ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Wiggenhorn Cigar Manufactory

Established 1858

108 E Main

Moved to 104 W Main in 1895







New wholesale and retail cigar and tobacco store, post office block, Second Street, of E. Wiggenhorn. 


Complete in all respects.  Constantly on hand a large stock of seasoned, own manufactured domestic and Havana cigars.  Fine cut, plug, smoking and snuff tobaccos, in all varieties of the best manufacture.  Meerschaum, French Briar, China, and fancy wood pipes; all kinds of other fancy articles.  Smoking tobacco by the barrel, for less than Chicago prices.  WG



07 24       “SHORT BUT SWEET”

This is the name given to a new brand of cigars manufactured by the well-known firm of Wiggenhorn Bros., of this city.  These cigars are smaller than ordinary cigars, but are manufactured of clear Havana tobacco, long filler, warranted to be such by the manufacturers, and are sold at $35 per thousand.  They are in every respect equal to the best brands manufactured by the firm, except in regard to size, and are without doubt bound to become popular when they shall come to be generally known to the smoking fraternity.  It has been a study for a long time among cigar makers to produce a five cent cigar, that would give satisfaction to users of the weed, and we think Wiggenhorn Bros. have struck the key note, not by using inferior tobacco, but by giving the best tobacco in a smaller cigar.  Smokers should try the new cigar.   WR



   1881 snow storm street scene



   108 E Main


1895      MOVED TO 104 W. MAIN

01 23       In taking leave of their old quarters last evening, after a hard day's work of moving, the employees of Wiggenhorn Bros. formed a procession , headed by the Watertown band, and marched to the new factory on the west side.  This was in the nature of a pleasant surprise to the firm, the senior member of which, C. Wiggenhorn, extended to the employees a warm welcome, and feelingly expressed the thought that the congenial relations existing would ever be so.  A response was made for the men by John Muth, the firm's trusted foreman, with a few well-chosen words, and the men forthwith made themselves at home in their new quarters.  It was a happy moment for all concerned.   WR


Same          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


Same          The business block of Constance Wiggenhorn and D.& S. Kusel, at 104 and 106 West Main Street, is about completed, the finishing touches on the WIggenhorn half having been put on last week and the firm of Wiggenhorn Bros, is now located there.  It is safe to say that in all its appointments there is no finer structure in the city, and a person is well repaid by a visit to it.  An idea of the building's massiveness is gained from an exterior view, but an inspection of the interior is sure to greatly enlarge one's first impression in this regard.  The height of the building lends a far-reaching view from the uppermost windows.   WR    (This article rates printing in entirety)  



Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, drawing, 1895   /   WHS_005_912.jpg

















04 19       An agent of a large tobacco company was in the city during the past week looking over the desirability of this locality as a place for locating a large tobacco warehouse, which if located here, would give employment during the winter months to over 500 people.  Henry Mulberger, president of the Advancement Association showed him several sites and he was very favorably impressed with the city.  The tobacco would be shipped here and sorted in the warehouse for shipment to dealers.  The object in locating here is the advantage of getting the class of labor desired at a season of the year when there is a great deal of idle labor in our city.  This enterprise would be of much benefit to our citizens, and we hope to see it located here.   WG






1905      Empty cigar boxes must be destroyed. They can no longer be used for display purposes, if they have trademarks or other decorations upon them.


The new order, it is expected, will cause a stir among dealers. Boxes which have been emptied of cigars, or empty, unstamped, labeled boxes sent out from factories for decorative purposes were used by dealers to fill up shelves and give stores appearance of fullness. This no longer can be done, according to the ruling of the international department at Washington ... It will be unlawful for any dealer to make any use of empty cigar boxes, if there remains upon the box either the government revenue stamp, the caution notice required on all boxes or the brand mark including the factory and federal district number. The order says dealers must be punished if boxes with any of the marks enumerated are displayed. The punishment is a fine for $50 to $500.    Apr 2 WL


1905      Last week, the Wiggenhorn Bros., the extensive cigar manufactures of this city was incorporated as the Wiggenhorn Bros. Co., and capitalized at $50,000. The corporation organized by the election of the following officers: President, Constance Wiggenhorn; vice-president, Guido W. Wiggenhorn; Sec'y, and Treas. Julius W. Wiggenhorn.  It is one of the largest manufacturers of cigars in the west, and their cigars are in great demand all over the country because of the excellent quality of tobacco and manufacture.   Nov 17 WL



Will Celebrate the Event on Saturday, August 1st, 1908


On Saturday of this week the well-known cigar manufacturing firm of Wiggenhorn Bros. of this city will celebrate its 50th anniversary of its business career in Watertown. From a small beginning in 1858 the business of the firm has grown to one of the largest of the kind in the northwest, and but few if any firm in the country has the reputation of making as fine cigars as Wiggenhorn Bros. The product of the firm is sold all over this section of the country and in fact all over the northwest. This success of the firm could not exist unless it made fine cigars, for the reason that in no other business is there so much competition. The firm of Wiggenhorn Bros. was launched in Watertown in 1858 for the manufacture of cigars by Constance Wiggenhorn and Eugene Wiggenhorn as partners. The latter retired from the firm in 1886, and the two sons of the former, Julius Wiggenhorn and Guido E. Wiggenhorn became members thereof, which is now known as the Wiggenhorn Bros. Co., and besides the factory in this city, it has three branches elsewhere.    July 31 WG


In 1894, the firm erected the magnificent building now occupied.  This is 50x106 feet, four stories high.  The lower floor is used for storage purposes. The second floor is devoted to the office, shipping room and cigar storage. The third floor contains the manufacturing departments, and the fourth storage and drying room. The accompanying cut will give an idea of the exterior of the building. The interior is finished in a most attractive and convenient manner.  An elevator connects all the floors, and the entire building is steam heated and electric lighted. It also has a complete waterworks system of its own. The sanitary arrangements for the convenience, comfort and health of the inmates of the building are complete, and cleanliness on the part of employees is one of the strict rules of the establishment, so that the cigars are entirely free from any contamination.


This old reliable firm has been the source of great gratification to the people of Watertown, and its members have done a great deal for the advancement and prosperity of our city, hence all our people hope to see it continue as prosperous in the future as in the past. The Milwaukee Free Press of last Sunday said in a writeup of the firm as follows:


Wiggenhorn cigars are made in the same honest way today as in the pioneer days. The steady growth and enlargement of the business have not in one whit altered the firm's time-honored policy of putting nothing but honest value into their cigars.  Competition and the deceptive blending of inferior tobaccos, practiced by many manufacturers and made possible by modern ingenuity, have not swayed the firm in their determination to give their customers the same honest Wiggenhorn quality, nor have they shattered their confidence in their customer's ability to appreciate quality.


This statement can be substantiated when it is known that in a few years one of the latest products of the firm, Modern Flora, have had a sale of 50,000,000.  The La Flora, the Commercial and the Latest Out and other well known and popular brands are made by the Wiggenhorn Bros. Co.



08 07       C. D. WIGGENHORN and R. G. WIGGENHORN

The sons of Julius Wiggenhorn left here on Tuesday for Montana, the former on a business trip, and the latter to locate at Red Ledge in that state, where he will practice law.  He recently graduated from the law department of the state university.  His many Watertown friends wish him success    WG



01 08          ALBERT FUERMANN, travelling salesman for Wiggenhorn Bros.

Albert Fuermann has gone on the road as travelling salesman for Wiggenhorn Bros.  He is one of the most popular travelling salesmen in Wisconsin and with Wiggenhorn Bros. fine line of goods he will certainly add to his popularity.







   Among brands manufactured by Wiggenhorn Bros.  




By 1914 or so Wiggenhorns went out of business.  Most of the other cigar makers in Watertown got started by working for the Wiggenhorn Bros. 




The two tin urns shown at the upper left of the roof-line are now part of the collections of the Watertown Historical Society.  Items are too large for our public display spaces, but we are proud to care for them nonetheless.





Another mural has been added to Watertown’s growing collection adorning the walls of downtown businesses.  The newest addition was scheduled to go up this weekend on the side of the Golden Dragon restaurant at the corner of North Sixth Street and Main Street.  Watertown artist Gail Towers-MacAskill created the latest piece of wall art which highlights the history of Watertown’s cigar manufacturing industry.  From a historical perspective, cigar manufacturing was a big part of the city’s society from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, offering employment and pleasure to many.  Originally tobacco grown in Pennsylvania and Cuba was used to create inexpensive, yet excellent quality cigars.  Later cigar manufacturers used native tobacco grown around Watertown.  This tobacco eventually earned a reputation as the world’s best binder leaf.  The binder leaf is the inner wrap of a cigar.





Cigar Making Hand Tools  




Cross References:

Dr. E. J. Hoermann had dental offices in the Wiggenhorn building.



Eugene Wiggenhorn was the son of the famous Watertown Wiggenhorns.  His father, William, owned and operated the Buena Vista House, now known as Loops, on N. Fourth St, in 1848, shortly after he arrived here with his family. 


Look for more info on the family in the late Charles Wallman's book, The German-Speaking 48ers, Builders of Watertown. 


Constance Wiggenhorn, portrait

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, 1890c, Souvenier plate. 

                                                 Back "The cleanest and best equipped CIGAR MANUFACTORY in the northwest, est 1858"

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, 102-104 W Main (PC_064),  

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, 1902, from Picturesque Watertown booklet

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, drawing

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, Cigarmakers, may or may not be Wiggenhorns

Wiggenhorn Bros Cigar Manufactory, 1897 ad



Wiggenhorn Bros. Vintage Watertown Wisconsin Factory Original Cigar Label Art.  1908 / Proof by Schlegel Litho.  Originally they imported tobacco for their cigars, but eventually started growing tobacco locally, which became famous for how great of a binder leaf it produced.   Approximate size: 6” x 9”.  drawing   WHS_006_418.jpg

Wiggenhorn Bldg, c.1985 view 

Wiggenhorn Bros float, 107 and 109-115 N Water St in background


William Schimmel (William Schimmel & Son cigar store) worked for Wiggenhorn Brothers when he was but 15 years of age

Edw. Schultz, traveling salesman for Wiggenhorn



The old Wiggenhorn cigar factory, c.1895, NW end of Main St. bridge, became the Wisconsin National Bank, Valley Bank.  Torn down in 1985 and Town & Country Bank constructed.  WTTN radio started in Wiggenhorn building, Dr. E. Allen Miller had his offices on the second floor, Mr. Clifford, the lawyer, had his office on the second floor and just before it was torn down the old Nickel & Dime Theatre Co. met on the third floor.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin