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Schmalz's Department Store

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Schmalz's Department Store, 213 N. Walnut Street, opened in 1926 by Roy H. Schmalz. Originally a one-room furniture store, it was quickly expanded to include dry goods and then hunting and fishing supplies. It was the first store east of the Mississippi River to sell Levi's jeans.

The men of the Schmalz family were great hunters, and the third floor of the store had a museum dedicated to their trophies, which included a large Kodiak bear. By 1970, Jim Schmalz, son of the founder, was running the store. At age 67 and suffering health problems in 1988, he decided to close the store down. The bear may still be seen at the Monroe County History Center.

Reference: Farewell to a tradition (Subscription)