HAMILTON BUSINESS MEN BEFORE 1860
Narrator: Mrs. Anna Brosius Korn of El Reno, Oklahoma
Mrs. Korn (grand daughter of A.G. Davis, founder of Hamilton) has the old record of the town, kept in a painstaking way by her grandfather. She says:
The Lone Star Hotel was the first business house in town, built 1855 and operated April 1856 by A.G. Davis and wife. He then built a house or office for Henry Holmes a brick maker at the site of present Iron Clad Implement House. Bricks were needed for the foundations and chimneys of the homes to be.
Then the first store was built by Mr. Davis on the present picture show corner which continued to be the leading store for several years under different names. As clerks, he had John Burrows (Burroughs) of the town company, Dr. McClintock (his brother-in-law), Wm. P. Steele (nephew-in-law), James Kemper and Judge Otis Richardson. In 1874-5 account books of Mr. Davis show he was using the old building for a grain store room, renting it at 2 cents a bushel per month to Frank Clark. In the eighties it was a barrel hoop factory and later the Davis family removed it to the Joe Davis farm north of town where it is still doing good service as a barn. During 1858-60 Mr. Davis was station and freight agent at the depot.
A blacksmith shop owned by Mr. Davis and operated by Presley Thomas was put up in 1857 but no one recalls the site; this too was an essential factor in the new town life where farmers could supply their needs. Joseph Elliott came as a second blacksmith in 1859 and P. Claypool the third in 1860. The Claypool shop was probably located in present site of Leslie Clark shop. John Ardinger of Richmond kept a restaurant probably on a short street north of the depot 1857-61, then went to Kingston. Lumber was also necessary for the quick growth of the new town and Samuel Badwin started the first lumber yard in 1858 where the present lumber yard is located. Before long he sold it to Mrs. Julia Davis and she to J.A. Brown.
In 1858 David Buster had a saloon in the site of the Methodist parsonage and soon transferred it to the right of way on Broadway where it was known as Saloon-grocery, a common thing those days. Uncle Davy is suppose to have used his home (site of Davis Motor Co.) for a hotel in those days before 1860. Rufus B. Mitchell came as a carpenter in 1859.
Dr. Thomas K. Kavanaugh was the doctor and his office was probably in the Davis store where he served as Post Master a few months. The young attorneys Junius A. Holliday, and Marcus A. Low came about 1860.
The old Davis Hotel by 1859 had passed into the hands of P. Claypool and the purchase of thirty one sacks of flour in three months from the Davis Store shows he was feeding his boarders well.
There may have been other business men in Hamilton before 1860 but neither records nor memory brings them to Mrs. Korn's mind.
Interviewed December 1933.
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