ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Schlueter Brothers


John H. Schlueter

1854 – 1935


Percy Schlueter [son of John]


Dr. Marcus A. Schlueter [son of John]

1898 - 1982


1893       Indian Cigar Sign

11 02       A fine new cigar sign in the shape of a figure representing an Indian ornaments the front of Schlueter Bros. cigar manufactory.  This firm's business is rapidly increasing and its goods satisfy everybody.   WG



01 23       It has long been an established fact that the manufacture of cigars in this city is of no small moment in business circles.  A visit to the different concerns by the average citizen would be one of surprise at the number of men employed and the amount of material used.  There are eight firms here engaged in this enterprise, whose combined output the past year reached the enormous total of 3,220,000 cigars.  The old-established house of Wiggenhorn Bros. took the lead, their manufacture amounting to 1,600,000, and besides this they sold 500,000 cigars for a Pennsylvania firm.  The other firms doing business here are Wilkowski Bros., Schlueter Bros., Kramer and Neumann, J. S. Miller, William Buending, Charles Becker and J. Goodnetter . . .   WR



06 19       Schlueter Bros. exhibited a novel buttonhole bouquet at their cigar store on Wednesday and John Beisner had a beautiful and novel bouquet at this place of business on Thursday.   WG


1933       John Schlueter Retires

07 17       After making cigars; continuously for almost three-quarters of a century, John Schlueter, the oldest cigar maker in Watertown and one of the oldest in the state, has laid aside his mold and will spend the remainder of his days looking back upon a life of activity and accomplishment.


Mr. Schlueter, maker, of hand-made cigars, has stopped the manufacture of his product and when he disposes of the 40,000 cigars he now has on hand, will drop out of the business entirely. For the past 52 years he has been making cigars at his present location in West Main Street.  At one time, when cigars were moving faster than they are now, he had as high as 13 men working for him.


"I can make as many cigars today as I could when I was younger," the veteran cigar maker, now in his eightieth year, states.  In May I made more than 5,000 cigars, which is as many as I made when I started in business here."


While Mr. Schlueter has been at the same stand for 52 years, he has been a cigarmaker for 65 years - since he learned the trade from his late brother, William, who at the time was employed at Millers. 


Shortly after he learned how to make cigars, his brother William and he formed a partnership and made cigars together at their home near the Sharp corner.  Soon the business grew and larger quarters were needed.  They moved to the Hawkins property just west of his present building.  In 1881, the year of the big snow, he was compelled to vacate and move to the building he now occupies.  William Hawkins ran a store on the bridge.  After the bridge went out that year, carrying the store building with it, William moved into his brother's building, occupied by the Schlueter brothers.


Mr. Schlueter has had many interesting experiences during his 65 years as a cigar maker.  For many years he traveled for the company, calling on customers in 42 towns in this vicinity.  The trips were made by horse and buggy.  In the winter a cutter was used as the mode of travel.


"I'll never forget the night I had to stop at Oak Grove.  This was long before 1900.  I tipped over in the cutter and was forced to stop at a hotel there for the night.  The deep snow made it impossible to go on.  I slept with my clothes on, used all the covers I could find, and still I nearly froze to death.  That night I shall never forget.”


Recalls Indians


At another time, Mr. Schlueter, accompanied by his son, now the Rev. Ben Schlueter of Oshkosh, tipped over in a cutter a few miles south of Hustisford.  This time, however, the horse didn't wait for him.  Leaving the passengers behind, he trotted into the city, leaving Mr. Schlueter and his son to “hitch-hike" into town. 


For many years Mr. Schlueter traveled with J. J. Toussaint, proprietor of a wholesale liquor and wine establishment here, the former his cigars and the latter his liquors and wines.


"Although Joe sold many different kinds of liquors and fine liquors too, he very seldom drank any himself," Mr. Schlueter recalls. "He did, however, drink the wines he sold."


Mr. Schlueter vividly recalls the Indians that inhabited the city during his boyhood days.  Near Boughton’s bridge there were nearly 100 Indian huts.  He recalls having seen hundreds of squaws with their papooses strapped to their backs, walking through the streets here.  The husband, he says, always rode the horse, while the squaw and the papoose walked along beside.    WDT  Article includes pic


1935       John Schlueter, 1854-1935

10 17       John H. Schlueter, 81, one of Watertown's most widely known older residents, died last night at his home, 915 Tenth Street.  His death, which took place at 5:15 o'clock, followed an illness of seven days.


Mr. Schlueter, who until a few years ago was one of the city's leading cigar manufacturers, was a life-long resident of Watertown.  He was born here August 25, 1854, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Schlueter.  After his preliminary education he learned the cigar-makers trade and followed it all his life.


For many years he conducted a cigar business with his brother, William, under the firm name of Schlueter Bros.  They turned out many popular brands of cigars and enjoyed a successful business over a long period of years.  Upon the death of his brother he continued the business until his retirement, a few years ago.


Mr. Schlueter was married October 14, 1875, to Miss Emily Kresensky. She died 12 years ago.


Surviving him are seven sons, Dr. Arthur J., Dr. Frank F., Harry, Walter P., Dr. Mark A., and Percy C. Schlueter, all of this city, and, the Rev. E. Benjamin Schlueter, Oshkosh. There are 15 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. One sister, Mrs. Herman Gillis, this city, also survives.


Mr. Schlueter was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church and for many years was a member of the Northwestern College board.  He was active in many affairs here over a long period of years .and his store of knowledge about early days in Watertown made him an excellent story teller and a source of general information about the city.


Mr. Schlueter was a life-long smoker and even in his last years was seldom without his cigar.  It was told of him that he sometimes smoked as many as two dozen cigars a day.  People who knew him for many years say they cannot recall seeing him without a cigar.  He was in good health until recently and enjoyed a long life of useful activity in the community.


With his passing the city loses another of its old residents, a man whose span of years covered all the progress which the city has made from almost its very beginning.  While his death had been expected during the last few days, it came as a shock to most of his friends throughout the city last night.


The funeral will be held from the Nowack funeral home Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with services at 2 o'clock in St. Mark's church.  The Rev. Julius Klingmann and the Rev. William Eggert will officiate.


Burial will be in Oak Hill cemetery.    WDT, Article includes pic


Percy Schlueter [son of John]

Watertown Daily Times, 02 14 1908


Percy, the fourteen-year-old son of John Schlueter, met with a very painful accident about 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon.  While the accident was bad enough as it was, the young man is lucky that it was not worse.


It seems that the youth got into a neighbor's barn and got hold of a piece of dynamite fuse with a cap on the end.  He thought it was a piece of electric wire.  Not knowing what the cap was, he attempted to remove it by putting it on a grindstone.  The result was that there was an explosion.  The boy was quite severely cut and bruised about the face.  His left eye was also cut quite badly as well as one of his hands.  Immediately after the accident, the young lad was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, where the wounds were dressed and he was made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.  While the injury to the eye was the worst of all, the victim of the accident is fortunate, inasmuch as he will not lose the sight of the same.


Dr. Marcus A. Schlueter [son of John]

1898 - 1982


08 30       Dr. M. A. Schlueter, 84, formerly of 313 1/2 East Main Street and a dentist in Watertown since Aug. 9, 1919, died this morning at Watertown Memorial Hospital.


Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church with the Rev. Walter Schumann officiating.  Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.


Schlueter. was born Jan. 1, 1898 in Watertown, son of John and Emilie Schlueter.  On Aug. 20, 1923 he married the former Florence Stettler.  She preceded him in death July 12, 1963.


Schlueter was a graduate of the high school department of Northwestern College in Watertown, and was a 1919 graduate of Marquette University's Dental School.


Following graduation, Dr. Schlueter started a dental practice here, and continued the practice until retiring several years ago.


He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Plattduetscher Verein, Wethonkitha Club, American Legion Post No. 189, and Jefferson County, Wisconsin, and American Dental Societies.


He was a veteran of World War I.


He is survived by Mrs. Hazel Krueger of Watertown, a close friend, and nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.


He was the last member of his immediate family. He was preceded in death by eight brothers.


Florence Schlueter [wife of Markus]

1897 - 1963

Death Takes Mrs. Mark A. Schlueter, Widely Known Resident


Mrs. Mark A. Schlueter, 65, of 313 ½ Main Street, one of Watertown’s most widely known women residents, died last evening at St. Mary’s Hospital after a brief illness. She had entered the hospital on Thursday.


Mrs. Schlueter, whose husband is a dentist, was the former Florence Stettler.  She was better known as “Flossie” by all her friends and countless acquaintances.


Born in Madison on Oct. 5, 1897, she was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Stettler.  She had been a resident of Watertown since 1918.  She and Dr. Schlueter, were married on Aug. 20, 1923.


Surviving are her husband and one sister, Mrs. William Miller of Jefferson.  A brother and a sister preceded her in death.


Mrs. Schlueter was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Jefferson County Dental Society Auxiliary and the state and local women’s bowling associations.


The funeral will take place Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, the Rev. K. A. Timmel officiating.  Interment will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.


Cross References:

Albert P. Benke (1870–1944) in early life was a cigar maker, working for the Miller Cigar Co. and later for Schlueter Bros., before going into the floral business.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin