Entrepreneurs, Pioneers and Trailblazers

Entrepreneurs, Pioneers and Trailblazers

Nappanee, Indiana 46550, United States

Created By: Nappanee Public Library

Tour Information


Nappanee was built on the foundation of trailblazers. If those pioneers and trailblazers who happened to be entrepreneurs too, Nappanee would not be what it is today. Entrepreneurs, Pioneers and Trailblazers explores those pioneers. The oldest family owned jewelry store, a bakery, Nappanee’s very own telephone company, Elkhart County’s largest general store and Nappanee first hotel are included on this tour and talked about them and the men and women behind them. How could a jewelry store that has had 4 generations of owners still be around today? How did Nappanee come to have a telephone company? Where did the first hotel go? What restaurant in Nappanee had the first air conditioning in Indiana?

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What You'll See on the Tour

PLAY AUDIO The B&B opened April 12, 1926. The original building was moved to Nappanee from Locke. Bernard “Bunk” Widmoyer and Russell “Buss” Hostetter started the business. B&B stood for Bunk and Buss. Their partnership only... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Enos Newcomer started his jewelry store in Nappanee in 1880. He purchased his stock from Mr. Stahly for $100. It is unsure if this was for the entire stock or just a down payment. Enos was a watchmaker and bench worker. He was al... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Metzler Shoes started in 1924 and had been owned and/or operated by several generations of the Metzler Family until it closed in 2015. Ralph Metzler and his brother in law Ora Smucker, invested together to open the shoe store at ... Read more
PLAY AUDIO The Napanee House was Nappanee’s first hotel. Proprietors of the hotel included Sam Hartman, Fred Richmond, L.B. Winders, Mrs. Jacob Pippenger, and Edgar Pippenger. Napanee house had only one “p” because a former landlord p... Read more
PLAY AUDIO At one time Hartman Brothers was one of the biggest general stores in Elkhart County. It was owned and managed by brothers Jacob, John and Tobias. The store originally started in Hepton in 1871 with Jacob and their other brother,... Read more
PLAY AUDIO The Farmer and Trader Bank was the first Nappanee Banking House. It was established in 1884 by Daniel Betchel and his sons Samuel and Henry. In 1890, Samuel Coppes sold his interest in Coppes Brothers to Daniel Zook. In 1891, Sam... Read more
PLAY AUDIO In 1900, the firm of C.W. Johnson, druggist and booksellers were founded at the location across the street (101 E. Market St.). The store here was purchased in 1924 from TJ Prickett. Mr. Johnson’s son Harold Johnson became an a... Read more
PLAY AUDIO The Nappanee Telephone Company started in 1898. The initial installation consisted of fifty two telephones with an ultimate capacity for a hundred telephones. Claude Stoops led the way for this new innovation to Nappanee. The fir... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Huffman’s Bakery was started in 1893 by Ogden Huffman. His son Roy Huffman took over the business in 1917 when his father passed away. When they moved into their fire proof building in 1919, it had a flour elevator from the bas... Read more


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