This page was last updated 26 July 2011 -- rak.

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Main and Algona 1907

The Home Mercantile occupied lots at the corner of Algona and Main in Arlington. In 1887 a two-story building was erected there which housed a bank and a grocery/dry goods store. This building was destroyed by fire in 1930. The photo at the left shows that building in 1907. This photo is a snippet out of a much larger photo that appears spread across pages 22 and 23 of ARLINGTON -- THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS published under the leadership of Adonis Cooper (daughter of J.A. Fehr) by the Arlington Centennial Committee in Pretty Prairie in 1987. The original photo has hand-written on it HAPPY NEW YEAR 1907, ARLINGTON, KAN.

Near the top of this photo, you can just make out the Ninnescah River running from left to right (i.e. from North to South). It shows how very wide Main Street (running East to West) was and shows the realatively new cement sidewalks. A man is seen in the midst of crossing a sidestreet -- that is at the beginning of Algona Street which heads South. He is walking towards the 1887 two-story building just mentioned. At his back is the A.J. Fehr Hardware store.

Soon after the fire, the Masonic Lodge built a new two story building using money from an estate bequest.

I cannot now find the record of when the Home Mercantile was founded, but by 1937 it occupied the ground floor of the "Masonic' building, while the Lodge occupied the top floor. I do not know if it signifies the importance of this business in the Arlington community, but when the first history of Arlington was done by J.A. Fehr in 1937, he listed 39 Arlington business firms ... and first on the list was the Home Mercantile. I do know that four to five years later, the Home Merc was where my grandmother did what grocery shopping she needed during our Saturday night visits to town.

So far I have not found a useable photo of the Home Merc, but I surely have one around here somewhere, and will put it here when I do.

It was dad's purchase of this store that brought our family back to Arlington in 1946.

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