La Grange History 1902
The city of La Grange has made a reputation for sociability over the whole State. The principal gathering place is the Casino. Here the whole town, enforced by a great many outsiders, gathers on festive occasions. The building is owned by a club, the Casino Club. Another club that contributes its share to entertainment is called “the La Grange Froesch,” a German singing club which repeatedly has earned applause at feasts by their songs, Traveling theater troops generally find large audiences in this social city.
La Grange has a fertile surrounding country that contributes to its trade. It has the rich Colorado bottom land northwest and southeast of it, the fertile Rutersville prairie to the northeast and the rich Navidad prairie to the southwest. Only very little land around La Grange is not fit for cultivation. The county being one of the oldest in the State, one of the original counties, a great many small places in the county sprang up before the arrival of the railroads. The stores and shops in these places are a great convenience for their neighborhoods, but impair the otherwise brilliant business prospects of La Grange.
La Grange is situated on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad and on a branch of the Southern Pacific from Columbus. There are two express companies in La Grange, the American and the Wells Fargo. By telegraph it is connected with the outside world through the Western Union and the Postal Telegraph Cable Company. La Grange is the headquarters of the Southwestern Telephone Company, a local system.
The main pursuit of the citizens of La Grange is the mercantile business, supplying the farmers of the neighborhood and purchasing their products. There is one wholesale grocery business in La Grange; there are 7 general merchandise stores, 4 groceries, 5 dry goods stores, 3 hardware stores, 3 furniture houses, two saddleries, 2 jewelry stores, 3 drugstores, 11 barrooms, 2 beer agents, 3 blacksmith shops, 3 shoemakers, 2 tailors, 1 millinery, 2 restaurants, 3 hotels, 1 lumberyard, 2 livery stables, 2 granaries, 1 marble yard, 1 English, 1 German and 1 Bohemian newspaper, 16 lawyers, 2 dentists, 5 physicians, 2 banks, 2 meat markets and two photograph galleries in La Grange.
Of industrial establishments of greater importance are the waterworks and electric light plant, a cotton oil mill, a cotton compress, a soda and ice factory and two gins.
The writer will now mention some of the business men of La Grange to whom he is obliged for patronage of his book. It may be said that these gentlemen take some pride and interest in their county and do not look only on dollars and cents, but are public spirited enough to give their support to a worthy enterprise in the writer’s judgment, such men who feel an interest in their county are worthier to be patronized than those who do not, who live only in the county to accumulate all the dollars they can, who show no other interest for the people among whom they live as gathering from them dollars first, last and all the time. A man who deals with people to whom he presents only dollars and cents never will receive as fair treatment from them as from men who, on account of their station in life, feel obliged to evince an interest in the advancement of the community where they live, it is only natural for the writer to wish that the latter may reap benefits from their liberality towards him and he takes this occasion to bespeak the patronage of the friends of this book for those business men who enabled him by their support to get out this work.
Judge A. Haidusek, the owner of the Svoboda and president of the First National Bank of La Grange, has established a reputation for liberality throughout the state. There never has come a literary man or printer who solicited his aid and who did not receive his hearty support. There is no man who takes greater pride in Fayette County than the judge and it was most natural that he gave his aid to this writer in getting out this book. The writer only hopes that his work may meet his expectations.
The first National Bank of La Grange with Judge A. Haidusek as president and John B. Holloway as cashier is the most solid financial institution in the county and deservedly enjoys the full confidence of the people. The Schuhmacher Bank is the other financial institution of La Grange and shares with the First National Bank the patronage of the capitalists of the county.
Of the merchants of La Grange August Heintze, jr., is undoubtedly the leading one. There is not a more liberal, more energetic and more accommodating merchant living in La Grange than he. Since he has opened his large department store, a great many faces of people who traded before elsewhere have appeared again to trade in that city. He carries an immense stock of goods.
Rosenberg & Co. are the owners of an elegant store and carry an immense stock of goods. In the dry goods line Carl Mosig is up-to date and keeps up with the fashion. Friedberger & Johnson are their able competitors.
Frank Reichert and A. Harigel have well stocked furniture stores and treat their customers liberally. Aug. Streithoff and Connell & Holloway are the hardware firms in La Grange and also do first-class work in roofing, guttering, etc.
The marble yard of O. E. Stolz has a reputation for turning out masterpieces of art in the monumental line, well established throughout South and Central Texas, and is assisted by a corps of able agents.
The most popular saloons are the County Seat Saloon owned by Chas. Schaefer & Son, and the Diamond Saloon owned by Hackebeil & Wessels.
In the hotel business Joe Kainer ranks in the front as well for accommodations as for liberal rates. No hotel in South Texas furnishes its patrons so many accommodations as telephone, bathrooms, electric lights, etc., at such liberal rates. The rooms and the board cannot be surpassed.