Bischof Hardware Company (Nebraska City, Neb.) [RG3149.AM]

HISTORY NEBRASKA MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID

RG3149.AM: Bischof Hardware Company (Nebraska City, Neb.)

Records, etc.: 1868-1872; 1934-1987; and undated
Nebraska City, Otoe County, Neb.: Hardware store
Size: 0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box

BACKGROUND NOTE

William Bischof was born in Nuremburg, Bavaria, Germany on March 14, 1835. He arrived in America in 1852 and first settled on a farm in Atchison County, Missouri. Tired of farming, Bischof went to Sioux City, Iowa in 1856 where he clerked in a store. Deciding to go into business for himself, he arrived in Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska in April of 1859 where he and two partners put up ranch buildings. The following year, after buying out his partners, Bischof traded for a building 24 miles to the west at what was known as Fremont’s Slough. Here he kept up a steady trade with Indians, freighters, and emigrants.

After the Indian outbreak of August, 1864, Bischof packed up his goods and moved to Nebraska City. He closed his trail business in 1867 and settled in Nebraska City for good in June of 1867.

William Bischof had married Ida Zimmerer at Nebraska City on December 28, 1865. When he returned to Nebraska City, he formed a partnership known as Bischof and Zimmerer with his brother-in-law, Anton Zimmerer. During the store’s first few months in business in the spring of 1868, they sold one hundred plows.

Eventually Zimmerer was dropped as a partner. William Bischof and his descendants maintained their business in Nebraska City until 1978 when the store closed after 111 years of continuous operation.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in two series: 1) Ledger, 1868-1872; and 2) Miscellany, 1934-1987. This material relates primarily to the business conducted by the firm of Bischof and Zimmerer, hardware merchants, and the history of that firm’s descendant, the Bischof Hardware Company.

The Ledger of Series 1 records financial transactions of Bischof and Zimmerer’s hardware store from 1868-1872. Arranged in chronological order, entries include the name of the purchaser, items bought, and the cost.

The miscellany, 1934-1987, of Series 2 is comprised of biographical material on William Bischof, founder of the Bischof Hardware Company, and notes and clippings about the history of the company. Also in this series are newspaper clippings, correspondence, letterhead samples, advertisements, and certificates.

The photo component [RG3149.PH] consists of thirteen photographic prints and negatives showing the interior and exterior of the Bischof Hardware Company in the late 1800s. The photographs span a twenty-year period showing the various hardware and household goods available. Photos document sewing machines, ornate wood-burning stoves, curved glass display cases and large front display windows, and employees standing inside and outside of the store.

Note: Two military certificates have been transferred to the Certificate Collection. Additional materials can be found in the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Museum of Nebraska History. Not all items are on exhibit. Interested researchers must make an appointment to view materials not on exhibit.

INVENTORY

Series 1 – Ledger, 1868-1872

Box 1
Volume

  1. Ledger of Bischof and Zimmerer, hardware merchants, 1868-1872

Series 2 – Miscellany, 1934-1987

Box 1
Folder

  1. Biographical material on William Bischof; historical material on the Bischof Hardware Co.
  2. Newspaper clippings, correspondence, letterhead, samples, advertisements, certificates.

Subject headings:

Bischof and Zimmerer (Nebraska City, Neb.)
Bischof Hardware Company (Nebraska City, Neb.)
Bischof, William, 1835-1917
Hardware stores — Nebraska — Nebraska City
Nebraska City (Neb.) — Businesses
Otoe County (Neb.) — Businesses
Zimmerer, Anton, 1832-1911

Revised 08-23-2007 TMM

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.