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Updated: Dec 30, 2020

100 years ago - December 1920 - in its Christmas edition, The New Prague Times published a brief summary of many, but not all of the firms and people conducting business in New Prague at that time. Below are some excerpts from that edition of The New Prague Times describing those businesses.

A few businesses have survived these past 100 years : Suel Printing, First Nat’l Bank, State Bank, Proshek Lumber-Mach Lumber and Hotel Broz-Weddings at The Broz.

As a point of reference, the current business establishment is identified where each ‘1920’ business was located. Quite a few of the buildings from that time are still in use and are depicted in red. Otherwise, the current building was built sometime after 1920.

As you read through the list, don’t hesitate to respond back to us with any memories you, your parents or grandparents might have about the stores listed, or possibly other businesses that were in that location in later years.

We’d love to hear from you!

New Prague Businesses 1920

Maertz & Renner

‘Frank Maertz and Fred Renner serve a large share of the community retail trade from their west side location. They carry a large selection of groceries, dry goods, men’s and women’s clothing’.

Currently The Depot and West End Liquor locations

Mamer & Deutsch

‘Peter Mamer and Joe Deutsch carry as complete a line of hardware that can be found anywhere. They also deal in high quality farm equipment, implements, stoves, and plumbing needs’.

Currently Skluzacek’s Meats location

Chas Vanasek Produce and Feed

‘Mr. Vanasek has been engaged in the flour, feed and produce business in this city for many years. He pays top dollar for eggs, poultry and cream and is well respected by his clientele’.

Currently parking lot behind Skluzacek’s Meats

Gopher Machine Mfg. Co.

‘A new business started by local businessmen and farmers has built small grain threshers. They have also purchased the patents for the Neddham Bros. Farmington Bobsled which they will begin to produce. We wish them good luck’.

Currently Chart Industries location

Hotel Broz

‘One of the finest hotels in the state, the Hotel Broz opened in 1897. Prior to this, Mr. Broz leased the International Hotel from John Proshek. The Broz Hotel has all the modern conveniences, such as steam heat, electric lights, hot and cold water, 20 rooms, large lobby, sample room, comfortable parlor and cheery dining room with a modern kitchen. They make a specialty chicken dinner twice daily that is appreciated by the travelling public far and wide. Joe Musil is the hustling young manager’.

Currently Weddings at The Broz location

The Daylight Store

‘Jacob Mach started the business 39 years ago in the building now occupied by Gopher Machine. About 1910, he built the large brick building the business is currently at. This store is one of the oldest in the city, with groceries,

dry goods and ready-made garments are the main items sold. Jacob is assisted by his 2 sons John and Charles, along with many other hustling employees’.

Currently Weddings at The Broz – Annex building

Originally located where Snap Fitness is as Mach General Store

Proshek Lumber Co.

‘Founded as the NP Lumber Co. in 1893, it resided on the corner of Grace St. and First St. S. until 1907 when it moved to its current location on the NE corner of First Ave SW and First St. SW. Now assisted by his son H.Frank, he carries a complete stock of lumber, millwork, tile, cement, coal along with providing building plans’.

Business continues as Mach Lumber today

New Prague Telephone

‘The firm is locally owned and operated, with by SA Vopatek as President. New Prague is one of a few cities its size in which a central energy station is used in the telephone system’.

Originally Farmhouse Market location – Second floor,

Eventually moved to BevComm current location

Cash Meat Market

‘Albert Kopet and Martin Janda are both experienced butchers and deliver quality meats, home made sausages, canned goods, fish and oysters in season. They are located in the EF Remes building for the past several years’.

Currently New Prague Floral location

Pesek Bros. Meat Market

‘Mr. Pesek recently opened up a first class butcher shop and meat market. He along with his brothers also run the meat market in Belle Plaine. They carry a large stock of poultry, meats with all the butchering and sausage making for both stores is done here.

Currently New Prague Floral location

Sachs & Rynda

‘In 1900 Adolph Sachs and Albert Rynda bought Joseph Karl’s hardware store, and their business has grown ever since becoming one of the largest and best hardware stores in the country. In 1912 they purchased their current building from HH Heinen. They carry everything a first class store hardware store would, including Buick automobiles, John Deere farm machinery, Round Oak and Hackett Stoves and Furnaces’.

Currently To The Point Dance Academy

Thomas F Rybak’s Haberdashery Shop

‘Mr Rybak carries a fine line of men’s and boy’s clothes, furnishings and shoes. He carries all the latest fashions with suits starting at $27, along with complete alterations and tailoring services. He has been in the mercantile business for many years, previously with the Rybak Bros. general merchandise operation’.

Currently The Consignment Lodge location

Savoy Theatre

‘It is the finest theatre in this section of the state. The very latest highest priced photoplays were shown at the same time of being presented in the Twin Cities all at a minimal charge. On Sunday evenings the Savoy Orchestra plays a special musical arrangement for each photoplay. Up until his recent death, Albert Rybak managed the Savoy, which is now owned by Simmer and Barta and Rybak’s estate’.

Second floor of The Consignment Lodge location

Eventually moved to the Daleko Arts location

The Economy Store

‘The proprietor CJ Simon, learned the trade while working as a clerk in the Rybak Bros. general store for 10 years, before buying the business from them in 1911. He keeps a large selection of groceries, dry goods and notions, and customers are always satisfied with the congenial treatment from Mr. Simon and his competent assistants’.

Currently Downtown Sound Music location

1st National Bank

‘It opened for business in Feb. 1904, and has become one of the most respected financial institutions around. It currently has over a half-million deposits currently. Officers include FH Wellcome- Pres., EE Novak –VP, Jos. Topka and James Mach – Cashiers, A. Barta – Bookkeeper’.

Currently Sue’s Quilt Shop location

Matt Sembauer Lunchroom

‘Mr. Sembauer recently built a large addition to his lunchroom and confectionery building. Along with the lunchroom-Green Goblin Café-, he operates an ice cream parlor and sells a wide variety of cigars and soft drinks. Located next to the 1st National Bank, he has built up a pleased patronage’.

Currently New Prague Power Nutrition location

Jos. Maertz Grocery

‘For the last 45 years except for 4 years as postmaster, Mr. Maertz has operated a 1st class grocery. He is an honored and respected citizen of our city’. Currently New Prague Vape and Tobacco location

Vanasek Hardware Co.

‘In 1882, Frank (F.S.) Vanasek along with John Rehor and Ben Vanasek, bought the business from his brother Tomas (T.F.) at its current location. Frank eventually became the sole owner of the implement business, before his son Ed joins in 1912, when they expand into the hardware business. They currently carry a complete line of hardware, cutlery, farm machinery and implements. They are the local agent for Intl. Harvestor, Estate Stoves, Homer Pipeless Furnaces, and Overland autos. In addition they do extensive work in plumbing, tinning and roofing’.

Currently Electric Beach Tanning Salon and Tikalsky Laser locations

Suel Printing Company

‘Besides publishing the New Prague Times, and printing the general run of local commercial printing work, it specializes in creamery, elevator, bank and lumber office accounting systems in loose leaf form’.

Business continues to operate in same location

EW Komarek Atty.

‘A product of our public school, he graduated from Iowa Law School in 1898 and has practiced law in New Prague since. His practice has grown considerably over the years and is also the City Attorney’.

Currently Salon Paws location

Rech & Yackly Monument and Stone Works

‘John Rech and CJ Yackly are the owners of the modern Monument workshop. They started in 1905 after buying out Theodore Karp. Initially, all monuments were built by hand, but now have installed modern electric powered machines and pneumatic tools’.

Currently Traxler Wealth Management location

New Prague Creamery Assn.

‘The Co-Op creamery was founded by surrounding farmers in 1912. JH Meyer –Pres., WJ Kucera –VP, E. Glassbrenner is the capable buttermaker and Wm. Ballinger the engineer. They handled 360,000 lbs. of butterfat this past year. They currently have 6 cream routes handled by Fred Tobin and Frank Pavlicek. Every citizen should be proud of the creamery as its paid handsome returns to its 160 shareholders with over 300 satisfied patrons’.

East of Hartman Well Drilling location

Eventually behind Strike Force Bowl (northern part of vacant area)

JJ Remes Drug Store

‘James J Remes has devoted much time to the well being of New Prague, serving as Mayor and Postmaster. A Notre Dame graduate, he worked for the railway postal service before starting his drug store. He’s assisted by Jacob and Leonard Remes. They are also local dealers for Victor Victrolas and musical supplies’.

Currently Back and Neck Clinic location

Dr Edward E Novak

‘Dr Novak grew up in Iowa, graduated from the U. of Iowa in 1895 and has been practicing medicine here ever since. His fame as a

learned and skilled doctor has spread far and wide and has an exceptionally large practice. Dr. Novak takes an active interest in the betterment of both civic and rural conditions’.

Currently Back and Neck Clinic location

Tesar Groceries

‘Albert Tesar has conducted his grocery store at the corner of Main and Grace Sts. For the last 12 years. His business continues to grow and well known for his fruits, vegetables and coffee’.

Currently vacant – NW corner of Main St and First Ave NE

Meskans Shoe & Harness Repair Shop

‘Vit along with his two sons Frank and Ben, have built a reputable business and invested heavily in equipping their shop with all latest modern machinery in harness making and shoe repair. They carry a large stock of harnesses and can usually make repairs while you wait’.

Currently Czecher’s Bar –annex building location

Hoffer’s Soft Drink Emporium

‘John Hoffer has operated his emporium selling soft drink drinks, cigars and candy in this town for a number of years. In addition he also has a large dance hall’.

Currently Velvet Touch Catering location

Joe Valesh Dry Goods

‘Mr Valesh has enjoyed a nice business of selling dry goods, shoes and other necessities. He is always eager to please his customers’.

Currently Merchant’s on Main location

Tikalsky’s General Store

‘This new store, operated by Daniel Tikalsky will carry a full line of dry goods and general merchandise’.

Currently Hertaus Flooring location

Topka & Mach

‘Messrs. Topka and Mach are real estate and insurance agents who have a large list of fine farms and city property for sale. They also are agents for a number of reliable insurance cos. and have transacted an impressive amount of business in this regard’.

Currently Hertaus Flooring location

Mack Electric Co.

‘In these days of modern electrical appliances, we’re fortunate to have a well-equipped electrical supply house and competent electrician. As such he has built up an extensive business in this community’.

Currently parking lot east of Tupy Insurance

Peter Nickolay Confectionary

‘He is always well stocked with fresh candy, fruits and cigars all year round. Mr. Nickolay is also engaged in the real estate business and his dealings in this regard are well established’.

Currently vacated Prairie Pond Wine Bar patio location

Simmer Furniture and Undertaker

‘MJ Simmer has been in business for 21 years. He has a complete line of furniture carpets, linoleum, beddings sewing machines and Pathe Phonograghs. He does quality inexpensive picture framing and upholstery. Both he and his son Thomas are Undertakers and licensed embalmers maintaining a modern parlor’.

Vacated Prairie Pond Wine Bar location

Piesinger Drug and Jewelry Store

‘The owner Marie Peisinger is a graduate of Drew School of Pharmacy and the first woman to be appointed to the MN State Board of Pharmacy. Besides drugs she carries a fine line of toiletries, cut glass and the local agent for Edison phones’.

Currently Scott Co. Title and Abstract location

Albert Tuma Implement

‘One of the most reliable machinery and implement firms is run by Albert Tuma Sr. assisted by his 2 sons, Robert and Albert Jr. He handles a complete line of farm machine

ry and implements, a fully equipped automobile repair shop, and the local dealer for Studebaker, Hudson and Essex cars’.

Currently US Bank building location

ZCBJ Opera House

‘Built in 1887, it holds Bohemian plays, traveling theatrical groups, graduations, dances, wakes, dinners and community events. Truly a treasure all of New Prague can be proud of.’

Vacated Faith Point Lutheran Church location

Rybak & Heinen Brewery

‘Formerly known as New Prague Brewing Co., are manufacturers of Seal of Minnesota Near Beer and Root Beer. They enjoy is a strong business in this section of the state. These two well known gentlemen have the most modern of bottling plants and employ a skilled workforce’.

Currently private residence south of town,

Eventually Rybak Bottling located to parking lot south of City Hall

Penner’s Confectionery

‘H.J. Penner has been in business for 15 years after buying out Frank Heinen. Cigars, fruit, ice cream, bakery supplies, magazines, toys are just some of the items. Its on the corner of Main and Simmer street. With its mahogany interior, the ice cream parlor with booths and tables where the young and old congregate, certainly the coolest place in town’.

Currently empty lot next to Pioneer Bar

J.L. Frank Jewelry Store

‘Dr. Frank is a skilled optometrist with all the modern instruments. His first class jewelry dept. carries watches, cut glass, diamonds, ivory and silverware’.

Currently Pioneer Saloon location

State Bank of New Prague

‘It was organized in 1883, as a private bank with paid-in capital of $5,000. It converted into a State Bank in 1904 with deposits of over a half-million dollars currently. Officers are Michael Schreiner – Pres., John Proshek - VP, Jos Maertz and Ed Pavek –Cashiers, Andrew Sirek – Bookkeeper’.

Currently O’Neill Bros. building location

Dr. J Landenberger

‘He attended St John’s College and completed his medical courses in Chicago before coming here in 1875. Besides serving the medical needs of the community he has been Mayor and President of the school board’.

Currently O’Neill Bros. building location

Komarek Paint Shop

‘J.W. Komarek is one of the busiest men in this town. He employs from 5 to 15 people depending on the season and is well stocked in paints, wallpaper and supplies. He mixes all of the paints in his special mixing shop. He also is endowed with unusual mu

sical talents and is President of the Bohemian Brass Band and leader of the Savoy Orchestra. He is a successful dealer of musical instruments, merchandise and a musical instructor’.

Currently International Quality Home Care location

John Barta Photo Studio

‘Mr. Barta established the most equipped photos studio around these parts in 1895. As a result, he is able to turn out the finest specimens of artistic photography. He is also a Municipal Court Judge, manager of the ZCBJ Opera House, and part owner of the Savoy Theatre’.

Currently State Farm Insurance Agency location

New Prague Garage

‘Owners Albert Ambroz and Michael O’Connell are both young and experienced automobile men. They handle Chevrolet cars and a complete line of tires and accessories. Ambroz is from Heidelberg and O’Connell a St. Thomas boy who served in WW1 in France’.

Currently Humble Pie Gift Shop location

Kubes Livery

‘Thomas Kubes runs his livery business out of a large fireproof building opposite the Broz Hotel. He has a fine lot of autos, and horse drawn delivery carriages for all your hauling needs. He maintains both an auto and team (horse) hearse’.

Currently Wells Fargo Bank location

Originally in the Hanzel Furniture Restoration location

Westerman Lumber Co.

‘H.E. Westerman was raised on a farm west of Montgomery where he helped open up a farm in the Big Woods and learned the elementary rudiments of the lumber business at his fathers sawmill. He started at Simmers sawmill, opened a lumber business in 1889 in the small village of Montgomery, and with his sons Henry and Elmer opened up their successful lumber yard in New Prague’.

Currently Strike Force Bowl location

Lunak Shoe Repair

‘Joe Lunak is well experienced in shoe repair along with handling leather repair of all kinds. He customers always come away very satisfied’.

Currently Joe’s Repair Shop location

New Prague Foundry

‘It is one of the leading local industrial firms that employs a large number of locals the year round. The owners Thomas Marek, Frank Bazil and Arthur Pany are all experienced machinists and foundry men who deal with heavy machinery, engines, threshers besides foundry and machines shop work. They are local dealers for Ford automobiles and Fordson tractors’.

Currently Kwik Trip location

Adolph Jelinek Furniture and Undertaker

‘Adolph bought the store last year from Arthur Pany. He deals in artistic furniture, rugs and musical instruments and the agent for Columbia Graphophones. He maintains Undertaking parlors, which are managed John Bruzek as Undertaker and funeral director.’

Location unknown, eventually Prairie Pond Wine Bar location

Mickus Bros.

‘George and John Mickus provide prompt and efficient service of light and heavy hauling having numerous rigs for autos and trucks at the ready. They are also the local ice dealers, supplying homes and businesses with good clean ice’.

Location unknown

New Prague Public Schools

‘Enrollment in the school has been growing each year and is the largest in either Scott or Le Sueur county. Last years graduating class was 10. The classrooms are large and useful, however a gymnasium is needed for the physical welfare of the students. In high school 2 different lines of study are open to the boys and girls. The boys can choose between the commercial courses or the classical college-prep courses. Girls have a 3rd choice of home economics. Every pupil must complete 4 years of English, and now must take penmanship and community civics’.

Currently New Prague Community Education parking lot location

Complied in December 2020 by a New Prague Area Historical Society Staff Writter

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Kelsey Rae
Kelsey Rae

What an interesting read! I love to learn about the lives of our local buildings and businesses!

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