Monday, January 30, 2017

Appleton Revisited

The point has been made previously that William Waters was quick to find work in places other than Oshkosh.  As early as 1871 Mr. Waters had commissions for buildings in Appleton.  The city was the county seat, located on the Fox River which provided power for mills and transportation to move goods, it soon became a center for population, manufacturing, commerce as well as education.  The young architect found work designing churches, homes and business blocks.  A list of his early works in Appleton was published in the Winnebago County Press of July 7, 1871 and included the following structures.  New Bank (First National), Moore and Galpin Store, C. D. Smith Stores, Dr. Sutherland store, J. H. Whorton residence and St. Joseph Church.  A list from The Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern of July 17 1873 reports architect Waters as planning structure for: A. L. Smith, a store, Warner and Whorton store, Bertschy block, four stores, The Manufactures Bank, Mr. Tischer store, H. A. Foster Drug Store and the residence of E. G. Goff.  On March 21,1879 the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern noted that William Water s was drawing plans for the residence of L. H. Kuderling.
Researching Appleton building online has been greatly aided by the Appleton Public Library’s “Fox Valley Memory” page, which has a wealth of photograph and texts.  Perhaps the only short coming is the lack of old city directories, there are but five in the collection which starts with 1887 – 88, six more directories can be found on the library’s Appleton Memory Project page.  The Appleton directories from that time don't list houses or buildings by number but rather by location.  A listing would be as follows (sic) Frisch Henry, tailor, res. e. s. Jackson, 2 e. of Harrison.  One may discern that Mr. Frisch lived on the east side of Jackson Street two houses from the corner with Harrison.  Appleton was a fast growing community and it may not have been long before Mr. Frisch’s home was the third or fourth from the corner.  The next few post will deal with Mr. Waters’, Appleton commercial buildings.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Have a Cigar!

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century any Wisconsin city of size and wealth would have had one or more cigar manufactures. Many farmers in the southern quarter of the state grew tobacco to supply the thriving cigar industry. In 1898 Oshkosh had seventeen such manufacturers and in 1900 Neenah could boast of four cigar makers, one of which was Charles Schultz and Son. Business must have been good for Mr. Schultz as he rose to prominence. In addition to cigars he had an interest in politics and was elected mayor of Neenah and also to the State Assembly.
By 1911 Charles felt the need for a new building of his own and commissioned William Waters to plan a suitable structure. The architect design a building of the latest style, using a light colored brick, accented with limestone lintels, trim and cap stones. Mr. Waters also employed a template used successfully years before; two store fronts on either side of a stairway to a second floor. A fire insurance company map of 1913 indicates that a pool hall occupied one ground floor space, the gas company office the other and the cigar factory was on the second floor. The building outlasted the cigar business as the popularity of cigarettes eclipsed cigars and the second floor was given over to other uses. By the late twentieth century the building had outlived its usefulness altogether and was demolished.