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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

Businesses of today,   pp. 222-242


Page 236

press and other equipment was added.
The Schermerhom Brothers were in Stratford only until
November, 1921, the issue of the 18th of that month being the
first under the new ownership of Frank R. Otto, who stated in
his first issue: "Now that I have taken possession of the
Journal, I am going to say that I have the best equipped shop
in this section of the State and can assure you that I am here
for business and am going to give you the best kind of
newspaper.
"I do not need any further recommendation for Mr.
Schermerhorn has said enough regarding that line.
"I gave up my duties with one of Marshfield's largest
publishing houses to come here, and I shall say again that I
have the best equipped shop in this section of the state."
During Mr. Otto's ownership of the Journal, the first
typesetting machine was installed, a Linograph, doing away
with the tedious work of setting all the type in the newspaper
by hand.
In that year, too, ground was broken for the start of the
Stratford Canning Company here. Plans at that time were to
can pears, beans, beets, and perhaps, sweet corn.
Mr. Otto's last issue was on May 9, 1924, at which time
the ownership of the Journal was taken overby a group of local
businessmen. (I believe that the four were Theo. W.
Hoffmann, R. Connor, Fred Semmelhack and George
Chrouser.)
Mr. Chrouser was president of the Home Publishing
Company, but much of the actual writing of the news and
comments was done by Mr. Semmelhack. He was a bit
unconventional at times, and some of his stories raised some
rumpusses.
He learned of the dangers an editor faces. He printed a
news story of a Stratford citizen and slightly misspelled his
name. The day after publication, this individual came in to the
Journal office and was carrying a quart syrup pail. Mr.
Semmelhack was entirely unprepared when the irate sub-
scriber swung the pail at his head and told him: "I'll learn you
to spell my name with an ski instead of sky."
Beginning with the April 5, 1926, issue of the Journal, it
was under the ownership of Earl B. Crawford, who came here
after serving as editor of the Keystone Enterprise. Mr.
Crawford published the Journal through the boom times of the
late 1920's and in the early years of the depresssion of the
1930's. In June, 1934, he sold the Journal to the present
owner, who took possession on July 1, 1934.
In October, 1943, a disastrous fire destroyed most of the
machinery and equipment of the Journal. It was the middle of
World War II when all the machinery was at a premium. For
months, the Journal was printed in outside shops, until equip-
ment could be found. The Journal was not completely set and
printed in its own shop again until April 6, 1944.
Don hale took over the Stratford Journal in 19? and his
son, Paul, the current owner of the Journal took over in 1969.
Paul also publishes the Stratford Merchants Messenger.
Stratford Mini Storage
Joe and Carol Lato opened their Mini Storage business in
1990. They have sixteen storage units of various sizes from
10xlO to 10x24 at 201 South Street.
Stratford Plumbing
& Heating
In 1970 Donald Schultz and his wife, Tommie, purchased
Guenther Sheet Metal & Plumbing and changed the name to
Stratford Pulumbing and Heating. The business is located on
South Weber Avenue and does a thriving plumbing business.
They do residential, commercial and remodel plumbing.
Heating work is no longer done but it remains in the name.
Don and Tommie Schultz are both active in the business.
They have three employees, their son Scott, Barb Schoenfuss,
and Roger Roehrborn.
The Stratford
State Bank
By Allie Knoll
For the Stratford Journal
At the turn of the century, the community of Stratford was
a busy logging settlement. Mills were harvesting thousands
of board feet of virgin timber. The lumberman in the area
received their pay and purchased their necessities at the
supply stores and probably kept the remaining cash under the
mattress.
The Connor Company mill provided a general store
where the payroll could be redeemed for merchandise. How-
ever, the people not employed at the mill needed a depository
for exchange of their funds.


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