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A. Ritger Co.

In 1893 August Ritger with brother-in-law John Seubert and A. Mueller built this two story general store at the corner of 5th and Main Street in Marathon, Wisconsin. This was the first brick building in Marathon and was the home to the town's first elected mayor, August Ritger, and his family. After a few years Mueller and Seubert left the company and the place became known as the "A. Ritger Co." In January 1920 a son, Phillip J. Ritger and his brother-in-law Peter Bingen bought the place and it became known as the "Ritger and Bingen Store". With the assistance of a mid-wife most of Phillip's 11 children were born in this building.
In 1936 during the Great Depression the store building was gutted by fire. Local carpenters said the building could not be repaired. Phillip's son-in-law, Alfred Straub of Edgar, Wisconsin took up the challenge to repair the building.
In 1937 Alfred and his wife Evelyn Ritger Straub bought the building, cleaned it out, spent $800.00 to repair the store and opened it for business as "Straub's Store". They specialized in hardware, heating and farm machinery.
Al lowered the first floor ceiling from 14 to 10 feet, lowered the second floor ceiling from 10 to 8 feet and made the upper portion of the building into four apartments. They created an apartment for themselves in the southwest corner where they lived until 1947 when they completed a new stone house on the lot in back of the store.
In 1960 the Straub's closed the business and rented out the space as apartments. Al Straub used his former apartment as a hobby shop into the 1970's. One of his hobbies was genealogy research and is responsible for compiling a multi-volume book that included the foundation for much of my research into the Rittger/Ritger genealogy.
In September 1974 Al had a minor stroke and his wife Evelyn had become ill with cancer. The Straub's sold the building in September of 1974.

Owner/SourceKatie Hansen Clopper
DateAbout 1898
PlaceMarathon, Marathon County, Wisconsin, USA
File nameRitger_Family_Store-Marathon.jpg
File Size99.52k
Dimensions919 x 565
Linked toPeter J. Bingen; August Jacob Ritger; Evelyn Ritger; Philip J. Ritger; John Seubert; Alfred George Straub

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