“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 Schmitt-Nobbe Building

110 South Church

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

The Schmitt-Nobbe Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, November 2, 2019
1. The Schmitt-Nobbe Building Marker
Inscription.  The Schmitt-Nobbe Building has been a grocery store for the bulk of its existence. In 1941 Ambrose Schmitt inherited the property, along with several other properties, from his wife Annie Schmitt upon her death. Ambrose decided to leave it all to their five children: Peter, Ambrose, Juliana, Beatrice and Elizabeth. Sons Peter and Ambrose were given the 110 S. Church property and the remainder of the properties were split between the other three siblings.

Peter left the property unimproved for 15 years, as he already owned and operated a grocery store directly adjacent on Mill Street. Peter operated on Mill Street from 1935 until 1956 as Peter Schmitt's AG Food Store, a part of the Associated Grocer's food chain. When his son, Donald Schmitt, returned home in 1955 from serving in the US Army, Peter offered him an opportunity to go into business with him. Don accepted with the stipulation that the store would be expanded and relocated to the 110 S. Church Street property.

Construction began in May of 1956 with Osterhage Construction as the general contractor. Clemens Feldker laid the brick, Claude Lipe Roofing Company set
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the roof, Freeman Keim installed the plumbing, Waterloo Skelgas and Electric Inc. installed the heating and air conditioning and the building's interior concrete was poured by Homeko Construction Company.

Peter W. Schmitt's AG Super Shop, as it was renamed, held a grand opening on November 29, 1956 that was a great success. With the brand new, gleaming white concrete blocks inside the store and the newly laid brick outside, the building was beautiful. The interior layout featured wide aisles brightly lit by 68 fluorescent lights, 33 flood lights, and the store also had lighted a walk-in refrigerators and storage rooms. The 50 by 96 foot building housed five air conditioning units and ten refrigerators, each having their own motor and compressor. By far, the most popular feature to Schmitt's AG Super Shop were the "Magic Doors" and counter conveyor belts. With these new innovations, shoppers no longer had to back out the door, set down their groceries to exit the building or hand the checker each individual item for purchase. In 1956, these ideas were new and highly impressive.

In March of 1961, the store was renamed to Schmitt's Tom-Boy Store when Don left the Associated Grocers chain of stores and was renamed again in 1966 as Schmitt's Bi-Rite, as Bi-Rite was one of the fastest growing companies in the Midwest. Ultimately the last name for the Schmitt family
The Schmitt-Nobbe Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, November 2, 2019
2. The Schmitt-Nobbe Building Marker
The building currently houses Wm. Nobbe & Co.
grocery store became Schitt's IGA in July of 1984. Sixteen years later on November 8, 2000, a newspaper notice came out entitled "The Rumor is True", Schmitt's IGA Store had gone out of business. After 65 years, 44 being at the 110 S. Church Street building, it was a sad ending to the Schmitt family grocery stores.

Next to move into the building was Clark's Country Oaks. Tom & Becky Clark's furniture store occupied the property from 2004 until August of 2012, when Tom decided to relocate his business to South Main Street.

The building then returned to a grocery store, as Ron and Pat Caywood and Robin Seidle opened Billiger Foods, which offered food to the community for lower prices, which is what the partners believed was needed in the harsh economy of the day. Indeed the name Billiger was chosen as it's meaning is literally "cheaper" in the German language. Unfortunately Billiger's lasted for just a year.

In 2013, the property was brought by its current owner, William Nobbe and Company, Inc., a family-owned John Deere farm equipment dealer and the building was renovated to become their corporate sales office.

Researched by Gibault Students Jon Daniel, Johnny Francescon Jordon McFarland & Josh Witges
Erected 2016 by Waterloo Beautication Committee.
Topics and series. This
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historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Illinois, Waterloo Beautification Committee series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1961.
Location. 38° 20.119′ N, 90° 9.1′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is on South Church Street just south of West Mill Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 South Church 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. St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (within shouting distance of this marker); City Hotel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Küenster Building (about 400 feet away); The Pluth Building (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named The Küenster Building (about 400 feet away); The State Bank of Waterloo (about 400 feet away); The Wallhaus Building (about 400 feet away); The Wissmath Property (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 30, 2019. This page has been viewed 217 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 2, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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May. 23, 2024