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Salick’s Jewelry Store

Joseph Salick & Son

 

For over 140 years

1853 - 1995

1853      FOUNDED

Joseph Salick

 

The present Salick Jewelry Co. was founded in 1853 by Joseph Salick who came to Watertown from Cincinnati at a time when Watertown expansion was at its height.  On March 3, 1853, the city of Watertown was incorporated.  During the same month the city was authorized by the legislature to aid in the construction of the Milwaukee and Watertown, and the Watertown and Berlin railroads.  On the first of August of the same year the city delivered to the railroad company bonds aggregating $80,000 at eight percent.

 

Figures for the population of Watertown in 1853 vary from three to four thousand.  There were many business houses here at the time, however, including six dry goods stores, eleven grocery stores, two drug stores, fifteen taverns, two bakeries, three meat markets, two book stores, six cabinet shops, four tinshops, few factories, two printing offices, six school houses, two select schools, and many churches and one bank.  The census of 1855 shows the population to have been 8,512, an increase of 7,000 in ten years.  In point of population Watertown was the second city in Wisconsin.

 

First Store Opened

 

At this time Mr. Salick established his first store in Watertown.  It was located on the site of the present New York meat market 8 Main Street (1930 City Dir). 

 

Another source states that the first Salick store was in the Werner building on the north side of the Main Street bridge

 

The year following he erected the building on the site of the present store building.  Later, when his son, Charles J. Salick, was old enough to enter the business, his father took him into partnership and with the gradual and steady expansion of the business it was found necessary to build an addition to the store which is now the building occupied by the company at  1 and 3 Main Street, next to the bridge.

 

1855

01 11       WATCH AND JEWELRY STORE

Mr. J. Salick, of this city, has one of the largest and best stocks of watches, clocks, and jewelry, of all descriptions, in the state.  Being himself a skillful and experienced operator, he never allows any work to go out of his shop that is not well done.  His advertisement will be found in this paper, and all who wish to purchase articles in his line, cannot do better than give him a call.    WD

 

1860

12 27       Joseph Salick, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL DEALER IN WATCHES AND JEWELRY, takes pleasure to announce to the citizens of Watertown and vicinity that he had removed [moved] his store to his new brick building, at the [south]east corner of Main Street bridge, where you will find a great variety of choice gold and silver watches of every description, gold gent’s pins, gold ladies’ pins, bracelets, eardrops, rings, chains, lockets, shirt buttons, pencils, silver and silver-plated spoons, spectacles, knives, money purses, etc., etc.  And many other articles too numerous to mention.  A great assortment of clocks of all kinds will be sold at the lowest prices.  Come and See.  Joseph Salick.   WD

 

Salick Variety and Jewelry Store, 3 and 1 E Main St (SE corner of bridge)

Far right, Joseph Salick, c 1890.  Others not identified

Note Salick-built timepiece (now at Octagon House) in window behind Joseph.

Gritzner Barber Shop located in basement of Salicks

 

                  

 

1862

09 11       PRAIRIE CHICKENS

Mr. J. Salick has our thanks for the brace of fine prairie chickens he presented us the other day – the result of his sporting skill..    WD

 

1864

08 25       JOSEPH SALICK RETURNED FROM GERMANY

Personal.  Last week Mr. Joseph Salick returned to this city from Germany, where he has been on a visit to the Fatherland during the past four months.    WD

 

1865

10 12       HOME PURCHASED

J. W. Cole sold to J. Salick, house and lot in Second ward for $4,500.    WD

 

1894

02 16       JOSEPH RETIRES, CHARLES TAKES OVER

Notice is hereby given that the co-partnership heretofore existing under the firm name of Jos. Salick & Son, dealer In musical Instruments and novelty goods, has this day been dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. Jos. Salick retiring from the business.  Hereafter the business will be conducted by Chas. J. Salick.

 

All accounts against the old firm will be settled by Chas. J. Salick, and accounts due the firm collected by him.

 

The jewelry business heretofore conducted by Jos. Salick will hereafter be carried on by said Chas. J. Salick.  All accounts against said firm will be settled by Chas. J. Salick, and accounts due the firm collected by him.

 

Thanking our patrons for the past, we solicitude to their patronage for the future. 

 

Jos. Salick, although retiring, will have charge of the repair work and give it his strict attention, satisfaction guaranteed every time.

 

Parties owing the firm are kindly requested to settle before March 1st. 1894    WG

 

Dec          CHRISTMAS AD

  

 

1900

04 27       15th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, Chas. Salick and wife

Sunday, April 22, 1900, was the 15th wedding anniversary of Chas. J. Salick and wife, and a number of their friends called that evening at their home, 700 Third Street in honor of the event to offer their congratulations.  Several hours were most pleasantly passed by them at Mr. and Mrs. Salick’s hospitable home, a fine supper being served, and cards and music being indulged in.  It was a most joyful gathering, and as each guest departed, hearty good wishes were extended that Mr. Salick and wife would live to enjoy many happy returns of their wedding anniversary.   WG

 

12 07       BASEMENT USED TO DISPLAY HOLIDAY STOCK

Jos. Salick & Son, 1 and 3 Main Street, has added the entire basement for the display of their immense holiday stock.  This gives them three floors full of holiday goods — the largest and best selected stock in this city — it will be to your advantage to inspect this stock while complete to make your Christmas selections. The extensive growth of this business is convincing of fair dealing and the lowest prices.  WG

 

______________________________________________________

August Salick, Rev.

Charles Salick

John Salick

Upon the elder Salick’s retirement his son, Charles J. Salick, assumed control and has since formed a partnership with his son, John E. Salick, and the firm is now known as Salick Jewelry Co.

 

Joseph Salick has sold his two store buildings at the east end of Main Street bridge to his sons, Rev. Father [August] Salick and Charles Salick.  The former bought the east store [3 Main St] for $3,250 and the latter the west one [1 Main St] for $4,000.  [Watertown Gazette, 05 25 1888]

 

It would be impossible to describe the hardships and handicaps in the early history of the Watertown store.  One change that has taken place in the business conditions since that time and the present day is plainly indicated by the fact that working hours were from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.  Oil lamps supplied light by which the watchmaker busied himself.

 

Store image 3

.

Salick store, right, c1910 postcard

Store image 4

 

Early Days Recalled

 

Mr. Salick, in recalling earlier watch-making days, recalls them with the statement:  “In those days the work was no cinch.  We had to make almost every part that was needed for repair and oftentimes the tools.”

 

There are several clocks in the store which were made by the founder of the store and every part was made out of material obtained in Watertown and which have given accurate service all these years.

 

               [ Ode “To Salick’s Clock” ]

 

The anniversary about to be observed may well be regarded as most important because it finds the Salick Jewelry Co. thoroughly seasoned and tempered by the past traditions of achievement and ambition and with much to cause one to believe that the coming years will continue to be happy and prosperous.

 

The company plans “open house” for the week of June 3, and during this time they have arranged for many interesting displays of the jeweler’s art and craftsmanship.  One of the items of interest on display is a watch over 200 years old of the English verge type which still keeps accurate time.  The firm will be pleased to have the people of Watertown and vicinity call and see these displays.

 

Old Art

 

Unlike a person, a jewelry business upon entering its seventy-fifth year cannot be called old.  From time immemorial the jeweler has supplied to every home those gifts which outlive the generation in which they are purchased.  Once these things have become the possession of the buyer they assume that priceless consideration known as sentimental value.

 

The heirloom of today seems but the purchase of yesterday.  Precious stones, gold and sterling silver have been a standard of value for centuries.  They have always gone hand in hand with confidence, confidence in the merchants who sponsor it.

 

Today, in spite of changed methods of merchandising, the same confidence marks every sale of jewelry.  And so, after seventy-five years, Salick’s store marks the time during which the public has expressed its confidence in them to correctly interpret their continuous demand for the artistic.

_____________________________________________________

 

A bicycle to be ridden by Archie Wurtzler, who claims the title of champion of Watertown, may be seen in the show window of Joseph Salick & Son [ Watertown Daily Times, 03 03 1897 ]

_____________________________________________________

 

Joseph Salick was the first to commend electrical lights and signed a contract for a substantial number of lights.  Most of the business men were indifferent but became convinced of its feasibility as soon as a few were put in use.

 

Joseph Salick

St. Henry’s, First Trustee

  •  

The Joseph Salick was one of the three first church council or trustee members of St. Henry’s Parish of Watertown, assisting Father Conrad Beck, the first residing priest.

 

Born in Westphalia, Germany in 1824, Joseph Salick served in the German army during the revolutionary period of 1848.  In the year 1853 Salick moved to Watertown.  One of his ten children, August, became a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

 

Salick was a prominent resident, devoted member of the parish and was a pioneer jeweler and senior member of the firm of Joseph Salick & Son. 

 

Salick opened the first jewelry store in the community in 1853 and always lived in the vicinity of the church; for a time his home was at 802 N. Fourth Street, one of the most beautiful homes in the city, originally built by John W. Cole.

Cross Reference:  Henry Fendt has purchased the Joseph Salick residence property at 412 North Fifth Street and will occupy it as his family residence.   Watertown Gazette, 11 30 1911

 

He worked at the jeweler’s bench up to his retirement at age 85, being at the time the oldest jeweler in Wisconsin.

 

Salick died in 1910.  “One can truly say of him he lived as near as possible to the golden rule.  As in private and business affairs he had the respect of all who came in contact with him.” (Watertown Daily Times, 10 17 1910)

 

At 4:30 o'clock last Friday afternoon, while blasting ice at Main street with dynamite, a piece of gravel covering the dynamite was driven through a side window of the Salick jewelry store and struck Jos. Salick over one of his eyes and inflicted a severe wound.  Though not of a serious nature, Mr. Salick was considerably scared at the time.  Watertown Daily Times, March 30, 1904

 

Watertown Daily Times, 10 29 1953

 

The Salick Jewelry Company, 217 Main Street, this city, is celebrating its one hundredth year as a jewelry concern.  Believed to be the oldest jewelry store in the state, it has been in continuous operation by the Salick family since its founding in 1953.  Joseph Salick, the founder, came to this country from Germany in 1851.  He traveled by wagon team through the woods from Milwaukee to Watertown in 1853 and started his jewelry business.  The first location was at the present site of the Wisconsin National Bank [104 W Main].  A year later the business moved to the present location of the New York Market [8 E Main] and later a new store was built at No. 1 and 3 [E] Main Street.  This remained the location of the Salick Jewelry Store for many years.

 

Store closes after 142 years

Watertown Daily Times, 10 07 1995

 

A downtown business with a colorful history will end with the closing of Salick Jewelers, a Watertown landmark for over 140 years.  Rowland and Terry Straka, who have owned and operated the jewelry business on the corner of East Main and South Third streets for the past seven years, are in the process of liquidating the inventory in celebration of Rowland's retirement at age 65.  Salick Jewelers is believed to be the oldest jewelry store in Wisconsin.  The business was founded in 1853 by Joseph Salick, who had been a clock maker in Westphalia, Germany.  It was one of Watertown's earliest retail businesses, starting just 17 years after the city's first white settler, Timothy Johnson, arrived here.  Over the years the business has sold a countless number of diamond and wedding ring sets to generations of customers, and also played a part in the evolution of the men's pocket watch to the now traditional wristwatches for both men and women.

 

1905

CALABAZA LAND COMPANY

   Located above Salick’s

1905 Watertown City Directory

 

      Calabaza signage noted in photo.

 

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Letitia Marie Salick - Sidney Frederick Eberle

Married

1909

Watertown Gazette, 07 30 1909

 

At high noon Wednesday, July 28, 1909, a wedding of more than usual interest took place at the home of Charles J. Salick and wife, Third Street, the contracting parties being Miss Letitia Marie Salick and Assistant Postmaster Sidney Frederick Eberle.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. Father Hennessey, pastor of St. Bernard’s Church.

 

For several days the house had been in the hands of the members of a club to which Miss Salick belonged and by the time appointed for the wedding it had been transferred into a bower of beauty.  The parlor given up to the ceremony was done in white and green, the dining room in sweet peas and smilax.  To add to the beauty of the scene the shades were drawn and the house lighted by many candles. 

 

Promptly at high noon Miss Leona Brandt struck up the chords of Mendelssohn’s wedding march.  The ribbon bearers, Miss Elsa Schempf and Miss Margaret Eberle, in gowns of pink and white, stretched the ribbons for the bridal party.  Miss Ida McGough of Milwaukee, attired in white French organdie and pink silk, was maid of honor, and she carried a large bouquet of pink sweet peas.  Following came the bride on the arm of her father.  She was gowned in white messaline trimmed with duchess lace and embroidered net and wore the conventional veil.  She carried a shower bouquet of white sweet peas. 

 

The best man was Ralph Eberle, brother of the groom.

 

The ceremony was followed by a breakfast of ten courses, covers being laid for 18.  The servers were the Misses Della Koenig, Selma and Della Hoermann, Elsa Baumann and Elvira Emmerling.

 

After a tour of several weeks in Michigan the groom and his bride will make their home at 317 North Montgomery Street, this city, and will be at home to their friends after October 1st. 

 

The groom and his bride are two of Watertown’s most esteemed citizens and have passed all their lives in our city, with the exception of a short time the groom was employed in the west.  They are members of two of Watertown’s oldest and best families, the groom being a son of Postmaster H. T. Eberle and wife, and the bride the eldest daughter of Charles J. Salick and wife. 

 

Their friends are all who know them and they are known to nearly everybody in Watertown, hence on entering married life they have the hearty good wishes of all our people for a long, prosperous and happy life.  The Gazette joins their numerous friends in wishing that their fondest hopes of matrimonial bliss will be fully realized.

 

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Joseph A. Salick, Jr.

1910      DIED.    Joseph A. Salick, a son of Joseph Salick

06 10          After a lingering illness of several months Joseph A. Salick died at his home at 208 West Main Street [?] on Tuesday, June 7, 1910.  Deceased was a son of Joseph Salick, a pioneer jeweler of Watertown, and was born in this city on April 26, 1855.  He was educated in the schools of this city and after leaving school learned the jewelry trade in his father's store.

 

November 5, 1879, he was married to Miss Addie Cody, daughter of the late Dr. James Cody, and shortly after he engaged in the jewelry and music business at Appleton, having at one time one of the largest stores in his line in the state.  About 20 years ago he closed out his business at Appleton and removed to this city and engaged in the optical and jewelry business, which he conducted up to a short time before he died. 

 

Mr. Salick was a genius in many ways, especially in the mechanical and literary line.  A few years ago he published a work entitled "Telepah," a dramatic poem of the Orient, foretelling the wonders of the electrical world.  It was published in four volumes and had a large sale.

 

His wife, two sons and five daughters survive him, his children being James Salick of St Louis, Mabel, Laura, Ruth, Julia, Stella and George of this city.  Friday morning at 9 o'clock his funeral will take place from St. Henry's Catholic Church, and his remains will be interred in St. Bernard's cemetery.   WG

1910

11 11          A HANDSOME STORE BUILDING

Chas. J. Salick has just had his jewelry store building at the east end of Main Street bridge remodeled and fitted out in fine shape.  It is electric lighted and heated throughout from basement to the second story, and has all other modern improvements.  The second story is fitted out for office purposes and the first story and basement is used for Mr. Salick's jewelry and novelty business.  The show windows are as fine as any in the state and give Mr. Salick a fine opportunity to display his large stock of goods therein.  The Salick building now looms up in fine shape, and Mr. Salick is deserving of credit for this enterprising move on his part.   WG

 

   Undated image appears to match remodeling noted in above 1910 article.

 

1920      Vigilance of clerks prevented a considerable loss through forged check

 

1922      Otto T. Salick, Profile of

History of Milwaukee, City and County, Volume 2, William George Bruce, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, Chicago, 1922.

 

Otto T. Salick engaged in the real estate and insurance business and widely known as the president of the North Avenue Advancement Association was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, April 10, 1877, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Hepp Salick, both of whom were natives of Germany, whence they came to the United States in youth.  They cast in their lot with the pioneer settlers of Milwaukee where the father first engaged in business as a watchmaker and jeweler.  He afterward removed to Watertown, Wisconsin, and there conducted a jewelry business to the time of his death.  Both he and his wife have passed away.

 

Otto T. Salick was educated in the public and parochial schools of Watertown and also attended Marquette University of Milwaukee.  When his school days were over he started out in the business world and was employed in various capacities.  Later he engaged in the real estate business and has built up an extensive trade in this connection at No 3610 North Avenue.  His residence in Milwaukee dates from 1895 and through the intervening period he has steadily forged to the front in business circles in this city.  He has negotiated many important realty transfers and through his activity has contributed in considerable measure to the improvement and progress of the northern section.  He also has a well organized insurance department and was one of the founders of the North Avenue Advancement Association which was formed in March 1919 and has steadily grown having on its list of members the leading business and professional men of this section of the city.  Mr. Salick has taken a most deep and helpful interest in the movement and the purposes underlying the society and recently contributed to the North Avenue Star a most interesting article setting forth the history of North Avenue and the development of this section of the city.

 

In 1902 Mr. Salick was married to Miss Mary Reiter of Milwaukee and they have become the parents of eight children;  Olive fifteen years of age, Florence aged thirteen, Frances eleven, Dorothy nine, John seven, Genevieve four, Ralph three, and Robert two.

 

Through the field of political activity Mr. Salick has also done much for Milwaukee's benefit and progress.  In 1903 he was appointed assessor of the twenty second ward holding the office until 1912 or for a period of nine years.  During this time he was also a member of the board of review.  Any project or plan put forward for the benefit and upbuilding of the city receives his endorsement and loyal and active support.

 

1928

06 01       The Salick Jewelry Co. will observe its seventy-fifth anniversary the week of June 3-10 (1928).  The history of this business is closely woven with that of the city.   WDT

 

1957      217 E Main St location

    1957 compared to 1897 business at this location

 

1963      Sale of the Salick’s to Sam J. Luchsinger

12 31       Sale of the Salick Jewelry Co. to Sam J. Luchsinger was announced today by John E. Salick.  Mr. Luchsinger has been a partner and member of the firm for the past 17 years.  In making the announcement, Mr. Salick, who resides at 306 North Church Street, said he wanted to express his appreciation to his many friends and customers for their patronage during the many years he has operated the business which was founded, in 1853, by his grandfather, Joseph Salick.   WDT

 

Samuel John Luchsinger, 1922 - 2013.   He and his wife, Margaret, owned the Salick Jewelry Store, located at 217 Main St. in Watertown, for 42 years, and sold the business in 1988, currently Bradow Jewelers.  Salick Jewelers was founded in Watertown in 1853.  Mr. Luchsinger was highly respected in the Watertown business community for his integrity, sincerity and friendliness to customers and colleagues.  Mr. Luchsinger was trained in gemology and a respected member of the American Gem Society.

 

1986

04 01          Watertown police this morning said their investigation has turned up little on the Good Friday robbery of Salick Jewelers.  About 600 rings, made of various stones and in various stages of completion, were taken from Salick, 217 Main Street, when two persons apparently distracted the clerks while others lifted the articles from an unlocked backroom safe.  Police who originally listed the incident as “shoplifting” on their daily blotter, said a “gypsy-type” man, who they described as having a dark complexion and a Spanish accent, walked into the store at 11:15 a.m. and talked to a clerk about purchasing some jewelry.   WDT

 

 

Cross-References:

When he retired at age 85 he was the oldest active jeweler in the state; Forty-Eighters leave their mark on Watertown

Joseph Salick used to row his boat down the Rock River every morning to near his Main Street store.

Construction of Salick Jewelry Store, 1-3 E Main, photo:  Faces & Places - Watertown Area, Heritage House Publishing (Marceline, MO), 1999, p 40.

Joseph Salick is buried in St. Henry’s Cemetery; son John in St. Bernard’s

Charles Salick and John Salick had compiled early weather reports on the city.

Dramatic poem “Telepah," published by Joseph A. Salick

1876, U.S. centennial parade, Charles Salick led one section of the parade on horseback

1911, Dr. U. N. Barber, Dentist, located above Salicks

1895c, Gritzner Barber Shop located in basement of Salicks

 

 

 

 

 

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