The other day I was browing through a list of local buildings that are on the National Register of Historical Places and saw a building I once wrote about, and thought I'd share it again here.

The other day I was browing through a list of local buildings that are on the National Register of Historical Places and saw a building I once wrote about, and thought I'd share it again here.
Most of us don’t typically refer to buildings by their actual street address but by what they were utilized as. That said, many folks know the red-painted brick structure at 224 N. Washington, across the street from what was Twin Rivers Foods, as either the Shaffer Building or the Nicsinger Building, depending on how old they are. Shaffer Sportswear Manufacturing was the last business housed in the building. It once made jerseys for the US Olympic teams. Nicsinger Uniform Company was there before that and made band uniforms.
According to the nomination for placement on the national historic registry, the oldest part of the building, the two-story half, was built in 1908 as Neosho Wholesale Grocery. Old fire insurance maps indicate that the southernmost addition, the three-story part, was built sometime between 1916 and 1926. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1923.
In 1925, the building was purchased by Fred North, according to the article, and became the North Transfer and Storage Company.  According to a news article, the building later housed Camp Crowder Dry Cleaners, a sign painting operation, general storage, and served as a factory for The Bone Dry Shoe Company and the aforementioned Shaffer Sportswear Manufacturing.
However, a friend of mine asked that I not let the history of the building be documented in print without mentioning that before Shaffer Sportswear there was the Nicsinger Uniform Company.
Many local folks remember Nicsinger, and many also worked there (as many as 80, I am told). Nicsinger was most recognized for manufacturing school band uniforms, which were delivered all over the nation. In fact, I recently saw one for sale on Ebay. It had Neosho, Mo. on the tag.
According to Missouri Secretary of State records, Nicsinger Uniform Company registered as a business corporation on December 21, 1976. It filed for bankruptcy in November of 1989, according to contemporary newspaper articles, but was still technically in business as of at least May 1990.
Shaffer Sportswear Manufacturing filed as a corporation with the Missouri Secretary of State on April 15, 1991, and it may be assumed occupied the building shortly after that. I really haven’t looked that hard, but I’d like to know when Shaffer closed its doors in Neosho. Shaffer House L.P., the limited liability company under which the building would be renovated, was formed April 7, 2006, so Shaffer Sportswear left sometime before then. Shaffer Sportswear Manufacturing, of Neosho, Mo., is still listed all over the internet, so it couldn’t have been TOO long before April 2006 that it closed. I just haven’t found when, in my cursory internet search.
Nicsinger Uniform Company and Shaffer Sportswear Manufacturing were in business for roughly the same length of time, and Shaffer WAS the last business to occupy the building at 224 N. Washington St., so I suppose it’s OK to call it the Shaffer Building. But not long ago I did hear someone refer to it as the Nicsinger Building. I guess it just depends on the generation.  That said, I wonder how many folks know it as something else entirely?

Wes Franklin writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.