Looking Back: Shindelbower’s store

(Editor’s note: Shindelbower also was spelled as Shindlebower and Shindelbauer in some of the information researched.)

Thomas J. Shindelbower operated a general store on Third Street across from the Tribune Printing office, according to information in archives of Danville’s early newspapers.

An old ledger kept by the former Danville merchant shows the cost of his merchandise and how the costs had risen in one year in the mid-1800s at his store. Shindelbower began the list of items and prices at his store in March of 1855 and stopped a year later.

He wrote in the book the “inventory of my effects on resuming the business.” His records was his “merchandise as inventory” at $1,200, his cash on hand was $75, and his bills receivable was $183.10.

A list names of people who owed Shindelbower shows outstanding bills as $2,063.97 and ranged from $1 to $133.

Names included J.M. Nichols, W.W Humphrey, J.T. Boyle, W.C. Anderson, G.W. Welsh, Henry Jacobs, James W. Cook, J.P. Fisher, Mrs. M. Cowan and Mrs. M.J. Barbee.

The most frequently sold items were cakes and candy, tobacco and ale. Brandy, fruits, sardines and oysters also were poplar with the customers.

Prices ranged from 5 cents for shoe polish to $1 for wine and cigars.

Real estate developer A.M. Galbreath brought the book to The Advocate.

Father native of Germany

Thomas J. was a son of George Shindlebower, a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

George (1756-1820) was born in Germany and immiigrated in 1782 as a paid soldier in the American Revolution.

He entered the war in 1778 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, under Captain Sealy in General Hasen’s Brigade and served five years.

George also was a musician.

Thomas’ mother was Annie Hazelton Shindlebower. Both are buried in Lexington Cemetery, according to Find-A-Grave information.

Thomas J. was born in 1800 in Kentucky. He was 22 years old when he married Mary Robinson on August 14, 1822, in Fayette County.

The 1850 Fayette County Census records show: Thomas, 50, and Mary, 40, lived with their children, William, 23, a confectioner; M.; 20; John, 14; Charles, 10; R, (Richard?) 7; and Mary 5.

They apparently lived in Fayette County until about 1860 when he relocated to Boyle County.

At the age of 61, Thomas joined the Union Army in April of 1861.

Family information indicates he owned a horse carriage, was a manufacturer, retail dealer and confectionary producer in 1863 in Danville.

The 1870 Boyle County Census has T.J. Shindelbower, 59, no occupation; Mary Shindelbower, 54, housekeeper; Annie, 5; and Albert, 9, at school.

Living close by were his son, John L., 33, beekeeper; and

and Fannie Shindelbower, 23.

John also operated a saloon on Main Street where he sold cigars and tobacco and C.S. Jackson’s native wine.

Thomas J. was one of the oldest citizens in Boyle County when he died at the age of 83 in June 1883.

He was the father-in-law of J.S. Linney, a Danville postmaster.