Businesses of Main Street in 1887
Businesses have come and gone in Sleepy Eye as many of us know. But do we know who were our frontier businessmen were? Let me enlighten you. We have the gentlemen of C.D. Griffith and W.W. Smith were advertised representatives of the Merchants Bank, later the First National, now the Security Bank. The Bank of Sleepy Eye lists F. H. Dyckman as proprietor. Dyckman just started off with $500.00. His bank later became the State Bank, now called the Americana Bank.
Professional men were; Dr. F. P. James, dentist; T.M. Marcellus, physician and surgeon; J.W.B. Wellcome, physician and surgeon (he was the father of Dr. J.W.B. Wellcome, Jr., who took several citizens of Sleepy Eye through their childhoods; J.M. Thompson, attorney; George W. Somerville, attorney who later became state senator, (later was object of a would-be assassin who claimed he had been cheated.)
Businessmen included; H.J. Hansen, hardware and lumber. Hansen took part in building the Loreno House. W.H. White proprietor, SW corner of Main and First Avenue – the Exchange Hotel (had good sample rooms) for showing salesmen’s wares to local store owners.
A.W. Case, Occidental Livery and Sales Stable, new rigs and trusty drivers, commercial and hunters’ patronage solicited; City Livery, J. Liesenfeld, fine rigs and trust drivers. F. Marquardt, Merchant Tailoring; R.H. Bingham, hardware, lumber, tinware, stoves, table cutlery, tools, fence wire, wood pumps, doors, sash, and shingles; Schoregge & Gieseke, successors to F. Ibberson who had come in 1872, drugs, medicines, toilet articles, specialties, Ibberson’s Anodyne Balsam, Pectoral Cough Linctus, and condition powders.
W.M. Muffin, Commercial House and Restaurant, was located about where the present day post office is located, meals at all hours, oysters in every style; August Schweiger, NewMeat Market; L.P. Jensen & Durbahn, dress goods and trimmings, five cents a yard and up; James Reeve, boot and shoe makers; Sleepy Eye Mill, patent, family, and baker’s flour; Rinke & Bertrand, dry goods and groceries; Deutsche Apothek & H. H. Meyer had a business also in 1887. M. Kiefer, Boot and Shoe Store; A new store, Talbot and Rinke was started in 1872.
Some of these names many may recognize as familiar names others may not seem so familiar. There were of course other businesses that came and went that is not mentioned in our history because they simply didn’t stick around long enough to be considered a long time business (basically less than a year probably). We find this often times with family genealogy as well. Families come into the museum in hopes of finding long lost families but if their family didn’t stick around Sleepy Eye very long chances are we don’t have much record of their stay here in Sleepy Eye or in Brown County.
A mental note - If you have any old photos out there and your parents or grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc are still around and they know who is on those pictures – ask them who is in the pictures. Make sure you get their names written down, before you know it, your opportunity of getting the chance to find out who the people are, and their names will be gone. Even take a moment today to write the name behind of your present day photos, because 20, 30 years from now – our children will be sitting where we are today and saying “I wish I knew who was in this photo.”