The Wapello Republican
June 18, 1981, Section B, Page 21

Transcribed by Shirley Plumb, July 14, 2018



    Ruthenbrg Brothers Clothiers, hatters and furnishers. A striking example of prompt recognition of merit is found in the extraordinary popularity and growth of the business conducted by Ruthenberg Brothers, which was established in 1891, at which time it was once took a leading position and is today at the head, forming not only a splendid monument to the intelligent enterprise of its management, but also attaining a success that sheds, luster upon the trade resources of the city. The firm occupies one of the best )if not the best) store rooms in the city, the room being 24 x 70 feet with a 14 foot ceiling. It is light and airy, and especially arranged for the accommodation of large stock of goods. The show windows are of plate glass and all the surroundings are in keeping with the large and metropolitan character of the business carried on. The stock of goods carried by the house is full and complete, and embraces all the latest and reviling styles in business suites, trousers, overcoats, etc., for men, boys and children, also hats, caps, gentlemen’s furnishing goods, trunks and valises. None but the best and most desirable clothing manufactured is purchased, and it is pleasing to know that not only is the finest clothing supplied in an infinite variety of styles and patterns, but that truly popular prices prevail at all seasons and for all goods, which fact has been one of the chief forces in establishing the prominent success of the house. Charles Ruthenberg, who has the complete management of the store, is a very pleasant and agreeable gentleman, who not only enjoys the confidence and esteem of the of the buying public, but has been honored in the past by election to represent his ward in the city council, and is at present a member of the board of education of Wapello. A. Dewien, a young man of pleasing address, who has had years of experience in the business, is employed as clerk. The REPUBLICAN has no hesitancy in recommending this house on any and all occasions.


    It is pleasant to do business with a thoroughly reliable firm, one in which you can place absolute confidence. Such is the firm of Hayden & Bettler dealers in hardware, cutlery, tinware, stoves, buggies, farm machinery, etc. This firm has taken a front rank in their line in this part of the state, and the splendid business they enjoy is due largely to their sterling business methods. Their stock of hardware is very complete in every department, and in it you will find the very best of everything that the trade demands. In cutlery the stock is well selected and comprises the output of the best factories in this and foreign countries. The tinware department is very complete and every utensil required in the home can be obtained. When it comes to stoves they can satisfy every time. Their stock contains such well known makes as these: Peoria cook stoves and ranges, Buck’s cook stoves, Acorn cook stoves, Riverside Oak and Thomas White heating stoves, gasoline and kerosene cook and heating stoves. In the farm machinery line they carry only standard makes, as follows: Porter Moline and Deere Corn planters, Moline and John Deere plows, discs, harrows and cultivators, Champion binders and mowers, and Standard.


Picture: S. B. Cleaver

    There is no better known one highly respected business man in Wapello than S. B. Cleaver. He is one early settlers of the town, coming in 1854. He has witnessed the development of Wapello and has contributed his share toward it. His business career dates from 1875 and it is an enviable one the farm and has so much merit that it sells on sight. Mr. Edwards has a large plant with all necessary machinery for the manufacture of his wagons and scoop boards. He is a hustler and is bound to succeed in his business.


     Proprietor of restaurant and bakery. In the list of important business men which go to make up the commercial standing of this city this well-known gentleman occupies a prominent place and is deserving of notice in our Souvenir edition. An enviable reputation has been gained through promptness, strict integrity, careful attention to every detail of the business and a constant desire to meet every want of his many patrons. The attention of the public is particularly directed to this establishment, which will be found a worthy one in every respect.

Picture: J. E. Colby & J. E. Keck


     The above named gentleman is a recent acquisition to the business firms of Wapello, coming her last January from Brownsburg, Ind. He is a successor to J. B. McCullough in the lumber business, and comes with the highest recommendation from his home town. Although he has not been a resident of our city but a short time, yet the REPUBLICAN feels free to recommend him as a man of good character and splendid business qualifications. The lumber business is not new to him, however, and while he is a stranger to many of our people, he will not be long in getting acquainted. The fact that he is a successor to Mr. McCullough assures him a good business from the start, as this yard has always borne a good reputation and commanded its share of the patronage. The REPUBLICAN wishes Mr. Brown all manner of success.


Picture: G. R. Keller

    No person who has ever had any acquaintance with the business men of Wapello in years past, but what have heard of the firm of G. R. Keller and F. M. Ong. Although they are not now engaged in active mercantile business, yet the firm has never dissolved partnership and both gentlemen are interested in the Wapello Electric light & Power Co., and are always foremost in every new enterprise that tends to build up Wapello and better the conditions of her people. Such men are a benefit to any city.

    Mr. Keller is a stockholder of the Electric Light Co., and was also foremost in establishing what is now the Otto Roller Mills. He has prospered in a business way, and besides have a beautiful home, is the owner of several residence properties and store buildings which he rents.

    F. M. Ong came to Wapello in May, 1855. He enlisted in 1861 in Co. K. 8th Ia. Inft. and served three years in the Civil War. He then returned to Wapello, and after spending three years traveling for a Burlington whole sale grocery house, he formed the partnership with Mr. Keller.


     Among the many business enterprises of Wapello, it must not be forgotten that the manufacture of cigars takes a well-deserved place in the lengthy catalogue of popular institutions. It is the intention of this article to speak of the cigar making business established a few years ago by John Hartman, where the user of the “weed” can be supplied with the best brands of cigars. Mr. Hartman has had many years of experience in the manufacture of cigar, and is well acquainted with the desires of those who smoke and he is making use of this knowledge in the manufacture of his two leading brands, which are becoming favorites. They are: “Wapello Chief” his leading five cent brand, and “Rovato” also five cents. These two brands are as good handmade cigars as can be found in the market, and Wapello people should encourage their manufacture by patronizing Mr. Hartman in this very deserving industry. He also manufactures several other brands that are good sellers. Wapello people should give still greater encouragement in this worthy man by smoking the brands of cigars manufacture by him and thus build up our home institutions.


Pictures: Harry Archibald; Residence of S. H. Archibald; Will Archibald

     This firm is composed of Harry and William Archibald, dealers in staple and fancy groceries of all kinds.


     The above named gentleman is a living example of a self-made man and an exponent of what a liberal amount of energy, coupled with good business ability, sound judgment and strict attention to business can accomplish. On April 26, 1885, Mr. Thomas, in company with Joiner Davison, open up a small stock of groceries and Queensware in a frame building 24 x 49. Neither of them had much capital, but they had the confidence of the people and their business prospered from the start. On September 26, of the same year, Mr. Thomas bought Mr. Davison’s interest. In a short time the business had so increased that it became necessary to add thirty feet to the rear of the store building, and then Mr. Thomas put in a stock of dry goods. A short time afterwards the store room was again enlarged to 29 x 70 feet and a large stock of shoes put in. This building, with the addition of a large ware room in the rear and small building on the lot adjoining served the purposes of the large business transacted until last year when an addition just double the size of the old store building was erect, which made the room 29 x 140 feet. The building reaches from street to alley and we think we are safe in saying that it is one of the largest store rooms to be found in the state. It is none too large, however, to accommodate the immense stock he carries in all lines. The shelves and counters that line each side of the room are filled with merchandise of all descriptions, and there is also rows of shelves down the center in the same condition. Besides the different lines of goods above mentioned Mr. Thomas carries a well selected stock of cloaks, carpets and oil cloths. He also run a flour food establishment. In fact his stock is a complete outfitter for the home. It requires a great deal of help to transact the large business done at this store and Mr. Thomas is assisted in the work by his two brothers, Cardy and Gomer. Bert, Cecil and W. A. Colip. Mr. Thomas’ financial condition enables him to purchase from the best source of supply on the most favorable terms and he is thus enabled to offer customers unrivalled inducements. He is thoroughly versed in every detail of the business, and with his splendid reputation for fair dealing, patrons may rely upon obtaining value received for their money. The REPUBLICAN always rejoices in the prosperity of every citizen and especially is it a pleasure to note the success of one who has started at the bottom and worked his way to the top as Mr. Thomas has done.


Picture: G. A. Freeland

     G. A. Freeland, dealer in staple and fancy grocers and Queensware. The handling of groceries and provisions is one of the most important branches of business carried on in any city. All corners of the earth are brought under contribution to furnish these productions, and their facilities for distribution to customers offered by merchants engaged in this trade are annually becoming more extensive and complete. One of the most popular and reliable houses in Wapello is the establishment three years ago. The is 20 x 60 feet in size, while the stock carried is very comprehensive and well selected. It consists of everything in the way of staple and fancy groceries, table delicacies, canned fruits and condiments, teas, coffees, vegetables, flour etc. This house also carries a large and wide selected stock of chinaware and Queensware and has some very beautiful souvenir pieces in chinaware of the public school building and court house. Mr. Freeland’s long experience in the business give him advantage not surpassed by any competitor in Wapello. He is highly respected by the community and bears an excellent reputation for supplying his patrons with the best quality of goods at the lowest possible prices. At the completion of the M. N. & S. railway and the establishment of the Adams Express Company, Mr. Freeland was installed as agent. Riley Armstrong is the efficient clerk.


Picture: J. E. McCray

     The above gentleman is one of Wapello’s most progressive and active young business men, and the position he occupies today in the commercial world has been gained by his strict attention to business and general aptitude. He is a son of Columbus McCray, and was born in this county. Eleven years ago he started in the piano and sewing machine business in Wapello, and he has made a continual advancement year by year until now he has as nice a trade as one could wish for. He has been in the business long so long that he knows the wants of the people, and carries in stock just such goods of standard make as he knows to be fir class and that he can guarantee to his patrons.

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