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Celebrating Our Past: Aug. 14, 2019
Monroe businessmen Walter Bober, Lester Johnson, Thomas Smith, William Schmitz and Robert Ableman began a new cigar-making operation in Monroe in March of 1964 hoping to manufacture 10,000 handmade cigars a week. The new interest in handmade cigar making was triggered when cigarette warnings began turning smokers to cigars. At the time, George Koepp, 80, local cigar maker for 60 years, was called out of retirement to head Monroe Cigar Co Inc.