HAMILTON BUSINESS MEN IN THE 70'S
Narrator: C.A. Martin of Hamilton
Mr. Martin came here as a boy in the late 60's with his father, Sam Martin, and has seen almost every business change in Hamilton. He told me about the business men between 1870-80.
He began on Kingston street east of the park. There was the Shellbarger Mill. North of it was Ben Whitely's grocery store. (Hamilton stores had a bad time at first deciding to stay on Main.)
On Broadway, on Ralph White's present home, was the Goodnow-Lamson (conducted by W.H. Chandler), and later the W.F. Colby lumber-yards. Up a block was Wm. McCoy's grocery store, opposite him was Mrs. Dodge (later Dwight) in a millinery store. Her first husband Austin Dodge had a blacksmith where O. Parker is now. North of McCoy's was a block of frame buildings, Nash Produce, A.G. Howard Drugs, Geo. Hastings grocery. On the east side at the north end was the millinery shop of Alma and Lou Clark; then the brick and frame store of O.O. Brown and the Broadway Hotel, kept for some years by L.D. Van Volkenberg and later by Mrs. Harry. Some place in that street was a shoe shop (McCammon) and a tailor shop.
Just south of the right of way on Broadway was the old Buster saloon, occupied sometimes by a Jew jeweler, sometimes by a family; the place was going back. On the site of the present Alec Warden home was a hard wood lumber yard run by _________ Schaeffer. Going on north, on the corner south of the Presbyterian church was Henry Thornton's livery barn. On the opposite side, was a blacksmith shop, the calaboose, (jail) another old building and the old Davis store building used by him in the 70's for storing grain, later a hoop factory. Along the old street back of the depot, formerly Main, few races were left of the old activity. There was in the early 70's a saloon, kept for awhile by Dort, and a restaurant by Hoagland, and some minor business done there.
On the side street running east from Main was the Hare Photograph Gallery (S.E. of present Martin Grocery), a blacksmith shop (Claypool?) and on the opposite side was the Logan blacksmith shop.
Now for Main Street.
Far to the north end of Main Street on the west side was John Morton's hardware store in the middle of the block where the lumber yard stands. South of him was the Reddie lumber yard. Across the street south was the Higgins lumber yard, a furniture store belonging to Harper who sold to another who sold to Hiram Tilley; Dr. Jas. McAdoo Drugs; Patterson's hardware store, then a space at the end occupied by A.G. Davis home.
On the opposite block, in the late 70's was the Stone-Menefee warehouse for wagons and implements. South of them was a home built by __________ and later the Higgins home. The Red Front drug store - B.P. Doddridge, later R.W. Napier. The New York store and Harvey Dry Goods in the big Kelso building. The old Grange store and later the Rhodus store; then Houston-Spratt bank. The first block on the north of the railroad west side had several changes and some stores may be omitted. In the J.C. Penney store site was a dry goods store belonging successively to Rohrbough, Davis and Brosius, Davis and Gunby, and O'Neil and Wilson. Above the store, was De Stevens, Dentist. Along that side at various times were Claypool and Rymal, meats; L.M. Love, music store; Harry Dickinson, Tailor; C.B. Franke, Dry Goods; Wm. Goodman, hotel; grocery and saloon; C.C. Greene, meat market; (and Greene and Sain) Frank Van Buren, grocery at the south east corner of the block.
On the opposite side at the north end were (not all at one time) the new brick of Rohrbough and Moore, south of it was the Reed Store, Ervin Drug Store, Jacob Goldberg, Dry goods; Bob Williams, drug store, Minger Restaurant, Simon Bernheimer, General store; the Paxton livery barn at the south corner. South of the tracks on the west side was the office of Squire Holliday. There was a gap. John Marens had his News Graphic on the row. Later, a building from up town was moved down for an office of Penney and Dildine, the south corner was empty for a while but later J.W. Fowler had a shed grocery there. Set back in the lot was Witwer wagon yard.
On the east side opposite was the elevator-Lamson-Love, Love-Low, etc. just south of the tracks. To the south ran Griffing wagon shop, a saloon kept by Tanner awhile, law offices of B.M. Dilley, W.W. Chapel, Seth Young, Eugene Lowe, etc. Hamiltonian office, R.H. Benedict, grocer; Harve Farabee, post office followed by bookstore, C.A. Greene. White's grocery. To the south was the Daley and then Harper, then Colby lumber yard and McBrayer livery barn.
All has now been told in an imperfect way perhaps, except the street with the Hamilton House south of the depot. The Brosius men kept it up to a high standard, but after they left it began to lose out. East of it was a grocery called the "Oasis" in slang probably with something to drink there. The next was Hugh Buford (colored) barber.
Of course Frank Clark's flour mill ran east of town.
Interviewed February 1932.
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