An Old Jewel


On Sunday, December 17, 2017, the aged brick house on the southwest corner of Fourth and Monroe Streets had a for sale sign posted beside it. The building must be near the top of the list of oldest structures still standing in the city.

The combination dwelling and shop was constructed during the spring and summer of 1876 by jeweler and watch repair man, John F. Pappmeier. His family came to the Beardstown area from Germany in 1834, when he was four years old. They owned a farm on Star Lane.

Pappmeier moved to Beardstown at the age of 21, to learn the jeweler’s trade. In 1856, he opened a small jewelry shop in his Fourth Street home, which was located on the now empty lot west of the brick house.


Ground was broken for his new house/shop the week of March 9th, 1876. 114,000 “Arenzville bricks” were stacked on the corner lot prior to construction. Total cost of the project was approximately $5,000.

The store was located in the east side of the house, indicated by the taller, undivided French windows, which were said to have cost $100 each. (The glass in these windows appears to original, as it seems to be quite thick and rather wavy.)

106 State St.

Eventually, Pappmeier’s sons joined the firm and the business moved to a location on the west side of State Street, between Main and Second. This was the same building in which Dr. Charles Hagener, a grandson of Mr. Pappmeier, later operated his optometrist office.

J. F. Pappmeier died in his house on the corner, March 3, 1906. There was a depression worn in the wooden floor from the heel of his shoe as he operated the treadle of his jeweler’s lathe.