Suilmanns Museum

Joe Suilmann

Joe Suilmann passed away in October 2001 at 94 years old. His obituary in the Winona Daily News read:

Joseph H. Suilmann

July 5, 1907 - Oct. 20, 2001

Joseph H. Suilmann, 94, of Wabasha, died Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001, at St. Elizabeth's Nursing Home in Wabasha after a brief illness. Joseph was born July 5, 1907, in Pepin Township of Wabasha County, the son of Joseph and Mary (Passe) Suilmann. He never married. Joseph attended Wabasha Hill District No. 102 School in Pepin Township and farmed there until 1953 when he moved to Wabasha. He was employed at the Wabasha Creamery until 1970. He then worked at the Wabasha Nursing Home in the maintenance department for 15 years until retiring in 1985. He began collecting for a museum at the age of 14 and continued collecting throughout his lifetime. The Suilmann Museum is located near his residence in Wabasha. Joseph was a member of St. Felix Catholic Church and the St. Joseph's Society. Joe is survived by brothers and sisters-in-law, Vince and Bunny Suilmann, Francis and Elaine Suilmann, Rosina Suilmann and Annabelle Suilmann, all of Wabasha; nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Mary Riester, Walburga Wildman and Regina Egge; and three brothers, Alphonsus, Innocence and Lloyd Suilmann. A funeral service will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2001, at St. Felix Catholic Church in Wabasha, with the Rev. Donald Lovas officiating. Interment will be in St. Felix Cemetery. Casket bearers will be nieces and nephews. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, at the Abbott Funeral Home, where there will be a prayer services at 7 p.m. Friends may also call from 10 a.m. until time of services Wednesday, at the church. The family prefers memorials to St. Elizabeth's Nursing Home and to St. Felix Catholic Church.

Much of Suilmann's Museum was sold by Hines Auction Service of Ellsworth, WI, in two massive auctions on February 28 and June 1, 2002. Joe's collections ranged widely from hand-painted signs for the museum, to trunks full of matchbooks, World War II posters, vintage advertising and presidential buttons. There is very little left of the museum at the site:

Ghostly images of unweathered paint are a reminder of the many silhouetted signs and farm implements.

Even the Good Luck emblem has been removed, leaving only a patched section of concrete.

References and Links to Suilmann's Museum

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