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Looking for Benroth's Saloon or the Modern Suit and Skirt Co. ?

Sorry to say, they are no longer in businesses

Here’s a familiar Bluffton Main Street business block, home of three stores in an undated late-1880 to early-1890-era photo. Next to it is the same scene photographed in 2023. Check several photo enlargements of this scene at the bottom of this feature.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE SEVERAL ENLARGEMENTS OF THE 1880 ERA PHOTO


The time frame is based upon:

• Main Street is not yet paved. That took place in 1906.

• A photo from the early 1880s shows three wooden framed building in the location of the brick building in this photo.

• The trees in the photo are mature, reaching almost above the second floor of buildings. By 1904 most Main Street business section trees were removed. This photo looks as if it was near the end of the tree-lined Main Street.


On the left edge of the photo is 101 and 103 North Main Street at the corner of Main and Church. You can see the 103 awning and wall.


Next is a building is the Commercial Bank, but it lacks its “modern” front, added later.


J.L. Doty Grocer and Bakery

Let’s skip to the far right side of the photo. It’s J. L. Doty Grocer and Bakery. Today that’s 113 N. Main St., home of Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer, Regular and Sherer, CPAs.


A photo of that building is at the bottom of this story. For more complete details on the Doty business read an earlier story on this website by clicking here.



Benroth Saloon

The Benroth Saloon is located at today’s 111 N. Main St., Ryan DeMarco’s Edward Jones office. George Benroth operated the saloon. At one time it was among 13 saloons in Bluffton.


Benroth had an amazing collection of native America pieces, which he collected while operating his business. A News article in 1910 stated his collection included more than 4,000 specimens of stone axes, hammers, knives, polishers, scrapers, pestils, arrowheads and ornaments.


According to Tom Benroth, each time a customer brought in a native American item, George Benroth gave the customer a free drink.


The Modern Suit and Skirt Co.

The business in the center of the three was owned by Jonas A. Amstutz.


In a 1904 Bluffton News feature the store was described this way: Mr. Amstutz does a general wholesale and retail business, having a large retail store which is 22 by 85 feet in dimensions located near the Commercial bank.

He has several clerks, while his time is taken as a salesman selling his goods to the different retail dry goods and notion stores throughout the state.


The official store name is Bluffton, Ladies Clothing and Furnishing Store.


The store offers ladies ready-to-wear suits, dress and walking skirts, separate jackets in cloth or silk, shirt waist suits, shirt waists, muslin underware, wrappers, petticoats, corsets fabric gloves and hosiery for ladies and children.


Heating ...Metal Dealer

We are unable to determine the business located on the left side of this building. The awning appears to read “------ Heating Metal Dealer.” Watch for more detail on this business as we research possible business owners.


This photo is from the Ray Mumma collection

The building in 2023

1896 Bluffton News ad for The Modern Suit and Skirt Co.




And, next door


Next door in 2023



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1 Comment


So fun to figure this all out! Thanks, Fred.


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