The Meat Market – 524 West Water

The buildings at 524, left, and 520 West Water Street were known in my youth as the Luedtke meat market and Drill building, respectively. The buildings were erected in 1886 for Gustave Krueger (meat market) and Fred Mittlestaedt (saloon), respectively.

As with the Mueller Bros. drug store next door, tracing the history of the Gustave A. Krueger meat market at 524 West Water Street is relatively easy – it remained a meat market for about 90 years – while tracing the lineage of the lot before the brick building went up is more challenging.

I believe, though I have some reservations, Krueger’s brick building replaced what the Princeton Republic described as Princeton’s “sixth building to be used as a trading stand,” erected in the summer of 1850 by Waldo and Alvin Flint, who started a nursery on the west side of Princeton about the same time, and 19 years later home to the meat market of Hiram Loomis.

According to the history published by the Republic in 1869, “Jerome B. Fisher & Brothers put in a stock of dry goods, groceries, crockery, hardware, etc. The Fisher brothers sold goods some three years or more when W.S. Flint succeeded to their business and continued in trade perhaps a year, when Coates & Gilbert bought him out, and failed in about a year. Next E.B. Simpson followed with groceries and remained about a year, when A.C. Nye came in and was in turn succeeded by Harroune & Rawson, which firm continued in business nearly a year, when Harroune disposed of his interest to Wm. Rawson. The new firm of Rawson & Son sold goods another year, when the building and stock passed into the hands of C. Loomis.”

The Loomis family owned several Water Street lots in the 1860s and ‘70s, so trying to track the property records gets confusing. My theory is that when Hiram Loomis, who listed his occupation as butcher in the 1870 census, sold his building at 520 West Water Street to the Teske brothers in 1867, he moved his meat market to his brother’s building next door, to 524 West Water.

Hiram, it seems, was succeeded in 1872 by Fred Otto.

Princeton Republic, May 25, 1872 – “Fred Otto has opened a meat market in the east room of C.W. Loomis block on Water Street.”

Otto, who paid $400 for the property, sold it for $1,100 to August Swanke in 1877 (Deeds, Volume 30, Page 167 and Deeds, Volume 37, Page 277).

Kuehn & Krueger (Frank Kuehn and Gustave A. Krueger) ran the Princeton Market in Swanke’s building, first door east of Fisher’s restaurant, from July 1878 to January 1879, when the partnership dissolved, and Krueger forged on alone.

Krueger purchased the property from Swanke for $1,325 in April 1880 (Deeds, Volume 41, Page 224). The Republic reported a year later that Krueger was cleaning and painting the butcher shop and installing a new marble meat table. He also built a slaughterhouse across the river.

Princeton Republic, Aug. 30, 1883 – “Gus. Krueger, the live butcher, is about erecting a new slaughterhouse over on the west side, on land purchased of Swanke and Kunz, not far from the latter’s tannery. The dimensions of the building will be sufficiently ample to allow of Gus putting on city airs.”

After selling the rest of his lot to the Mueller brothers for their new brick drug store in 1885, Krueger replaced his frame building with a brick structure. He moved his operation into the Demell block (513-519 West Water Street) during construction. He sold the existing building to John Paul, who moved it to his property on the west end of Water.

Princeton Republic, March 25, 1886 – “Gus. Krueger’s block will be a magnificent addition to the village. It will extend back 80 feet, will be two stories in height and put up in as substantial a shape as brick and stone can be put together.”

Princeton Republic, Thursday, April 1, 1886 – “Tim Paull commenced moving Gus. Krueger’s building this week to make room for that new brick and stone block. John Pahl has purchased the Krueger building and when it ceases moving it will permanently rest on his property below G. Luedtke’s wagon shops.”

Princeton Republic, May 27, 1886 – “Mr. Hadrich commenced laying brick on the Krueger and Mittlestaedt block this morning.”

Princeton Republic, September 23, 1886 – “Gus Krueger is now established in his new meat market. He has the neatest and best finished meat market in Green Lake County.”

Krueger maintained the meat market until August 1917 when he leased the building to R.A. Luedtke, who had been operating a market in one of Gardner Green’s buildings on lower Water Street.

Luedtke purchased the property, which eventually passed to his son Arthur, in May 1922 (Deeds, Volume 83, Page 623).

Princeton Republic, June 8, 1922 – “Last week a deal came to a close between G.A. Krueger and R.A. Luedtke whereby the latter became the owner of the former’s meat market building. Mr. Luedtke has been in possession of the building as a renter for the past several years but decided to become the owner.”

Princeton Republic, March 5, 1935 – “Recently a deal was consummated between R. A. Luedtke and his son Arthur whereby the latter takes over his father’s meat market business. Arthur, who has been with his father in the business for the past number of years, is thoroughly acquainted in every phase of the business.”

Arthur Luedtke purchased the property from his widowed mother, Lena, in January 1938 and continued the business for nearly another 30 years.

Luedtke sold to Bernard and Dorothy Naparalla in April 1967 (Deeds, Volume 204, Page 353). Allen Pompa became a joint tenant in 1972 and later operated the business as Al’s Market. Ken Naparalla, Bernie and Dorothy’s son, also operated the market for a time.

I have not researched more recent occupants or owners, but I know The Princeton Gardener, selling antiques, garden tools and toys, filled the space in 2004. And, according to the City of Princeton Historical Walking Tour, the building was home to The Green Willow, featuring nature inspired gifts, organic products and garden accessories, in 2007 and Kate’s Closet Boutique, a consignment and resale store, in 2012. No information is provided regarding the owners.

(I have not verified the walking tour information, which has not been updated for some time.)

Dover Street Collected Home (vintage home decor), which previously was located at 620 West Water, moved into the building in January 2021.

If you can fill in any of the gaps in the Krueger meat market history, please let me know. Thanks for caring and reading about local history.

Next: The history of the Mittlestaedt/Drill building at 520 West Water Street.

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