Remembering Princeton's barber, Bruce Herman

'He could have charged extra for the view'


The NSP invited our colleague, Gary Sosniecki, to reflect about the barber he often talked about, Bruce Herman, of Princeton. Herman, 82, died Nov. 23 at the Iowa Masonic Memory Care Unit in Bettendorf. Gary and his wife, Helen, lived in LeClaire from 2006-16 after selling their community newspapers in Missouri. They currently reside at Lebanon, Mo.

Bruce Herman, Princeton’s barber for 50 years before he retired about five years ago, was among the last of a fading breed.

Bruce was an old-time barber who knew that conversation was as important as the haircut. His customers gathered in his historic shop across the street from the Mississippi River to listen to Bruce’s stories as much as for a haircut.

Bruce always had stories about the river, including how it flooded his shop at least once and how it froze over in the winter before the power plant was built upriver. Meanwhile, you sat in his barber chair and watched the barges move downriver in the summer and eagles dive for fish in the winter.

He could have charged extra for the view. – Gary Sosniecki