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.   

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