Business Directory S-Z : Index: Taverns & Saloons

Louis Gissal Tavern

Menomonee Falls News: Sept. 6, 1929

A combination of circumstances, misunderstandings, bad telephone communication, people passing half-accurate information on to others and mangling of the facts in the process erupted in Lannon this past week.

It all began when the driver of a little Ford coupe, possibly under the influence tried to turn his car around in front of the August Gius home, only to end up with his wheels in a ditch. He then went to the Gius home for help. Mrs. Gius called the Lannon garage at 11:15 p.m., but no one answered . She then called the Louis Gissal tavern. It was a bad connection, however, and Gissal misinterpreted the message, figuring it was a car accident and possibly a fire.

Gissal then raced over to the Main Street fire station and rang the fire bell, alerting the whole village. The firefighters responded, and dashed off to the Gius home, only to find the coupe with its wheels in the ditch.

The incident attracted a lot of onlookers, who nearly lifted the car onto firm ground. So many people drove to the scene, including some late-arriving firefighters, that they created a traffic jam that took an hour to clear.

When the little coupe finally returned to the road, its starter would not engage.

Knowing Lannon's old-time firefighters, I figure that incident gave them a lot to talk about after they got back to the fire station and the village's many taverns. (Though Prohibition was still the law of the land, Lannon prided itself in those vendors of "snake-bite remedies.")

Cardinal Tavern opened with Louis and Mathilda living upstairs. Today the business is known as the Lannon House Tavern.

1941: circa - The old two-story St. James rectory (where the north parking is now) was sold to the Louis Gissal family. It was cut in half, then jacked up and moved eastward on Hwy 74 and Good Hope Rd., then east on Good Hope to its' present location, just east of Lannon Rd., a few doors down the hill on the north side. While the building was reassembled and remodeled, the Gissal family lived back up the street on Good Hope, about three doors west of Lannon Rd. When finished the Cardinal Tavern opened with Louis and Mathilda living upstairs. Today the business is known as the Lannon House Tavern.


Dolly &Tom's Lannon House

Dolly Feldman, who owns the Lannon House tavern near both quarries, said, however, that money had not helped her when her new well pump burned out after only 19 months.

"I know my pump burned out because the water level went too low, but I can't prove it," she said shortly after Wednesday's blast.

Feldman said the water table had been four feet from the surface when she moved to Lannon 39 years ago; now her pump is at 44 feet. She said she received no financial help when she complained to the quarry operators about her burned-out pump. She said she did not complain to village officials.


Shaky ground: Residents object to more quarrying
The Milwaukee Journal - Friday, June 18, 1993

Three men busted in Lannon bar brawl

Village of Lannon — Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputies took three men into custody after a fight outside the Lannon House tavern on Main Street early June 22.

The Sheriff's Department has asked the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office to prosecute all three - two 44-year-olds, one from Lannon and another from Milwaukee, and a 24-year-old from Menomonee Falls - on felony battery charges.

According to the deputies' report, the only independent eyewitness at the scene said the hostilities began when the Menomonee Falls man started arguing with a female bartender around closing time at 1:15 that morning.

Despite the Falls man's claim that another bartender, the Milwaukee man, had threatened him with a gun, and the Lannon man's claim that the same bartender had stabbed him in the leg with a knife, the witness said he saw no weapon, though he had heard some talk about a gun, nor had he seen anyone stabbed, the report said.

The deputies' search of the tavern at N72 W20202 Good Hope Road turned up no firearm, but did uncover a knife on the bar ledge underneath a rubber mat. The knife showed no signs of blood, however, only some cardboard debris, the deputies' report said.

The bartenders said it was used only to open pizza boxes.

The eyewitness - who, like the Lannon man involved in the parking lot brawl, lives in the mobile home court across the street from the tavern - told the deputies that the Falls man started the fight with the male bartender, and that the Lannon man had been arguing with the female bartender as well.

The Falls man claimed the male bartender attacked him, and the Lannon man claimed he joined the fight to help the Falls man defend himself.

The Lannon man showed the deputies two puncture wounds on the inside of his right thigh to support his claim that the male bartender had stabbed him.

The Lannon man's wife, who was waiting for him in the parking lot with their son, supported her husband's stabbing claim. Deputies reported seeing some blood on her right hand, but also reported that the wounds on the Lannon man's leg showed no signs of fresh or dried blood to indicate they were recent.

The Lannon man claimed the fight was preceded by an argument with the male bartender, who, he said, had told him he was the only one in the bar playing pool and not buying any drinks. The man told deputies that the bartender then asked his female coworker to get his gun.

The Lannon man then ran across the street to his mobile home, but returned to find the bartender on top of his friend, he said. When he tried to pry them loose, the bartender stabbed him, he told deputies.

The male bartender, who was walking with a limp when the deputies arrived, their report said, claimed the other two men attacked him when he left the bar at about 1:30 a.m. to go home.

The male bartender said the other two men refused to leave at closing time, 1:15 a.m., when he asked them to, then, after they did leave, jumped him in the parking lot after he left.

The female bartender then called the police, he said.

Feldman, Thomas Robert

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) - Thursday, November 29, 2012
Author: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Staff
Age 92. Thomas Robert Feldman was born December 6, 1919 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to Robert and Lucille Feldman. He died on November 7, 2012, almost reaching his 93rd birthday. Tom and Laura Mae (Dolly) Abler were married on March 6, 1942, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tom served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a Draftsman. Tom and Dolly purchased the Lannon House in Lannon , Wisconsin, in 1953 and operated the business for 53 years. Tom served on the Lannon Village Board, retired from the Lannon Volunteer Fire Department and was past president and an active member of the Lannon Lions Club for many years. Tom enjoyed many hobbies including his 1928 Model A Ford, collecting coins and snowmobiling. For many years, Tom built Christmas bicycles from salvaged parts for disadvantaged children. Tom is survived by two sons and two daughters, Thomas (Kathryn) of Lannon Wisconsin and Richard (Gena) of Berthoud, Colorado, Jeanne M. Kirschnik of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Mary A. Higgins of Tucson, Arizona. Tom is also survived by a sister Margaret Deaton of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Tom is survived by 12 grandchildren, 6 greatgrandchildren and one greatgreat-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, a sister, Elizabeth and brothers Daniel and Peter.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Bradley Villas, 6735 W. Bradley Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Tom was compassionately cared for during his last years.

Copyright 2012, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)


He salvaged dreams from old bicycles | OBITUARY Lannon House operator fixed bikes, gave them to needy kids

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) - Friday, December 7, 2012
Author: JAN UEBELHERR, [email protected], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Staff

It's hard to say just how the Christmas bicycle project got started. Maybe he passed a discarded bike and, well, just couldn't pass it by.

Thomas Feldman didn't talk much about a lot of things, like how he went lot of things, like how he went to live in an orphanage during the Great Depression after his father died. Sometimes, he wasn't in the best mood. He could be ornery. But he was good at collecting things, fixing things, giving things away. He liked the giving-them-away part. He lived his last few years at Bradley Villas, where he died Nov. 7 at age 92. Years before, Feldman had been many things to Lannon - he served on the Village Board and the volunteer Fire Department. He was Lions Club president. For 53 years beginning in 1953, he and his late wife, Laura Mae (Dolly), ran the Lannon House restaurant and bar. And for at least 150 kids, he served as a St. Nicholas of sorts. He gave them a bicycle that they weren't likely to get otherwise. Using salvaged parts - some procured from a buddy at the town landfill - Feldman built and gave away probably 150 bicycles when he was in his 60s, what his son, Tom, calls his "really active years" in the production of Christmas bicycles.

"He probably passed somebody throwing something out. He was a Depression kid. You don't throw anything out. Mom probably said, 'Now what are you going to do with those?' That's probably the way it took place," said Tom. As near as anyone can guess, that's how Thomas Feldman collected parts of old bicycles, built them into new ones and gave them to kids who could use a bike but had dim prospects of actually getting one.

"There was no organization that he was affiliated with. He would just build bicycles and when he found a need, he would deliver it," said another son, Dick. When customers heard that Feldman was making bikes, parts began to appear.

"All you've got to do is start collecting one thing," said Tom. "At the landfill - these guys were his customers - they would bring in whatever they found."

"He would sit and tinker with the bikes, make them rideable," said Tom.

The bicycles often could be seen by customers of the Lannon House. "He always had a couple of them that he just finished," said Tom. "He'd put them on display in the tavern . There was a large dining room."

When you run a small-town restaurant, you hear lots of things. Thomas Feldman never had trouble finding those kids who could use a bike. "You just know," said Tom.

His family knew much of Thomas Feldman's story: He was born on Dec. 6, 1919. His father suffered a head injury while working at a Ford auto plant in Michigan and died a week later on a hunting trip. Thomas Feldman's mother was forced to make a tough decision. Thomas was 6. "Because she was poor, not a woman of means, she put her children for several years in orphanages. They would work in these orphanages for their room and board. He never elaborated on it, but from what I know he spent a number of years in an orphanage," said Tom. "He spoke very little of it all of his life. It was known and accepted, and he just went on."

After his first stroke, he talked more about the story. He told how he and his younger brother developed influenza in the orphanage. "On the way to the hospital, his little brother died in his arms," said Tom.

Feldman believed his brother Daniel died because of the poor care given to destitute kids, said his son, Dick. He also recalls his father talking about wearing ill-fitting shoes with cardboard inside - the soles long ago worn out. A bicycle? Not a chance.

Young Thomas Feldman and his older sister eventually reunited with their mother. As a teenager, he learned various trades from his uncles. He served in the Navy during World War II. He worked as a draftsman for Square D and Allis-Chalmers. He tinkered with a 1928 Model A Ford, which would have been built around the time his father worked the line at Ford. He could build things and save things and give them away.

Those orphanage years left their mark. "Ready for the fight all the time," said Tom. "He could be difficult. Other than that, he was a strong man."

He was given to dark moods, especially when he was frustrated that he could no longer care for himself or others. He was unable to care for his wife after she suffered a stroke, since he needed care himself. His wife lived for a year with her sister in California, then with their daughter, Mary A. Higgins.

Thomas Feldman's family often thanked the staff at Bradley Villas for their handling of a difficult man.

In the last few years, he mellowed some. There were a few more smiles, said Tom.

"I remember that he was always looking to help someone. If they needed help, he was always there. He was just like that."

Besides his two sons and daughter, he is survived by daughter Jeanne M. Kirschnik; a sister Margaret Deaton; 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Copyright 2012, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)


Lannon House tavern on Main Street in Lannon at N72 W20202 Good Hope Road

Scott Birkholz of Dobber’s, 20202 W. Good Hope Road

Dobber's Lannon House