607 N Second Avenue
This building has been quietly serving Dodge City for more than 100 years. It’s one of the many which had been saddled with a modern and very unattractive slipcover for as long as I can remember. Seeing the building’s original features for the first time made me wonder about its history.
The 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows frame dwellings at 725-726 Second Avenue. This was before the staggered street numbering system was implemented. The 1911 Sanborn shows a much larger home and a whole mess of renumbering on Second Avenue. The lot we’re looking at was assigned 607 at that time and 609 was across the alley to the north. The residential neighborhood had given way to a mostly commercial district.
The original Anderson Building at 605 Second Avenue was erected in 1912. George Anderson awarded the contract to prolific Dodge City builder, Julian Parham. Annie Anderson had a new building with a very similar look constructed on the north side of the original in 1916. The home which had occupied the lot was sold and moved to another site.
Felkel’s Inn, operated by John Felkel, opened in August of 1916.
This menu holds up to today’s standards, although I’d skip the olive nut and pimento cheese.
The line between newsgathering and advertising may have blurred a bit but I do like the idea of opening a business with an orchestra.
The 1918 Sanborn was the first to show the restaurant with rooms upstairs. The building still had only one street number. In May of 1918, John Felkel accepted a position at the Dodge City Ice Cream and Produce Company. Martin Ditch took over the restaurant, which was renamed The Inn.
That lasted about a minute. By November of 1918, Ditch had moved to Hutchinson to take another job.
By September of 1918, Moon announced the fountain would cease operations due to a lack of “sufficient competent help.” I assume World War I and the influenza epidemic were contributing factors. The dining room service continued.
W. A. Curry assumed operations of The Inn in April of 1919. The fountain was resurrected under the watchful eye of J. D. Werner. The article below is kind of confusing. Sam Stubbs, Sr. had purchased The Inn and renamed it The Pennant.
The Stubbs family was famous for feeding Dodge City at various venues.
By the time of this printing, the new Anderson Building had been assigned the second street number of 609 Second Avenue. I’m not sure about that telephone number.
A fire damaged the building in January of 1920 and the restaurant reopened in April. I’m not saying the phone number was responsible but I also wouldn’t rule it out.
A Wurlitzer orchestra piano was installed at The Pennant in November of 1920. It reportedly produced music that was “full of pep.”
Stubbs moved The Pennant to the old Reynolds Jewelry spot on Chestnut Street in February of 1921 and Rush Hardware moved in to the new Anderson building the following month.
If you squint, you can make out the J. S. Rush sign on the right just beyond the Santa Fe Trail Garage.
Rush then sold the hardware store to Homer and Fred Tepe in October of 1922.
Once they took possession of the hardware store, the Tepes combined it with their plumbing and hardware business which had previously occupied the space at 315 W Chestnut Street.
It appears the Tepe brothers either sold or simply closed the hardware store by 1928. Homer had an accident in Clark County and an article from March of 1928 called him the former proprietor of a hardware store in Dodge. The 1928 and 1930 directories list Offerle Mercantile Company at 607 Second Avenue but I haven’t been able to find any details other than the name of the owner, H. A. Offerle. I believe that would be Harry Abner Offerle but don’t hold me to it.
The building must have been remodeled into two separate storefronts sometime in the 1920s. W. G. Thomas operated Temple Shine Parlor in the north room at 609 Second Avenue.
Anderson Cleaners moved to the north room around 1934.
William J Hoffman was a jeweler from Jetmore who teamed up with S. C. Walker (formerly of Mosher & Cochran) to open a store at 405 Second Avenue in May of 1925.
Hoffman bought out Walker’s share around 1929 and moved to the south room at 607 Second Avenue in the mid-1930s.
By 1942, the Pollock, Mapel and Beck Shoe Company was located at 609 Second Avenue. And by 1947, the Pollock and Mapel were silent. You’ll have to read that linked post to get the (admittedly lame) joke.
The Fairytale Shop reopened in their new location at 609 Second Avenue in May of 1953.
This extremely relatable photo from 1954 shows the building pre-slipcover.
Dick and Betty Roth bought the jewelry store around 1960.
The Bairds remained next door to the north.
In the photo below, you can see the entire block south of the First National Bank Building was modernized with a metal slipcover.
The Fairytale Shop moved up north to the mini mall in the early 1970s. Raleigh and Elaine Bristor bought Roth Jewelers around 1974.
Rose Music Company opened at 609 Second Avenue in October of 1979.
Here’s a shot from the First National Bank Building.
Although I remember shopping at Roth’s for jewelry, I think I missed the billiards section. That must have come after the Bristors sold the business.
In the years since Roth’s closed, the building has housed a bridal shop, a seamstress, a hair salon, and several retail stores. The north storefront is currently occupied by Ez Ink Studios. Although the south room is now home to Grain Belt Express, the storefront still gives away its decades as a jewelry store.
These photos were taken over a period of a year or so. Walking past and seeing the slipcover had been removed was a wonderful surprise. You will notice lots of changes in the windows over time. The north wall of the building has since been decorated with some colorful adhesive artwork.
The Google Street View images go back to 2007 so you can see how the storefronts have changed over time. I love that these buildings are being allowed to show their age and character. They still have a lot of life left in them!
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