Small Town News


Former bakery location ready for new chapter

The Superior Express of Superior, Nebraska

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Saturday public auction was held at 213 Commercial Avenue in downtown Superior to dispose of the tools and inventory associated with a Superior business of more than 40 years standing, Earl and Ruth Studer's Superior Electric.

The business, was a family affair for many of those years with Ruth manning the office and sons, Tony and Jason, working with their father.

The real estate which served as the business headquarters was sold for $51,000. The winning bid was made by Ray Biltoft, owner of Ray's Auto Sales.

The address has a colorful history associated with many Superior business firms.

Earl added to the north and south sides of the main building, a brick structure built in 1947 by the Debus Baking Company on the east 55 feet of three lots. The Debus company had removed a brick building built as a plow works and blacksmith shop in 1893 by Mathias Mattheisen. To the north of the Debus building, the Amberson Brothers Construction company built a carpenter shop. The Amberson Brothers were responsible for many of Superior's larger building projects including the original Brodstone Memorial Hospital. The Amberson building was torn down after being damaged by a fire. At the time of the fire, it housed Ron Utecht's liquor store.

Prior to 1890, the southern portion of the property was occupied by a frame livery stable operated by Thomas Russell. When recording his memories of a childhood in early Superior, Sumner Miller said, 'Tragic horse history was recorded when in about 1890 before the eyes of a throng of helpless spectators several terrified horses burned to death in the total destruction of the Russell livery barn at the corner of Commercial Avenue and Second Street."

In his history of Superior, Stan Sheets reported in June of 1893, Mathias Matthiesen purchased the site of the former livery barn and built a one-story brick building to house his Superior Plow Company, blacksmith shop and wagon factory.

In 1923, Edward Bergeron converted the building for the use of his Superior Wholesale Bakery Company. In February of 1925, Consolidated Bakeries purchased the Bergeron bakery. Consolidated also operated bakeries in McCook and Sterling, Colo.

The Amberson Brothers with brick layer Frank Irwin put an addition on the west side. Consolidated added new machinery including a high speed mixer, automatic weighing machine, a 12,000 loaf proofing cabinet, a divider and wrapping machine, a refrigeration plant and pastry shop. Bergeron went on the road selling Consolidated's products.

Consolidated Bakeries went broke and in 1927 the Debus Company of Hastings bought the building. In 1947 Debus removed the old brick building and built a new structure 40 by 55 feet for use as a warehouse. Loading docks were on the south side of the building.

In late 1952, it was remodelled to house Martin Kirchhoff s Ford tractor dealership. After the dealership moved to a new building on East Third Street, the Drapals used the building for an auto body shop.

In 1966 Morris & Andersen Motor Company bought the building which was used for new automobile storage. The building was sold to Earl and Ruth Studierin 1983.

During their more than 30 years of ownership, the Studers added to both the north and south side of the brick building and installed a pitched roof.

In the spring of 1903, a frame building, some 25 by 60 feet, was constructed on Lot 9 (to the north of the building erected by Debus) to be used as carpenter shop and office for the Amberson Brothers Construction Company. In 1932 the shop became a rental and for a time housed an automobile dealership. In 1937 it housed the Art Williams Oliver dealership. In 1939 Jay Bussey purchased the building for his hatchery business. In 1940 J. T. Hoffman and A. C. Thompson from Enid, Oklahoma, opened a mattress factory in the building. On April 15, 1946, the building was sold to Mr. and Alfred Jorgensen and used for an automobile repair shop. After Jorgensen retired, he sold the building to Alexander Motors. It was rented to Clarence Pursell and used as a liquor store. It continued to be used as a liquor store until damaged by fire.

After the fire the building was removed and Studer added a garage-type addition to his building with two overhead doors.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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