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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Kate's Brief History


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Women Business Owners in Holland’s Directory

In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at the woman-owned businesses that were listed in the 1886 Holland’s Directory. At least seven are identified with a “Mrs.” proprietor and two shared an ad page, Mary Lindemann and Eva Blake. 

Holland’s says Lindemann’s general “store may be found on the south-side of Jefferson avenue west of Main street,” which would put it approximately where Everdine’s Grilled Cheese now operates. “Dry goods, groceries, confectionery and a fine assortment of cigars and tobacco are the chief articles in which she deals, and in each, standard goods are the rule,” the directory continues, and notes that she has been in business since 1872. 

According to Illinois marriage records, a Mary Auguste Dehnike wed John F. Lindemann on November 23, 1974. If this is the same Mary Lindemann, she was already working the counter years before her marriage. Unfortunately, no other information has been found about her, neither census, burial, nor birth records.

More details are available for Eva Blake. She married Anthony (“Andrew” in some records) in 1866. Anthony had been wounded twice during the Civil War and became ill with “chronic diarrhea.” Regardless, the young couple became the parents of daughters Annie, Mary, Emma, Marie, Maria, Matilda, Christina, and Marguerite.  

Unfortunately, Anthony Blake died in 1882, leaving Eva with their eight children to support. How she started her millinery business is unknown, but Holland’s notes that “being left a widow several years ago with only eight daughters [Their italics!] dependent on her efforts for support, she went to work with a will and constancy that has been admirable and commendable.”

Another woman business owner listed in the directory was Caroline Fuchs. Her husband, Fred, ran a saloon in town, and when he died in 1886, Caroline continued to manage the business while raising two boys, her three-year-old son and her ten-year-old step-son. She later remarried and gave birth to nine more children! 

Researching women can be a bit more difficult because of names changes and the fact that they didn’t hold office or were noted in newspapers as often as men, so learning about the other women in Holland’s Business Directory will have to wait for another time. Still, to celebrate Women’s History Month, here’s a shout-out to those business owners:

Dress makers:

  • Mrs. E. A. Earnest
  • Mrs. J. Harter
  • Mrs. E. G. Martin
  • Mrs. Harriet Millington
  • Mrs. A. Saylor

Millinery shopkeepers:

  • Mrs. D. C. Butler
  • Mrs. C. V. Steward

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold


Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.


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