First off, some additions to Main Street from my last column. The building that the Princess was in also had a grocery on the alley and there was a beauty shop in the building on Fourth and Main. Now, thanks to Phil Mitchell and Bill Beher, here are some of the businesses along the side streets downtown circa 1920. This is before my time but I do remember several of the names of the businesses of that time period. I want to thank Phil Mitchell for thinking of me when he was given this by Bill some time ago. I hope I am reading this correctly, and there is no way I can be sure, but here goes. Going east from Main on First Street on the corner: Browning Shell gasoline station, Wilhelm’s Café, Franklin auto agency, Oldsmobile auto agency (moved to where fire station is now in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s), O’Neil Blacksmith shop and then Rush County Jail. The old jail was much smaller than the one now there and was the home for the sheriff as well as the jail and sheriff’s office. West from Main on First Street was P.C. Colloom (I have no idea what P.C. did but guess he was there!), Redden’s restaurant, liquor store, Ford auto sales. In the early ‘20s my father moved to Rush County from Indianapolis and Guilford, Ind. His first job in Rush County was selling Ford automobiles in Milroy (where I now live). He then moved to Rushville to sell Fords, then Buicks. He met my mother and started his family. Funny how things seem to work themselves out. Going west off Main on Second Street behind what is now Sgt. Smith’s was only mentioned as “side of building,” parking lot and then the Lollis (Durbin) Hotel. The hotel and parking lot are still there, although no longer a hotel. Where Sgt. Smith is now was originally a Woolworth, then Danner’s, then Salvation Army, and now Sgt. Smith’s. I remember a hardware store there; Williamson, I believe, was the name. I would purchase a new bamboo fishing pole every spring for a quarter. It lasted all summer and then some so I felt it was worth the cost. On Main facing the courthouse was a barber shop, Guffin Dry Goods, Polk Hardware (maybe my Williamson hardware store), Brown Grocery, men’s clothing, and Rush County National Bank. There is nothing mentioned about American National Bank where the 201 Building is today. It was on the northwest corner of Main and Second. When I was young it was a Ben Franklin five and dime run by Vaughn Knight and his wife. They were really very nice people and I enjoyed shopping there for a long time. West on Second Street from Main was Stevens Brothers Men’s Clothing, a tavern, a variety store (on alley), Cox Men’s Store, a tobacco shop and then the Lollis again. The hotel went for a full half-block, from First to Second on Main and Morgan. Seems there were more than enough taverns downtown at this time but guess that was the main entertainment for many in the downtown area after work. Going east on Second was Rushville National Bank with law and insurance offices above the bank itself, The Arcade, then the Elks Club. The Barada building is next today and the building on the corner was always an apartment building with a dance studio in the basement. I also remember that on the corner of that building was a line way above my head at the time that showed the level of the 1913 flood in downtown Rushville. Looked to me there would be about 3 feet of water or more all over the downtown area. Going west on Second was the side of the bank (American National), an upstairs law office, Thorpe’s Ladies Wear (that was an L shaped store with fronts on Main and Second on the north and west side of the bank building, meat market, Meo Fruit and Vegetables, plumbing shop (Wehrle Lakin, I believe), Quality Bakery and then a furniture store on the corner of Morgan and Second. So there it is, as far as Phil and Bill and I are concerned. Interesting, and frankly I enjoyed checking it out. I remember Steven’s Brothers, Hall Thorpe and Goodman, Quality Bakery and Meo’s Market, Elks Club, Wilhelm’s and the Lollis Hotel when I came back to Rushville from San Diego. Again, a great big thank you to Phil Mitchell and Bill Beher for doing this and keeping it so people like you and me could read it and think back to the time when Rushville was a booming commercial area with numerous auto agencies. It was an economy based on furniture and agriculture — and a time that was much more laid back and easy to get along in!

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