Our Town: Fischer recalls stores of Hoffman, Tiedemann

Progress ColumnistJuly 11, 2014 

Brian Keller

FILE PHOTO — For the Progress

This week continues an excerpt from Louis F. Fischer’s memories of 1869 O’Fallon, written in 1909 when he was 70.

“Charles Hoffman had a small store, where the Keil building is now standing [109 E First]. Ernst Tiedemann’s store was a small brick house, afterwards rebuilt into the present spacious place [300 W. State]. Bischoff & Simmons kept a store in the corner house, now occupied as the

Commercial Hotel [102 W. State]. In 1869 Ernst Tiedemann bought them out and L.F. Fischer, representing him sold goods there successfully for many years.

At that time there were but a few houses in that neighborhood.

Where Joseph Taylor now keeps store, old man Herring had a furniture store [102 E. State].

Next door east Michael Bernhardt carried on a hotel, and about two blocks farther east was Daniel Schafer’s butcher shop, now enlarged and managed by his son Charles D. Schafer [202 E. State].”


75 years ago, July 13, 1939. A deal was completed in which the Independent Engineering Company, of West Second street, secured a long-term lease on the McLanahan business property at the [northwest] corner of State and Lincoln.

The concern intends to maintain the present quarters as a gas cylinder production and testing plant and offices.

The machine shop and drafting department will be moved to the newly acquired building, while the front part is to be utilized as a show room for the Magic Chef gas ranges for which they are distributors in this territory.

In addition, Independent has contracted for the erection for two bulk storage plants and a pumping station along the Illinois Terminal railroad right-of-way near the O’Fallon Lumber Company.

One will have a capacity of 10,000 gallons for the storage of acetone and the other for propane gas will have a capacity of 11,500 gallons.

50 years ago, July 16, 1964. Six persons were named to an O’Fallon zoning commission and plans were made to hold its first meeting next Wednesday, according to Mayor Edgar H. Brockhahn.

The City Council authorized the appointment of a zoning commission at its March 2 meeting. Those who accepted appointment are: Russell Thoman, William A. Harper, Joseph Keck, Laurel Berger, Henry Hesse and Howard Bode.

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