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Minonk's Oldest Landmark
The Lichtenstein Building

Louis Lichtenstein erected the first brick building in Minonk in 1878 in the 500 block of Chestnut Street. It was a three-story building containing an "opera house" above the store's rooms below. Sometime around 1900 the third story of the opera house was removed. This building is still standing (2001) and in use today being occuied by Country Florist. This picture shows the building when it was occupied by the Hinrichs Brothers hardware store.

Donna Eilts found 2 articles about Louis Lichtenstein in some old Minonk News-Dispatches. Below are the reprints from the papers.

The Minonk Dispatch
Thursday, September 26, 1907

Louis Lichtenstein, one of Minonk's pioneer merchants, left for Gary, Indiana Wednesday to engage in business there. He came here forty years ago, sold clothing, built the first brick building erected here, was one of the first stockholders in the coal mine, promoted a lecture course having such speakers as Schuyler Colfax and others of note upon it, and in many ways contributed to the business and social interests of the city. He had retired from business, intending to invest in lands, but a favorable opportunity to re-enter business being presented, he has left the old friends and acquaintances here for the activities of business in the new "steel" city.

The Minonk Dispatch
Thursday, October 27, 1910

Louis Lichtenstein Dead
Pioneer Minonk Business Man Passed Away in Chicago

Louis Lichtenstein, a former Minonk resident died at the home of his sister in Chicago last Friday, October 21. Funeral services were held Sunday at 2 p.m. and burial was made in Chicago. The deceased was born in Germany 69 years ago and emigrated to America when a young man. He carried a peddler's pack out of Chicago for several years before locating here in 1866, when he opened up a clothing store on the present site of C. R. Danforth and Co.'s bank. Ten years later he erected the first brick business building to be put up in Minonk, which is the building now owned by the Allen-Caldwell Company. About twenty-three years ago he closed out his clothing business and went to buying livestock and wool, in which he continued up to the time he left here, which was about four years ago. On leaving Minonk Mr. Lichtenstein went into business in Gary, Indiana, but sold out there two years ago. He had not been in good health since that time and the end was not altogether expected.

The Lichtenstein Building in 1900.

The Lichtenstein Building in 2017 is occupied by Country Florist.