THREE QUARTERS of a CENTURY of PROGRESS
A Brief Pictorial and Commercial History
of Sioux City, Iowa
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of the largest tire businesses in the city is done by the Perfection
Tire Distributing Co., organized in 1920, by A. E. Giesen.
Both wholesale and retail business is carried on by the company
which covers a large territory enabling them to buy factory outputs
in many instances. They employ a large number of people and maintain
a force of traveling men. These men cover the territory surrounding
Sioux City in several different states. The growth of the company
has been remarkable considering the short time that it has been
in operation in the city.
latest books of fiction, history, trade or anything else can be
found in Sioux City at the Sioux City Stationery Co., the largest
retail book and stationery store in the city. The business has
been in existence in Sioux City for over 30 years under the ownership
of F. C. Small. In 1910, it was consolidated with the Jackson
Book Store. They employ 10 people and do an enormous trade locally.
Everything in books, school supplies, office supplies, periodicals,
maps, stationery and similar lines are to be had at this store
located opposite the post office in Sioux City.
The Pioneer Iron Works, successors to the Herman Iron Works,
was organized by men expert in the business, with Paul Kaplan
as general manager. Associated with Mr. Kaplan are: Herman
Galinsky, president; Abraham Kaplan, vice president;
Herman Miller secretary, and I. Miller, treasurer.
At the beginning only a small wire and iron business was carried
on mostly as a service shop. The business
has now grown to a manufacturing and jobbing business for all
iron products used in building as well as heavy machine work.
Iron ladders and stairway fire escapes, iron and ornamental fences,
all kinds of wire work, steel doors, stairs, smoke stacks and
all kinds of mill supplies of iron are made and distributed here.
The machine shop includes service such as heavy blacksmithing,
machine work of all kinds, auto repairing on such things as springs,
axles, crankshaft grinding and oxy-acetylene welding. This is
one of the best equipped welding plants in the city and work comes
in from all over the surrounding territory. The manufacturers
of other lines get service on their equipment at this plant in
the way of repairs and mill equipment. An average of 11 men are
employed in the shop all the time which enables them to turn out
work in record time. The plant is located on Water street between
Fourth and Fifth, and is convenient to reach.
One Hundred Seventy-five
G. W. Burkhead was first known in Sioux City in 1893,
when he was with the firm of Burkhead & Reese. This company
was changed to G. W. Burkhead in 1900. He has continued
to operate by himself since that time. He has six employees and
does an annual business of nearly half a million dollars worth
of construction work. His work is not confined to Sioux City but
extends over Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. He does
a general architectural business designing churches, public buildings,
commercial blocks and similar lines of construction work. Hundreds
of edifices in this territory owe their design to Mr. Burkhead.
first hotel building built by John J. Lessenich was built
in 1867. This was burned in 1881, and the second was built in
that year. The present building of the Chicago House was built
in 1905. All of these have been built by Mr. Lessenich, who with
Mr. Federman, are operators of the Chicago House which
is the oldest hotel in the city under same name and management.
Thirty-three years of constant development in Sioux City is the
story of the Orcutt Co., organized in 1890, by W. W. and W.
M. Orcutt, as a hardware and tin shop. For 15 years they occupied
the Major block at Fourth and Virginia streets. In
1905, they erected the Orcutt building which they now occupy entirely.
It consists of four stories and basement and contains the largest
stock in this territory. They do a general hardware retail business,
with wholesale departments in contractors', factory and mill supplies.
They do a large business in finishing hardware, plant equipment,
furnaces, electrical fixtures, paints, sporting goods, furnishings,
hotel and school supplies and similar goods. They not only serve
Sioux City but the trading radius of 100 miles. Many of their
customers come or send orders from many miles further than this.
They are located in the heart of the retail district of the city,
a condition seldom found in the case of a hardware store. The
volume of their business is greater than any similar store in
this part of the west. It is due to their long standing in the
community and large stock of supplies which enables them to give
good service on any of the lines they handle. W. W. Orcutt
is president, and W. M., secretary-treasurer of the company.
One Hundred Seventy-six
The Sioux City Gas and Electric Company owns and operates the
Sioux City Gas and Electric Company and the Sioux City Service
Company. These two companies furnish the city of Sioux City gas,
electricity and street car service, and steam heat in the business
company began operating in Sioux City on February 26, 1859, on
which date the Sioux City Gas Light Company was organized. In
1885, the Sioux City Electric Company was organized, and on July
2, 1901, the Sioux City Gas and Electric company was organized
and purchased the property and equipment of the Sioux City Gas
Light Company and the Sioux City Electric Company.
In 1922, the Sioux City Gas and Electric Company and the Sioux
City Service Company were merged and are now operated under the
name of the Sioux City Gas and Electric Company.
The officials of the company are: L. L. Kellogg, president;
W. J. Bertke, vice president and general manager; R.
B. Searing, secretary; I. W. Morris, treasurer, with
offices in the Commerce building. Six hundred and fifty people
are employed by the company in its various departments and plants.
Many improvements have been made during 1923, including supplying
the outlying districts of the city with gas and electric service.
The gas works and the Court street plant are located at First
and Court streets. The Water street plant is located at Water
street on Perry creek and the Missouri river.
The company has approximately 160 miles of mains supplying over
16,000 customers with gas. Over half a billion cubic feet of gas
is manufactured annually, consuming 400 cars of coke in its manufacture.
Over 15,000 customers are supplied with electric service. Some
of Sioux City's largest industries are operated entirely by electric
power furnished by this company.
In the last 10 years a recent survey shows an increase in gas
sales of 55.46 per cent; an increase in electric sales of 760.57
per cent. Gas customers have increased 40.35 per cent, and electric
customers, 445.07 per cent.
One Hundred Seventy-seven
With the farmers becoming disgusted with the fly-by-night wagon
medicine peddlers, the Johnson Tonic Co., of Sioux City, is becoming
known as a reliable source of first class stock remedies. The
business was established in 1920, by H. L. Johnson, who
is president of the concern. A. E. Gieson is secretary-treasurer.
They employ 20 people and do an annual business of over $50,000
in the three surrounding states. Plans are now being made to widen
their market to include all of the Sioux City territory. They
have four salesmen and 35 agencies at the present time. Some of
the products they make include Johnson's Hog Tonic, Horse Tonic,
Poultry Tonic, Sheep Tonic, Cattle Tonic, Hog Special, Furno,
Worm Capsules, Fly Spray and Dip. Many farmers are raising better
hogs because of this company and their service.
The Big Sioux Furnace Co. has been installing Big Sioux furnaces
and other heating equipment in Sioux City since 1915. The company
is under management of J. J. Piuser.
They install Rudy furnaces, Liberty oil burners and steam nozzle
burners for industrial plants, public buildings and apartment
houses. Five mechanics and four salesmen handle the business which
covers a territory of 50 miles radius of Sioux City. The lines
handled are well known and guaranteed products which accounts
for the large business Of the concern. They do all kinds of furnace
repairing and tin work in addition to the installation work.
The Federation Construction Co. was organized in May, 1919, by
its president, K. B. White. Since then the company has
completed one and a quarter million dollars of construction work
including industrial, commercial and residences. One hundred
and fifty thousand dollars worth of residences alone have been
built in the four years the company has been in operation. Some
of the buildings most familiar to Sioux City people constructed
by this company are Swine Pavilion of Interstate Fair Association,
Albertson & Co. building and the War Eagle store and office
building at Sixth and Pierce streets. They recently completed
a half million dollar factory building at Muscatine, Iowa. Mr.
White and H. H. Lueder have been active in the organization
and have superintended the construction of all the buildings.
The building and financing of many small homes have enabled numerous
families to have homes on small payments that otherwise would
not have had them.
One Hundred Seventy-eight
The Crescent Jewelry Co. is one of the successful credit jewelry
stores opened in Sioux City in 1920. The basis of the entire business
is that everyone is honest if given a fair chance. This company
also operates a store in Fargo, N. D. They employ 23 people in
the two stores. Their customers come not only from Sioux City,
but from many miles around in the territory. They handle large
stocks of diamonds, watches and silverware. B. J. Rubel
is in charge of the Sioux City store and I. Howitz is in
the Fargo store. Both have had many years of experience in the
jewelry business in this territory and know the wants of the people.
This accounts for the success that they have met.
Buick automobiles in Sioux City have meant for the most part
Wade & Burnight, who have been distributing them in this territory
for a great many years. The firm was first established here in
1908, and since that time have furnished the territory with thousands
of cars. They sell over a half million dollars worth of Buick
cars annually in northeastern Nebraska, western Iowa and a portion
of South Dakota. J. C. Wade and F. L. Burnight,
who form the company, have been known throughout the territory
which they serve for a great many years.
Operating one of the largest and most modern exclusive cleaning
and dyeing plants in the west, it is not at all strange that the
Davenport Cleaning Works has built up a reputation and business
that cannot be excelled. The plant was established in 1910, by
W. C. Davenport, and has been added onto at intervals since
that time. New equipment and machinery have been added to the
already modern plant until it is capable of turning out an enormous
volume of work in record time. Associated with W. C. Davenport
is his son, C. C. Davenport. They have over 25 employees
in Sioux City and maintain over 50 agencies throughout the territory.
An extensive business is carried on with their customers in the
territory through these agents. Their delivery trucks cover the
entire city and enable them to give prompt service to their customers
While this company takes a great pride in the volume and class
of work done for the local Sioux City patrons, they are at all
times on the alert for new ways of speeding up the efficiency
on the work received from the many agencies in the territory.
As a result this important branch of their business has reached
a tremendous annual total.
One Hundred Seventy-nine
The Novelty Manufacturing Co. was organized in 1888, by George
W. Coulson, and incorporated the following year. At that time
they were engaged in manufacturing small novelties and doing general
repair work. From this the business branched out into a general
machine shop and supply house. In addition to handling all kinds
of machine work from small screws to giant engines, they deal
in mill supplies and engine room equipment. They employ an average
of 18 or 20 skilled mechanics and machinists. The business covers
not only Sioux City but northwestern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska
and southern South Dakota. They do an extensive business in power
plant work, municipal lighting plants and other heavy machine
work. Their line of mill and engine room supplies is very extensive
and fills a real need in the industrial life of the city.
The Novelty Manufacturing Co. at the present time is making a
specialty of both automobile and steam engine repairing, their
equipment for the conducting of this class of work being unexcelled.
A large part of their time and machinery is also devoted to acetylene
welding, much of this work coming to their plant from the surrounding
Since 1904 the products of the Day Coal Co. have kept people
of Sioux City warm. This company was organized by Elmer A.
Butler and C. A. Day in May of that year. Two years
later Mr. Butler purchased Mr. Day's interest and since then he
has been sole owner. Their customers have grown from a handful
at that time
to hundreds now, both retail and wholesale. They handle both wood
and coal and .cover northwest Iowa, part of Nebraska and South
Dakota in a wholesale way, and Sioux City at retail. The products
include such well known coals and coal products as Milwaukee Solvay
Coke, Stott Briquets, Colorado Pinnacle Lump and Southern Gem
Franklin County Illinois Lump. The force employed averages 20
people including an office force of six. This is raised during
the rush season to 30 or 35. The business is under the personal
direction of Mr. Butler.
One Hundred Eighty
Perhaps little attention was paid to the efforts of the late
John C. Kelly, back in 1880, when he started a small four-page
weekly newspaper. People were not accustomed to much in the way
of news in those days but many of them had the opportunity of
watching this small weekly grow into the metropolitan paper that
it is today with eight daily editions, each with from 10 to 24
pages. The struggles of an editor back in those days when Sioux
City was a frontier town need not be retold. Mr. Kelly, however,
had the courage to withstand the struggle and lived to see his
paper the big daily that it is nowhe died in 1920, after
becoming known as one of the leaders in journalism in the northwest.
The present Tribune is full of features from front to back. Well
known comic strips such as "Little Jimmy," "Mutt
and Jeff," "Bringing Up Father," "Barney Google,"
and others are known in this territory only through the Tribune.
Associated Press, Universal News and United Press reports are
carried daily while hundreds of special features are carried during
various parts of the year. The Saturday edition corresponds to
a Sunday feature paper, there being no Sunday Tribune. Thiele
cartoons appear exclusively in the Tribune, Mr. Thiele
being a member of the Tribune staff. His work has been recognized
to an extent that his cartoons are copied in the leading magazines
of the country.
It was fortunate that three sons of John C. Kelly grew
up with the business and were in position to assume management
of the entire paper and plant. John H. Kelly is editor,
while Eugene Kelly is manager. Both are well known in business
circles of the city. The plant employs 258, including editorial
and office force. The subscribers of the Tribune number over 50,000
and extend over northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, southwest
Minnesota arid all of South Dakota. The traveling force of agents
numbers 15. They cover this territory. Hundreds of towns in the
territory have carrier service. Farmers and residents of smaller
cities get their copy of the Tribune direct by mail.
One Hundred Eighty-one
Rosenbloom opened his first store in Sioux City in November,
1920. In the spring of this year he opened a new and more complete
store on Fourth street in the very heart of the retail district.
This store is modern in every respect with beautiful new fixtures
covered with the highest class of merchandise. Because Mr. Rosenbloom
is known by thousands as "Ben," he chose that name for
his store. He has four live wire employees. The stock of high
grade diamonds, watches and all kinds of jewelry is complete in
every way. The newest creations of the goldsmith's art is to be
found here in this enterprising jewelry store.
on a small scale in 1912 by Ralph Gaynor and J. A. Todd,
the Gaynor-Bagstad Co. has grown to a quarter of a million dollar
a year business employing 17 men and with four salesmen on the
road. The company handles drugs, chemicals and pharmaceuticals,
hospital and office furniture, laboratory supplies and equipment,
surgical dressings and drug sundries, surgical instruments, veterinary
supplies, trusses, elastic hosiery and abdominal belts, therapeutic
electric equipment and sick room supplies. The line handled is
one of the most complete in the northwest. Mr. Gaynor, president
and manager of the company, is well known in public life in Sioux
The importance of good roads and the development of Sioux City
residential sections have been responsible for the rapid and substantial
growth of the W. R. Shipman Construction Co., one of the largest
concerns engaged ill road grading and bridge construction in this
section of the middle west. Probably the largest single contract
assumed by this organization was the grading and leveling required
in the improvement of the Sunset View residence addition, where
millions of yards of dirt were removed by them. This project included,
besides the grading of the newly laid-out streets, the cutting
down of large hills and the filling of considerable areas. Many
of the more important country highways in the Sioux City territory
were graded by this company, and their force of men, maintained
during the seasonable months, means a payroll that is of much
importance to Sioux City merchants and other commercial institutions.
They have every modern equipment necessary in the conduct of an
extensive grading and bridge building business, including horses
and power equipment. The company's headquarters and offices are
located in the Iowa building. W. R. Shipman, president,
is also general manager, and has personal charge of the projects
One Hundred Eighty-two
Moore-Toller Drug Co. was organized in 1879, by the late S.
H. Moore. Since his death the store has been owned by A.
J. Toller. The store specializes on prescription service which
is respected and appreciated by most of the physicians of the
city. This department is under the supervision of Mr. Kugel
and Mr. Anderson, who are known as among the leading pharmacists
of the state. The soda and luncheonette department is under the
management of Mr. Bartels and Mr. Huntting. A total
force of 12 is employed in this progressive drug store.
Fullerton Lumber Company is strictly a child of Sioux City. It
was organized here in 1888, by James, Thomas and George Fullerton,
the active management being in charge of James Fullerton,
who made his home here until 1900, after that W. F. Beam
was in charge until
his death which occurred December 10, 1912. The management was
then taken over by Mr. Joe Fullerton who came here from
St. Joseph, Mo., and he conducted the business until his death,
about eight years ago. After that Mr. George Jordan was manager
until the early spring of 1918, when the management was taken
over by Mr. H. T. Walensky and Mr. F. E. Johnson.
The main Yard is located at Fourth and Lafayette streets, the
material yard at Third and Clark streets.
|MOORE CLOTHING CO.
Men's and Boys' Clothing
The story of the Moore Clothing Co. is one of progress since
the store was opened in 1905. A most complete line of men's and
boys' hats, caps, clothing and furnishings is carried in the modern
store at Fourth and Nebraska. This location in the heart of the
retail business district brings thousands of people by their
door daily. They get their share of customers from this daily
stream. Over 25 employees work here, giving their services to
the men who want good clothes. Some of the nationally advertised
lines handled here include Kuppenheimer clothes, Dobbs hats and
caps, Stetson hats, Manhattan shirts, Interwoven hosiery, Vassar
underwear and many leading lines of domestic and imported men's
wear. The buyers of this company keep in close touch with the
eastern and foreign markets in a way that assures Sioux City men
of the latest styles almost as soon as they appear in the east.
The customers which number in the thousands, come from Sioux City
and hundreds of small towns in the territory. Geo. G. Moore,
founder of the business, is president. F. T. Sharts, who
has been prominent in the clothing business in the city for many
years, is vice president. E. H. Looker is advertising manager.
One Hundred Eighty-three
In 1919, A. Braunger and L. D. Anthony formed the
partnership of Braunger & Anthony. Mr. Braunger had been in
business in Sioux City since 1886. Mr. Anthony had been manager
of the local branch of the Cudahy Packing Co. Their business when
organized as now consists in wholesale and retail selling of food
products. They sell fresh meat, salt meats, poultry, eggs and
other staple food products. They employ 12 people and do an annual
business of over a quarter of a million dollars. Most of their
business is locally. Two salesmen cover this city with sales.
Many hotels, restaurants and other large users of foods are among
the best customers of this company.
rapidly growing concern was organized on February 14, 1916, by
E. H. Olson and Geo. L. Booth, who are still at
the head of the organization. From 25 to 100 people are employed,
the larger number being required during the summer months when
the firm is very active in street and road paving. Booth &
Olson have contracted and built many miles of concrete paving
in Sioux City and the surrounding towns, and in 1923, constructed
over five miles of paving here, and five miles in Kingsley, Iowa.
Booth & Olson sell several lines of high grade coal, both
at wholesale and retail, their territory covering northeast Nebraska,
northwest Iowa, southern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota.
The Seymour White Laundry and the Humphrey Dry Cleaning Co. were
consolidated into one concern in 1920. The Seymour Laundry was
established 35 years ago in a building where the Orpheum now stands,
by W. H. Seymour. Humphrey
Dry Cleaning Co. was established about the same time at 517 Pierce
street. J. D. Seibert is president and manager of the company
at the present time. There are 100 people employed in the plant
located on Nebraska street between Fifth and Sixth streets, in
the heart of the business section of Sioux City. They cover the
trade territory as well as Sioux City and employ seven salesmen.
The efficient and satisfactory services of the Seymour Laundry
is rapidly taking the place of the old fashioned methods of washing.
The housewife now sends her clothes out of the house to be laundered
knowing that they will be returned in better condition than they
could have been done in her own home. Every kind of modern laundry
and dry cleaning service is offered in this establishment from
washing handkerchiefs to cleaning automobile upholstering. Special
departments handle different classes of work and insure proper
attention and service.
One Hundred Eighty-four
Since 1906 the well dressed and particular men of Sioux City
have been fitted with clothes by the shop of C. A. Hollenbeck.
Mr. Hollenbeck himself is one of the most skillful tailors in
the northwest and employs 15 other tailors, all doing exclusively
men's tailoring. They occupy quarters on the second floor of the
Frances building in the heart of the business district. The location,
together with the wonderful service and good workmanship, has
built up a tailoring business that is not excelled in the city.
They cover not only Sioux City but the three surrounding states.
Many orders come by mail from men whose measurements are on file
Bros. is the oldest firm in Sioux City without change of membership
or management and under the same name. In 1887, E. F. and C.
L. Sturges opened a modest little harness shop. They now do
an extensive retail, wholesale and manufacturing business in harness
and saddlery and strap work of all kinds. They sell shoe findings,
leather, automobile top material, nose guards for horses and all
other horse equipment. The business has gradually expanded until
it now covers Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and
South Dakota with sales.
|J. C. RENNISON
Among the largest of its kind in the northwest of which Sioux
City boasts, is the greenhouse of the J. C. Rennison company.
Over 12 acres of glass buildings containing every kind of flower
known to the florists of this country is owned by this company
on the Denison road in the edge of the city. The business was
on a very small scale in 1881, by J. C. Rennison, from
whom the company gets its name On his death his daughter, Miss
F. L. Rennison, took charge of the business and has operated
it successfully since. In addition to the wholesale business in
flowers of all kinds, nursery stock, landscape shrubbery and potted
plants, they do a large retail business. The retail store is a
complete business in itself. The company does a business of over
$175,000 annually and cover territory in the Dakotas, Minnesota,
Nebraska, Iowa, and as far as Wyoming and Colorado. They have
over 200 agencies in the immediate territory and have several
salesmen out in the territory. The modern greenhouse has been
built new since 1920. This year they erected three new units,
each 200 feet long and 40 feet wide. They own considerable acreage
in the immediate neighborhood and will expand as needed to care
for the business. They maintain a department for making garden
furniture to order.
One Hundred Eighty-five
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