©2008 Historic Downtown Association-St. Charles
126-130 North Main
1896, Theodore Klinger
Ringe-Barklage & Company, Farm Machinery 1906-1936
St. Charles County produced over a million bushels of wheat in 1879. Three flouring mills operated on Main Street near the elevators, ferry and railroad tracks during the second half of the 19th century. St. Charles City Mill, founded by Adam Klinger in 1851, operated here until about 1890.
Theodore Klinger built this 'new' building in 1896, selling it ten years later to Louis Ringe, Jr. and George Barklage for their wholesale and retail farm machinery business. Ringe-Barklage & Company also sold surreys - automobiles with a 'straight bottom and overhead canopy' like their horse-drawn predecessors. Louis Ringe, Sr. was a gunsmith who immigrated from Hanover, Germany, and who served five terms as mayor in St. Charles. On the south wall of this building you can see shadows of 1917 in the painted advertisement "Agency for Ford Cars".