801 Main Street, Chapter 9, by Clifford W. Collins, was called: Our Neighbors in Highland.
Cliff wrote articles about Highland when Russ Hoffman, the late editor of the News Leader, was on vacation or just plain busy.
Do you recognize this address of 801 Main Street being today’s Highland Post Office? For years the Post Office has been Highland’s busiest corners, and to Clifford Collins, it was the high spot of Main Street, the top of the town. I will be using some of Cliff’s information, while I gather more information for my columns on World War I. Do you have World War I information that you would like to share? Please call 654-5005.
Cliff writes: “When the Collins family lived at 801 Main Street, we had good neighbors. Across the street to the south was the Columbia Hotel (today, the Eagle Inn Apartments), run by Ida and Rose Federer. Later the Federers started the Glendale Hotel in the former Charles Helmuth Seybt residence, located on the northeast corner of Main and Mulberry.
“Later, the Columbia Hotel was owned by Henry Lory, then was managed by strangers, until Julius Aich and his wife, Nora, took over. It later was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Dana Maerz and finally by Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Lory. It had a dining room, and many Highland people ate their Sunday dinner there. In the same building were two apartments and two offices. The west office was occupied by Dr. Moses D. Tibbetts, and the east one by Dr. Edgar G. Merwin. When I had the ‘flu’ in 1918, Dr. Tibbetts had only to walk across the street to treat me.
“The next building to the east was the Opera House (now, the Lory Theater), and it was attached to the east side of the hotel building of Henry Lory. Mr. Lory owned the theater, did the booking, and ran the projector. His wife, children and the Werner family assisted him in running the movies or shows. Mr. Henry Lory originally ran a blacksmith shop on Broadway (where Highland Pontiac of Elmer Koch and Alvin “Tiny” Schumacher was for many years and where Highland Licence is now). I often stopped in to watch Henry and later his son, Erwin, shoeing horses.
“Farther east on Main Street in this 800 block were the Highland Telephone Co., Mosiman Plumbing Co., Spengel and Bircher’s Paint Store, Jottes Fruit and Vegetable Market, and then on the southwest corner, was the Henry Hediger Bar (today, Marx Brothers Lounge). Henry Hediger was connected to the water, which was owned by the Helvetia Milk Condensing Co. and Highland Brewing Co. (Hediger was the first business to have an inside rest room.) This water line then went to the condensary and ended at the brewery.
“Across the street on the northwest corner was Fredrick Kempff’s Pharmacy, purchased in 1883, and after World War I, it was run by Kempff’s stepson, Arthur Graff, and his son, Dr. Joseph W. Kempff. Then, going west, was the Highland Marble Works and monuments (of Edward Feutz).
(The Feutz building, plus the next building and residence has been replaced by the Helvetia Township Office and parking area.)
“The next building west was the Tschudy Sisters Millinery Store, then the Tschudy house, then the Ford agency of A.P.Mosimann, which he called the ‘Highland Garage.’ Mosiman handled the Ford car and Fordson Tractor agency,until 1921, when Herbert ‘Herb’ Stocker purchased the Highland Garage. (In 1928, Stocker built the brick garage at 705 Broadway.)
“In the next block west, and directly across the street to the west, was the original John Suppiger Store, whose family was all killed in a shipwreck of the new steamer Schiller off the coast of England on their way to Switzerland in 1875. Suppiger’s Store was a large, red brick building and after their deaths, John N. Stokes published the Journal in this building, which later was occupied by the Martin Dresch’s Store, with the Henry Mollets, Mathilda and Dorothy Waldecker renting the upstairs apartments.
“After World War I, Edgar Hoffman, Steward M. Drum, and Frank Winter started the Highland News newspaper in this building. Uptown on Broadway, Amos P. Spencer published the Leader, starting in 1913. These two papers merged in 1921, becoming the Highland News Leader. Soon due to health reasons, Mr. Drum got out, and Edgar and Oscar Hoffman, the Hoffman brothers, combined with Pat Spencer to operate for many years. At that time, the newspapers had linotypes and their own printing presses.
“To the west, on the north side of Main, lived in turn Mr. and Mrs. R.K. Tibbetts (in the old Breuchaud Bakery building, which is now owned by Highland Supply.) Mr. Tibbetts worked at the Highland Store and then Hug Truck Co. He was mayor during the street-paving program.
“Then the Martin Huber residence in the old F. Ryhner & Co. Bank. Mr. Huber managed the Highland Mill.
“Dr. A.H. Kyle, the veterinarian, was in Joseph Suppiger Home, just west across Mulberry Street. Dr. Kyle lived and had his office in this building, noted in Highland history as being host to Abraham Lincoln in his 1858 bid for Illinois senator.
“Then came the Beck Family and Mrs. Herman, Paula and Helen.
“On the south side of Main Street, going west from Walnut, was the old Highland House Hotel building, used for rental purposes.”
Cliff could remember Mr. Krummenacher, the tailor and his wife, Millie. Mrs. Krummenacher did the cleaning and pressing on those all wool suits; she was a whiz! In the center building, or maybe the hotel itself, was their residence, as Jeff Menz was not sure.
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Menz had sons, John Eric and Roscoe E.
J.B. Menz was a partner in the C. Kinne and Co. store and later became president of the First National Bank, as did his son Roscoe some years later, and still later his grandson, Robert Menz.
Cliff continues: “Roscoe played the piano and later played the organ at the Congregational Church for years. Once in a while, I took my flute over to Roscoe’s house, and we played a few tunes. I played the flute in a so-so manner, but he was good. John Eric and I made wireless sets (radio receivers). Before Eric entered his business career, he had obtained a first-class radio telegraph license. All you could get over the radio in those days was code (dots and dashes). Broadcasting first began in 1923. J. Eric Menz later became a vice president with the Kaiser Aluminum Co.
“Then, the Rueggers also lived on Main Street, also the Riedlingers and Annie Neudecker and son Rolla. Kink (Rolla) ) before he quit was a well known drummer. Joseph Westhoff and his mother, then Jos. Westhoff got married and moved to California. Next came the Herzbergs, the Charles Fischer family and the Luehms.”