Downtown businesses thrived

Published: Northwest Signal, Wednesday, August 25, 2014

Editor’s note: This year marks the 180th anniversary of Napoleon. To mark the occasion, the Henry County Historicla Society is providing monthly looks at the city’s history.

(Reprinted with permission of the Northwest Signal)

At the beginning of our exploration of Napoleon’s past, we introduced you to the original industries which served as the foundation of our town.

Business 1By the early 1900s, Napoleon was expanding in area, and the number of downtown businesses increased as well. You may be familiar with, or heard talk of, some of the following businesses from the early 1900s:

Hahn’s Clothing, Wendt’s Millinery Shop, Rothenberger Brothers Hardware and Kohler’s Grocery were located on West Washington Street, and just across the intersection on East Washington was the very popular Curdes Bakery. North Perry Street was home to Ed Allen Jewelry, Murray & Shafer Grocery, Wellington Hotel, Snyder Chevrolet, Charles Co., Shaff Drug Store, Teitjen’s Brewery, Alhambra Hotel, with yet another grocery on South Perry, the Golden Rule Grocery.

A few other businesses in the area included Charles Parcher Blacksmith (East Maumee), the Royal Theater, Wm. Strole Horse Shoeing, Day Oil Co. (Daman & Daman) and Teegardin Produce Co., where the current Senior Center is located.

Business 2Now let’s fast forward to 1984 when Napoleon celebrated its sesquicentennial. We used information from various newspapers to track down businesses that advertised in the papers for the special event. How many of these do you remember?

We like our banks! We had The Henry County Bank, Home Savings & Loan, Maumee Valley National Bank, BancOhio and First Federal. Arvay’s, Bernicke’s, Chief and Sonny’s Carry-Out took care of our grocery needs. Car dealerships included Snyder Chevrolet, LS Dunbar, Christopher Chrysler Plymouth Dodge and Jim Angelo Ford. We had two movie houses: the State Theater and River City Cinemas. If you didn’t like the movies, you could always have fun at the Napoleon Skating Center. Emmel’s Appliance, Sears, Airport Travel, Photos by Wolfe, Stitchin’ Time, R.B. Heller, Napoleon Express Photo, Napoleon Pharmacy, Napoleon Hardware and Rogliatti’s offered a variety of services. Hilvers and Shondell Jewelers offered their finest diamonds. Conrad Shoes, Charles Co., Kids Kloset and The Family Tree helped dress the family.

Visitors could stay at the Wellington Hotel or Holiday Inn. And your house could be decorated with fine furnishings from George’s. There were several other businesses in the area, and we hope we jogged your memory of what the downtown used to be. The question is, how will we be remembered in 20 years when we celebrate our 200th birthday!

(Information courtesy of Henry County Historical Society and Russell Patterson.)