chas. Kroeger in 1870 in one of the first frame business buildings erected on Broadway south of Pine street. In 1878, Mr. Kroeger moved this building to its present site on the west side of Buffalo street directly north of the railroad tracks, where he continued the shop alone until 1907 when he took his son, Fred, into partnership.

Since his father's death, which occurred in 1920, Fred has carried on the business alone under the name of Kroeger Wagon Shop.

Prior to the advent of the automobile, Mr. Kroeger had an extensive business in carriages and wagons; but during the past few years the principal work has been confined to repairing, although special cab and motor truck body jobs are handled with satisfaction to the patrons.

Erdman Motor Company

The Erdman Motor company, located on the east side of the Sheboygan river, is successor to the Pine Auto company which was started in 1921 in a building located on Monroe street.

In 1926 the name was changed from the Pine Auto company to that of Erdman Motor company. At the same time a spacious modern garage was erected equipped with the latest time-saving appliances, to take care of the increasing volume of business.

The garage has a spacious four car show room, and contains parts, bins and accessory display counters. In the rear of the building is a large repair shop and a storage room. Eight men are employed to give prompt and efficient service to patrons.

The company deals in Ford cars and Fordson tractors, and the business has increased so rapidly during the past six years that further expansion will soon be necessary to provide adequate floor space to properly carry on the business. The company, however, has taken the precaution to acquire additional property for such a purpose. Willard V. Erdman is the manager.

Emil Schueffner

Prominent among general contractors in Sheboygan Falls is Emil Schueffner, who started in 1921 with headquarters located at 405 Buffalo street.

In 1924 Mr. Schueffner expanded his business by dealing in wood and coal and, at the same time, adding teaming to his regular trade as general contractor.

Starting in a small way, this business has increased to such an extent that at the present time thirteen men are constantly employed to give prompt and careful service to the public.

State Bank Of Sheboygan Falls

The State Bank of Sheboygan Falls was organized on May 7, 1910, and opened for the transaction of business in the building which it now occupies, located on the west side of Buffalo between Pine street and the railroad tracks. Henry Hillemann was the first president, and E. G. Roehl the first cashier. M. T. Hillemann acted as cashier from 1912 until his death which occurred in 1918, and since that time Henry G. Hillemann has filled that position with the institution.

Henry Hillemann, Sr., was president of the bank until he died in 1919, when John Bauernfeind was elected to fill this important post.

The present officers are as follows:

John Bauernfeind, president
R. P. Dassow, vice president
Henry G. Hillemann, cashier
C. H. Melzer, assistant cashier.

Mallmann Dairy

August C. Mallmann, sole owner of Mallmann's Dairy, started delivering milk to customers in Sheboygan Falls in 1915. Since the business was first established, at which time one wagon delivered only milk, it has grown to such an extent that another delivery wagon was found necessary.

The Mallmann Dairy depot is located at 223 Leavens street. In addition to milk, Mr. Mallmann also deals extensively in cream, butter, ice cream, cottage cheese, and cooked cheese. A large quantity of butter, ice cream, and cheese is delivered to patrons in the city of Sheboygan.

Milk is obtained from tested cows and is handled and sold under the best possible sanitary conditions.

Wood Tire Silo

The Wood Tire Silo company of Sheboygan Falls, is successor to the Falls Stanchion company, and its origin dates back to 1914, when it took over the assets of the latter named company. The company manufactures wood tire hollow wall silos in the factory building located on Clark street near the railroad tracks.

Four years ago, George A. Robbins, who had been a member of the company since its organization, retired from active business life, and since that time the business has been owned and operated by Julius K. Widder, president and general manager, and Joseph C. Widder, secretary and treasurer.

Falls Brick & Tile Co.

In 1905 Adolph O. Wachter, Chas. H. Wachter and Joseph P. Osthelder formed a partnership and established a brick and tile works in the building formerly occupied by the latter as a brewery. In 1921 the company was re-organized and incorporated under the name of Falls Brick & Tile company. At that time Osthelder sold out his interest and the following officers were elected:

President and Manager - Adolph O. Wachter
Vice-president - Raymond V. Wachter
Secretary and Treasurer - Chas. H. Wachter

Milford Wachter was appointed assistant secretary and bookkeeper.

Since the company was re-organized, extensive improvements have been made to the plant, including automatic equipment for burning brick and tile in downdraft kilns practically insuring 100 per cent results.

While the Falls Brick & Tile company does not claim to be the largest concern of its kind in this region, it does boast of burning the highest quality of brick and tile in Wisconsin, which are sold at the lowest possible price.

To facilitate the handling of the product, cars running on iron rails, convey the finished material to the dry-sheds, this lessening the cost of production.

An almost unlimited supply of different clay, sand and spring water is obtained in close proximity to the kilns.


Contributed by: Kay Reitberger

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