LOTS O’ HISTORY: BLOCK 1, LOT 19 | SCHUETZEN HALL

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a photo of the first building that stood on Lot 19 of Block 1 of the Flint & Treat Addition platted in 1857.

On March 13, 1858, Princeton founder Royal Treat and his wife, Elizabeth, sold several parcels of land on the west side to Davis Waite, an early Princeton settler who was authorized by the state Legislature to build the canal, or mill race, that brought water from the Mecan River to Princeton through the west side to help power a local grist mill and later factories and an electric plant. (Deeds, Volume P, Page 483)

In February 1863, Treat sold Lot 19 and several parcels in Block 1 to August Reich (Rich) for $50 (Deeds, Volume U, Page 309). Through a series of transactions from 1873-1890, Lots 19 and 20 passed from Reich to August Swanke, William Glentz, William Knoblock and finally Frederick Schendel.

Schendel was a decorated veteran of the Franco-Prussian War and among the leaders of the Princeton Schuetzen Verein, a German shooting club that included a parade unit armed with Enfield rifles.

The group purchased a parcel 36-by-60 feet in the northeast corner of Lot 19 from Schendel for a clubhouse in November 1890. He charged them just $1, but the deed stipulated the Schuetzen Verein had to build their “headquarters, hall and armory” there within two years (Deeds, Volume 49, Page 167).

It did not take two months to erect the two-story building.

Princeton Republic, Dec. 4, 1890 – “The Schuetzen organization have commenced the erection of a hall over on the west side near Fred Schendel’s saloon. The dimensions will be some 35 feet in width and nearly 60 feet in length.”

Princeton Republic, Jan. 1, 1891 – “That new Schuetzen hall looks prominent over on the west side.”

The 1892 Sanborn map shows the Schuetzen Hall (at top) and the Schendel saloon on the corner of Main and Second streets.

Schendel and fellow Schuetzen Verein trustees Gottlieb Otto and William Lichtenberg later returned the property to Schendel (Deeds, Volume 50, Page 321), who remodeled.

This scan from the 1892 illustrated map of Princeton shows Schuetzen Hall (just left of “St.”) at about 925 West Main Street and the building with two additions on the corner of Main and Second streets that housed the west side’s first saloon.

Princeton Republic, March 7, 1895 – “F. Schendel is transforming Schuetzen Hall on the west side into store buildings with living rooms overhead.”

The first occupant was the cigar maker A. Ziebell & Company.

Princeton Republic, Oct. 15, 1896 – “The Princeton cigar factory of A. Ziebell & Co. has worked up a nice trade in Princeton and adjoining towns and is doing a fine business. The members of the firm, Arthur and Rudolph Ziebell, are accommodating young men, good cigar-makers and hustlers for business. They manufacture about a dozen different brands, some of which are private, and which find a ready sale. The factory has been located, for several months past, in the Schendel building on the west side, the Ziebell family occupying the living rooms overhead.”

The 1898 Sanborn fire insurance map shows the cigar factory has replaced Schuetzen Hall (at top).

Princeton Republic, Oct. 5, 1899 – “One of the busiest institutions in this place is Ziebell’s cigar factory, and they are turning out splendid cigars. They sell 100,000 of the Grand Western brand alone during the year.”

Schendel sold the Lot 19 property to Frank and Anton Zodrow for $2,300 in 1899 (Deeds, Volume 54, Page 391, Volume 55, Page 464).

Princeton Republic, March 9, 1899 – “Frank Zodrow, of Milwaukee, will arrive with his family Tuesday and will soon open up his butcher shop on the west side.”

Meanwhile, R.H. Miller replaced A.E. Ziebell’s brother as partner in the cigar business, and Ziebell & Miller built and moved into a new factory on Second Street in 1901.

Princeton Republic, Feb. 20, 1902 – “Frank Kroll and Barney Oelke have opened a grocery store in J. Messing’s building (see below) recently vacated by Ziebell & Miller. Their new stock of groceries is new and complete. They will also pay cash for butter and eggs.”

(Editor’s note: I believe “in J. Messing’s building” is an error, unless Messing owned the cigar factory building – which I cannot document – or Ziebell and Miller moved temporarily from Schendel’s cigar factory building to the Messing building one door west before relocating to Short Street. Messing is not listed in the deeds as ever owning Lot 19. My theory is Oelke and Kroll occupied the former cigar factory store next to the Zodrow store until 1904. See quas qui confusion below.)

The Zodrows sold Lot 19 to Schendel for $2,000 in April 1904 (Deeds, Volume 61, Page 595), and Oelke relocated the market he had founded with Kroll to the 600 block of West Water Street in May 1904.

The cigar factory (at top) was listed as vacant in the Sanborn fire insurance map published in November 1904, as is the former Schendel saloon on the corner.

I cannot document the last occupants of the former Schuetzen Hall, but here are a couple of possibilities:

Princeton Republic, Nov. 10, 1904 – “The firm of Ziebell & Zwerg, composed of A.E. Ziebell and J.H. Zwerg have this week started a factory on the west side.” (Ziebell and his family moved to Portage in November 1906 to work in the cigar business.)

Princeton Republic, Dec. 1, 1904 – S. Hirsch has opened up an establishment on the west side of the river for the repairing of furs. (I have not found any other references to Hirsch’s business.)

Sometime between November 1904 and October 1914, when the next Sanborn map was published, Schendel razed the former factory building and erected two nearly identical houses on Lot 19 (925 West Water) and Lot 18 (919 West Water) with the lumber.

The 1914 Sanborn 1914 map shows houses at 919 (Lot 18) and 925 (Lot 19) West Main Street (at right).

Fred and Henrietta Schendel sold Lot 19, originally the site of Schuetzen Hall, to Henry Lunow in June 1922 (Deeds, Volume 83, Page 633). The property remained in the Lunow family when the Princeton quas qui centennial booklet was published in 1973.

The house at 925 West Main Street sits on the lot where the Princeton Schuetzen Verein, a German shooting club, built a two-story headquarters, hall and armory in 1890-1891. It was later converted into a cigar factory and then housed a meat market operated by Frank and Anton Zodrow. The building was torn down between 1904-1914 and the lumber was used to build the nearly identical houses at 919 (Lot 18) and 925 (Lot 19) West Main Street.

Quas qui confusion

This gets quite murky, but I believe the historical booklet published in 1973 as part of Princeton’s 125th anniversary celebration confuses the former Schuetzen Hall and cigar factory building on the northeast corner of Lot 19, or about 925 West Main Street, and the building with two additions that stood on Lot 20 on the southeast corner of Main and Second streets and originally housed a saloon and later, in the east wing, the Kalupa Grocery Store and Tavern.

Here’s where I believe the quas qui booklet goes awry:

  1. “The cigar makers got their start on the west side in a large building on the corner of Main and Second streets, where Kristy’s Standard Service and Gabby’s Grocery and Tavern are now located. …” (As I see it: The cigar factory, as shown on the 1892 Sanborn fire insurance map, was one building east of the building with two additions on the corner, or about 925 West Main Street.)
  2. “The business was owned by two Ziebell brothers. … Later that part of the building was rented as a grocery store. … The Messings lived in the other part of the building. …” (As I see it: According to deeds and Sanborn maps, the building that included the Messing residence in the east wing was the corner complex that originally housed the Rich saloon and later a grocery store, not the Ziebell cigar factory one door east.)
  3. “In 1928, John Kalupa purchased the property and built the grocery store and the service station owned by the Edward Krystofiaks today. …” (As I see it: The newspaper of 1928 says Kalupa remodeled, rather than built, the east wing of the Messing building into the grocery store/saloon.) …
  4. “Princeton even had a feather factory which was located in one half of the first floor of a large building located where Mrs. Henry (Laura) Lunow’s home is now at 925 W. Main Street on the west side. (As I see it: The house at 925 W. Main St. stands on the lot of the former cigar factory, which was razed and replaced between 1904 and 1914 by the twin houses at 919 and 925 West Main using lumber from the factory building. The feather bed factory operated in the 1920s and was in the Messing building one door west, on Lot 20, not the former cigar factory building, which was gone by 1914.)
  5. “There were businesses downstairs and living quarters upstairs. Feathers were stripped and cleaned and made into pillows, feather beds and mattresses. Before the feathers, the area was occupied by a clay pipe factory. In the other half of the first floor was a meat market operated by John Zodrow Sr. and his brother, whose families lived in the upstairs apartments.” (As I see it: Frank and Anton Zodrow arrived in 1899 and purchased Lot 19, the cigar factory building, which they sold in 1904 and which was converted into two houses by 1914. Did they then move to the Messing building, where the feather bed factory operated in the 1920s? Adding to my confusion: The 1900 census lists the Ziebell, Messing and Zodrow families in consecutive residences, though it is the order of enumeration not necessarily location. John Zodrow, Anton’s son, opened his meat market, on Water Street, in 1926. I cannot document the clay pipe factory location.)

Please let me know if you spot any errors or can fill in any gaps in the timeline.

Thank you for caring and reading about local history.

Next: The Western House | 1002 West Main Street

One comment

  1. I can’t tell you how many times I wondered about the history of the two identical homes of lot 19. And now, when I drive around that corner, which is often, I can know that and all the other activity and enterprise that took place here. Great stuff.

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