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Sylvan Grove
Business and Industry,
Part 2


Excerpts from chapter: "Business and Industry Through The Years" from "Honoring Our Heritage" by Marge Lawson, pg. 52. Used with permission of the author.

Part 2

Justice G.P. Ide had an office in part of the next building. It was a residence owned by Sarah Bell. The telephone office was in the front part and Mrs. Bell and her family occupied the back rooms and the upstairs. The telephone company was later moved several doors south. AT one time Ben Wright and then Fred Oetting had produce stores in the building. Frank Pugh bought hides and furs. Bell Springs Creamery was located here and then Tom Vonada had a dry cleaning store. Bill and Ruth Thrun bought the residence and had a creamery in the building. Sigle's machine shop was built on the site.
On the corner and to the west was a wooden jail. Across the street to the north in 1905 was Fred Rolfe's blacksmith shop. A new central office for the telephone company was built here in 1916. Crossing the street to the east was Minnie Johnson's Millinery in the house where Virge Lawson lives. Going back south on the east side of the street in 1905, the first spot was an empty space. In later years B.F. Foster had Al Hinkson and Joe Decker build the large stone building which was used for his produce. After that Frank and Lou Meyer had an auto repair service and sold Plymouth cars. Henry Diers bought the building and sold International Harvester implements. Rolland Geyer used the building for his Case and Minneapolis dealership.
The first business south was Hill Hardware. It was later Harwi Hardware. the building was later divided into two parts, one part run by the Farmer's Elevator which was organized in 1905 and the other part was Grendell's garage where Whippet cars were sold. Later Grendell sold DeSotos. Bacon and Lance Shoe and Harness Shop and then Towner's Garage was in this building. The two parts became Kaempfe's Produce.
Hopfer Dry Goods and Groceries was the next store. It was later Ray Eckleman's Market and is currently Andy's General Store. The Sylvan Music Co. is located in the north part. The next building was the Star Hotel and Restaurant operated by Mike Mersch. It later was a produce store run by Bill Wohler. Ervin and Millie Shepherd also had a cream store. Leo Kepka had a barber shop in the building.
In 1905, the next building was the Cuddy Drugstore. Thaemert's Music Store moved into the location and then it became a cafe. Some of the owners were Edna Miller, John Naegele, Ruth Eckleman who gave the cafe the name of the "Home Cafe", Alberta Beverly and Elta Chegwidden. The building then became a pool hall.

The next building was the post office, which was later a cafe operated by Edna Miller, Ben and Eda Wright and George Urban. South of that was H.F. Foster's feed store, which was later torn down. Before housing Foster's Produce it was a livery barn with an office for S.R. Lawson's implement company. Dr. Shelksohn's was located where the Sylvan State Bank is currently.
In 1905 John Seirer's blacksmith shop was east of Meitler's Service. Meitler's Service belonged to William Wohler, Sr. as a furniture store. It was also the home of William Kohler's Harness Shop. At one time Alvin Oswald sold paint and hardware in the store.
The next building was Jack Urban's Cafe. It was later the post office. Dr. Shelksohn had his office in the building for awhile. It became a residence and then was torn down. The next building in 1905 was C.M. Sigley's restaurant. Later the south side was Mrs. Altman's Cleaning and Altering and the north side was Pudge Hurlbut's Barber Shop. It was also located on the site of the new Post Office.
The next building was the Sylvan Grove News office. It was replaced by a building with a big oven built in the back. Mert Stout built the building for his bakery and cafe. Later it was run by Walter Thorpe. It was then a drug store run by C.B. and Sue Wiley for nearly twenty years. After they retired Bill and Alberta Beverly took over and then Lorna Lovin remodeled the building into a cafe. Currently Pete and Nancy Falcon own and operate the cafe.
Next was a building which housed the combined business of Buehring's Barber Shop and Raffety's Fair Store. The Livery Stable was run by Andy Bowen in 1905. Then came the Anderson Hotel. Next to the hotel was a small park. Mart Wunderlich's grain office was right south of the park and then came the railroad depot. During the 1920's Mart Wunderlich had a flour mill in the elevator called the Sylvan Grove Roller Mills. All the bakeries baked bread out of the flour which was called the "Pride of Sylvan".
Leidigh and Haven's had the lumber yard which is currently owned by Lois and Les Walter. H.H. Jack had a lumber yard located east of Kasiska's.
In 1925, Sylvan again lost part of main street to a fire. The fire started around 6:00 in the evening of June 25 in the livery barn. The wind was blowing between sixty and seventy miles per hour when the fire started. Buildings burned were Buehring's Barber Shop, S.M. Lawson Co., Seirer's Ford Garage, Rubin Alley Jewelry Store and Jim Alley Pool Hall, the livery stable also owned by Jim Alley, and the hotel then owned by Grattige. The wind whipped burning shingles over the north end of the town and as far as Oscar Wohler's place, three-quarters of a mile north of town.
Losing that many buildings was bad enough but H.F. Rengstorf, a teacher at the Lutheran school was assessing the damage with Hugo Buehring when a wall fell and he was caught beneath. he was rushed to the hospital but died on the way.
After the fire Buehring rebuilt his barber shop. He ran it until 1946 when Lela Pearson and Agnes Brichacek began the NuStyle Shop. Lela took over the business naming the shop Milady's Shoppe. She has been in business for 30 years.
A cafe was built in the S.M. Lawson Co. location. It was run by John and Emma Smith, George Corbett, Barney Sailors, Scott Dillet, Hans Paulson, Gordon Meitler, Andy Anderson, Ed and Alvina Brichacek and Al Brozek.
Where Abe Seirer's garage was located, a new building was built which was the Fred Behrhorst garage, the Lou Serrien garage and then Abbendorf's garage.
The Farmer's Elevator is located where the hotel was. The present office was built in 1936. The new fire station is located on the site of the livery barn. The empty building north of the fire station was a beer tavern run by George Naegele. Ray Richards had his plumbing shop there.

Part 1, Business and Industry in Sylvan Grove
Part 3, Business and Industry in Sylvan Grove
Part 4, Business and Industry in Sylvan Grove


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