Many of the sons and daughters of the pioneers of the Lowell area became business and professional people in the growing town, and many of their families are following in their footsteps.
We have additional history on the Spindler Co., mentioned in this column last month: C.J. Spindler, member of an early family, started his chain of stores at Valparaiso, then opened more in Lowell and Rensselaer in 1932. The chain grew, and soon stores were added at Warsaw, Kentland, Knox, Kendalllville, and Monticello.
Alvah Pletcher, well-known retired businessman, was the first manager at the Lowell branch. Jack Spindler was transferred to Rensselaer. Then came Earl Teghtmeier as manager, with L.W. 'Billy' Brown as his assistant.
The Spindler Company sold all of its stores to Sears Roebuck and Co., in 1944. Sears, with the help of able managers such as Roy Nixon, stayed in Lowell until 1974. An old photograph shows a stone slab above the building which read: "Hack's Block - 1894."
Just west of the present Sheets Furniture Store was a frame building with a tall ornate facade and a balcony over the entrance. For many years this was occupied by Hago F. Carstens, a member of the pioneer family who ran a harness shop. In 1903, he placed this advertisement in 'The Lowell Tribune': "Lehman Carriage Heater, a coal burner, will hold heat for five hours."
Nick Jourdain and Thomas McGonigal purchased the business, but a news account tells about the early retirement of McGonigal, due to illness. It could be that John Hack and Jim Hale owned the business for a time.
Clyde King (1879-1933) and his wife Hattie (Furth) King, operated a photographic studio there for awhile, and in 1919 sold Sonora phonographs, priced at fifty dollars and up. The King's are also remembered as owners of the grocery and meat market there. William W. Bartz, well-known Lowell businessman, later operated a market, and also a restaurant in the building just the west. Bartz also has a connection to other buildings in Lowell.
The Lowell Post Office has been housed in many buildings through the years. When J.M. Castle was postmaster, it was located in the building west of The Paper House. Early history about the building to the west, now the east section of the Davis Store, is hard to find, but we know it was an early tire store. The Old Timer remembers Mildren 'Shorty' Hayden there in the 1920's. He ran a tire store, repaired cars, and sold "Whippet" automobiles.
A "Mr. Van Winkle," who also called himself the "Old Timer," wrote in 1932 as he stepped in to see Hayden: "This looks like a very up-to-date auto repair and accessory shop; if my jallopy was here I would get my battery tested; pretty nice place, young man, are you long about these parts? Your name is Hayden, eh? Seems to me that there used to be quite a settlement of Hayden's over near the State Line."
A few years later the shop was operated by Speelmon Motors, selling and repairing used cars. This Old Timer remembers that spot, for that is where he bought his first automobile, a used 1930 Model A Ford coupe, for $85 - $25 down and $15 monthly payments on the balance! The Speelmon's also were the managers of the Lowell License Bureau. One of several businesses there in later years was The Red Devil Restaurant.
Now remodeled, the building is connected to the taller one to the west where four generations have been in business at the Davis Store.
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Davis was the owner of a millinery store there for many years, even before 1900. The business was listed in the 1909 Directory of Lake County, and advertisements through the years featured ladies' hats, dresses and accessories.
Her neice, Marie, married Edward A. Ashton, of a pioneer family of Lowell. Marie was a nurse, and also managed the store for many years. Marie's son, Ceylon "Jack" Ashton and his wife, Gladys (Bell) Ashton, were the owners form 1938 to 1955. Gladys was also the original owner of Ashton's Women's Apparel in Kentland in 1946. Their daughter, Margery Ashton Beier, is the present proprietor of the store in Lowell.
The following notice appeared in a November 1918 Lowell Tribune: "The public library has been opened and everyone is invited to patronize it. It is located over Mrs. L. Davis' Millinery Store." Hours for the library were 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Under the old address system, the building west of The Davis Store was numbered 100 E. Commercial. Since the center of town was changed in about 1920, it is now 324 E. Commercial, the building now occupied by J's Tap.
He was born in 1870, the son of pioneer teacher William Pixley, was in business in Lowell for 48 years, and served on the Lowell Town Board for two terms. He also took up the profession of Optometry.
Not long after Pixley's death in 1939, Joseph Eich had his tavern there for a short time, and that same year Francis 'Gene' Buckley bought the business. Gene was born in 1888 at the farm home of his parents, pioneers Patrick and Ellen Buckley, at the corner of State Road 2 and Hendricks Street, adjoining the present Buckley Homestead County Park.
Gene and his wife Stella (Walle) lived in Lowell for a short time after their marriage in 1910, and then traveled to Montana, where their six children were born. They returned to Lake County in 1925 and back to Lowell in 1939. Gene's father, Patrick Buckley (1841-1923), a civil war veteran, was the youngest of the family of Dennis and Catherine (Fleming) Buckley, the 1849 pioneers of the Buckley Homestead.
In about 1955, Buckley sold the tavern business to his son-in-law Walter Fleener, who ran 'Buck's Tavern' for many years. John Dougherty was one of the several owners after Walter retired.
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