Date in History: Early 20th Century

On the northwest corner of South Main Street and Milwaukee Avenue in Fort Atkinson, where the little parking lot for W.D. Hoard & Sons is now, there used to be an old frame building that had been built by Charles Rockwell way back in 1840. By 1916 this building housed the Bon Ton Bakery owned and operated by Arthur Langholff and his wife Lydia. With its large baking ovens and fancy mixing machines the Bon Ton was a modern marvel and easily the most popular bakery in town. Of course it didn’t hurt that it was also a confectionery and an ice cream parlor with a soda fountain that could seat 36 people.

But Art Langholff was also an officer in the Fort National Guard and in 1916 his unit in the 32nd Division was called to duty in the Mexican border campaign. Lydia ran the Bon Ton alone for a while but the Langholffs sold the bakery in 1917 after Art’s service was extended right into the World War.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 01/12/2004.