William Libby was given the contract for the carpenter work and Isaac H. Brink was the mason for the project. In the
spring of 1892, the store was underway. The large double store took longer to complete than many buildings. By
August, Libby was putting the heavy iron girders into place on the building. Large plate glass windows were installed
in October. When one broke during installation, it cost $65 to replace it.
|1883 Bird's Eye View of Evansville's Main Street.
1891 Map of the 1st block of East Main, North side of building.
Includes today's addresses of 2 to 116 East Main, Evansville, Wisconsin
1900 View of the building at 12-14
he Kroger Stores was
replaced by Hampels Bakery,
advertising delicious cream
puffs and other delicacies,
moved into the building in the
The Hampel Bakery moved
from the Shively block at 12
East Main into the Eager Block
across the street in January
The Hauser’s Photography Studio, operated
by Alfred Kaltenborn moved into the Shively
building in 1939. Within a few years,
Kaltenborn was operating the business
under his own name.
In March 1941, Burr Jones
took in a partner, Alvin
Burtis, in the operation that
had been known as the
Jones Billiard parlor for 12
years. The business
operated out of the east
side of the Shiveley Block,
at 14 East Main.
A brief history of the
business appeared in the
notice of the new
partnership, on the front
page of the Evansville
Review, March 6, 1941.
Alfred Kaltenborn died in August 1970 and his wife, Adella continued to own and live in an apartment in the
building. A year after his death, Mrs. Kaltenborn was still storing photographic supplies in the studio. In early
June 1971 she discovered a fire in Kaltenborn's dark room where he had kept photographic supplies. Firemen
were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other parts of the building.
Lewis Farnsworth purchased the building in June 1975 from Adella Kaltenborn for $23,000. He moved the
East Main Gifts into the west building at 12 East Main and his printing shop into the east side of the building, at
14 East Main. A small rear porch was added in 1976 and the following year a recreation room was made in the
For several years, the Evansville Post, a weekly newspaper was published from the building. In 1980, the Post
moved to the Hyne Building on West Main Street and ceased publishing in the 1980s. Today the Star Printing,
now owned by Randy Luchsinger, occupies the building at 12 and 14 East Main Street. A ceramic shop is once
again housed at 12 East Main (west side of the building).
In the early 1960s, canvas awnings were used on many buildings on
the north side of Main Street. In October 1862 the awning on the
windows of 12 East Main caught fire. A carelessly tossed lighted
cigarette was blamed for the fire. The heat was intense enough to
crack the glass in the window, but did no other damage.
The Kaltenborns rented out the east store at 14 East Main to several different tavern owners. Tom Meichtry ran Tommy's
Bar in 1949. Francis Sullivan purchased the business from Meichtry in August 1949 and Sullivan was followed by C. Ira
Larsen and he received a liquor license for the business in May 1951.
For a short while the building at 14 East Main stood vacant, Monona resident, James Bush, opened the Rec Room which
included a pool hall in the east store. The new business started in August 1963. There was a small snack bar, a juke box
and other games besides pool. He hoped to attract the teenagers as well as adults.
The Kaltenborn's purchased the building in 1945 from Walter Biglow's estate. Alfred and Adella Kaltenborn and their
son, Jim, lived in the second story apartment. Alfred was born in Auburn, New York and for 20 years he was a manager
for the Grant Company. When he came to Evansville in the late 1930s, he opened a photography studio at 12 East
Main. For the next 32 years, he photographed weddings, families, high school graduates, and others in his studios. He
was also became president of the Wisconsin Photographer's Association.
A fraternity, the Chi Sigma Iota Club moved into the second story of the Shively block in February 1912. "They have
fine commodious rooms". The basement of the building was also used by several businesses over the years. in
December 1910, Frank Brigham, a carpenter, opened a shop in the basement of the store. Two years later, Fred
Hansen, bought out the tailoring business of George Wiggins and also moved into the space that Wiggins had occupied
in the basement of what was still known as the "Shively Block" in August 1912.
A pool hall was operated in the east store of the building that had originally been the furniture store and funeral parlor.
George Calam's pool hall was in the east side of the store at 14 East Main in July 1923. By 1926, G. G. Heffron placed
an ad in the local paper that he wanted a partner for his pool and billiard hall business.
For many years the store at 14 East Main, was used as a pool hall under various owners. The space was used by the
Jones and Hall Billiard parlor in 1935. In January of that year the "latest type" of billiard table was installed and it served
as a great attraction for the local players. Wilbur Hall bought out George Mabie's ownership in the business.
The building was owned by the Bank of Evansville and when the bank failed in 1925, the building became part of the
assets of the defunct bank. Walter Biglow bid $6,500 for the building in December 1927 and asked the courts handling
the bank affairs to approve the purchase.
In 1928, Biglow remodeled the store and the Universal Grocery Store, later known as the Kroger Store, moved from the
Baker Block into the west side of the building at 12 East Main. The merchandise was moved in the evening so that they
never missed an hour of business. "Manager Holmes now has a fine building with plenty of room and fine fixtures."
There were two storefronts in the new building with a large hall in the second story. Basement rooms for businesses were
also made ready. The local newspaper speculated about possible renters for the new commercial space. A dry goods
dealer, lawyers, doctors, undertakers or a printing shop were all considered good businesses for the new building.
Soon the renters were found for the space. William Wood and Son shoe business moved into the east basement of the
store on Thanksgiving morning, 1892. Attorney, George Dibble, moved his law offices into a suite of rooms in the building
and stayed in these offices until he joined Charles Tuttle in building offices in the next building east of Shively's.
Frank Shively moved his stock of clothing into the west portion of the new store in early December and used one of the
large plate glass windows to display his holiday goods. A large red wheel was used to display his neck ties and scarves.
Winter suits and overcoats, winter hosiery and underwear were also featured. In case his customers had an urge to travel,
he carried a full line of trunks and valises. Shively also advertised that it was the only place in town to get Cloett Coon &
Co.'s collards and cuffs and the famous Monarch shirts.
The large hall above the store fronts became another gathering place for local events. Early in December a Christmas
bazaar was held in Shively's hall and the Congregational Church held their Christmas program there also..
In January 1893, Shively rented the east store to Antes Brothers for their furniture store. However, before they would move
in, Jacob and William Antes needed some additional space for a repair shop and undertaking rooms. Shively had William
Libby add a rear annex and elevator.
In April 1893, Shively had an addition made to the store and the new Antes and Young firm moved their furniture business
and undertaking business into the east side of the building. They advertised that they had a beautiful new hearse that was
free in the country or city.
Jacob Antes and his family moved to Rockford, Illinois and Young then took as his partner, Ernest W. Meinke and the firm
name was changed to Young & Meinke Undertaking & Furniture. They advertised "the largest and finest stock in the very
When William Young's health began to fail, he sold his interest in the firm to Arthur A. Snashall, Caleb Snashall's oldest
son. Meinke sold out to W. T. Boyd and the firm became known as Snashall and Boyd.
Other businesses also found a home in the building. In the basement beneath the furniture store, Frank Young, William's
son, opened a cigar shop. For a brief period of time, Dr. Charles M. Smith, Jr. moved into the Shively building, following a
fire that destroyed his office on West Main Street in 1896. Once his building was restored, he moved again.
William H. Wood and Son remained in their shoe shop in the basement of the Shively block until 1904 when William
purchased the building at 20 West Main.
According to the 1900 Evansville City Directory, the hall on the second story of the building had been converted to a barber
shop and apartments above the storefronts. In the second floor of the building Mark V. Moore had a barber shop.
On the main floor of the building, Patterson & Grism Clothiers replaced the clothing store of Frank Shively in 1898. They
advertised a "nobby line of new things in neckwear, summer shirts, and silk bosoms." The firm also sold men's pants at
$2.41 and up.
It was a short-lived enterprise, as two years later, Patterson & Grism's entire stock of goods was sold to a liquidator from
Madison who closed out the stock. Patterson left for Nebraska and Grism decided to seek his fortune in South Dakota. A
new restaurant moved into the west store in March 1900.
An Osteopathic doctor rented and "handsomely equipped" an office in the Shively Block in March 1900. Miraculous cures
were reported taking place in the offices of Dr. Bishop. Jonathan Potter had been walking with crutches for months and in
one week of treatments, he was reported to be walking on his own. Another patient, John Dudley, had to be carried into the
office, but after one treatment was able to walk across the room unaided.
Lawrence Shively died in 1906 and the store building became the property of the Bank of Evansville. The bank continued
to rent the stores. A 1907 Sanborn insurance map shows a restaurant at 12 East Main and a furniture store at 14 East
Three floors of the building were valuable rental property for the bank. A furniture store remained in the building until 1910
when Anval Park and John Scheible purchased the furniture and undertaking business from W. T. Boyd and then a few
months later moved their operation to the Grange Store on West Main Street.
However, before they moved into the store, William Antes sold his
portion of the business to William Young. William H. Antes moved to
Des Moines, Iowa in the late 1890s. In Des Moines, he opened a
casket manufacturing firm and became President, Manager and
Director of the Des Moines Casket Company.
12-14 East Main Street
Researched and Written by Ruth Ann Montgomery
The 1883 bird's eye view of East Main Street showed buildings on the property. There had been a fire that damaged the
buildings and after the fire they were never properly maintained. Some feared that a land speculator would purchase the
property and let it remain in its sordid condition.
Lawrence Shively, a farmer, stock broker, and grain and produce dealer was also interested in real estate
investment. In 1891, he bought two lots on the north side of East Main Street. He paid $1,500.
Many in the community breathed a sigh of relief when Lawrence Shively bought the lots because they knew that
he planned to put up a substantial commercial building. The north side of the property also included an
alleyway for deliveries.