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Businesses in the Centennial Edition


Joe Martin

Ten years in the garage business has convinced Joe Martin, Plymouth and Chrysler dealer, of the value of expert workmanship and trained employees.  Therefore maintaining a staff of factory-trained men is part of his program of better service, and he not only has factory representatives come to his garage to train and supervise his men, but he also sends them to factory schools for short courses.  As a result, his shop has recently received the high rating of 98 per cent approval by factory representatives.

Mr. Martin opened his own garage in 1933, but had been employed in auto servicing work in Maquoketa for five years previous to that, and as a car salesman in Chicago before returning to his home-town.  "See Joe first," has become a familiar slogan.

Employees include Mrs. Martin, bookkeeper; Larry Marshall, service manager; Roy Foster, shop foreman; Jimmie Cook and Donn Blake, mechanics; August Jepson, greaseman; Donn Malolfi, washman; Edelman Bowman, salesman; and Hans Schoenauer, used car manager.


Allen's Luncheonette

Allen's Confectionery and Luncheonette was opened as Allen's Nut Shop in the fall of 1932, when Walter Allen returned to Maquoketa after spending nine years in Charles City.  In that year a wholesale nut concern was opened on West Pleasant street, in the Allen building where Florence's Cone shop now is located.  The following year the wholesale business was transferred to Charles City, where Mr. Allen's brother lives, and the Allen Nut Shop was opened on South Main street.

In the five years since Mr. and Mrs. Allen opened their business on Main street, they have enlarged their room three times, an indication of constantly growing business.  A year ago a dance floor was laid.  Mr. and Mrs. Allen are assisted by Mrs. Beulah Lang, Harriet and Donald Lang, and Camilla Conery.

Mr. and Mrs. Allen, who was Leulah Harrison, were both born and raised in this community.  They have one son, Walter, jr.


Rasmussen Motor Sales Co.

The Rasmussen Motor Sales Co. had its beginning in Delmar 22 years ago, in 1916, when L. H. Rasmussen began selling the Overland, which was at that time a popular make of car.  In 1919 he became a Chevrolet dealer.  In 1924, upon adding the Buick to his line of merchandise he came to Maquoketa, first operating in a small room on East Platt street, where the O. K. Tire Shop now stands.

Larger quarters were soon needed for the firm and in 1929 it moved to the garage on South Main street now occupied by the M. & W. Co. After adding the Oldsmobile in 1931 and the Pontiac in 1932, the present location was purchased in 1935.

Under the management of L. H.Rasmussen the company has grown from a small beginning to a large sales and service concern.

Employees include Orpah Pence, bookkeeper; Nels Rasmussen, shop foreman; Hurst Allen and Clarence Cook, mechanics; Elroy Taylor, paint and body repair work; Gerald Rasmussen, appliance manager; Merlin Kremerer, Otto Rasmussen, J. E. Goodall and James Hicks.


Ringlep Hardware

The Ringlep Hardware store, which specializes in the sale of hardware, stoves, and grass seed, had its beginning as Carter Brothers, in 1872.  In 1879 Adam Ringlep purchased the interest of one of the brothers, and the firm became know as Carter and Ringlep, located on the east side of Main street, where the Pastime theatre is now, and when the building burned in 1892, it was immediately rebuilt.

In 1902 Mr. Ringlep became the sole owner of the business which then became the Ringlep Hardware store.  After ten years he moved to more spacious quarters, across the street, where the store is now located.  In 1924 Mr. Ringlep retired from his business, selling it to Ben Jacobsen, who had been his employee since 1899.  Mr. Jacobsen is assisted by his brother, Adam.


R. G.Mann

The largest exclusive ladies' apparel shop in Maquoketa is the R. G. Mann store which opened in 1931 thus giving Maquoketa a store which compares favorably in equipment and stock with any of the shops in nearby cities.

When Mr. and Mrs. Mann came to Maquoketa from Cedar Rapids in 1931 they opened a clothing store for both men and women, but as they found that the greatest need here was for a women's wear store, they closed out the men's stock, devoting themselves exclusively to ladies' apparel.  Mrs. Mann herself spends several days each season in the fashion centers selecting stock for the store and this gives her customers an opportunity to purchase exclusive up-to-the-minute models.  Having excellent taste herself, Mrs. Mann is able to select the quality and styles which her customers appreciate.

Mr. Mann was born in Maquoketa in 1885 and was graduated from the local high school with the class of 1903.  He was employed in a men's clothing business in Manchester for some time, and then operated a men's store 13 years in Cedar Rapids before coming to Maquoketa.  Mrs. Mann is also an Iowan, born in Waverly, and lived in Cleveland for 20 years.

Mary Jane Sheldon, Vivian McDonald and Rosella Reistroffer are employed in the store.


Billups Grocery

For nearly 40 years the Billups grocery, located on Platt street, has served Maquoketa with quality groceries, as Harry Billups first opened his store in 1900.  For six years before that he had worked for his father in a grocery store.

Opening in the Broom building on West Platt street, he remained there for a few years and then moved to his present location 35 years ago.  The present building on East Platt is one of the oldest in town, having been erected some time before 1860.

Bert Isbell has clerked in the store for 20 years.


Pastime Theatre

The Pastime theatre was opened under its present management in 1921 when W. C. Hippler and Stuart Peake purchased it from Brinker and Robinson.  At the same time they also bought the Orpheum theatre from Fred Gregory.  Mr. Hippler had entered the moving picture business in Belle Plaine about ten years before, and Mr. Peake, his son-in-law, had entered the field in 1912, at McGregor, later moving to Chillicothe, Ill.

For a time they operated both the Pastime and the Orpheum but only the larger is in use now.  The firm has kept abreast with modern developments and installed talking pictures in April 1929, being one of the first theatres in a town of this size to have such a machine. The theatre is air cooled and underwent complete redecoration a year ago.

Mr. Peake, who has managed the theatre since the death of Mr. Hippler, has maintained the firm policy of showing only movies of a good type.  He brings excellent pictures to Maquoketa at the same time and sometimes sooner than they are shown in surrounding cities.

Mr. Peake is a member of the Maquoketa club and Golf club, and is a former mayor.


Garretson Recalls Shaving Mugs Used By Old Timers Here

Days when each regular customer of a barber shop had his own private shaving mug, and when mustaches were curled on slate pencils are remembered by William Garretson, who has been a barber for 40 years.  The shaving mugs were kept on a set of shelves where they were always ready for the individual customer.  Many of the mugs were quite ornate pieces; if a man belonged to the Masonic order, he often had a lodge symbol decorating his cup, while a picture of a fast running horse migh adorn a mug belonging to the owner of a livery stable.

The mustaches were curled around a piece of hot slate pencil: "I've burned my fingers lots of times, holding those pencils over a gas light to heat them," Mr. Garretson remembers.  Although he had always wanted to be a barber, he nearly had to forego his chosen profession because he was left-handed and could not be accepted in various shops where he tried to get employment.  Eventually he learned to do his work with his right hand.

Conditions are much more sanitary in barber shops now than they used to be, he says.


Staack & Luckiesh

The history of the Staack & Luckiesh drug store dates back o 1882 when Dr. D. N. Loose established the firm of D. N. Loose & Co. It continued under this name until 1907 when Hugo Staack bought the interests of Dr. Loose and firm of Nitzche & Staack was formed.  In 1914 Edward Luckiesh purchased the interests of J. C. Nitzsche, and since that time the firm has been known as Staack & Luckiesh.

Hugo P. Staack, the senior partner, son of Herman J. and Anna Staack, was born in Maquoketa.  Upon his graduation from high school in 1899 he began working for Dr. Loose and then attended Illinois University's college of pharmacy, graduating with honors in 1905. After a year's employment in Chicago he returned to Maquoketa, purchasing a partnership in the store.  In 1911 he married Miss Emma Hafner of Oak Park, Ill.  He is interested in civic affairs, being a member of the Boardman Library Board, Maquoketa Club, Izaak Walton League, Congregational church, Masonic bodies, Consistory at Clinton and Shrine at Davenport.

His partner, Edward Luckiesh, son of John and Fannie Luckiesh, is a grandson of Joseph and Anna Root, who came to Jackson county in 1850. Born and educated in Maquoketa, he served an apprenticeship in this store and then attended University of Illinoise, receiving honors in pharmacognocy. He returned to Maquoketa and the firm of Staack & Luckiesh was formed.  In 1913 he married Miss Bessie Edson, and they have two children, John Edward and Margaret Ann.  Mr. Luckiesh is interested in conservation and has a hobby of flower gardening, having planted hundreds of flowers and shrubs at the home where he was born in which he now resides.  He is a member of the Izaak Walton League, Maquoketa Club, Baptist church and former Jackson county Democratic chairman.






SOURCE: Jackson Sentinal Centennial Edition - 1938