Sunday, December 23, 2018

Charles Vieth, the Implement Man

Considering its rural setting, it is no surprise that Cuba City has been home to several farm implement dealers throughout the years. Charles F. Vieth, "The Implement Man," as he is described in the advertisement below, opened his shop on March 1, 1918.

 Advertisement from the Cuba City News-Herald, January 3, 1919.

Vieth published the following in the local newspaper to announce his arrival:
I desire to announce to the public that I have purchased the Farm Implement business formerly conducted by Mr. J. B. Wagner and will continue the same at the old stand across Main Street from the depot. I will handle all kinds of Reliable Machinery, Farm Implements, Cream Separators, Gasoline Engines, Etc., and a full line of repairs of all kinds. Will be ready for business March 1. Your patronage solicited on the basis of reliable merchandise at the right price, and an experience of 13 years in the business. --CHAS. VIETH. (Cuba City News-Herald, February 22, 1918)

 This photograph of Charles Vieth was discovered thanks to a relative on It is also available courtesy of the Monroe County History Room.

As Vieth mentioned, he was no stranger to this line of work. He and his brother had operated an implement business in their hometown of Norwalk, Wisconsin, for many years by the time he arrived in Cuba City.

Charles Vieth stands behind the counter of his implement business in Norwalk, Wisconsin. This photograph was discovered thanks to a relative on It is also available courtesy of the Norwalk Public Library.

Directories and census records suggest that Charles Vieth continued to be involved with the Norwalk operation throughout his time in Cuba City. He had a system in place if he needed to be gone for extended periods of time, as evidenced by this announcement in the local paper:
Chas. Vieth, our popular farm implement dealer, has gone to Norwalk, Wis., for a few weeks visit. During his absence, the keys will be left at the Udelhofen barber shop in case any patrons desire anything. (Cuba City News-Herald, November 29, 1918)
Business must have been going well, because one year after setting up shop in Cuba City, he traded "the old stand," which was probably in the vicinity of the Kwik Trip parking lot, for a sturdier structure. By February 28, 1919, Charles Vieth's implement dealership had changed locations, likely occupying the building that is now home to Tin Lantern Antiques.

 Advertisement from the Cuba City News-Herald, May 23, 1919.

 By March 1921, the business had expanded:
Charles Vieth recently completed the erection of a machinery storage and sales room, 48 by 50 feet, at the rear of his Main Street property and is now ready for the big spring drive soon to be made by neighborhood farmers. (Cuba City News-Herald, March 18, 1921)
At some point in the 1920s, Vieth left Cuba City and returned to Norwalk. He switched from selling farm implements to automobiles and, in his later years, he and his wife, Amanda, ran a nursing home out of their home. Charles Vieth died in 1953.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Is There a Better Car Than the Ford?

Car shopping over the holidays? This hundred-year-old advertisement from Loeffelholz Bros. & Wagner offers some advice. Note the section about limited availability due to the war. The former Loeffelholz Bros. & Wagner building still stands on Main Street today, across from City Hall.

Advertisement from the Cuba City News-Herald, December 20, 1918.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Who's Your Tailor?

Brewer Bros. clothing store appears to have bounced back from their August 1918 fire as they advertise Christmas gift possibilities for everyone in the family.  The business was located at this time where Junque Stops Here is today, in the building next to Nick's Cafe. It later moved to the corner of Main and Clay Street, where Banfield's Beauty Bar is now located.

 Advertisement published in the Cuba City News-Herald, December 20, 1918.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas suggestions from Florine's

This Christmas advertisement must have been a success for Florine's in 1917, because the drugstore used it again the following holiday season.

Advertisement published in the Cuba City News-Herald, December 20, 1918.

Florine's was located in the building now occupied by Subway, on the corner of Main and Clay Street.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wartime Christmas shopping at W. T. Lowe's

Though the war had officially ended, retailers were still bound by wartime regulations for the 1918 holiday shopping season. Shoppers were urged to buy their gifts early to avoid overwhelming businesses unable to hire extra help at this busy time. These advertisements are from W. T. Lowe's, which was located in the First National Bank building on the corner of Main and Clay Street in Cuba City.

 Advertisement published in the Cuba City News-Herald, December 20, 1918.

 Advertisement published in the Cuba City News-Herald, December 13, 1918.

 For more information about the wartime rules for retailers, check out this article from the Library of Congress: Start now, shop early for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

'Rubbering' not allowed

This Christmas advertisement and an accompanying plea from the photographer, B. H. Williams, offer an amusing glimpse into life in Cuba City one hundred years ago.

Advertisement published in the Cuba City News-Herald, December 20, 1918.

As his advertisement indicates, Williams had much to offer potential clients in his photography studio. Unfortunately, he had less control over what was happening outside the studio. The photographer published this announcement one week earlier:
"Children are cautioned against causing a disturbance in front of the photograph gallery or “rubbering” in the windows while patrons are sitting for pictures. Parents are kindly requested to call the attention of their children to this and oblige. B. H. WILLIAMS."

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dillon Donohoo Christmas advertising

One hundred years ago, Cuba City residents would have found this Christmas advertisement in the local newspaper. It is from Dillon Donohoo's store, which was located on Main Street, where Antiques and Salvage is today.

Advertisement published in the Cuba City News Herald, December 13, 1918.