“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The KŁenster Building

123 South Main


ó Waterloo, Monroe Co. Ill., Laid Out in 1818 ó

The KŁenster Building Marker image. Click for full size.
September 27, 2019
1. The KŁenster Building Marker
Inscription.  The KŁenster Building is named after its builder, Hubert KŁenster, who built it as home to his pharmacy in 1871. KŁenster was appointed as a Postmaster in 1865, so there is belief that the Post Office was also in this building at one point in time, In 1862, he also received the appointment of Deputy Revenue Collector for Monroe County, a position which he held for three years.

Mr. KŁenster did his part to aid in the growth of Waterloo by investing his surplus funds in real estate. For several terms he was a member of the Board of Trustees for the town of Waterloo and from 1874-1876 KŁenster served as President of the Board. In 1883, he served as one of the founders of the first bank in Monroe County, Commercial State Bank.

In 1981, the County Board granted a company headed by W.T. Horine, Hubert KŁenster and Jacob Koenigsmark, the right to build a long distance telephone line in Monroe County. The Bell Telephone Company of St. Louis was contracted and given the contract to build the line from St. Louis to Waterloo: through Belleville, Millstadt, Columbia and to Waterloo. This gave Waterloo and the surrounding area its first telephone

The KŁenster Building image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Smith, December 20, 2019
2. The KŁenster Building
connection with St. Louis. The Central Office was located in the KŁenster Building.

A. C. Bollinger and Dr. N.B. Pautler, together with a group of businessmen and farmers, obtained a charter for the First National Bank of Waterloo, which opened its doors for business on June 6, 1912 in the KŁenster building at 123 S. Main Street.

In 1924, the Murphysboro tornado blew the roof off of the KŁenster building, and the roof then eventually landed in pieces on the Court House lawn, wrapped around the trees.

First National Bank remodeled the outside of their part of the building in 1950. The bank was here until May 18, 1960, when it moved to its present location on 228 South Main. The original vault is still present and being used by Heartland Travel. Waterloo Savings & Loan moved from the second floor of the KŁenster Building downstairs when First National Bank of Waterloo moved to its new location.

Through the years, also on the second floor of the KŁenster Building were a WWII draft board office, Pharmacist P.A. Hamacher's living quarters, A.H. Friedrich's Law Office & A.C. Bollinger's Law Office. To the rear of Bollinger's office was an apartment. It was also the Savings and Loan office, as mentioned before, and is now the home of Betty WIghtman, who inherited the building from her mother in 1968.

On the third floor, Tripp Lodge meetings were held. There

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is an eyehole in the door that is still present today, which members used to peek through in order to ensure only other members were let in. Then, the Knights of Columbus met there until they built a new meeting place. It is used today for storage.

After Waterloo Savings & Loan, Korel/Strelliis/Mermel had a law office here, and then it became home to the Edward Jones & Co. office of Gary W. Hency.

In 1996, Doris Rippelmeyer moved from the Kutter building into the KŁenster building with her business, Heartland Travel and then sold the company to its current owner, Connie Vogt.

Erected 2016 by Waterloo Beautication Committee.
Location. 38° 20.124′ N, 90° 9.023′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West 3rd Street, on the left when traveling north on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 South Main Street, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. City Hotel (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The KŁenster Building (here, next to this marker); The Pluth Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Monroe County Bicentennial Bandstand (within shouting distance of this

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marker); The Odd Fellows Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Commercial State Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Harrisonville Telephone Company (within shouting distance of this marker); The Braun Property (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 30, 2019. This page has been viewed 75 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 30, 2019.   2. submitted on December 20, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide-view photo of the marker in context. • Can you help?
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