Time Capsule: Meissner Dry Goods of Richmond
J. A. Meissner was born in Palatine. As was true of many businessmen in the 1880s, he learned the dry goods trade by apprenticing in a local store for several years before coming to Richmond in 1897 to start his own enterprise.
Upon arriving in Richmond, he started business first on a small scale in a building which also housed the Post Office. Finding success, he moved to a larger location after two years and increased his stock of merchandise. He offered groceries, dry goods, ladies and gents clothing, hats, valises and shoes.
The great fire of Christmas Eve 1902 did considerable damage to the downtown section of Richmond, with upwards of 20 buildings being destroyed. After the fire, Meissner, along with other merchants, began to rebuild the town.
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