No one is identified in this cigar factory photo.
One thing many residents of Marshfield that I have spoken with did not know is that the city was a large cigar manufacturing location.
In 1904, there were three cigar factories listed in the City Directory, and two of them remained in 1921.
The North Side Cigar Factory of Peter Bever, 425-427 N. Central Ave. in 1921, was next to the Bever Grocery Store. Today, this is the location of Associated Sales and Leasing. A second address for the factory was given as 605 N. Central Ave., the location of the former Hot and Now Restaurant, now Papagalos
The second factory was the John G. Hoelz Cigar Factory at 109 W. Fourth St. Today, that space is occupied by the drive-through banking area of the BMO Harris Bank and the alley to the west.
The third factory was that of Fred Kohl, listed as Kohl and Herman Cigar Factory in 1921. It was at 104 S. Chestnut St., the area now occupied by Health Source of Marshfield, just south of Scotty's Pizza.
These factories employed young women to remove the veins from the tobacco leaves. This was called stripping and led to an interesting listing in the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census for Marshfield under the heading of Occupation. Several of the young ladies occupations are listed as "strippers," which today has an entirely different meaning.
This emphasizes that when doing genealogical research in the census records, one must also research the occupations of the era.
These young workers also were employed as cigar rollers, rolling the leaves into the finished cigars. The Cigar Makers Union No. 72 was very active in the city representing these young workers.
Wood County also was a tobacco growing area in the 1920s. In 1920, there were 48 acres of tobacco producing 56,082 pounds. It mostly was located in the Pittsville area.