Business of DeWitt: Groceries

From the end of January, 1880, until June, the Clinton County Advertiser ran a section called “Business of DeWitt” in which they tell quite a bit about the local businesses.

Something over twenty years ago, and in the basement under Chardavoyne, Drew & Co’s store, were the time and place wherever

ADAM BLOOM commenced to deal out groceries to the good people of DeWitt and vicinity. At this time his partner was one Smith Holt. In a few months Mr. Bloom bought out the interest of Mr. Holt and moved to his present quarters, on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Chambers streets, and into the building now used as his back store and which had been built for a post office by Henry Bairley, the then postmaster. His business rapidly increased and an addition to his store was built in the rear.

In 1862 the little addition referred to was lopped off, the main store moved back, and a building which stood on the site of the opera house, and which had done duty for Dr. Kelly, on Jackson street, north-west of the park, was moved to the position it now occupies as Mr. Bloom’s front store. In 1866 he sold out to Skow & Hansen, and after the death of Mr. Skow in 1868, bought back the stock again and has continued the business ever since. By fair dealing he has built up a large trade and is the largest shipper of butter and eggs of any of our merchants. His quarters are altogether too small for the amount of business he does. Financially he has been successful, and has put his profits in broad acres. This requires him to put in a good portion of his time outside the store, leaving his brother F. T. Bloom, to attend to the wants of customers, which keeps that gentleman pretty busy.

A complete stock of groceries is kept at this establishment, together with crockery ware, pocket cutlery, gloves, etc. This is one of the best houses in town to deal with, and it should be better known through these columns.

The grocery house of C. W. CRESSLER & CO. is well known to our readers through the low prices they have from time to time quoted to the public through these columns, and which have won for them a reputation which is of great benefit. They commenced here in 1878, in the store now occupied by Mrs. Hey, and afterwards moved to a wood building where Ellis & Foster’s building now stands, and which was burned in 1875. They then opened for a short time in the Pacific House block, and from there moved to the Bairley block where they now are. They carry a large stock of groceries, sell cheap, and allow nothing to get stale on their hands. They also carry a good stock of boots and shoes, crockery and wooden ware. A delivery wagon is kept on the go, and when one is wore out, Fred Drifill has another one ready for them. The partners are Chas. W. and John L. Cressler, with Elmer E. Cressler, assistant. This firm has a large trade from Scott county.

The firm of KELLY & O’HERN dates from 1865, when the senior partner, Mr. Michael Kelly, and his brother Roger, now a successful business man at Grand Mound, opened a store in a wooden building where C. V. Baxter’s drug store is. The building was burned in January 1867 but was rebuilt, and then not long afterward the Kelleys sold out the store and goods to Michael Purcell, our present Sheriff. Soon after Michael Kelly bought a half interest in the stock and in a short time the store was again burned. For a year or more Messrs Kelly & Purcell were building the D & St. Paul R’y in this vicinity, and after its completion, Mr. K put in a stock of groceries where T. J. Scallan now keeps, and not long thereafter moved where Mc Cormick’s bakery is, when Michael O’Hern, then an enterprising farmer living south-west of Grand Mound, bought a half interest in the stock, and in 1876 the firm moved into the spacious quarters where they now are, and doing a good business. In addition to a good stock of groceries, crockery and glass and wooden ware this firm deals in such “wet groceries” as the town council permits it to, on the payment of one hundred dollars per year. They are honorable gentlemen to deal with, and have a good trade, and ought to advertise and better it.

The house of ELLIS & FOSTER was established by Thos. H. Ellis, now our recording angel, or whatever you call him, who write up our deeds, good or bad in the big books at Clinton and G. W. Wallace, of the present firm of Wallace Bros., about twelve and a half years ago. We think they were the first to inaugurate the delivering system in town, and the firm rapidly grew into public favor. By trading from one partner to the other this firm changed several times, until August 1877, when Grear Foster, who had considerable experience in the business bought an interest with Mr. Ellis. Their store is on the corner of Jefferson and Chambers streets, and is the largest in town, being 23 by 94 feet. The choicest groceries are dispensed by this house, and if you live in town you can have them delivered at your door at a moments notice. This firm makes a specialty of canned goods and teas. The also handle boots and shoes, crockery and glassware, and wooden ware. Mr. Foster’s pleasant ways attract a large trade to him, but they should be supplemented by an advertisement in this paper. Ammi R. Niclaus is assistant and is getting so that he can tell by a customer’s look just what he wants.

The house of HEY was established in July, 1877, as successor to that of J. G. Pearce, and is well known to the readers of the ADVERTISER as one of the best places to purchase goods at that one finds. In addition to a full stock of groceries at good stock of wooden-ware, glass and crockery, from the poorest to the best. French porcelain is sold here. An important branch of the business of this house is the bakery in the basement, presided over by Michael Hiegel, a German, who learned his trade in the old country, and whose Boston rolls are known to the readers of the ADVERTISER as the ne plus ultra of cookery. John Rebstock is assistant and may be seen every day delivering the product of the bakery smoking hot at the doors of our readers. Within the town limits all good are delivered at the purchaser’s door free. This house has a large flour trade.

In 1878 two enterprising young men opened a grocery store in Fuller’s building, corner of Jefferson and Dodge streets, under the firm of FULLER & CONNOLE. The extensive acquaintance each enjoyed, together with their rare tact in pleasing their customers, soon placed them on the high road to prosperity. They carry a well assorted stock of choice groceries, paying particular attention to teas, canned goods and particularly flour. The are agents for the sale of the celebrated Hawk Eye brand of flour, made at the new mill of Work & Goff. This firm delivers goods to its town customers with commendable promptness and is winning the good will of its patrons. They would be better known if they would let their light shine through the ADVERTISER.

E. CHRISTIANSEN opened a grocer’s store here in 1870, in the building just north of the Gates House. His store is noted for good groceries, square dealing and low prices. He buys mostly for cash, and of course saves the discount. His trade in candies and other confectionery is large, and his store is a favorite resort for Young America. He is agent for the Hamburg American, Anchor and Inmann lines of steamships, and sells passenger tickets and drafts on all the principal European cities, and also makes collections for heirs in this country, of proceeds of estates left them in the old world. Dr. Henry Miller is assistant, and always affable and obliging. His large acquaintance makes him a valuable help.

QUIGLEY BROTHERS, Thomas and Edward, came here some twelve years ago from Waterford township, and commenced business. They were shrewed farmers, and have made their shrewdness count to their advantage since they came here. At first they dealt largely in live stock, but of late years are taking things easy. They keep a general stock of groceries, and influence a large trade. They own a large amount of land, and are “well fixed.” John Quigley, another brother, whom DeWitt elected collector last fall, has his headquarters at this store, and assists when necessary.

T. J. SCALLAN came here a slender young man in 1865, and commenced as clerk for Henry Bairley. After two years he and Mr. Bairley formed a partnership, under the firm of Bairley & Scallan, which was continued until January, 1873. In April, 1874, Mr. Scallan bought out Francis Casey’s stock of goods in the Buckley building, and in October of the same year moved to where he now is. Since he came here Tom has fatted up physically and financially, until he wouldn’t be a bad match for Senator Davis, of Illinois. He does a large trade in groceries, and keeps crockery and glassware, and some nicknacks. He holds a license for the sale of ale, beer and native wines.

Mr. Scallan is a noted horseman, and owns some of the best draft horses in the country, and always comes home from the fairs where they are exhibited well loaded with premiums. He also has a livery, sale and feed stable, which is well-stocked. He has been a liberal patron of this office in the way of posters, and we trust will soon advertise his livery business through these columns. Tom is a live business man.

In addition to the above, groceries are kept at the Farmers’s Store, J. C. Reed & Co.’s and T. F. Butterfield’s. They are sold down to bed rock prices, and our readers from a distance will find it to their advantage to come here to trade. Try it.