ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Tri-County Tobacco


Philip J McCarthy


104 North Church Street


Watertown Daily Times, 03 08 1947


P. J. McCarthy Found Dead in Chicago Today

Owner of Local Tobacco Company On Business Trip


P. J. McCarthy, 50, owner of the Tri-County Tobacco Company, 200 West Main Street, was found dead, in Chicago at 2 o'clock this morning.  The body was found sprawled at the bottom of a stairway at the Palmer House Arcade by a guest at the hotel.


A coroner's physician said that death was due to a cerebral hemorrhage resulting from a skull fracture.  He believed Mr. McCarthy might have fractured his skull in a fall down the stairs.  At first it way believed that death might have been due to a heart attack.


Mr. McCarthy was on his way back to Watertown from, St. Louis, Mo., where he had been on business.  He left St. Lewis by train yesterday afternoon, and according to a telephone message to his wife from St. Louis, received about 2:30 p.m. Friday, he said he expected to arrive in Watertown on the 1 a.m. train. He had informed his wife that he had planned to fly to Chicago, but that planes were grounded and that therefore it would be necessary for him to return by train.


He also had talked to Mrs. Della Hackett, in charge of the Tri-County Tobacco Company office, and also told her that his plane had been grounded. 


Mrs. Hackett reported today that Mr. McCarthy was anxious to get back to Watertown by this morning, because he had an appointment with a representative of a tobacco concern and was planning to take over this territory for an additional line of cigars.


An inquest was held in Chicago this morning.  A coroner’s jury late this morning returned a verdict of accidental death.  An autopsy also was made.  It was performed by Dr. Albert Kaiser.


The body, which has been taken to the Dearborn Street funeral home, 418 South Dearborn Street, is expected to reach Watertown by Meyer ambulance early this evening.  Clarence J. Corcoran of the Boyle Funeral Home accompanied Lloyd Meyer of the Meyer Ambulance Service to Chicago. .


Funeral services will be held at the Boyle funeral home on Tuesday.  The time will be announced later.  The Masonic order will have charge.  Mrs. McCarthy was notified of her husband's death by the Chicago funeral establishment at 2:30 o'clock this morning.  She received the call at the McCarthy home, 104 North Church Street.  She left for Chicago on the 7 o'clock Milwaukee Road train, accompanied by a friend, Mrs. W. V. Resneek.  Mr. McCarthy's brother, Justin, who lives in Milwaukee, and his brother's son, Daniel, joined the two in Milwaukee this morning, and accompanied them to Chicago. .


According to a United Press Association report from Chicago today, only 25 cents was found on Mr. McCarthy's person. The report states that Deputy Coroner Chris McGarigle has asked Police Inspector Edward Daley to investigate to determine whether any money had been taken from the victim's clothing.


The Daily Times, in a long distance telephone conversation with, the Chicago funeral establishments this afternoon, was advised that Mrs. McCarthy this afternoon was checking with the police headquarters to determine if any money had been removed from his clothing and turned over to the department.


The representative of the funeral home who talked to the Daily Times advised that he had understood that shortly before Mr. McCarthy's body was found, he had cashed a check for $75.


The McCarthys moved to Watertown 10 years ago when Mr. McCarthy took over the tobacco business of Edward Miller, located on North Fourth Street.  Under McCarthy’s management, the business rapidly expanded until today the firm operates in seven counties, namely Dodge, Jefferson, Washington, Columbia, Green Lake, Waukesha and part of Dane county. About a year or so after he purchased the Miller business here, his firm absorbed the Graef concern at Beaver Dam.


The Tri-County Tobacco Company, owned solely by Mr. McCarthy, now ranks as one of the state's leading tobacco and tobacco products distributors.  In addition to tobacco and tobacco products, the firm handles a large variety of items.


Before coming to Watertown In 1936, Mr. McCarthy held a responsible position with the Axton-Fischer Company of Louisville, Ky.  He joined this tobacco manufacturing concern as a salesman in 1921.  His advancements were rapid, and in his third or fourth year after he had joined the firm, he was placed in charge of all of the firm's salesmen in the United States.  He did considerable traveling, and during the years he was with the concern, contributed considerably to the growth of the business.  He built up a formidable sales organization, and was regarded one of the top men in the sales end of the tobacco business.  After the death of one of the Axton brothers, he transferred his activities to the office in Louisville.  He remained in this position for two years, when be left to enter into business in Watertown.


Mr. McCarthy was a keen business man.  The men who were associated with him while he worked for Axton-Fischer held him in the very highest regard, and considered him one of the very top men in the field.


News of his death today came as a severe shock. He was a man with a big heart, a kindly disposition and always was ready and willing to be of help to others.  His affable disposition won countless friends in Watertown, throughout the state and in other states.


He was a member of a number of organizations, including the American Legion, the Elks, the Kiwanis club, and the local Masonic lodge.  He also was a member of the Chicago Athletic club.  He was active in trade organizations, and was a vice president of the Wisconsin National Tobacco Association.  He also was a member of the National Association of Tobacco Dealers.


Mr. McCarthy was born in Milwaukee.  He received his early schooling there, and early in life became a printer.  After he returned from World War I he became the personnel manager for a large concern in Detroit.  After he left this position, he joined the Axton-Fischer concern.


Surviving are his wife, the former Catherine Hoffstetter of Erie, Pa., his father, who at the present time is in Florida, one sister, Mrs. Charles Baker of Detroit and two brothers, Nelson, also of Detroit, and Justin, Milwaukee, who is employed by the Tri-County concern here.


In a short time, he would have reached his 51st year.  On March 17, he would have been married 24 years.


Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy recently returned from a trip through the south and to Mexico.


Cross References:

Buried in Wanderers Rest Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Watertown Gazette, 08 24 1911.  House for Rent.  House for rent on reasonable terms, located at northwest corner of West Main and North Church streets.  Inquire at 207 Church Street.



Watertown Daily Times, 09 10 1965


Announcement was made today of the sale of Tri-County Tobacco Company, 1301 Clark Street, by William Mansfield, owner.  The new owners are members of the Veldhuizen Vending Machine Service, Inc., 1020 South 10th Street.  Tri-County Tobacco will continue to be operated as a business separate from the vending machine business.  New officers of Tri-County Tobacco area David Veldhuizen, president and treasurer; Gybertus Veldhuizen, vice president; Duane Veldhuizen, secretary, and Mrs. Gybertus Veldhuizen, director.



Watertown Daily Times, 07 14 1968


Tri-County Tobacco Co. Inc., 1301 Clark Street, has been sold to General Foods Products of Waukesha, according to David Veldhuizen, president of Tri-County.  Veldhuizen will be president and general manager.  The General Foods operation will be moved to Watertown when the addition to Tri-County’s present structure is completed.  Reports that the sale was imminent were in circulation here four or five weeks ago.  The warehouse addition will be equal in size, 10,000 square feet to the present building.  The addition, as well as about 500 feet of new office space, is expected to be completed in Mid-August.




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin