It was a time for building. East Perry County was booming. Its population was growing. And with growth came the need for the supplies necessary for building. The area was rich with timber, so wood would be the product of choice for most of the buildings in the area. There were sawmills around to provide a major need for milling the timber. It was also a time which was in the horse and wagon era. A person relied on getting their supplies within range of this form of transportation. In the early 1900’s, a pair of Miesner boys from the Farrar area, Martin and John Miesner, recognized the community’s need for a business which made it easy to get these building materials to the market. They opened what turned out to be a profitable building supplies business in Altenburg.
The above photo is believed to be the first photo of the Miesner business. They were located on the east end of town. You can find them on this map. It is labeled as Miesner Lbr. & Mfg. Co.
The Miesners also built a house next to their business which can also be seen on this map and in the above photo. Here is a later photo of the Miesner Lumber Company.
In an earlier post, we had written about a swing factory which was located in Wittenberg. It was titled, Frogtown Furniture. The Miessner family was also involved in that operation. In this photo, you can see three of the Miesner swings in various spots.
Here is one more photo of the lumber company with several people in it. The third person from the left, standing behind the wagon, is reportedly Anton Mueller.
It was about the time when the above map was produced that the Miessners left the business and it became known as the Altenburg Lumber Company. The company was operated by Ernst Palisch until 1943.
The next men to operate the Altenburg Lumber Company were Ott Koestering, Martin Seibel, and Barney Schuessler. Here is a photo of Martin Seibel working inside the retail portion of the business.
One of the docents at our museum, Richard Schuessler, is Barney Schuessler’s son and grew up in the house next to the business. Here is a photo of the Barney Schuessler family. Richard is standing in the back. Barney served our country during World War II.
Folks around here also speak often about how Marvin “Pepper” Schmidt also worked at this company.
We know this building supply was an important part of our local economy for many years. We are no longer in a building boom. Modern means of transportation make it possible to get building materials from the bigger cities of Perryville, Jackson, and Cape Girardeau. However, this local business is still a part of the memories that are part of East Perry County’s history.