Businesses on the 300 block of west Main Street

We continue our travel north along Main Street.
Merchants Hotel > Red and White > Kaufman Optometric
Dan Mehrer operated Merchants Hotel until 1909.  Frank Zickrick operated the hotel in 1916.  Anthony Miller started "Miller's Red and White" grocery store here in 1938 and sold it to Ken Weiland in 1950.  Ken started Jack and Jill in 1957 and moved across the street in 1964.  In 1967 Leroy Kaufman started Kaufman & Kaufman Optometrics here in Bill Tschetter's law building.  In 1971 the business became known as Kaufman Optometric, Prof LTD.  Dr. Kaufman the eye doctor and Dr. Kaufman medical doctor both operated here.  Vision Care was here a few years ago and moved to North County Road.

Norm's Thrifty White
In 1885 Christian Buechler opened a bank at 383 S Main St.  In 1902 Christ Guenthner and Fred Jundt began a general merchandise store "Guenthner and Jundt" at (Norm's Thrifty White location). In 1906 the store sold to John Walz and became "Jundt Ellwein" which ended in 1914 when the business moved across the street to (the library site).  In 1915 Issac Kleinsasser bought the building from Wollman and began "Ike's Barber Shop".  In 1918 Will Wilde bought Ike Kleinsasser's Barber Shop and operated until the 1950's.  In 1969 Frank Schwader bought a shop on Main street from Duane Knittel and started Junior's Barber Shop.  Dr. A.A. Walter's dental office was here in the 1970's.  Stahl Auto Sales was here in 2002.  Norms Thrifty White was built here in 2008. 

Phillipp Mensch had a Butcher Shop here in the early 1900's.   Jankes Pharmacy was here from around 1910 to 1925.  John K Hofer moved his drug store north of Ike's Barber Shop in the late 1940's.  It was previously at the north end of Main Street (Ann's Place loaction).  Walters grocery store operated here and later became Kessler's Restaurant.  Smidt Appliance started at 371 Main street in 1964 by Harry Lee Smidt.  The business operated here in the 1970's and later moved to Menno.  Teresa's Home Designs was here in 2002.  Today Norms Thrifty White is here.
K&K > Village Toggery > Bob's Jamboree
In 1882 John Feiok opened a harness shop here and later a dry goods store.  Around 1904 L.C. and Red Kutcher, traveling brothers, began selling clothing, trinkets, etc to the community.  They became very successful and in 1910 they opened K& K "Kutcher &  Kutcher" on Main Street Freeman.  Red soon  moved back to Sioux City "headquarters" and sent his son L.J. back to Freeman.  The Kutchers would go on to open 23 more stores across South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.  The K&K business moved to the Jamboree site in 1929.  In 1957 Tally Bernhard bought the store and operated business until 1973.  (In 1963 Lemoyne and Joann Ries started the "Village Toggery" clothing store and in 1973 moved into the K&K building.  In 1983 Bob Pidde purchased the grocery store "Bobs Clover Mart" on Main Street.  He later moved his business "Bob's Jamboree" into the K&K building and currently operates here today. 

People's Store > Merchants State Bank (south end)
In the early 1880's the Huber Schemp store was at this location, one of the first building in town.  In 1886 Michael Wollman bought the store and started a General Mercantile business.  Mr. Wollman operated the store until 1918 when his son John M. Wollman, Fred Jundt, Otto Gering, and Jacob H. Wipf took over.  They ran a hardware and furniture store "People’s Department Store" in the Wollman building until 1926.  In 1938 the building was sold to Gelfand, and later sold to Ferd Waltner.  In 1963 the Ben Franklin Store opened in the Wollman building and operated until 1975.  (Ben Franklin was then moved to the Schamber building).  The building was torn down in 1978 to make way for Merchants State Bank's new building.

In 1914 there was a barber shop south of Merchants State Bank.  Melvin Coster had an egg store here as well.  After the Wollman building was torn down in 1978, the new Merchants State Bank building was constructed south of the old bank building in 1979.   


Merchants State Bank

G.F. Zeller started his barber shop here in the 1890's (first barber shop in town).  Merchants State Bank shareholders got together in 1899 and started business (in the building north of Schambers).  In 1902 the bank was sold to John Gross, Dr. A.A. Wipf and several others.  In 1913 Merchants State Bank bought lot 2 & 3 from John Gross (current Merchants state Bank site) and built a two story, 30 x 60 foot brick building with a basement for bank operation.  In 1914 Leon and Jacob Gering opened the "City Barber Shop" in the basement.  In 1915 Merchants State Bank installed the "chime clock".  The bank closed in 1930 after the stock market crash of 1929 but reopened in 1931 with the goodwill and faith of the community.  (The telephone office was above the bank in 1933).  Jacob M. Wollman operated the bank until he retired in 1949 and his son Jacob J. Wollman took over.  Jacob Wollman, John Tschetter, and Harris Hofer ran the bank, Jacob retired in 1969.  In 1979 a new Merchants State Bank building was constructed south of the old building.  In 1998 the old bank building was torn down and in 1999 the new addition to Merchants State Bank was added including a basement. 
Dr. Ernest Hofer > Merchants State Bank (north end)
In 1881 Philip Gross built the first saloon in town on the corner of Third & Main.  In 1883 John Gross and Christian Buechler bought the saloon and added a hotel. This became John Gross Hotel and Saloon which he operated until 1888.  In 1902 Jake Reuther and Joe Gross bought the saloon and hotel.  After a windstorm knocked out the front wall Mr. Reuther put in a restaurant and later a bowling alley.  Peter Fliginger started an auto business on the corner in 1908.  In 1919 Philipp Mensch sold the corner lot to Ed and C.P. Dickman who started "Dickman Garage".  Schmidt Motor began near the corner in 1923 where they sold Ford.  In 1931 they stopped selling Ford and began selling Chevrolet and moved across the street.  Dr. Ernest J. Hofer started his practice above Merchants state bank in 1933.  In 1944 The World War II Honor Roll Board was placed here to honor soldiers.  In 1952 Dr. Hofer built his office north of the bank and operated until 1987.  Later there was a feed store at the location.  Merchants State built their addition on the corner in 1999.