The Rail Stop's Historical Beginnings
It was January 11, 1921 that Mr. and Mrs. Thiemann came to Waterford and took formal possession of the property near the car line. Known as the Winter’s place. A property they had purchased only a few days before.
The building of a successful business such as the Thiemann’s are now enjoying, in so short a time, is deserving of more than passing notice in the review of the business places in the village of Waterford. The business block shown in the accompanying picture was erected by Fred Winters, who was for many years a resident of this village. The building is large and commodious. It was built for business purposes as well as for a home for Mr. Winter’s family. There is a large front room which is used as a waiting room for the interurban line and as an ice cream parlor, news stand and confectionery store. At the rear are found the dining room, kitchen and wash rooms. A number of large sleeping rooms are found on the second floor. For a number of years Mr. Winters was proprietor and owner of the place now owned and operated by Nic Hauper. After selling to Mr. Hauper, the Winters family lived in the large brick house now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Weber, then known as the Huening home. It was while living there that Mrs. Winters (Rose Huening) died.
Early in the year 1915 Mr. Winters bought the lot on the north side of Main Street adjoining T. M. E. R. & L. Co.’s property of Mrs. Otto Malchine. It was part of the land formerly owned by Mrs.Malchine’s son-in-law, the late Henry Buss. Mr. and Mrs. Clem Wiemer, parents of Mrs. Wm. Kortendick, retired farmers had owned it for several years before Mr. Buss bought it.
As soon as the spring opened in 1915 Mr. Winters and workmen engaged in the construction of his new business place and residence. Late in the summer the following item appeared in the Waterford Post:
“Fred Winters’ new place at the car line which will be used as a lunch room and confectionery stand will soon be ready for occupancy. It is a fine looking building with broad verandas and an ideal waiting place during the summer as well as in the winter for passengers on this interurban line.”
The building was completed and opened to the public early in October of the following fall. The following summer, on August 2, 1916, Mr. Winters and Miss Lily Greenleaf were married in Milwaukee. Mr. Winters in the fall of 1919 exchanged this place for the Casper House at Oconomowoc and on October 2 of that year Mr. and Mrs. Winters and family moved to Oconomowoc. Mrs. Casper, of that city, by this transfer, became the owner of the Winters place in this village. Later Mr. and Mrs. Winters and the two younger children moved to Brownville, Texas, where they are now living. The eldest daughter, Miss Loretta, is in Notre Dame Convent, Milwaukee, where she is preparing for the sisterhood of that order and doing exceptionally satisfactory work. Teaching is to be her lifes work.
For fully a month after the Winters family went to Oconomowoc the place was closed. Waterford was then, as it is now, one of the busiest points on the car line and with the Winter’s place closed patrons were forced to wait the arrival of cars in the open, rain or shine. Winter was coming on and the citizens of the village circulated a petition asking the T. M. E. R. & L. Company for a waiting room. This may have helped to bring matters to a climax, at any rate, we find the following published in the Post of October 23, 1919.
“L. C. Bullmore, who for several years past has been local freight agent for the traction company, has rented the Winters’ building, located near the local station, for a term of two years and will occupy same in or about November 1. Mr. Bullmore has been appointed ticket agent by the T. M. E. R. & L. Company and will handle all the company’s business in this village.
People who patronize the traction line will be glad to know that the station is again to be opened as they have been put to much discomfort since Fred Winters closed it up and moved to Oconomowoc. Mr. Bullmore will rent his home and move into the building where he can be found at all times. He will handle a good line of confectionery and cigars as well as run the soda fountain.”
Mr. Bullmore took possession November 3, 1919, remaining one year. At the close of the year he returned to his own home. Mrs. Casper, of Oconomowoc, the owner then came to Waterford and personally took charge of the place. She was a stranger in the community with interests elsewhere. After being here a short time she decided to sell the property rather than rent. The place was advertised for sale. A. H. Thiemann, who was at that time employed as a motorman for the T. M. E. R. & L. Company in Milwaukee, was looking about for a business location, seeing the advertisement came and looked the place over and bought. This was early in the year of 1921. Mr. Thieman is a metal plater and polisher by trade. For seventeen years he owned and operated a job plating plant at Oshkosh. The work is dusty and poisonous, consequently unhealthy. “I decided to quit before the undertaker got me,” said Mr. Thieman in telling of his reason for the change in occupation.
On August 25 1896, Mr. Thieman was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Gehring at Milwaukee. They have two children, Miss Viola, of Gillett, Wis., and Miss Helen at home. They are affiliated with St. Thomas Catholic church in this village. Immediately after coming to Waterford two years ago Mr. and Mrs. Thieman went to work to put their newly acquired building in good shape for the work they planned to carry on. The house was thoroughly remodeled. Painted inside and out, porches re-screened, an entirely new stock of goods put in, and within a few weeks everything was spick and span and ready for the splendid patronage which has been going their way continuously since that time. The Thiemans sell ice cream, soft drinks, candies, fruit, cigars, magazines and papers. They are the ticket agents for T. M. E. R. & L. Co. and their store serves as a waiting room for the patrons of the car line. In addition to the other activities there are restaurant accommodations. Meals are served at regular hours and lunches at all hours. This is a convenience greatly appreciated by the public especially the traveling public. That the meals and lunches served are good, wholesome, substantial and all that can be desired both as to the quality of the food and the service, is proven by the fact that a patron once means a regular patron. Traveling salesmen and others return again and again. They also tell their friends where to go for a good meal.
The Thieman place is ideally located for the work the proprietors are doing. The building, large and well lighted is the first to greet the eye of the stranger coming to our village for the first time or of the home folks as they step from the interurban car. In the summer the broad, screened porches afford the traveler a cool and refreshing place to rest while waiting for the car. In the winter its hospitable warmth and light are greeted with an equal amount of gratitude.
Mr. and Mrs. Thieman and daughter are always courteous and accommodating and have won a large circle of friends in a business as well as a social way since they came here. The Thieman place is one of Waterford’s business assets.