A Brief History
102-104 South Main Street
The McCord Building, on the corner of Green Bay and Main Streets in Shawano, was constructed by Myron McCord in 1871. It stood for 94 years until being demolished on November 9, 1965.
Myron McCord and a man named Andrews constructed the building three years before Shawano became a city. McCord was one of the early settlers in Shawano and operated a general store out of the new building until 1874 when Charles Upham bought the building and organized the Upham Hardware company.
Harry Meyer came into the picture on October 1, 1917 when he bought Robert Upham’s interest and became owner of the building and business. The company was reorganized in 1919 and Meyer sold sock to farmers and businessmen. The business took on the name of Farmers Hardware company.
The McCord Building, used by Farmers Hardware, has an interesting history. In the early days the second floor was known as McCord’s Hall and was used for public gatherings. It once housed the first high school with L. D. Roberts serving as principal. The Shawano County Journal once used a space in the building for its operations. The hardware business flourished because of the logging camps and Indian trade. Half of the upstairs floor was converted to a tin shop. At one time the Odd Fellows used part of the second floor for meetings.
The building stood until November 1965 when it was demolished to make way for a new Citizens State Bank building. However, the bank board didn’t follow through and directed their efforts for the new bank building to be located at the corner of Sawyer and Division Streets.
April 1949 – Green Bay Press Gazette article about the history of the McCord Building and the Farmers Hardware
The Farmers Hardware company of Shawano has been doing business for 75 years, and all that time has occupied the same building.
Myron McCord and a man named Andrews put up the building in 1871 on the southeast corner of Military Road (Green Bay Street) and Main Street, three years before Shawano became a city. McCord was one of the early settlers here, and founded the Shawano County Journal in 1859. He ran the paper until 1862 when he sold his share to Charles Upham, an early merchant here.
For three years a general store out of the new McCord-Andrews building. Upham bought the building in 1874, 75 years ago and organized the Upham Hardware company. In 1910 the company was reorganized with Upham as president; his son, Robert as vice president, Jesse Brooks as secretary, and M.P. Altmeyer as treasurer.
Altmeyer and Brooks retired on April 2, 1914 and A. L. Hammond and A. H. Seering bought into the company. It is recorded that Altmeyer, Seering, and Hammond were paid salaries of $17 per week in those days.
H. Meyer, the present owner of the business came into the picture on October 1, 1917 when he bought Rober Upham’s interest. The company was reorganized with Serring as president, Meyer as secretary, and Hammond as treasurer. In January 1919 Louis Steinke bought out Hammond and Seering and Meyer then sold sock to farmers and businessmen. The business took on the name of Farmers Hardware company.
On January 1, 1937 Myer and Steinke decided to reorganize and bought all outstanding stock. The two partners continued, handling business and hardware operations. Steinke then took over and moved into a new building on E. Green Bay Street.
The building used by Farmers Hardware has an interesting history. In the early days the second floor was known as McCord’s Hall and was used for public gatherings. It once housed the first high school with L. D. Roberts serving as principal. The Shawano County Journal once used a space in the building for its operations. The hardware business flourished because of the logging camps and Indian trade. Half of the upstairs floor was converted to a tin shop. John Trockell Sr. ran the tin shop with the late Dan Althaus and August Cattau as helpers.
At one time the Odd Fellows used part of the second floor for meetings.
When Charles Upham was connected with the hardware store, he was associated with the Upham & Russell general store. Script money was used between the two stores. R. W. Jackson, a Civil War veteran, was Charles Uphams right-hand man and bookkeeper for some year.s Other early employees were Jesse E. Brooks, Lutsey Brei, William Tonne, John Trochlell Sr., August Cattau, and John Black.
The owners always have been local men, interested not only in the business but also in the civic and social affair and welfare for the community.
Meyer is not a native of Shawano, but has lived here many yeas and has been prominent in the community. He was born in Sturgeon Bay, and after graduating from high school there went to a business college in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For a time, he worked with the S. F. Bower Pump works in Fort Wayne. In 1914 he married Alma Beversdorf of Shawano, and in October 1917 moved here.
Meyer was mayor of Shawano for 10 years, and for 28 years has held various offices in St. James Lutheran congregation, having been chairman of the building committee when the new stone church war erected.
The hardware man served as president of the Chamber of Commerce a number of years. He is a member of the hospital board and is currently serving as president. He is secretary of the county airport committee and a member of the Rotary club, being president in 1932. In 1930 he was president of the Wisconsin Retail association and in 1948 was elected to the National Retail association’s board of directors.