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108 West Main St. - James Dell Men's Shop

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Madison, 1853

The history of every building along Main Street can be told through the people who owned, worked, or lived within its walls. The Hillabolds arrived in Madison in 1853 from Germany. They were but two of more than 1.38 million German immigrants who came to the United States between 1848-1865. The couple quickly found employment, a place to live, and settled down to start their family. In 1859 they welcomed their first son Heinrich, or Henry as he was called. Their family quickly grew and they eventually had eight children together.

Madison was a bustling place when they arrived! By 1850, its population was just over 8,000 making it the third largest city in the state. During this period, the Ohio River was like the major highways and interstates today for it was used to ship goods and people between New Orleans and Cincinnati. These factors made it a hub of activity, attracting many notable people.

Did you know Frederick Douglass once spoke just down the street from here? On September 10, 1880 huge crowds gathered to listen to Douglass recount his time as a slave and experiences as a free man. One can only wonder if Henry or any of the other Hillabold family members attended...

Henry Gets Married

In 1881 at the age of 22 Henry married Amelia Schauberger. Shortly after their nuptials, they moved into the building at 108 West Main St

reet which was owned by Amelia's father George. The young couple opened a china and glassware store selling Queensware among other things, taking advantage of the nearby riverboat system for transport of their goods. As was common in the time, they lived upstairs above their shop.

Queensware (pictured to the left) is a form of earthenware that was developed by the famous English potter Josiah Wedgewood and named for Queen Charlotte of England.

The couple's store prospered and so did their family. They eventually had seven children - Maud, Lillie, Alice, Jeanette, Mabel, Harry, and Robert.

Sadly, Henry died on April 19, 1893 from typhoid fever, one of the leading causes of death in Indiana at the time, at the age of 35. His obituary featured in the Madison Daily Democrat stated, "For several years he has been the proprietor of the large Queensware store on the north side of Main Street in the Schauberger building, and has, by close attention to business, succeeded in building up an enviable trade. He was one of our leading business men, and a kind and genial gentleman and popular with all classes of our citizens."

The following year, on January 2, their young son Robert died of pneumonia. He was buried near his father in Madison's Springdale Cemetery. Henry's widow continued to operate the shop for another 24 years. Her children grew, married, and moved away except for two daughters, Jeanette and Maud.

Upon Amelia's death in 1918, she left the shop to its contents to her two unmarried daughters because, according to the will, "they lived with me these many years and helped me in my business faithfully, willingly, and industrially and are still doing so and upon whose help I very much now depend."

As time passed, the building changed owners and housed a variety of other stores. At one time, it was an antique store, but even that eventually closed although it was used to house a large collection of vintage furnishings. Finally, in 2014, Valecia and Larry Crisafulli purchased the building and developed a rehabilitation plan with local contractor Brian Martin. Check out the photos of the earliest phase of renovation:

(108 W. Main St. prior to its latest renovation)

(Check out this beautiful historic mantle above & doorways below)

(Front Exterior Facade Just After Renovations)

Today, the building is home to the James Dell Men's Shop and Barbershop proving that the 170+ year old structure is still a viable location for both business and residential purposes.

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