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Carl Rulien poses in the Rulien Business Machine store circa 1944. The business was housed in the old Bank of Hudson building at Second and Walnut streets from 1940-56. Photo submitted by Carol McConaughey
Carl Rulien poses in the Rulien Business Machine store circa 1944. The business was housed in the old Bank of Hudson building at Second and Walnut streets from 1940-56. Photo submitted by Carol McConaughey

More history on Bank of Hudson building

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business River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

(Editor's note: The renovation of the former Bank of Hudson building was featured in the Sept. 9 edition of the Star-Observer. The story chronicled the history of the building as a bank and later law office. For a time in between it housed a business machine store, and more history on that era has come to light.)

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Workmen renovating the former Gwin Law Firm building at Oak and Second streets in downtown Hudson uncovered a stained glass window of the Bank of Hudson revealing an artifact from Hudson in the late 19th century.

Hugh H. Gwin, who had a copy of the abstract of the building, told the Star-Observer his father Hugh F. Gwin and Wendell Peterson bought the building in 1956 and it had been an office machine store previous to that.

The fact was supported in a recent e-mail.

"It was my father's office machine store that was in the building when Hugh Gwin and Wendell Petersen purchased it," wrote Carol McConaughey of Houlton.

"My father was Carl W. Rulien and his store was Rulien Office Equipment. He started his business in Hudson in 1940. As a young girl, my friends and I also had several rummage sales in the store in the late 40s. At that time my Dad's business was in one large open room," she said.

"He had a wonderful slogan he used on his business cards. It said, '"C" Rulien for your next machine.' He sold, rented and repaired adding machines, typewriters and cash registers along with selling office furniture and other office equipment," McConaughey said.

"Dad ran his business in Hudson until 1956, the year Gwin and Petersen purchased the building. He and my mother then moved to Florida for three years. They got lonesome for their daughters and families and returned to Hudson in 1959. He reopened Rulien Office Equipment at a new location at 322 Second St." She said.

McConaughey said her father was still working at this store when he died of a heart attack in 1969.

She said he was a well-known and respected businessman in Hudson for many years. Carl and his wife Mildred had three daughters, Gloria Strom (Mrs. Erling) 1923-2009, Beverley Benedict (Mrs. Eugene), North Hudson, and McConaughey (Mrs. Thomas).

"All of us have been long time residents of Hudson," McConaughey said.

Capsule History of the building at Second and Oak streets

  • 1867-69: Alfred Goss and Philo Q. Boyden constructs Goss-Boyden Block
  • 1870-1897: Hudson Savings Bank and Boyden's pharmacy occupies the block
  • 1897-1914: Bank of Hudson established
  • 1914-1934: National Bank of Hudson established
  • March 1, 1934: U.S. Treasury Department takes over failed National Bank of Hudson; Sept. 20, 1936, assets liquidated.
  • 1935-1940: Attorney N.O. Varnum establishes Varnum Law Office
  • 1940-1956: Carl W. Rulien establishes Rulien Office Equipment
  • 1956-2010: Hugh F. Gwin establishes Gwin Law Firm.
  • July 2010: Eckberg Lammers purchases the building and starts renovation for a law office.

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