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Stratford centennial

Businesses of yesterday,   pp. 185-218

Page 218

Many barbers have had the task of keeping Stratford men
shaved and shorn but the first recorded "official" barber was
Ed Rifleman. In 1910 Rifleman built the Rifleman building
at 219 Elm Street.
He had men people working for him, especially on the
weekends when the lumberjacks came in from the woods.
Then he and his helpers would sometimes work until two
o'clock in the morning. Haircuts were 25ยข and they did a lot
of shaving in those days as most men could not keep their
razors sharp.
Some of the barbers that worked with Rifleman were
Clarence Hoffman, Louie Laessig and Ed (Swede) Nelson.
The Rifleman building was sold in 1946 and the building
became a drug store.
In 1912 John Kaiser built a barber shop on East Railroad
Street. His brother, Jake, worked with him. Kaiser later sold
the shop to Swede Nelson for a Hudson car and a sum of
money. After Swede Nelson died, his wife rented the shop to
other barbers.
A few other names were recalled for barbers in Stratford.
Joe Masanz worked for Swede Nelson. Gust Polege had a
barber shop in the Diermeier building. Irvin Kroening was a
barber as was Dennis Baumman and Herb Frank.
(See Wetterau Barber Shop in the section on today's
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We are sorry we only touched on a few of the many businesses and industries that
have been a part of Stratford's history. We have relied on people's memories, the
newspaper accounts and the stories that were written by those of you who were involved
in some way with the businesses. We urge all of you in business to write a short history
of your company and take it to the Village Hall. That way the 2091 book will have all
the information about you. Do it today! A hundred years slips by in a hurry.

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