801 Main Street by Clifford Collins is at the Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library. Cliff loved to write about his “801 Main Street,” as he was growing up, not as we know that corner today, as being the United States Post Office.
We will be going back to 801 Main. Then, just across the street to the west, was the John Suppiger Store, until 1875. Later, for many years, this was the office of the Highland Journal, then after the Highland Journal moved to the west side of the Square, the Highland News started in this building. (See the post card picture with today’s column.
Cliff writes: “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.”
“The Martin Huber residence was 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.”