The West Side of the Public Square
On this page I’ll attempt to record the information I’ve gathered about the businesses on the west side of the Public Square. As before there are lots and lots of gaps in what I’ve been able to dig up. At least there will be some kind of record, if incomplete, of what and who was where.
This picture is the best I have of some of the store fronts on the west side of the Square in the late 1940s. You can see the IGA on the corner then Kendall’s barber shop and Flo Hickman’s dress shop. This is the 1949 Pet Parade. I’m the kid on the bird bike. Lois Thompson Roland is behind me and Gary Plank is on the pony. If you have any pictures please let me know.
We will start at the north west corner of Main and Washington and once again go northward toward Brown.
130 East Main
The NW corner of Main and Washington held a grocery store throughout the first half of the 20th century. The Vestals ran it for most of the years I was growing up. The Pattons took it over in the mid 50s and were there into the 60s.
I covered the businesses at the corner of Main and Washington in more detail on the page about the north side of Main.
10 North Washington
This picture is from the 1890s and shows Weaver’s store.
This location was a small commercial space right behind the grocery store in the same building but fronting on Washington.
W. S. Weaver Jewelry Store
Walter Weaver opened his Jewelry Store at 10 North Washington in about 1870. He was born in Knightstown in 1848 and served the Union as Bugler of the 146th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War. He must have been very young when in the army. He operated the Jewelry Store until he died in 1909. He was married to a Knightstown girl, Mary Haufler, and must have spent his whole life in K-town except for his civil war years. I wonder where he learned the science of watch making….
Dr. T.R. Woodard – Dentist
Dr. Woodard had his office here until into the 1930s. I can’t find who was here immedately after Dr Woodard occupied the space and before Kendall opened his barber shop.
Kendall’s Barber Shop
Ervin Kendall had his Barber Shop in this little space during the late 1940s and throughout the 50s. He had various partners in the shop through the years. I always went to Shorty so I don’t know their names. Kendall never advertised nor was he in the phone book so it’s hard to be exact.
12-14 North Washington
I’m not sure when this building was built but I’m guessing it was in the late 1890s. It’s a nice looking building with a classic look to it with the arches over the windows and doors. It held grocery stores throughout the first half of the 20th century.
Jonah Oakerson had a grocery here in the early 1900s. I’m not sure how long he was here but he was gone in 1919.
Anderson’s Cash Grocery/Thornburg Grocery
The Anderson Grocery was there until 1923 when T.S. Thornburg took over. Thornburg was only there for a year.
They operated a grocery on the premises for 4 years, from 1924 until 1928.
Lord’s Regal Store
Ralph Lord bought the business at 12-14 North Washington in 1928. He was certainly one of the most successful Grocers in the history of Knightstown. He operated the store on the Square until October of 1941 when he moved his business to the corner of Main and Jefferson. It was a much bigger space and his new store could be considered the first “supermarket” in Knightstown. Ralph died at a relatively young age of a heart attack in the mid 1940s. What a shame…
This picture is from the “Historic Knightstown” archive and shows the inside of Lord’s grocery in 1929. Flo Hickman, standing next to Mr Lord, would 19 years later open a ladies wear shop at this location. My Aunt Mildred is on the end.
Arnolds Market opened at 12-14 N. Washington in 1945. I’m still looking to discover who was at the location after Lord’s moved out in 1941 until Arnold’s opened in ‘45.
Here’s an Advert for Arnold’s opening.
Flo Hickman’s Ladies Apparel
Flo opened her dress shop in about 1948 and had a very successful business. She was there until well into the 1960s. It’s really a shame the town had to lose good shops like her’s and the Robin Lee shop around the corner on Main.
Here are a couple of Flo Hickman’s Adverts from the mid 50s.
18 North Washington
Grave’s Meat Market
At the turn of the 20th century there was a small building that housed a butcher shop at this address. That building was torn down sometime in the teens and I don’t know what was here if anything until the mid 30s when they moved a little house here.
Here’s a view of K-town from about 1900 that shows the little Butcher Shop at 18 N. Washington. It was probably taken from atop the IOOF building.
Baxter Monument Co.
They sold grave stones from a little house that looked like it had been plunked down here as an after thought. I’m sure it wasn’t built here. When I was very small I would always try to climb on the stones on display when we passed by and my mother would always yell at me and make me stay off.
Various people owned the Monument business through the years. Baxter then Mr Alexander for a while and then some folks named Bass in the 50s.
This is the little house where they ran the Monument business.
So here we are at the alley. To the north of us are two buildings and several store fronts. I’ve been able to determine a few of the businesses which occupied the spaces but there were lots of listings in the phone books which only gave a “west side of the Square” address. Here are a few:
- Shockley’s Market (groceries)
- Hall’s Market (groceries)
- Schlosser Bros. (dairy)
- Beatrice Creamery (dairy)
- C.C. Smith New and Used Furniture
- Public Square Livery
- Stella Binford – Delicatessen
- Chas Kennard Tin Shop
Then there are the obvious errors in the phone book listings. For years and years two distinctly different kinds of business were listed with the same address. For example, In 1941 both Gordon’s Funeral Home and Tewksbury Hatchery were listed at 26 N. Washington. This error had been carried forward from the 1920s with several different businesses. I can’t imagine why it was never corrected.
The bottom line is,,, I only know a few of the business concerns which occupied the spaces in this half block. I suppose that’s better than having no record at all. If anyone can help me with this please do so.
Here’s an interesting galley of pictures I’ve been able to find of the West Side of the Square. Most of these are from the Historic Knightstown archives.
I think it works best if you click on the “View with LensPic” link and let it cycle through the pictures.
20 North Washington
Dr. H.F. Watson – Optometrist
This is the first location north of the alley.
I can’t find any information about this address until about 1946 when an Optometrist opened an office here. He was only here for about two years.
The Garment Cleaners
The Hagners moved their cleaning plant here shortly after Watson left. I’m not sure exactly when this was because they continued to use their Main Street store for the retail part of the business for a couple of years.
By 1952 the Hagners had moved their complete operation to 20 N. Washington. They were wonderful people and ran a good business. They were in business here well into the 1960s or 70s.
22 North Washington
I can’t find any listings for 22 N. Washington. Maybe they just didn’t use that number in the old days. I do know the number designations used now don’t match what they were in the past. It also could be that 24 N. Washington was a double wide store. I just don’t know.
24 North Washington
Brickey’s Department Store
Clarence Brickey and his wife had run a Mom and Pop general store in Raysville for at least 20 years before opening their general store at 24 N. Washington St. They sold just about everything from fresh vegetables to bib-overalls. They opened in K-town in 1942 and remained there until well into the 1960s.
Here’s a little Ad from the Banner in 1942 about Brickey’s opening.
26 North Washington
There were a series of undertakers at number 26 N. Washington for several years. A Mr. Monticue was there in 1909 then a Charles F. Baxter had the business from 1910 until 1929. In 1930 It was listed as “Hopkins and Gordon Funeral Directors”. By 1934 Hopkins had left the scene and it was just “H.C. Gordon Funeral Director”. Gordon ran the funeral parlor there until sometime around 1943 or 44. After Gordon I can’t find a listing for anyone there until 1948. I’ll keep looking.
H.C. Gordon was a familiar figure around town well into the 1950s. Everyone called him “Doc Gordon” but I’m sure he wasn’t a doctor. He had some kind of job with the state or the US but still lived in town. I think he used to wear a beret sometimes but I’m not sure about that.
Here’s an Ad from 1940 for Gordon’s Funeral Parlor.
C.S. “Rags” Walters
“Rags” Walters had been in business in Knightstown for many years. He made canvass tops for buggies and the early cars. Then, when that business dried up, he did furniture upholstering. My mother worked for him in the early 40s and was always quite skilled at upholstery.
He moved his shop to 26 N. Washington in 1948 and was there until sometime around 1960.
Here’s an Ad from 1940 for Rag’s Walters. This was when his shop was on Brown St.
28 North Washington
Today this is the address for the upstairs over this building but in the early 20th century it was different. Back before 1960 number 28 was the address of the business space next to number 26 as one would expect. The Knights of Pythias hall was over the stores in this half block but they just listed their address as “North Washington Street”.
Butler’s Drug Store
John Butler ran a Drug Store at 28 N. Washington from the late 1800s until 1924. By 1924 there were no less than 5 Drug Stores operating in Knightstown. Maybe all that competition forced Butler to finally close his business.
A 1912 Christmas Advert for Butler’s Drug Store.
The address of the Knightstown Hatchery was always listed in the phone books as 26 N. Washington but it seems unlikely that a stinky chicken hatchery (and they did stink pretty badly) would be co-located with a funeral parlor. I think the Hatchery was actually at 28 N. Washington in the premises vacated when Butler’s Drugs closed in ‘24. The K-town Hatchery opened in ‘25 and was in operation under that name until about 1942. In 1941 a listing for “Tewksbury Hatchery” also appears in the phone book at the same address and had the same phone number so I guess they went by both names for a while.
Here’s an ad from 1942.
Price’s Feed Store
By 1948 the hatchery at 28 N. Washington was known as “Price’s Feed Store”. They remained in business until 1953. I don’t know who was at the location after that. Maybe it sat vacant……?? If anyone knows please share it with us.
32 North Washington
I’m pretty sure this address once designated the space south of the Thornwood Printing Co. in the building on the corner of Washington and Brown. In later times the address was used by a business in the building to the south of the corner building. I’ll try to get more info and clear this up.
The Knightstown Banner newspaper was printed at this location for at least 50 years, maybe 75… They were here until 1949 when they moved over to 25 N. Jefferson.
The history of the newspapers serving Knightstown probably deserves a whole page. I intend to put more about the Banner on this site if I ever get the time.
34 North Washington
I can’t quite figure out where the heck this business was. It was listed in the phone book from 1954 until 1956 at 34 N. Washington but I sure don’t remember a bakery anywhere around there. Maybe someone can help me out with this one.
36 North Washington
W.H. Jordan’s Carriage and Wagon Shop
Jordan’s had the whole building at the corner of Washington and Brown from the late 1800s until about 1920 when they moved to Raysville..
Here’s an ad from 1912.
Thornwood bought the building in about 1922 and moved their printing business here. I think they shared the building with the Banner for a number of years. Thornwood remained in business here until the 1970s.
Well here we are at the corner of Washington and Brown Streets and I’ve probably wasted a lot of time putting this page together. The description of what businesses were here is not at all comprehensive and I apologize for that.