(Originally published in the Winter 2007 MAGIC Newsletter)
Just as the Shuette Store was famous to Manitowoc and Schroeder Bros. is to Two Rivers, so the Holst General Store was the center of shopping in Mishicot for over 74 years. A 1912 souvenir booklet, compliments of the Holst Store states, "the business was started in 1889 and has been steadily growing, now it is one of the largest department stores in the county."
Claus Holst (1853-1924) came with his wife Augusta to Mishicot in 1880, from Potter, WI, and started the store. With time his two sons, Arthur A. and Hugo F., joined in the business and it became known as A. Holst and Sons. It is believed the "A" came from his wife's name Augusta. The building was made in three sections across from the Badger Hotel (Cozy Corner Restaurant) on Main Street, with living quarters in the back.
The establishment was a typical country store with groceries, dry goods, and men's and women's ready-to-wear. In 1918, Hugo and Arthur took over the business. In 1940, Arthur died, and his widow, Eva (1893-1980), remained in partnership for three years, disposing of her share to Hugo. Arthur and his wife Eva, had lived in a large Victorian home across the street from the store. It was the first home to have electricity in the village. That house was destroyed in a fire on December 28, 1959. George Schmidt, Eva Holst's second husband died in that accident. After the fire, the home was torn down and the building which now houses the village hall was built on that location.
Hugo died in 1967 and his wife Nora in 1971. They had no surviving children. Hugo Holst was a long time civic leader, the first village president and the first president of the Mishicot Lions. He was active in Red Cross circles for years and served as county chairman.
The Holst Sons Store continued in business until 1963 when it was sold and purchased by George Krause and Ed Krajnik. According to an article by Marge Miley of the Herald Times Reporter, one end of the building was razed by Krajnik to provide more space for his Chevrolet automobile business. The remainder of the store was remodeled by Krause who continued the grocery business, sold work shoes and added appliances and television sets.
When Krause built his modern supermarket in 1970 in the present location of the Mishicot Family Market, he sold the former Holst property to Krajnik. The old store was razed for parking and now belongs to Terry Ernest Wholesale Car Sales.
Many people still have memories of The Holst Store. Some have the various patron gifts that were given out over the years. There are many stories in the 160 year history of our village. Holst Sons Co. is one of them.
Yesterday or today our businesses are successful because of you ... the customer. Please shop locally!
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