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Local History Index:

General / Grocery Store History

Compiled and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

Last Revised 04/14/2014

Colgate area

    Once there were several businesses in Colgate, including general stores, a blacksmith, and a post office. From 1887 to 1903 the post office was on the south side of County Line Road, and therefore was in the Town of Lisbon. The Wisconsin Central Railroad depot was the original post office. 

    In Dec. 1902 - Max Manthey, Town of Lisbon Supervisor, dies after jumping from a second story porch to escape his general store/post office disastrous fire. This event led to the post office moving out of the Town into Washington County.

    After 1903, the post office was established on the north side and has remained there since, at first within Frank Stirn's General Store. After1946, the post office moved from the general store to the tavern next door.

Colgate Main St.1908: The first building on the left was Tony Stirn's tavern; during Prohibition it was converted to an ice cream parlor. The next building was a general store run by Tony's brother, Frank Stirn. Frank also ran an adjacent coal yard and a barley shipping terminal. Source: Untitled, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, pages 29-30

Below is a later picture with the former tavern behind the tree.

Sussex - Lisbon area

    Edward Champeny (1816-1891) - opened a general store in 1852 on the northwest corner of Main St. and Maple Ave. in Sussex. He continued in this business until 1884, then sold to A. J. Elliott. The store was torn down and a cream brick home was built for the Craven family, which was torn down in the early 1960's. Source: Champeny, an English Dr. in Sussex, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 6; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., ?, 1977.

    About 1868, Cooling general store. Source: Turn of the century Lisbon political bigwigs, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 28; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., Jan. 17, 1978.

    Thompson Richmond (1817-1901), proprietor of a county general store. Possibly due to TB he had to leave store business. Source: Richmond and Pearl, two 2 yankees in Lisbon, published in Yesteryear in Sussex  REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 2; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., Mar. 15, 1977.

    About 1887 James Templeton takes over a general store; he went into business with his father-in-law, Mr. Cooling. Retired from store (and post office in Templeton) in 1900. Source: Turn of the century Lisbon political bigwigs, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 28; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., Jan. 17, 1978.

    In 1895 the only store in Sussex was the Topping General Store owned by David topping who had married Serena Weaver, daughter of Richard. The Sussex General Store was opened in 1870 at the urging of his father-in-law in a building that still stands today (the second house west of Paul Cain's Texaco Service, in 1977, on Main St.) as a two family apartment. The Topping store sold everything from food to twine, from Eureka plows to oil stoves. The Excelsior Publishing Company's 1894 Portrait and Biographical Record of Prominent Waukesha Citizens, said this of David topping; "His life has been spent in mercantile pursuits and since 1870 he has carried on the same business in Sussex. He handles a good stock of general merchandise and is doing a prosperous business, the volume of which amounts to yearly to about $7,000. By courteous treatment of his customers he has won their esteem and patronage." The Topping General Store was sold some time after the turn of the century (1900) to Fred Boots with the new owner changing the name to the Boots General Store. Material sources: Topping General Store ledger identified, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 19; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., Nov. 8, 1977.


Downtown Sussex, About 1905. Main Street School was across the street from the early shops. The street was of gravel. (Notice the string of horse hitching poles.) The Ganthier & Freyer General store in the center was the hub of the community. The A. Malsch Store on the left sold furniture and in an adjacent building a Malsch brother handled horse harness sales. Today (in 1978) it's the site of the Sentry Store. An April 1966 fire destroyed the General Store. Source: Turn of the century Lisbon political bigwigs, published in Yesteryear in Sussex REVISITED by Fred H. Keller, page 28; orig. published in Sussex Sun, Tues., Jan. 17, 1978.

    Charles Unke has sold his interest in the local I. G. A. store and will move to Milwaukee again, where he will engage in the printing business. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, April 4, 1932

    The local I. G. A. store has changed hands again. Herbert Loos, of Milwaukee sold it to Anthony Schumann who took possession Monday. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, November 15, 1939. Editor's note: This article may have wrongly attributed the sale to young Anthony who was about 18 years old at this time. See below.

    George Lees has sold his store goods and rented the building to George Schumann who will continue his I. G. A. store in the new location. Mr. Lees will give possession the first of May or sooner. Waukesha Freeman, Wednesday, April 5, 1944, page 3.

    Mr. and Mrs. George Schumann and family have moved from the former Art Meyer home in this village, to the George Lees building where they operate a fine IGA store. Counters and shelves have been arranged for the comfort and convenience of the patrons, with handy carts to carry packages, groceries and vegetables while serving themselves from the well filled shelves of choice foodstuffs. Busy housewives will appreciate the advantage of shopping at this super food mart. Waukesha Freeman, Wednesday, May 17, 1944, page 2

    Corporal Anthony Schumann of Camp Upton, N.Y., arrived last Tuesday as a surprise to his family, for a furlough until after Thanksgiving. Waukesha Freeman, 1944

    Mrs. A. Schumann left Thursday to visit her husband who is stationed in the east. She expects him to leave for overseas duty soon, as he has been transferred into the infantry. During her absence, Mrs. M. Kramer is taking her place as upper grade teacher in the Sussex school. Waukesha Freeman, Wednesday, February 21, 1945, page 3.

    In the early '50's, the Schumann IGA general store closed and moved a quarter mile east to the "flats" between Sussex and Olde Templeton. Source: Yesteryear in Sussex by Fred Keller, page 47.

    In April of '66, a monumental fire destroyed the old Lee's-Schumann Building.

Meijer wants store in Sussex

Meijer wants store in Sussex

Village of Sussex - The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer company is planning to construct a 200,000-square-foot retail, grocery store and pharmacy complex at Highways K (Lisbon Road) and 164, according to village officials.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said he anticipates the company will make its conceptual presentation for building plans and zoning approval at next week's village Plan Commission meeting. Representatives of the company met with village officials earlier this week to discuss those plans.

Smith said he anticipates about 60 percent of the store will be devoted to groceries, and the remainder of the store will be retail. According to its website, the company operates nearly 200 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky . It recently announced plans to build three other stores in the Milwaukee metro area.


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Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)