The Sutton Register newspaper carried a retrospective column entitled, “Items from the Register of forty-two years ago.” Why 42 years? I don’t know.
The October 1, 1936 column asked readers how many business men and places they remembered from the ads in the Register in October, 1894. We don’t remember them ourselves but how many have you ever heard of?
Attorneys – L. P. Crouch, E. E. Hairgrove, M. C. King, F. R. Hawk.
Banks – First National, G. W. Clawson, president; Sutton National, J. R. Dinsmore, President; Sutton Exchange Bank, J. C. Merrill, president.
Barbers – A. E. Meyer, Chas. Gossman.
Blacksmith – Fred Nicolai.
Clothing – L. P. Wentz & Co.
Dentist – J. H. Johnson.
Drugs – Toland & Nelson, H. A. Fosselman, Carl Held.
Dry Goods and Groceries – William Griess, M. Wittenberg, Benerman & Son, Ochsner & Schwarz, L. H. Schaaf, A. C. Burlingame.
Farm Machinery – Bender & Zimbelman, H. Grosshans & Co.
Flour and Feed – Henry Schleiger.
Furniture – George Honey, E. W. Ihrig.
Groceries – John Roberts, Tessler & Son, Speich & Co.
Hardware – S. Carney, F. J. Hoerger.
Harness – Wm. Reuter, Joseph Grice.
Ice Dealer – A. W. Clark.
Livery – Rolland & Van Patten, Wm. Grosshans.
Lumber – Sutton Lumber Co., J. M. Gray.
Millinery – Mrs. E. D. Goodrich, Mrs. Dorah Braitach.
Meat Market – Henry Brehm, John Cook.
Photographer – Pont Soderberg.
Physicians – J. M. Birkner, H. L. Vradenburg, J. V. Lewis, M. V. Clark.
Real Estate – Thompson Bros., I. N. Clark.
Shoemaker – William Bauer.
Wagon Maker – Schneider & Son.
Attorneys - By 1894 all of the attorneys around at founding of Sutton had disappeared - R. G. Brown (whose brother was the publisher of the Register), Homer Gray, A. McCoy, J. S. Lehew, Lamont and George Bemis.
Blacksmiths - The Nicolai family later lived in at 309 N. Way Ave. - the current Historic House that was built by J. M. Gray - listed here for his lumber yard that was on that property. The yard covered the west side of Way from Gray's residence at the time, 311 N. Way south to the Maple Street corner.
Clothing - suspect that the numerous "Dry Goods" stores carried clothing.
Dentist - Multiple dentists appeared in ads in later years.
Dry Goods and Groceries - this list includes three grocery stores plus six "Dry Goods and Groceries" so we are left with some ambiguity about the extent of grocery sales in Sutton in 1894, but it surely was a lot.
Farm Machinery - Zimbelman was a partner of Jacob Bender in1894. He would leave the business and it became Jacob Bender & Sons lasting for over 125 years.
Furniture - George Honey built the big brick building at the south end of downtown where today's Community Center stands. Honey operated his furniture store plus a hardware store and mortuary in that building. The building was purchased by the Sutton Schools in 1936 and became the high school auditorium into the '60's.
Hardware - S. Carney was Sam Carney Sr. at that time. The business was on the north end, west side and was started by I. N. Clark. Sam Sr. took over for Clark, Sam Jr. from his dad and Les Bauer from Sam Jr.
Harness - this list has only two harness shops plus a wagon maker. The sources describing early Sutton businesses give the impression that there were more than a few of these at any one time. I suspect that some may not have advertised extensively and missed this list.
Ice Dealer - A. W. Clark was Albert (Bertie), I. N. Clark's son. He married Mayme Wieden. Bertie and Mayme appear to have played the roles of second-generation Sutton Movers & Shakers. They built the large home (Plettner's) west of Clark's Pond. (Though they modestly called it Glen Lake at the time.)
Lumber - J. M. Gray built both of the houses now used by the Historical Society.
Millinery - seems to be a word not much used but these were lady's clothing stores - hats and lingerie especially.
Photographer - Soderberg Studios cranked out the bulk of the early portraits in Sutton. His photos populate attics, closets and basements throughout the area still.
Physicians & Real Estate - M. V. Clark (actually M. V. B. for Martin Van Buren Clark was the brother of I. N. (Isaac Newton) Clark. The Clark brothers developed the west section of Sutton along Cedar Avenue. They also donated the four square blocks for the City Park.