An instructor from Barton College came in yesterday looking for information on Wilson from the turn of the century for a historical novel that he was writing. We looked at old street maps, business directories and histories of water mills in the area. He also wanted a picture of the Oettingers store but I didn’t find it until he left, so here it is. Oettinger’s was founded by the German-Jewish immigrant Oettinger family from Wurttemburg Germany. In 1861 the first Oettingers, Henry and Leopold moved to Wilson. Shorlty thereafter, Leopold was killed at the battle of Seven Pine’s during the Civil War but Henry survived and other relations moved to Wilson to eventually purchase a dry goods store from the Rosenthal family (another German-Jewish family in Wilson) in 1882. The J & D Oettinger store (later Men’s store) was in operation until the early 1980’s and at the time was the oldest store in Wilson, NC.