Businesses have come and gone in Sleepy Eye as many of us know. But do we know who our frontier businessmen were?

Businesses have come and gone in Sleepy Eye as many of us know. But do we know who our frontier businessmen were?

We have the gentlemen of C.D. Griffith and W.W. Smith who were advertised representatives of the Merchants Bank, later the First National, now the First Security Bank. The Bank of Sleepy Eye lists F.H. Dyckman as proprietor. Dyckman just started off with $500. His bank later became the State Bank, now called Americana Bank.

Professional men were: Dr. F.P. James, dentist; T.M. Marcellus, physician and surgeon; J.W.B. Wellcome, physician and surgeon (he was the father of Dr. J.W.B. Wellcome, Jr., who took several citizens of Sleepy Eye through their childhoods); J.M. Thompson, attorney; George W. Somerville, attorney, state senator, and later, was the object of a would-be assassin who claimed he had been cheated.

Businessmen included: F. Marquardt, merchant tailoring; R.H. Bingham, hardware, lumber, tinware, stoves, table cutlery, tools, fence wire, wood pumps, doors, sashes and shingles; Schoregge & Gieseke, successors to F. Ibberson who had come in 1872, drugs, medicines, toilet articles, specialties, Ibberson’s Anodyne Balsam, Pectoral Cough Linctus and condition powders.

August Schweiger, NewMeat Market; L.P. Jensen & Durbahn, dress goods and trimmings, five cents a yard and up; James Reeve, boot and shoe makers; Sleepy Eye Mill, patent, family, and baker’s flour; Rinke & Bertrand, dry goods and groceries; Deutsche Apothek & H.H. Meyer had a business also in 1887. M. Kiefer, Boot and Shoe Store; A new store, Talbot and Rinke was started in 1872. A.W. Case, Occidental Livery and Sales Stable, new rigs and trusty drivers, commercial and hunters’ patronage solicited; City Livery, J. Liesenfeld, fine rigs and trust drivers.

H.J. Hansen, hardware and lumber, took part in building the Loreno House. W.H. White proprietor, SW corner of Main and First Avenue – the Exchange Hotel (had good sample rooms) for showing salesmen’s wares to local store owners.

W.M. Muffin, Commercial House and Restaurant, was located about where the present day post office is located. Meals were served at all hours and oysters were served in every style.

Some of these names may be familiar names while others may not seem so familiar. There were of course other businesses that came and went that are not mentioned in our history because they simply didn’t stick around long enough to be considered a long time business.

We find this oftentimes with family genealogy as well. Families come into the museum in hopes of finding long lost families but if their family didn’t stick around Sleepy Eye very long, chances are we don’t have much record of their stay here in Sleepy Eye or in Brown County.

Anyone with old family photos out there and your parents or grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are still around and they know who is on those pictures – ask them to name them!

Make sure you get their names written down. Before you know it, your opportunity for getting the chance to find out who the people are will be gone.

Even take a moment today to write the name behind your present day photos. In 20 or 30 years from now our children will be wondering who was in their pictures.