About Us

History of McGann Furniture Store in Downtown Baraboo, WI

McGann-furniture-store-1900s-historyFor more than a century, McGann Furniture has been the cornerstone of downtown Baraboo.

Begun in 1903 as the Erswell-Melzl Furniture Company, it soon became Erswell-Melzl and McGann Furniture, when John L. McGann became a partner. Several years later, it became Melzl and McGann when the two men bought out their partner, Mr. E.S. Erswell.

The store flourished, selling all types of furnishings, flooring, even sewing machines, luggage, pianos, and organs.

Located in three consecutive buildings, this historical furniture store was commonly referred to as “The Large Store”.

McGann-Furniture-delivery-wagonEventually, John McGann purchased the interests of Charles Melzl, and became the sole proprietor and the store became McGann Furniture. His son John Jr. or “Jack” McGann temporily joined the business in 1934 after graduating from mortuary school.

Unforturnately, Jack’s father suddenly passed away several months later, and he was left in charge of his father’s business. Jack soon began offering funeral arrangements, as well as running the furniture store. This type of conjoined business was not unusual for the times, especially in small Midwestern towns.

Fire Destroys McGann Furniture

In February of 1957 the store was completely destroyed by the worst fire to ever occur in downtown Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Baptist-church-baraboo-wiWithin several weeks, Jack resumed business in a rented storefront, while looking for a larger home for the store. As luck would have it, a Baptist congregation only a block away had outgrown their church. Jack purchased the property, the church was dismantled, and plans were drawn up for a bigger, better store.

One year later, the new 25,000 square foot McGann Furniture store opened. It consisted of 3 floors, and was built with precast concrete and brick.

Over the next 20 years, the store was expanded with the purchase of 3 adjacent buildings, creating the store that exists today.

McGann-furniture-store-1957-delivery-vanDuring the same time period, the ownership changed slightly as Jack’s son Jim joined the business, followed by Ed Kurtz, and Ed’s son Dick. In the early 1980’s, Jim’s wife Pat McGann assumed Jim’s interests in the store, the Kurtz’s moved on to other careers, and Jack scaled back his hours, although never really retiring. In 1983 Pat became partners with Casey McGann, Jack’s grandson, who became the 4th generation of the McGann family to own the store. Shortly thereafter, T. Jeffrey Piery joined the store as a third partner.

In the late 1980’s when Jeff left to pursue another career opportunity, Pat and Casey were the store’s owners until 1993 when Pat decided to retire, and Brian Baxter became a partner with Casey. Since that time, the two have continued the McGann tradition of quality merchandise, professional service, and fair prices.

We are very proud of our heritage and our long history in downtown Baraboo, and are grateful for the generations of local families that have come to know, and trust McGann Furniture.

McGann Furniture Today

Essentially a family-run business, the dedicated team at McGann’s includes:

McGann Furniture - Casey McGannCasey McGann, (Co-Owner)
I began my career with McGann Furniture in the fall of 1983, after moving back to Baraboo from Ottumwa Iowa, where I was a production manager with Hormel.  My grandfather Jack felt that my degree in Business and Finance would be well suited for the family furniture store.

I’m involved in nearly every facet of our business, and like to consider myself a ‘hands on’ owner.  I particularly enjoy running our flooring department; I take great care in selecting products that will appeal to our customers, and enhance their home or business.

I’m very proud of the tradition and reputation my family has earned for more than a century, and work hard to maintain the ideals of the previous three generations. My wife Jane and I have two great kids, Sarah 18, and Sean 15.  We enjoy attending their sporting events and spending time with them.  When time permits, I also enjoy playing golf, fishing, and deer hunting with my Dad and brothers.

McGann Furniture - BrianBrian Baxter, (Co-Owner)
I joined McGann Furniture in 1991 after 15 years in the hospitality business in Madison, and Baraboo, Wisconsin.  2 years later I became co-owner with my partner Casey McGann.

Like most business owners, I wear many hats.  I handle our advertising, marketing, customer service, and am also involved in sales.

The thing I enjoy most in my work is meeting and talking with new customers, and of course, our regulars.  I have always felt it important to be a good listener, and develop sincere relationships with our customers.  I like to think that each person that walks in our store is a friend I haven’t met yet!

My wife Margee teaches 3rd grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, and we have 2 children, Dylan 17, and Taylor 14.  We enjoy golfing, working on our home, and a good book.

McGann Furniture - Carrie McGannCarrie McGann, Sales, Buyer, Merchandiser
I began my career at McGann Furniture in 1993, merchandising, setting up furniture vignettes,  and expanding our accessory lines.  I have enjoyed accessorizing many of the Madison Area Builders Parade Homes that McGann’s has been involved with through the years.  I really love creating the perfect finishing touch, and I continue to search for unique, affordable accessories that we can offer our customers.

Today, I enjoy working with my clients on a variety of styles, and any size project, large or small.  Whether helping to choose the right picture for above a mantel, or coordinating an entire house, I take great pride in making sure my customers are happy with the end result.

My husband Mike and I have 2 wonderful children, Lucas 17, and Amanda 14.  When I’m not at work, I love spending time with my family watching their sporting events, or taking part in outdoor activities.

McGann Furniture - Jane McGannJane McGann, Sales, Buyer, Merchandiser
I have proudly served customers at McGann Furniture for over 23 years.  I have an Interior Design degree from the University of Wisconsin / Stout.

My husband Casey and I have 2 children, Sarah 18, and Sean 15, and a peculiar cat named Calvin.

When we are not at work, you can usually find us cheering in the stands at our children’s sporting events.

My favorite part of working at McGann’s is trying to find the perfect solution to the projects my customers present me with.

 

 

Pam Nelson – Office Manager, 40 years

Millie Higgins – Sales Assistance, 20 years

Mike Rathman – Warehouse and Delivery, 19 years

McGann Furniture - Bob KiefferBob Kieffer – Expeditor and Sales, 12 years

McGann Furniture Staff - Nancy CaflischNanci Caflisch – Sales, 2 years

McGann Furniture Staff - Donna LenerzDonna Lenerz – Sales, 2 years

Keith Meicher– Warehouse and Delivery, 1 years