Old Globe Store Fades Away to only a Memory
The once bustling little community of Globe, located 10 miles northwest of Neillsville has been fading away over the years. Now even its most famous landmark is disappearing with the demolition of the Old Globe Store. The building had stood at the comer of County Trunk Highways H, O and G (HOG Comers) since the turn of the century, long before 0 even existed. The store has been purchased by, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Feucht of Rt. 3, Neillsville, who are recycling the materials to construct a house either on the store site or nearby. George Rupperecht built the general store around 1900 on land he had purchased from Joseph Bodwin. It was a single story building to start with and also housed the globe Post Office and family living quarters. Globe itself was much larger at the time, with a creamery, German Church (Immanuel Lutheran which still remains and prospers) sawmill, school and a second store.
Rupperecht sold the business to Michael Prock in 1908, who in turn sold it to son Linus Prock in 1913. Linus Prock, by himself or with son Harold, was the proprietor of the. store from then until 1958. To say the business was a general store would be an understatement Lucille McConnell, Linus' daughter, who now resides in Greenwood, recalls that besides grocery items her father stocked hardware, clothing, cloth and yard goods, feed and veterinary supplies, beer, plumbing materials, appliances, and farm machinery having the local John Deer dealership. Linus did plumbing and electrical work and raised bees to sell their honey. We bought our first Dodge car with the money made from bees," McConnel said.
The store even stocked dynamite, which nearly led to disaster on one occasion when she was very young, McConnell said. The kitchen of the living quarters led into the store. "I was being pretty quiet in the store and they came out of the kitchen to see what I was doing and there I was, biting on a dynamite cap, she said .Fortunately, it did not go off.
In addition, the store boarded the young women school teachers when the nearby Globe School was in session, including Frances Muddeck and the daughter of Willliam Campman.
LINUS PROCK was the long-time operator of the store, and famed for the card games he sponsored nightly that made Globe a lively place. (photo courtesy of Pearl Prock)
But the store was also renowned for its social activities At some point a second story dance hall was added onto the store and once a month dances would be held with bands and orchestras like Whoopee John performing. The cost was all of 75 cents, said McConnell and that included "eats' prepared by Linus' wife, Agnes, and Mr. Arnold Henchen.
The hall also hosted "home talent" nights featuring youth from Christie and Globe. It was there that Pearl Prock met her late husband, Harold, and made their first date in 1932. Long before they were married in 1936, she was helping out at the store. Their first child was born there as well.
Prock's most vivid memory of the store were the nightly card games. Usually one and as many as five or six tables were set up and neighborhood men would play until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. Regulars included Eric Schoenherr, Frank and John Thoma and Ted Mitte. Spittoons were kept within easy reach. As they would play, they would also munch on peanuts and throw the shells on the floor until the mess was several inches deep. Agnes or one of the girls would have to clean up when it was all through to have the store looking good for morning opening. Robert Mitt, a lifelong resident of the are, remembers following father Ted to the games. It was fun as a kid just to go down there and listen to the guys. All the ranting and raving. Threatening each other. But it was all friendly. Mitte said. "Sometimes the wives would come along and not stay long," recalled Pearl Prock. "Or sometimes they would have a quilting bee that same night It was quite the social corner.
The depression hurt the Globe area as much as any other. The dances were discontinued, with the last being a wedding dance for William and Dora Hoffman in June of 1935. Two apartments were put into the hall area, with Harold and Pearl moving into the downstairs living area while Linus and Agnes moved into one apartment and Herman and Gertrude Hagedorn becoming among the first tenants of the other.
Linus could not do a a lot but he did what he could to keep area farmers going, said McConnell. He carried a lot of people on charge accounts and at least once provided a customer with an outright loan, not even asking the man to sign for it. "That says something about the kind of man he was, " McConnell said.
Mitte remembers buying goods at the Globe Store and paying for them with eggs when money was short. But he remembers getting treats there as well when the family had a few extra cents.
"We got our nickel candy bar and nickel soda there. And the first gas I ever got for my car, gas at $1 for five gallons, I remember getting from Linus Prock," Mitte said.
World War II brought prosperity back to the area, but its end signaled a new era for small country stores. People were more willing to drive into nearby cities for their supplies, said Pearl Prock. And their tastes changed too. They wanted more fresh meats and fresh fruits and vegetables than the Globe Store stocked. And larger stores like the IGA were opening up. Business began to fall off.
Harold and Pearl left Globe and started their own grocery in Neillsville in 1950, in part to be closer to school for their children. In January of 1958, Linus sold the store to Raymond and Genevieve Kalsow.
The Kalsow's operated the store for 10 years. But Raymond continued to hold down another job and the strain of running a store alone became too much, Mrs.. Kalsow said. In 1968 they added more apartments upstairs and also converted the store area into apartments. They sold the building as a rental unit in 1970.
Numerous people have since lived in the building. Unfortunately, not all of them were kind in their treatment of the building. It began to deteriorate and passed through several hands in the last decade. It sat vacant for the past two years and was badly damaged by vandals. Such a situation would have distressed her deceased parents, offered McConnell.
"They would feel just terrible. My mother was a very neat person and a tireless worker. Everything had to be just so, you know. They would really feel badly if they knew about this, she said.
Mrs. Feucht said that many neighbors were volunteering help to take down the store, from which they are saving about 80% of the materials. "There was still good timber in there and it was well constructed for as old as it was, " she noted.
Many of those neighbors are also picking up small mementos of the store to take home. There has also been a steady stream of people seeking souvenirs because they had lived in the building at some time.
The store's fate has given Pearl Prock some second thoughts about moving. She said she would miss the old place.
"I don't think we really lost enough trade to close the store. That's why I wish we could have stayed. We could have changed it to make it more modern," she said, adding, "I have a lot of great memories from out there."
MEMORIES (Not a part of the original article).
Elaine (Wood) Greene-Jenson wrote:
"I remember a Lucille. We once had a meal with them and the living quarters were part of the store on the south side, and I remember Lucille going into the store and picking up some bulk cookies from a large slanted glass jars that had a cover. They were cookies with marshmallow tops. I recall thinking at that time how nice it must be to just go out and get what you wanted. That's back when purchased cookies still tasted good. If I recall correctly there was a swinging door between the living quarters and the store. The first room was a kitchen dining area. I can even remember where I sat at that meal. Isn't that crazy?"
I don't recall any dances there and I'm sure there was no second story to the building when I was there, because the ceiling of the store was very high; at least it seemed very high to me, and some of the shelves were well above the heads of the people behind the counter. Plus they had a ladder that slid along the shelves so they could reach called for items on those shelves. But they did live there as I said on the south side of the store, but in the same building.
Linus also had mink in cages in back of the store, to the east. I occasionally would help feed them and I was always warned not to get my hand anywhere near the cages as they bite. The food was ground up horse meat, I don't know what it was mixed with but it was poured into the cages from the top into a pan in the cages.
More "Memories" from Elaine (Wood) Greene-Jenson.
Confirmation photo which includes an early photo of Robert Mitt
Mike Warlum wrote:
We are definitely related to the Procks of Globe. As a child I remember visiting our cousin Tilla (Otellia) Prock in Globe. Her husband had a tavern there, complete with cabins to rent and an old fashioned sauna. Our cousin Otellia was married to Ed Prock. She also had a brother named Johnny Poppe.
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