Black Hawk County History

Businesses of the past

The urban man sought places to socialize and when the saloons closed down during prohibition, the men frequented the barber shops and cigar stores.

The only cigar store still in business at the time of this printing was on the corner of Sycamore and Fifth. This photo was taken in 1920.

Photo courtesy of Robert Levis


There were several grocery stores in the downtown are of Waterloo up until World War II. The Acme Grocery, at 320 fourth Street offered a full line of staple and fancy goods and employed eight clerks.

To qualify as an Acme clerk, you had to become adept at using a long pole to knock the topmost can down from pyramidal displays on the high shelves, an be nimble fingered enough to catch it . As customers would not purchase a can that was dented.

Photo from Black Hawk County Atlas, 1910.