Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.


Schlenderís long barns used for horses and as a warehouse.


August Schlender come to Columbia in 1896. After operating a saloon for one year he started the second general store. The main store building was 18 x50 feet; a store in front and living quarters in back. Later a 24x 24 foot addition was added to enlarge the store. The main front was used as a post office. Later another 24 x 24 foot addition was used in enlarging living quarters. The upstairs was used for a dance hall for several years. When it was discontinued, bedrooms were built. Mr. Schlender operated the store for twenty-three years. When the first store was discontinued, across the street he bought the building and put on a new store front and used it for a feed and hardware store. In connection he bought the old depot to use for warehouse.

The big barn was used for salable hay, fertilizer and cement. In 1920 all these properties were sold to Otto Steinberg. The store was in operation a few years then sold to August Stelter. The main building burned to the ground about 1937. The feed store, the oldest building in town, was torn down. The lumber was used by Melvin Thomas for a crude building built on the store foundation. For a short time someone lived in it. William Sollberger bought the remaining buildings. The feed store went to various folks who needed a board here and there. So ended the glory and good times of the pioneers in these buildings.


Second general store in Columbia 1897-1920

The changing times had the stalls for customerís horses and between

the garage and the warehouse for Schlenderís store. The date - 1918.


After John Twamley discontinued the saw mill he had owned and operated, he opened a blacksmith shop. A few years later he put a stock of hardware in the Deal Building next door. Mrs. Twamley took in roomers and gave meals to some of the teachers and railroad operators.





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