The History of Leiser Furniture
Established by a Russian immigrant pack peddler, Leiser Furniture in downtown Herscher has long been the destination for furniture shoppers throughout much of Illinois…and beyond. Today, Leiser Furniture offers over 20,000 square feet of floor space packed with name brand furniture at discount prices. And twice each year, furniture spills onto Main Street in downtown Herscher for Leiser’s always popular huge furniture auctions.
Family-owned for four generations, the store’s beginning traces back to the 1800’s. Woolfe Leiserowitz, who was born in Shovel, Russia, on Jan. 16, 1866, came to this country as a poor immigrant boy. Even though he could speak little English, he set about earning a living as a pack peddler, traveling from farmhouse to farmhouse. He came to Herscher from Cullom in 1892 and established a business, originally known as Leiser Department Store, which would eventually be operated by brothers Mandel and Maurice Leiser. The latter would also serve as Herscher’s mayor for 28 years. A youth athletic field is named in his honor. A street in Herscher also bears the Leiser name.
Today, the store is still operated by the Leiser family, who have preserved and expanded the store’s patented scavenger hunt shopping experience.