Gault’s Fair, the first building on the left in this photo, opened for business on State Street in Marengo in 1904. Richard Gault was born in Posen, Germany, in 1884 and came to America at age 16 and lived in Chicago.
After losing all his worldly possessions in the great fire of 1871, he moved to Woodstock. There he was employed as a cigar maker by Fred Renich. In 1874 he moved to Marengo and continued making cigars there until he expanded his business greatly with the opening of the Fair Store.
The store offered a wide variety of merchandise and enjoyed an active trade, making necessary an addition in 1909. The large, handsome building was “one of the finest buildings in town.”
Gault and his son, Paul, also were pioneers in the insurance business as agents of the Royal Insurance Co.