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North Vernon Business Special
October 18, 1899 - North Vernon Sun


Progress Along Mercantile Lines Maintained by the Wideawake Methods of its Enterprising Merchants

Commercial Advantages Offered to the Inhabitants of Jennings County
Sketches of Establishments which do the Bulk of Business, and the reasons, why they Stand Solidly Entrenched in Popular Favor. Brief Biographies of North Vernon's Wide-awake and Public-Spirited Business Men. Their Methods and Characteristics

    North Vernon, one of Southern Indiana's enterprising and prosperous trade centers, is located at the intersection of three great railroad systems and twenty four miles from the Ohio River. As a manufacturing center, because of its superior railroad and shipping facilities, North Vernon's position is unsurpassed. The railroads entering the town are the St. Louis division of the B. & O. S-W, and the Louisville division of the same system, the Michigan division of the Big Four and the Indianapolis and Madison division of the C. C. C. & St. L. North Vernon is distant 62 miles from Indianapolis, 52 from Louisville and 78 miles from Cincinnati. North Vernon has now a population of nearly 4,000 souls and is enjoying a steady and healthy growth. Its many pretty homes surrounded by generous lawns and streets with profusion of shade make it an ideal place of residence. No town of similar size can equal it in educational facilities, and evidence of its people possessing a christian spirit are reflected in the several churches, whose towers rise conspiciously. As years go by progress leaves behind her footprints in the residences, and improvements in various forms which are being added from time to time
    The sketches here presented have been prepared for the purpose of renewing and etending an acquaintance with the men and establishments which carry on the affairs of one of Southern Indiana's prosperous and enterprising trade centers. North Vernon has always been noted for its public spirit and wide awake business men, whose methods in all transactions are marked by enterprise and alertness. They care well and faithfully for their buyers, possessing every advantage to provide for the needs of patrons at rock bottom prices. These facts have become well known, and, as a result, North Vernon's trade circle rapidly grows larger.
    The citizens of North Vernon and vicinity can find no possible excuse to buy outside of this market, for equal, and, in many instances, better advantages and opportunities, provided by capital, experience and established integrity, exist here and some one or more of the going requisites to satisfactory buying are usually wanting away from home. Hence purchases can secure better prices and more honest values. The expenses to conduct business are nominal in North Vernon; buyers deal with merchants whom they know and by whom they are known. The reputation of the home merchant is his most valuable capital, and this fact, even in the strictest business sense, urges a policy of thoroughly honest methods for self protection.
    The following sketches have been prepared with care. No attempt has been made to overdraw or exaggerate, and credit where credit is due has been given freely and ungrudgingly. The buying public is requested to keep a sharp lookout for THE SUN'S advertising columns. They are an index to enterprise, and through them buyers are kept constantly posted as to what to buy and the place at which to buy.


Watch-makers and Jewelers
    Imitation seems to be the bane of business in our day and the "as good as" applies to workmanship as well as to quality of material and considered in connection with the jewelry business it becomes to the buyer an important and serious matter. Owners of fine watches, especially the prudent and wise, invariably secure the servicess of the expert mechanic to treat their valuable time pieces, knowing full well that\ the delicate and sensitive mechanism of the fine watch cannot be operated on by second-class ability. Nor do railroad companies, since life and property depend on the accuracy of time pieces carried by their employes, select as official inspectors any but expert watchmakers. Hence it is not to be wondered at that the firm of Beer & Barth have the recognition of the best people of the community, because of their skill and experience, and for the same reason are inspectors of watches for the B. & O. S. W. system at this point. The firm carries a full line of standard watch movements and watch cases, all of which are sold under an absolute guarantee that they are in quality just as represented. The stock also contains a complete assortment of rings, chains and charms, and a variety of pretty conceits suitable for birthday, wedding or holiday presents. Silverware and standard makes of clocks is an important feature. This business was established 22 years ago by R. C. Beer, who conducted it alone until 1895 when H. E. Barth was admitted to partnership. Mr. Beer is a native of Germany and settled with his parents in Versailles, Ind., when a child. In early manhood he learned the watch-makers trade under his father, an expert mechanic, and afterward completed his apprenticeship and worked for a period in New York State. In 1877 he settled in North Vernon and established the present business.
    H. E. Barth is a native of Ripley county. In 1883 he became associated with Mr. Beer learning his trade under him, and taking an interest in the firm in 1895.
    In skill, stock carried, integrity and reliability this concern is well and favorably known throughout Jennings county-a fact which is evidenced in a steady growing and select patronage.


Staple and Fancy Groceries
    Reading between the lines often conveys a meaning which admits of only one interpretation, and the knowledge thus gleaned forces home a conviction which becomes both deep rooted and lasting. These remarks apply with fitting propriety to the establishment of Verbarg & Phillips, dealers in staple and fancy groceries. The large and elegantly appointed store room, 36 x 90, filled from floor to ceiling with the choicest food to ceiling with the choicest food productions; suggests magnitude of operations; the arrangement of the large stock and interior furnishing evidence taste and appreciation for the value of attractive display; the marks, brands and labels of leading manufacturers and producter, both American and European, reflect a select and exacting patronage-these, with the systematic facilities employed for the transaction of business indicate both quality and volume of proper recoginition and support. It is no idle compliment, but sheer justice to state that the grocery establishment of Verbarg & Phillips will compare favorably with the more pretentious of those of our larger cities. In the many articles which make up a complete and first-class stock, standard goods only find a place on the shelves of this concern, standard goods only find a place on the shelves of this concern, which are selected with reference to their known purity and wholesomeness-a consideration which the wise do not overlook. Establishments which turn their stocks over rapidly offer at all times the extra inducements of fresh goods-fresh goods mean the best value, and the best value is always to be desired. Messrs. Verbarg & Phillips are sole agents for Chase and Sanborn's celebrated coffees and teas. In flour they handle the Columbus and North Vernon's best production, a full line of smoked meats, Kingans' "reliable" lard in packages from 5 to 50 pounds, the Banner Company's bread of Cincinnati, and an elegant selection of canned goods, preserves, extracts, ets. In adition to groceries a large stock of china, glass and queensware is kept on hand. Fruits and vegetables in season are also offered, and a choice stock of confections, cigars and tobacco. Mr. L. W. Verbarg and Mr. E. W. Phillips comprise the firm. Both are among Southern Indiana's young and enterprising merchants who have spared neither money nor labor to provide a grocery establishment which is second to nome in Southern Indiana. Enterprise and push are manifest in every department of the business, and so likewise the good tase and judgement of the public in their approval and appreciation in the surest method of expression-their generous patronage.

North Vernon and Vernon Telephone Company

    Steam and the telegraph each in their day revolutionized the then existing conditions in all departments of trade and commerce, and new systems were devised to co-operate and work in harmony with the new order of affairs. In our day the telephone has only repeated history. It supplanted old methods and customs and in every department of human affairs has worked radical changes. For many years after its discovery and practical application its benefits were denied the general public through corporate greed and monopolistic avarace, and it is only within the last few years that popular prices have ruled and the grip of the controling monoply, through the laws intervention, has been unwillingly relaxed. Nor would the citizens of North Vernon share the benefits now enjoyed, were it not for the enterprise and nerve of the North Vernon and Vernon Telephone Co., whose officers dared to enter the field and risk their capital to supply modern telephone facilities at popular prices. Generous were the public in their appreciation and support, and the result is a modern equipment and telephone system which has not its equal in any state. The North Vernon and Vernon Telephone Co., began business in May of the present year, and has already 228 subscibers in North Vernon and Vernon, and 60 subscribers among the resident farmers. Subscribers can communicate with any part of the county and by means of the new long distance telephone system with which this company co-operates, every county of the state can be reached. The equipment of the North Vernon and Vernon Telephone CO. is unexcelled. The Stromberg & Carlson switchboard, a complete metallic circuit and a system of storage batteries are the leading features. The total mileage in wires constructed and now in operation reaches seventy miles, and these figures are being increased daily.
    Special attention is given to provide service for the farmers and as had been mentioned 60 telephones have already been installed among the leading farmers of the county. So useful, and so convenient is the telephone for the prompt transaction of business that at the low prices charged a telephone one in a residence never comes out. If this is true for business, then should sickness arise and the doctor be needed his timely arrival has paid for the telephone thousands of times. The people of Jennings county have reason for congratulation in their model telephone service, for it is a common remark among traveling men, and they are competent judges, that the telephone service here is unequalled anywhere, including even the best service given in the largest of our cities.
    To Mr. W. N. Turner much credit is due. To his knowledge, skill and experience, as well as to his market executive ability.
    The rates charged are $1.50 per month for business houses, and $1.00 for residences-prices and service which cannot be beaten anywhere.


Dry Goods and Groceries
    An announcement, which will be appreciated by housekeepers and the general public, is that of the purchase by Stoddard & Co., of the establishment formerly owned and conducted by J. J. Sieger. This concern will give to the people of Jennings county a thoroughly up-to-date dry goods and grocery house. These gentlemen who have had many years experience in mercantile affairs will spare neither time or money to get together under one roof the very pick of the market's best productions in a well assorted line of dress patterns, notions, furnishing good, hosiery, gloves, corsets, ect., and a complete stock of staples. The policy of the new proprietors will be to carry a line of goods of acknowledged merit and sell goods at figures which will insure repeated patronage. Quality and low prices, consistent with quality will be the rule, goods that will wear well and give satisfaction. A satisfied patronage is the cornerstone of success and the career of this concern will be so moulded and shaped. In connection with dry goods a complete stock of groceries will also be carried, including the purest of production in teas, coffee, extracts, spices and flour and a line of smoked meats from leading packers and curers.
    Mr. J. E. Stoddard, the senior member of the firm, is a native of Branch county, Mich. He was for ten years engaged in the business of general merchandising at Hillsdale, Mich., and for several years in the same line at Mason, Mich. For nine years he was in the milling business at Winchester, Tenn., which he conducted successfully, so that in experience and judgment as a buyer Mr. Stoddard is well equipped and these qualities will be exercised to good advantage in providing well for the needs of the public in dry goods and groceries at honest prices.
    A complete new line will inaugurate the fall season in North Vernon, a line, which will, in quality, assortment and prices quoted, be the talk of the country.


    With a new management, which will be characterized by both business experience and an abundance of push and energy, with the latest, new improved laundry machinery and a thorough system of collection and delivery. The Home offers to the inhabitants of North Vernon and the surrounding section metropolitan advantages in superior laundry work at popular prices. Experienced people only are employed, and with skill and excellent machinery equipment the very best conditions are obtained to do work in all qualities of textiles, from the plain muslin fabric to those requiring expertises in high colors in silk or lace. As in all laundries, which cate successfully to popular needs, special attention will be given to shirts and collars, and time orders will be a feature.
    Mr. H. G. Alley, the enterprising and popular owner, in a native of North Vernon, and was, for many years, connected with Goyert & Vogel as buyer and superintendent of shipments. In these two capacities he has visited a wide scope of the country, from Savannah through Texas to the Gulf and Rio Grande by way of New Orleans. For a long time he made weekly trips to New York to market all shipments.
    The Home Laundry was established agencies at Vernon, Scipio, Butlerville, Paris Crossing and several other towns and villages in the neighborhood. The aim of the present owner will be to give the people of this section a laundry whose work will not be excelled anywhere, not even by the more pretentious establishments of the larger cities. To this end neither effort nor money will be spared, for popular recognition will always be obtained where merit is to be found.


    Contributing to the superior facilities, which North Vernon possesses in supplying to the general public excellent living accommodations, the restaurant of W. J. Harper, located in the Central Block, occupies a leading position. This establishment supplies meals to order at the popular price of 25 cents, well cooked and promptly served, and comprising the best meats and vegetables in season. The facilities are such that sixty persons can be accommodated within two hours. A select line of high grade confections is also carried, also a stock of candies, chewing gum, etc. This concern is headquarters for the famous City Cream, manufactured at Indianapolis, which is served by the plate and orders taken and promptly filled for banquets, wedding parties or family consumption. The leading brands of cigars form a popular feature of the stock, also oysters in season being received daily.
    The owner, W. J. Harper, has conducted this business since 1890 and knows the market productions in the food lines. He is a member of the K. of P. and among North Vernon's young and popular citizenns.


    A hustling, wide awake and progressive grist and roller mill is a prominent factor in the commercial standing of any city or town. Since it is a true magnet attracting farmers from the surrounding country who buy their necessities where they sell their products. It is a matter for congratulation that North Vernon possesses a roller mill that has done more to give it prestige in merchantile lines than any other institution in town. For in Columbus, Madison, Louisville and many southern points, besides all the territory within a radius of one hundred and fifty miles. For in Columbus, Madison, Louisville and many southern points, besides all the territory within a radius of one hundred and fifty miles. The productions of this mill are well known and such brands as Special Patent, Full Roller, Cream of the Wheat and Family Flour are held in high esteem by housekeepers and bread-makers. Orders are in excess of capacity and this condition crowding the plant to its uttermost limit has made the matter of a new elevator a serious consideration-a fact which will be accomplished in the very near future. These mills do a nice business in grist work and make an excellent grade of guaranteed corn meal known as the Pearl. Middlings, bran and feed are also handled, and the demand is satisfied within limits of the plants' overcrowded condition. That the productions of the Tripton Mills are of high standard, both in quality and manufacture, no evidence is more convincing than its busy hustling appearance and constant shipments as fast as barrels and sacks can be filled and branded. The equipment of the Tripton Mills is up-to- date in every respect and its superior machinery facilities include the Universal Bolter, the only one in use in Southern Indiana. The highest prices are paid for grain in any quantity from 10 to 10,000 bushels.
    The officers of this concern are Jacob Eberts, Pres,; Conrad Eberts, Sec. and Treas.; John P. Eberts, Manager. All are hardworking and energetic, and are among Jennings coutny's wide awake business men. Merchants throughout this section would do well to make a specialty of the Tripton Mills' flour for its conceded high standard means in every instance a satisfied customer.


Real Estate and Insurance
    Those who know Capt. Frank Fortman, and who have through an acquaintance extending over many years generously award him a reputation for sincerity of purpose and sterling integrity will be pleased to have an opportunity to renew relations in a business way. The real estate business, into which Capt. Fortman embarked last April, for its successful conduct requires men of established probity to creat and foster relations, which will invite the confidence of both buyer and seller. In the agency of Captain Fortman these conditions are realize and the result is a growing business and the clientage of the leading property holders and capitalists of this section. Business, residnce and farm property placed with Captain Fortman for sale, lease or rent receives prompt and careful attention. He is also agent for the Netherland Fire Insurance Company, a reliable and time tested organization among underwriting associations.
    Capt. Frank Fortman is an Ohioan by birth and was reared and educated in Cincinnati. In the Civil war period he enlisted with the 39th Ohio and spent four years, from 1861 to 1865, at the front, being actually engaged during the entire period. For seven years he was Complaint Clerk for the Cincinnati Gas. Co., and for several years held a like position with the Cincinnati Water Works. He was also for a time assistant to the secretary of the Cincinnati Board of Trade. Eighteen years ago, owing to failing health Captain Fortman sought the out-door duties of farm work and removed with his family to Jennings county where he purchased some land and worked it until last April when he started, as before stated, into the Real Estate business.
    Captian Fortman has hosts of friendss throughout this community who will see to it that any negotiations for the purchase or sale of property will be placed in his hands.


Meat Market
    The system of wholesale slaughtering and shipping of meats, as conducted by the large establishments of the country, may have its adherents, but that system, which insures supervision by those who live amonst us and whose methods may be easily discovered, is and should be the most favored. Hence the preference should be unhesitatingly given to enterprises which serve to the public meats from native cattle, and to men who supervise from the pasture to the counter scales every detail of the business. Such is the system enforced by J. P. Manley, and the result is that his wholesome and choice meat productions find favor with and extensive patronage. The curing and cooling facilities are the best a refrigerator of 4,000 pounds capacity being an important part of the equipment.
    Mr. James Peter Manley carries the year round all kinds of smoked meats and fish, also oysters in season. This business was established by the present owner in October 1898, and already a nice patronage has been built up, which embraces the best families in North Vernon and vicinity. Mr. Manley is a native of North Vernon and has many friends in this vicinity. He is an active member of the Order of Redmen and is among North Vernon's esteemed citizens.


    One grocery store may look much like another; one may have practically the same lines handled by the other, so that to all appearances it is, after all, only a grocery store like the many others doing business in a community. Yet there is a difference; there must be, otherwise the patronage would be nearly all about that same and that, however is never the case. The difference is in the manner of transacting business, the facilities of serving the public with promptness and the policy of securing satisfaction, let the coast be what it may. The American Tea Co., by carrying a stock of select groceries, deal only in a line of standard food productions, and by purchasing in quantities secure bedrock policies, so that good quality and low prices are distinctive features of this business and these have, during its four years career, built up a nice patronage. In groceries, coffees, teas and staple articles the lines are complete and every demand by the public meets with a prompt response.
    Mr. C. S. Crocker, the manager, has been identified with the business both here and in Cincinnati for fifteen years, and as a consequence he knows the various probuctions in the food lines, their claims to merit and their values. He is among North Vernon's esteemed citizens and gives to this community a live and wide awake establishment in the grocery business.


Dry Goods, Clothing and Shoes     Young in point of time as compared with many of North Vernon's retail establishments, progressive in its methods of conducting business, vigorous and fresh in the efforts made to supply popular favor. In 1888 the Tech Bros. rented a small store room in North Vernon, and filling it with a stock of Dry goods and clothing began, business. Their goods were honest values, the prices the lowest consistent with quality, every representation in value and ware was made good, their guarantee was as good as a bank note. Founded on these cardinal priciples the little stock soon was distributed throughout the county, and the satisfaction rendered made friends and reputation. As the years rolled by the stock grew larger and larger and the little store room became cramped and crowded. Increasing patronage demanded more commodious quarters and better facilities. In 1892 the present double store building was occupied and its two stores were filled with the markets best productions in the lines handled. Such is the brief and simple history of Tech Bros., a history marked by a progress not to be attributed to chance or accident, but to hard work and the exercise of good business judgement and executive ability.
    In dry goods, clothing, gents' furnishings, hats, shoes and ladies cloaks etc. this firm still follow their original policy of honest values at the lowest figures consistent with quality. They buy in quantities that force prices to the leven of the manufacturer's cost, and thus can and do offer at figures which are secure against competition. In dress goods and gents' furnishings the styles are bright and dressy, and contain variety in quality and price to suit every condition and purse.
    In hats the latest blocks are conspicious, and in footwear the production of leading makers insure wear and satisfaction. A large line of ladies' cloaks offer special inducements in being correct in style, having variety in pattern and price, and excellence in make and fit.
    Frank W., Wm. F. and Ed. W. comprise the firm. Frank and Wm. look after the North Vernon store, while Ed manages a similar business at Liberty, Ind.


Grocery and Bakery
    In grocery and in bakery productions this establishment has earned reputation in the community for strictly pure and standard goods. In connection a lunch is provided where meals, a lunch or a good cup of coffee can be had at all hours.
    The owner, John Schierling, Sr., is among the old and highly esteemed citizens and business men of Jennings county. His long business career during which closest relations have been entertained with the general public has brought him the cherished result, a good name and excellent reputation.
    Mr. Schierling is a Bavarian by birth. Coming to Madison in his 16th year he learned the baker trade, and save for a period when he was in the brewing business he has given it his constant attention. Mr. Schierling is a Mason and Odd Fellow and one of North Vernon's highly respected citizens and business men.


    When time hangs heavily, and the mind seeks some form of amusement to beguile the hours, the socially inclines, and especially those who delight in a glass of refreshing beer, see a well kept saloon to meet, chat and make merry. In North Vernon, one of the popular resorts is that owned and conducted by John Burke. Cincinnati beer is kept constantly on hand and served cooling and inviting. He also carries for family use Jung Cincinnati bottled beer and a fine line of wines, whiskies and cigars. Mr. Burke was raised in Jennings county and worked at stone cutting for 16 years and has conducted his present business in North Vernon for five years. In popularity, in the observance of good order and high grade goods this establishment stands second to none in this locality. Mr. Burke is among the well known citizens of Jennings county and one of North Vernon's enterprising business men.

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