THE HARRAH FAMILY OF HAMILTON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES
Narrator: Mrs. Mollie Logan, 75, of Denver, Colorado
The Old Harrah Home on Mills Street
Lady Clerks - McCoy's Store
Harry Logan's Band
Mrs. Logan is the widow of Harry Logan well known blacksmith in Hamilton over fifty years ago. Even better known was he as leader of the Hamilton Comet Band when the band wore bright green and white uniforms. Logan was an all round natural musician, also giving violin lessons. He also played leading parts when the band put on Home Talent plays in Anderson's Opera House back in the eighties.
Mrs. Logan is the daughter of Andy W. Harrah who was here before the Civil War closed. He was a horse buyer, having headquarters later with the Paxton Livery barn. Mr. Harrah and family once lived in the house later occupied by Wm. McCoy facing on west Mill. At that time, before 1870 it was the only house on that block, the rest was open commons. There was a much used road (of course not legal) cut diagonally across the block from the Kingston road (or street now) to get to Mill at present Hawk's corner. Mrs. Logan said that often a high spirited horse driven by a high spirited driver would go over this path and come within an ace of hitting the east corner of their home.
Mrs. Logan soon was to see Wm. McCoy move into that house and build a frame store on the north east corner. She soon saw the young George Rohrbough family build what is now the Mrs. Mary Kautz home, and his brother-in-law Moore build on the south east corner next door (the house later was moved on the east side of the street and belongs to Earnest Snape). About 1882 she recalls that Dan Booth who had recently been made Cashier of the Savings Bank bought the remaining open lot south of the McCoy's store and built a home.
Mrs. Logan's grandmother Harrah lived for some time in what is now the Jordan home on north Broadway. Her aunt was Mrs. Hattie Alexander, later Mrs. Billy Dodge. Her brothers were John and Andy Harrah, names familiar to the social young set of the eighties.
She recalled others of that crowd. There were the Brown girls, daughters of Double O. Brown, a Broadway Merchant, Pem Vorhees, a clerk in the Anderson store married one of them. He was the perfect beau here in the late seventies and early eighties.
Lady clerks were rather rare those days. Of course, the women members of the merchants family might sometimes wait on customers with propriety. Miss Rhene Harvey worked in the Harvey and Rosenthal store, Mrs. Franke always sold goods in the Franke (Jew) Store. Mrs. Farabee helped her husband Harve Farabee in the P.O. Bookstore. Mrs. Brown and the girls helped O.O. Brown but few women outsiders worked out in stores. You hunted up the lady clerk, as they said, when you wanted to guy garters, stockings, a corset or underwear. Trying on shoes in a store was horrible because the man-clerk had to see your ankles; so most women took a bunch of shoes home to try them on. There was always a problem too of setting the shoe buttons over one way or the other.
As to Logan's band; in those days nothing was thought of the fact that after a certain number of pieces were played on the streets most of the band probably marched into a saloon to "wet their whistles" with some kind of a drink. Playing in the band then was a man's business; no women or children were in the picture.
Interviewed October 1933.
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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998