Alois Knoblauch arrived in Minneapolis from Germany in 1854. The following year, Alois established the first shoe store in the city at 26 First Street N. Alois ran the store for more than 30 years with his sons Anton and Frank. After Alois’ death, Anton took over A. Knoblauch and Sons Fine Shoe Store. The brothers operated stores 41 Washington Avenue S, 121 Washington Avenue S, 239 Nicollet, and 514 Nicollet. They also operated shoe departments in several department stores. In 1911, Anton and Frank decided to dispose of their shoe business. Anton went on to a career in real estate investment.